There are a lot of myths about dropshipping out there. These dropshipping myths can leave people feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and disappointed once they take action. In this article, we’re going to debunk the dropshipping myths and lay out all the facts so that you know what you’re actually signing up for. So let’s find out if dropshipping is right for you.
1. You’ll Get Rich Quick Dropshipping
The most popular dropshipping myth is that you’ll get rich quick. There are tons of YouTubers making false promises so that they can sell you their course, earn affiliate commissions, and make money off of you. At Oberlo, all of our content (even our best stuff) is free. Why? So that you can succeed. If you really want to take an online course to learn you should check out Shopify’s free dropshipping course.
So how long does it take to get rich quick with dropshipping? Well, with my most successful store – and keep in mind, this came after a handful of failures – I only made $1,659.70 my first month. It’s a pretty decent side hustle income but it wasn’t enough for me to quit my 9 to 5 job. In that first month, I had stumbled across my winning product but struggled to scale my ads to generate more income. I literally asked the Founder of Oberlo, Tomas Slimas (we were a lot smaller back then), for help with scaling my Facebook Ads. And even after following his advice, it would take months before I felt like I was succeeding. By my 10th month, my store made $76,515.21 in revenue. Dropshipping allows us to live comfortable lives, but we didn’t become millionaires doing it. Though a hard-working few do.
2. Everyone Succeeds Dropshipping
It’s true that anyone can start a dropshipping business. But it takes a special kind of person to succeed doing it. There’s actually an underlying personality trait difference between the success stories and failure stories too. Those who succeed focused on the process rather than the outcome of their success. By focusing on the process, you’ll patiently take the time to experiment, try various marketing channels, and test different products. However, if you’re outcome-focused, you’ll be wildly disappointed when your first few ads fail, which will lead you to giving up before the process-focused folks.
If you want to succeed as a dropshipper, stop obsessing over your lack of money. You need to have a clear mind to make great decisions so you can make money online. Your negative self-talk might actually be what pushes you further away from what you’re trying to accomplish.
3. No One Buys From Unknown Dropshipping Stores
“Why would someone buy from me, they’ve never even heard of my brand?” Because they saw a product on your website and want to buy it. I’ve been in the ecommerce space for about six years, I literally can’t name 1% of the online stores out there in the world. There’s simply too many. Does that mean it’s too competitive? Nope, just means that there are a heck of a lot of niches, interests, and products that you can sell.
I am currently planning my wedding, and I had never heard of most of the online store I’ve bought wedding items from until I landed on their website. How did I find them? Pinterest, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, and forums on wedding websites. Did I regret my purchase? Not at all. I received all my products in a timely manner and was happy with the quality.
The point I want to emphasize is that what you sell is more important than who is selling it. No one thinks twice about the seller, all they want is to receive the product they saw promoted.
4. Dropshipping Requires Facebook Ads Knowledge
A popular dropshipping myth is that you need to be an advertising expert. When I first started selling online in 2013, I had some Facebook Ads converting at about three to five cents a click. Facebook has changed a lot since then. They’ve removed lots of targeting options, and ad prices are more competitive than ever. While many still can and do succeed with Facebook’s ad platform, it’s definitely not the only way to make money online.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can promote your business on Pinterest for free by adding your own photos to the website. Pinterest tends to group similar looking photos together so avoid using product photos you didn’t take, free stock photos, or the exact Canva template with no modifications. By having your own custom photos, you can attract more customers without your competitors pictures showing up.
You can also make money on Instagram by posting product pictures and using relevant hashtags so people can find your product and gain Instagram followers.
But the biggest way to make sales for free is by writing SEO optimized content on your website. You probably won’t be able to optimize most individual product pages. However, with a niche blog on your website you can attract relevant visitors who may buy your products or subscribe to your email list so you can remarket to them.
So while Facebook can help you make immediate sales on your store, there are other options that are just as impactful and more cost-effective.
5. You Can Only Dropship from the US or to the US
Dropshipping allows you to ship to anywhere in the world and from anywhere in the world. If you live in Africa, you can sell products to any country – from Canada down to Australia. Most people focus on the United States because it has a massive population of 328 million people. It’s the third most populated country in the world after China and India.
