Dropshipping – What Is? Complete Guide for 2023

How to Build a Brand That People Will Want to Buy From

No matter what type of product you intend on selling online and whether or not that product is something you created yourself, it is always crucial that you have a strong brand in order to encourage sales.

The aim is not only to get people to want to buy a particular product but also to get them to want to buy that product from you. Why would they come to your site to buy their fitness clothing when they can buy the exact same thing from Amazon? How do you build the trust and familiarity that makes people want to buy from you?

What is a Brand?

It starts by understanding precisely what a brand is – and what it is not. A brand is much more than just a logo and a company name. Instead, your brand is the mission statement that holds your company together and drives you forward. It is the answer to the question:

‘Why do you do what you do?’

This is what a lot of businesses completely misunderstand and that in turn is what prevents them from fulfilling their full potential. If the only objective of your brand is to sell products, then it will be uninspiring and uninteresting and no one will have any particular affiliation with you or interest in buying from you over another seller.

We’ve all been to sites like that: they’re bland, plain and completely devoid of passion.

But now think of the brands that you actually love. They will have a driving motivation behind them and an ethos that you agree with.

Perhaps you like an organic food brand that seems to really care about improving the health of its customers and avoiding anything that will damage their health. Perhaps they want to make the world a cleaner and more eco‐friendly place.

And that makes you want to shop with them. It makes you excited to try out their product recommendations.

Perhaps the brand you love is a weight training brand that’s all about pushing yourself harder and that’s all about grit and determination. If that speaks to you, then you’ll want to wear that logo!

Communicating Your Brand

But it’s one thing to have a real mission statement and passion behind your brand – it’s another thing entirely to communicate that with your audience and to get them to believe you.

So how do you go about doing this and making sure that people really understand what you’re all about?

A good start is to have a logo and a company name that perfectly explains who you are and what you do. This should be designed specifically for a particular target audience. That is to say that you should never try to cater to everyone but rather to cater strongly to a particular person.

The aim is that if someone sees just one of your products or blog posts, combined with your company name and your logo… that alone should be enough to tell them that they’ll love your brand and will want to follow it!

How to Overcome Buyers Remorse and Other Barriers to Sale

One of the biggest things preventing you from making sales of your product, is something called buyer’s remorse. This term basically describes the feeling of deflation that many of us will feel when we splurge and buy something that we probably shouldn’t have. In all likelihood, you will have done it yourself: seen something you want and then spent money on it that you didn’t actually have.

We do this because we are motivated by the emotional promise of the product but then we feel guilty because we realise we didn’t really need it – and our child’s college fund probably did!

But sometimes, this buyer’s remorse can creep in before the buyer has actually clicked ‘buy’. They start to imagine how they’ll feel when they’ve bought the item and they realize that a piece of plastic is not really worth the guilt that will follow.

Your job as a seller is to make sure that they don’t have this realization. So how can you do that? One of the best strategies is to point out how the product is in fact an investment.

Now this can be a financial investment. If this is something that your buyer can use to work, then of course they stand to potentially make more money from it than they actually spent.

More likely though, it will be an investment in terms of the years of pleasure it will gain them. Or because the quality is so good, that they won’t have to replace it for a long time to come.

You can also combat the buyer’s remorse by telling them that they deserve it, or pointing out how important it is that we treat ourselves from time to time. If you can get them on board with this, then you’ll find that it’s a great way to encourage a sale when they were on the fence.

Other Barriers to Sale

What we’ve just discussed here is sometimes referred to as a ‘barrier to sale’. Simply, this means that it is something that is preventing someone from buying when otherwise they probably would have. There are countless other barriers to sale too and you need to consider and combat all of these to make the maximum amount of profit.

One example is trust. A lot of people don’t want to buy because they don’t trust your business or your site. Having a professional design and using a recognized payment gateway will help you get around this to an extent. Better yet, is to try selling something very cheap first. Here, the stakes are low. This means

that you can encourage someone to take the small risk and thereby test your business. When they’ve seen that you deliver, they can then build the courage to place a bigger order!

Another barrier is the time it takes to fill out your order form. This is why Amazon’s ‘Buy With One Click’ is so successful. What can you do to emulate that?

