A lot people would like to start a home-based business, but perhaps don’t quite know what to sell. Furthermore, they may be leery of making any kind of product purchase for fear that the product won’t sell and/or they won’t have room to store it. After all, this is a home-based business we’re talking about.
But did you know you can sell anything from Accordions to Zone Alarms without pre-purchasing and/or stocking a single product? And have someone else ship it for you so that you don’t even have to handle it? This is called Drop Shipping and it works something like this:
1 – your customer orders a product from your website and pays you.
2 – you order the product from your wholesale drop shipper and pay them.
3 – the wholesale drop shipper ships the product directly to your customer.
Notice I said “wholesale drop shipper”. There are a lot of businesses out on the web who call themselves Drop Shippers but in reality are just retailers who provide the shipping service. You’ll have trouble competing in most markets buying products at retail and then trying to resell them.
A real business needs real wholesalers who will perform this drop shipping service. Suppliers you can buy goods from that will sell to you at wholesale pricing and ship directly to your customer. Where do you find these kinds of suppliers?
A trusted directory of such suppliers is one good way. The Worldwide Brands Drop Ship Source directory is a trusted directory that has helped many home-based business people (including yours truly) launch their businesses.
You can also find such suppliers on your own. Any real wholesaler can be a drop shipper provided they will (a) sell in quantities as low as one and (b) ship directly to your customer. You can ask any wholesale supplier representative and they’ll tell you. Start with (a), then ask (b). Many times you won’t get past (a) because they will have a minimum order policy. But sometimes the easiest way to get something is to just ask for it.
The biggest advantage to starting a business with a Drop Shipping arrangement is its inherent low risk. You don’t need to purchase inventory and you don’t need to allocate space for the product. You don’t have to worry about products not selling because someone else is doing the inventory stocking and management. Of course there’s more to it than can be put in a blog post, but to read more about drop shipping, here is a great primer.