Drop shipping is one of the most asked about topics surrounding wholesale clothing and the boutique industry. The ability to start a business in a click of a button and have actual amazing product ready to ship is a tool past boutique owners could only dream of.
I've pulled together some information to help wannabe drop shippers find some suppliers and understand how a drop shipping business works.
If you want to skip ahead and check out one of my top picks, here you go: www.bloomdropship.com
What is drop shipping?
Drop shipping is a fulfillment model that allows you to buy products individually from a wholesaler and ship them directly to your customer.
The object is to partner with a drop shipping supplier and list their merchandise for sale. Once you receive an order you forward it to the supplier or purchase it on their platform for fulfillment. The supplier will ship the product directly from their warehouse to your customer, and charge you only for the price of the shipped item and the cost of the shipping.
This is how it would look.. A drop shipper lists a dress for $12.50, you go and sell it for $25 and shipping cost. Upon a successful sale you will purchase the dress for $12.50 on the drop shipper website, the drop shipper will ship it to the customer and in the end you come out with a profit of $12.50.
What are some benefits of drop shipping?
Low Capital Needed: With drop shipping, you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars in inventory. Rather, you only purchase a product when you have it sold. The costs you will need to occur will be for an ecommerce platform upon which to sell the item (ie. Shopify, Volusion website or facebook business page) or a monthly business subscription on sites you can sell on like Amazon and Ebay.
Expansive Product Selection: Since it is know cost to you to have more products the only thing holding you back is finding suppliers. The more suppliers you add the more expansive your selection of products and higher likely hood you will sell some merchandise.
Reduced Risk: Without thousands invested in inventory or a brick and mortar store the risk involved with starting an online store is dramatically reduced. If things don’t work out you will probably only lose a couple hundred dollars and additionally you won’t be stuck with thousands in inventory.
Non-Labor Intensive: If you ever wanted to work from home then have I got the career for you. Being a successful drop shipper takes countless hours on the computer marketing and connecting while never having to lift a finger to do shipping and returns.
Did someone say work from home?: Almost all boutique drop shippers run their operation out of their home. Why pay rent on an office right?
Notable Drop Shippers
1. Bloom DropShip
BloomDropShip likely has what you've been searching for, cute USA boutique clothing. The problem with most other drop shipper on my list is that they aren't on point with their trends and clothing for American customers (especially middle America). This is likely because most good clothing manufacturers don't drop ship and thus you will have to find a company like Bloom that has one way or another got their hands on good brands.
What also separates Bloom is the prices, low prices means easy sales for you. It's possible you might find a drop shipper with cute clothing but it's unlikely it will be at Blooms prices.
Aliexpress is a drop shipping platform that connects drop shippers to suppliers. This platform offers a wide range of products from suppliers in 40 different categories like gadgets and clothing.
SaleHoo is a wholesale supplier directory that connects dropshippers to suppliers. It includes suppliers in a variety of niches that serve the United States, UK and Australia.
Doba is a giant marketplace that compiles manufacturers and suppliers into one place. You can search through products in your industry and consolidate them into custom lists. Doba is a well known drop shipper that has been reliable for many boutique customers.
Is drop shipping a profitable business model?
My take is that it is realistic to come away with 750-2000 dollars of sales a month and anything more then that will take a lot of good marketing and some great web design and ecommerce platform that can set you apart from other online boutiques. The only issue is that there just aren’t many drop shippers that can supply you with the type of clothing that people really want to buy. This will soon change as good manufacturers will adapt in the coming years to this growing market.
What kind of profit margins can I expect with drop shipping?
Profit margins will vary greatly depending on the products you sell. If is is jewelry then you will be looking at a couple dollars of profit. However if you can manage to sell a couple dozen dresses and tops and double up the cost of the item then you will be looking at a nice profit and extra income.
Where do people sell drop shipped product?
Any way you can. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest just rolled out the ability to sell things on your page and social media sites continue to make it easier to do transactions and build businesses on their platform.
Tips and Tricks
Check out commentsold, this website and many others are catering to this rapidly expanding market of the small business, social media, drop shipping business owner. You may have seen it before but with Comment Sold you have the capabilities to creating seamless transactions with customers on social media. When your customers simply list their email and product # on a post that you list, this app automatically generates an invoice that they can click on pay and receive.
If you find a drop shipper that offers SyncLogic or any syncing capabilities this is also a great tool for wanna be drop shippers. By using a program like SyncLogic you can instantly transfer all of the data, products images, inventory, etc to your boutique website and sell it as your own.
The drop shipping market is rapidly evolving and so far I'm loving what I'm seeing. I highly recommend hoping on this bandwagon while its still in its infancy.