Tag Archives: dropshipping

Wholesale Drop Shippers Scams Revealed

If you want to acquire products to drop ship or wholesale, where do you look? There are all kinds of wholesale and drop ship list for sale on eBay. There is likely to be lots of decent companies, right?

Not true, according to Chris Malta, the Product Sourcing Editor for eBay Radio:

When you see all these Incredible lists and books and packages of wholesaler suppliers and drop shippers for sale on eBay and the rest of the Internet, for anywhere from $5 to $50 or more, what you’re seeing 99% junk.

There are thousands of scammers, snake oil salesmen and con artists on the Internet who are just lying around waiting to AMBUSH you when you begin looking for REAL wholesale suppliers to do business with. Believe it or not, there is a whole niche industry built up on the Net around this kind of scamming! The folks who run these scams have all the moral fiber of a box of hair, and the only reason they even recognize the word Scruples is from the TV ad for the party game.

You may have even fallen prey to one of these con artists, selling you their “insider” wholesale/drop ship list of suppliers. Me too. I have purchased so many lists that I cannot even recollect how many. I do not know why, but I tend to find the “good” in people, and I was “sold” by these marketing schemes time and time again, even after being scammed by the latest one. Finally, after so many disappointments, I had HAD ENOUGH. I decided to get to the bottom of this appeal we all have with wholesale/drop ship companies and find out if there really were any LEGITMATE drop shippers for purchasing hot consumer goods at great prices.

I literally contacted the administrator of every wholesale drop shipping website I could find. Posing as an investor, I managed to persuade the owners that I was seriously interested in purchasing their entire website and business. That way, once the cartoonish money bags flashed in their minds, they would grant me free access to their member’s areas to examine what I would be “buying”. Well, I was appalled with 99% of what I found. Many of the owners bragged about how many people purchased their useless subscriptions. I repeatedly found:

*outdated lists

*non-working links

*links leading to other sites that asked for more money

*no help sections

*no real email support

*no refunds

I quickly realized that these so-called wholesale/drop ship lists were totally pointless. And the owners knew it, yet they were laughing all the way to the ATM machine! I did not respond when they asked if I was still interested in purchasing their websites. Surprisingly, while sitting through all the scam artists websites, I was able to locate a group of individuals that ran legitimate programs.

The owners were common folk like you and me that found a way to earn extra money working from home on their computers. Their membership areas were impressive, with an impressive amount of quality information on how to make $100-$200 per day on your computer doing a small amount of work. I even chatted with a few of their customers in several online forums, and they confirmed that they were earning extra money using the information that the websites had provided them with. It was like I found a few diamonds in the rough. But do not take my word for it, you can drop by the over two dozen sites I found. See what you think.

They do charge a minimal fee for access to their program, which is to be expected for any legitimate enterprise that has people on staff who are dedicated to helping you get earning online. What a warm group of people! Anyway, if you do decide you are interested in any of the two dozen companies, I advise you to join post-haste, as the owners have informed me that they are getting so many new members by word of mouth referrals that they will be blocking off membership completely by months end. (By the way, you did not get this news from me!) They do not have a large enough staff to welcome many more people, and they are driven to providing excellent service to each person. Well, my quest to find legitimate Drop ship companies has come to an end. I have to mention I was thoroughly disappointed with most of what I found, and I strongly urge you not to take any chances doing business with any companies other than the twenty four I will share with you.

Whatever you do, I hope for you and everyone you love a healthy and prosperous year.

Take care and I wish you all the best.

19 eBay Secrets for Your Success

Gaining success through the eBay selling business may not be as complicated as you think. You only must know where to find free eBay secrets that count. Once you get hold of free eBay secrets, start applying them for you to put up a successful eBay selling business.

No need to look high and low for free eBay secrets, we’ve got them compiled here for you. You can use these free eBay secrets to create a booming business on eBay.

Once you decide to become an eBay seller, choose the user ID you will have to use, carefully. Choose a User ID that represents your business or the items you sell. Your User ID automatically becomes your eBay identity to potential buyers.

Look up the How to Sell Tour and watch the eBay selling demonstration video. Then learn of free eBay secrets in starting up at the eBay Learning Center.

Get your ID verified by using the ID Verify option when setting up a Seller’s Account. This gives you an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile thereby giving the eBay community more confidence to buy from you. Don’t let this free eBay secret go unheeded.

Make sure to get computer backup disks for you to store up valuable data. A free eBay secret of using accounting software will help you know how your business is doing so you can make it more profitable.

Look for a good place where you can put your inventory and shipping materials. It’s a free eBay secret that they need to be in a safe, dry place nearby. Writing a daily To-Do List will help you organize your schedule. It is also the free eBay secret for you to manage your time on normal tasks and follow up on opportunities that aren’t part of them.

Taking eBay’s fees into account may be the free eBay secret you need that’ll guided the pricing of your items.

Find the best category where to list your products under. This free eBay secret is probably known by everyone. From eBay’s home page, click the Buy button, and browse the categories to find categories that apply to your items. Another free eBay secret that’s necessary for your products success is checking where competing items have been placed. It’s a good idea to choose two categories for your listings to reach more buyers.

