Image courtesy of Oberlo
[by Scinider. Posting on his behalf]
Some tips and thoughts regarding Dropshipping in 2019:
A bit of background about myself. I am currently staying fulltime at Shenzhen China, have been doing this for over 5 years, launched a dozen or so dropshipping sites surpassing 7 figure annual revenue.
In most cases, I would recommend building a store with few SKU's and focus on them. Gone are the days where you'd test 200 SKU's with 5$ ads each. About a year or two ago, we'd have a 15% breakeven chance by testing hundreds of products a week, that's with a somewhat ok lander + video ads, but now that number is less than 5%. Spending time optimizing your website/funnel and ads is I believe more profitable than blindly testing products.
This seems pretty obvious, but few are doing it to maximize it's potential. You should AB test by yourself or preferably test with multiple freelancers. We have on average 4 angles we focus on for each store (that generally only focuses on 1-2 product), each with 5 variations of copies.
It's a rather slow and costly process but much more profitable than spending that money blindly on ads. Ideally, you would want to integrate good copywriters to your product selection process, as they are the ones most directly affecting the success rate of a certain product.
I almost hire exclusively on upwork, some of which I have hired permanently to work at my office. Also... videos are essential, if you don't have people to create videos. I would suggest taking a look at animoto. Bottom line is, it's much easier to have profitable ads by optimizing your creatives/landers than tweaking your ads platform (FB/Google).
Now, this is a tricky question. I don't see a problem using Aliexpress to start out since it has the most competitive prices and the largest selection, but I see the doubts you may have, quality and shipping.
The quality issue is for me a non-issue, you get what you pay, if you are scraping the cheapest products, then sure chances are you'll receive a crappy product, same goes with shipping. On the other hand, Chinese dropshippers don't really use Aliexpress, they use 1688/Taobao/T-mall.
I would recommend getting your hands on 1688 (Yes it's not easy for foreigners, but that's how you gain an edge), there will be an MOQ but not too much. Also, they don't use epacket.
You should know that shipping time is the single most influential thing to your FB page score. Most here use what's called a "special/dedicated line", it's not that much expensive than e-packet and you'd get products shipped to the US in 6 natural days on average.
Now if you want to scale, eventually you'd need to have a fulfillment partner. There are hundreds of them in Shenzhen and lot's of details you should keep an eye on, but generally speaking, one element is largely overlooked, that is, local shipping prices, which actually is super important since it adds up to your costs.
Every single fulfillment center will tell you that they have the best prices, but that is absolutely not the case at all. The only way you'd get better prices is with volume, so you need to compare carefully.
You should also negotiate with your fulfillment partner to see whether they can process your order in less than X hours.
The Chinese are just catching up to the whole dropshipping game and they are good at it. Check your Google analytics and see whether you have traffic coming from commerce inspector etc.... You can insert 2~3 lines of code to your store )if you're using shopify) and avoid a large percentage of spy tools.
Regardless of what my store sells, I always import hundreds of products to my store . I do not display them anywhere on my store, they only show up when people have purchased, just before the thank you page. You will likely not be profitable if you do not have an up/downsell funnel. There are plenty of tools that can help you achieve this.
Really informative. Thanks. I am into dropshipping from the last 2 years and pretty expert in this field but one thing which annoys me is Aliexpress invoices as we know that Aliexpress does not provide invoices for bookkeeping purposes. Recently came to know about AliBilling which certainly provides <a href="https://www.alibilling.com/"> AliExpress invoice</a> but I haven't used this app. I hope you guys will soon write something related to this.