So, how successful is dropshipping, really? To sort things out, we looked through some real dropshipping success stories on Reddit, where those with actual experience share gather to drop some knowledge and answer questions about launching their stores and making profit. We included dropshipping success stories in 2019-2020 as well, and not just the recent ones — all to get you a broader idea of how some values remain crucial no matter the year.
Here’s the outcome.
Important: There’s no doubt that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic caused fear and doubt in the community. But here’s the thing: you can absolutely make a dropshipping business profitable using the “new normal” to your advantage. You will find the details in Wang’s Dropshipping Success Story.
Success story #1
It absolutely is possible to be successful in this field without even making it your main activity: one of the best ecommerce dropshipping success stories here proves it. Jacky Chou, with his business partner Albert Liu, launched a home decor dropshipping site on Shopify while still working somewhere else: Chou as a founder of an SEO agency Indexsy, and Albert as a freelance Facebook consultant.
The outcome was impressive:
- going from negative $3k to $250k a month in 8 months at 30-40% margins;
- generating over $700,000 in revenue in less than a year.
So what are the key points of their success story?
- Invest in product research and building a brand/niche store.
“Having multiple products that appeal to the same customer will increase your AOV.”
- Also invest in ads. You’re paying for them to buy data so Facebook and Google can optimize better. Be prepared to lose some money, but don’t fret, and take action.
“Losing money initially on Facebook is almost unavoidable but you have to dive into the data to learn from it. Whether it’s one segment of the audience performing better or one creative doing better, you have to continuously tweak your targeting/creatives/product offering based on the results.”
- Always screen your suppliers for packaging and product quality.
“Better packaging will increase perceived value and help to build trust. Also, make sure suppliers are not putting their own promotions on their products.”
- Even with a lower startup budget, you can still proceed with a dropshipping business.
“You can focus on lower-priced items which should stretch your budget further. Doing some outreach on Instagram also is a low-cost way to generate some traffic initially.”
Success story #2
This user, an owner of a niche online store, delivers one of the dropshipping success stories in 2019 in the form of a concise month-to-month timeline. They are open about the rookie mistakes and overcoming the uncertainties all the way to making $25k a month in revenue with 40% profits.
January. After learning how successful dropshipping was for many entrepreneurs, u/EcomWizard gave it a try. But he went in blind, with no idea what he was doing, and earned just $643.
“Initially, I did a free + shipping offer on a baseball cap and I got some decent sales but lost money because of ad spend. Was using Facebook ads only at the time.”
February. After people began to take an interest in the user’s store, he figured out what items were the most sought-after. He ran single image ads to them, which boosted sales significantly — the profit now was $3,000.
“I also began doing work on SEO this month. That included writing small blog articles, rewriting product descriptions, etc.”
March. The user’s SEO from the prior work started to pick up so he began getting free traffic from Google searches which increased sales. The profit ended up being $6,900.
“I also started an Instagram page to build an audience related to my niche that I occasionally promote products to.“
April. Using a product web crawler, he searched the web for potentially successful products to test, and, indeed, ended up with some winning ones, which increased sales even more. The revenue doubled, showing $13,200.
“I also began running re-targeting Facebook campaigns at this point and learning more about effective advertising.“
May. After discovering a new sub-niche for his store thanks to the web scraper bot results, he started targeting a whole new audience, resulting in more sales. The revenue this month was $18,400.
“I [also] added an upsell app to my store which increased my average order value from $20 to $45.”
June. This month ended up being an important lesson: you can’t afford slacking. The revenue decreased to $15,800 — see the reason below.
“This was largely because I had recently moved and didn’t have a ton of free time to work on the business. Things like being slow to answer customers, not optimizing ads, etc. can all add up to a revenue loss! Totally my fault.“
July. The best month so far — not only because he made up for the previous month’s loss but also because he started to be more daring with ads. The revenue was a whopping $25,000.
