Episode 5

How to Monetize a Facebook Group

Six figures of revenue with $0 spent on advertising? Yes, please! A pair of dropshippers from Utah, Mandie and Aubrey, joined us to explain how they’ve made six figures of revenue without spending a dime on advertising. The secret? Their Facebook group, which they’ve used to launch not one, but two successful businesses. They talk about how they keep their ad budget at $0, and how they get customers to keep coming back – even the ones who know their products are coming straight out of China.

You can read more about Mandie and Aubrey on the Oberlo blog.

If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at podcast@oberlo.com

Start Yours is a podcast about what it's like to start a business.

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Transcript


David: Now Facebook has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years and some of those changes haven’t been great for ecommerce stores. It’s gotten more expensive to advertise. There’s more competition than ever. But Facebook also introduced some algorithm changes that theoretically impacted the reach of businesses like yours, businesses that thrive on community and organic engagement. The idea, according to Facebook, was that they wanted people to see more posts from family and friends, which they like to call “time well spent” instead of stuff from brands. And so I’m curious if you felt the effects of those changes, and if so, how you went about getting around those? 

Aubrey: We definitely have. I think one of the things we noticed makes the biggest difference is organic engagement. We’ll make a post in our Facebook group, you know those silly little “name your favorite coffee drink” or just a silly little one word answer type thing and we’ll put those in the post every now and then and just start getting a conversation going. It has nothing to do with selling, it has nothing to with…

Mandie: People just love to give their opinions.

Aubrey: Yeah, and getting that engagement, we’ve noticed we’ll get our posts into their feed a lot more.

Mandie: They’re viewed a lot more. If you look on our analytics on our end, the most viewed posts, they always end up being those stupid engagement posts that we do, like one that we did recently was, “Peanut butter and grape jelly, or strawberry jam? Comment to vote.” And people will just fight to the death over that in the comment section. It’s great for us because, yeah, we’re just sitting there with our popcorn, watching it all go down. 

Aubrey: And we have noticed we’ll run a deal on something or we’ll do something… We run deals every week, that’s kind of our model, is we open a deal on Tuesday, close it on Sunday, and the deal’s open for that time. And we would sometimes get comments of, “Oh my Gosh, you ran this last week. I never saw it. I didn’t see it, and it was in my feed, I didn’t… I’ve got to check in on the Facebook group.” So one other thing we started is we have a thread essentially where each week, we delete all the items in the thread and then re-upload that week’s items.

Mandie: It’s like a URL comment to the post link.

Aubrey: Yeah, and we tell our members in our Facebook group, “Follow this thread. Go click up in the corner. Turn on notifications. Follow it.” That way, every time we post in the thread, they get a notification. It works pretty well, but the engagement is really… That’s what we’ve noticed the best thing to get in people’s feeds, to stay… the content relevant, I guess and keep them further…

Mandie: Yeah, because Facebook shows you what they think you wanna look at. So if you’re reacting to posts and commenting then that’s helpful.

Aubrey: Yeah.

David: And so it’s posts that don’t have much of anything…

Mandie: They’re not really relevant, just to get people to comment.

Aubrey: When we make those posts and they comment, then they end up seeing more from our Facebook group when we do post the sale items. The more they comment in the Facebook group itself, the more the group postings show up in their feed.

David: You mentioned that the origin of the Facebook group was you invited some friends and then they invited some friends, and it kind of…

Mandie: Just snowballed.

David: Snowballed. At what point were you able to break out of your connections and then random people started joining? 

Finding success in business through Facebook groups

Mandie: It was pretty quick.

Aubrey: It was quick. I think our first big push, we started the Facebook group, I believe it was some time around…

Mandie: It was like April of ’17…

Aubrey: April, May of 2017, and then later that fall, we did a giveaway. It was one of our more popular items…

Mandie: Yeah, it’s like a $50 worth… That was the value we placed on it… a straightener, hair straightener…

Aubrey: Yeah, hair straightener. And we just were like, “Hey, we have an extra one, we’ll give it away. Invite your friends.” And I think just with that one giveaway, I think we went from 2,000 or 3,000 to 8,000 in a week…

Mandie: Something like that.

