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What I learned about dropshipping, packing and what we'll do with the net earnings.
I hosted my first youtube livestream and came away with a couple of learns.
Firstly, I need some help figuring out the best time to host these live.
Let me know in the comments what you would days / times work for you - let’s see if we can find something that works better for more live conversations.
Along with my ugly mug, I also had the pleasure of two guests, the founder of packaging company Arka, Phillip and the CEO of FlxPoint and Inventory Source, Travis. The video, if you’re interested.
I recapped on the state of the company, the fact I can’t sell anything right now because of inventory not being ready to ship (see pic 👇) and me needing to order new products from the supplier. More on that in a few days.
Here are my takeaways on dropshipping.
Firstly, anyone selling a guide on dropshipping is making their money on selling the guides, there’s enough information and tools online to figure it out without some “guru” with a lambo. It’s not magic, dropshipping has a bad rap because it’s often marketed as a quick way to make a boat load of revenue. As with most things in life, it requires focus, time and persistence and is not a magical get rich tactic.
What I learned about dropshipping
Find products that allow you to niche down, i.e. something that’s not already saturated by other sellers.
Dropshipping is easier and cheaper that purchasing your own inventory and shipping it, however, there aren’t many options to control the shipping experience. Things like add you own insert or branded packing slip, branded packaging etc are going to be harder to pull off.
While you save $$$ on not having to buy products before selling them, you make less $$$ on the sale and it will cost more per order to ship, pros and cons.
There are lot’s of dropshipping companies and options if you do the research - Travis noted that Inventory Source is a free to use directory of companies you can find to either buy directly from or dropship from - very cool.
If you’re thinking of dropshipping in addition to shipping your own products, look at options where the dropshipper could ship to your warehouse for you to then ship the orders. This is more complicated, however, it could save you on shipping costs and also allows you to control the customer experience a bit better.
Dropshipping works, if applied right. It’s just not a magic get rich strategy the gurus say it is, it will take effort to get it right.
What I learned about packaging
Phillip of Arka fame shared some great insight when it comes to packaging, some of the highlights.
If you’re starting out, don’t get too carried away with spending upfront on the packaging - figure your product and sales, use the free boxes available from carriers such as USPS, or stick with plain brown packaging - aesthetically clean.
Cups are a pain in the arse to ship! Which leads us onto what goes into the box…
Using packing peanuts, bubble, paper, foam etc are various levels of waste (polystyrene is the worst, and it leaves all the white bits all over your floor!) as well as requiring more time on the packing process, as well as not great for breakable items, i.e glass, pottery etc.
So, if relying on the packer to sufficiently pack your items in the box so that they don’t break is not great, what do you do? Use card inserts that are designed to hold your products. These can be made to fit different size boxes. See pic example below (I love these hot sauces from Bayou Gotham!)
You may be able to reduce the size of the boxes, which will reduce DIM weight and potentially save you on the shipping cost per order. Shipping air is expensive.
You save money with card inserts on packaging.
If you’re pushing for sustainability, recycled card inserts and packaging are true ways to reduce waste.
Finally, this was a point that really resonated. If you’ve nailed your packaging, you’ve now improved the value of your brand experience, which improves repeat business and, get this, reduces the chances of a return (less buyers remorse). Interesting.
Alright, so there we go, some good learns. I really have to sort my inventory out! I’ll be working on this over the next few days and will post an update on progress soon.
Finally, I shared a thought on what to do with profits (once we get there). I’d like to donate all net earnings to charities / good causes chosen by the community that is you. Thinking of changing this out every month. What do you think? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Wishing you a happy, productive remainder of your week, thanks for reading and sharing your comments and likes :)