Jump Ahead to the Directories Section
or the Dropshipper Programs
Dropshipping Education: What's The True
Or, how much "Stupid Tax" will you pay before you become a dropshipping
When I was young, I learned that you always have to pay for your
education. This is true whether you are learning to defend yourself
on the playground as a kid, or going to medical school to get your
license to practice Proctology. With one, all you usually get is
a black eye and a few cuts and bruises. But, the bruises usually
come with a sense of pride, an improvement in your fighting skills
and the right to swagger a bit. The license to be a practicing Proctologist
comes with a $400,000 to $500,000 tuition bill and the right to
swagger a lot. You also get the right to charge people up the ying-yang
for your services, along with, hopefully, an improvement in your
medical knowledge and skills.
What the hell does that have to do with dropshipping?
Hold your horses and I'll tell you...
I've been running internet businesses since 1996, and the one truth
that flows through the whole process is that you either pay for
your education up front, or you pay a bunch of "Stupid Taxes"
along the way. The stupid taxes you end up paying are in lieu of
spending the time and money to learn the information that would
have made you an expert in your chosen profession in the first place.
Most people don't know what a "Stupid Tax" is, so I'll give you
the definition. A "Stupid Tax" is when you do something stupid,
and it costs you money, because you were too lazy to go out and
find the answer before you acted. (In other words, a tax on stupidity.)
In business, when you don't take the time to learn about your markets
and/or your products, you usually end up paying way more in "stupid
tax" than you would have paid if you would have just spent a little
bit of time and money at the beginning of the process and gotten
the education you needed to understand your market.
Either way, whether you pay for your education with time and money
up front, or wasted time and money as you go along, you'll hopefully
end up learning your lessons; if your business lasts long enough.
At this point, those who've never paid a stupid tax can leave....
If you're so smart that you've never paid a stupid tax before,
then you're way too smart to be reading this article, or you're
a liar. You should be teaching theoretical physics somewhere and
inventing cars that run on air.
Most people have paid a stupid tax time and time again. What I'm
going to try to do here is help you spend less on your stupid taxes
by taking more time and care in getting a good education in dropshipping
at the beginning of the process.
There are a ton of resources available online to learn anything,
including how to own a profitable dropshipping business, but first
you need to have a plan. You need to decide whether you want to
do all the leg work yourself and find your dropship partners on
your own, get books and manuals that have wholesalers and dropshippers
in them, or work with a dropshipping program. I'm going to go over
these three types of dropshipping business models here, and hopefully
save you a bunch of time and money in the future.
Finding Dropshippers Yourself
The first option, "finding dropshippers yourself", sucks, that's
right, I said it sucks. Why would you spend 100 hours trying to
find dropshipping partners when you could spend about $40 and get
a directory, manual or software program full of companies that are
already set up to dropship for you?
If you really want to do it yourself, have at it, I'm sure 100
hours worth of stupid tax will do you good. (Remember, time is money.
While you're finding dropshippers the hard way, you aren't learning
much about how to manage your dropshipping business or make it profitable.)
Here are 3 dropshipping directories that you can choose from if
you decide that your store, or auction type model, is small enough,
or niche oriented enough, to just need a few suppliers. I've listed
the prices of the directories next to them, along with how many
dropshippers they say they have in their publication.
Dropshipper directories and wholesaler catalogs have tons of useful
information. They are definitely faster than doing all the leg work
yourself, and they have the added benefit of freeing up a lot of
your time. With the time you save by using directories, you can
spend more time on these important topics:
- What are you going to sell?
- Using the sites below, you can find what people are looking
for the most. If there isn't anyone interested in a product,
then don't waste time trying to build the market yourself. Leave
that to people who have millions of dollars in branding and
Where are you going to sell your products?
- Most of the dropshipping programs offered in the dropshipper
program section below, come with upgrades that give you
the option of renting a store from them. The upside to this
is that the stores come preloaded with product categories of
your choice, a shopping cart and the merchant services interface
needed to take credit cards. Or, you can rent an eBay store,
or a Yahoo Stores, and use software interfaces provided by eBay
and others to load your products in bulk.