David: Wow.

Aubrey: It was incredibly quick.

Mandie: It was several thousand from one hair straightener. People went nuts inviting their friends because we said, “Oh, you get one entry for every friend you invite.” And some people just went through their friend list and just… They love giveaways.

Aubrey: We still do giveaways every now and then… just items we have on hand or things we had extra or things like that. And it always boosts our numbers every time.

Mandie: It’s never been so popular as that one though.

David: That’s the reigning champion.

Aubrey: That’s was the big push into… In fact, that was the turning point into…

Mandie: We were both like, “What the heck?”

Aubrey: That giveaway is what pushed us into moving into a dropshipping model because…

Mandie: Something had to change.

Aubrey: Yeah, going from maybe 50 orders to a product to 500 orders on a product, and we just could not coordinate that many people.

Mandie: As nice as the money was, we were like, “I need to sleep. I miss my kids.”

Aubrey: And that also obviously got people around the country a lot more than just our local county, which it originally was. Really centrally located customers and that got us… We had nation-wide people in the Facebook group, and still do.

David: And so at some point, do you feel like the Facebook group that you established was big enough? Because I think that the psyche for a lot of people is more, more, more, it needs to keep growing, it has to keep growing. But did you reach some sort of critical mass where you were able to exhale? Or are you also in that camp where it’s like let’s…

Mandie: Well, once we got the Shopify store and started dropshipping, that was when we were like, “Okay, we can manage this. We can handle it,” because we used to do maybe one deal every two weeks, if that, just because we were so just…

Aubrey: Inundated.

Mandie: Yeah, with orders, we couldn’t keep up with it and then now we do three, four, five a week just because we can.

Aubrey: We have the ability to do so many more products and we’ve done it long enough that we have certain products that we know always sell. Our original model was six products a week, we would always take those products down and do six new or sometimes repeat, but change them every single week, and we’ve gotten enough products now that there are some that we just keep on there because they keep selling…

Mandie: People keep buying them…

Aubrey: So why take it down.

Mandie: Yeah, people will jump on the website because they liked one thing that we ordered and then they’ll just start exploring other options. And yeah.

David: You talked about making the switch from wholesale and moving over to Oberlo and Shopify and that was kind of a revelation in terms of scaling. What were the nuts and bolts of how you were running that business? 

Mandie: Spreadsheets. And manually checking…

Aubrey: It was making a Google Doc, every item, so not even for the whole week, but we’re selling this product, okay, we make a Google Doc, people submit their orders, they have to pay us over Venmo or PayPal… Sorry, yeah, Google form. They have to pay us over Venmo and then through the week that the item ran, we would have to manually check our Venmo or PayPal every day kinda go through the spreadsheet compare it to…

Mandie: Or if you were smart like me you wait until the last minute and do it all at once and really feel sad.

Benefits of moving to a dropshipping model

Aubrey: And the hard part about that also was people would submit an order, forget to pay, and then at the end of the week, we were trying to track them down, “Hey, did you still want this? You didn’t pay.” Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. It was across the board, it was just a time waste. It was great when there were maybe 15, 20 people ordering, but once it got big, we just couldn’t keep up with it.

Mandie: Yeah, it’s almost like we didn’t want more sales, which is a horrible business model. Please, no more. Don’t buy more.

David: So do you have any horror stories from the days when you were using Google forms? 

Mandie: Do we ever. I’ve sent so many apologetic emails. It’s not even funny. “I’m so sorry. I’m just one person and I got it wrong.” And there are just mistakes that you make without even noticing.

Aubrey: Our homes were filled with inventory constantly. We had just products all the time, and we were sitting… We would have to set pick up times for the members who live locally who wanted to pick up, so it would be, “Okay, you can come on Thursday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and then we’d have to…

Mandie: As soon as I get home from work.

