In the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, the best-selling author Stephen Covey wrote about a habit called “Begin with the end in mind”.
It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation and a physical (second) creation.
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Have you ever noticed that everything is created first of all in your mind?
The physical creation follows the mental, just as a putting up building comes after drawing the architectural blueprint.
If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you allow other people and circumstances to shape you and your life instead.
“Begin with the end in mind” means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by doing everything you can to make things happen.
In the context of eCommerce and Drop-Shipping, you should imagine what you want to achieve so you can work and plan towards it.
You need to plan out how you want to see your business in the future.
How much would you like to earn in 5 years from now? How much profit you’d like to see in a year, in a month, even by next week. Do you want to have employees under you? An office? Exotic vacations?
People tend to underestimate what they can accomplish in five years. In five years from now (or less), you can be in a totally different place in your life.
Whatever you want to see in the future you need to wake up every day and ask yourself; “What do I need to do today which will get me closer to my goals?
If you do this every day, it’s far more likely you will reach your goals and even sooner then you expect.
Remember, anyone who tells you that you can make a million dollars with online sales in a few weeks or months isn’t telling you the truth. Maybe there are a rare few who have done it, but they are one in a million.
Making a few hundred dollars or even a few thousand dollars in your first few weeks and months of business is definitely possible. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, so too for an online business. You need to set up things properly, learn some new skills, find things to sell and make customers happy.
You can set up the basics in a day or two, build up the business in a few weeks or months, but with rare exceptions, you’ll see the bigger money only after a lot of work and a bit of time.
The most important thing to do in the first few months is to LEARN, LEARN and LEARN. And while you’re learning – Do Do and Do. Every day does something new in your business that you haven’t done before. If you can afford formal training, great.
If you don’t want to invest thousands in studies then there are ways to learn at home for much less. I have a program which will help you on the way faster and at a much lower cost.
However, you do it, building up your business takes TIME.
A business means that you are creating a cash flow, it also means that you may have some expenses. Even if you can start this business for next to nothing, there are some tools and equipment that can make your life easier.
Maybe, in the beginning, it will seem that you are spending money and not earning it, but it will pay off in the long-term because you will be able to work faster and get better results (and make more money…KaChing!!)
For example, take in account that your biggest investment in the online business is your time (“Time is Money”). When you waste time on the technical stuff, you’ll have less time in the day to grow your business.
Let me share with you something from my own experience. Working online means opening and closing sites, windows and programs all day long. I found it tiring to open and close windows endlessly. Copy from here, close one window, open another window, paste to the second screen and so on.
One day I bought a second monitor and attached it to my computer. It wasn’t cheap but I hoped it would make life easier. In fact, not only did it make it much easier to have two windows and two programs open at once where I could DRAG things from monitor to monitor, but it had an additional benefit that I hadn’t thought of.
With two windows open next to another I could read from one screen while typing in the other (just like I’m doing right now…).
Moreover, it gave me a broader perspective on what was happening in my business and it made it easier to plan new things because I could see more of what was happening.
Nobody says you have to have two monitors (most people don’t), but for me, it was a relatively small investment with a BIG payoff.
It doesn’t help to list something on eBay if nobody buys it. So the first thing you must do to be successful is to find the hottest products which will put money in your pocket!!
Therefore, in your eBay & Drop-shipping business, everything boils down to research. If you want to know what the hottest categories on eBay are and what eBay shoppers are searching for, you’ll need good tools. If you want to find out what’s selling and what’s not, it’s very hard to figure it out all by yourself.
Instead of leaving it up to chance there’s an incredible online tool called Terapeak and with a few clicks will show you what to sell, for how much and how to sell more of it. This tool will even show you what day of the week and even what time of the day to list your items.
I’ve been using Terapeak almost daily for the past year and it has helped me at every stage of the game. With Terapeak you have a professional system to take away the guesswork.
