If you’ve been interested in ecommerce as a side hustle or a way to be your own boss, dropshipping is a great place to start.
Dropshipping has seen a huge rise in popularity lately – and with good reason. This business model has less risk than a traditional ecommerce store, with just as much opportunity for growth.
In this article, we’re going to dive into the most common dropshipping FAQs, like:
- The meaning of dropshipping
- How dropshipping works, like setting up a store and finding product suppliers
- How you can start, including startup costs and finding product suppliers
- What you can expect running your store with Shopify and Oberlo
Let’s get to it.
- Dropshipping FAQ:
- Oberlo FAQ:
- What Is Oberlo?
- How Does Oberlo Work?
- Is Dropshipping Legal?
- Is Oberlo Free?
- Is Oberlo Available in My Country?
- Is Oberlo Only Available in English?
- What About Oberlo Shipping Times?
- Is Oberlo Only Available on Shopify?
- Can I Use Oberlo With Shopify’s ‘Lite’ Plan?
- Can I Use Oberlo on My Own Website?
- Why Can’t I Log into Oberlo?
- Starting Your Online Business FAQ:
- How Much Money Do I Need to Start a Dropshipping Business With Oberlo?
- How Can I Change Currency in My Store?
- Should I Start With a General Store or a Niche Store?
- What Profit Margins Can I Expect?
- How Many Products Should I Import to My Store?
- Can I Use Product Pictures From My Supplier?
- How Can I Get My First Sale?
- How Long Does It Take to Make the First Sale?
- Can I Use My Address on the Package Instead of the Supplier’s Address?
- Do Customers Mind About Longer Delivery Times When Dropshipping?
- If a Customer Orders More than One Product, Will It Come in Separate Packages at Different Times?
- Why Should Somebody Buy From My Store Instead of From the Manufacturer Directly?
- Can I Customize My Products?
- Why Can’t I See My Shipping Fees?
- Can I Use USPS, DHL, or Canada Post Shipping That is in My Shipping Settings?
- Can I Sell Everywhere?
- Can I Return Items or Get a Refund?
- Shopify FAQ:
- Want to Learn More?
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What Is the Meaning of Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that you can use to run your store without ever holding any inventory. Once you’ve made a sale, your supplier will ship your products from their warehouse, straight to your customer’s doorstep. You’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products.
You can read more about the meaning of dropshipping here.
How Can I Start a Dropshipping Business?
If you’ve been wondering how you can start your own dropshipping business, we’ve got a handy resource for you. Check out our post How to Start a Dropshipping Business in 2021 to learn the entire process of navigating this business model.
You’ll need to set up your own store on Shopify, install Oberlo, add products, make your store sexy, and then you’ll be able to launch your own basic dropshipping business. If you’re looking for products to sell, check out this page.
How Does Dropshipping Work?
Dropshipping is a simple business model. Once a customer places an order with your store, you’ll buy the product from your supplier and have them ship their order directly to your customer’s door. That means you can run your own business from anywhere in the world, without worrying about storing and shipping products yourself.
Is Dropshipping Profitable?
Oh yeah Dropshipping can be profitable to merchants who have the dedication and drive to make it work. The key to this profitability is in the business model: since you don’t need to manage your own inventory, you’re saving on all the expenses that a traditional retailer or ecommerce store would have.
Less costs equals more money that can go into your pocket. Another popular way to boost your profit margin is to price your products in a way that covers both your marketing and shipping costs.
Do I Need to Purchase Products for My Online Store?
No, the beauty of dropshipping is that you don’t need to hold any inventory yourself. Just order it from your supplier once a customer has bought from you. That said, it’s a good idea to buy sample products from your suppliers before uploading them to your online store to make sure you’re happy with the quality of the product and the supplier’s service.
Do I Need to Register a Business Entity to Dropship?
Yes, you’ll need to register your business once you start to make sales. But there’s no rush to register until you start making sales consistently. This is because, once you hit a certain income level, the majority of payment providers will require you to prove that your business is registered.
Keep in mind that business licenses vary from country to country. If you’re running your dropshipping business in the US, check out this article. You can also reach out to a local government representative, or similar local authority, for more information.
What Is Oberlo?
Oberlo is a platform that makes it easy to find awesome products to sell online. With Oberlo, you can access a huge variety of different products with just a few clicks. Whether it’s apparel, electronics, toys, beauty, or the next trending product, Oberlo makes it easy for you to find products from suppliers all over the world and instantly add them to your online store.
Once you’ve made a sale, your supplier will ship the products from their warehouse straight to your customer’s doorstep – you’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping them yourself. Instead, you can focus on the things that really matter – growing your brand and making sales.
With Oberlo dropshipping, it costs nothing to add products to your store – you can choose the forever free plan to start dropshipping today.
How Does Oberlo Work?
Oberlo lets import products to your Shopify store in just a few clicks. You don’t need to worry about shipping and packaging since suppliers ship products directly to your customers. Click here to learn more.
Is Dropshipping Legal?
Yep! Dropshipping is 100 percent legal.
Is Oberlo Free?
