07Sep
By: Ruta Ganusauskaite September 07, 2017

If you’re interested in ecommerce, you may have heard about dropshipping. Dropshipping has seen a huge rise in popularity recently, and many entrepreneurs have already found success by running their stores with this business model.

However, dropshipping is still a fairly new concept to many budding entrepreneurs across the globe. We’ve created this article to answer some of the popular questions related to dropshipping, product suppliers, and running an online business in general.

Dropshipping FAQ:


What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model which allows entrepreneurs to run their own online stores without ever managing inventory. When a dropshipper sells a product on their store, they’ll then buy it from their supplier, who will ship it directly to the customer. You can read more about dropshipping here.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business?

If you’ve been wondering how you can start your own dropshipping business, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s relatively simple. In fact, we’ve already wrote an article explaining how you can launch your own dropshipping store in less than 30 minutes.

You’ll need to set up your own store on Shopify, install Oberlo, add products, select a theme, and then you’ll be able to launch your own basic dropshipping business. If you’re looking for products to sell, check out this page.

How Does Dropshipping Work?

Dropshipping is a simple business model. Once a customer places an order from your store, you’ll simply purchase the product from your supplier, and instruct them to ship the product directly to your customers door. You can run your own dropshipping business from anywhere in the world.

Do I Need to Register a Business Entity to Dropship?

You’ll need to register your business once you start to make sales, but there is no rush to do so until you start making sales consistently. This is because the majority of payment providers require you to prove that your business has such credentials.

Keep in mind that business licenses vary from country to country. If you’re running your dropshipping business in the USA, we recommend checking out this article. We recommend that you reach out to a local government representative, or similar local authority, for more information.


Oberlo FAQ:

Is Oberlo Free?

Oberlo’s Starter plan is 100% free, and you’ll be able to use it until you receive 50 orders every month. You can check out Oberlo’s pricing plans here. Also, keep in mind that Oberlo only works with Shopify, which is a paid platform.

Is Oberlo Available in My Country?

Yes! You can use Oberlo to run your own dropshipping store from any country. When you’re running a dropshipping business, your geographical location is irrelevant as you won’t need to worry about holding physical inventory.

Is Oberlo Only Available in English?

At the moment, yes. Oberlo doesn’t have multi-language capabilities right now, so it’s only available in English.

Is Oberlo Only Available on Shopify?

Yes — Oberlo is an app which works exclusively on Shopify’s platform. In light of this, you won’t be able to use Oberlo on any standalone websites, or any other ecommerce platforms.

Can I Use Oberlo With Shopify’s ‘Lite’ Plan?

Yes. Oberlo works with the Shopify Lite plan, which lets you sell products using Buy Buttons that connect with a Shopify checkout.  

Can I Use Oberlo on My Own Website?

Sadly, no. Oberlo is an application which is exclusive to Shopify. This means that you won’t be able to use the application on your own standalone website.

Does Oberlo Take Commission From My Sales?

Oberlo receives commissions from all orders placed on products through Oberlo Supply, and some products from AliExpress. This commission doesn’t affect your sales or profits.

Can I Import Products From Alibaba?

No. With Oberlo, you can only import and sell items from both the Oberlo Supply Marketplace, and AliExpress. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to import products from any other sourcing platforms.

Why Can’t I Log in to Oberlo?

If you have 2 separate Oberlo accounts, it’s best to access Oberlo through Shopify’s ‘Apps’ page. This will ensure that you’re logging into the correct Oberlo account.


Starting Your Online Business FAQ:

What Profit Margins Can I Expect?

The answer to this question highly depends on the types of products which you decent to sell.

If you’re sourcing cheaper products for around $5, you may find success by marking them up 4-5 times, which means that you’d be selling them for $20-$25. However, we don’t recommend this for more expensive products. If, for example, you source a product for $30, we’d suggest that $60 is an appropriate price point.