Always give your customer more than you promised. Think about how to give more to your customer. There are many things you can do for free that will improve the customer’s experience and have him come back for more.
This is vital in eBay because of the Feedback System that will decide your ranking in the search engine and help you sell more.
For example, if you sell a lot of toys, write a small eBook about Child Safety and send it by email to your customer. Or if you can ship it faster for the same price, do so and they’ll appreciate it.
I always try to over-deliver and that is what you should you too in your business.
But…, and this is a BIG but…
One of the most important aspects of e-commerce and drop shipping sales is giving AWESOME customer service. When you can make a customer happy, you will earn money. When you can’t make a customer happy, you won’t earn
People say that “the customer is always right“. It sounds nice on paper and as part of your Business Mission, but you shouldn’t agree with it completely.
Sometimes the customer isn’t right and if you give in to every request and demand you’re going to lose a lot of money. Even Amazon who gives awesome service, sometimes says NO. I’ve gotten my share of NO from Amazon.
At the same time whether the customer is right or not you need to give them the FEELING that they are right. It doesn’t mean fooling them. On the contrary, you must be honest and upright in all your interactions. It does mean treating a customer with the respect that he or she deserves. Always. Every time.
What else? Answer your customer questions as quickly as you can, but AFTER you research all the facts. Better delay another hour and give a professional answer, then respond impulsively and correct it later.
Are you frustrated by your customer? Take a deep breath and count to ten before answering.
Be careful when answering written questions on a smartphone. You can make more spelling errors that way and it doesn’t look professional.
Answer all customer questions in a friendly, professional and respectful manner. If you do so then the customer will be happy even when you make a mistake (and admit it).
NEVER lie to a customer. They’re not stupid. Better admit you made a mistake and do your best to correct it.
In the end, when you treat a customer right but can’t give them exactly what they asked for, they’ll still come back for more. People want much more than just to save money. They want to be treated right.
From my experience, at the very least you’ll get from them some positive feedback.
Do you find drop-shipping work to be a technical nightmare? There are so many copy/paste actions from PayPal to Amazon to eBay and every other site. You are busy transferring titles, addresses, item numbers and financial details from site to site. You open a tab, copy a line, open another tab, paste a line and repeat endlessly…
If you’re lucky enough to have a second monitor attached to your computer then it’ll be a bit easier to copy from website to website.
You’ll have both of them open at the same time on the two monitors and only have to drag your mouse from side to side. If you only have one monitor, then just juggling between tabs and sites is enough to drive you nuts.
Use a clipboard program like ClipX for multiple pasting of addresses. It’ll save hours of work. Instead of copying and pasting each line of an address one-by-one, you can copy all the lines and paste them one after another. The same goes for copying item numbers, text and whatever you need.
You know Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”?
Everybody knows that in the online world with so many systems and programs built on top of each other, Murphy’s Law works much faster on the internet than anywhere else.
As you learn how to do new things you’ll also need to put them into action. No matter how well prepared you are, things are going to mess up occasionally. An item will be out of stock or the price will rise far above what you listed it on eBay.
Items will get lost on the way or arrive broken and defective. Sometimes you’ll do everything right and still the customer will be upset about something else and blame you for lousy service. No matter what you do, sometimes stuff happens that you can’t control.
The main difference between an amateur and a pro isn’t how they deal with the good stuff. It’s how they deal with Murphy’s Law when things are totally messed up.
That’s how you know who the professional is. An amateur panics when things go wrong because they’ve never dealt with this kind of problem.
The professional has already dealt with similar issues and knows what to do next. Even if she hasn’t dealt with this problem, she’s at least dealt with other major problems before and can say: “Ok, what are my options right now?
What’s my next step? What’s the best thing to do right now which will minimize the damage?” The pro responds this way because no matter how bad things mess up, there is always a way to minimize damages and continue on to the next stage.
Is the item out of stock? There’s a solution.
Is the item lost? There’s a solution.
