If you’re interested in ecommerce, you may have heard about dropshipping. Dropshipping has seen a huge rise in popularity recently, and many entrepreneurs have already found success by running their stores with this business model.
However, dropshipping is still a fairly new concept to many budding entrepreneurs across the globe. We’ve created this article to answer some of the popular questions related to dropshipping, product suppliers, and running an online business in general.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model which allows entrepreneurs to run their own online stores without ever managing inventory. When a dropshipper sells a product on their store, they’ll then buy it from their supplier, who will ship it directly to the customer. You can read more about dropshipping here.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business?
If you’ve been wondering how you can start your own dropshipping business, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s relatively simple. In fact, we’ve already wrote an article explaining how you can launch your own dropshipping store in less than 30 minutes.
You’ll need to set up your own store on Shopify, install Oberlo, add products, select a theme, 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 from your store, you’ll simply purchase the product from your supplier, and instruct them to ship the product directly to your customers door. You can run your own dropshipping business from anywhere in the world.
Do I Need to Register a Business Entity to Dropship?
You’ll need to register your business once you start to make sales, but there is no rush to do so until you start making sales consistently. This is because the majority of payment providers require you to prove that your business has such credentials.
Keep in mind that business licenses vary from country to country. If you’re running your dropshipping business in the USA, we recommend checking out this article. We recommend that you reach out to a local government representative, or similar local authority, for more information.
What is Oberlo?
Oberlo is a dropshipping application which works on Shopify platform. It allows you to import products directly to your store and order them for your customers.
How Does Oberlo Work?
Oberlo allows you to 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. More is here.
Is Oberlo Free?
Oberlo’s Starter plan is 100% free, and you’ll be able to use it until you receive 50 orders every month. 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 as you won’t need to worry about holding physical inventory.
Is Oberlo Only Available in English?
At the moment, yes. Oberlo doesn’t have multi-language capabilities right now, so it’s only available in English.
What is Oberlo Shipping Time?
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 various shipping methods available, more about shipping options here.
Is Oberlo Only Available on Shopify?
Yes — Oberlo is an app which 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 is a Shopify tool called the Buy Button. It allows you to embed products or a collection of products on your own site.
Can I Import Products From Alibaba?
Why Can’t I Log in to Oberlo?
If you have 2 separate Oberlo accounts, it’s best to access Oberlo through Shopify’s ‘Apps’ page. This will ensure that you’re logging into the correct 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. However, it’s important that you take into consideration all the expenses which you will incur: Shopify subscription, your marketing budget, and any additional 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 considerably 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 your own online store.
How Can I Change Currency in My Store?
Oberlo imports all products in USD, but you can simply change your currency. The easiest way to do it is to download a currency converter application from Shopify App store. Then, the only thing to do is to change currency sign in your Shopify Settings.
Another way to change your currency is to do it manually without any application. All steps are explained here.
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, however, we do recommend that beginner entrepreneurs try out a niche store first. There are several advantages to starting out with a niche store: less competition, easier to find your audience, more flexibility, and marketing is much simpler.
What Profit Margins Can I Expect?
The answer to this question highly depends on the types of products which you decent to sell.
If you’re sourcing cheaper products for around $5, you may find success by marking them up 4-5 times, which means that you’d be selling them for $20-$25. However, we don’t recommend this for more expensive products. If, for example, you source a product for $30, we’d suggest that $60 is an appropriate price point.
In general, we recommend that you set your prices at least $10.00 more than the price that you paid to source it — this will help you to generate profit whilst covering marketing expenses, your Shopify subscription, transaction fees, and any other fees that you encounter. 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 amend them if you think that they’ll improve your conversion rate. 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 10-200 products to 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. However, most dropshippers remove any logos, watermarks, or branded names from their product images. You can also ask for 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 setup and you’ve launched it, it’s essential that you drive a large amount of traffic to it. There are multiple different ways that you can achieve this.
First, we recommend using free social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post valuable content which encourages viewers to visit your ecommerce store. You can share links to your store on relevant forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities which your target customers use, but do so sparingly — 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 individuals who hold the power to persuade the buying and engagement decisions of certain groups of people (see our post on social proof for more info). If you use influencer marketing, we recommend that you ask influencers who have a similar audience to yours.
You can also use paid marketing channels to drive huge amounts of traffic to your store, like Facebook advertising, or Google AdWords. We recommend that you read up on these platforms before you dive in — you don’t want to waste valuable business funds.
Once you’ve started to draw traffic to your store, the sales will eventually start to happen! After all, every person who visits your store is a potential customer.
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. We have some valuable resources on different marketing channels, and how you can use them to make sales here.
Can I Use My Address on the Package Instead of the Supplier’s Address?
Unfortunately, suppliers don’t currently offer this service. It’s necessary that the supplier’s return address is added onto the package for customs purposes.
Do Customers Mind About Longer Delivery Times When Dropshipping?
Yes! If you clearly manage your customers’ expectations for shipping times, your customers won’t mind waiting a couple of extra days for their products to arrive. Make sure that you define your shipping policy, and communicate it clearly in your online store.
In addition, we recommend offering 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 promptly.
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 which come from multiple suppliers, the items will be shipped in separate packages. However, 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 Buying 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 does not support any customization options neither for products nor packages. However, this option might be available in the near future.
Can I Participate in AliExpress Affiliate Programs?
Yes, this option is available but only for Oberlo Pro users. Check our explanation here.
Why Can’t I See My Shipping Fees?
Shipping costs aren’t imported by default with the product since it’s just for you. That being said, you should set up your shipping settings in Shopify, more is here. Keep in mind, that each product has different shipping price. So it’s easier to select a couple target countries and calculate an average shipping cost so that 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 since 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?
Yes. However, it’s better to select a couple 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.
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 supplier and explain the problem. More about returns and refunds are here.
How to Setup a Shopify Store?
If you’re looking to launch your own Shopify store, we suggest that you check out our guide to Shopify dropshipping here. In our Shopify dropshipping guide you’ll find everything you need to launch your own Shopify store.
Can I Sell Products Which Aren’t Imported From AliExpress or Oberlo Supply on Shopify?
Yes. You can fill your Shopify store’s inventory with products which you’ve added yourself AND dropshipped products which you’ve imported via Oberlo. Bear in mind that Oberlo will only work with products which were imported through our app.
What Do I Do Once I Have Imported Products?
Once you’ve created your store and imported products, you’ll need to select an awesome Shopify theme and then focus on creating a great marketing strategy. We recommend that you use 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 Shopify trial. To take off your storefront password or accept any orders you will need to pick a Shopify plan. Take in consideration that even when you do pick a plan Shopify does not 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 which you use to login.
Want to learn more?
- How I launched my eCommerce store in less than 30 minutes (with products)
- How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers
- What Should You Sell Online?
- 10 Online Stores to Use as Inspiration for Your First Store
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!