In this post “2017 A new Look at the Online Stores for Drop Shippers” I’m going to tell you how you can turn your website into a online store using several free and 1 premium plugin… in under 30 minutes. But first, let’s reminisce…
Remember eBay? Yes, it’s still around, but not like it used to be. Remember there were eBay consignment shops popping up in towns all over the country. What happened?
Well.. to be honest, the internet became easier to use and more social, and then of course… AMAZON happened.
As online entrepreneurs we are always interested in the easiest, fastest way to get our idea, conversation, product or service in front of the most people who actually want it.
eBay was awesome (and still is for auction style sales) However, Amazon is the new leader in product search engines. In both cases, sellers on these platforms know that if someone is there, they are looking to buy. Both of these two powerhouses are well known and trusted.
eBay is easy to integrate, however it is not drop shipper friendly as the pricing is generally so low only direct manufacturers or used product sellers thrive.
Amazon is harder to integrate and it’s strict product isbn coding requirements make it difficult to sell items from drop shippers at competitive pricing.
Drop Shipping: If it were EASY everyone would do it
That is the truth.
The other unspoken truth never uttered in the splash pages or landing pages of the “Make millions of dollars in drop shipping” guru’s sales pages is: You must have a popular niche. In the world of drop shipping, you don’t want to be the only person selling the product.
Shopify is one of the latest to reimagine what’s possible for drop shippers. However, it doesn’t matter how inexpensively you can setup your Shopify store … if you aren’t selling then your monthly subscription is just wasted money.
And, that’s what happened to me. After a year of following all of their instructions and using their add-on’s it just wasn’t working.
You see, I don’t like to sell. I really don’t. AND apparently, my purchasing habits are unusual and shouldn’t be used as a guideline for what other people might like. (ha ha ha ha ha) My shopify stores were resounding failures. I had to stop leaking money, so I cancelled the account and set about doing it myself.
I chalked that year of $29.00 a month up to an “education” expense and used what I learned to turn it around.
Today I was reminded why I do it –> I got a sale
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t ditch shopify, setup my self hosted wordpress site, install a few plugin’s then retire to the French Riviera.
I did a little research, setup a half-assed wordpress site, then promptly forgot about it. That was 2/24/2017.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY: (approximately 1.5 months later)
This morning I woke up to a sale.
A $19.99 sale on an item that cost $1.25 and $2.50 to ship. My forgotten wordpress site just made me $16.74… and I wasn’t really trying.
I was a little flustered, I didn’t know what to do next. So… I filled the order, by ordering from my vendor to ship directly to my new (only) customer.
$16.74 ain’t no big deal… or is it.
What if… I made $16.74 an hour and all I had to do for it was… was … um… wake up.. place an order?
You see… that’s the pull of Drop Shipping.
No actual product inventory, or packaging expenses or even having to leave your house to get to the UPS/USPS or FedEx place… nothing.
The secret to my success
I did NOT recreate the wheel. AND because the internet is a great big huge pie and you only need a tiny slice to make money, I modeled my online drop shipping product line after one that I saw was already working and making money through Shopify. (That was part of my education)
#1) Self-Hosted WordPress Site: You can’t use the free site from wordpress.com because they won’t let you install the plugin’s needed.
#2) Woo-Commerce Plugin: FREE plugin, just go to the plugin’s area of your wordpress dashboard and point to Add New and search “woocommerce” and install it. Woo-Commerce will run you through a complete wizard that will setup your product pages, your shopping cart and check out. It’s a complete package. Including setting up payment methods and more. (to be honest, I haven’t figured out the shipping, so I include it in the price) One other note: Products are listed on a page called: SHOP. I find that annoying, but there are a lot of WooCommerce compatible themes. you just find one you like.
#3) (drum roll please) The Drop Ship Source (silence everyone silence) AliExpress. I’ve personally purchased several items from AliExpress and apart from the packaging having international labels, the product was exactly as described and as pictured in the MULTIPLE pages on each listing.
So, how does it work? It’s very very simple.
Step One: Create product on your website using the detail and pictures from the listing in AliExpress
Step Two: Use the Woo Commerce Price and Sales Price feature, listing the item in both cases for much more than what’s listed on Aliexpress.
Step Three: When a customer makes a purchase, confirm the payment has cleared, then you make the purchase on aliexpress and have it shipped to the customers address (at the time of order entry, send the vendor a note that it’s a drop ship and to not include a receive with monetary values)
If you’re interested in AliExpress then there are 2 more things I want you to know.
1. ALIEXPRESS OFFERS AFFILIATE OPPORTUNITES
AliExpress offers affiliate opportunities for every purchase, so even you decide to buy a few things to give them a test run, make sure to signup for their affiliate program so that all purchases are processed in a way to start earning you a commission. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
2. USE A PLUGIN TO IMPORT YOUR PRODUCTS AND PICTURES
I have a love hate relationship with WooCommerce. I love it because it turns my wordpress site into a fully functional online store and it’s free… I hate it, because in order to do it’s job, it needs me to setup the products correctly with pricing and descriptions and if there are color variations I need to list them and blah blah blah… work work work… So, like any good entrepreneur I setup to find a way to cut my input time in half (so that I might enjoy the finer things in life… like walking around the lake, drinking my cuppa joe on the patio, or just taking a nap) I found: alicommerce.
I like AliCommerce because it’s not a monthly subscription, it doesn’t automatically input data to my site AND… it brings the products to my actual woocommerce product page. My experience with other woo-commerce tools was different. They sort have created a code that I put on my page or post, that linked to something else out on the web… and as a result, my site didn’t benefit from any of that Great Google Juice of the product description and seo I’d setup.
I have noticed one thing about AliCommerce, it imports the product, but it appears like it’s not done. I’ve been meaning to write to the developer but I keep putting it off, because I found if you refresh the screen, it completes and the products are all always right where they should be.
OH, did I tell you that Alicommerce imports the complete description pictures and all of the products? ALL you have to do is assign a category and price. NICE. (ok, I discovered today that if you need variations… that you still have to enter them, but if that’s the worst thing that happens, I’m ok with that)
And so, let’s give a big round of applause for the half assed website I setup that prompted this whole post! www.wizardalley.com
I look forward to your questions and comments about this and any of my other posts. Please comment below!