Patricia Protopapadakis   December 26, 2018

Six Lies Dropshipping “Experts” Are Spreading

When starting out in dropshipping, most people are completely new to the idea, and the concept of e-commerce as a whole – still working day jobs and trying to learn as much about this new career prospect as possible.

Forums after forums, search after search, youtube video after video – the internet provides a wealth of knowledge that you should actively pursue, but be cautious of ill-informed posts and comments from peers with grave misconceptions.

Before you run with your tail between your legs and settle for the 9-5 lifestyle for the rest of your life – give me about 4 minutes to change your perception on dropshipping while I debunk these 6 common dropshipping misconceptions.

dropshipping lies

LIE #1: “DROPSHIPPING IS DEAD”

Do you know that this story has been passed around for decades?

That’s because the dropshipping business model has been around for a few centuries – but before the internet revolution, it was done via mail order companies through catalogs or door to door salesmen.

The first mail-order catalog in the U.S. was Tiffany’s Blue Book in 1845 – which paved the way for other large businesses to follow suit such L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer – all of which are still thriving companies today.

Heck, even IKEA started out as a dropshipping company 70 years ago by a HECKIN 17-year-old in a small Swedish town.

So yeah, the business model is not dead- and it’s not going to die anytime soon and if I haven’t convinced you yet, maybe this article on Amazon’s trillion dollar valuation will.

So why does this rumor get tossed around so frequently?

There are a few reasons.

  •  Dropshipping pollution

As more and more people find out about the business model and read success stories of people who “get to work their own hours” and “get to work from home” they become attracted to the idea of making that their own reality without realizing the amount of hours that went into building that type of success.

Yes, it is true that eventually, the idealized situation of working your own hours remotely is attainable once your store becomes a success, but there is still a foundation you need to solidify before getting there.

So many people dive headfirst into an empty pool without doing any proper research and expecting to just set up a store and start making hundreds of sales overnight – unfortunately, that is not how it works.

There is also no definitive time frame on how long it will take for that success and freedom to come along, it is completely situational.

  • It’s not a one size fits all business

DO. NOT. COPY. SUCCESSFUL. STORES.

So many online businesses fail because they see stores taking off and they want that same success for themselves now.

I’ve seen everything from product lines to color schemes and logo’s basically torn off of one store and slapped on another.

What a way to kill a business before it has a chance to take off.

As mentioned above – this is not a one size fits all business model and what works for one company most likely will not work for yours – especially since that company has already been established and an imitator is anything but appealing.

That’s not to say that learning and observing marketing tactics are off the table – because those are ingredients for success – just as mimicry is an ingredient for failure.

Be unique, study and observe, your time for success will come.

  • Dropshipping strategies change

Just like any other business, there are trends and strategies that phase in and out and it is a responsibility as an entrepreneur to stay on top of the current business trends and what is going on in the industry as a whole.

Not actively learning while earning will lead to disastrous outcomes, make sure to take time each day to inform yourself on industry updates.

So what all of my points boil down to is – people don’t find success because of their own self-sabotage and then proceed to blame it on the model dying out.

it’s not.

dropshipping misconceptions

LIE #2: “IT’S AN IMPENETRABLE SATURATED MARKET”

I’m going to share a little story with you guys.

I grew up in Indiana, and I kid you not – when Nordstroms announced they were going to plop themselves down in our mall – it was THE event of the year that everyone was looking forward to.

We had a perfectly good Macy’s, Lazarus (did I just age myself?), Dillards, and even a Saks outlet store – who am I kidding, the foundation of our town at the time was department stores.

When the ribbon cutting ceremony happened (cue eye-roll) people went B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

So what was so special about another department store that my mom would hold me hostage in?

People love having “new” and fresh options – so there will always be room in any market if the foundations are set up correctly.

Although it seems like dropshipping is a highly competitive industry, there will always be ways to squeeze in.

As Danny Iny eloquently states in his INC article:

“When a market is saturated, many competitors sell similar products and services. That tells you the market has many eager buyers. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be sustainable for so many players to be in it.”

So my point here is:

It doesn’t matter how much competition is out there – as long as you have a unique selling proposition and a great brand that people can align with – you won’t have any issues dropshipping your products.

LIE #3: “DROPSHIPPED PRODUCTS ARE JUNK”

First of all, rude, my dropshipped Edouard Manet knockoff socks and I take much offense.

shopify misconceptions

Seriously some of the best socks I’ve ever owned.

Second of all, yeah there are some products out there that probably shouldn’t be distributed and sold to eager consumers, but that’s where another one of your entrepreneurial responsibilities comes into play.

When choosing products to sell on AliExpress, be selective about the supplier you are buying from.

Keep these key metrics in mind:

  • Star Ratings

You only want to buy from a supplier with a high average star rating.