Oberlo’s Explorer plan is 100 percent free, and you’ll be able to use it for an unlimited number of orders. You can check out Oberlo’s pricing plans here. Also, keep in mind that Oberlo only works with Shopify, which is a paid platform.
Is Oberlo Available in My Country?
Yes, you can use Oberlo to run your own dropshipping store from any country. When you’re running a dropshipping business, your geographical location is irrelevant since you won’t need to worry about holding physical inventory.
Is Oberlo Only Available in English?
Nope! Oberlo is available in several languages, including Spanish, German, and French.
What About Oberlo Shipping Times?
The delivery time depends on the original location of the product and the final destination. It might take several days or a couple of weeks. Most products have several shipping methods available, which are explained in detail here.
Is Oberlo Only Available on Shopify?
Yes, Oberlo is an app that works exclusively on Shopify’s platform. In light of this, you won’t be able to use Oberlo on any standalone websites or any other ecommerce platforms.
Can I Use Oberlo With Shopify’s ‘Lite’ Plan?
Yes, Oberlo works with the Shopify Lite plan, which lets you sell products using Buy Buttons that connect with a Shopify checkout.
Can I Use Oberlo on My Own Website?
Oberlo is exclusive to the Shopify platform, but there’s a Shopify tool called the Buy Button. It allows you to embed products or a collection of products on your own site.
Why Can’t I Log into Oberlo?
If your Oberlo account isn’t connected to the Shopify store, go to app.oberlo.com/login, and click Forgot Password. You’ll get an email to set a new password. Your Oberlo account might become inactive in situations like these:
- You uninstalled Oberlo from Shopify
- Your Shopify store is closed
- Your Shopify store is paused/frozen
- Your Shopify trial period has ended, and you haven’t added your payment card to your account. In this case, you’ll be able to keep using your store once you pay for your Shopify subscription plan.
If you have two separate Oberlo accounts, it’s best to access Oberlo through Shopify’s Apps page. This will help make sure you’re logging into the right Oberlo account.
Starting Your Online Business FAQ:
How Much Money Do I Need to Start a Dropshipping Business With Oberlo?
One of the best things about starting a dropshipping business with Oberlo is that it requires minimal initial funding. But it’s important that you consider all the expenses you’ll have: a Shopify subscription, your marketing budget, and any other funds you’ll need for your first orders. If you want to purchase a custom domain, this will also cost a small fee.
It’s important to note that it’s waaaaay less expensive to start a dropshipping business than it is to start a standard ecommerce store. You won’t need to source products in bulk or worry about delivery, so it’s still one of the best ways to run a store if you’re not experienced or 100 percent sure that you want to go all in.
How Can I Change Currency in My Store?
Oberlo imports all products in USD, but you can change your currency easily. The easiest way to do it is to download a currency converter application from the Shopify App store. Then, just change the currency sign in your Shopify Settings.
Another way to change your currency is to do it manually without any application. Check out this page for directions on how to do it yourself.
Should I Start With a General Store or a Niche Store?
One of the great things about Oberlo is that you can dropship practically everything; but we do recommend that beginner entrepreneurs try out a niche store first. There are loads of advantages to starting out with a niche store: less competition, more flexibility, marketing is much simpler, and it’s easier to find your audience. That said, an online general store can make you a lot of money if you manage to find the right products to sell.
What Profit Margins Can I Expect?
The answer to this question depends on the types of products you decide to sell. If you’re sourcing cheaper products for around $5, you may find success by marking them up four to five times, which means that you’d be selling them for $20 to $25.
But we don’t recommend this for more expensive products. For example, if you source a product for $30, we’d suggest keeping your price around the $60 mark.
In general, we recommend that you set your prices at least $10 more than the price you paid to source it. This will help you make profit while also covering marketing expenses, your Shopify subscription, transaction fees, and any other fees that you have. If you’re looking for more information about pricing strategies, check out this article.
Another rule of thumb is to check out the prices that your competitors have set for similar products. You can use this as your benchmark. You should always monitor your product prices and change them if you think they’ll improve your conversion rate (while making sure you’re not cutting too far into your profit margins). You can read more about conversion optimization here.
How Many Products Should I Import to My Store?
Most of Oberlo’s success stories feature dropshippers who focus on several flagship products in their store. We recommend that you import 10 to 200 products into your store. This way the customer’s focus will not be scattered, and they can find what they’re interested in. However, you can import up to 30,000 products with Oberlo’s Pro plan, so the maximum number of products you have available in your store is up to you.
Can I Use Product Pictures From My Supplier?
Yes, it’s actually common for dropshipping entrepreneurs to use their supplier’s pictures in their own store. But most dropshippers remove any logos, watermarks, or branded names from their product images (Photoshop is a great tool for this).You should also ask for your supplier’s permission to be on the safe side.
We always recommend that you take your own product photography. If you’re interested in taking your own product photos, check out this guide.
How Can I Get My First Sale?
Getting your first sale with a new ecommerce store is a real challenge, no matter how much experience you have as an entrepreneur. Once your store is set up and you’ve launched it, it’s essential that you drive a large amount of traffic to it. There are lots of ways you can make this happen.
