During my years of doing dropshipping I’ve met countless people who wanted to make money online and build a lifestyle business where they can travel the world and work from their laptop. Of all of those people, I can count only a handful who really made it a reality. These people are self starters who actively search for other sources of income or who have turned selling on eBay into their main revenue source. But what about becoming a millionaire from ecommerce or making $30,000 a month? I know it sounds far fetched but in this post I will introduce you to three exceptional individuals who are the embodiment of dropshipping success stories.
Meet Irwin Dominguez from San Diego who within 8 months made $1,000,000 in profit as a dropshipper.
What drove Irwin to e-commerce entrepreneurship as a dropshipper ?
Dominguez happen to have a very good friend who was bringing in large amounts of cash on a monthly basis as a dropshipper. Irwin had no clue how to start dropshipping but he figured he would give it a try since he felt he had more to gain than to lose. He started by doing three simple things:
- He learned about e-commerce using Google
- He opened a Shopify account
- He started using Oberlo which is a platform which helps you import dropshipped products into your ecommerce store and ship them directly to your customer
What was Irwin doing before dropshipping and how did he make his first sale ?
Before becoming a dropshipping success story, Dominguez was a local marketing consultant helping small businesses increase online traffic. The skills he acquired through this job no doubt helped him succeed in his new online venture.
He made his first sale using Facebook ads which he says ate into most of his profit but was well worth the investment in order to jumpstart his business. He swears by advertising on Facebook and says he owes most of his success to this form of marketing though he stresses that business owners must learn over time how to balance the cost of Facebook ads with profit margins.
Let’s talk numbers – what is Dominguez’s revenue per day
On his best day of e-commerce, Irwin pulled in a cool $30,000 and on average pulls in $10,000 a day though he says he is trying to increase these numbers. He talks about finding a niche product but that at some point you have tapped most of your target market so you need to find new products in the same niche (learn how we found the perfect niche) or move on to a different niche entirely.
What recommendations can you give to aspiring dropshippers ?
Kate is not making millions like some other dropshippers but I decided to write about her since I think her business story and strategy contain great actionable insights for dropshippers across the board.
Who is kate and what is her background ?
Kate works for Aliexpress’s e-commerce department creating and testing promotion strategy for dropshipping stores. But kate knew nothing about dropshiping just three years ago when she started working for Aliexpress – before that she worked as a journalist and as a saleswoman at an offline gift store.
What type of ecommerce store did Kate create ?
Kate decided to create a dropshipping store using anime (roughly: Japanese comics) theme based on research she did which told her that there was a lot of interest in this niche. Her logic says that many dropshippers can make money by pooling different items from a variety of dropshippers based on a common theme and thus create a dedicated shopping base.
What is your strategy for finding successful products to dropship ?
- Offer a large variety – Kate says that even when she got to 100 products in her store’s inventory it wasn’t enough to quench fan’s thirst.
- New products – You constantly need to add new products, kate says. Don’t just look at ‘Best Sellers’ on Aliexpress or eBay, also look at the ‘new arrivals’ and you will often find your next top selling products.
- Duplicate and modify – Constantly check which products are selling best and which are not. Try and get rid of the items which are unpopular and import more items similar to the successful ones in order to generate more sales.
How do you learn about your target audience?
Google Analytics – Kate uses google analytics to find out crucial information about her customer base such as age, gender and country. Since she now knows that most of her customers are young men from developing countries she tries to keep prices low in order to move more merchandise.
Targeted Facebook advertising campaigns – Kate says Facebook is also an integral platform both for advertising and data collection. Facebook and google complete and complement each other.
Tell us some more about how you promote your dropshipping store on the internet ?
- Instagram – The store’s Instagram account currently has 1,851,910 impressions, 81,000, 8,272 posts and has an ever growing fan base.
Kate used a variety of simple methods to achieve these astounding results including:
- Writing an appealing bio
- Analyzing the most popular hashtags
- Experimenting with different post formats
- Using Instagram Ads
2. Facebook – On Facebook the store is also very popular with 34,000+ followers – the main tactic is providing high quality content and attracting buyers and visitors vis-a-vis Facebook ads.
- Content Marketing –
This includes writing original content or rewriting original content which is related to the product and publishing this on the store blog and on Facebook. This is a great way to engage people and get them interested in your product in an indirect way.
- Google Shopping –
This is a semi – automated option and generates 300 sales on average per month. When someone searches for something related to the product, in this case anime, a picture of some products and prices appear in the google search.
How successful is your dropshipping business ?
The numbers talk for themselves – as of October 2017 Kate’s dropshipping business had 922 orders and $32,000:
Note the conversion rate which is 1.31%, this is a standard conversion rate for eCommerce sales so there’s a lot of opportunity to improve here, as you’ve probably read already, we increased our eBay conversion rate by 220% by optimizing our eBay listings.
How did these guys get started in dropshipping and what were they doing before ?
Before becoming successful dropshipping entrepreneurs, these guys were professional poker players in the Vegas like city of Macau. Like so many others, they had heard of friends who were making big bucks and wanted in on the action.
What challenges did these guys face ?
Towards the beginning they really struggled to find the correct product and the correct market. They failed at the beginning, trying to sell 20-30 different items. “Creativity and perseverance are key to success”, they both say.
They started selling Jewellery in June 2016 but did not end up even breaking even but they did learn many things such as the need to target specific audiences by country.
Chay and Galvin don’t really have a niche – they sell products that seem to be in demand or try selling products that are new on the market (you may remember the post we wrote about what to sell on eBay, these guys are implementing some of the best practices)
How did they promote and develop their business ?
These guys swear by Facebook ads and say that this was hands down the best marketing tool at their disposal. They say that it is super user friendly and any information or skills they lacked were easily enough found in online tutorials.
The pair also recommends networking and sitting down with friends and family who are involved in e-commerce in order to exchange and improve ideas (you’re welcome to read some of our eBay selling advice and how to boost eBay sales to get ideas for your eBay business).
What do you love about running a successful dropshipping company ?
Chay and Galvin love the most obvious and envious things – the income and the freedom. Now that they are totally independent they have a large source of income and they get to decide when they work and when they don’t. For most people in the workforce this sounds nothing short of a magical dream.
What is your highest sales record and what advice do you have for new entrepreneurs ?
Their record is 5 figures in one day and they hope to make it to six figures.
As far as advice for new entrepreneurs – always add new products (learn more about finding the best things to sell on eBay)! This will keep your business fresh and customers coming back. They say that the risks of adding new products pay off in the long run.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, Thomas Edison once famously said. All in all there are many dropshipping success stories but also people who have failed. Failure lays the foundations for success and we can learn from both experiences. I hope this post gave you some insights into how to better start or run your dropshipping business – I would love to hear your stories and experiences with dropshipping below.