What The F*%# Is Dropshipping And Should I Be Doing It?


So, you’ve listened to a few marketing podcasts, read a few business blogs, and are convinced that dropshipping is the golden ticket to your entrepreneurial dreams. But before you start brainstorming witty storefront names, let’s take a closer look at the world of dropshipping and have an honest look at whether or not that ticket truly is golden, or just tin foil.

So what even IS dropshipping?

In simple terms, dropshipping is an e-commerce model where you run an online store without physically stocking any of your products. Instead, whenever a customer makes a purchase, you then order the item directly from a third-party supplier who then ships it to the customer. You never even touch the product.

What are the pros of dropshipping?

  • Low financial risk: Since dropshipping eliminates the need for you to hold inventory, you have no need to buy a product before it sells. With dropshipping, you only buy a product once you’ve made a sale—meaning you will never have stock that you can’t sell.
  • Work from home, cafe, beach, anywhere: In the age where WFH is king, dropshipping businesses are very appealing due to the flexibility of running them. As long as you have an internet connection, you can manage your biz from anywhere in the world.
  • Stock whatever you like: Since you’re not tied to ordering physical stock and moving it, you can offer a wide range of diverse products without the headache of managing a large inventory.
  • Easy to start: Platforms like Shopify have streamlined the dropshipping process, making it easy to set up, run, and manage, even for those without a thorough understanding of e-commerce, business, and the like.

What are the cons of dropshipping?

  • Skinny profit margins: While dropshipping means your outset costs are slim to none, so are the profit margins. Cutthroat competition, a saturated market, and other expenses can really eat into your earnings.
  • Customer service nightmare: Pro: You never hold inventory, Con: You never hold inventory… so how do you know the inventory you’re selling is any good? As the face of your business, you’re responsible for handling customer complaints and issues, even if they stem from a faulty product sent by your supplier.
  • Sloooow shipping: Dropshipping suppliers are notorious for long shipping times, as the products usually come from international suppliers. In the world of instant gratification, your customers may be turned off by your 2-4 week lead times.
  • Saturated market: “Dropshipping seems so easy! So why isn’t everyone doing it?” Well, a lot of them are! And a lot of them are selling identical products, even using identical images from their suppliers. Since you’re not selling unique, original products, you are competing with thousands of brands offering the exact same products — how will yours be different?
  • Unethical manufacturing: It bears importance to note the ethics of many dropshipping products and suppliers. Sure, it may be very appealing to sell a handbag for $50 that you purchased from your supplier for $5, but this deal comes at a significant ethical price — the exploitative and unfair labour practices endured by the people who made that very product. Choose your suppliers cautiously.

Should I start dropshipping in 2024?

Look, we’re not your mum, so we’re not going to tell you what to do (because you STILL haven’t cleaned your room), but here’s a few words of advice:

The decision to dive into dropshipping depends on your risk tolerance, your dedication, and your goals. It’s not a guaranteed shortcut to success like many an entrepreneurial podcast will have you think, and it requires a considerable amount of effort and attention, especially now in such a saturated market.

Would we opt for it ourselves? Probably not.

The early days of setting and forgetting a dropshipping store and making big bucks are over. The oversaturated market means one thing: Even a dropshipping storefront requires a LOT of work, investment of money into marketing, and time spent maintaining your store.

And in our minds? If we’re spending that much time on a business, we’d much prefer to work with a supplier to create unique product/s to sell, market, and be proud of.

Becoming an entrepreneur has never been more accessible. If you have an idea, ecommerce platforms like Shopify make it incredibly easy to get started. And if you need an extra helping hand? Well, we’re always here to help too ????

Well, I want to try dropshipping anyway!