How to Price and Position Your Items to Increase Sales

What determines how well an item sells? Many people think it is the quality of the item. Others think it is the quality of the marketing.

But actually, it’s both those things and lots more. The rather daunting aspect of selling a product is that you need to get everything right and that countless tiny factors are all influencing how well your product sells (or doesn’t) at any given time.

This is good news too though, as it means that at any point, you can probably encourage more sales by tweaking your approach in one area or another.

For example: even changing the way you arrange your items in an ecommerce store can make a big difference to how they sell!

Using Contrast

Contrast is an interesting concept in retail that suggests you should place two items next to each other that have contrasting price points. In other words, place your expensive ties right next to your cheap ties.

Why is this? Because it makes both item look better.

For the expensive ties, being next to the cheaper ties makes them seem more luxurious and premium. What’s more, is that if someone was thinking that they were going to buy the cheap ties, they might notice that the expensive ones are there and that for just a little more money, they could have the very most luxurious line that you stock. They might not initially have been interested in buying a tie for $50. But seeing as it’s only $15 more expensive than the cheap ties, why not bump up the expense and get the very best?

Conversely, this now makes the cheap tie seem like an even better bargain. And if your customer is debating whether or not they should make a purchase, they can use this as a way to convince themselves. ‘Well,’ they might think, ‘at least if I just buy the cheap tie, I will have saved myself some money!’.

Selling One Cheap Item

Something I always recommend is that an ecommerce store sell at least one very cheap item. This is important because when someone shops with you for the first time, they might not fully trust your service

or even how secure your payments are. Thus, they won’t want to spend a large amount of money and risk it not showing up!

But by selling one item very cheaply, you can convince someone to take a risk when there’s not that much money at stake. This way, they can see that you provide a reliable service and hopefully they’ll then be happy to use your business in future for more expensive products!

There are many more strategies like these that you can use to sell products and these vary from bundling products together, to offering limited‐time discounts in order to drive sales. Ultimately though, the take home lesson is that if you want something to sell faster, you might want to think about the way you’re presenting it in your ecommerce store.

How to Take Stunning Photos of Your Physical Products

If you’re selling physical products as a dropshipper, as an affiliate marketer or even as a product manufacturer or designer, then it’s crucial that you understand how to make people really want what you’re selling in order to ship the greatest number of units.

Look at it this way: you can be selling the greatest product in the entire world but if you can’t show your audience that this is the case, then they’re not going to know and they won’t want to order from you!

So how can you make sure that your products look truly glorious on your site? Let’s take a look…

Get a Good Camera and Lighting

The first thing to do is to get a good camera and good lighting. This is absolutely essential as it will make your product look much crisper and it will allow you to create dynamic lighting that casts shadows and generally makes your item look more interesting.

If you’re only going to take a photo a couple of times before selling the same products, then you might not want to make this investment. In that case, try to find a camera and lighting set‐up that you can borrow or even rent. At the very least, your images should be 1080p and you should have enough lighting to create a ‘Rembrandt’ effect where the object is lit from one side.

Consider the Backdrop

Another important consideration is your backdrop. Just sitting your product on your dining table with your floral table cloth is not going to look very professional. Fortunately, creating a backdrop is fairly easy and often just involves painting three sides of a cereal carton black. You can also use this method in order to later crop your image using Photoshop or other imaging editing software.

Another option is to use an area of natural beauty. Placing items in the sun on grass or by streams can look good depending on the item – and this negates the need for lighting.

One more alternative is to use a model. But if you do this, then make sure you pay attention to detail. A manicure for instance will make a big difference for a woman modelling a ring. Just make sure it’s not too patterned so as to end up distracting from the product itself!

Think About Depth and Proportion

When you’re taking a photo with a single subject, such as a product image, it can sometimes be hard to make that item look interesting or dynamic. The solution is to think about your composition by perhaps altering the angle, or perhaps adding other items in that can show proportion. Your key aim here is to make the item look tangible, so that the buyer can imagine reaching out and touching it.

You might also want to pose the item, or think about what its ‘best side’ is. If you’re taking multiple shots, then you might take multiple angles – but try and avoid seams or other aspects that aren’t so attractive.

