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Dropshipping: How to Solve the Distance Dilemma

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business idea that stands out from a list of business ideas. It allows third parties display and sell other people’s products at a profit, but sometimes distance can be a challenge.

Perhaps dropshipping as a business idea is new to you. If so, rest assured you’re not alone.

Many people already have an idea or are seeking to know more about this business idea. The following Google Trends chart shows worldwide interest in dropshipping in the last 5 years followed by interest by region.

5 YEAR GOOGLE TRENDS OF DROPSHIPPING

In the last 5 years, worldwide interest in dropshipping business idea increased over 75%.

INTEREST IN DROPSHIPPING BY REGION

Source: Google Trends

Countries or regions marked in blue show areas with interest in dropshipping.

So,

What is Dropshipping?

There are several ecommerce business ideas which allows you display, market and sell other people’s products for free, at your own price.

With dropshipping:

  • You own a retail business,
  • You get products for free,
  • No need for inventory or warehouse,
  • You set your price,
  • There’s a global market,
  • Your suppliers ship and deliver your orders to your customers globally,
  • You can work from home anywhere in the world, and
  • Best of all you can literally start with $0 (with 14 days free Shopify trial).

You’ll need:

  • A business idea or idea about the business,
  • PC, tablet or smartphone,
  • Good internet connection
  • Platform (e.g. Shopify, free for 14 days then starts at $29/mo for basic subscription), plus a one time fee of $14 for domain registration, and
  • Dropshipping automation apps like Oberlo (forever free but limited version available, basic subscription starts at $29.90/mo).

So with roughly $72.90 you can kickstart your dropshipping business idea that costs only $58.90 per month. Profit potential is huge as there are millions of products to choose from and a global market to sell to at your own price.

However, as good a business idea as it sounds dropshippers in places like UAE face a particular challenge. Distance.

Dropshipping: The Distance Dilemma

Most dropshipped products are sourced from China and Hong Kong and can take 8+ weeks to arrive by sea. Many modern day online shoppers simply can’t wait that long.

In the same vein, returning a product and getting a refund/replacement may take another 60+ days! Really, who wants to wait 90+ days for a product? Certainly not Wali who echoes the concern of many shoppers and dropshippers regarding distance and delivery time.

In the following paragraphs we’ll see why this should not be a challenge and exactly what and what to do instead so you can start your dropshipping business idea from anywhere.

The Smart Way to Dropship from Anywhere

ACCEPT: Accept the fact that distance and late delivery are challenges for many shoppers/dropshippers.

IGNORE: Ignore far off countries because of #1 above,and instead focus on other markets. Remember dropshipping allows you sell worldwide.

E-PACKETS: Or you can use e-packets to ship to other countries. E-packet delivery facilitates faster shipping (under certain conditions) to countries like:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France*
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom**
  • United States***
  • Vietnam (currently in a trial run)

PROXIMITY: Identify countries/markets close to China or Hong Kong for quicker deliveries and cheaper shipping (win-win for you and customers). China has land borders with:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Vietnam

You can also expand your coverage to countries near these listed above.

PRODUCT RESEARCH: Some dropshipping business ideas or niches are seasonal. Identify top selling products in countries or regions you’ve selected. AliExpress, Amazon, show number of orders per product.

Read customer feedback and see where they’re writing from, some will state delivery time too.

Use Google Trends to determine regions or countries with high interest in such top selling products.

TEST RUN: Order the product(s) yourself, observe packaging, quality and delivery time. If happy with your findings proceed to #7.

TARGET: Target your marketing efforts e.g Facebook Ads at countries/markets you identified in #4 above.

FEEDBACK: Request feedback from buyers, specifically ask about delivery time.

Doing these will help you implement this business idea and deal with the distance dilemma of dropshipping from or to far off countries.

What do you think?

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