In this episode, I continue to answer some more common Drop Shipping Questions about using AliExpress, Shopify and Oberlo. This all started with episode 143, where I described the drop shipping business model. Last week, I answered a lot of common drop shipping questions. This week, I discuss whether or not you can run a drop shipping business from outside of the United States, how to handle returns, and how to select good suppliers.
I also discuss how “analysis paralysis” might be the thing that is keeping you from making progress in your business, and what to do about it.
Common Drop Shipping Questions Show Notes
What to learn all about how to drop ship with Shopify and AliExpress? Check out this amazing free webinar from our friends at Shopify.
Can I get my products somewhere other than AliExpress?
If you are not that comfortable in getting products from China and want to drop ship from other locations, this is absolutely possible. You can drop ship from anywhere and you can search Google for a long list of companies that you can use. There are lots of alternatives outside of AliExpress but I focus on this site as our example as it is super easy to get started using this site and AliExpress, Oberlo and Shopify work together very harmoniously. There are actually items which are shipped from the US inside AliExpress, you can use filter searches to find these.
Can I run this business from another country other than the US?
Yes, absolutely. People run drop shipping from all over the world and the only complexity is that, when you are dealing with AliExpress and getting money back and forth from Shopify and PayPal, there are charges associated with this. There are foreign exchange fees because your money is going in a big circle: your customer is giving you money through Shopify or PayPal (US-based companies), then you need to move this money to your local bank account, after which you will send it to AliExpress to buy the product and to pay Facebook using a credit (which may have fees if you do not have a US card). You can mend this by adjusting your prices to handle the fees, which is not a big deal, as we are just talking about a few percentages; look for credit cards which pay cash backs; or AliExpress Loyalty programs.
The best place to start marketing is the United States mainly because this is where the money is. There are a lot of affluent users in this country, a lot of the population use Facebook and a lot of online consumption happens here. It is recommended to start in the US and fan out from here but yes, you can also target other countries with higher standard of living and expendable income.
What do I do with returns and will there be a lot of customer service involved?
For providing customer service, the best thing to do is set up a support email for your store. Put up a contact form in your Shopify website so people can fill it out for any help needed and these would be forwarded to your store’s email.
When you get emails from customers who would like to return an item, maybe because the shipped product is broken or it didn’t work the way that they expected it to, empathize, apologize and get details of the concern and then send over a Return Merchandise Authorization number. Some people, when they learn you need more information, they would just forego the issue because they didn’t really pay that much.
As a rule, stay away from products which generate a lot of returns such as clothing and rings as often times, they won’t fit. When you are looking at products at AliExpress, pick those with lots of positive reviews and when choosing suppliers, go for those with higher ratings.
Links Mentioned In This Episode On Drop Shipping Questions
- Rate this podcast on iTunes
- Woo Commerce
- Free Drop Shipping Webinar
- AliExpress Affiliate Program
- Help Scout
Want More Late Night Internet Marketing?
Help Me Help You
The more I hear from you about your struggles, trials and tribulations, the more I can help. So, be sure to leave comments on this post to reach out to me on Twitter @LateNightIM or on the LateNightIM Facebook Fan Page.
I'd love to hear what you think about the podcast. Better yet, Id love to answer your question about Internet marketing on the show. Just drop me a line here on the blog or on the digital recorder at 214-444-8655. Dont worry, there are no stupid questions. Unless you tell me not to, when you ask a question or leave a comment might even use it on the show.
Help Me Help Others
Thanks so much for your reviews on iTunes. We get a ton of exposure from iTunes, and we really appreciate the reviews there. At last count, we were over 100 reviews worldwide and counting. Reviews help us get new listeners — so I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. To leave a review, just go to latenightim.com/itunes and follow the instructions. Thanks!
Common Drop Shipping Questions Episode Transcript
We have had some challenges here at the studio this week, we have struck by the Vacation Bible School fever. I have no idea why my pediatrician calls this fever the Vacation Bible School fever (or the VBS fever) but apparently a lot of kids around the ages of my children, which is Vacation Bible School going age, have been getting this persistent fever that you get it, it comes and goes for a week or more, and there’s not really much you can do about it. Apparently it’s viral, sometimes it turns into a bacterial infection that you can do something about, but you basically just have to deal with it.
That has challenged us. We’ve been missing baseball tryouts and basketball games and all kinds of different stuff. Luckily, it’s been limited to my son so far. I’m hoping that my daughter, who is actually at Vacation Bible School this week, doesn’t get this thing.
But, you know, this is just all part of being a kid. I can remember being sick when I was a little kid from time to time and how much that really was a bummer. A lot of times when you’re a little kid, even though you’re sick and you’re running a fever and your parents are telling you that you can’t go outside, you don’t really feel all that badly.
I feel for my son and hopefully this will all be over soon. I know he was bummed because last night he missed his basketball game and his team had to play shorthanded. That’s never good, but we’ll be back next week with a vengeance and hopefully he’ll be feeling a lot better then.
For those of you that asked about the baseball tournament, thank you very much. It was a fantastic experience for us. We had so much fun playing with the team that we played with. We didn’t do very well in the tournament, but it was a great experience. Baseball tournaments, for those of you that have done this, are a totally different experience for kids than playing in regularly scheduled baseball games. You’re traveling, you’re playing teams you’ve never seen before, the level of competition is generally very high. It’s an experience.
It was a great experience for us. Like I said, we didn’t play very well, we didn’t do very well in the tournament, but we’ll be back to more tournaments in the future. Thanks for all of you that asked about how that went. It was great for us and we had a fun time, except for the whole Vacation Bible School fever stuff, which happened during the tournament. That was kind of a bummer. We played through it, but we didn’t like that very much at all.