Even if you must pay additional fee, spotlighting your title is a practically free eBay secret that’s guaranteed to grab buyers’ attention when they search for listings.

Hiring a Trading Assistant can free up the time you need to let you focus on the more important aspects of your eBay business. Constantly monitor My eBay for your listing’s performance and other activities on the site. Keep track of your eBay correspondence by using My Messages. Surely, this free eBay secret will be a great help.

Attending trade shows is not only a free eBay secret advice it is also a great opportunity where you can get product trends preview and connect with manufacturers and discuss the opportunity of selling their products on eBay. Make sure to bring your business cards and be ready for discussions/

Protect yourself from potential fraud. Be wary for unusual buyer requests and consider it as a fraudulent sign if such requests come to light.

eBay consultants are available for advice and even free eBay secret tip offs. Once you know how to sell on eBay and checked out the eBay Community, your head will be buzzing with new business ideas.

Subscribing Chatter may get you not only feature articles, tips, helpful links and member interviews but maybe also free eBay secrets to success. Signing up for the Powerup Newsletter can get you advanced notice of upcoming events and promotions. You’ll get to know free listing days, feature discounts, seller sweepstakes and more.

There’s nothing wrong in promoting your eBay store. In fact it is another free eBay secret that you design marketing materials to promote your store.

Once you made a final sale price, donate part of it to a Nonprofit Organization of your choice. Remember that the ultimate free eBay secret to success is passing on the blessings and knowledge you acquire!

12 Easy Ways to Maximize Your eBay Product Photos

It’s a fact. Clear, high-quality photos will greatly enhance your chances of selling your products on eBay. Here are 12 simple tips that will help you make the most of your eBay product photos.

1. You don’t need an expensive, high-resolution digital camera for your eBay photos. You just need a digital camera that will produce a 640×480 pixel image (which includes just about all digital cameras on the market.)

2. Before you buy a camera, handle it to feel how comfortable it is in your hands. Make sure the camera controls are logical, and that it’s easy to transfer photos from the camera to your computer. The camera should be able to focus within four inches or less.

3. When taking a photo for your eBay product, generally select the cameras smallest photo size. If you are going to crop the image or upload it to eBay’s picture services, however, select at least a 1024 x 768 image size.

4. Disable your cameras built-in flash when taking a photo. The built-in flash produces a glare on the photo and makes your products look two-dimensional.

5. Use your cameras Macro Focus feature to take close-ups of your product. (Macro Focus is usually indicated by a tulip flower symbol.)

6. The key to effective product photography is lighting, and the key to effective lighting is control. You can control the strength, size, position, color and number of lights you use. And each of these controls changes how the subject looks. Review your cameras manual to understand your cameras white balance symbols (i.e. a light bulb for indoor shots with incandescent lights, a sun symbol for outdoor photos, etc.) You’ll use the white balance control to get accurate colors. You can preset the white balance to match the type of light you’re using (daylight, shade, tungsten, fluorescent).

7. Use the Exposure Control (EV) to correct light and dark photos. A plus number lightens the image, a minus number darkens it.

8. Use a tripod when taking pictures of your product. The tripod stabilizes your camera and eliminates blurry photos.

9. Photograph your products at an angle.

10.Take more than one photo of each item. For example, if you are selling clothing, take one full-length photo; one photo of the tag showing size, fabric, content, brand; and one or more close-up photos showing the texture of fabric and any details or flaws.

11.Use photo-editing software to make final adjustments.

12.Host your pictures on your own website. You will save money and be able to use as many pictures as you need to adequately show eBay bidders your products. It’s simple, and yet 70 percent of eBay sellers don’t do it.

Adding high-quality product photos that enhance your eBay listings will greatly increase your sales. Try it today!

10 Ways to Save Time and Money with Shipping On eBay

One problem with eBay is that unless you are careful you can end up spending far too much time on routine tasks such as packing and shipping. Not only is there the time spent wrapping the items, but also when you take them to your local post office to have them weighed, stamped and posted. As someone who never seems to have enough time, I have adopted some time saving measures which frees up my time to do other things.

1.Buy Stamps in advance.

Many of the items that I sell are similar, CDs, audio tapes and books. Therefore, I know exactly what the postage is for these items and I buy in advance a quantity of stamps for the various denominations that I use. I can then pack, stamp them and just drop them into the post box without the need to wait at the post office counter.

2.Get a set of scales

Of course, one helpful piece of equipment is a set of postal scales. Not only does this save you time by allowing you to pre stamp packages but it is also very useful when you are listing an item. You can quickly and accurately calculate the exact cost of postage for each item. This can save you making those errors of underestimating the true cost of posting an item or having to make a special journey to the post office just to find out what it will cost to post.

