John Murphy, the CEO of eBike Generation believes that anyone can establish their own unique online dropshipping business only if they remain steady, dedicated, and are strongly willing to face the struggles bang on!
Next in our series on Ecommerce Superstars, let’s listen to John’s dropshipping success story and find out if it is true that he has made thousands of dollars in a single day. Over to you John.
“Yes, I’ve made $12,650 in just one day with dropshipping!” says John Murphy.
I began my dropshipping business while I was working as a full-time employee at General Electric. I was intrigued to do something that I can call my own and get rid of the devastating 9 to 5 job. Therefore, I took out time to brainstorm and plan exactly what I can do with the resources I have in hand.
How It All Started?
While I was working as a Financial Analyst in 2017, I discovered dropshipping and immediately began to experiment with it. I was lacking investment so I began to research as much as I could and read numerous articles to gain in-depth knowledge of the industry.
My Secret to Success!
I focused on making my dropshipping model as fairly simple as possible. Now, with little to no maintenance, only an hour or two a day is all that I need to give to my online business. It is indeed a great investment, simply because I can sell my online store later for 20 to 30 times more than my monthly profit.
How I Got the Ball Rolling?
To begin with, I created an online store using an easy-to-use ecommerce platform. I researched about reliable ebike manufacturers, contacted them, and showed interest in reselling their products. Within no time, we came up with agreements and I was selling their ebikes on my store.
Since then, whenever I receive an order, I place it with my respective ebike supplier at the wholesale price and resell it to my customer at a retail price. The manufacturer then ships the ebike directly to my customer and I don’t have to worry about warehousing.
Why I Chose Dropshipping?
What caught my attention in the first place became the reason behind why I went for the dropshipping model. I didn’t need to purchase inventory upfront! I place an order only after making a sale on my online store which allowed my startup capital to be virtually zero.
I never had to manage shipping and the customer gets their desired product at home. The cherry on top? Even I was managing everything online from my comfort zone.
The dropshipping business model if executed correctly, can scale your online store with great earnings. That too with little maintenance. Regardless of its perks, I would strongly advise you to research your niche as much as you can before getting into the business.
Scaling Further: From $12.5K/Month to $12.5K/Day
After putting in serious time and effort, I am now making $12.6k in eight hours. Sounds too good to be true? Well, believe me, it is nothing but the truth!
Today, I am scaling myself significantly month after month and I genuinely believe that 2018 is going to be my year where I break my own record in sales.
I was making serious money and everything was going great. However, deep down, I also wanted to play a vital role and contribute to the world with something positive. Therefore, I decided to work with a niche that focuses on green energy. And when I did, I began to donate a portion of every sale to a non-profit organization that is geared towards renewable energy. Feels great!
Niche Selection Is The Key
Initially, I had to find a niche that makes money. During my research, I found out that there were numerous stores dealing in various niches. I opted for ebikes simply because there were more or less only about 40 stores that were selling ebikes. Hence, I refined my niche criteria and here’s what I’d suggest you keep in mind:
If there are a few dozen stores that are selling similar products, then it is going to be quite tough for you to compete within that niche. You will only be carving out a profit from that respective market.
On contrary, if there are little to no stores in a particular niche, it is better to choose another niche. Manufacturers and vendors prefer working with tried and tested products. Although the profit margin can be higher in uncommon niches, then so is the risk.
How I Identified A Profitable Niche?
To find a profitable niche, I made the following checklist:
I Asked Myself; Is the Product Heavy?
If a product is heavy in weight, it’s shipping fee would obviously be higher. And, if I am providing free shipping, then I will have to pay for the shipping from my own pocket, which could result in a significant cut from my profit margin. So I avoided heavy products!
What Price Range Shall I Offer?
If the product I am selling costs $20 and my profit margin is $4, how many items do I need to sell to make a living that I dreamt of? Lots of them!
If I sell a product that costs $2,000, I can safely keep a $400 profit margin or even more. All I need to do is make a few sales every month to profit significantly. This will also allow me to enjoy fewer interactions with manufacturers and customers.
Words on Competition
If there are a dozen sellers already selling the same product, it becomes harder to compete. What is the point in smaller profits when I am putting in so much effort?
If there are little to no stores at all in any particular niche that I am interested in, I changed my niche in that case. Such niches or products already proved themselves not to be a good fit for the dropshipping model. You will not find any manufactures willing to work with you either.