Aubrey: We had to stay home and answer the door and our families hated it and hated us.

Mandie: It was every mail carrier, just, “Not this house again.” A giant box of crap.

Aubrey: We had kind of tried to somewhat automate the pick-up process. We had lockers at our house and we would schedule people to have lockers.

Mandie: So they could come any time in 24 hours.

Aubrey: A much dumbed down version of the Amazon Locker system. But even still it was…

Mandie: Have our own little post office right at our house.

Aubrey: Yeah, it was a nightmare once it got too big. There was everything that… Anything that could go wrong has I think at that point.

Mandie: I think I made more mistakes probably than Aubrey did. Just like I said, she’s better with organization and stuff. But oh, it was so hard for me to keep everything straight. Even with my lists and everything, and I would try to do stuff in my head to save time and… Surprise, it did not save time because I would just get it wrong a lot and the order would get there and I’m like, “Oh shoot, that is what I ordered… Only, I’m short six of these or whatever.” Because when you’re up late doing the math and stuff too, you’re short on sleep and just… Ugh, it was so hard.

David: Yeah, pretty much a waste.

Aubrey: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. We also had… We’d say in the Facebook group that you had to pick up your items within four weeks of arrival, that was kind of our standard. We tried to stick to it, but people obviously would get really upset if we got rid of their items that they had paid for, but we had people that would not come pick up. We’d send them emails and message them on Facebook and remind them over and over… Six months, a year. We had someone call us after a year and say, “I bought this item from you, when can I pick up?” And it was like…

Mandie: A year ago? 

David: Last November, yeah.

Mandie: We got rid of that, sorry.

David: You mentioned recruiting, Aubrey, and it’s interesting because most dropshippers start out solo and more often than not, they would stay that way. A lot of people are drawn to this because it’s something that gets them out of the office, gets rid of their boss, they don’t have to sync with colleagues. So I think for a lot of people, there’s the independence of it or the potential to be going solo is awesome about dropshipping. And you all, as far as I can tell, are definitely a team. So you don’t do the solo method. So I’m curious, if you kinda talk about what you’ve seen the benefits or the challenges of having this as a dual operation.

Mandie: I would hate doing it solo. No offense.

Aubrey: I think what the reason it works for us is because we both play to our strengths and we both play to what we’re good at. Mandie loves sourcing products. She loves shopping so to speak, and looking for things and she’s constantly saying, “Oh, I like this, what do you think about this? What do think about that?” And I’m happy to give my input, but…

Mandie: She always starts her messages, “Sorry for being like a Debbie Downer. I’m sorry to be negative.” I’m like, “No, it’s why I like you. I need it.”

Aubrey: Yeah, I’m definitely more the making sure customer services, everything is going well and that if we have any problems with sellers that we’re communicating that way.

Mandie: I hate all of that. Sucks the life out of me. I just can’t.

Aubrey: She’s the creative one, I’m the straight forward…

Mandie: Smart one. If people out there are skilled in both of those areas, then great, good for them. But I knew that as much as I could accomplish by myself, there would be more money for both of us if, even split 50/50, because we were just capable of doing more together than we were separate.

Aubrey: When I think a lot of it too, where we both still have full-time jobs, and we’ve talked often about, “Hey, should we quit our full-time jobs? We really could do this and sustain our lifestyle, should we do that?” And there are factors with both of our jobs that make us right now maybe not a good time to quit, but I think with having the not so much available time as someone who really is doing this for the point of getting out of the office, they want this to be their livelihood where that’s not our focus right now. We have less time available to devote to it. So being able to split our responsibilities is also helpful.

Sourcing for dropshipping products

David: You’ve both mentioned your families, and I wanted to ask you about that. It’s not like you have a ton of time, it sounds like… You both have full-time jobs, you both have kids, this is something that’s on top of a lot of other stuff. And so I’m curious where your energy comes from, where do you find the time to…

Mandie: A lot of coffee.

David: A lot of coffee.

