Are you one of those people who just took the risk of dropshipping and then found yourself asking the same question along the way, especially when you feel you’re stuck and not making any sales?
FUN FACT. You’re not alone.
I believe that in this fast-paced e-commerce world where all you need is an internet connection and a laptop to be able to make money, it’s undeniably a challenge to be able to do something new and different which actually demands effort and determination from you. Truth be told, DROPSHIPPING IS HARD if you don’t have an idea of how it works and where to start.
As I hear similar stories from various customers I've spoken with at support, I’ve finally discovered at least 5 reasons in response to the question “why is dropshipping so hard?”.
Reason #1: Cost of Dropshipping
While the dropshipping business model can be a good way to sell goods without holding any inventory, you still need to dish out some money to be able to sustain it.
Here’s the COST checklist:
- Store platform that you’ll use as your website
- Compatible dropshipping software and other apps that you need to use
- Drive traffic to your store (FB Ads or Google Ads)
- Orders (including the shipping fee) that suppliers will send to your customer
- Refunds and Returns
- Salary for your VA (if you have one)
- For a full cost overview, check out this article called “How Much Does It Cost To Start a Dropshipping Business?“.
It’s a universal truth that there are risks in any kind of business. So you need to make sure that the investment you are making is an extra budget which will not affect your whole personal financial status in case it doesn't work for you.
Reason #2: Difficulties of Dropshipping
Even some MBA graduates have felt challenged in running this business. Some get frustrated because they think they know everything about the business, but when it comes to dropshipping issues that seem “minor” or “easy to deal with”, suddenly the issues become a big deal.
What are those difficulties anyway?
- Making your online store presentable enough to attract buyers
- Creating your product listings which include images and description
- Marketing your store to make it stand out
- Finding the right and reliable suppliers
- Finding products with good quality that are profitable
- Finding the right software that you can use to automate your dropshipping business
- Mastering the functions of your dropshipping app if you have one
- Paying for your monthly expenses (online store platforms and other apps you’re using) especially when your store is not making that much yet
- Dealing with returns and refunds
- Dealing with possible customer complaints or concerns
- Dealing with delays in shipping times
More often than not, problems spring up from that strong desire to make a profit instantly.
Reason #3: Researchers Vs. Risk-Takers
There are people who will spend countless hours studying how dropshipping actually works and everything related to it. Most of them do their own research and read a lot. Some even attend training courses to understand more about this business model, yet never move forward with actually launching their business. They get stuck spending all their time learning and never apply that to a real business.
On the other hand, many people will just dive in and then learn about it as they go along even when everything is kind of new to them. This still involves time and money, but the risk-takers are generally the ones who will see success because they learn as they go.
Reason #4: Time-Consuming
This is definitely one of those reasons that I always hear from people who decided to quit. It’s rather an honest review about their experience with the dropshipping business model as a whole. People get frustrated and lose patience at some point when it’s not producing favorable results, or in most cases, profit.
I’d say everything that you do is actually time-consuming, but you never quit because of determination.
Those that put in the time wisely are the ones that see results.
Reason #5: Experimental Niche
Since you don’t know yet what product sells best, you find yourself experimenting on different niches until your store is filled up with products that are not making that much and you end up getting confused even more because you are clueless on what to do next.
How do you choose the best niche for you?
- It’s an area of interest to you (service or product)
- It’s what people (potential consumers) search for on the internet and spend money on
- It should be a problem solver for your prospects
Now that you’re aware of these reasons, WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR COURSE OF ACTION THEN?
STEP 1. Be specific with your niche.
STEP 2. Be realistic and prepare your budget.
STEP 3. Be practical. Read just enough articles to help you kickstart your dropshipping career. Sometimes, too much information is overwhelming for most beginners and it is not actually helpful in the long run. You can try reading step-by-step guidelines to get you started. (eg: Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Dropshipping Store)
STEP 4. Be resourceful. Research about the right tools that will save you time in your dropshipping business.
STEP 5. Be patient. Give it a certain amount of time.
Do you have other tips in mind to overcome the “difficulties” of dropshipping? Feel free to share them below.