How to Write Great Copy to Sell a Product

When you’re selling physical products online, your copy will take on a special significance. This is like being a door‐to‐door salesman, except you’re not going to be there in person. This is not to say that your writing can’t still be just as persuasive though and that’s why it’s so important to write something compelling that will draw people in and make them really want to buy from you.

But what you also need to consider, is that the product isn’t there in person either. Your customer can’t pick up the object and rotate it, give it a go… they’re entirely dependent on your words to know what your item is all about and why they should be interested.

So how do you write great content that will shift items? Here are some tips…

Make Them Imagine the Product

One important pointer is to make your audience imagine the product. You need to make it tangible and you need to make up for the fact that they aren’t there in person.

At the same time, this makes the item seem more real and more desirable – especially if you’re using the right type of descriptive language. Watch Steve Jobs give a presentation on old Apple devices and you’ll notice that he often uses this trick himself – telling the audience how the products feel in the hand and what they’re like to touch.

Consider the Value Proposition

What’s also important is to get your audience to consider the value proposition. A value proposition is simply the way in which you are claiming to offer value through your product. That is to say that what you’re selling should be worth more than the sum of its parts and should in some way have a real impact on the lives of your customers.

For example, if you’re selling clothing, then it’s not really about the look or feel of the clothes: it’s about how they make the reader feel. That means that you should talk about how much more confident they’ll be, how much sexier they’ll feel and how much more attention they’ll get from the opposite sex!

Use Social Proof and Stats

People are very easily swayed by social proof. Not only does this act like evidence to back up what you’re saying but it also creates the impression that ‘everyone is talking about’ your product. People want what

other people have and they also like things that they believe in. Reviews and testimonials will help with that.

The same also goes for statistics (9/10 people said they loved our new fabric softener…) and for authority figures.

Create Pressure

Finally, try to create pressure for your reader to buy right away. Recognize that people tend to buy based on emotions and not logic and they’re more likely to do this if there is pressure for them to act fast. You can do this by talking about how your offer is ‘limited time only’, or by making it sound like there are only a few left.

The Big Benefit of Dropshipping Promoting Your Brand

Dropshipping has a huge number of benefits. Perhaps the most obvious is simply that it allows you to sell real, physical products online without having to worry about manufacturing, storage or delivery. It has the advantages of selling an affiliate product or a digital product in this way but you get access to a much bigger list of useful, tangible items.

But that’s not really the biggest benefit of dropshipping. Rather, there is an even bigger and more impressive advantage that comes from using this business model and it’s all to do with your branding…

Why Brands Matter

When you have a strong brand, it means that you have an ethos, a mission statement and a style. It means that when people buy from you, they’ll know what to expect and they’ll feel more confident to do so as a result. If you find a brand you like dealing with, then you’ll always pick them over other options.

Building your brand and reputation is incredibly important then, as it will help you to get repeat business while at the same time bringing more people into the fold. Eventually, a great brand will have loyal fans and this way, they can make money selling practically anything! Today more and more businesses understand this and this is why content marketing has quickly become the most popular form of internet marketing around.

Why You Are Diluting Your Brand

But if you’re currently selling an affiliate product, then you might be unintentionally diluting your brand and damaging your reputation. Right now, you’re encouraging people to buy products through an affiliate link. To do so, they must click the link, go to the site of a product creator, and then buy the item. The product creator will then send that item to them.

The problem with this is firstly that they are leaving your site. If you have a store with multiple items, then it’s unlikely they’re going to come back to browse the rest of the store once they’ve bought the first item.

What’s more, is that the company they actually bought from will be far more memorable than the company that referred them. If they bought through Amazon, then they’ll remember they like dealing with Amazon – not you.

With dropshipping though, the vendor stays out of the way and they never have any dealing with them directly. They order from you and the product arrives.

This creates a strong psychological difference as they now feel as though they’re really buying from you. And if they like the product and experience, they’ll want to buy from you again.

Some companies go even further than this by offering a white label service. This means that they will actually allow you to put your brand on the product: printing it on a previously white label so that your customers think the item belongs to you. Some white label dropshippers will even let you choose what goes into the product if it’s a health supplement for instance!

