If you know anything about eBay, you’ve probably heard about drop shipping. If not, you’re about to. Drop shipping seems like such a simple thing to do, because it’s literally being a middle man. You take the money from the buyer, and you pay the warehouse, and they ship the product to the buyer. You never have to handle the merchandise yourself, and make a profit for your time.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, this can be automated, and I’ve covered this in The Passive-preneur, so I’m not talking too deep about it here. What I’m going to talk about here is my own experiences with eBay and drop shipping.
It’s not easy. Let’s get that out of the way right at the start. You can’t just assume you’re going to post a bunch of items and make a lot of sales. Because it doesn’t happen. I’ve sold some items, but I’ve never invested the time or money into the marketing side of things, and thus have not made anywhere near enough money to say that it’s been worth my time. That said, I know there is the potential for me to. I just haven’t had the need to do it, or the desire. I like to play around with different types of passive income streams, but I only invest in ones I want to have an investment in.
That said, I’m considering investing in drop shipping. I’ve started focusing a bit on a particular niche: Security and Surveillance, because the gadgets are cool, and it fills an actual need in the world. I like to make people feel secure, and safe, so this particular niche suits me. If I don’t make money, that’s fine, because I’ve not spent a ton of money on it ($0.80 currently in listing fees) but if I do make money on it, I might use some of that money to hire a virtual assistant to help me with the process.
I use a drop shipping company that allows you to insert excel spreadsheets of orders and will mass purchase the orders for you. This allows me the ability to hire a virtual assistant to compile these sheets for me, and list new items for me. I could also then put them in charge of a small budget for advertising, and if business became good enough possibly even a small website store. The possibilities are there, but the idea is to focus on a single niche, begin on eBay, build my reputation there, and use that social capital that I build up on eBay to build credibility into my own website, as well as eBay. Once I’m running my own website, I can not only remove part of the VA’s job by automatically compiling the excel files VIA website code, but I can also integrate with my drop shippers API system and automatically place orders.
This allows for automation, but it is not cheap. The API costs money, and I’m not ready to invest in it until I know I have a steady customer base.
This is why you’ll find in The Passive-preneure that I don’t discuss passive income as some get rich quick scheme. That’s bullshit. Passive income isn’t for the feint of heart, and if you think you’re going to jump out of the gate with a million dollars in a year, you’ve been sorely misled.
Stay tuned to see how this little venture works. I’m not investing a lot of time into it just now, but I’ll keep you posted.