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With the pandemic and jobs being at an all time premium many have started to look into dropshipping as a way to begin building their own business to become more independent, so can you do dropshipping full time?
Dropshipping is an excellent way to earn a full time income from the internet. If you have the startup funds to start testing advertising you can ramp up even faster. Many though will begin with dropshipping as a side hustle building it while staying employed at another job until consistent profit begins.
If this sounds like something that appeals to you then dropshipping may be a perfect way to start building your own business. If you are ready to start we have a comprehensive guide here for free on building a store on Shopify.
If you would like to learn more then continue reading and learn more about how much you can make dropshipping and some of the core needs to building a profitable business while dropshipping.
How Much Money Can I Realistically Make Dropshipping?
If you have chosen to build a dropshipping business with the anticipation of converting it into a full time job you may be wondering what you could expect to make with your store, lets look into this more!
While dropshipping can be a hit or miss on each product you launch many dropshippers online have reached around the $100k mark in profit per year. There are many who have made larger amounts than this but this is the minority, there is just as many who never make anything with their business.
As with any business you choose to start, there is no guarantee of making money and becoming profitable. Much of this journey will be the path of learning what you like and don’t like, what you can outsource and what you definitely can’t outsource.
Now that you have seen what you can make if you build a solid dropshipping business lets take a deeper look into the average income for dropshipping businesses and what the actual profit is on each item sold.
How Much Do Dropshippers Make on Average?
While there is a lot of money that can be made and YouTube celebrities will tell you that you can easily make millions, what happens to the average person who looks to create a storefront and what can they look to for revenue?
When averaged out dropshippers can look to make between $1000 to $50000 per month in revenue, the issue is revenue doesn’t mean profitability. You need to factors in many things though like niche, seasonality, market trends, and more. Many dropshippers will make 10-40% in profit per sale after covering costs.
This isn’t to say that many dropshippers make no money and end up with significant losses, especially if you don’t control for costs. Please manage your costs when starting a dropshipping business and don’t go in full tilt if it isn’t ok to lose the investment.
You must be cautious and make sure that you are looking to sell a product that has a high profitability as you will have sunk costs into the store building and advertising materials.
What is the Average Dropshipping Profit Margin?
Many people will think there is a large profit in dropshipping as they only see the $5 item being sold for $50. This leads them to believe there is a $45 profit on each item they sell but this can be very misleading from the real story that there is many hidden costs behind the scenes.
The average profit margin on dropshipping products is approximately 20%. This is calculated from the price you sell at minus the item costs, the advertising materials, the advertising costs themselves, the shipping for the item, and finally the costs for any employees you hire to help purchasers.
This is why the choice of item to sell along with the price you must sell at are important to figure out prior, this ensures that you stay profitable but is very enticing for your store visitors to make the purchase.
How to Make a Profitable Dropshipping Business 101
Many approach trying to make a dropshipping business with a want to become full time, but then not apply the work and time required to make an actual full time business.
This mindset will be the way you succeed or the reason you fail in building your dropshipping business and becoming a full time dropshipper.
You will learn and need to adapt over the course of creating your store and brand, you may feel you have the perfect niche but can’t get traction or find the customers to become profitable.
Finding Your Perfect Niche
This sounds like a challenge but wherever you look there are niches, you aren’t trying to find the PERFECT niche but YOUR PERFECT niche. You want something you can and will be able to sink your time into if you plan to make this a full time job.
Below are some keys to finding that perfect niche and how they can help make or break you and your store:
- Lowest Shipping Costs Possible: You won’t be shipping yourself as a dropshipper, your supplier will handle the shipping and handling on your behalf. You want to make sure these costs aren’t too high as this will cost you too much in profit side. But if you make this too low you will cost yourself customers. You want to find and strike the right balance of good items that are also inexpensive to ship.
- Finding a Profitable Niche: You need to find a niche that has items that are in demand but also available at a lower price allowing you to make a profit on the item itself. As an online reseller, there are a number of different tools available that you can use to find the best dropshipping niche.
- Validate Product Demand: You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Trends, or Exploding Topics to research common search terms that are related to your niche. You must always make sure that you have a solid demand for the product you plan to sell as you will be putting in time and money up front.
- Target Products Not locally Available: Obviously if you are trying to sell to an online customer they will be less likely to purchase the good if they can get it at a store near them today. Make sure you choose products that aren’t local which will help your store be more appealing.
Solid Competition Research
You will want to understand who is competing against you along with the understanding of the costs and how to manage the costs before diving in hard on a particular product.