Aubrey: I think a lot of it… Truly, had we stayed with our old model, I think we would have quit a long time ago. We don’t have the time to devote hours upon hours to this. We just don’t. Our families are more valuable to us and things like that. So I think the only reason we have the time is because of how it works with Oberlo, without it…

Mandie: The automation, it’s critical.

Aubrey: We would not be able to sustain anything that we were doing. We can take a couple hours here and there, maybe a couple of times a week, an hour or two here or there, or really as long as we keep fulfillment going there are times where we don’t have to touch it for two days, three days at a time. And it’s great. We can take the time with our families, do what we need, and then if I need to jump on right before I go to bed and spend 45 minutes fulfilling orders…

Mandie: One thing I’ve noticed with my full-time job is there are a few different systems that I have to boot up and it’s kind of clunky, it’s maybe a 10-minute process to get everything up and going. But where we have the Shopify app on our phones and we have the AliExpress app, I can source products if I’m waiting in line for two minutes because it’s fun. That’s another thing. I think we’re really motivated to work on it because we both really enjoy what we do for it. It really is fun for me. And Aubrey for some strange reason loves numbers and loves lists. She’s good about it.

Aubrey: Another unique side of it, we do have the Facebook group, we’re taking suggestions of products from our customers all the time. We get posts in the Facebook group, “Hey, can you run this again?” Or, “I was gonna buy this on Amazon. Could you find it cheaper for me?”

Mandie: Stuff we would never even think about looking at.

Aubrey: Yeah, and it’s fun to see what people request and recommend and it’s fun to see when there’s something that we really like or we use personally when it explodes in the Facebook group and everyone likes it, and everyone’s talking about it.

Mandie: We’re like, “I know, right?” It’s very validating.

Aubrey: It’s kind of like when you recommend a product to all your friends and they love it, it’s fun.

Mandie: You feel good.

Aubrey: Yeah, so…

Mandie: Plus, also there’s money.

Aubrey: We have that with 10,000 people.

David: Right. I know that the Shopify app has that cha-ching sound, which I know is very galvanizing.

Aubrey: Yes. We had to turn it off eventually. It was great the first month, I think, and then we both turned it off.

Mandie: See I don’t have mine off, still to this day. I get happy every time.

David: So then what does a normal day look like for you all with the store? So, is it something where you would carve out a block before you go to your normal job? Or something you do at lunch? Or is it like you mentioned, just “Oh, I got a couple of minutes here. I can… “

Aubrey: Yeah, I think it’s more…

Mandie: Pretty random. When we can.

Aubrey: I think the only schedule is going back to when we’re running a deal, we start them on Tuesdays, in the Facebook group often we’ll post a… We’ll do a hype post on Mondays saying, “Hey, this is what we’re gonna run this week.”

Mandie: Or an interest posting, “Should we bother uploading this? What do you guys think?”

Aubrey: Yeah, “Do you guys want this?” Kinda get everyone excited for it. We start the sale Tuesday and close it Sunday. And other than that, I don’t think there’s much of a schedule. We fulfill through the week…

Mandie: Because we both like it. It’s not a chore.

David: We hear from a lot of entrepreneurs who kinda had an inkling that they weren’t cut-out for a nine to five job, they didn’t like their boss, they didn’t like taking orders, or they wanted to travel, that’s another common way that people get into dropshipping. Is there anything that in hindsight you all can point to and say, “Oh, this was always in the cards that I should have started a business.” What were the markers that this might have been something that you’re cut out for? 

Aubrey: I think we’re both very much about the hustle. Even before we went into this together.

Mandie: Work smarter.

Aubrey: Yeah, when we were just friends and not business partners, we were always just kind of bouncing ideas off each other, like, “Oh, wouldn’t this be cool? Look at this product. Hey, you know how we could make a quick hundred bucks?” It was kind of what drew us to be friends first is bouncing ideas of a hustle of how we could make some money quickly and things like that. So I think just having that as an interest to begin with was what drew us to each other, and then it kinda went from there.

