Pro Dropshippers Go Head-To-Head on Controversial Dropshipping Topics
Should you start a niche store or go general? How many products should you sell–one or multiple? Do lower- or higher-ticket items sell better? We pose these controversial dropshipping questions and more to eight successful dropshippers and got varying answers from them. Here’s what they had to say.
Jessica: Today, successful dropshippers will go head to head on one of the most controversial dropshipping topics: What to sell online. I asked eight dropshippers the same five questions on topics like niche versus general store, ideal product price points, and more. Then I compiled all of their answers. Dropshipping strategies can be polarizing. If you ask dropshippers the same questions like I did, you get different answers. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from these profitable dropshippers, it’s that there’s more than one path to success. Ready for the dropshippers?
In just a second, you’ll hear eight very different opinions on what to look for in a winning dropshipping product. Before I pass it over to the dropshippers, let’s make sure that we are on the same page about dropshipping. Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to start an online business because instead of buying tons of inventory for your online store, you only order products when you get sales. Your supplier ships your orders for you so you can sell all over the world. But being a successful dropshipper requires constant learning. Okay, time to find out how pro-dropshippers approach product selection.
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Niche or General Store
Mike: Niche or general store?
Mike & Yuliya: The riches are in the niches.
Yuliya: Okay. We love niches because you can have a viral audience, it’s already passionate. Where there’s passion, there’s money, because people buy based on emotions, which is what you want when you’re doing Facebook ads because you’re selling things that people didn’t know they need, but they have to have, that’s the key.
Mike: And with dropshipping niches, there is much more of a customer lifetime value. Repeat customers. They like this stuff, you can sell more things just like that to them, that’s the way you’re gonna sustain and go ahead. So, I don’t know why anyone would start a general store.
Harry: One thousand percent, general store, doesn’t limit you in whatever way. Best if you get it up and running. General store.
Chris: It’s irrelevant. It’s the product that matters. You could have a one-product store, you could have a niche store, you could have a general store, it doesn’t really matter as long as your product is good, and as long as there is a demand for the product.
Ryan: Okay, if I would choose between a general store or a niche store, I would definitely choose a niche store every time, just because I’m trying to build an actual brand in a sense, not just a one-hit-wonder, and throw a bunch of products on one site that’s kind of like amazon.com. So I always would go niche.
Jeffrey: General store and then niche. Because a general store is a good way to test different products to see what works and what doesn’t work, and once it works, you niche down, you do the branding material.
Tim: I would always pick niche over a general store because I think it’s way easier to target the people within a niche.
Mandie: I’d say a niche store…
Aubrey: I’m thinking niche store. Easier…
Mandie: Easier to market.
Aubrey: And pick something you’re passionate about, pick something you know, and you can really sell something better than a whole bunch of different items you might not be passionate about.
One-Product or Multiple-Product Store
Mandie: Multiple. I would be terrified to just have one product.
Aubrey: I think too often a product might run its course, it might become oversaturated, it might become irrelevant, and you have to keep up with trends, you have to be willing to try new products and be willing to experiment.
Mandie: Within your niche, but jeez, one product, it’s a lot of pressure.
Ryan: I would do multiple products, it doesn’t have to be that many, but as long as you have a few which you can cross-sell and upsell, that are all kind of similar to that niche, that’s what I like.
Chris: For Facebook Pixel, probably a one-product store, just because the Pixel can optimize better. But if you’re looking to build an actual business that has multiple products, then obviously, go down a multiple product store. But just remember that the pixel can optimize more efficiently when the products are similar or if you just have the one product.
Harry: A multiple-product store all of the time. You can test whatever you want, as soon as you find what’s working, then nail it down.
Yuliya: One-product store or a multiple-product store?
Mike & Yuliya: Multiple-product store.
Yuliya: Because it gives you room to test different products, to have seasonal products, year-round products, to go along with the trends. With a one-product store, you’re really closing yourself.
Mike: Yeah, definitely start with a multiple-product store and if you have one thing that’s absolutely killing it and you can totally brand that, then you can graduate it to a one-product store. But I would not start a one-product store right out of the gate, you’re just literally throwing all your eggs in a one-product basket.
Yuliya: Yeah, how could you test anything with a one-product store?
Jeffrey: Multiple-product store, because of upsells and cross-sells. To increase your average order value.
More or Fewer Than One Thousand Orders
Harry: Both, it doesn’t really make much of a difference if I’m being 100% honest.
Tim: I would always go for the more-than-1,000 product because I like to sell steady selling products.
Jeffrey: More than a thousand orders because that shows you that the product is already in demand. I would say there’s no such thing as saturation. It really depends on your marketing skill and your positioning of the product.
Mandie: I don’t think it matters.
Aubrey: I don’t have a strong opinion either way.
Mandie: Maybe more. If I had to pick. But I’m also not gonna be pressed about a product that has 600 orders, that’s still substantial to me.
Aubrey: Yeah, if the dropshipping supplier is reliable and it looks like a good product, I have no problem with less than 1,000.
Yuliya: Less than 1,000 orders or more than 1,000 orders, we say…
Mike: Definitely less than a 1,000 orders.
