It took me 7 months, 5,000$ (more or less), and a lot of energy to understand that my passion wasn’t dropshipping. While it’s an exciting business model, it shouldn’t be taken lightly as a way to become a digital nomad.
In this article, I’ll share my lessons and experience with dropshipping in hopes of helping you decide whether it’s the right business model for you.
Whether you’re looking to become a digital nomad or just want to start an online business, I’m here to share my knowledge and tell you why dropshipping isn’t for everyone.
If you’re interested in learning more about the nomadic lifestyle and how it intersects with running a business, you can also check out my article “25 Lessons I Learned About Nomadic Life & Business.”
What is dropshipping?
If you landed here, I’m assuming you have a basic understanding of what dropshipping is – a business model in which the seller doesn’t own or stock the products they’re selling. Instead, you partner with a third-party supplier who manufactures and ships directly to your customers.
Dropshipping is appealing to many aspiring digital nomads because it requires very little upfront investment and allows you to start selling without having to worry about inventory or warehousing.
My Dropshipping Journey: Why I Quit
Two years ago, I dove headfirst into the dropshipping world.
I started with a first course, and from there, I bought an expensive premium program.
I was ALL IN. I wanted to make money – A LOT OF MONEY.
During the premium program, I learned how to open a shop, source products, write a winning copy, and run customer service – Everything you need to open a successful dropshipping store.
However, as I faced challenging tasks and obstacles along the way, my motivation dwindled, replaced by a sense of apathy and despair.
Now, In every project, whether it is to set up a Dropshipping business, open a digital nomad blog, or build a spaceship, there will be challenges and difficulties along the way. (Sorry Elon).
To pass the challenges, you need to have a strong “Why”.
For me, making a lot of money from a dropshipping store that doesn’t give value to someone was not a strong enough “Why”.
That’s why I quit.
In the guide I wrote about becoming an SEO freelancer, I shared more about what motivates me in my current life.
Behind the Scenes of Dropshipping
Behind every successful business, there is a story. A story of hard work, dedication, and passion. Having a dropshipping store is no different. You need to learn how to manage your time as a nomad and how to manage your business.
Here are some of the things you need to consider if you’re thinking of opening a dropshipping store:
Time and Energy Investment:
From researching profitable niches and sourcing reliable suppliers to crafting compelling product descriptions and managing customer inquiries, every step requires meticulous attention and dedication.
Market Research and Competition:
Conduct thorough market research to identify lucrative niches and evaluate the level of competition. Understanding consumer demands, trends, and preferences will help you make informed decisions regarding product selection and marketing strategies. Be prepared to face fierce competition and develop unique selling propositions to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Supplier Reliability and Product Quality:
Your success hinges on the reliability of your suppliers and the quality of the products they provide. Establish strong relationships with trustworthy suppliers to ensure consistent product availability, timely shipping, and high-quality merchandise. Strive for exceptional customer experiences to foster long-term loyalty.
Marketing and Branding:
Creating a compelling brand identity and effective marketing strategies are paramount to attract customers to your dropshipping store. Invest in digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and influencer collaborations. Develop a strong brand presence that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from competitors.
Customer Service and Fulfillment:
Superior customer service is the cornerstone of a successful dropshipping business. Promptly address customer inquiries, provide transparent communication, and ensure smooth order fulfillment and timely shipping. Exceed customer expectations to foster positive reviews and build a reputable brand image.
In addition, it is important to know the challenges and difficult cases that can arise during your dropshipping journey. Here are some possible obstacles you may encounter:
Unresponsive Suppliers: Some suppliers may be slow to respond to inquiries or may not provide adequate support, leading to delays in order fulfillment and customer dissatisfaction.
Product Quality Issues: Occasionally, suppliers may deliver products that don’t meet the expected quality standards. This can result in negative customer reviews and potential returns or refunds.
Inventory Management Challenges: As a drop shipper, you rely on suppliers to manage inventory levels. However, there may be instances where suppliers run out of stock without timely updates, causing delays in fulfilling customer orders.
Shipping Delays: Suppliers may experience shipping delays due to various reasons such as high order volume, customs issues, or unforeseen circumstances. This can lead to extended delivery times and unhappy customers.
Intense Competition: Dropshipping has become a popular business model, resulting in increased competition. It can be challenging to differentiate your store and products from numerous competitors offering similar items.
Customer Service Demand: Providing excellent customer service can be demanding, especially when managing inquiries, order tracking, and potential returns or exchanges. Responding promptly and resolving issues effectively are essential to maintain customer satisfaction.
Payment and Transaction Issues: Problems with payment gateways, transaction errors, or fraudulent orders can disrupt the smooth operation of your dropshipping business. Proper monitoring and security measures are necessary to mitigate these risks.
Currency Exchange and International Transactions: If you deal with suppliers or customers from different countries, currency exchange rates and international transaction fees can impact your profitability and financial management.
Legal and Compliance Considerations: Dropshippers must adhere to relevant laws and regulations related to online commerce, data privacy, advertising, and consumer protection. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to legal issues or fines.
Now, considering the potential challenges of dropshipping, ask yourself:
- Is opening a dropshipping store right for me?
- Is my “why” strong enough to pass the challenges?
- Is this the career path I’m willing to dedicate my time and energy to?
By answering these questions, you can determine whether starting a dropshipping store is the right decision.
The other side
Yes, there are challenges associated with being a digital nomad with a dropshipping business. However, it can also be a rewarding and profitable endeavor that aligns well with the nomadic lifestyle.
The benefits of dropshipping include:
• Low startup costs – You don’t require large capital investments to get started.
• Low risk – You don’t need to commit to purchasing large quantities of products upfront.
• Location independence – You can work from anywhere with an internet connection.
• Flexible hours – You have the freedom to set your own schedule and choose when, where, and how you want to work.
• High-profit margins – Dropshipping has the potential to generate high profits with relatively low overhead costs.
Dropshipping also offers a great way to launch your own e-commerce business without the hassle of managing and storing physical products.
During one of the conferences I attended, I had the pleasure of meeting Danny, a remarkable individual who had embraced the digital nomad lifestyle through his dropshipping business.
As our conversation moved beyond the realm of small talk, I became curious about Danny’s motivations for venturing into dropshipping.
Danny explained that he was in a difficult situation with a lot of debt and desperately needed a solution.
That’s when he discovered dropshipping, which offered him a chance to earn a good income. Determined to change his life, Danny put a lot of hard work and dedication into his business. Over time, his efforts started to pay off.
Danny had a strong “why” – a burning desire to make his life better. As he faced the many challenges of running a dropshipping business, his why kept him motivated and inspired.
I am sharing this story to present different perspectives and give you a fair view.
Starting a successful dropshipping business is possible. But do you have the right motivation and determination to make it happen?
I hope this article has given you a better understanding of dropshipping. If it’s helped you save time and money, and avoid any potential headaches, then I consider this article a success.
Plus, Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions – I’m always happy to help.
Is dropshipping a good business model for digital nomads?
Yes, dropshipping is a great business model for digital nomads. It offers low startup costs, flexible hours, and high-profit margins. However, it’s important to remember that there are also challenges associated with this type of business.
What skills are necessary for dropshipping as a digital nomad?
Skills needed include marketing and advertising, e-commerce management, analytical skills, and problem-solving and communication abilities.
What is the best way to learn about dropshipping?
The best way to learn about dropshipping is to do your research, read books and blogs on the subject, attend conferences and workshops, talk to successful entrepreneurs in the field, experiment with different strategies, and take risks.
- Improve your digital nomad skills
- Become a Digital Nomad
- To be my friend