3. Buy packaging materials online

A thriving industry has grown on eBay offering packaging materials. It really is a case of selling spades to miners, but as a result the competition in this field is very fierce. This means that you can make considerable savings if you go to the Business, Office and Industrial Category and look in Packing and Postal supplies. Also, many of the major stationers such as Staples and Viking offer a good 24-hour service and often have some attractive special offers or gifts to make an even better deal. Most offer free postage for orders over a certain quite low amount.

4. Whenever possible use padded bags.

If it is suitable for your products one of the great time savers is the use of padded envelopes. They come in a big range of sizes and thickness and are suitable for a wide range of products. It is much easier and quicker just to pop something into an envelope and seal it than putting something in a box, put in padding and using tape to seal it. Also, these days padded envelopes can work out cheaper than other forms of packaging.

5. Hold a stock of Post Office Forms

These days forms control our lives and it is no different with the postal authorities. Normally if you are a regular postal user your local post office will be happy to supply you with a stock of the forms that you might need. The ones I keep handy are customs declarations, recorded International and national forms and supplies of airmail and fragile stickers. Completing these and applying them to your packages before you go up to the post office can save considerable time.

6. Use Rubber stamps

I also have a selection of rubber stamps with First Class Mail, Do Not Bend, Small Packet Rate, this saves the time rather than writing these phrases over and over again.

7. Preprint return labels

I would never send out a packet without a return address on it. Over the years that I have used eBay I have had about 5 parcels come back to me because they were undeliverable for one reason or another. If I had not had a return address label on them, they and the contents would have been gone forever. You can of course order a pack of name and address labels from the local printer but I have found the most cost effective is to use the sheets of plain labels such as Avery, the 65 labels to a sheet are ideal and print them off as required a sheet at a time. I then just stick one of these on to every packet I send out. And of course, it also makes you look a little more professional with your packaging.

8. Pick the time that you go to the post office

There are always sometimes in the day or days in the week when your local post office is liable to be busier than others. If you ask the counter staff, I am sure they would be happy to tell you when these times are likely to be. Also, they would also be able to tell you the times they would expect to be less busy. If you use this information you can cut down the time you spend waiting in line at the post office.

9. Copy addresses from PayPal notification.

Whenever you get payment notification from PayPal it will contain the name and address of the buyer. I always highlight and copy this and using my labelling software I paste this into the label template this saves having to write or type the information in. I always print my labels on the AveryL7160, 21 labels to a sheet paper.

10. Compare prices

There is plenty of competition to ship larger items and it is worth comparing prices for the various shippers and couriers to get the best deals. In my experience with smaller items it is difficult to beat the Post Office but for items that need to be shipped fast or weigh over 2 Kgs (4 1/2lb) it is worth looking for the best deal.

10 Tips for Buying On eBay

eBay has become a household name for shoppers. A lot the buyers on eBay are not regular internet shoppers but they still shop on eBay. Such is the power of eBay giving simplicity of shopping and top bargains. From time to time, there is some fraud on eBay about fake fashion items, event tickets that do not exist, some expensive electronic items that do not exist.

eBay does its best to intervene and resolve such disputes. As a shopper, you can follow these 10 safety tips to avoid being conned.

1. Check the seller’s feedback. Positive feedback rating of over 95% is good. If there are many recent negative feedbacks, then this is not a good indication. Also, read all the negative feedbacks. Are these negative feedbacks reasonable? What type of response does the seller have for these feedbacks? Does the seller’s defense sound reasonable? Sometimes new members who buy items on eBay are paranoid and they leave a negative feedback in a haste so make sure if the seller has defended himself/ herself in a reasonable manner. If there are too many complaints of the same nature, then it is probably true.

2. The sellers must have identification or recognition seal like PayPal verified, or Square trade or a Power seller seal on the auctions. Such sellers are more reliable. This is especially a good check when you are buying an expensive item.

3. Ask seller a question before bidding on the item. Responsible sellers reply promptly to questions. Also, if the seller has the item, he/ she may be able to answer a valid question otherwise not.

4. If you are buying something expensive, then get the contact information of the seller at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQtZvbQQsofindtypeZ9. You have to login to your eBay account and send a request. You can get the sellers address and phone number. In doing this, your address and phone number will also be emailed to the seller.

5. The items must have pictures unless it is a service that is sold on eBay. If there is no picture, then the items are probably not there. Almost all sellers will put at least one picture of the item. Let’s assume that the item is there but the seller has been lazy in not putting the picture in the auction ad. Would you like to deal with someone who is so careless? It just shows that the item may not be in good condition, maybe defective or broken.

6. Check description of the item. Research other websites for the same item. Some of the shopping websites to research would be shopping.yahoo.com, overture.com and shopping.msn.com. These sites are adequate for researching items and get the description that you need. The eBay description should match item description on other sites.

7. Research prices for the item on sale. If the item on sale is Gucci handbags, then search for this model of handbag on shopping.yahoo.com. If it retails for $800 on Yahoo and seller on eBay is selling a brand new one for $90, then this item may not be authentic! Large wholesaler are able to sell items for around 50% of retail but something like an original Gucci handbag, it is unlikely that a seller would let go for $90 because these items sell like crazy. Just a note on fraud items, a lot of fraud eBay occurs on fashion items. This is very unfortunate, and eBay has taken a lot of steps to eliminate fraud.

