- Avg. revenue /month$3,447
- Avg. sessions /month4,051
- Avg. profit /month$1,500
Why this business was started
I've always been intrigued by e-commerce and finally decided to start dropshipping around 4 years ago. I've had a few stores over the years, but it was a steep learning curve as I had never done anything like it before. Some of the stores were pretty good - a couple of them fairly seasonal though, so after a few tries I landed on this store as it was not something seasonal that I thought I could grow over time as it felt niched enough that there was a lot that could be done with it.
I took a break from the business for about a year and as a result had no sales - a portion of that the store was closed and then I reopened again leading up to the holiday season in 2019 and stuck with it since then. Over the past 2 months though my time has been consumed with work, which meant I had no extra time to manage my ads or work on scaling. This affected my profits as I wasn't monitoring my ads properly and was making silly decisions. It has become clear to me that I don't have the time, energy, or knowledge to dedicate to making this a success right now.
The reason of selling this business
I just don't have time. I work full-time as a part owner at web agency and that requires an incredibly large amount of my time. When I started this, I just thought it was something fun to do on the side and then as I started to scale, I realize that I was overcommitting myself. The overcommitment is also due to the fact that I never hired any VA's and decided to do all of that myself. I will be sad to see it go, but I know that this store will be a success if I pass it along.
What's involved in running this business
There isn't a ton of work really, other than the advertising, which is arguably the hardest part of any e-commerce business. I was able to run this business while doing my full-time job and was dedicating my mornings to doing it. I would also dedicate my weekends as well, but that was out of desire to learn and experiment and not a direct necessity for the business.
My typical morning would include: check ads, receive previous day spreadsheet from supplier and pay him, check email for any canceled orders or order changes, send new sheet to supplier.
I currently work with an agent out of China. He runs a U.S. warehouse that supplies the products I sell. Over the past 4-5 months we've figured out what sells and he has moved all those into the warehouse. He fronts the cost for putting the product in the U.S. warehouse, he only asks that you try and keep a steady stream of orders coming to him.
There are a few products in this store that sell really well - the supplier has also been working on developing new versions of these products with manufacturers and 2 of the initial designs have been selling fairly well. The nice thing about this arrangement is that these products he's creating aren't readily available to other dropshippers, so it creates less competition. I haven't tried direct advertising on these new products yet, I've only tested out selling them via cross sell, and they've done well.
Generally the customer service hasn't been too bad since moving most of the products to the United States. Prior to that it was just the normal dropshipping inquiries about shipping times. The agent uses DHL to ship from California, so most products arrive in around 5 days to most parts of the U.S. Since the agent also has warehouses in China, it would be easy to open this product up to more markets than just the U.S.
Traffic and Performance
- Avg. revenue /month$3,447Verified
- Avg. sessions /month4,051Verified
- Avg. profit /month$1,500
- Profit Margin8%
- Avg. sales /month530
- Shopify plan
- Shopify apps (some optional)
Physical inventoryNot Included
Logo and branding assetsThe illustrator files for the logo and general marketing material, and any PNG/JPG/GIF files generated from them.
Personal support after saleNot Included
Product photosThe agent/supplier takes photos for me and that's what I use inside the store.
SuppliersHe's an agent that works out of China. We supplies my products to a warehouse in California for products that sell on a regular basis. If you have any products that start selling consistently, he's more than happy to send it to the U.S. warehouse to get you faster shipping. He also works with manufacturers to develop his own line of the products we sell, which gives you an edge as other competition wouldn't have access to these. I have apps that send me Excel sheets every day of the orders from the previous day that I forward to him. You could automate this more by sending the orders directly to his email, but I've just never done this as I liked to be able to review them prior to sending.
How to grow this business
The products in this store sell quite well. There is a lot of cross selling that happens. The store has slowly found its niche and I've removed products as that has happened.
I've been terrible at the backend sales like email marketing. I've dabbled in it a bit but never dedicated any time to it, so it's a massive wasted opportunity considering it's an email list of over 5000 people.
I've also never been strong at Facebook ads, which is currently my only form of advertising. I've slowly been learning over the years about it, but that learning has cost me my profit most of the time - mostly due to following bad advice from "gurus" (there is no shortage of it). A strong understanding of Facebook ads would definitely help. I've also very rarely concentrated on re-marketing as well, which I've been told is also lost money.
I think generally if someone were to take over with a keen sense of FB ads, maybe some other advertising platforms as well, and the ability to do email marketing, this store would flourish. Unfortunately with me right now it's hurting as a result of me having virtually no time to dedicate to it with my other full-time job.
Skills to have
Definitely Facebook ads (or some advertising platform). I've never really paid attention to organic growth though, so that's certainly another avenue to explore. Considering the site has been around for a long time, I don't imagine it would be too hard to optimize this.
I've always done all the marketing material myself using photoshop and illustrator - knowing these is not essential as it's easy to find freelancers for it, but having that knowledge doesn't hurt.
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