Who's going to design and build your website if you decide
to go that route?
- Whenever I decide to build a store site, I usually just go
to Guru and eLance and post an ad for what I want done. The
people on these sites are really good, and you will spend a
lot less money getting a professional from one of these sites
to design and implement your store and shopping cart system,
than you would trying to get it done locally. But, and pay attention
here, you will usually spend more going this route, than you
would if you just signed up with a dropshipping program, or
rented an eBay or Yahoo Store. Please keep this in mind when
looking at this option.
Where are you going to host your websites?
- There are a lot of hosting companies out there, so you will
need to decide which type of hosting you want, what options
you want with your hosting, and how much you're willing to pay
each month. I prefer to use Unix/Linux hosting with a cPanel
interface. With this type of set up, you can easily host multiple
domains and databases on one account, and just pay a dollar
or two each month for each extra IP address. (Did I just confuse
Which shopping cart do I use?
- I've only set up shopping carts a couple of times, and I hated
it. Setting everything up took me forever, and I was about "Stupid
Taxed" to death. If you are going to have someone design and
build your sites for you, then make them set up the shopping
cart system too. I know this sounds like cheating, but you could
spend the rest of your life trying to figure out which cart
to use and how to set it up. (This is why so many people use
prebuilt stuff from eBay,
Ship Business offers an interesting turnkey solution) Please
see my blog post about setting up your own e-commerce store
How do you automate the system so you can make more money
with less work?
This last question brings us to the answer that we have been
looking for all along; dropshipping programs. At this point we
are getting into the area that will reduce your stupid tax immensely.
Especially when you consider what your time is worth.
Yes, of course they are. Dropshipping programs are worth a ton
in educational terms alone. Lots of these programs have the tools
and resource you need to teach you a ton about dropshipping. Think
about all the work and the thousands, if not millions, of dollars
that have gone into building some of the huge dropshipper programs
that are now online. Some of these programs offer tools that help
you find the best niche market, and then help you find the best
products to sell within those markets. Without tools like these,
people end up putting stuff up for sale on eBay and losing their
shirts. I've even done it myself, thinking I was smarter than the
software, and trying to sell a product that the system told me wasn't
going to sell for a profit. Even when you have the tools and the
education, you periodically have to pay a stupid tax for not listening
to the experts.
If you are serious about dropshipping, you need to bookmark this
page at this point. You then need to spend a week going though each
of the dropshipper programs below. I've only listed ones that have
a free trial period. Sign up for one each week, use the heck out
of it, then decide whether it's worth keeping or not. But, the most
important thing is that you keep notes on the software and tools
that each site has available to you. You also need to copy all of
their reading material and either read it now or read it later,
when you have time. Remember, this is your education, spend some
time with it, so you don't end up wasting your money later.
14 Days Free Trial:
When I signed up and used Doba, they had over a million products
to choose from, and some really advanced selling and learning tools
available to their users. Doba is about the biggest dropshipper
out there, they have the most products, but they also charge the
Notes from Doba Website:
- Your free 14-day trial membership will begin when
you click "Start Membership". If you are enjoying Doba, do nothing,
and your membership will automatically continue for as long as
you choose to remain a member. See Terms of Service for complete
membership details. No commitments, no hassles. Cancel any time
Monday - Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm (MST).
Shopster offers over 130 dropship suppliers and 900,000 products.
Their program offers a single payment system, order management
system and over 150 suppliers. All in all, they have over 900,000
dropship products for you to choose from. Their state-of-the-art
auction tools are integrated to work with eBay and they claim
to offer lower prices than others because of their group buying
Notes From Shopster Website:
There are many more dropshipping programs out there, but you should
take the time to go through these 4 programs and learn all they
have to offer first. After you have read all of their articles about
dropshipping and running a dropshipping business, tried out their
tools and auction interfaces and sold a few things on eBay to get
your feet wet, then you should go over your notes and decide which,
if any, of these services was the right one for your type of selling
And Finally, once you have read and learned everything these
programs have to offer, you may then want to go back and look
at the dropshipping directories, to see if you now have the knowledge
to take your business forward without the help and monthly expense
of using a dropshipper program.