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Llama and MaryJane's venture into dropshipping from Alibaba [Can we quit our 9-5s?]

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by llamaslayer, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Hi guys!

    I have recently be looking into more conventional methods of making money, but with the help of knowledge I've gained here at BHW. This is to say that I am trying my hand at starting a dropshipping/wholesale e-commerce store via products I can find on Alibaba and Aliexpress. I have heard many, many bad things about those sites, but also many good things obviously there are countless companies that make it work, or else they wouldn't exist.

    I actually started this journey around 2 weeks ago when I started brainstorming for product ideas, but I came up dry. One night a friend (MaryJane) was over and we were talking about a mutual friend of ours having more money than sense and realized he had just bought an accessory for his vehicle that was the perfect balance between profit margin and something that we are genuinely interested in, allowing us to believe in the product we might/would be selling. The two of us are working together to try and get this business off the ground as of right now. We are young, but idealistic and aim to have some sort of our own success. The two of us have found that we dislike working under someone else, even in things we enjoy, but me having had success via Adsense in the past is the proof that we both need to make something like this work.

    This thread will allow a way to keep myself and MaryJane accountable for what we are working toward and also allow us to share positive experiences with the community here at BHW. I know that Journey threads have helped me to try new things in the past, so hopefully I can help others to do the same thing.

    Part 1

    We have already found and ordered our first test product from a supplier on Alibaba. I talked at lenght with the lady from the company and tried to do the very best I could to figure out if they were legit or not. They had good all around reviews, so I ponied up the first $200 and went for it.

    The product has arrived today and I am waiting to get off of work to go see and test the product. I have never been so excited about something.
    I am really excited to figure out what to do next.

    I have also got our website up and online, although we do not have any products on the site, yet. I want time for the site to get indexed and a few weeks aged, get a few products in hand and take strong photos of them to post on the site, and then do some SEO. Can't forget my roots :)

    Talk to you guys soon!

    [Part 1 recap: -$200]

     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. nanavlad

    nanavlad Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great to see a thread about drop shipping
    I have so many questions
    I hope you give a detailed review of the good and the bad experiences

    One question
    Where you charged import taxes at point of entry, and will you pay for the drop shippong
    will you need ro repackage the items
    Sorry more the one question
    Best of luck on your journey
     
  3. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for the encouragement! I am more than willing to take the time to write out what I find. I will definitely explain what I find with the product itself later today. Feel free to ask any questions. No question is a dumb question, because this is all of us learning together.

    We actually were not charged any taxes as far as I know. If we were, the supplier paid for it, because I definitely didn't. The item came into the US via Anchorage, Alaska and then came all the way down to the deep south, where I am. We do indeed pay for the shipping no matter what, but the cost of each unit goes down significantly when we order more 1 at a time. Shipping also goes down, but only by a couple percent instead of massive chunks like the products themselves do.

    As far as dropshipping goes, the supplier will dropship for us, no matter the quantity which is a huge plus. One thing I don't want to do is provide customers the tracking number we are provided, because then they can see it will originate from China, instead of our location... Anyone know a way around this?
    What's also really nice is the supplier will brand the boxes if we order at least 5 at a time, so we thought about ordering 5 at a time and just losing a little bit of profit to look more legit. Haven't quite decided on that yet.

    Yeah, we might have to repackaged the item for the time being, but that isn't really a big concern at the moment.

    Thanks nanavlad!
     
  4. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Hi guys, back with an update on the item I got today. It arrived straight from the factory as I expected, but with Chinese shipping labels and stuff. Obviously those are needed to get the item out of the country, but how do dropship this to someone without them seeing that sort of thing? People might believe I sent them some cheap heap if they get that on their box.

    As far as the item itself goes, it is exactly what was described and works perfectly. My only fear is how long it will last. I only tested it in a temporary situation today, but plan to install it permanently on Friday or Saturday of this week. This one is for me :) haha. So far, I am extremely excited.

    My next step is to get another one and find a means to sell it. I was thinking eBay might be the best way to do it at first to get a feel for prices and how quickly they move, but I'd rather start populating my own store and have people coming directly to my site to associate with our new brand.
    Any suggestions?
     
  5. VinceC

    VinceC Elite Member

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    not to hijack this thread, but if you happen want to import things from Singapore, hit me up. I recently into impex and also negotiating with some China counterparts. And good luck in your venture. Import Export is a HUGE biz.

    I tried many drop shippers in China and also Aliexpress and their service sucks. Not to mentioned the wrong name, address and spelling. Also many than often the products arrived after 1st trial were very bad in condition.

    So my advice to u is to find a fast moving products in your area, import in bulk either by visiting the country of origins yourslf or products sourcing agent, and then do the postage yourself. This will ensure long run in your biz.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  6. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. So far, I am pretty happy with the item I got. I didn't really consider the next batch being poor, as you said, but that's a risk I am personally willing to take. If that's the case, I can try a different supplier or try to dispute the transaction in some way.
    Also, I appreciate the offer for the shipping services, and I've already got two people offering the same thing. I don't know what that means exactly, though
     
  7. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Some exciting news, MaryJane has been trying to spread our brand via word of mouth and there are already people who say they will buy products, friends and friend of friends, etc.
    MaryJane is suggesting we get stickers and things like that. Probably going to jump on this, it'll be relatively cheap and its free advertisement after that
     
  8. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Not real developments over the last few days, we aren't quite sure how to sell our first few products. The Chinese sellers are already on eBay and are selling the product for the price we bought it at. We can try our own site, but traffic is extremely minimal at this point and people don't yet know of our brand. Any ideas?
     
  9. VinceC

    VinceC Elite Member

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    Facebook? Amazon? These 2 are great sites for establishing your biz. Offline? Selling thru local stores by means of consignment also a good way to see how well the product is selling.
     
  10. jdgrinder

    jdgrinder Junior Member

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    Hi LLamaslayer,
    I just recently got in eBay/e-commerce. I been selling laptops and desktops on eBay. I have had success but trying to find a way scale up. I will be subscribing to this thread and wish you the best of luck. I've look into alibaba but can't figure it out yet. The stuff I have found I can make a small profit but would have to buy like x500 to make any real money. Looking forward to your journey.