8. If the seller has not mentioned any shipping and handling terms, then ask before bidding. There are many auction ads, where the seller mentions that shipping and handling will be mentioned to the winning bidder. Surprisingly, there are bids on that item! If you start bidding on the item, then it means that you agreed to the terms and condition of the sellers and there is less room for you to dispute later so ask for the clear instruction on shipping and handling.

9. Reliable sellers have clear description on their refund policy. If it is not there, then ask the seller for it. If the seller has no refund policy, then do not bid on the item. If the there is no refund policy in the auction description, then make sure you get the refund policy in an email from the seller. In this way, you have a document of the refund policy.

10. Do a search for the sellers past items on eBay. Check to see if the seller has sold similar items in the past. To search on the past auctions, go to the Advanced Search page. Here click on the items by seller link and type in the seller’s ID and check the box for Include Completed listing. It is always good to check this especially if you are considering buying something expensive.

6 Routine Mistakes People Make When Setting Up a Dropshipping Online Store

It is not rare to see a promising online store fall apart just a few months after being launched. If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you may have experienced failure yourself. Most of these failures occur in dropshipping. 

Dropshipping can bring huge success to your ecommerce business when done correctly. It is preferred because the seller does not have to stock the goods himself. 

This model can make your business run smoothly. However, a few routine mistakes will make you miss out on the benefits.

For those starting out your own dropshipping stores, here are the common errors to avoid. 

Selecting the Wrong Supplier

Picking out a supplier is almost as crucial as picking a niche. The supplier influences everything from the quality of the product to the delivery times. Make sure you go for someone who will offer what you are looking for. 

Check out testimonials and reviews from people who have worked with the supplier. In addition, place a test order. You will get a firsthand experience and know how the shipping process works. You will also know whether the product meets your standards. 

Depending on a Single Vendor

Even after you get that amazing supplier, do not become complacent. He may run out of stock sometime when you have orders. Worse still, his business may fall apart. A problem like this could put you out of business too.

Look for a backup supplier to help when the primary supplier cannot deliver. Your dropshipping business will still continue to serve customers as usual. Before you do this, check your primary supplier’s terms and conditions.

Surprise Shipping Fees

Are you completely honest about shipping fees when listing your product prices? Shoppers abandon their carts primarily because of high shipping costs. Surprise shipping costs, however, are worse since they show up at the end of checkout. 

Make your customers happy with clear shipping costs. A consistent flat rate would help, or better still, a “shipping calculator”. 

Free shipping is powerful. Just make sure your margins are not hurt. 90% of shoppers are prompted to buy by free shipping. 

Lack of After-Purchase Tracking

When a customer makes a purchase, they will want to know when the order will be at their door. Nonetheless, some dropshippers think that their work is done once the customer clicks “checkout”. 

When you do not communicate with your customers, they may think that they have been scammed. Offer them a tracking system for their orders—one that is easy to use. This communication will come in handy when an order is delayed. 

Lackluster Returns

You cannot offer 100% customer satisfaction, no matter how much you try. Have a smooth return policy to avoid facing angry customers. 

The instructions should be clear and the responses timely.

A Single Store

Your chances of surviving in this industry will be higher if you run several stores. When one store flops and you have already quit your job, you will have a plan B. 

Can You Still Make Money Dropshipping?

Ecommerce is growing at a rapid pace. Every entrepreneur and business is trying to use digital salesmanship to make some money, one way or another. Some ecommerce strategies will give you better results than others. Dropshipping is one of the tactics that are less popular than they were some time back. This can be attributed to new constraints that have rendered it less profitable.

2020 is a confusing and disruptive year. It is a good time to ask whether dropshipping is still a profitable venture or not. 

Customers Need to Be a Priority

Dropshipping, like any other business venture, will only succeed if you make your customers a top priority. Many newbies think that dropshipping is an effective way of making easy and quick money. On the contrary, it is a complicated process and you have to be constantly on your toes. While your work is made easier because you do not have to stock many goods, this creates a new set of challenges (think ensuring customers’ satisfaction and issuing refunds). 

Many people who dived into dropshipping thinking that is a quick way to attain business success realized that they were mistaken and they suffered the consequences. There are good ecommerce veterans that will truthfully tell you what mistakes they made while starting out. However, some beginners will still ignore the advice and fall into the same pit. A good number of them fail to understand the essentials needed to make this venture successful. 

Some of the obstacles you will face involve quality control and high shipping costs. 

Lack of Accountability in Dropshipping

Contrary to popular belief, dropshipping is not quite secure. Neither you nor your customers will be interacting with the supplier face to face and this makes it easy for you to get scammed. A supplier can also deliver low quality goods to your customers causing dissatisfaction and irritation. 

Due to this, you have to get dropshipping training first and look for trustworthy suppliers. They are not easy to find and they can be expensive too. However, a supplier can be the reason your business fails or succeeds. 

