Heard about drop shipping and wondering whether you can start dropshipping your own products?
This article will teach you everything you need to know.
So go make yourself a coffee, get comfortable and lets get into it!
What is Dropshipping and How Does it Differ From Regular E-Commerce?
Dropshipping is a business model where the seller sells products on a webshop that they don’t actually own themselves.
Compared to the conventional e-commerce business model where sellers purchase inventory upfront, drop shippers can start risk-free and with minimal budget.
So how does this work?
Drop shippers use a supplier (or multiple suppliers) fulfill products for them.
Once a product is purchased from their webshop, they simply buy the product from their supplier and ship it directly to the customers’ address.
Here’s a quick illustrated example:
A customer purchases a watch from your store for $200. You then purchase the bought watch from your supplier for $50 and they ship the product directly to your customer.
You keep the $150 difference you made on the sale.
The customer is happy with their purchase, you are happy with the money you made and your supplier is happy to have you generate sales for them.
This business model differs widely from conventional e-commerce where sellers have to purchase goods upfront and take a risk on inventory.
Let’s look at the pros and cons for a minute.
Pros of Drop Shipping Your Own Products
- You don’t have to take a risk and purchase inventory upfront, if your business model fails, you can move on without throwing money away
- You have minimal start-up costs. Conventional e-commerce sellers usually have quite a bit of money invested in their inventory, shipping, and production costs. Drop shippers only have to pay for advertising and hosting.
- You can sell internationally. Conventional e-commerce sellers are quickly bound to their national market as international shipping fees get ridiculously expensive and complicated. By taking on a dropshipping supplier, you don’t have to worry about any of this and can enjoy affordable shipping worldwide.
- Dropshipping is easy to start up. Starting an e-commerce business is not easy. There is A LOT of things you have to take care of beforehand. For example, you need to figure out who you’re going to buy inventory from, how you will get it to your address as cheaply as possible, and how you’ll handle shipping from your own house or warehouse. On top of that, you have to manage your inventory and make sure everything is running smoothly. As a dropshippers though, all of this is done for you.
- Dropshipping saves time. Imagine having to package 20 orders a day and ship them out. This would take up multiple hours of work if you’re doing it yourself. When you’re dropshipping though, fulfilling 20 orders can be done at the click of a button!
- You can sell just about everything. Anything you can think of, you can find a dropshipping supplier for that product. Even high-ticket products that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
- You can scale high. Using paid advertising, you can scale your business as high as you want by constantly increasing your budget as your sales increase.
Cons of Drop Shipping Your Own Products
- Products are quickly saturated. There are many people dropshipping these days due to the wide amount of attention the business model gets. This has led to certain obvious products (found on AliExpress) quickly becoming saturated due to the increasingly growing competition amongst dropshippers.
- Long shipping times. Selling to an international market using international dropshipping suppliers has its flaws, such as slow shipping times. Especially when using cheap dropshipping suppliers from countries like China, your customers may have to wait a while to receive their packages.
- You have little control. Since you aren’t managing inventory, you have little control over the entire fulfillment process. This means you can’t perform quality control, you won’t know for sure if your supplier is shipping out your packages as quickly as they tell you, and so on.
Can You Drop Ship Your Own Products?
Now when you’re dropshipping, you aren’t actually drop shipping your OWN products. You are dropshipping products that belong to external dropshipping suppliers.
If that’s what you’re looking for, you can easily do so by following our complete Dropshipping guide.
Complete Shopify Dropshipping Guide
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If you want to drop ship your OWN products though, you will have to go through a process called private labeling.
This is where you hire a manufacturer to create a product for you and you alone.
This product can then by drop shipped by using a 3PL (third party logistics) service to take care of fulfillment for you.
Or you can simply use an all-in-one private labeling service like uDroppy to handle both private labeling and drop shipping for you.
Next to private labeling, you also have a process called white labeling.
White labeling is when you put your branding on an existing product in the market.
Both come with advantages and disadvantages which I’ve covered in my article white label vs private label dropshipping.
Both private labeling and white labeling will require MOQs (minimum order quantities) and up front investments.
Alternative to Dropshipping and Private Labeling: Print on Demand
Conventional dropshipping (dropshipping products owned by suppliers) and dropshipping your own products through private/white labeling have some flaws.
With the first business model (dropshipping) you are limited in branding options and the second model requires up a bigger upfront investment, which in turn brings risks with it.
But what if I told you you could drop ship your OWN product without having to pay upfront?
This can be achieved through the wonderful world of print on demand dropshipping.
Quickly explained, this is a dropshipping business model where your supplier is also your printing partner.
Basically, they will print any design you want, on their products.
And they will do so on demand, hence the name ‘print on demand’.
Meaning you don’t have to pay for this up front.
They only start printing once a customer has already purchased from you, and only then do they charge you.
This same printing partner will also handle shipping directly to your customers’ address.
On top of that, the package (depending on the print provider) will also contain your logo, something that isn’t possible with conventional drop shipping.
Print on demand creates a lot of opportunity to start drop shipping your own products, without risk or investment and is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in dropshipping, eCommerce and starting your own brand.
Interested? Our complete print on demand guide will help you get set up.
Why Start Drop Shipping Your Own Products?
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times already, conventional drop shipping is very saturated.
Especially when new dropshippers start looking at AliExpress and other Chinese dropshipping suppliers.
These products are heavily drop shipped and the competition can be very steep.
When dropshipping your own products, you are eliminating that aspect of the business model.
With private labeling you can bring an entirely new product to the market.
With white labeling, you can turn an existing product into your own.
And with print on demand, you can put your own products (e.g. t-shirts, yoga mats, leggings, …) on the market while still maintaining the low-startup dropshipping business model.
Competition aside though, who doesn’t want to start selling their own products?
Re-selling products is one thing, selling products that are completely yours bring a whole new level of satisfaction.
Hopefully, this article has taught you how you can start dropshipping your own products through a variety of methods. Here they are listed once more:
- Dropshipping your own products through private labeling
- Dropshipping your own products through white labeling
- Dropshipping your own products through print on demand
My recommendation? Check out print on demand dropshipping, you won’t be disappointed.