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With a dropshipping product picked, suppliers secured as well as your business legally established, it’s time to begin selling! Next, you have to decide ways to get your products before prospective customers.
Several sales options can be found, but you’ll probably choose one or a mixture of selling by yourself web store, Amazon, or eBay.
Dropshipping on Amazon
Although Amazon stocks and sells numerous items, most of the products listed are actually sold by third-party merchants via Amazon’s website. Like eBay, Amazon acts to greatly help facilitate the sale and also to resolve any issues that arise.
The pros of dropshipping on Amazon
The benefits of selling on Amazon act like the benefits of eBay: it’s easy to get started, you have immediate access to a large audience and you don’t need to worry about marketing or SEO.
Amazon also offers its own fulfillment warehouses known as Fulfillment by Amazon, which allow you to complement your drop shipped items with products of your own without having to deal with packing, shipping or warehousing.
The cons of dropshipping on Amazon
Listing fees. As with eBay, you pay for access to this large network of buyers through fairly substantial commission fees. Amazon’s commission fees vary by product type but are usually in the 10% to 15% range. If you’re working with relatively small dropshipping margins, this will take a hefty chunk out of your profits.
Exposure of sales data. One risk you take using Amazon’s platform is that Amazon can see all of your sales data, from the items that sell best to how much you’re selling overall. Amazon has been accused of using this data to identify great selling opportunities and strengthen its own involvement in the niche, ultimately pushing out other merchants selling through its marketplace.
No long-term connection with customers. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to grow a long-term relationship with your customers. Amazon exists to help themselves, so it’s in their best interest to focus on the products and not the sellers. Be prepared to be severely restricted on how you can brand your business, display your products, and communicate with your customers.
No customization. You’re going to be really limited in terms of customization. Everything you do in terms of branding, UI, marketing, and everything else is under Amazon’s control.
Dropshipping on eBay
As the world’s largest auction site for physical goods online, eBay is a site most people know well. The following are some reasons you might want to consider-or avoid-dropshipping on eBay:
The pros of dropshipping on eBay
Easy to get started. With eBay, you can immediately dive in and start listing your wholesale products. Create an account, add a listing and you’re in business.
Access to a large audience. When you list on eBay, you have access to the many online buyers who frequent the auction giant. Millions of people will see your listings, and the fairly robust and active market will help ensure you get a decent price for your products.
Less marketing. Because you’re able to piggyback off eBay’s enormous platform, you don’t need to worry about marketing, SEO, or paying for traffic. This saves you time, as marketing is one of the biggest challenges associated with launching a dropshipping business.
The cons of dropshipping on eBay
Listing fees. The biggest downside to eBay will be the fees you need to pay. The most known may be the success fee, which may be up to 10% or more of the sale prices of your items. In the dropshipping market, where margins already are fairly thin, this will cut into a huge portion of your earnings.
Constant monitoring and re-listing. eBay can be an auction-style marketplace, so you need to be constantly monitoring and re-listing the merchandise you need to sell. Some tools help automate this technique, but it’s still much less straightforward as listing a static product on the market by yourself eCommerce website.
Can’t customize your sales platform. Your product listings have to follow eBay templates, which makes it more difficult to make a professional, value-adding page for your items.
No long-term reference to customers. You may have a few repeat eBay customers, but most will most likely never obtain you again. Any goodwill you bank up through excellent service is going to be lost.
The marketplace structure is established to serve itself. eBay doesn’t want to concentrate on the merchants (you), they only want to concentrate on the products. You’ll be considerably restricted in how you communicate with customers, how you brand yourself, the design of your store, and so on.
You’re not building an asset. When you create a store that generates traffic and has repeat customers, you’re building a real business with value that you can sell to someone else. When you sell on eBay, you’re not building a lasting brand or web property with any tangible value that can be sold in the future.
Dropshipping with your own online store
The alternative to selling through third-party sites like Amazon and eBay is to start an online store in order to sell products. This is the method that attracts most people interested in building a successful dropshipping business.
The pros of dropshipping with your own store
More control. With your own online store, you get to create a shopping environment that’s conducive to selling your products and, most importantly, adding value to your customers. You can customize the look and layout, and create custom product pages optimized to best inform your customers about the products.
Easy design. Building your own eCommerce store is easy, especially with platforms like Shopify. Simply choose a store design out of hundreds of options, make any customizations you want, add your products, attach a payment gateway and you’re ready to go. Depending on the kind of web store you’re seeking to create, you may be up and running in a single day.
Mobile ready. Selling on eBay and Amazon via mobile could be a pain. If you choose to build your web store with a well respected hosted eCommerce platform your website is going to be responsive, which means it’ll look great on an iPad or cellular phone. That is increasingly important nowadays, as almost 30% of online purchases are created with a mobile device.
Some web store platforms, like Shopify, enable you to manage your complete business from your own mobile device. That is particularly appealing to dropshipping companies who often prefer to run their business on-the-go, or even on the beach somewhere.
No third-party fees. You will not need to pay 10% to 15% of each sale to eBay or Amazon, which will significantly improve your profit margins. All-in-all you’re going to make more money by setting your dropshipping business up with an online store.
Building a real business. You’re able to build a long-term business with a distinctive feel, known expertise, and repeat customers. Most importantly, you’ll be building a business with equity. It’s much easier to sell a business built around an independently owned website.
The cons of dropshipping with your own store
Less free traffic. With your own site, you’ll be responsible for generating traffic through marketing, SEO, and paid advertising. There’s more cost involved, either money or time invested, and you’ll need to be willing to invest in a long-term campaign to promote your new store.