Weebly founder David Rusenko isn’t a fan of drop shipping. He believes we’ve flooded the world with enough cheap crap. We don’t need any more middlemen flooding out Instagram feeds with knock-offs.
But is he right? What’s wrong with middlemen doing the marketing legwork?
I’ve been around the web a time or two and have seen drop shipping touted as the next affiliate marketing. But I’ve encountered few who’ve made it work.
Here’s why you should be careful with one of the hottest trends in e-commerce right now.
1. What is Drop Shipping?
I use the word middleman literally. If you sell or make lanyards but don’t really care to market your lanyards, a drop shipper is a great way to get your product out there. A drop shipper essentially sets up shop and sells your product as if it’s theirs.
Often, a drop shipper works directly through a wholesaler like Alibaba. This is where the cheap crap comes in. A ton of stuff on Alibaba is cheaply manufactured knockoffs.
Despite this, drop shipping is appealing to home entrepreneurs for a few reasons. You don’t have to store or ship, you just have to market. If you do it right, fulfillment centers like Amazon will store and ship your product for you.
You only purchase what you sell. And all you really need is a computer.
Sounds amazing, right?
2. Nothing in Life is Really Easy
You are still running a business. While part of that business isn’t in your hands, all the same marketing, customer servicing, website maintenance, etc are things you must do to succeed.
The only thing drop shipping really eliminates is product overhead.
It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a true business niche. And if you thought otherwise, it’s time to go back to that nine to five.
Online money-making is all about working 60 hrs a week to avoid working 40. Even if your drop shipping business becomes a hands-off affair later, it will take a lot of work to get there.
3. Everyone Else is Jumping Off the Same Bridge
When you Google drop shipping, some of the top articles are from six years ago. Drop shipping isn’t a new idea. It’s as old as Amazon.
In those six years, how many people do you think entered the drop shipping business? Too many. “Competition is a good thing,” you cry. I wouldn’t argue with you if this were a normal business situation.
The problem with drop shipping is that you can’t control supply and demand. You can’t actually compete because you have no control over your products.
If you’re willing to put in the time and money, you might be able to find a niche nobody else has tapped. But you’re gonna be digging for a while.
Some have compared hopping onto the drop shipping bandwagon to arriving at a movie 45 mins late. You’ll get some value, but you’ve missed the entire setup. It would have been better if you’d gone to a different movie altogether.