In general, we recommend that you set your prices at least $10.00 more than the price that you paid to source it — this will help you to generate profit whilst covering marketing expenses, your Shopify subscription, transaction fees, and any other fees that you encounter. If you’re looking for more information about pricing strategies, check out this article.

Another rule of thumb is to check out the prices that your competitors have set for similar products. You can use this as your benchmark. You should always monitor your product prices, and amend them if you think that they’ll improve your conversion rate. You can read more about conversion optimization here.

How Much Money Do I Need to Start a Dropshipping Business With Oberlo?

One of the best things about starting a dropshipping business with Oberlo is that it requires minimal initial funding. However, it’s important that you take into consideration all the expenses which you will incur: Shopify subscription, your marketing budget, and any additional funds you’ll need for your first orders. If you want to purchase a custom domain this will also cost a small fee.

It’s important to note that it’s considerably less expensive to start a dropshipping business than it is to start a standard ecommerce store. You won’t need to source products in bulk, or worry about delivery, so it’s still one of the best ways to run your own online store.

Should I Start With a General Store or a Niche Store?

One of the great things about Oberlo is that you can dropship practically everything, however, we do recommend that beginner entrepreneurs try out a niche store first. There are several advantages to starting out with a niche store: less competition, easier to find your audience, more flexibility, and marketing is much simpler.

How Long Does It Take to Make the First Sale?

The length of time that it takes to make a first sale mostly depends on you. You can get your first sale on your first day, after a month, or after a year. It mostly boils down to the level of success that you find with your marketing activities, the amount of work that you put into your store, and the audience that you target. We have some valuable resources on different marketing channels, and how you can use them to make sales here.

Do Customers Mind About Longer Delivery Times When Dropshipping?

Yes! If you clearly manage your customers’ expectations for shipping times, your customers won’t mind waiting a couple of extra days for their products to arrive. Make sure that you define your shipping policy, and communicate it clearly in your online store.

In addition, we recommend offering free shipping — this will help you to convince customers to make a purchase and they’ll be much more flexible with delivery times. We always recommend that you use ePacket delivery, so your products will be shipped promptly.

How Can I Get My First Sale?

Getting your first sale with a new ecommerce store is a real challenge, no matter how much experience you have as an entrepreneur. Once your store is setup and you’ve launched it, it’s essential that you drive a large amount of traffic to it. There are multiple different ways that you can achieve this.

First, we recommend using free social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post valuable content which encourages viewers to visit your ecommerce store. You can share links to your store on relevant forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities which your target customers use, but do so sparingly — you don’t want to get a bad reputation for your store.

Another great way to attract traffic to your store is with influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals who hold the power to persuade the buying and engagement decisions of certain groups of people (see our post on social proof for more info). If you use influencer marketing, we recommend that you ask influencers who have a similar audience to yours.

You can also use paid marketing channels to drive huge amounts of traffic to your store, like Facebook advertising, or Google AdWords. We recommend that you read up on these platforms before you dive in — you don’t want to waste valuable business funds.

Once you’ve started to draw traffic to your store, the sales will eventually start to happen! After all, every person who visits your store is a potential customer.

Can I Use Product Pictures From My Supplier?

Yes — it’s actually common for dropshipping entrepreneurs to use their supplier’s pictures in their own store. However, we recommend that you remove any logos, watermarks, or brand names from your product images.

We always recommend that you take your own product photography. If you’re interested in taking your own product photos, check out this guide.

Can I Use My Address on the Package Instead of the Supplier’s?

Unfortunately, suppliers don’t currently offer this service. It’s necessary that the supplier’s return address is added onto the package for customs purposes.

How Many Products Should I Import to My Store?

Most of Oberlo’s success stories feature dropshippers who focus on several flagship products in their store. We recommend that you import 10-200 products to your store. This way the customer’s focus will not be scattered, and they can find what they’re interested in. However, you can import up to 10,000 products with Oberlo’s Pro plan, so the maximum number of products you have available in your store is up to you.


