Dropshipping for Beginners: 7 Mistakes Every Dropshipping Beginner Makes And How To Avoid Them

Brandon Ginsberg
Brandon Ginsberg
CEO | ApparelMagic

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Have you been wondering how to start a dropshipping business? In a market that seizes any chance to make a transaction simple and convenient, dropshipping seems like a no-brainer for those who want to start their own online business. The dropshipping business model is attractive because you don’t have to think about time-consuming tasks of inventory management, order fulfillment, shipping, or maintaining stores and employees.

But despite the fact that dropshipping is so straightforward, dropshippers frequently make costly mistakes that have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and profit.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the most common mistakes that eCommerce dropshipping businesses make so that you can prevent them and advance your dropshipping business regardless of your experience. 

Image by Freepik

What Is Dropshipping

As we all know, dropshipping is a method of order fulfillment. It is a business strategy that relieves the seller or retailer of inventory management duties. Instead, the seller can simply get in touch with a manufacturer or supplier to arrange for the delivery of the items to the customers.

The dropshipping business model comes with fewer risks and protects the seller from significant losses. In addition, making money with a dropshipping business is faster and simpler because the initial investment is smaller.

What are the Benefits of Drop Shipping?

Before we get into the biggest mistakes that dropshipping businesses make, here are the most important upsides of the dropshipping model that every “Dropshipping for Beginners” article should highlight. 

  • No inventory. First on the list of pros of dropshipping is the fact that you do not need to keep inventory. This means that you won’t have to deal with issues like finding storage space for your products or protecting those products from being damaged. As a result, you will be able to spend that money on things like marketing to help your dropship online business grow. 
  • No shipping. If you decide to run an eCommerce business, you also won’t have to deal with product shipment. Although there is a chance your supplier will charge you a drop shipment fee, doing everything yourself would be significantly more expensive. You won’t require shipping facilities, packing personnel, or packaging materials.
  • Little risk. One of the biggest advantages of dropshipping for beginners is that you won’t have to invest tens of thousands of dollars in products. The products will be offered for sale by your supplier, and you only purchase them when you make a transaction. Pre-orders are not required. 
  • No loss. Since you won’t have to worry about inventory, you won’t suffer any losses. You won’t need to stress over how many products to order, to avoid understocking or overstocking. You’ll purchase the exact number of items from your supplier to cover your orders, with no losses resulting from inventory issues. 

Dropshipping for Beginners: 7 Most Common Dropshipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Having a dropshipping business sounds so appealing that it seems like everybody should want to do it, right? Wrong! Once you dive into it, you’ll realize that dropshipping for beginners takes more than just having savvy digital marketing skills. Here are 7 common dropshipping mistakes you need to avoid.

1. Starting with High Expectations

While a dropship online business can bring money, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to earn tons of cash in the first month. Starting off with big expectations can lead to disappointment and result in failure. 

In order to succeed at dropshipping, you need to be committed and persistent. You must put in the effort, give it time, and learn a lot before you can begin to enjoy the rewards. If you don’t take this into account, you’ll lose motivation early on and give up before your dropshipping business starts to take off.

2. Not Building Relationships With Your Suppliers

Your suppliers are the lifeblood of your new dropshipping business. At first, your relationship with your dropshipping suppliers revolves solely around product availability and shipping concerns, but you shouldn’t allow this to continue for too long. 

Bear in mind that each supplier has multiple dropshippers to deal with, so in order to ensure that you receive preference when your suppliers’ products are about to run out of stock, try to build deeper relationships with them. It’s crucial to treat your dropshipping suppliers with respect, pay them on time, and work out issues together.

3. Setting Very Short Delivery Times

It’s easy to become so focused on building a solid customer base and start setting very short shipping times. In reality, there are a lot of steps involved in shipping which make it impossible to predict when a package will arrive.

While it is true that lengthy shipping ties could put off your clients, you should refrain from setting unrealistic delivery times that your suppliers won’t be able to meet. Find out from your suppliers the potential delivery time, then provide your consumers a time range that matches that of your suppliers (with a safe margin).

4. Offering Multiple Shipping Fees

If you choose to offer several shipping fees on your website, you will end up with too many options that you won’t be able to manage. All your loyal customers want is that you deliver their products at the lowest price possible. 

There are two approaches to this: either provide free shipment or charge a flat fee for delivery. If you select free shipping, you can change the product prices to account for the shipping costs. Since there won’t be much of a price difference, advertising that you offer free delivery is a good strategy to attract your target audience.

5. Not Having an Efficient Returns System 

Not having a returns system that works is the biggest dropshipping failure. Regardless of how awesome products you sell, at some point, there will be customers that will want to return them. Because you are merely an intermediary, you might believe that the provider is in charge of the refund. This is only partially true. While returns will ultimately be handled by the supplier, it is your reputation that is at stake.

This is why it is very important to ensure that your vendor has established a clear and simple return procedure. You should also monitor returns to ensure that your consumers receive refunds or replacements as soon as possible. 

Image by 8photo on Freepik

6. Relying Too Much on a Single Supplier

If you depend too much on a single supplier, you could run into problems like price increases that reduce your profit margin, late shipments, back-ordered goods, the supplier going out of business, not filling orders, etc.

Utilizing multiple vendors is always a better option. If you’re unable to do that, try to negotiate a contract with your supplier. If possible, make arrangements in advance for pricing, delivery, and other potential problems.

7. Competing on Price

Early on in your dropshipping career, you might get an idea to undercut the competition on price in order to spur more sales. This concept is nothing new but the truth is it only benefits big players like Walmart and Amazon because they already have the shoppers’ trust. 

As a new dropshipper, you should be aware that drastically lowering pricing tends to make potential consumers wary. Deals that seem too good to be true usually are, and cheap costs typically lead consumers to believe they are purchasing substandard goods (even if your product is the same as the competition).

In addition, by doing this, you will reduce your own profit margin. In the end, you’ll need to sell more in order to earn the same amount of money as you would have at the initial pricing. 

The Bottom Line

Dropshipping is a great way for people to start their own businesses and find financial independence. It can help you reach your goals for a fraction of the price of starting a traditional retail business, regardless of whether you just want to experiment to make some extra money or build a full-scale eCommerce operation.

We hope that this blog post covered some of the key concerns of dropshipping for beginners and provided an answer to your question “How to start a dropshipping business?”. Success in dropshipping isn’t always simple or straightforward. However, if you stay away from the 7 mistakes we’ve listed in this blog post, you’ll be able to avoid having to learn some difficult lessons the hard way.

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