Yuliya: When you have a strong niche store, you can make winning products and that way the product isn’t saturated, you’re not competing against different Facebook ads. So create your own winners and find what your “praudience”… Your “praudience”…
Mike: Praudience. Your primary audience, your “praudience”.
Mike: Find what your “praudience” wants, sell it to them, make money.
Chris: Selling a product with less than 1,000 orders. Probably not, no. You want something that has proof that it is being sold, but you don’t wanna go too high. So I like to keep my choices below 20,000 orders. So anything between, say, a 3,000 and a 20,000 order number is a good number to be looking at.
Ryan: I would definitely do less than 1,000 orders just because that means less competition. But however, if there are a lot of orders, I always do look at the reviews, because if there are a lot of reviews coming in for that product, that means those are just regular people that are buying the product on AliExpress. And so, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bunch of competition in that, it just means the product is being purchased from regular people. But just look for not a lot of dropshippers.
Over or Under Three Dollars
Chris: Sell cheap products under $3? Yes, as long as the quality is good. It doesn’t really matter what you’re picking up front as long as it’s not too high. The product needs to be good. As long as you have a high-quality product, it doesn’t matter if you’re buying it for 50 cents, it’s irrelevant. Just make sure that the quality of the product is high enough for the customers to be happy with it.
Jeffrey: Over $3 for sure, because of the quality control and quality assurance. It depends on the product, but anything that’s under $3 usually does not have a good margin, to begin with. Usually under $3 also have relief in margins, so as well as that is going to be lower perceived value and because of the low perceived value, you can’t really charge anything higher than let’s say $20.
Yuliya: If you can sell both, do both.
Mike: Yeah, I think there are advantages to both. I think selling a more expensive product gives you a little bit more wiggle room with your ad spend and things like that. There’s a ton of money to be made in selling cheaper products though, but you need to be very lean with your store, you need to rely more heavily on upsells and having… Increasing your average order value and retaining customers. So I think more money can actually be made that way, but you need to have many more systems set up in place to get going right away, profitably.
Yuliya: Email marketing, retargeting. You need kind of all the things in place because in order to bring up your average order value, that’s a lot.
Mike: Yes, but I think that is better because that forces you to create all those things and then you have a better store.
Yuliya: There you go.
Ryan: I would prefer to sell a product under $3. Because I do really like the business model, free plus shipping. Where our products are free, we just charge them shipping, and then we make a lot of money on the back-end with upsells and stuff like that. So a lot of traffic can be driven to free plus shipping giveaways.
Harry: Cheaper generally means you can get the sale a little bit easier, so it makes sense to go a little bit cheaper.
Mandie: Personally… If you can sell a higher dollar amount item, go off. I think that’s great. But those products I feel like are harder to corner. So with what we do, definitely a lot more of… A lot of sales of smaller dollar items, and that way people aren’t thinking as much about the purchase.
Aubrey: And you capture that emotional spending.
Mandie: And if somebody has a problem with it, we don’t cry about having to return the order, or refund them, because it’s minimal.
Tim: I would go with the less than $3 product because the profit margins are usually higher.
Problem-Solving Product or One That Evokes Emotions
Mandie: Yes, all of the above.
Aubrey: I think anytime you can elicit that emotional response and make someone make a purchase right then and there because it just…
Mandie: They love that thing so much.
Aubrey: Absolutely. And on the flip side, some of our best-selling products are just kind of gimmicky, solve a very minor problem that people didn’t know needed to be solved and we saw…
Mandie: We’re examples of this. I’m more liable to buy something because I love it and because I’m emotional about it, and Aubrey is more likely to buy logical practical things. And so we really can’t pick one. There are two of us, it’s not fair.
Harry: Problem-solving products 110 percent all of the time. Because it makes it easier to write ad copy and a product description page.
Chris: Both, if you can. That’s the ideal, but if you had to pick one or the other, definitely something that solves a problem, because that just makes everyone’s life easier, and it’s a lot easier to sell a product that solves a problem.
Ryan: I would like to sell a product that solves a problem. Yeah, because you can create a lot of good video ads with that, just solving the problem on video, having people talk about how their problems have been solved with the product, and that’s why I would always choose a product like that.
Tim: I would go for the emotional response because it triggers the impulse buy.
Jeffrey: I would say both. Preferably, a combination of the two, but I would focus more on problem-solving products for a beginner. Because it’s easier to sell, and it solves the problem, and it makes impulse purchase a lot easier.
Mike: Depends on the platform. On Facebook or Instagram, I would sell a problem that evokes an emotional response. Because these are things that are just popping up into people’s Facebook feeds or timelines. They’re not searching for it, but if you’re doing Google ads or selling something on Amazon, then they’re searching for it, so you wanna… They have a problem that they’re searching for a solution to.
Yuliya: I think generally with dropshipping, you are really focusing on impulse buys which have a totally different psychology than when you’re searching for a product that solves a specific problem that you have right now. So with that, with an impulse buy, you need an emotionally captivating product or product description, so we say emotional all the way for quick impulse buys.
Jessica: Now, I’d love to hear from you. Whose answers did you agree with? Has one of these strategies proved to be more successful than the others for your business? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’ll chime in with my thoughts. Until next time, learn often, market better, and sell more.