Thinking of Starting a Dropshipping Business? Here’s What You’ll Need

Starting a dropshipping business

Dropshipping businesses have become increasingly viable in the digital age because suppliers are now geared up to make even small orders available to their customers globally. Part of this is because the internet has allowed many more international transactions to take place than ever before. Even a few decades ago, you might have had to fax your orders directly to your suppliers when customer orders came in, causing delays and needless paperwork.

The other aspect of world trade that has made dropshipping the phenomenon it is today is the intermodal cargo network. In simple terms, the humble shipping container has made it possible to dropship from anywhere to anywhere with astounding speed. So, if you want to get in on the action, what do you need to know?

Find Reliable Suppliers

When you receive a customer order through your website or ecommerce store, you won’t be fulfilling yourself. Instead, your supplier will be sending the goods out on your behalf to your clientele. This means you need reliable suppliers who give accurate stock details and which despatch items to the addresses you give them within reasonably short time frames. What you don’t want is to be placing orders only for your customers to cancel theirs because of inaccuracies or delays.

Understand How Commercial Importing Works

Another key part of dropshipping for many classes of goods is obtaining a margin from overseas suppliers. If you can procure items cheaper than they can be purchased in stores, your dropshipping business stands a good chance of success. What this means, in reality, is that you’ll often need overseas suppliers and, in the case of manufactured goods, those in the Far East. Therefore, knowing how to import items to the UK is essential or your orders will simply end up being impounded by customs officials when they arrive in the country. 

Dropshipping is not the same as buying items for personal use, so you’ll need to know about tariffs, duty, VAT, consignment numbers and import licenses for certain classes of goods. The best way to get up and running with this is to appoint a respected freight forwarding firm to help you with all the paperwork. Check out firms like Barrington Freight which specialises in dropshipping and global imports, including those from China.

Create a Proper Webstore

With your suppliers chosen and your importation expertise in place, you will need to start getting those orders rolling in. For this, it is best to have your own website even if you intend on doing most of your marketing through third-party marketplace websites. It will give your clients something more solid to check out than just an e-store on someone else’s site. You don’t need to be a computer ace to get an ecommerce store set up yourself because platforms like Shopify, for example, can provide everything you might need for a relatively modest fee. 

Emphatically, make sure your site contains a returns policy. Without one, you could be saddled with goods your clients don’t want. This is unwelcome for all sorts of reasons, not least because of the cost of storing it until you can sell it again. After all, this is the very reverse of the dropshipping business model.