eCommerce Lifestyle
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Dropshipping During a Pandemic [1 of 4]

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​This series of four episodes is going to help you increase your revenue, automate your operations, and become the authority in your niche by sharing key strategies for dropshipping during a pandemic.

Specifically today, we're going to be talking about suppliers and how to increase units sold.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to leave your message in the comment section.

What's Covered in This Episode:

​Solutions while working with suppliers:​​​

  • ​Request weekly inventory lists from your top suppliers.

  • ​Secure an inventory of your best sellers.

  • ​If suppliers won't allow deposits, then prepay and reserve the stocks for yourself.

  • ​Reach out to your sales rep and see if you can place a hold on future shipments.

  • ​Secure new suppliers.

If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast! The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

Links From This Episode:

This ​podcast is also available in video form. Click ‘Play’ below to start watching. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for weekly updates and insights!

Transcript

What's up, everybody? Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com. Welcome back to the podcast. If you're new here, just know that this show is designed to help you increase your revenue, automate your operations and become the authority in your niche. This next series, starting today, of four episodes are going to help you accomplish all of those things, because what we're going to be talking about over the next four episodes, including today's, is drop shipping during a pandemic and what you can do to make sure you continue to get great results and to make sure your business continues to grow, even when it seems like everything is falling apart. That might sound dramatic, but I get emails. I see people's posts online. People that haven't been through something like this in the past really think it's the end of the world. Where the truth is, we're actually seeing some amazing growth. It's because whenever things get shaken up, opportunity arises and more possibility just presents itself. With that being said, let's go ahead and get into today's episode of eCommerce Lifestyle.

Drop shipping during a pandemic. First, let me give you an overview of the four topics that are going to be covered over these next four episodes. In today's episode, we're going to be talking about suppliers and how to increase units sold. In the next podcast episode, we're going to be talking about your online store and how to increase conversions on it, meaning how to turn more visitors into buyers, even during COVID. In the third episode of the series, we're going to be talking about traffic and how you can increase your ROAS, your return on ad spend. In the final episode of this series, we're going to be talking about how to plan for the future to make sure when things return to "normal," you are positioned for success.

Let's go ahead and talk about suppliers and how to increase units sold. Some of the problems that, as a drop shipper, we're dealing with and that you most likely are dealing with as well, first is that some warehouses are just closed. They had to close due to lockdown. There's nobody working there. This also has led to inventory on some bestselling products being low. Reason being, we had the Chinese new year, which already seems like an eternity ago. But as soon as that ended, COVID hit in China, meaning production slowed down, meaning it took longer for products to get to warehouses. Some products are still backordered. Another problem that I definitely want you to be on the lookout for is that some suppliers that you work with, that maybe weren't financially stable before COVID hit, they may never recover.

We've actually seen this happen with a few different companies already, where they haven't officially closed, but communication is dying. Things are getting slower. Inventory doesn't seem to be coming back. This is something you definitely want to keep your eye on. Now let's talk about the solutions. That's why you're listening. You want to know what can you do to grow during the pandemic. Some of the things that we are doing on the supplier side, we are requesting weekly inventory lists from the top suppliers that we work with. I recommend you do the same. We are also pre-purchasing remaining inventory of best-selling products, what has been the best sellers historically. We're also pre-purchasing new shipments of bestsellers and we are securing new suppliers, because there are some warehouses that are closed. By the way, most are reopened now, but some have been closed. It just doesn't mean, though, that they're not doing business. People are still answering emails. People are still picking up the phone. You can definitely be securing new suppliers during this whole pandemic.

What do I mean when I say "Request weekly inventory lists from your top suppliers"? You want them to send you an email that is either a Google Sheet or a CSV or Excel file, or just someplace you can go online and log in to see it, where what you're basically getting is a report of what they have in stock. What we'd like to see is the skew number, the product name. We like to see how many units are currently in inventory. We like to see how many units are coming back in stock. We like to see an ETA for when those next shipments are coming. By looking at this every week, what you're going to get is a better idea and the ability to make an informed decision of should you be promoting certain products more or should you be promoting them less. You're going to make that decision off the actual data from these reports.