  • Number of Orders

You want to look at how many orders that supplier has sold of the particular product, the higher the number, the more reliable the product.

  • How Long the Supplier has been Selling

You want to select a supplier that has been selling for at least one year, 2 is ideal.

  • Any Badges Associated with the Supplier

Look out for any top-rated brand badges that appear on the product page, these are the good sellers.

  • Look at the “Item as Described” Rating on the Product Page

The higher the rating, the less likely your customer will be unsatisfied with the purchase. Ideally, choose products with a 4.8 or above.

shopify lies

You will find all of this information in the header of the product page on AliExpress.

Looking at stats like these is not limited just to AliExpress – any dropshipping company will have reputable metrics to find products that are of great quality to sell to your customers.

Which brings me to the next fib –

LIE #4: “YOU CAN ONLY DROPSHIP PRODUCTS FROM CHINA”

the truth about shopify misconceptions

Wrong, SO WRONG.

You will find dropshipping companies in most countries, and for this article, I am mostly going to focus on dropshippers located in America. However, if you are located abroad, a simple Google search will provide you with all of the information you may need.

So let’s begin to debunk this fabrication.

  • You can still find suppliers on AliExpress that ship from within the U.S. which will provide faster shipping times.
the truth about dropshipping misconceptions

You can select to view products that ship from the U.S. only on AliExpress.

lies about dropshipping

Verify the shipping origin on the product page of the selected product on AliExpress.

Selecting suppliers this way usually means the cost of good will be higher but on average, the suppliers have higher ratings.

  • If you want to steer away from AliExpress altogether, check out the U.S. based suppliers below.

Etsy

Worldwide Brands

Dropship Direct

Doba

LIE #5: “YOU CAN’T COMPETE WITH SELLERS ON AMAZON”

misconceptions about selling online

It is true that competing against Amazon is unlikely when it comes to pricing and the shipping times, however, customers who buy from Amazon usually directly go there with an intent to purchase a particular product.

You, on the other hand, target the impulse buyers.

There has never been a time when I have been lured into a store by an ad and thought, “Wait, I better check Amazon…”

No, I want to make the purchase now and your customer’s decision on the purchase is solidified by the presence of social proof, testimonials, persuasive product descriptions, and customer support – especially the live chat support.

There is no denying the power that Amazon has in the marketplace, but, what they do lack are fast, efficient support and unique products – and that is why we see so many booming dropshipping businesses aside from Amazon.

LIE #6: “IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE PROFITABLE WITH THE LOW MARGINS”

Yes, it is true that dropshipping is infamously associated with low-profit margins, however, this does not mean you can’t be profitable.

You can compensate the low margins with higher pricing (within the competitive range) and more ideally, by selling larger volumes.

I know its hard to imagine being able to sell anything in large volumes at a bit of an increased price when you just start out – but with the right techniques and processes in place – you can definitely make it happen.

As I’ve mentioned before, a strong presence of social proof and customer support are imperative for the success of any business, but optimizing your stores’ design and having a strong brand identity will turn any visitors into buyers.

There are even subtle ways you can increase your average order value so that way you can make more money with each person that buys from you. If you want a comprehensive understanding of these methods, read our blog post on how to increase your store’s average order value!

lies about dropshipping on shopify

So, friends, here are the 6 common dropshipping misconceptions and the truth behind each of them. I hope I was able to clear up any suspicions you have and any apprehensions on starting your own business.

If there are any questions you have that I did not address in this post, make sure to leave them in the comments below and check out our post on how to effectively increase your stores’ average order value!

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25 thoughts on “Six Lies Dropshipping “Experts” Are Spreading

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25 Responses

Antoinette

December 27, 20184:32 pm

Lesson understood. Social proof, testimonials, adequate customer support. Got it. (Finally). Things are starting to really make sense. Thank you.
Antoinette

Stella

December 27, 20184:45 pm

Thank you so much for clarifying this. I needed to read that 🙂

Shakimm

December 27, 20185:25 pm

This presentation is amazing and loved that you shared it with me. I would love to work for myself and get rid of my 9 to 5, but I’m not sure if could keep up with the current trend because the current trend shifts from week to week and month to month. What is current this week might not be current next week. The current trend is not my only problem. Another problem I have is after I have sold a product to a customer, how do I sell that customer a next product and how do I continue selling that customer products in future. I dont know, but I do know I’m not trying to get rich for a year but I am trying to get rich for years to come. Once, you can’t teach me that I’m good. I want prosperity.

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    January 1, 20194:52 pm

    Hey Shakimm!

    Taking the leap is understandably intimidating but after enough time in the industry, staying on top of trends will become second nature for you.

    Customers become brand loyalists so if they purchase from you once the likelihood they will purchase again is high.