The customer gave you bad feedback? There’s a solution.
eBay suspended your account for 30 days? Well, …there’s a solution for that too…though you might not be too happy about it for a while. You’ll lose some money, but the world doesn’t have to come to an end.
Even if eBay closed you down completely after messing up big-time, there’s still what to do. Just do your best not to get to that point.
Well…if you work right eBay probably won’t close you down. But definitely, prices WILL change and items will go out of stock. I found an AWESOME to minimize these risks, which brings me to the next tip…
Here I will show you something that really changed my business, but before that let me share my own story: I’ll never forget the first time I listed something on eBay. It was a nightmare.
It took me hours figuring out the system, choosing the right title words and preparing good photos to upload. With time and experience, I got it down to a few minutes per product. Nevertheless, as my products numbering in the hundreds and then in the thousands, I found myself spending far too much time listing new products.
But the story became worse when I had to deal with price changes.
One of the things which will make you lose a lot of money is the constant changing in price by the suppliers.
Sites like Amazon and Walmart change the price of millions of products every week. Some prices even change from hour to hour around the holiday seasons. When you list something on eBay with one price and then the supplier changes theirs, what do you do now?
For example, just imagine you saw an item on Amazon for $100 and you listed it on eBay for $130. A few hours later Amazon raises the price to $150 while you’re still selling it for $130. If it sells, you’ve lost not just $20 but another $15-$20 in eBay and PayPal fees too.
The only way to get out of this problem is to check the price of every single one of your products every few hours. Maybe you can do it for a while with only 5-10 products but what will you do when you have hundreds of products listed on eBay? Spend 24 hours a day tracking prices??? It’s insane!!!
That’s when I discovered an awesome listing program called DShopit. With this program, all you need is the item number of a product from Amazon or Walmart, put it in the system and within a minute you have a new product live on eBay.
You can create a standard format in advance to include all the information you want to put into your listing and DSHOPIT does it all automatically including uploading all the pictures.
You can see a video how it works on this video on DropShipping From Amazon to eBay in 30 Seconds or
This is only a small part of the program. The real benefit is in tracking price changes. This program monitors your listings and the price changes on your suppliers. As soon as the supplier changes their price, DSHOPIT will adjust your price on eBay accordingly.
That’s why you absolutely MUST have a professional re-pricing software like DSHOPIT. This kind of automation is a real lifesaver for any eBay Dropshipping business.
If you want to sell on eBay or on any other eCommerce platform you need to have things to sell. When you are selling physical things, stuff that you hold in your house or warehouse, then you are limited to how much you own or how much money you have to buy new inventory.
On the other hand, when you are drop-shipping you aren’t limited to how much inventory you can buy, because you don’t buy anything till it sells. You only need to find stuff at online suppliers and list them on eBay.
Therefore it is critically important to list new things and as many as possible (up to your eBay selling limits of course). In fact, you should list things on eBay every single day.
There are three reasons why it is important to list new things every day.
1) The more you list the more eBay will allow you to list. In the beginning, eBay allows you maybe 10 items up to a total of $500. Every month you have to reach your limit and as long as you’re keeping to the rules eBay will usually double your limits for the next month. Within a few months, you could have hundreds of products to sell.
2) The more you have listed in your account the more you WILL sell. It’s really a numbers game.
3) The eBay search engine likes “freshness” in your account. The more you list new things the better and higher you will rank in searches from your potential customers.
List something new the first thing in the morning or evening when you start your daily work on your business. You don’t need to list dozens of new things all the time, but at least one new thing. Every single day.
Do you know that when you buy stuff online from big retail stores you can get a discount on most purchases? It’s through a system called Cashbacks. This is great news for anyone who buys online, but for the retail drop-shipper who is buying lots of things every day, this can give you hundreds of dollars of extra earnings every month without extra work.