Something else that we do and I recommend you do as well if you've been in business for a while, if you have a history of working with different suppliers, if you know what your best sellers are. What you want to do as you're analyzing these inventory reports, is look to see if any of your best sellers are running low on stock. If they are, you want to secure that inventory, so that you and your company can be the one that sells it. A few different ways this can work. If you have a really good relationship with the specific supplier and if you already do a ton of business together, it is possible that you can just say, "Hey, I see you only have 20 units left of item number one, two, three. We would like to put a hold on them so that we can sell them to our customers." Again, based on the relationship, if it's really strong, they might just say, "You got it. Those are yours. They have your name on it."

Now, if the relationship's not that strong or if you're newer in the game, then maybe they're going to say, "Okay, we can reserve them for you, but we want a deposit." Maybe that's 10%, 20%. If it's really a new relationship, maybe it's a 50% deposit. But what that would mean is they would still hold the inventory. You can now sell it. When you do, they'll still drop ship it for you, but now you can sell it while your competitors can't.

The third way you can make this work is if they say, "No deposits. Things are selling like crazy. Stock's limited." Then if you already know that you're going to sell those products, you can prepay and reserve them for yourself, so straight up buy the inventory in advance, have the supplier keep it in their warehouse for you and drop ship it. But now that inventory is yours and yours alone to sell. This is the option that I only recommend experienced dropshippers do, meaning you already have a bank roll, so you have the money and credit available to do this. More importantly, you have the data where you know how many of these products you sell every day, every week, every month. If it financially makes sense for you to do it and you have the money, then option three definitely works.

The next method that we're using and that you can use as well is to reach out to your sales rep and see if you can place a hold on those future shipments. Remember, in these inventory lists that we receive, we want to know how many are in stock, how many are coming in stock and when they're coming back in stock. If we see that one of our best sellers is already sold out or close to sold out and we see that 20 more are coming in in a week from now, then we basically want to repeat the same strategy we just used, but trying to basically place a hold on that new inventory that's about to arrive. Again, based on relationship, first, to try to get it for free. If you can't get a hold for free, try to place a deposit. If you can't just place a deposit, try to pre-purchase that inventory, so, again, you can continue to sell these products while your competitors can not.

The next thing that we're doing, that I highly recommend you do as well, during this whole pandemic is secure new suppliers. As you're going through inventory lists and as you're working with your current brands, you are going to see that some of them that weren't financially stable may be low on inventory. They may not even show any new products are coming into stock or they might have an ETA that's just way out in the future. If you see any of that, it's a bad sign. It most likely means they don't have cashflow or they don't have access to products. To me it means we're definitely not spending money to promote their stuff. To me it means we should be securing new suppliers. Again, you should be doing the same.

Something that's really important to note is that suppliers that might have denied your application in the past, they might want to work with you now because all of these businesses that have seen their businesses had to contract, they're looking to reopen with a bang. They're looking to reopen and sell all their inventory. They're looking to make up for months of uncertainty with a few months of massive sales. Now is the perfect time to call suppliers that denied you, to call suppliers you never reached out to to begin with. Use the exact launch strategies that I give you in the drop ship blueprint. By the way, if you're not a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, I'll post a link in the podcast notes. But use my launch strategy, get approved with suppliers and when things go back in business, be there to bring them all these new sales from an online store to open up an entirely new sales channel for them.

Quick recap, guys, of this first episode in this series. Some of the solutions while working with suppliers are to request weekly inventory lists from your top suppliers, pre-purchase remaining inventory of best-sellers, pre-purchase new shipments of bestsellers and secure new suppliers. Yes, they are still opening new accounts. Yes, this is a great time to either build your business or start your first drop shipping store. By following these simple steps, you're going to be able to sell products while your competition cannot and you're going to be able to increase our product offering.

That's going to do it for this episode, guys. If you got value, please let me know by leaving the podcast a review, preferably five stars if you enjoyed it. I'll link up Apple Podcasts below. Same with Spotify, if you want to review us over there. If you're not subscribed yet, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast player, because the next episode in this series will be coming out in just a couple of days. That is where I'm going to walk you through exactly how we're modifying our stores to increase our conversions. Subscribe so you don't miss that. As always, appreciate you. Thanks for listening in. Really do look forward to helping you build a highly profitable semi-automated store. Stay positive. Do the work. Remember, now is a great time to start. Now is a great time to grow. Thank you, everybody. I appreciate you. I will talk to you in the next episode of the podcast. See you.

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