Top Tips for Starting Your Dropshipping Business

Finding a dropshipping wholesaler is one of the very best forms of business model for those looking to make easy money.

Essentially, dropshipping means that you are selling products and then passing on the details of those sales to wholesalers. They then ship the items out to the people who bought them through you and you share the profit.

This is a nearly flawless system because it means you don’t need to worry about storing the products, about fulfilment or about manufacturing. There’s not even an up‐front investment! At the same time though, the company you’re selling your items through will remain quiet and unseen and you’ll get all the credit for selling the items through your own store.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can go wrong. And it doesn’t mean you should abandon all caution. Here are some tips that will help you ensure your new business venture goes smoothly…

Be Wary of Fake Dropshipping Businesses

There are some companies out there posing as dropshipping companies that aren’t the real deal. These companies will often buy the products from wholesalers and then dropship them to you! That means that you’re paying an inflated price which will hurt your bottom line as well as your turnover.

One thing to be careful of is companies that also sell to the general public. Another warning sign is that the company is asking for a recurring monthly fee. Real companies don’t do this!

Know What to Expect

That said, you may still have to jump through some hoops when setting up with a legitimate partner. One issue is that they might require proof that you’re really a reseller – otherwise they might be worried you’re just a commercial customer looking for the best possible deal.

Something else they might require is a minimum preorder. This is to avoid time‐wasting companies that will do a lot of talking but then never pass on any significant business. This isn’t great if you’re trying to avoid upfront investment but it may be a necessary evil. To avoid having lots of inventory lying around though, ask them if they can use it to set up some credit with their store.

Check the Quality

Never sell products from your site blind! Not only will your customers be unhappy but it can also damage your reputation and prevent them from buying from you again in future. Always ask to see at least one example of the product first that you can check over and speak to a representative about what quality control measures they have in place to avoid problems!

Choose the Right Product

Of course it’s also rather important that you buy the right stock! This will vary depending on your industry of course but a good place to start is by looking for something that solves a simple and concise problem that your customers have. This will be easy for you to communicate and explain, which makes it an ideal place to start if you’re opening up a new store!

Top Ways to Create a Business Selling Physical Products

Selling a physical product has a ton of advantages over selling digital ones. While digital products have their benefits and have their place, nothing quite beats the broad appeal of selling something tangible that people can actually hold in their hands and use.

The problem is that selling a physical product often requires a little more thought than going digital. In this post then, we’ll take a look at some surprisingly easy ways to start a business selling something physical.

Let’s get physical!

Selling Crafts

One option is to sell crafts. If you have the ability to paint, to make jewelry, or to sculpt with clay, then you can turn that hobby into a money making venture – and if you’ve seen the Penny Blossom episode of Big Bang Theory then you’ll already know how this works.

Simply create your product, take some photos for eBay or Etsy, and then sell them! It really is that easy – but make sure that the product you choose is something you can easily make in volume and that doesn’t have high CoGS (Cost of Goods Sold).


Reselling is the oldest business model in the book. All you’re doing here is ordering large volumes of something at a relatively low price (this is called wholesale) and then selling those items off individually at a profit. Reselling is a very effective way to make money but involves a small amount of risk because you have to buy inventory. If you start small though, you can reinvest your profit and thereby create a fairly reliable business model.

Affiliate Marketing

Yes, you can sell physical products as an affiliate. And most people reading this will already know that that means getting commission on sales. The best place to find physical products to sell this way is to go to Amazon, where you can sell pretty much anything you can think of – and through a site that most shoppers will already trust.


Dropshipping is what many people consider to be the ‘ideal’ business model. This basically means you’re buying through wholesalers but you don’t have to put in bulk orders. Better yet, you don’t need to worry about fulfilment because the company will do that for you! All you need to do is to sell the products and then pass the details onto the wholesaler that will sell the product. Best of all, some companies will even stay quiet and allow you to take credit for the manufacturing!

Selling Your Own Product

Finally, you can sell your own mass‐produced product. For most people, this will mean coming up with an idea, creating a 3D model and then going to manufacturers in order to get it made.

There are different options today though. For example, how about creating your own book with POD (Print On Demand) publishing? Or you could use a 3D printer and print out simple plastic items this way.