Do not let suppliers lure you with lower prices. Do your due diligence and make sure they can be trusted first. It is better to have happy repeat customers than one-time angry ones. 

Extra Homework

The dropshipping model requires extra homework on your end. You or your workers should be constantly researching to find new engagement models, products and suppliers. 

There are aspects of dropshipping that you can only prepare yourself for. Quality control, for instance, is out of your hands. You will just have to come up with a way to make sure that your customers get what they pay for. Efficient customer care is also crucial. 

Is It Worth the Effort?

Although the challenges are many, some entrepreneurs still try out dropshipping because the startup costs are low. If you are keen enough, do your research and master the industry, you will be immensely successful.

How to Sell on Amazon FBA for Beginners

FBA is an acronym for Fulfilled By Amazon. When you get into the Amazon FBA program, all the hard work is done by Amazon.

How it works:

  • You source products and send them to Amazon. They, in turn, store the products in their warehouses. 
  • The products are inventoried then sorted. If an item is damaged in the warehouse, Amazon will pay you the full price.
  • When a buyer orders your product on Amazon, the transaction will be handled by Amazon (the process is automated). 
  • Amazon packs the item and ships it to your customer. 
  • They also follow up after the product has been delivered to make sure the customer is satisfied. 

So, what then is your job as an Amazon FBA seller?

  • Picking products: you choose what to sell.
  • Keeping the inventory in stock: you will be notified by Amazon when the inventory starts running low.
  • Promoting and advertising: you have to put in work to make sure that shoppers notice your products. 

The Cost of Selling on Amazon FBA

The fees are reasonable and sometimes, you can sell for free. 

Amazon FBA seller accounts are categorized into two: individual seller accounts and professional seller accounts. The individual seller account is free but you will pay higher sales fees. The professional account costs $39.95 but the sales fees are low. If you will be selling many products in a month (more than 40), get a professional account.

Amazon Fees

Most of these fees are paid once you make a sale. 

  • Amazon charges a referral fee of 15% for all sales (not all categories, but most).
  • You pay shipping and handling costs if you are using FBA.
  • An extra flat fee on categories such as media.
  • A $1.00 flat fee for individual seller plans.
  • Long-term storage fees if the products stay in a fulfilment center for a long time.

Amazon FBA: What to Sell

You can sell using a number of methods. Here are four of the most common:

Arbitrage: get low-priced products from marketplaces (online or offline) and resell them on Amazon for a profit.

Wholesale: buy branded goods in bulk at a discounted price and resell them on Amazon.

Used book sales: find used books and resell them on Amazon.

Private label: make your own branded items and sell them on Amazon. 

The last one is the best.

Private Label

You contact a third-party manufacturer to make the product but you sell it under your brand name. That is, manufacture an already existing product then put your logo and brand on it. 

Why do this?

  • Easy sourcing
  • Higher profits
  • Price control

Finding a private label product is not that hard. Use Amazon’s Best Seller Ranking (BSR) to check a product’s demand. For better results, use the Chrome extension. You will be provided with a spreadsheet of data, showing how several products in the niche are doing. 

With Extension, you will see:

  • Average price
  • Average Best Seller Ranking
  • Average reviews count
  • Opportunity score (if you have the Pro version)

Increase Sales

Focus on the following areas.

Amazon Selling Coach

It provides you with personalized recommendations so you can increase the success of your Amazon business. You can only access this feature if you have a Professional Selling Plan.

Pricing and Shipping

Do you price your offers competitively against similar products? Do you offer your customers shipping incentives? Set your pricing to be adjusted automatically based on the Buy Box winner price or other events. Alternatively, research your competition extensively and come up with an enticing price point. Research shipping costs as well. When a buyer is deciding whether to buy or not, the shipping cost is usually a key influence. Go to the Manage Inventory section and look at Buy Box prices and lowest prices. 

Prime Fulfillment

If you are using FBA, leverage the expertise and fulfilment networks of Amazon to give your customers Prime and free shipping.  Amazon packs and ships the products for you. They also provide customer service. 

Hub by Amazon

This comprehensive solution sets you and your staff free from everyday package management. You move to garden-style apartments from high-rise apartments. Your residents will not be charged a fee and an Amazon Prime membership is not required.

Promotions

Online shoppers always look at promotional offerings (percentages or dollars off the price) and other things such as free shipping. Many customers return to Amazon because of free shipping. Offer promotions to make an impression on your customers. 

Advertising

There is an advertising service, Sponsored Products, that lets you promote what you have listed on Amazon. Choose the item you would love to advertise, enter keywords for the item and input a cost-per-click bid. When a buyer searches one of the keywords, the ad may be displayed together with the search results. You only pay the fee when a buyer clicks on the ad. 

Products Descriptions and Details

When describing a product, mention its key features and list the benefits in bullet points. Write your product description well so the shopper can imagine the experience of having the said product. Don’t leave out information about the benefits, usage and fee of the item.