With Great Technical Products Comes Great Complexity
Technically complex products require expert customer support. Many times, customers are not able to understand the product properly and contact you for explanations. That takes out a lot of time that could’ve been spent productively to scale the business. That shouldn’t be the way, time is money in the dropshipping business!
A profitable product is something that is selling online already, but is not readily available everywhere. Despite the weight, as long as it is easy to ship with a little fee, I am good to go!
Remember, a profitable product demands a lot of research. Keeping an eye of the cheapest rates offered by courier companies will allow me to enjoy higher profits.
Marketing Strategy to Dropship Products
Marketing became my primary focus and I began to use Google and Facebook Ads since they are quite evident as the best online marketing tools. However, it will be costly if ad campaigns are not designed to scale. I strongly believe that with some learning and mentoring, ad campaigns can be cracked to bag in greater profits from your online store.
Nonetheless, I do not solely rely on marketing tools. I also spend a significant amount of time on online forums to help my potential customers complete their buyer’s journey.
Which Countries Shall I Market In?
Although I was living in Italy, I targeted the US market simply because it was ripe, working, and was providing positive results to many dropshippers around the world. Apart from the US, Canada, Australia and the UK are also potentially good markets.
You should analyze your data, for instance, the number of visitors from any country to find out where are your potential leads are coming from and whether or not, your niche can provide profitable results in their country.
Advertising Platforms for Dropshipping
I mainly advertise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Every day I keep on learning more and more about these social media platforms and how I can leverage them to my advantage.
Initial Dropshipping Challenges
Challenges are rare but they do occur when there is a problem with the product. As a ‘middleman’, I cannot control how fast the manufacturer can ship the product or in what state it is being delivered.
At one time, one of my customers reported that his ebike was damaged when he received it. This is part of the game, there are steps to rectify such situations. One of the reasons for such incidents is that as a dropshipper, I have to strongly rely on the manufacturers to be as customer oriented as I am.
Hence, this is precisely why you should always choose your manufacturers carefully. Such issues can be resolved swiftly with the assistance of the manufacturer and the customer gets to enjoy a good customer service.
Dropshipping Tips for Newbies
All I can say is:
It’s Not a Get-Rich-Quick-Scheme
If you’re in it to make a fortune overnight, forget it! Dropshipping is not a quick way of getting rich. The difficulty not only begins when you’re finding a niche, but it also takes great dedication to maintain your store. Once your store is up and running, sales won’t just magically appear. You will realize very quickly that you’re just getting started.
Learn Everything That Helps Your Business
You need to learn and be vigilant about SEO, Adwords, website optimization, email marketing, customer service and of course, you need to have the market knowledge of what you are selling, otherwise, kiss your success bye-bye.
There are dozens of online courses out there that can teach you how to operate these marketing tools. They’re not difficult, as long as you are motivated.
Get Mentors That Could Help You Succeed
I happily pay yearly fees to gain access to such courses and scale my business. Besides such courses, what is more important is to have an access to the guy who conducts them.
I learned quickly that my most vital key to success will be a good mentor.
Without a good coach, I would have remained in the dark and would have spent thousands of dollars on an ineffective ad campaigns. All my hard work would have flushed down the drain. This is where many give up and fail instead of hiring a mentor who understands the game well and can assist you in achieving your goals.
Getting into the dropshipping business is no biggie, however, it requires a lot of time and attention, at least during its teething stage. Once you have the essentials set up, it is then only a matter of monitoring whether everything is in accordance.
I have said this before and I will say it again, do your research before you begin your online store. You can also hire virtual assistants if you want, however, there is no need during the initial stage. Once your ball gets rolling, feel free to automate things to your advantage.
Get to know more about CEO eBike Generation John Murphy by reaching him on LinkedIn.
Note: We are accepting submissions for our ecommerce success story series. If you are a successful ecommerce store or a flourishing dropshipping business, then drop us a line.
I'm a full time corporate employee for General Electric living in a small Italian town on the coast of Liguria but I've been aspiring to become a location independent entrepreneur, and with a passion for climate change eBike Generation is the best of both worlds as I promote using renewable energy and eBike Generation donates a portion of each sale to ACORE (American Council On Renewable Energy) so morally I sleep well at night. I plan to grow my business and make it my full time venture and keep growing.
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