How To Find A Product To Dropship
Dropshipping is an increasingly popular business model, and for good reason. Getting into dropshipping is incredibly cheap — all you really need is a Shopify store. Beyond that, you have no inventory, manufacturing, or shipping cost.
The barrier to entry is how to find a product to dropship — a good one at least. With a few clicks and some credit card information, you could start dropshipping phone chargers. It likely wouldn’t be very lucrative, though. Several dropshipping markets are simply oversaturated, and many products aren’t of a high enough quality. Without testing the products, it can be hard to find something that will actually sell. The qualities of a good drop shipping product are easy to learn, but hard to find. Here are a few things you should look for in a dropshipping product, and where you might find them.
What Makes a Good Dropshipping Product
By far the most important property of a good drop shipping product is the quality. It’s dishonest to sell a product that you don’t believe in the quality of, and in the informed market of today, people will sniff out a bad product. Many items that can be drop shipped can be immediately crossed off the list because of this: as it stands, many of these products are manufactured as inexpensively as possible, with little concern for quality. It can be difficult to understand quality from afar, so it’s best to order a sample of a product or a few products, that you’re considering selling. Each product’s quality is determined by independent factors, but, generally, you’re looking for durability and efficiency. If the product breaks easily, people will become upset, and the same will happen if the product simply doesn’t do its job well.
One thing you can test from afar is your ability to mark a product up. This will often have less to do with the product itself, and more to do with your ability as a marketer. Can you sell the product at a high enough margin that you’ll be able to profit? Generally, you’re looking for a 200% markup — enough to cover the product, marketing costs, and leave a decent profit margin. Some products are capped by the market, so doing market research is important. Returning to the phone charger example, you’re competing with convenience stores and everyone on Amazon. The phone charger market is capped at around $5, making it difficult to break into for a drop shipper.
A good drop shipping product should, in some way, satisfy a customer’s need. This is one of the more interesting qualifications because of how loosely “need” can be defined. Surely, no one has a need for a Himalayan salt lamp. They do have a need that goes deeper than that, though, which is the need to design their apartment in a way that they feel is true to them, or impressive to others. If you haven’t studied psychology, you may consider familiarizing yourself with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This chart classifies the different base levels of need that a person experiences. From this, you can branch out to see the many kinds of needs people have.
What’s important at the most basic level, though, is that a customer has to understand why they want your product before they buy it. If your product does not inherently create a desire in potential customers, then you can expect it to be a difficult sell. Look for products that you would want. This is not only a great test of the fact that someone has a desire to buy your product but will also help you to better understand your relationship with your customer.
Finally, most good drop shipping products follow some sort of trend. Think about your investment in a dropshipping product like an investment in stocks. You want to buy when the interest is beginning to rise, so you can sell when it peaks. Imagine dropshipping bath bombs when they began to boom in early 2017. You would have made money hand over fist for very little work. Similarly, a good drop shipping product is often very niche. The smaller you can get your potential market, the less you’ll have to compete with others. Selling candles are difficult. Selling candles that smell like different types of burning wood is a little less difficult. Selling candles that smell like different types of burning wood, are branded seasonally, and marketed to people who are interested in having a “rustic” home is easy.
- Good Quality
- Has a market
- 200% mark up or more
- Niche it down!
How to Find A Product to Dropship
Now that you know what makes a great dropshipping product, you have to know where to find it. The most commonly used drop shipping sources are AliBaba, and it’s partner AliExpress. These are still perfectly fine places to find a good product, though they do require some work to find something unique. You’ll find similar results with Doba, SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands, Wholesale Central, Wholesale2B, Dropship Direct, and Inventory Source.
Oberlo is becoming an increasingly popular resource. Publishing articles to help drop shippers often, Oberlo is a great place to find information. They often publish articles about dropshipping, and products that you may be interested in selling. Proceed with caution, though, as many other drop shippers will also be reading the same thing you are.
Sites like Kickstarter, Wish, and Etsy is a great way to source products, as well. The platforms are popularly used to sell items wholesale or to gauge interest before a product is manufactured. These require the most digging to find an underserved niche, but can potentially lead to the highest returns.
Arguably the best way to find drop shipping products is the toughest: Googling. It won’t be easy, but everyone would do it if it was. You can’t expect to find wholesalers easily: they’re generally terrible at marketing, and SEO is not their favorite thing to do. However, after scrolling through several pages, you might find a product that no one else has yet. That’s the real secret to dropshipping: learn what everyone else is doing, and do whatever they will be in a few months. If you can consistently be ahead of the game, you’ll succeed with the dropshipping business model.
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