High-Quality Images

Your images should have high resolution and clear details. This stimulates the imagination of the customer, inspiring them to make a purchase. Offer many images too. 

Enhanced Brand Pages

If you are registered as a Brand Owner, you are allowed to include a brand story in the product page, as well as text placements and enhanced images. 

Effective Placement

Some customers come to Amazon knowing what they want. Others, however, just browse by categories. Classify your product in the right category so buyers can discover it easily. 

Customer Service

Each order should be followed up with outstanding customer service. In turn, you may get positive feedback ratings and others buyers will feel confident buying from you.

Listing Internationally

Amazon Global Selling will help you grow your international business. Visit the Amazon Global Selling section for more information.

Exporting for International Buyers

Subscribe to FBA Export for Amazon to enable eligible products for export. It is a great service for FBA sellers who want to go international.

Amazon has been offering high quality services and boasts of tons of satisfied customers. As soon as you add an Amazon Pay button on your site, buyers will expect to be met with the same work-class customer experience. Here is what they will expect:

  • Contact information that is easy to find (phone, chat, email)
  • Easy refunds and returns
  • Clear policies
  • Quick customer service

Amazon requires merchants to meet their buyer expectations by complying with their policies—and that includes their Customer Service Policy. This document offers tips and hints to help you keep customers satisfied. 

Offering good customer service is in the best interest of the merchant. A high-quality customer experience will mean less transaction disputes and you could get repeat customers. When your buyer is unsatisfied and gets a hard time trying to find resolution, they could file a dispute. This may, then, escalate to a chargeback, increasing the potential resolution cost.

Importance of Good Customer Service

If a customer ever encounters an issue with a transaction or order, they will need a clear channel to contact you.

Look at your site from a fresh point of view. Can someone easily get help? At the very least, have a Help or Contact Us link at the bottom or top of every page. Even better, list the customer service email, chat or phone number link on every page. 

Also, create an easy-to-find section with links to:

  • Refund and exchange policy
  • Terms and conditions
  • Privacy policy

Handling Returns and Refunds

Every seller would like it if the buyers liked their items and kept them. However, not every customer will be satisfied. You should make it easy for a buyer to return an item and get a refund. This will encourage them to come back and buy from your site. It will also prevent them from filing an A-to-Z Guarantee claim.

Create a Help or FAQ topic to explain your policies and the steps a customer can take to return an item and get a refund. 

Free return shipping, no-restocking fee and other customer-friendly policies could lead to happier buyers.

Disputes

Buyers can file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim if the merchant is unwilling or unable to deal with the buyer directly. 

Amazon Pay will talk to you on behalf of the buyer.

Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee

Once a customer files this dispute, you will get a notification from Amazon Pay on Seller Central and via email. You have to respond with the necessary information within the given timeframe. 

Amazon settles the issues using the information they receive. You are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible to the A-to-Z Guarantee claim. 

Chargebacks

A chargeback may occur when the customer is dissatisfied, has ben charged several times or hasn’t received the product.

Best Customer Service Practices

  • Go to Seller Central and update Claims Notification preferences and Customer Service email address.
  • Have a process for resolving chargeback claims. Update the policies on your website pages. 
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you.
  • Have a matrix for solving order issues. 

Settlement reports show you a breakdown of your Amazon account activity for a certain settlement period. When you review this settlement report then match the data to what you have in the order management system, it becomes easier to assess your account activity. 

Transactions and Settlement Report Data

A typical transaction flow occurs in the following steps:

  1. A buyer buys something from your site and an Order Reference ID is created in Amazon Pay. Alternatively, you can generate your own Seller Order ID and send it to Amazon Pay before you confirm the order. (It is otherwise known as ORO).
  2. You prepare the order for fulfilment. In this case, your system may generate a Unique Fulfillment ID. Sometimes, this happens in step 4.
  3. You make the sale and, during fulfillment, the merchant payable account increases. You will get a Capture ID from Amazon Pay for your capture transaction. You have to send your unique Seller Reference ID (which will be, ideally, the Unique Fulfillment ID from step 2) to Amazon for the sale to be processed into your account. 

Note: some merchants prefer to carry out the three steps simultaneously. However, it is recommended that you wait until the order is ready for fulfillment to capture funds. 

  1. Fulfill the order. Your system generates a Unique Fulfilment Order—if it was not generated in the second step. 

Once an order has been made, a debit is generated to accounts receivable and a credit to sales. 

As you can see from the above steps, the settlement reports in Amazon Pay have 4 ID fields. You can use them to track settlement and transaction activity. They are:

  • Seller Reference ID
  • Capture ID
  • Seller Order ID
  • Order Reference ID

In the order management system, you typically use one or two IDs to track a transaction. The Unique Fulfilment ID, according to above transaction flow, can be matched to four listed IDs. This is referred to as a Match key. 

Note: if the Unique Fulfillment ID is not generated or is generated in step 4, one of Amazon Pay IDs will have to work as the Match key.

Best Reconciliation Procedure

This is supposed to be a daily process.