“I scaled all my Facebook ads up a ton and it didn’t end up hurting my conversion cost. I also found another “sub-niche” that contained multiple winning products. I think my lesson here was that I was previously too scared to mess with my winning ads, which included scaling. It obviously worked out in my favor when I decided to get out of my comfort zone!“
How to be successful in a dropshipping business: his tips
- “Focus on multiple sources of revenue. I have a lot of sales coming from places like Pinterest, Google searches, my Instagram account, etc. Try not to get caught up in only doing Facebook ads.“
- “If you have a skill, use it. [This will] get you ahead of everyone else who’s doing the same thing. In my case, I’m a programmer and was able to create the product finding bot.“
- “Find profitable niche. 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your products! [Find] that handful of bestsellers that you can rely on to bring you sustainable income. (…) Browse other successful stores to see what they sell.“
- “Don’t be lazy. It takes hard work and thinking outside of the box! (…) Keep pushing forward and the results will be endless. I could easily maintain the business spending 15 minutes a day on it, but it took a lot of hours to get there.“
Success story #3
This dropshipping success story will be the most helpful for those who may feel a little lost and discouraged.
“On the 27.02 I made $145 in a single day. It might not be a lot for most of you, but having in mind that I started dropshipping on the 23rd, I guess it’s a good start. So what did I do?“
- Investing in an Instagram theme page to keep advertisement costs low.
“[In the] long term it will save me more money trying out different products, as I can test those there for free. I could also sell the page again — probably even with a win!”
- Testing different styles of video ads: in this case, 4 varieties. The first one was a regular advertisement video. The second one was a 100% organic post, the third one started as an organic post, changing to the typical ad style in a few seconds, and the fourth was a 100% organic post with product images to swipe. They all performed differently.
“[The ads were] getting reach from around 1’000 to 30’000. (…) First I thought, the organic ads would perform best, but now after a few more days, I found out (at least for my page) that the biggest influence on a post’s performance (and sales of course) is how unique the product is.“
- Turns out, AliExpress was the key to success. The first product from the store that performed well was unique to the local market: you could only find it on Ali. The post featuring it attracted a lot of interest and drove traffic.
“The first 3 products were a complete fail, even though some of the posts reached thousands of people. Those products had in common that you can buy them basically everywhere in your local shops. Then the 4th product [from AliExpress] was my first good one and I made $145 in sales (around $80 profit).”
Success story #4
One of the great AliExpress dropshipping success stories comes from this Reddit user who started the whole journey with a VERY modest budget. He started with investing $148 in Facebook ads, $12 in the domain, and $5 to order 3 products from AliExpress.
“$200 got me my start with no other initial investment. Now I have spent about $8k on Facebook ads to yield that $25k.“
Key points of the success story
- Start a niche brand to stand out.
“I started a niche brand because it’s 10000x easier to target on Facebook ads than it is with a general store, I made my first sell within 8 hours of our first $5 Facebook ad.“
- Put in the time and research.
“Build a clean niche brand, don’t sell junk, sell useful products that can be used daily, and NEVER give up!”
How to start your successful dropshipping business using Ali2Woo plugin?
Now that you got rightfully inspired with the stories of how to be successful with dropshipping, get started! The best option to launch your store is to use a WordPress platform, with the Ali2Woo plugin making the whole process so much easier. It is responsible for dropshipping success stories across the world, including UK, South Africa, India, Australia, and beyond.
Cautious about investing in the paid plugin right away? Just start off by using our free plugin version, and switch to the paid one after your store starts growing!
How to find winning dropshipping products using Product Search Tool?
In many dropshipping success stories, including those mentioned in this post, entrepreneurs mention using product web crawler bots. It’s an incredibly convenient tool that:
- uses web scrapping to go through the entirety of AliExpress
- analyses the data to find the best potentially winning product for your eCommerce dropshipping business
Our Ali2Woo product web crawler is unique and ever-evolving, with dozens of new trendy products being added daily. Try 7 days for free, and check the advantages for yourself!