Going from friends to business partners

David: You two have been able to cultivate a sense of trust with your Facebook group, which is, I think, noteworthy for a few reasons. I think people are inherently skeptical of Facebook. It’s been kind of a rocky couple years for Facebook and trust. And then also there are just so many online stores now that when you see an online store that you don’t know about…

Mandie: People are in the comments like, “Oh, I never got this. I ordered this, never got it.”

David: Right. There’s a lot of headwind when you’re trying to create trust on Facebook. And I’m curious how… But you’ve done it. So what can you tell people about how to use that platform to generate trust? 

Aubrey: I think one of the first things, and I don’t know if this is unique to us or not, but we test almost every product we run. Some of the worst times we’ve been…

Mandie: Biggest failures.

Aubrey: Hurt, so to speak, is when we didn’t test a product and we just kinda threw it on the website, and we’ve had a couple that the quality was really terrible or the seller wasn’t reliable.

Mandie: We paid for ePacket shipping and they sent China Post and…

Aubrey: Yeah, yeah…

Mandie: Or didn’t send it at all. That happened one time. That was super fun.

Aubrey: Yeah, so I think testing the products, and knowing how to find reliable dropshipping sellers has helped cultivate trust. And then also when we do have customer service issues, people either email us directly, a lot of the times they’ll post in the Facebook group though, saying, “Hey, where’s my item? I didn’t get my item. This wasn’t what I expected.” And I feel like one thing we’re really open about is we always publish the comment and respond publicly to, “I’m so sorry that happened. We’ll definitely make it right, either email us, so we can have a resolution,” or if we can’t answer the question just right in the comments we’ll do that. And so I think our customers see that we are very responsive, if they do have issues, that they’re not gonna lose their money.

Yeah, they’re not gonna be stuck with a lousy product at the end of the day. So I think even if they haven’t been the ones with the problem, if they can see the others, their problems are being resolved, they’re more likely to continue buying with us. And we have had some products that we lost money on because it was…

Mandie: We had to just grin and bear it.

Aubrey: We didn’t test it or we didn’t try it out, and we had to either issue refunds or we had to source it from another supplier or what have you.

David: What are you looking for exactly when you pre-order a product? I think this is definitely a smart thing to do, to go ahead and get your hands on the actual products that you’re going to be putting in your store. And when you do that, what are some… some clues in the product packaging or labelling or whatever that might help you sniff out a product in a supplier that you’re going to be able to trust moving forward.

Mandie: Packaging, I don’t really care about. I don’t really look at it.

Aubrey: Yeah, we never had anyone question the packaging. And a lot of our customers have obviously clued in that these items are coming directly from China often and no one has seemed to have any sort of issue with it all. They’ve all seemed okay with it. We do have, and I think this is, it is an Oberlo setting that every order we submit automatically posts a little note to the seller saying, “We are dropshipping this item, no ads, no promotions.”

Mandie: Yeah, I wouldn’t have even thought to do that.

Aubrey: Yeah. Don’t put any…

Mandie: No promotions, no invoices.

Aubrey: Don’t put free things in there.

Mandie: Please, no…

Aubrey: Thing like that.

Mandie: Please, no gifts. People are so confused, they’re like “I didn’t order this!” I know, it’s a present. Just please take it.

Packaging in dropshipping orders

Aubrey: So, that’s been really helpful. When we do find a really great supplier who recognizes the dropshipping model and they might send us a message saying, “Hey, I recognize dropshipping, I’ll make sure that I do this the way you’re asking.” We’re more apt to work with that supplier because they know what we’re doing. They know the model that we have and it’s a lot easier to work with them if there’s a customer service issue or things like that.

Mandie: And I personally try to look for stuff that’s five-star or four-star reviewed, that has a lot of orders. The store has to have a good rating. At the beginning, I wouldn’t really pay attention to that stuff, I would just go for whatever was the best profit margin. And it’s amazing how different two of the exact same shirts can look from two different suppliers.

David: Yeah, I think the scouting out the messages from suppliers is really a good little hack to find reliable suppliers.