But you don’t need to sell to populated countries only. One of my best performing adsreceived multiple sales from a small country called Jersey. I remember getting confused and asking myself why Facebook think Jersey’s a country when it’s a state. Best-selling products can sell almost anywhere on the planet. And all you need to do is make sure customers in other countries find your product (through ads, search, or social) so that you can sell to them too.
6. It Takes Months for Customers to Receive Dropshipped Products
I always hear stories about how shipping takes too long for dropshipped stores. However, having bought multiple dropshipping products online as a consumer and a store owner, I’ve noticed that the “It takes a month to ship” dropshipping myths aren’t even close to the truth.
For one of my online stores, I noticed it took, on average, about a week or so to arrive. People still didn’t believe me so I went on AliExpress, ordered products online, took screenshots, and the products arrived before the estimated period. You can check out the screenshots from the I Ordered Product Samples from AliExpress. And This Is What I Got article, where you can also see the condition the products arrived in. You can see in the photo below that the products were ordered April 27th and arrived May 8th.
7. Dropshipping is Dead
Dropshipping is a business model, not a fad. It’s been around for ages and isn’t going anywhere. Dropshipping on AliExpress may change, people may find other platforms where they can find trending products to sell online.
However, dropshipping itself is simply a business model where you can sell goods to a consumer while the manufacturer stores, packages, and ships to your customers on your behalf. Why is this business model sure to last? The cost of buying bulk inventory is too high for new entrepreneurs. So, dropshipping is a safer and more cost-efficient way to run a business. And since it’s more attractive to entrepreneurs, it becomes more enticing for manufacturers.
8. Your Dropshipping Niche Matters
People will tell you that your niche matters, but it’s really not that big of a deal making it a dropshipping myth. The products you sell matter much more. While I was running a yoga store, I added a beach blanket because I thought it might do well. And it did. It became our highest performing product of all time, bringing in a six-figure number in sales. The connection between a beach blanket and yoga isn’t too far removed, but it isn’t that closely aligned either.
People will discourage you from creating a general store. And if your goal is to build a blog and drive relevant traffic, having a general store can be a bad idea. For example, if your focus is on an SEO strategy, you probably want to focus on creating content around yoga for your yoga store so you can build up an audience. However, if your marketing strategy uses ads or social media marketing, you can add products that go beyond a singular focus niche to find success. Fashion stores can cater to men, women, and children while also adding jewelry, accessories, shoes, lingerie, and other verticals while still being relevant enough to succeed as a fashion store.
9. Dropshipping Success Stories Are Fake
Back when I first started working for Oberlo years ago, we actually did include links to the stores featured in our success stories. However, people would copy their ads verbatim, steal their product copy, and start selling their products. I experienced this a bit myself when someone stole my exact brand name, only adding the word “shop” to the end and copying my exact marketing strategy.
We wanted a way to share entrepreneurs’ wins so that more dropshippers could succeed without tarnishing the business of a successful merchant. That’s why we don’t always link to merchants’ stores. Sure, sometimes we do, but either way, the stories are real, the stores do exist, and the marketing strategies work. We’ve been working to showcase a range of different stories so you can see what the possibilities are and become your own success story rather than modeling yourself after someone else completely.
10. Dropshipping is Easy
A common dropshipping myth is that if you build a store and create a single ad, customers will flock to your store. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way. Most of the time when someone asks me to review their store I can tell that they’ve never built a store before. Their stores are almost always incomplete with placeholder text, missing images, and mismatched colors. If your hope is to create an online store in 30 minutes, you might end up wildly disappointed by your lack of sales.
The more effort you put into choosing your products, designing your store, and marketing products to customers, the more money you’ll make long-term. People mistakenly think that it’s easy because they see the end result. However, before the big payday, there’s months of experimentation, failure, more experimentation, and more failure that you’re not seeing.
Dropshipping is a great way to make money online. But it requires patience and hard work. Ultimately, the more you experiment the closer you’ll get to achieving your own success. It won’t be easy and there’ll be a lot for you to learn. However, dropshipping is here to stay. And with the ability to sell from anywhere to everywhere, you can find great products that customers are excited to buy.