First, we recommend using free social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post valuable content that encourages people to visit your ecommerce store. You can share links to your store on relevant forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities that your target customers use. But use your best judgment on how often you do this – you don’t want to get a bad reputation for your store.
Another great way to attract traffic to your store is with influencer marketing. Influencers are people who have engaged followings, which gives them the ability to persuade them to buy certain products or make certain decisions. (See our post on social proof for more info.) If you use influencer marketing, make sure you’re working with influencers who have a similar audience to yours.
You can also use paid marketing channels or Google Ads to drive huge amounts of traffic to your store. Read up on these platforms before you dive in – you don’t want to waste your precious resources. And believe me, it can happen fast.
Once you’ve started to drive traffic to your store, the sales will eventually start to happen! After all, every person who visits your store is a potential customer.
If you want to learn more about how to get your first sale, check it out here.
How Long Does It Take to Make the First Sale?
The length of time that it takes to make a first sale mostly depends on you. You can get your first sale on your first day, after a month, or after a year. It mostly boils down to the level of success that you find with your marketing activities, the amount of work that you put into your store, and the audience that you target.
Can I Use My Address on the Package Instead of the Supplier’s Address?
Unfortunately, suppliers don’t currently allow this. For customs purposes, the supplier’s return address needs to be on the package.
Do Customers Mind About Longer Delivery Times When Dropshipping?
Yes and no. If you clearly manage your customers’ expectations for shipping times, your customers won’t mind waiting a little longer for their products to arrive. Make sure that you define your ecommerce shipping policy and communicate it clearly in your online store.
If you fail to manage expectations, that’s when customers might get angry at you. So be open and transparent about your shipping times before they even place an order.
You might also want to offer free shipping – this will help you to convince customers to make a purchase, and they’ll be much more flexible with delivery times. We always recommend that you use ePacket delivery so your products will be shipped fast.
If a Customer Orders More than One Product, Will It Come in Separate Packages at Different Times?
If one of your customers places an order for several products that come from different suppliers, the items will be shipped in separate packages. But it’s unlikely that your customers will mind this – some of the largest ecommerce businesses in the world also ship several packages for the same order. If a customer does complain about this, let them know that your distribution centers are located worldwide, so this is the fastest way to deliver their products.
Why Should Somebody Buy From My Store Instead of From the Manufacturer Directly?
Because you’re better!
As a store owner, you’re providing your audience with an outlet to easily purchase products that they’re interested in – this alone distinguishes you from a manufacturer.
You’re also building a trustworthy brand with awesome products, great design, and compelling content, all of which make potential customers feel comfortable enough to make a purchase from your store.
Can I Customize My Products?
No. At the moment, Oberlo doesn’t have any customization options for products or packages. But this option might be available in the near future, so stay on the lookout.
Why Can’t I See My Shipping Fees?
Shipping costs aren’t automatically imported with the product since it’s just for you. That said, you should set up your shipping settings in Shopify (more on that here).
Keep in mind that shipping rates for different classes of products tend to vary. So it’s easier to choose a couple of target countries and calculate an average shipping cost so you can charge your customers reasonably.
Can I Use USPS, DHL, or Canada Post Shipping That Is in My Shipping Settings?
No, you shouldn’t use carrier shipping methods because they aren’t compatible with Oberlo. Shipping methods, prices, and time are provided by suppliers, and you can’t offer any other shipping methods.
Can I Sell Everywhere?
Yep. But it’s better to choose a couple of target countries and focus more on them. This way it’s easier to calculate shipping costs, to do your marketing, and reach customers more efficiently.
Check out more details here.
Can I Return Items or Get a Refund?
Yes, but each case is individual, and there are no general rules. Your very first step is to reach out to the supplier and explain the problem. You can learn more about returns and refunds here.
How Do I Set Up a Shopify Store?
If you’re looking to launch your own Shopify store, check out our guide to Shopify dropshipping. In our Shopify dropshipping guide, you’ll find everything you need to launch your own Shopify store and details about how Shopify works.
What Do I Do Once I Have Imported Products?
Once you’ve created your store and imported products, you’ll need to choose an awesome Shopify theme and then focus on creating a marketing strategy. Consider using Facebook advertising – it’s a great way for dropshippers to succeed, and you’ll be able to make your store stand out from the crowd.
Can I Start Making Profit in the 14-Day Shopify Trial?
No, you won’t be able to launch your Shopify store while you’re enrolled in the Shopify trial. To take off your storefront password or accept any orders, you’ll need to pick a Shopify plan. But keep in mind that, even when you do pick a plan, Shopify doesn’t bill you until the trial ends.
Can I Change the Name of My Shopify Store in the Future?
Yes! You can change the name of your Shopify store whenever you want. You can do this by accessing ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Store Details’ on your Shopify account.
Please note that you won’t be able to change your Shopify username, or the ‘.myshopify.com’ URL that you use to log in.
And there you have it: the most commonly asked questions about dropshipping, Oberlo, and Shopify.
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to Learn More?
- How to Launch Your Ecommerce Store in Less Than 30 Minutes Flat
- How to Select Dropshipping Suppliers
- What Should You Sell Online?
- 65 Most Inspiring and Successful Shopify Stores
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!