Mandie: How quickly they reply.

David: Yeah, how quickly they reply, how informative they are.

Mandie: That’s huge.

David: And you know, it cuts both ways because I recently was trying to source a product. I got a note from a supplier that said, “We’re actually out of this inventory. Can you please go cancel your order?” which is… Which is just not…

Mandie: Love that. I love it when that happens after you’ve submitted several.

David: Can’t you cancel it for me? It was, yeah, so.

Mandie: Oh yeah, because they don’t want the store rating to drop.

David: Right. Yeah, so… Yeah, I’m always shooting off fake questions and saying, “Oh I’m curious when this will arrive…”

Mandie: Totally.

David: So using products in photos and videos is… We’ve seen people have a ton of success with that. I think that’s a brilliant approach and one thing that I always try to stress to people is that it’s really not that hard to make a passable video these days.

Aubrey: No, no.

David: If you have a phone…

Aubrey: Exactly…

David: Or a computer… So, tell me about your process for creating content or creating, kind of, this… The fuel for your Facebook content.

Aubrey: I think we kind of… It depends on the item. Sometimes we’ll just jump on and do a quick either live video or a quick… Obviously, we’re not trying to make a product video. We did some… Some…

Mandie: It was very casual.

Aubrey: Yeah. Our photos are more, I would say, more product specific. I have a photography background, so I have all the equipment, I have all the processing, things like that. That makes it easy. And then sometimes… So we ran a hair shaver item once and just for fun we went live in the Facebook group, and we got my little brother and he… Super hairy legs, and we said, “Look look! We’re gonna shave his legs.”

Mandie: Look, it can cut through this.

Aubrey: Yeah.

Mandie: And it was great for you.

Aubrey: It was hugely popular. It’s actually one of our top selling items and people love the video. We still get comments on the video and it was, I think over a year ago.

Mandie: Yeah.

Aubrey: And just the fact that I think people feel like they can relate to us because we’re… We’re not…

Mandie: We’re so unprofessional, it makes people like us. Yeah, they’re working moms, that’s great. A lot of our customers are moms and so we do a lot of kids stuff and so we’ve kind of just had to build our clientele based on who organically likes us and thinks that we’re funny.

Aubrey: Yeah.

Mandie: We think we’re funny, but…

Aubrey: So we have a… I think a mix of more professionally done, I guess you would say, specific product stuff. And then really just showing our personalities in the Facebook group and showing us using the product.

Showing off your personality to grow your business

David: I’m curious if what you all did would be replicable for somebody who starts today, just given what’s changed with Facebook and what’s changed with ecommerce. And it’s only been, what, 15 or 18 months? But that’s an eternity in ecommerce.

Aubrey: Sure. Yeah, absolutely.

David: And so if somebody was really interested in this idea of starting with a community and then working out from there and adding the business on top of that, do you think you hit while the iron was just hot enough? 

Mandie: I think people would be surprised at how interested their friends and family would be because I didn’t… I hate feeling like I’m selling anything to people that I know. It’s just awkward and I hate that, feels icky. But, when you’re really providing a genuine product, that you yourself love and it’s cheaper than can be found retail, yeah, your time is absolutely worth the $5 up charge and the time that you spend sourcing and testing the products, so you just taking the amount that you need to pay yourself to feel good about continuing the work. But it’s still a good enough price for other people to want to buy it and to want to invite their friends. 

So that’s a key element for us is just making sure that it’s still a really good price. So, sometimes when we’re making hype posts, we’ll screenshot the comparison for… If it’s on Amazon or a really expensive site somewhere and we’ll just say, “Oh look how much cheaper we can do this for. And this is a great product. And here’s why.” And people like that. They love that. It’s… I would wanna join Facebook groups like that, and so that’s kind of one of the key things with everything that we do is, how would I feel about this if this was being marketed to me? 

It’s also a good source of accountability, not being afraid to add friends and family, and to have them help you build your business and then it also helps us to make sure that we’re doing everything in a way that we’re not gonna be embarrassed of if we run into that person in person, or in real life. You can feel good about the products that you recommend and how you run your business, how you handle everything. It’s good motivation. It’s very accountable.

