Dropshipping might seem obvious in a world where companies look for ways to make the customer experience as easy as possible. It may take some practice and a few missteps before you get it right.
Despite popular belief, dropshipping is not a quick way to amass wealth. At first glance, it might appear that the only thing you need to focus on is bringing in customers, given the prevalence of products in the market.
However, once you dive in, you’ll see that it takes more than just marketing prowess to succeed. Incorporating the best practices into your dropshipping business will make your launch a resounding success.
The following are the top 8 mistakes people make when dropshipping.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
Even though dropshipping has the potential to generate a lot of revenue, don’t expect overnight success. Starting out with unrealistically high expectations can lead to burnout and ultimately the failure of the enterprise.
Dropshipping requires time and commitment to succeed. To see results, you must first put forth some work, invest some time, and do a great deal of research. Well-established dropshippers still face challenges and difficulties on a near-daily basis.
Failure to account for this is likely to lead to early discouragement and, ultimately, the abandonment of your business’ launch.
Posting Too-Optimistic Delivery Times/Dates
One of the most common dropshipping blunders is to advertise unrealistically fast shipping times. You might become so preoccupied with customer satisfaction that you begin advertising implausible shipping estimates. There are numerous steps in the shipping process, and knowing exactly when your package will arrive is impossible.
When there is no way to track a shipment, things can only get worse. Customers may become disinterested if you take too long to ship orders, but this is no excuse to set unrealistically short deadlines for your suppliers.
If you want to give your customers an accurate delivery estimate, you should first find out from your suppliers how long the delivery might take and then use that estimate, plus a buffer of time, as your estimate.
Offering Various Shipping Fees
Most vendors will give you several delivery options to choose from. Adding multiple shipping options to your website would create an overwhelming number of moving parts. Delivering their items as cheaply as possible is all your customers care about.
There are two approaches to take. You can either charge a flat rate for shipping, or you can offer free shipping. Products’ prices can be changed to account for shipping costs if free shipping is selected.
If you want to attract customers, advertising that you offer free shipping while the competition charges for shipping will get you far.
Publishing Generic or Vague Policies
Being green in the trade, you might be tempted to simply copy and paste the terms and conditions found on any dropshipping website you stumble upon. The issue is that not all of these rules will work with how you run your business.
It’s possible, for instance, to plagiarize a return policy that you’ll be unable to actually implement. You could get into legal trouble if you break the law by following certain policies. It’s a good idea to do some investigation and draft up some company-specific policies.
Selling Copyrighted/Trademark Goods
Without the owner’s permission, you cannot legally sell products bearing their trademarks or copyrights. Sports teams, fictional characters, company logos (Starbucks, Nike), and catchphrases/slogans (e.g., “Let’s get ready to rumble,” “Super Bowl”) all fall into this category.
You need a sales license in order to sell these, or else your business could face legal action. Depending on who owns the copyright/trademark for the product, the price of the license could range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Relying Too Much on a Single Producer
Establishing trust and rapport with a producer is a time-consuming process. But what if your manufacturer suddenly decides they no longer want to work with you? Worse yet, what if your manufacturer goes bankrupt right as you have some orders waiting to be fulfilled?
If you’ve never had a plan B, things could get difficult quickly. When one of your producers goes out of business, having a backup supplier is the safest way to ensure your company can continue operating.
The Worst of Dropshipping Mistakes is Competing On Price
Dropping prices in an effort to gain an advantage over rivals is the worst decision you can make. One of the only ways a new company can compete is with low prices is if they are already well-established.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain this strategy and will inevitably fail. If you want to maximize your profits, you should either keep your prices steady or focus on selling expensive items.
Not Building A Relationship With Your Suppliers
Your suppliers are your lifeblood, and this is especially true if you operate as a dropshipper. At first, your interactions will likely be limited to phone calls, Skype sessions, and emails as you work through issues like product shipping and availability.
Your suppliers may start taking you for granted if you allow this to go on for too long; after all, they may have many dropshippers to deal with. Build rapport with your suppliers to ensure they prioritize your orders when supplies are low.
If you want to keep your suppliers happy, you need to pay them on time, treat them with respect, and work together to solve problems.
Avoid Dropshipping Mistakes
While it’s true that mistakes are inevitable in the dropshipping world, that shouldn’t discourage you from giving it a try. It’s possible for both seasoned pros and newcomers to make blunders. All of the issues we’ve covered so far are common in the world of drop shipping.