  1. Create a report for the previous day’s fulfillment activity in your system and download it.
  2. Log in to Seller Central.
  3. View Management Transactions current data or create a Date Range Settlement report and download it. 

Date Range Settlement report: Reports menu > Payments > Date Range Reports then create a report and download it. 

Manage Transactions: Orders menu > Manage Transactions.

  1. Use your Match key to match items between two reports.
  2. Mark an activity as reconciled once you get a match.
  3. If there is an activity you are unable to match, move the line item to open match set.
  4. Repeat the procedure on the following day. Begin step 4 with the open match set.

Cash Reconciliation

  1. Use the report downloaded in the above procedure.
  2. Get a bank statement showing your account’s disbursement details.
  3. Use the Settlement report and bank statement to match the amounts and dates transferred. 

5 Online Businesses You Can Start with No Money

Anyone can create a business online and make money from it. All you need is a computer. 

You have the freedom to work as much or as little as you like, set a flexible schedule and live wherever you want. 

Another good thing about an online business is that you don’t need a lot of capital to start. Some of them don’t require any capital at all. 

Here are the top five ways to create an online business with little or no money. 

Drop Shipping

With a drop shipping business model, small business owners don’t need to maintain an inventory or even deliver products. They get to eliminate the risk and financial cost of operating a warehouse. 

You can sell products without manufacturing or storing them. 

Your main job will be to advertise and market the business so you can boost sales. Once a customer makes an order, other people handle the rest of the process for you. 

This is how the model works:

  • You sign up as a seller on a platform like Etsy, eBay or Amazon and list your products. 
  • When a customer places an order, you buy the item from a wholesaler or manufacturer at a lower price. It is like forwarding your customer’s order to the manufacturer. 
  • The drop shipper will then send your customer the product.

The main challenge with this business is that you need to find a reliable drop shipper and the market is competitive.

Affiliate Marketing

This is another e-commerce model that does not require you to maintain an inventory. 

First, you choose a profitable niche. Next, look for an affiliate partner that stocks products in that niche. CJ Affiliate by Conversant, Amazon.com and Clickbank.com are some of the widely known affiliate sites. 

Once you get an affiliate partner, you can offer their products on your website or blog with a unique link. 

When a potential customer clicks on the link, they will be directed to your partner’s cart for checkout. If they buy the product, you earn a commission. 

Blogging

Some services like WordPress and Blogger allow you to start a blog for free. The better option is to create your own site (hosting is not that expensive). 

A blog does not have to be about written posts. You can share links, news, videos and photos. Anything in your niche can work. 

The key point is to post content that is original and beneficial to your audience. 

To make money with the blog, try the following:

  • Google AdSense
  • Blog ad networks
  • Affiliate marketing

Online Video

YouTube is a popular site and you can use it to make some money. 

Create useful content in your favorite niche. Sign up and begin uploading videos. When you start getting viewers, enable monetization. Google will place ads in your videos. 

Information Product

You don’t have to sell a physical product. 

Digital information products offer a quick and easy way to make some cash. Popular formats include: 

  • Text (like an eBook)
  • Video (interviews, webinars, etc.)
  • Audio

How To Start an Online Dropshipping Business

The number of ecommerce stores being launched daily is large and while a number of these stores operate with a traditional inventory system, there is also online stores which operate as dropshipping businesses. So, what exactly is a dropshipping business and how does one get one off the ground?

DROPSHIPPING 101

Dropshipping is an ecommerce concept where you launch an online store where you sell products directly from suppliers. You do not build an inventory as with traditional retail and instead, your customers make a purchase that is then passed on to your supplier who ships the product directly to your customer without you handling the products at any point in time. The way you make money is that you charge more than what the supplier charges for the product. The difference between the two prices is your margin (we will talk about it more later).

An example of this would be that you find a supplier who sells men’s classic Oxford shoes on Aliexpress for $29.99. In your store, you will sell that same pair for, let’s say $59.99. When your customer makes a purchase, you make a purchase with your supplier who then sends the product to your customer. On this one purchase, you make $30. The question that you are inevitably asking at this moment is why would anyone purchase from your store and not directly from the supplier?

There are a few answers. For one, many suppliers do not sell directly to individual customers and only deal with sellers such as yourself. Furthermore, the majority of people are unaware of such suppliers and they do not wish to risk getting subpar quality (through smart practice, you will be able to guarantee quality). Finally, you will be doing marketing that will lead people directly to your store, without even considering a supplier.

Look at it from a different angle. You could probably get a pound of oranges much cheaper from a farmer in California, but you still buy them from your local grocery shop, don’t you?

Start with a Product (Niche)

You could theoretically open a dropshipping store without choosing the products you will be selling or the niche you will be covering, but it would be somewhat tricky. For example, how would you name this store whose products you are still in the dark about?

There are numerous ways in which you can go about choosing the products to sell. Perhaps you are into fashion and you think you know what people would like to wear. Maybe you know what people are buying online in your country. Perhaps you will discover that you can get a certain type of products at affordable prices and sell for much more in your country, increasing your margins.