There is many reasons why you may find a product that seems too good to be true, where you are amazed there is little to no competition which is when you need to check the following:
- Packing and Shipping: You want to know ahead of time that the product has a high packing and/or shipping cost. These will impact your bottom line in the end and may be why there is less competition when you look into it.
- Dependable Suppliers: Issues with your suppliers or manufacturing can end up sinking your business in quick order. You need to ensure there are high quality suppliers you can trust to source product reliably.
- Enough Wiggle Room: Your product needs to have a high profitability margin. There are many products that could be sold but are so razer thin on profit that they could easily become losses with returns and chargebacks.
In the end you want to find and sell products that are selling or are trending upwards, many times the thing that is “too good to be true” actually is and can cost you in the long run.
Finding Quality Dropshipping Suppliers
Your business will thrive or dive based on your supplier(s) so taking the time to make sure you choose correctly is paramount to your success.
You need your supplier to help keep you profitable and that they can help you manage and even build in that margin to grow larger.
Your business relies on the suppliers ability to keep you full of product and that you don’t fall behind nor face shipping delays, additionally if you can get them to put your brand these products you may have a winner.
Build Your Online Brand and Storefront
There are a vast array of options available to build your online storefront, the easiest and fastest way to launch your online store and make dropshipping a full-time job is to use an e-commerce selling platform like Shopify.
They have simplified building a store so you don’t need to have a tech degree to get your store up and running. Additionally there are so many additional apps within Shopify that can help you in running your business.
For many this is where they will start to focus on gaining traffic. You can use ads, like FB ads or Google Ads and SEO to increase traffic and get the visitors eyeballs on your products.
When building out your storefront you may feel like spending days to months customizing the look and feel, what you should do though is work on getting your framework in place along with basic looks and feel.
Then you want to focus on building this traffic to reach your store as you can continually improve on your store as this process moves forward and you start to achieve buyers.
Building out some additional content, like blog posts that target keywords that will pull traffic in who may be interested in your product is a good thing to begin soon as Search traffic can take up to a year to begin in earnest.
One of your core benefits to choosing a dropshipping store is that the risk and overhead are both quite low. Though, as you establish your brand and yourself, you can then choose to use capital to customize your e-commerce store.
Promotion Of Your Store
Lets be honest, you can have the most amazing looking storefront with amazing products but this won’t make you money. You need to pull in customers to start building an income which can be done in multiple ways:
- Building Ad Campaigns: You can quickly begin gathering traffic with a well built advertising campaign through Facebook or Google ads. This approach allows you to get near immediate sales while scaling your store. Additionally the use of Facebook or Google ads can allow you to reach a highly targeted audience.
- Social Media and Influencer Campaigns: Don’t be scared to look and use social media and influencers. Building your own social media following and using social media influencers to help push your products can yield you a consistent audience and faster sales. Also make sure to broaden out across many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others.
- Building an email List and Strategy: Begin by building an email opt-in on your site to begin the process of starting an email list. This is more of a slow burn if you don’t have a list prior, this method means that you’ll have to gather as many email addresses as you can. To do this with a shop can be easier as you could offer a 10% discount that will be emailed to them if they sign up with their email.
- Building a Blog Presence: A way to add traffic over time without having to pay for it is to start building a related blog. This can also help build you credibility towards becoming an an authority in your niche. You could want to write blog posts that inform and direct them to your store. Learning how to use and implement search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to a blog being successful to your business in this manner.
- Search Optimization Through Product Optimization: The other way to use SEO to benefit your store is though optimization of your product titles and descriptions. Your focus here would be on using keywords within your product names and descriptions.
Each of the above can come at a cost if you chose to outsource their creation so not all of this is free or cheap, you can do a vast majority on your own though should you choose.
If you are looking for good keyword tools there are many free options but you can cut down on the time needed by moving to a low cost SEO tool like KWFinder which can speed this process up and allow you to see a competitors keywords.
Remember, implementing a Facebook or Google ads campaign is the only one of these that requires you to invest any money.
Final Thoughts on Can Dropshipping be a Full Time Job
Dropshipping can easily become a full time job with hard work and dedication, it isn’t something that you will luck into in almost any case so you need to apply yourself to learning the ins and outs.
I didn’t quit my job to dropship right away, I have been spending my time building my future on the side while continuing to work my normal 9 to 5 and you should do the same.
What most people do is get excited and start setting everything up only to lose motivation and excitement and then the store ends up crashing as it is unable to get organic traffic to maintain itself indefinitely.
Learning to dropship well will take you years to master, the best way to approach building a dropshipping business is to learn the skills over time as a side hustle so you can learn what you are good at and what to outsource to maximize your results.