Q: I would like to start an online dropshipping business, but I
have no idea how to get started. I would like to specialize in
giftware and accessories. Where do I find products and how do I
get set up a website without any technical knowledge?
A: In the good old days of the Internet, it took a considerable
amount of effort to launch an ecommerce website,
especially one that offered dropship merchandise.
The to-do list for building even a small site was extensive.
You first had to find a company who would dropship merchandise
for you. Believe it or not, there was not a dropshipper on every
corner of the Web back then.
Once you found such a company, you had to set up a formal business
account with them, which often meant filling out forms, jumping
through hoops, providing them with proof of a business license, a
tax ID number, a pint of blood, the promise of your first born,
and on and on.
Then the real fun began.
You had to tear apart the company’s print catalogs and scan in the
pictures of merchandise you wanted to sell on the site.
You had to build the website by hand with an HTML editor, and type
in all the product descriptions and prices, which made updating
the site a manual nightmare. Changing $1.95 to $2.95 could
literally take half an hour.
You had to find a dependable hosting company to host the site.
This was harder than you might think. Finding a dependable hosting
company in the golden age of the Internet was like finding a
painless dentist in the old west. They just didn’t exist. You
had to opt for the hosting company that you hoped would cause you
the least amount of pain. And you were always wrong.
You had to register a domain name. This part was fairly simple,
IF you had the genius IQ required to think up a coherent domain
name that was not already taken by another business or a &^%$#
cyber-squatter (low level life forms who register domain names
and ransom them to individuals and companies that could really
And when you finally think you have thought of everything there
is to think of, that you have done everything that needs to be
done, you launch the site amid little fanfare and much prayer.
Then it suddenly occurs to you (always in the middle of the night)
that the only thing you forgot to build in to your new site is a
way for your customers to pay for their purchase online with a
credit card (there was no Pay Pal in the dark ages, my child…).
You awake in a cold sweat and finally understand why you haven’t
sold a single Beanie Baby since your site was launched.
Ah, the good old days… Thank God they are gone.
Lucky for you and me, there are now a number of companies
on the Web that can help folks like us set up a turnkey dropship
website without ever breaking a sweat.
By turnkey, I mean they will provide you with a complete, payment-
enabled website and the merchandise to sell on the site. All you
do is turn the key (so to speak) to start your new business.
You select the design of the site, the products you want to sell,
and they do the rest. They can show you how to setup an online
payment system, help you register a domain name, offer technical
support, and more.
It is up to you to market the site and drive customers to it, but
in some cases the companies will even help you do that with free
search engine submissions and marketing tips.
You can also sell the merchandise at online auctions like eBay
and Yahoo! Auctions. There is no quicker way to get your dropship
business up and running in a matter of days.
Here’s to your success!