Today, it’s easier than ever to sell your own physical products. So what are you waiting for?

Why Dropshipping is the Ideal Business Model

No business model is quite perfect. The best model is always going to depend on the goals of the company of course, of your industry and of your resources.

But while this is true, there are certainly some business models out there that come pretty close to being perfect. And probably the best example of this of all is dropshipping. Why is dropshipping so special? Let’s find out…

The Problem With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the route that most internet marketers will take when trying to make money from a blog or a social media channel/mailing list. The idea is simple: they promote someone else’s product and then they get a profit.

The problem is that these products are almost always digital products. In order to get the biggest money, that’s what you need to sell.

While this has big advantages for the manufacturer, it has some significant downsides for you. For starters, the appeal of a digital product is much smaller than that of a physical product. Try and sell a digital product to your Grandma for instance and you won’t likely have much luck. The same goes for trying to sell digital products to your Mum. Probably your Dad. Probably even your friends!

The other big issue with digital products is that you’re sending customers away from your site. They’ll be more likely to remember the company that sold them the product versus the blog that sent them there! And this prevents them from buying multiple items through you.

The Problem With Selling Your Own Product or Reselling

So you could sell your own product, sure. But then you have to manufacture it, spending thousands of dollars and potentially wasting your money if the product isn’t a hit. Many of us don’t have the money or the knowhow to go this route.

So you can resell instead… only this way you still need to take a big risk by spending lots of money on inventory. Then you have to find a way to store all that product and then you have to deliver it and worry about whether it arrives on time or not. It’s a huge amount of admin and not much fun…

Enter Dropshipping

But with dropshipping, what you’re doing is selling a product through your own store as though it were your own item and then letting the wholesaler worry about fulfilment and delivery – as though it were an affiliate product.

This has all the benefits of selling an affiliate product because you can sit back and let the orders roll in without having to do anything. But it also has all the benefits of selling a real product as a reseller or manufacturer – you get to keep your customers on your site and improve your brand awareness, while also selling real, useful products.

Best of all, some companies will even offer ‘white label’ dropshipping services. This means you can actually print your logo on the product and claim it as your own!

Why You Need to Create a Relationship Before You Sell

If you are selling products through a dropshipping business on eBay or if you’re selling a digital product as an affiliate, then it is absolutely crucial that you build a relationship with your potential customers before you try and sell to them.

This is something that a lot of sellers and marketers just don’t understand and ultimately it is to their detriment as they end up missing out on the opportunity to sell. Read on to see exactly what this means and why it is so important…

An Analogy…

The best way to explain this is with an analogy, or two. Imagine for a moment that you see an attractive lady or man at a bar and you want to get to know them a little better. So what you do, is you go up and you ask if they’re come home with you tonight.

What do you think happens next? Most likely you get a firm slap in the face – and this is more than fair enough!

The problem with this approach is that the person doesn’t know you yet. They don’t know what you’re like and if they’re likely to have a good time with you and more importantly – they don’t know if they can trust you! You might be dangerous as far as they’re concerned!

Another scenario is someone trying to sell a watch. Imagine they come up to you in the street holding a watch and ask if you want to buy it for $2,000. What do you say? Again, you’ll probably turn and run. No one would spend that much money on something without knowing anything about it and without having any form of ‘come back’ in case the deal turns sour.

How Businesses Make This Mistake All the Time

Both these examples probably seem absurd to you but this is essentially what many businesses are doing all the time. If you have a website that tries to sell a product as soon as anyone lands on it, then you’re going to drive people away before they have even had a chance to read your site.

They may well be interested in what you’re selling but if they don’t know your brand and they don’t know your product, then they won’t want to buy right away. And if all you’re interested in doing is selling to them with tons of pop‐up ads, then you’re going to drive them off – it will look like spam!

Now consider the alternative approach: they land on your website and they find tons of great content that’s well written, free and informative. This allows the visitor to form a positive opinion of your business and hopefully to become interested in the products you’re mentioning.

And as a result, they’re much more likely to want to buy from you in future. So instead of focussing on making a sale, focus on making a fan. Push them toward a mailing list instead and invite them to come back. That way, the sales will come to you!