There are two ways to get money from the cashback system:
1. Gift-cards – you buy an electronic gift-card for buying things on an online shop like Amazon.
Let’s say you need $100 to purchase stuff for your eBay customer. You go into a site like Gyft.com, pay them $100 with your PayPal account and Gyft will refund you 2% of what you paid for your next purchase of a Gyft-card. Two percent might not sound like much but when you are paying thousands of dollars every month to buy from Amazon, this grows to a lot of savings. Money that you can add to your income.
2. Cashback links –There are many online companies who give you a discount for every purchase at places like Amazon, WalMart, Home Depot and many others by buying through the cashback site. You choose an online store you want to buy from, click on the link which redirects you to the store and the cashback site will send you a discount by check or PayPal account within a few weeks or months.
The discounts range from %1 to 10% at the high end of cashbacks. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table if you don’t use this service! It’s great even for the regular shopper. For the drop-shipper – this is awesome!
I can recommend a few good cashback sites to sign up for:
Each site has its own benefits and conditions, so I don’t want to recommend one over the other. Just make sure you read all the small print and know exactly how to use each service and how to get your money in your account. Cashback policies can change from day to day. Please check each site out
You can even sign up for all of them and use the one that will give you the highest profit from each purchase. From experience, these sites will earn you money without any extra work.
This tip is a real money-saver! It can put your cash in the pocket without any effort at all!
When you buy your products on Amazon or any retail giant, you might be leaving money on the table every single time.
Most people don’t know that Amazon makes roughly 80 million price changes every day. This means that when you buy the item for your drop-ship customer at one price, it might be cheaper a few hours later.
According to Amazon’s policy, if you contact their customer service after the price change, they will refund you the difference.
That’s easy when you buy one or two things a week, but when this is your business and you’re buying dozens of things every day, you don’t have the time to waste checking the price changes.
A new service called Paribus checks the prices of everything you buy on Amazon (and many other retailers) and tracks them for weeks. As soon as the price drops, Paribus will send Amazon an email and ask for a refund. In most cases, Amazon will give you back the difference.
Once you sign up for their service and link your Amazon account you can “set-it-and-forget-it”. Every few days you might get a delightful email from Amazon telling you that they are refunding your money.
I’ve gotten back hundreds of dollars from Amazon so far. Isn’t that AWESOME????
Note: Cashback policies can change from day to day. Please check each site out before registering.
Don’t be caught by scammers and hackers.
One of the things to be careful about when sending packages to your customers is making sure they arrive where they should.
For example, when you are selling on eBay you can find the shipping address in two places – the eBay Sales Record and in the PayPal account. You will find sometimes that the name and address in eBay and PayPal are slightly different. I don’t know why someone would register with two different names but that’s the way it is.
The rule with this business is to always send the item to the exact address registered on PayPal, not the one on eBay.
PayPal gives the seller protection that if the tracking number shows it arrived at the exact address and the buyer claims it didn’t arrive, PayPal covers you. Even if the buyer claims his account was hacked and he didn’t buy the item, PayPal with the cover you as long as you can prove you sent it to the right address in the account.
Another thing to be careful about is sending to “real” addresses. That means don’t ship to P.O. Boxes.
There are many reasons for it. Sometimes a P.O.B. is very small and made for only letters. If you ship the customer a sofa, the post office might refuse to accept it (where are they going to store it till the client comes to pick it up???).
Furthermore, many scammers use POB’s and you might end off with trouble. PayPal will most likely cover you in the end, but you might have to wait a few weeks till the investigation is completed. Better stick to real addresses. To be sure that happens, edit your eBay Shipping Policy to exclude Post Office Boxes from the places that you ship to.
This is somewhat obvious but many people don’t do it and they lose money AND waste of time.
Would you rather buy at a professionally looking eBay Store or one that the seller didn’t even bother to fix it up?
Would you prefer to buy from a seller who invested in making a nice organized sales page explaining a little about his or her business or one who has just the minimal text about the product?
