There are thousands upon thousands of persons throughout the world who regularly engage in the art of selling by mail. A small number of these people work at it full-time. The majority, however, conduct their mail order operations on a part-time basis. While a few buy their merchandise in large wholesale quantities, most depend upon the services of professional dropshippers. You can tap into this lucrative market and provide dropshipping services for the great majority of mail order dealers.
Almost anyone armed with determination and a small amount of business insight can start and operate a successful dropshipping service. Basically, a dropshipper
- Buys merchandise in wholesale quantities.
- Maintains a constant stock of merchandise.
- Fills orders for small mail order dealers.
A dropshipper focuses upon two targets with his business: recruiting new dealers and filling orders. To realize a profit, he needs to sell by volume. He achieves this by enlisting hundreds — even thousands — of dealers to sell his merchandise for him. Whatever the retail price of a product, the dropshipper will usually fill the order on the dealer’s behalf for 50% or less. The dealer also passes on to the shipper the appropriate shipping and handling fees.
A dropshipper expects the dealer to cooperate by providing shipping labels that have already been addressed to the customer and that show the dealer’s name as the return address. The dropshipper will fill the order, apply the shipping label to the package, pay the applicable postage or other shipping charges, and send out the order. Since he has hundreds of orders to fill every day, he must eliminate as much unnecessary work as possible. Thus, the dropshipper must clearly communicate to the dealer all that is expected of him when he submits an order.
Mail order dealers are always looking for reliable dropshippers of quality merchandise. This is why thousands of Dropship Directories are sold every year. If you are willing to dropship orders for other dealers, place your ad in one of the mail order magazines and watch the flood of inquiry letters you receive!
While dropshipping can be a financially rewarding endeavor, most dealers do not become dropshippers themselves. There are several reasons for this:
- They do not have the capital to invest in merchandise.
- They do not want the responsibility.
- They are afraid of the work involved.
However, a dropshipping service can be started on a small scale and built into a thriving business. You owe it to yourself to carefully consider this enterprise.
Not all merchandise can be handled profitably by dropshippers. Successful operations know that they will make the highest profit if they invest in merchandise that:
- Is not available in stores.
- Can be easily replenished when stocks run low.
- Is easy to mail, otherwise shipping costs will turn away customers.
- Is fairly low-priced.
- Offer dealers a large percentage of profit-per-sale.
To give you an idea of what items can be sold successfully by a dropshipper, here is a partial list of products that are currently being sold this way:
- Music Books
- Cassette Lectures
- Fishing Lures
- Baby Items
- Information Directories
- Self-Help Hypnotic Tapes
- Quit Smoking Guides
- Home Study Courses
- Music CDs
- Coin Collection Guides
- Occult Books
- Clip Art Books
- Computer Software
- How-To Folios and Books
- Celebrity Posters
- Gambling Systems
- Baby Items
- Do-It-Yourself Will Forms
- Religious Books
- Zodiac Charts
- Diet Plans
- Health Books
- Personalized Stationery
- Computer Supplies
- Video Tapes
- Custom Automobile Parts
- Sports Memorabilia
If you are planning to set up a dropship business — and are operating with very limited capital — start with only one item, preferably a printed one. Later, as you acquire more money and more experience, you can add new items to your line. If you treat your dealers fairly, they will take on any new items you introduce. They will run ads, print circulars, use direct mail, and many other methods to sell your products. But, never try to sell a product unless you are certain that it fills a basic want or need of many potential buyers.
Let’s imagine that you have purchased 1,000 copies of a new trade directory listing products and manufacturers in China. Your cost is $1 each, and the publisher has assured you that he has another 50,000 copies available. Your initial cost has been $1,000. To realize a good profit, you figure that you must receive at least $5 per copy. This means that you must establish a selling price of at least $10 if you offer your dealers a 50% profit. How do you get dealers to sell it for $10?
Here is one method. Run a classified or small display ad in the leading mail order magazines. Make it read something like this:
All new Trade Directory taps the Chinese market. 1000s of products. Only $10.
(Dealers: Run this ad over your name. We dropship for half! )
Almost immediately you will have dealers pick up your ad and begin advertising it under their own names. You will also get a few orders from the bargain hunters who will buy anything as long as it is half price. If you run the ad month after month, you will continually acquire new dealers to sell it for you.
You can also prepare a sales letter describing your dropship offer and mail it to a list of small mail order dealers. If you can enclose camera ready ads or circulars that they can reproduce, you will make even more sales. The more services and help you can provide for your prospective dealers, the more money you will make. If you give good, honest service, some of your dealers will stay with you for many years. And every time you introduce a new product, they will jump on the bandwagon and help you sell it!
Another way to sell your product is to prepare full-page circulars for dealers to include in their mailings. You can provide a single, clean, crisp master circular onto which the dealer can type his name and address and produce copies. If your product is low-priced, you could make a lot of sales using nothing but half-page circulars. However, most dealers use full-page circulars since they can be produced quickly and inexpensively on a high-speed photocopier.
If you choose to offer these circulars to your dealers in quantity at a low price, you could imprint your dealer’s ad on one side of the circular and your own non-conflicting ad on the reverse side. For example, let your dealer sell the China Trade Directory and you sell another book on establishing a home business.
Remember, to be successful as a mail order dropshipper, you must:
- Handle fast-selling, low cost merchandise. There should be a high mark-up on it, and it should be readily available to you in large quantities.
- Constantly recruit new dealers to sell for you. Advertise in mail order magazines regularly. This marks you as a reliable source of supply.
- Provide your dealers with quality selling tools. If necessary, pay a typesetter to prepare eye-catching camera-ready ads and circulars that your dealers can reprint.
- Fill your orders promptly. If you have every order in the mail within 24 hours, your repeat business will zoom!
- Handle complaints immediately and fairly. If necessary, give the dealer or customer the benefit of the doubt. You may lose a dollar now and then, but in the long run, you will benefit!
- Don’t get lazy. Remember, your competitors are working, too! Keep your dealers (and your pocketbook) happy by adding new products from time to time.
Do that…and dealers will start selling your products for you!