How Dropshippers REALLY Make Money

If you’re thinking about pursuing dropshipping as a business model—and you want to make money—it’s critical to understand what actually goes into making a dropshipping business successful. 

Most of what you’ll find online about dropshipping only markets the lifestyle: dropshippers sitting on the beach, flying business class, and driving expensive cars. However, many people don’t realize what’s happening behind the scenes. 

While it’s completely possible to achieve multiple streams of income, travel the world, and work on your own terms, you have to be willing to truly do the hard work. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking dropshipping is all about minimal effort with maximum reward, when in fact, it takes commitment, dedication, and strategic thinking to make a dropshipping business thrive.

As nice as it would be to press a magic button and make a lucrative living dropshipping, at the end of the day it’s all about being willing to put in the boring work (and doing what other people aren’t willing to do). 

This article will walk you through the top four things you need to do to make money as a dropshipper:

#1) Be Consistent and Persistent 

One of the most important things you can do to become a high-earning dropshipper is to consistently and persistently follow-up with top-tier suppliers in your niche. In order to do this, you should look for: 

  • At least 20 potential brands to sell for 
  • High-quality brands that will attract customers
  • Suppliers that have domestic warehouses (relative to where you do business)

Once you’ve identified who you want to purchase your products from, it’s time to start reaching out. As you begin this process, you’ll quickly realize that not everyone is going to want to sell to you, and that rejection is a big part of running a fledgling business. 

The key here is to continue reaching out, following up, and not letting these (normal) challenges impact your business strategy. Many people who are new to the business will make the following mistakes when they don’t get the results they want right away: 

All of these mistakes stem from people wanting to take the easy route, and not wanting to do the tough, boring, and often disheartening work it takes to build a profitable business. 

If you’re serious about making money dropshipping, you have to keep reaching out to suppliers, whether that means making 20 calls or 100. Finding the right suppliers and becoming an authorized seller will make your business more well-rounded, attract better customers, and set your business up for a long and prosperous future. 

It’s also important to recognize that this process never ends—even if you’ve been dropshipping for years. While it’s not going to get any less boring or more exciting, it’s worth it once you see the value it brings to your business.

#2) Upload Your Products Properly 

Once you get approved by suppliers, the next step is to put time, effort, and care into uploading the products you’re selling. You might be uploading 300 products or 3,000, but the same attention to detail needs to go into uploading every single one.

This process is undeniably tedious, labor intensive, and often frustrating, but it has to be done correctly in order for your store to make money. As tempting as it may be to be lazy or careless as you carry out this process, it’s essential to pay close attention to this step.

reasons customers leave ecommerce site

Here’s a few things you should focus on when uploading your products:

  • Error-free products descriptions 
  • Quality products images
  • Optimized content
  • Logical organization and grouping

Taking the time to do this can mean the difference between a customer clicking ‘purchase’ or navigating away from your page when they visit your store. Customers will notice sloppy work, and you don’t want to lose a sale because you didn’t want to put in the effort.

#3) Talk to Your Customers

The value of engaging with your customers can’t be understated, especially when you’re first getting started. Not only will this help you foster customer loyalty and drive repeat business, but it's also a way to find areas where you can improve operations. 

The first thing you should do is respond to emails in a timely manner. Once again, this can be laborious. However, it will help build your brand, expand your network, and increase your credibility. 

customer loyalty and retention

Next, you need to ask for reviews—even if you think you’re doing a bad job. It’s all too common for people to hide from their customers, but oftentimes a negative review can be more helpful than a positive one. Getting honest feedback can help you identify what’s going right in your business, as well as what’s going wrong.

Responding to live chats, listing a phone number on your site, and actually taking phone calls are also good ways to build relationships with your customers and boost your store’s reputation. 

In the early stages of the process, this is going to take up a lot of your time. The good news is that once you start reaping the benefits, you’ll be able to outsource this type of work, and eventually put in fewer hours. The bad news is there’s no way to by-pass the process in the beginning, and trying to take shortcuts won’t get you anywhere.

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that as you grow your store and start selling more expensive items, the volume of inquiries will naturally go down (while your profits go up).

#4) Do the Work 

The most important thing you can do is remember that dropshipping is not a lifestyle, it's a business—and running a business takes work. This might sound obvious, but it’s a fact that many people neglect or forget.

The people who make real money dropshipping are putting in the hours. Even if you see them leading luxurious and glamorous lifestyles on their YouTube videos, when they aren’t filming, they’re handling the nitty-gritty.

Unfortunately, there’s no magical way to start making a profit. However, following the steps above and committing to working hard is a foolproof way to achieve your goals. Whether your goal is to drive a Lamborghini to the beach in Miami, or to invest your money into an index fund and retire early, you won’t get there without doing the work.

  • Hi there, I've been following uou and your blogs and it has all been very helpful as I am in the process of setting up my dropshipping store. I ride horses for a living so I opened an equine tack & apparel store as for horse shows and everyday riding we need certain gear & apparel. I am in the process of trying to find U.S suppliers as top quality tack & apparel is a necessity in the equine world. The only U.S dropshipper I've found that carries equestrian products is TopDawg, everything else is from China & garbage. How can I find equine U.S dropship suppliers? I've Googled everything I can think of and have found nothing….any advice is truly appreciated! Thank you, Fallon

  • I want to know where can I get suppliers for furniture dropshipping? And sell them wordwide

  • How do we go about handling all this while working full-time, especially when it comes to calling suppliers and communication with customer service?

  • Anton Kraly says:

    Hey Everyone,

    As many of you already know I created Drop Ship Lifestyle after selling a network of eCommerce stores and then trying to find a community of other store owners to network with… What I found was a bunch of scammers who promised newbies they would get rich quick by following their push-button systems!

    This led me to create a new community along with an online training program that shares how to build a REAL online business.

    I’d love to hear what you think… it’s a 2.5-hour training designed to help you drop ship profitably… all for free.

    Be sure to click here to check it out and send me your feedback!

    If you go through the “How To Start & Grow A Hyper-Profitable Online Store” webinar and still have questions just contact me and I will help you out.

  • LATONJA HILL says:

    Hello how many drop shippers do you need when finding products

    • If you’re referring to suppliers – I recommend finding at least 20 per store when doing your initial market research.

      • Anton Kraly says:

        I recommend finding at least 2-3 “future competitors” (online-only stores) that meet a specific traffic rank to make sure the niche is already validated.

  • I have a question please. If I work full time in a job where I can’t just pick up the phone or respond immediately to a live chat, how do I get around the communication required with customers in the early stages of building a business?

    • Drop Ship Lifestyle says:

      You can look into hiring a VA for when you’re unavailable. This isn’t an issue that you’re going to face often though.

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