OK, so you’ll say: “I’m not a designer or a programmer and I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars on making my listings look pretty”.
I have news for you. You can make really professional-looking listings with color, pictures, and even video, for FREE. You don’t have to be a designer to do it. Just a bit of thought on what you like and some copy/paste. You create a template and it’ll run in your listings whenever you like.
One of the easiest programs to use for creating great templates is CrazyLister. Try it out. It’s free. AND it’ll generate more sales for you.
There’s another benefit in using templates. Most of the work with eBay Drop-shipping is setting up the system. You need to open accounts with eBay, PayPal, Amazon and whatever services and re-pricing software you’ll need (like DShopit). Then you need to find and list products.
Finally, you need to service the customer who hopefully will come in droves once they realize how great it is to buy from you.
Eventually, the work is automated and you can do it in 2-3 hours a day.
One of the things that are very important to set up is a sales template. This means that when you are listing hundreds of new items on eBay you need a standard text that goes into the listing for every product – besides for the specific and unique product details.
This standard text (or template) should include all your business policies:
Payment Policy – PayPal only
Shipping Policy – How many days handling, how many days shipping and whether or not you
Returns Policy – Do you give 14-day or 30-day “no questions asked” returns? Do you give extra
return time for holiday seasons?
Feedback Policy –When do you give feedback to your buyer? Right after they pay or after they
give you feedback?
In addition, you can mention anything else that you think the buyer would like to know about how you do business. All this should be written as a standard template and go into every listing automatically with your listing software.
Using templates will make more sales, save you lots of time and free you to do things you really want
to do with your life.
Online business can really pull you in. You’ll find yourself sitting in front of the computer hours and hours every day, researching products, listing them and dealing with sales and customers. If you are located outside of North
America you might find yourself working at odd hours because most of the sales are from the USA.
Eventually, you’ll have to find a balance between work and play and keep to a normal schedule.
Nevertheless, I strongly advise you to take a day of rest without working on your online business. The best time is Saturday or Sunday and for a very logical reason. When you list an item you commit yourself to getting the item shipped from the supplier within 1-3 days called “handling time”.
These days according to eBay are only days of business and that means Saturday and Sunday, which aren’t business
days and aren’t called “handling” days either. For example, if you promise 2-day handling and the item sold on Saturday morning, you really have till Tuesday at midnight to get the item on the way.
So why work 7 days a week if anyhow Saturday and Sunday aren’t business days in eBay? Just pick one of them, disconnect from your computer and enjoy your offline life. After all, isn’t this why you decided to go into business in the first place?
Every eCommerce site, subscription resource, banking site, supplier and web service has its own login and password. Altogether I have nearly 100 different passwords for all my online needs. So how do you remember all these passwords?
There are two options. Either you make up something easy to remember and reuse a few easy passwords on all your sites, or you use random, long and different passwords for every site.
Using simple passwords, again and again, might make work easier in the short term, but you’ll pay for it dearly eventually. For example, if you use your birthday or your dog’s name or your mobile phone number for all your accounts it won’t be fun when someone hacks your account and steals all the money you worked hard to earn.
But how can you remember random and different passwords for every site?
The answer is simple. Use a password manager like KeePass Password Safe to remember all your passwords and input them into the site with a simple click. That way you can use complex random passwords and protect your security.
Make sure to get the relevant add-on/plug-in for your browser so you can use your mouse to paste in the passwords. All you need to remember is one Master Password which locks all the passwords in a tiny database. Of course, you’ll need to secure and backup your database so that it doesn’t get lost, but that’s relatively simple to do.
My Final Tip For You:
As we said before, things take time, stuff happens sometimes, but you’re in this for the long haul. You need a drop of patience and consistency and in the end, you can make it and make it big.
“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard
and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living
your dream” (Marlon Wayans)
I believe in you. I believe you can do it. I will be here to support you on the way.
( David Levine & Aviv Malka )