The myths around dropshipping have increased as more and more business owners debate the pros and cons of the business model.
It seems everyone has an opinion, and nine times out of ten, the most vocal have little experience in the field.
While forums and chatter can be a good place for a beginner dropshipper to learn the ropes, some of the content can be damaging.
The last thing you want is to begin your dropshipping journey on the wrong foot due to incorrect “advice”.
So today we will dissect 7 of the biggest dropship myths that get bandied about, so you can decide whether dropshipping is for you.
1. Shoppers have stopped buying from unknown online (dropshipping) stores
Aspiring dropshippers are often put off with the idea that people have stopped buying from smaller eCommerce stores.
The success of Amazon has a lot to answer for this. Yes, the eCommerce behemoth is the place where many people go to buy online, but that’s not to say small, independent eCommerce stores are not thriving.
Shopify, a platform that allows entrepreneurs to build their own web store, is a current Wall Street darling. The company is enjoying record profits. When done right, small online stores are thriving on the platform.
And if trying to compete with Amazon makes you not want to start your dropshipping journey; why not join them.
You can leverage the popularity of the site and sell dropship products directly within Amazon.
The myth that people do not buy from unknown stores online really should be ignored.
2. Dropship Products Can Take Over a Month to Arrive
This myth assumes that all drop ship products take a long time to arrive. While long shipment times can exist on some types of product sourced from China, this is not always the case by any means.
Smaller items can be drop-shipped using ePacket or airmail delivery services and can arrive in a matter of days.
I used to own a dropship store in the watch niche. Ordering to arrival time averaged 5 days with that, (many being delivered in 3 days). The watches were being sourced from Singapore and I was selling in America and Europe.
Admittedly, other bulkier items can take longer. However, the 3-4 week length of delivery time that most drop shipping sites list in the small print, is more a precautionary measure. It is to cover any potential complications.
International shipment times may sometimes reach those levels, however, more often than not, 1-2 weeks is the delivery time you can expect.
This, of course, is if you are using suppliers based in the far east and are dropshipping in the west.
Use local suppliers in the region you are selling and you can reduce delivery times to as little as 48hrs.
- Related Content: Private Label or Standard Dropshipping: Which is Best?
3. Pick the wrong niche and you will fail
Naysayers make a big deal about niche selection. I sometimes feel that the importance of picking the niche is blown out of proportion by dropshippers in order to halt beginners from taking the dive and giving it a go.
While the research stages of your business should see you narrow down on a particular category, (home/garden, DIY, Cooking, etc), the niche itself will not determine your chances of success.
The fact is, every niche has a product that can prove to be a success for your dropship business.
This in turn means that product selection is far more important than your niche. Like every niche, no matter how seemingly specific, will allow you to sell various types of products, it is highly likely that you will be able to list inventory that resonates with your audience so that sales start coming in.
4. You’ll never succeed without Facebook or Google Ads
A very common dropshipping myth is that you have to know your way around the major online advertising platforms in order to succeed.
There’s no denying that many drop shippers do use Facebook and/or Google ads to obtain traffic to their web stores, however, these are by no means your only options.
One of the best ways to get started on a low-budget is to promote your business without pay-per-click ads, (i.e, hold off on the Facebook and Google ads).
Pinterest is excellent for this. You may already enjoy using Pinterest as a shopper. People love the image-sharing site as it can give you ideas on the latest products and trends.
Start your own profile and begin posting lovely images of the products that you are selling.
Sign-up to a free service such as Canva and you can begin building beautiful pins that will get shared and will hopefully start bringing you sales, (it does take time as you have to build a following first).
Instagram is another great platform for posting product pictures. Again, you are probably a user already so the learning curve for using Instagram for your business will not be steep.
Post great images with relevant hashtags so people can find you and your product. Start getting the followers.
Finally, you can also start a blog about your product niche. Create helpful content and guides around what you are selling.
Over time, these articles may well be searched for in Google by your target market. This process involves SEO and organic traffic (i.e free traffic from search engines) and will be another way of building your audience and sales.
By all means, use Facebook and Google paid ads, just don’t get caught up in the myth that they are the main marketing channels you have to use for dropshipping.
5. Dropshipping is for US Markets only
Believing that the US is the only market you can drop to, is a mistake.
Europe is a big market for drop shippers and there are a lot of opportunities there. In fact, you may find less competition if you were to concentrate on a specific European market, making this a wise business move.
However, as we talked about here, there are differences in the approach you should take when targeting countries outside of the US. Namely, language, cultural differences, and overall trends.
However, with the right research, mindset, suppliers, and products your chances of success are good. (Check out our favorite platform for linking with European suppliers and products here).
There are also other markets outside of Europe and the US too. And don’t forget you do not need to live in a certain country in order to drop ship to its citizens.
The important issue is that you need to market your product to your audience in the appropriate manner.
Essentially, best-selling products can be sold anywhere you choose.
- Related Content: Wholesale2b Review – My Experience Starting a Drop Shipping Business
6. Dropshipping Success Stories are Fake
We’ve all seen the youtube videos and landing pages – “How I make $50,000 a week dropshipping...” etc.
Unfortunately, there are too many individuals claiming untold fortunes with their dropshipping enterprises, with a lot of them having little to back it up to other than some dubious graph screenshots and hard-sell video pitches.
However, to think that all success stories are fake or conversely, believe everything you see and hear is a mistake.
Yes, people can genuinely make good money with a successful dropshipping business. However, those people are rarely the ones spouting about it on YouTube.
They are too busy running their successful business.
That being said, it is possible to read genuine accounts of dropshipping success and learn from it. Oberlo has some great interviews and podcasts with entrepreneurs that have created viable dropship businesses.
These are the type of guys you should listen to, not some “guru” trying to sell you an online course.
7. Dropshipping is an easy way to get rich
This is a major myth, and one that those featured in the last point are guilty of encouraging.
In order to sell their wares to budding dropshippers, these people will state that drop shipping is a fast route to riches. They will also create the image that it is a passive, set-it, and forget-it business model.
Just follow their guidance (on that $1000 drop ship master class course) and the money will begin rolling in while you head out to play golf or have coffee with the girls.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. As we have already covered, it is quite possible to make a very comfortable living from dropshipping (getting rich is a gross term that is highly subjective). There are many genuine success stories.
However, it takes time and effort to get all the moving parts in place. It can be a very enjoyable business model that will afford you a great work/life balance. That’s one of the major reasons we do it! 🙂