    Take the time to really study the industry and see if its a right fit for you, and also I do not recommend quitting your 9-5 right off the back, sustainable success is within reach, however, you want to make sure you have a stable foundation 🙂

Rukon

December 27, 20185:37 pm

Devin, please answer two main questions i have. 1) I am confused as to why a major component such as FB ads is where you and Matt have differing views. You suggest View Content initially to get as much data as possible. Matt suggests using the Purchase objective from the beginning. As i am still learning and would ideally want to get it right the first time, which one would i go for as your differing views are causing my hesitation in deciding which one would be best( i have not started and therefore have no data)
2) I am not sure whether i have learnt this via smar7 (i think i did) but have been advised not to use power editor as it is for more advanced users but Matt suggests using this in the training.
PS. Are the training courses i am learning from ie FB domination course etc up to date or have i missed any current training materials. Thank you so much in advance.

    Devin Zander

    December 27, 20186:07 pm

    Hey Rukon,

    The training where I recommend View Content is years old, we now only recommend Purchase

    As for your second question the power editor no longer exists. There is only one ads manager

Kovalev Vornovsky

December 27, 20186:49 pm

Thanks for the advice and now I know what is facts and myth.

Kovalev Vornovsky

December 27, 20186:51 pm

Thanks for the advice and now I know what is facts and myth. Keep sending me factual emails because I want advice to start e-commerence business and live my life in paradise(Probably Fiji,Bulgaria,Hawaii or Tuvalu) .

Bethany Chos

December 27, 20188:11 pm

It appears that you have a great program with lots of individual help! looking forward to learning more!

Eric Jones

December 27, 20188:36 pm

I am a little confused! Can you please define “drop shipping” ? I was under the impression it was a term used for a company that did your packing and mailing of your product. With e-commerce it seems different. Thanks!
Eric Jones

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    January 1, 20193:56 pm

    Hey Eric!

    So you have it partially correct, dropshipping is a retail method that doesn’t require you to keep your products in stock. Instead, your customer orders a product from you, then you order that product from a 3rd party supplier and they ship the product directly to your customer.

    You can learn more about dropshipping and running an e-commerce business in this blog article I wrote a few weeks back 🙂

    https://smar7apps.com/shopify-store-on-a-budget/

Ian Richardson

December 28, 20189:35 am

Quite right..
If you are a successful droppshipper/affiliate marketer..and you have the ability to make DVDs..books etc..And like some developed your own software to automate everything….Then that in itself is a saleable product folks.
So there’s a multitude of gurus popping up on youtube mostly..book your place at the next seminar etc etc etc.
You watch the seminar for an hour or so and yes you get some useful snippets of info..but then comes the big sell…And..profit.
Now some might well give you really good support, mentoring and such..the automated software could be great..if used right.
But by the time you buy it there’s 67 DVDs…14 books and it’ll take months to trawl through..and then you have to learn it all….and then apply it correctly….
If you look at them they ALL do it the SAME way…because it works for them.
They’ve spent time and lots of money so yes they have a product to sell and expect a return on the product…It’s business pure and simple.
Do they work..? Well there’s no reason many won’t..but you have to pick the right one and learn how to use it for YOUR business..
But so many fail..Why..? One very simple reason..because if you start any business and you do not know what you’re doing then there is a very big chance you will fail..And you will lose money..
If you don’t drive and I asked you to pop my car round to the garage for its’ service…how far are you going to get before you crash the car..? You don’t know how to control it, steer it..etc etc…In fact you’d probably say I can’t drive mate so I’m not doing that.
But so many start businesses with no idea how to control it, steer it, market it etc etc and expect it to work..In most cases it won’t.
You have to do a lot of research….and i do mean a lot..But..Also research WHY businesses fail..Just as.. if not more important…Because they all fail for the same reasons..whether start ups or established businesses..
Every now and again someone does get lucky early on..but it doesn’t happen often…

Carla Dumesnil

December 28, 20182:37 pm

What is your blog?

Trayvon Brown

December 28, 20182:52 pm

thanks for being honest you guys are great I’ve never met or seen anything like it in the internet is a place for people to get mislead thank you for the understanding keep up the good work there’s always good people in any situation

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    January 1, 20193:59 pm

    YOU’RE great Trayvon 🙂

    Make sure to check out our new articles posted every Wednesday!

Paul

December 31, 20189:23 pm

Your post brings a lot of value I’m glad I opened the email. What is your stance on using Google PLA’s when starting out ?

    Patricia Protopapadakis

    January 1, 20194:03 pm

    Hey Paul!

    So glad we were able to bring some value to you and your business!

    I personally haven’t used Google PLA’s, so, unfortunately, I can’t give credited insight on it. However, I am sure there are plenty of discussion boards on the topic 🙂

Mark

January 11, 201910:46 pm

Will dropshipping in the USA work if I’m living in the Philippines?