10 Dropshipping Rules for New Entrepreneurs You Need to Know
Here are 10 dropshipping rules you need to follow if you want to make it:
1. Ship a faster method and with tracking
Nothing destroys a business more then slow shipping. Especially when dropshipping from China. You can get away with shipping ‘for free’ using regular post from China (2–3 months) for a while, but long term, it will destroy you.
The negative reviews will start racking up. You’ll lose your credit card processing companies. You’ll get Paypal restricted. You’ll get penalized by your merchant account. Your Facebook/Instagram accounts will get shut down. It’s not worth it.
You need to ship fast. This means the slowest you can offer is e-packet (1–3 weeks maximum). You need to always upload tracking. This is the only way to make it in dropshipping.
2. Understand Perceived Value
Most dropshippers don’t know what this term means.
Perceived Value is when you are making the product have a value that is perceived by the buyer. With the right title, description, image, MSRP and discounted price, you can make any product look appealing to any customer.
The goal is to make that $2.99 item you buy from China look and sell like a $18.99 item. You do this by giving it a greater perceived value. But you also need to be sure that when the buyer receives it in person, that they are satisfied. And also that the item is good quality to match that perceived value.
Spend time researching the best title (making it unique from your competitors).
Spend time writing an amazing description, and having a great layout for it.
3. Order a test product yourself and take your own images
This really sets the amateurs apart from the pros. Amateurs just list, grab items and start listing, from any supplier. This is just bad business practice.
It’s important to always order one of each item yourself. You need to test shipping times, processing times. How the item is packed. The quality of the item.
But most importantly, take your own photos. This sets you apart. This is the difference from a 4-figure dropshipping store to a 7–8 figure dropshipping store.
Your own photos will be 100x better then stock photos, which increases your perceived value.
You also need that product to make videos. Video advertising can be upwards of 10x cheaper then image advertising (think Facebook ads).
REALLY IMPORTANT: Never sell an item you wouldn’t sell to your friends/family. If you are ashamed of the item because its a poor quality item and wouldn’t market it to your friends/family, then don’t sell it to a stranger. You need to be proud of what you sell.
4. Don’t forget about email marketing
Email marketing is a powerful tool. Everytime someone visits your site, goes on your social media, ads to cart, or even buys, try to get their email.
It’s important to give your audience value.
Value is where you are not just advertising products. Don’t just send out email blasts to your list for sales, and new products. Give your readers engaging value. These are emails where you tell your audience a story, give them something just to read. So that they’ll continue to get value from your marketing, without having to buy. They’ll stay hooked and engaged to your email blasts.
It’s also great to do surveys, polls, giveaways, and more in between emails, and coupon codes. As well as new products, and advertising. Keep a nice balance.
5. Post daily on social media, and blog
One thing that you need to start doing is posting on all social media. That’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter. You need to do this daily. Everyday, even if you have a small audience, and small engagement.
Start early, and get in the habit of learning what works, and what doesn’t. Get in the habit of doing it daily.
Same thing with blogging. Write a short blog, with image, every day, 7 days a week.
Start building up your brand image, your brand history, and SEO. Make sure your tags, hashtags, and all links between your site and social accounts are all there.
6. Prepare to work 60, 70+ hours a week
Dropshipping is like any other business. It takes hard work and dedication to succeed. A lot of people are attracted to dropshipping because they think they can run a business only working 10 hours a week.
This is far from the truth. Once you are successful, and have half a dozen staff members running the business for you, then you can cut back and work 10 hours a week.
But when it’s just you, you’ll need to eat, sleep and breathe your business. It’s a very highly competitive business model.
7. Be constantly learning
There is a lot of information out there about dropshipping. It’s your job to sift through it all and weed out the bull crap.
And trust the real pros, 80% of that information is crap. You need to find that 20% of solid gold information and learn from it.
Stay away from those fake guru’s. Read everything online. There is literally thousands of sites, videos, blogs, and free courses out there. Years worth of reading. All about dropshipping.
Determine for yourself what information is valid for you. And try things out.
7. Get a mentor/coach
When you start to grow, you’ll want to get yourself some sort of mentor or paid coach that can assist you to get to the next level.
Running a dropshipping business isn’t easy. It’s a constant up and down.
Mentors and coaches are there to remind you of your daily/weekly/monthly goals. They keep you on track and focused.
They keep you motivated.
And in some cases, they even help you past speed bumps and hurtles because they’ve been in your shoes already. This is a great tool to have in your belt when you are trying to grow a dropshipping business.
9. Spend at least 4 hours per day researching new products/competitors
Research is key when it comes to staying relevant. Trends move fast. The way you survive in dropshipping is staying ahead of the trends.
If you are late to a trend, your sales will all be from the tail end of a trend.
If you want to see real profits, real ROI from advertisements, you need to be at the front of a trend. This means you need to predict what the next best product is.
This is literally half your work. Trying to find out the next item to sell. It takes even the best dropshippers sometimes 1–2 years to understand this system. But when they do, it’s gold.
Ever see those “fake guru’s” online telling their audience what products are selling good? They are only giving away information on “hot items” at the tail end of a trend once they’ve profited from it. No real professional will give someone else a gold mine of a product away for free.
If you can catch the beginning of a trend, you can make thousands of units sold fast, and make tens of thousands of dollars in sales from a single product. This is the goal.
A bulk of your time in the business is spent researching the next best product. This is the foundation of dropshipping professionally.
10. Focus on your customers
Like any business, you need to focus on your customers. You have to get to know your audience.
Spend time with them. Answer every social media comment. Answer all private messages. Answer all emails.
Be constantly getting feedback. Ask questions, do surveys, do polls. Engage, engage, engage.
But don’t lose focus on your brand image. You cannot please everyone. Figure out who your ‘core’ ideal audience is, and grow it. If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one and your brand will look like a mess.
Don’t add products to your dropshipping store because you personally like, think about what your core audience wants. This is something you learn from research.
Focusing on your customers, and providing a better buyers experience for your core audience will set you apart from competitors and allow you to have a better perceived value for your items and grow your dropshipping business faster, with more profits.
Customers who really enjoy your brand, your mission, your values, your image will most likely share your brand to their friends/family.