Davis

@davis1

Hitting 500k in Sales after 10 Months of Drop Shipping

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on r/Entrepreneur where it gathered more than 680 upvotes. It is republished with permission from the author, u/rikilii.

I have been trying to drop ship for 2 years. 10 months ago, me and my business partner hit the ecommerce equivalent of gold. In that time we generated a little over half a million dollars in sales. This sub (r/Entrepreneur) was the first place I heard about drop shipping and I want to write one of those success story posts that I always see on here, so here it goes, and feel from to ask whatever:

1. Luck

Dropshipping is difficult to break into. There is a huge amount of luck mixed in with making good decisions. Drop shipping is not one of those things where you grind every day and eventually you are top tier. If it isn’t working for you, you should just move on to a new type of business or try out a different niche. Don’t sink your money on extra things you may not even need. Never ever ever buy one of those scam guides on how to get rich off of drop shipping. These guides are a complete scam, all of the information people are paying for is available for free online!

2. About Us

We are in a niche that very few or no people are in. I’m not going to blurt what the niche is, but I will say we got really lucky after trying several niches. We wasted time/money selling shoes, belts, accessories, the stuff that everybody else seemed to be doing. Part of the reason we were failing so hard was because we weren’t driving traffic to our site proportional to what we were shelling out. We don’t use any AdWords, FB/IG ads, etc. Nearly all of our sales are directly from Reddit, Imgur, or a search query.

3. Getting our name out

It is a waste of money and it takes forever to find an ad that actually makes money and works. If you can actually make money using ads, do it. You’re lucky and should milk that for everything you can. If you haven’t found a way to do so, then you should be stopping literally yesterday.

We came up with a good niche and decided it was worth dropping some extra money on getting help from somebody experienced in digital marketing. The people we hired got us to the front page of Reddit and got us an overwhelming amount of sales because of that. A few news outlets picked us up because of the front page post on Reddit. After that, our SEO went through the roof and we ranked for several of our targeted keywords.

The traffic from Reddit brings in super high quality visitors unlike with Adwords. These are people who have already read your pitch from whatever post, got to the front page, and are somewhat sold on your idea. Once you have them on your website there is a good chance they will buy from you. The conversions are ridiculous and there is no chance in hell I am ever going back to making Ads on MS paint or hiring someone on Fiverr to make ads for me.

4. Choosing a niche

Much more important than what you’re actually selling is the way in which you are selling your product. A lot of people think of drop shipping as a scam because you buy off of AliExpress and mark up the price. Drop shipping is useful because you do all of the work for your customers by finding stuff in a specific niche and putting it all in one convenient place.
For example, let’s say that you are running a “starter pack” site where people can get started on a hobby easily. If somebody wants to learn how to paint and type in “Painting supplies” on AliExpress they are going to get absolutely garbage results. On your site, you have already grouped everything together into one convenient package (Brushes, paints, easel, Bob Ross book, etc.) What if your niche is Cosplay and somebody wants to dress up as Cho Chang from Harry Potter? They will have zero luck finding it on AliExpress, but you can index that on your site and have the full costume wrapped up and ready to go. tl;dr Focus on a cool way to sell your product, not the actual product. Anybody can find a pair of boots on AliExpress.

5. Website

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid!) We have a ton of white space and an easy to navigate site. We don’t use a million annoying pop-ups and bullshit “deal ending soon” crap. Don’t overwhelm your visitors, you’ll drive them away. Keep track of your bounce rate on Alexa or Google Analytics for a good estimate on how much engagement you’re getting on your site. We put things for sale right at the front of our store, people could check out in about 4–5 clicks if they wanted to. Don’t make people go searching for what you’re selling. Have a one (two MAX) sentence clear+concise tagline about what your site is all about.

tl;dr

The biggest impact on our success was hiring help to get us to the front page of Reddit. In addition to that, focusing on the way we were selling products so that didn’t look like run of the mill drop shipping garbage had a huge impact on how people perceived us.

Some proof of sales — https://i.imgur.com/fDkRIC7.png

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