Shopify FAQ:

How to Setup a Shopify Store?

If you’re looking to launch your own Shopify store, we suggest that you check out our guide to Shopify dropshipping here. In our Shopify dropshipping guide you’ll find everything you need to launch your own Shopify store.

Can I Sell Products Which Aren’t Imported From AliExpress or Oberlo Supply on Shopify?

Yes. You can fill your Shopify store’s inventory with products which you’ve added yourself AND dropshipped products which you’ve imported via Oberlo. Bare in mind that Oberlo will only work with products which were imported through our app.

 What Do I Do Once I Have Imported Products?

Once you’ve created your store and imported products, you’ll need to select an awesome Shopify theme and then focus on creating a great marketing strategy. We recommend that you use Facebook advertising — it’s a great way for dropshippers to succeed, and you’ll be able to make your store stand out from the crowd.

Can I Start Making Profit in the 14-Day Shopify Trial?

No, you won’t be able to launch your Shopify store while you’re enrolled in Shopify trial.  To take off your storefront password or accept any orders you will need to pick a Shopify plan. Take in consideration that even when you do pick a plan Shopify does not bill you until the trial ends.

Can I Change the Name of My Shopify Store in the Future?

Yes! You can change the name of your Shopify store whenever you want. You can do this by accessing ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Store Details’ on your Shopify account.

Please note that you won’t be able to change your Shopify username, or the ‘.myshopify.com’ URL which you use to login.

  • Connie Wayne Phillips

    Hello. Does Oberlo work with Shopify Lite?

  • Ruta Ganusauskaite

    Hey there Connie,

    Yes, it does! 🙂

  • Alister Justin Antony

    Hi, once I import a product from aliexpress to my store and a consumer orders it, will I need to make a separate order on aliexpress or does oberlo do that for me automatically?

  • Mihai Beffa

    I need to ship a custom product which I designed and can be manufactured by multiple suppliers in China. The final package is 2″ x 3″ x 4″ and it weights 120 grams. How can I find out how much it costs to ship ePacket to a specific country?

  • Rosie Henderson

    Hi. I am wondering something about products I imported from Oberlo. The picture shows a gray sweater, but the description says white. Which description is correct?

  • Ruta Ganusauskaite

    Hey Alister,

    You will need to order that product from the supplier yourself. Our Help Center article explains the whole process in detail: https://help.oberlo.com/orders#how-to-purchase-items-from-suppliers

    Let me know if you need a hand! 😉

  • Ruta Ganusauskaite

    Hello!

    If the product is manufactured by multiple suppliers, you won’t need to use Oberlo – that’s does not count as dropshipping. I recommend contacting your supplier or the courier directly regarding the shipping fees 🙂

    Feel free to get back to me if you have questions on that!

  • Ruta Ganusauskaite

    Hello Rosie,

    You should contact the supplier regarding this.

    If you’re not sure how to do that, our Help Center article covers it in detail: https://help.oberlo.com/other-faqs/how-can-i-contact-a-supplier

    Good luck!

  • phoenix1911

    why someone to buy from your store that is 10-15doll more expensive rather to go direct to AliExrpess?

  • Mihai Beffa

    The product will be made by a single supplier. I was wondering if I can subcontract the shipping myself, using Oberlo, or ask the supplier to do it. I am getting quotes right now. I will have to ship all over the world.

    The first 500+ pieces will be shipped following a succesfull Kickstarter campaign,

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mbeffa/raspberry-pi-mega-io-expansion-card

    but we expect to get future orders from distributors or from our website, and I’d like to know if we could find a single source for shipping using ePacket and how much would cost.

  • Fernando Valle

    How does your return policy works?

  • Gita van Goethem

    Hi Ruta, if the order is being shipped from the manufacturer itself, the packaging etc is theirs too, right? Is there a way to have the packaging (wrapping, adding businesscards etc.) customized to your branding?