If you’re gung-ho about giving dropshipping a go, here’s some things to consider:

  • Do your best to source ethical suppliers: Your margins may get slimmer, but your impact on the people who craft your materials (and the quality of their work) will be vastly better. A reliable supplier will be the backbone of a successful dropshipping business.
  • Opt for quality over quantity: While it’ll be tempting to stock everything your supplier offers, instead carefully choose a niche that aligns with your interests, market demand, and has room for growth.
  • Be honest with your customers: It’s imperative to be transparent about shipping costs and delivery times. Slow shipping + unexpected fees = unhappy customers + bad brand reputation.
  • Be prepared to become a customer service PRO: When it comes to dropshipping, you MUST be ready to provide excellent customer service. This means addressing inquiries quickly and handling returns, issues, refunds, resend, etc. professionally and with your customer’s best interests at heart.
  • Make sure you’re legally compliant: Yep, it sounds boring, but legal compliance is essential for any business to avoid BIG trouble down the line. Ensure your business complies with all legal requirements, including tax, GST, consumer protection laws, etc.
  • Do NOT skimp on the marketing budget: Since the dropshipping world is so heavily saturated, your branding and marketing are ESSENTIAL. You’ll need to develop a thorough marketing plan, social media strategy, and invest into paid advertising to drive people towards your store. Building brand awareness will be your #1 goal upfront.

Overall, dropshipping can definitely be a viable business model, but it’s also vital to be realistic about all the challenges involved too. As with any business endeavour, you will only get out of it what you put into it. Plus or minus 4 weeks shipping time.

The Bottle Battle:
RIP Frank Green & Long Live Stanley

stanley tumbler

Is it just us, or does it seem like just yesterday that Frank Green water bottles were the undisputed cool kids on the block? In fact, we just wrote a blog wondering why there was such hype around a water bottle. Little did we know what was to come. All 1.2L of it.

Fast forward a year, and the internet has declared a new hydration champion – the massive 1.2L, handle-touting Stanley Quencher Tumblers. It’s not just about staying hydrated anymore; it’s a full-blown Bottle Battle.

As of 2024, Stanleys have dominated TikTok, the #StanleyTumbler hashtag clocking in over 10 million views in just the past few months.

We’re sure many a parent have baulked at the hefty price tag (about $80 in AUD) and asked the question:

What on earth is the hype about Stanley?

As we discussed in our Frank Green blog post, the truth is that it’s more than just a bottle; it’s a symbol, an aspiration, a membership into a lifestyle. In the grand scheme of consumerism, it’s not about the object, but the meaning attached.

The mix of clever branding, finger-on-the-pulse marketing, and influencer-lead social media acclaim only amplifies this allure, turning a mundane item into a canvas for showcasing a clean, responsible, and well-hydrated lifestyle.

Something as simple as a water bottle suddenly becomes a social statement for what type of person you are. And what extravagant budget you have for hydration equipment.

And to add fuel to the marketing fire? An actual fire.

You may have seen it, the TikTok tale of a woman whose car met an explosive fiery demise, yet her Stanley miraculously survived, and on pulling it out of the ashen wreck, it rattled, still full to the brim with ice.

This video alone would have been an accidental viral marketing masterpiece, but the savvy team at Stanley only worked to amplify this virality.

The viral video was quickly stitched by Stanley’s official account, where they pledged to replace her car and showered her with an arsenal of new Stanleys. A feel-good story absolutely peppered with product marketing.

So what about poor Frank?

You’ll be glad to know Frank Green are not suffering too much. As with all mega trends such as the current Stanley craze, too comes the counterculture and contrarians who refuse to buy into trends, instead opting for the alternatives, of which Frank Green bottles now are.

And just as we postulated in our original blog, Frank Green’s excellent branding and brand story are their backbone. Sustainability and ethical manufacturing are two pillars that will never be a passing trend, and are one many people strongly align themselves with; an alignment that transcends TikTok trends.

In the end, the Bottle Battle reveals a deeper truth about our consumer habits and how important branding is when it comes to selling a product.

We’ve got the it-girl Stanley; She’s sleek, she’s trendy, she’s the new must-have accessory to prove you’re wealthy, healthy, and oh-so-hydrated.

Then we have the classic Frank Green. Stylish but not boastful, sturdy but not ugly, the reliable essential that reminds yourself that ultimately, you can be both eco-friendly and cool at the same time.

But ultimately? They’re water bottles. They do the same job, they carry the same liquids. Their branding is where the craze truly stems.

In truth, our obsession with water bottles transcends functionality. It’s about identity, lifestyle, and the narratives we spin around the objects we own. The real question is whether or not you want to spend $80 to spin that fireproof narrative.

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