Aubrey: Yeah, I think in the beginning and even now we see it a little bit, we’ve had people who have created spin-off Facebook groups from ours, even, I mean, in our same town, in our same county. People try to do the exact same thing, and we’ll kinda keep an eye on the Facebook groups and see how they do, and truthfully, a lot of them fizzle out after six, eight months because I think people don’t… They’re not doing the dropshipping model, they’re doing the purchase wholesale, have people pick up at their house that we started with. And I think they really underestimate the time that’s required for that type of business.

Mandie: And they don’t know about the Shopify model or maybe they do, maybe they’ve heard about it, but… And I remember this was a thing for me too, the website fee, you’re like, “Oh no, I don’t wanna pay for that” but… And it’s so funny because it’s so… So affordable for what you get for it.

Aubrey: Yeah. In hindsight… And that was one of my big things, and when she approached me, I was like, “Well, we’re gonna have to pay monthly for… We’re gonna have to pay processing fees and take credit cards and we have to pay the Shopify fee, and the Oberlo fee, and the… This is expensive every month.” And her kind of sell was, “Well, yeah, but we can run six deals a week, we could run 10 deals a week, if we really wanted to.” And now in hindsight, looking back, it’s like that fee is so minimal compared to the payout you get.

David: Well, I think even the… I think some of the most daunting things that somebody would think about dropshipping before they started a store… Those are the things that Shopify has tackled the best.

Aubrey: Yeah. Absolutely.

David: And so, the payment thing is, “I don’t have a credit card paying platform for myself. What am I supposed to do?”

Aubrey: Right. It’s truly anyone, any person who knows a computer could open a Shopify store tomorrow, have it functional within two hours and…

Mandie: You just have to put the work in.

Aubrey: It’s very, very minimal education you would have to have as far as how things work. It’s all done for you.

Mandie: There’s so much education available for you too, like webinars, and just the how to section, and you can contact and ask for help. You just have to put in the time and the work, and it’s very, very doable.

David: Before I let you go, I wanted to ask you about being women in this dropshipping space. I think sometimes there’s a perception that dropshipping is, you know, a bunch of dudes, a bunch of bros, and this is one of the reasons we’re so happy to have you here. I think the way that you all have grown your business shows this is not something that’s isolated to 20-something men. It’s clearly something that anybody can do with the right approach. but I’m curious if you’ve run into any issues with that or if you’ve identified any advantages maybe, just given the particular dynamics of this space. 

Aubrey: Because our lifestyles are different, than I would say, the typical dropshipper, like you said, the bro, the dude who wants to travel the world and…

Mandie: Single guys.

Aubrey: Yeah, we’ve watched a lot of the Oberlo content and it’s very often this mid-20s guy, who is responding from his chateau in Greece that weekend. And we’re so, so different from that. Our lifestyles could not be more different. We have kids, young kids at home and we have families and the travel lifestyle, while it sounds great, it’s just not… It’s not a reality for us. So while we are unique in our lifestyle, it’s also, I wouldn’t say we even compare or have any sort of competition as far as… When we watch other people, it’s like, well…

Mandie: You do you, but that’s not my journey. 

Digital nomads as dropshippers

Aubrey: Yeah, yeah. Our lives are so different and I guess our goals… I mean, everyone’s goal in this is to make money, but we’re not looking to…

Mandie: Our priorities… Very different.

Aubrey: Yeah, yeah, they’re so different than what I would say, the typical dropshipper is, but it just goes to show that, really, no matter your lifestyle or home life, or whatever, it’s a viable option for so many people.

Mandie: For anyone. And neither of us have ecommerce background. She works in local law enforcement. I do insurance. It’s not probably what you would expect, but we made it work. So if we can do it, anyone can.

David: Well, Aubrey, Mandie we can leave it there. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat.

Aubrey: Thank you.

Mandie: Thanks.

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