Spotlight Top 10 Pro’s and Con’s of Starting a Dropshipping Business

I have been dropshipping for a while now and there are some key Benefits and Risks of setting up a dropshipping business.  The opportunity it provides for anyone that is looking to have more freedom and flexibility is incredible.  I never thought I would have this much flexibility as a business owner and traveler.  At the same time, the amount of challenges that I have had to overcome is hard to quantify.  At the end of the day I would recommend setting up a dropshipping store to anyone looking to start a passive income stream online but want to call out both the positives and negatives in this post!Top 10 Pros and Cons to Dropshipping

Pros of Dropshipping

  1. Reduced upfront costs

Generally, there are huge upfront costs involved in starting a retailing business since you have to invest in inventory, warehouses or stores where you will be keeping your products and labor force among other things. You can greatly reduce your opening capital by choosing to partner with a drop shipper who will be bearing such costs on your behalf.

  1. Easy to start

Starting a traditional retaining business is pretty challenging since you have to make some considerations like sourcing for products, delivering them to your stores, packing, tracking inventory and shipment among other things. Drop shipping eliminates such inconveniences, and you can comfortably start operations by simply having a small office and a laptop with internet access.

  1. Reduced running costs

You will be enjoying low overhead costs when relying on a drop shipper compared to running your own stores and fulfilling orders yourself. This is a case where you will be avoiding expenses like renting a warehouse, paying staff salaries, packaging and shipping costs among others. You should greatly consider this model if you were dealing with bulk products since these will definitely cost you more in terms of receiving, storing and shipping out to consumers.

  1. Convenience

Choosing to go with drop shipping in e-commerce will assure you of great convenience where you can easily grow your business even with limited resources. You will be leaving the wholesaler or manufacturer to handle all the packaging, storage and even delivering the received orders. You will only be actively participating in receiving orders and forwarding them to your drop shipper. This will be leaving you with enough time to handle even other businesses.

  1. Flexibility and efficiency

You will be enjoying the flexibility of running your business from any place since this can be as simple as having a laptop with reliable internet connection. This means that you can comfortably work from home or even when taking a vacation. With so much time on your side, you can concentrate on increasing efficiency by focusing on ways of improving customer relations, marketing strategies and operations among other things.

Cons of Dropshipping

  1. Smaller margins

Setting up an e-commerce business that relies on drop shipping is pretty easy and this is a situation that creates huge competition for fast moving products. The retailers are therefore left to adjust their pricing and some of them even go to very low levels since they only invested some small amounts. This leads to very small profit margins. The best way to stand out is to find better ways of offering value to consumers instead of relying on lower prices.

  1. Inventory problems

When stocking your own products, it is pretty easy to keep track of your inventory where you can easily know what is available and have more supplies delivered for what is out of stock. This is pretty hard in a drop shipping model since you can’t really tell when some products are out of stock in manufacturers’ or wholesalers’ warehouses. You can limit such inconveniences by relying on multiple suppliers.

  1. Issues with consumer satisfaction

Having the orders you receive fulfilled by a third party can be quite a challenge and there are usually high chances of consumers receiving the wrong products, damaged items or experiencing delays in shipping among other inconveniences that can weigh heavily on your reputation. They will then be blaming you for such errors instead of the supplier, and they will be expecting you to sort out the existing problems.

  1. Limited selection

There are numerous manufacturers or suppliers who do not offer drop shipping as a service, and this may greatly limit the choices available to your customers on some products. This is a situation that can affect the growth of your e-commerce business due to low consumer satisfaction. To avoid such a scenario, you should first take the time to understand the niche that you are planning to invest in and how distribution is handled by the manufacturers or other authorized distributors.

  1. Unforeseen costs

There are additional costs that you may be required to handle when operating your business and these may further reduce your already low-profit margins. Some of these may result from compensation for wrong deliveries and damaged products among other things. You will also be missing on some incentives extended to retailers by manufacturers including bonuses, discounts, and marketing/ advertising incentives.

Succeeding in drop shipping

Currently, the field of e-commerce is highly competitive, and you should be a bit innovative for your business to succeed. Instead of competing on pricing, you should focus on other ways of adding value and gaining customer confidence. You should have in-depth knowledge of the products that you are selling, and you should come up with ways of developing strong customer service among other things.

If you are just starting your online business, you may be tempted to go with “top sellers” but this will just make it hard to establish yourself. You should, instead, look for a niche that is not very competitive and then develop strategies that will open up your business. Trying new products should be pretty easy and less risky since you will not be holding any inventory. This will be a great move in increasing the number of products in your catalog.

The other important thing that you should be concerned with is making consumers aware that your business is in operation. This is where you should consider investing in practices that will make your website more visible in the search engines. You should consider hiring a Search Engine Optimization expert, investing in online marketing strategies and providing quality content that relates to your business and the products that you are selling.

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Eric Lafleche