Set up a Store (Quickly)

You are not racing against the clock, but there is a reason why you will want to set up your store quickly and without wasting too much time. The reason is that spending weeks on setting up a store will not guarantee sales. What you need is a decent-looking store that will be operational in matter of days (depending on how much time you have). You will be looking at the major platforms and their preset themes for your store – something simple and in tune with what you will be selling. Do not waste time on logo, extensive branding, blog, etc. You will be starting with a skeleton-store – just the basics.

You will want to set up payment options, usually PayPal and major credit cards. You will also want to offer free shipping which you will then cover from your margin (unless you can find suppliers with free shipping). Depending on the platform you will be using, you will also most likely need software which will allow you to automate a great deal of the work. For example, when people make a purchase in your store, this software will automatically order the product from your supplier, taking care of the payment and customer’s details entry.

Find Suppliers

One of the crucial steps in launching your dropshipping business will be finding the suppliers. There will be a few boxes that you will want your suppliers to check before you start doing business with them.

Before we go on to the boxes that need ticking, we should point out that you will mostly be looking to China for your suppliers. More precisely, AliExpress. AliExpress is the Chinese version of Amazon and eBay and it is popular in the dropshipping circles for one simple reason – you can find products at very affordable prices there. Of course, there are other ways and places to find suppliers, but the chances are you will be working with China and suppliers from there.

Now, onto the boxes.

For one, you will be looking for suppliers whose track record is spotless. This means great ratings and actual reviews from customers. You will also be looking at the individual products’ comments sections, more precisely the images. You will want to make sure that the images of actual products supplied by the customers show the same products that are featured in product images.

Another important feature to look for is ePacket shipping. It is a relatively fast (usually well under a month) and affordable shipping method that was designed specifically for products from China that are sold online. This service also provides shipment tracking which means your customers can check their order at any time. In short, ePacket shipping is a feature to look for in a supplier.

Finally, there is the matter of the price. Namely, in order for your dropshipping business to be profitable, you will want to make at least as much as you pay the supplier. This means that your margin should never be bellow 50%. In other words, your supplier will have to provide prices that you will be able to add to and still be able to sell the product.

One thing you should be aware of is that you will be selling either generic products in your store, or brands that are mostly unknown in the west, as this is what your suppliers will be selling. You should be extra careful that you do not sell knock-off products of popular brands because this can get you in all kinds of legal troubles.

Marketing

The biggest mistake you can make with your dropshipping business is thinking that simply setting up a store is enough. Like we mentioned, there is no shortage of online stores out there and you have to make sure that people visit your store. In other words, you need to do marketing.

For people who have just opened their first dropshipping store, marketing should revolve around one thing and one thing only – making sales. You are not building a brand or establishing yourself on the market. This comes later. You are trying to make a sale. Two sales. Three sales. Fifty sales in one month. Then a hundred sales the next.

While you will be able to do a few things free (still requiring time) such as doing a bit of content marketing and SEO, you will rely on paid ads in the early days. More precisely, you will be using Facebook, Google and Instagram ads.

Choosing the channel will depend on what you are selling and you will have to be extra careful about choosing the right channel. Namely, your budget will most likely not allow you to go broad and, instead, you will want to focus on just one channel.

Facebook, for example, is a very interesting ad option due to its relatively low ad prices and the ability to target very specific segments of the market. Instagram is also popular for certain niches, such as clothing and cosmetics. Google ads are usually out of reach for new dropshipping businesses due to established competition, but you should still look into it.

It is important to start conservatively with your ads in the beginning. Only spend the money you have and always make sure you are not spending more than you earn with your store. For example, if you make a sale that nets you revenue of $20, you can spend $20 on Facebook ads the following day. If these ads bring you a single new customer, you broke even. If you make two sales, you are already making money and marketing is paying for itself

As you make more sales, you can gradually increase your marketing spend. Conversely, if you are not seeing any results, maybe you need to change something or switch the channel.

The bottom line is that the majority of your work will revolve around marketing your store and increasing your conversion rates. After all, most of your other work will be automated.

A Few Parting Words

Now that we have gone over the basics of starting a dropshipping business, there are a few more things that you should keep in mind. For one, you should look into what laws, taxes and regulations you should be aware in your country. You will probably have to register your company and start paying taxes before long. However, it would probably be a good idea to give your store a trial run before you start doing all that. Also, you might talk to a lawyer or an accountant before you do anything.

You might also want to check out local dropshipping communities, as there will probably already be people who are doing it. Such communities are a great place to get free advice and suggestions on how to take your business to another level.

Finally, never stop learning. There is much more to dropshipping than what you have read here. This free guide to drop shipping from Shopify is a great place to start, for example. Also, you should try and hone your marketing skills, as they will enable you to get more traffic and revenue. Once your business is stable, you can also start thinking about the marketing long game, i.e. branding, serious content marketing and branching out with your products.
Read more at https://www.business2community.com/brandviews/upwork/start-online-dropshipping-business-01955899#23KoiYYjewMvRhQR.99