Making money with drop shipping is becoming more and more popular as an online business model. Drop shipping simply means that when a customer places an order from you, the supplier (and not you) will ship the product directly to the customer.
There a lot of benefits to this business model, with the biggest ones being that you don’t have to carry inventory or ship products yourself. In other words, it's one of many businesses you can start with no money.
Really all you have to do with a drop shipping business model is market and sell the products and the rest of the business is hands off.
And even though drop shipping sometimes gets a bad rap in some circles, the reality is that it’s incredibly common—with 22 to 33 percent of Internet retailers using drop shipping as their main method of fulfillment.
In fact, some of the biggest companies on the planet use drop shipping extensively. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Zappos started as a drop shipping company, and Amazon, Sears, and Wayfair.com all use drop shipping as part of their business models.
So if you decide to start or expand a drop shipping business then you’re in good company.
One of the biggest keys to starting or scaling a drop shipping business is being able to find products that will sell well.
And while there’s no guarantee that any single product that you pick is going to sell well, here are five basic tips that will help you find the best products to dropship.
How to Select the Best Drop Shipping Products
1. Find a Drop Shipping Product That is Unique
There are people out there that will tell you to find the best-selling product on whatever platform you’re looking at and to use that product.
I don’t think this is the best approach.
Instead, I like to take a slightly different angle. When looking for a product to sell online, I want to look for something that’s working already, but then find a similar product with extra or unique features.
For instance, if I’m selling a monocular to use while bird watching, maybe I can find one with a belt pouch and compass included.
Doing it this way makes it easier to stand out from the crowd and make your product more unique compared to the rest of the competition.
2. Select a Drop Shipping Product with Fast Shipping
Like most things, some drop shipping suppliers are better than others—with some products taking just a few days or weeks to deliver and others taking months to deliver—so you always want to verify the shipping times by ordering the product yourself.
Today people want their items shipped and delivered quickly and having a product that takes to long to arrive at your customer's doorstep can lead to bad reviews and even refunds and chargebacks.
Put the time you place your order into a spreadsheet, along with the supplier and track how long it takes to come in. By selecting suppliers to deliver within 10 to 14 days (at the maximum) you can save yourself a lot of customer service headaches.
3. Pick a Quality Product for Dropshipping
Once you get a potential product in, give it a thorough test. Make sure it works like it’s supposed to, and check to see that it’s going to be fairly durable.
There are many people who do drop shipping that simply won’t bother to do this step, but I found that it puts you head and shoulders above your competitors.
It goes without saying that a poor quality product can lead to bad customer reviews, losing repeat business, and suffering from refunds.
Make sure you are always offering top quality merchandise to your customers.
4. Select a Dropshipping Product That Is Demonstratable
One of the best ways to sell physical products is to demonstrate them via video.
If you ever watched late night infomercials a key draw to them is watching the product being demonstrated.
As you're testing your product try to figure out how you can display it in a video. Video advertising is extremely powerful, especially on social media platforms likes Facebook and Instagram. Gadget type products usually work well for video advertising. Also, Facebook Live is a great opportunity to get free video traffic.
5. Find Your Dropshipping Products from Lessor Known Vendors
This is a situation where you want to zig where everybody else zags. Use your creative brain for where you can dropship from. Lots of people dropship from Ali Express, and that works. But there are other sources as well.
For some niches Etsy retailers work extremely well for drop shipping. And often with independent sellers you can make a deal to get a discounted price if you do a lot volume. Usually, you only need to ask.
Drop shipping can be a great business model. You do need to make sure your customers are taking care of and that your products are interesting. It also helps to have skills in getting traffic to your site (but that’s another article).
If you do a little more than everyone else seems willing to, then you can make a big, viable success of a drop shipping business.