eCommerce Lifestyle
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Dropshipping Failure

My Biggest Dropshipping Failure

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Anton shares his biggest failure in dropshipping after being in the business for over a decade.

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Transcript

Hello everybody, Anton here and in today's episode I want to talk to you about my biggest drop shipping failure. But before I do that, I just want to say, and just put this out there that I fail a lot more than I succeed. And the reason I succeed is because I fail so often. So when I was thinking about this and what I wanted to share with you today, I was just brainstorming and writing down failures that I've had over the past decade in this business. And it's a long list and I didn't even come close to finishing it. I just decided, okay, these are the main things that will help you. And that's what I'm going to share with you today. So if you fail, don't feel bad, use it as a learning experience, correct course sooner rather than later. And again, that is how you succeed, you succeed by failing. Everyone at the top does.

So with that being said, my biggest failure without a shadow of a doubt is definitely not taking advantage of the 30 day special offer for a free trial on Shopify for Drop Ship Lifestyle members. Now, obviously that's a joke, but I want to let you know that we do have this special offer going right now. We partnered with Shopify, and for a limited time, I don't have confirmation for how long this will be valid, but right now, if you want to get started with Shopify, not even have to enter a credit card number, build a store, spend 30 days getting comfortable with the platform, it is totally free if you use our link, it's Dropshiplifestyle.com/Shopify. I'm going to link that in the description as well. Click that get a free trial. Again, no credit card required. Spend 30 days getting your store set up for $0.

So now the actual reason you're here, my biggest drop shipping failure. Now I'm going to give you that, but before I do, I want to share three runner-ups because these are things that I think a lot of people will experience if they're drop shipping. And again, they're things that would benefit you. So worth hearing all of them. Now, the first one, the first runner up is not outsourcing customer service fast enough. So I went years in business doing multiple millions of dollars in revenue while all the customer service was something I was handling. And you might think, well, if you use automation, if you do this full-time that's fine. Well, I was on the golf course pretty much five days a week, I was working a couple hours a day. I was doing millions of dollars in revenue.

I had thousands of customers coming in, but I was also the one that was, at night check the email, respond to tickets, make sure orders are getting shipped out, return phone calls. I was doing that all myself. Now back then, I didn't want to outsource it because I thought if I let somebody else take care of this, then my business might fall apart and I might lose everything. I didn't trust the fact that somebody else could do a job in my business better than me. When looking back, I was doing a terrible job of it. Now, did I have terrible reviews or anything like that? No, but what I did lose was definitely some repeat sales because customer service was slow. I lost customers getting the best possible experience because they didn't get their orders fast enough.

And this could be worse than actually losing, what I added to my life by not outsourcing customer service soon enough was stress because instead of just normal email tickets, instead of just normal phone calls, there were issues that would come up that could have easily been avoided. There were issues with customers being angry that then brought the stress to me, to my business because I just was too stubborn, it's probably the right word, to have somebody else handle this early on when the business could have easily paid for it a hundred times over. So eventually... I don't even know. I wish I could remember and go back in time 10 years ago when I finally outsourced it, but whatever led me to make that decision to finally get somebody to initially help me and then take over customer service, not only did it lead to happier customers and more repeat sales, but it took my quality of life way higher because it reduced all this unnecessary stress.

So make sure if your business is profitable, if you have the money to reinvest in your business, outsource customer service sooner rather than later, because a big failure on my part was doing it myself for years and years and years while doing multiple millions of dollars in sales, just because I really think the best answer is because I'm stubborn. Okay, runner up number two, to my biggest drop shipping failure is not cutting bad suppliers fast enough. So what do I mean by this? Well, obviously we drop ship and with most of our stores, we're working sometimes with 10 different brands, sometimes 20, some stores 50, sometimes 200 different brands that we're selling for. And I've learned over the years, how to identify if a supplier is going to be what I consider a bronze tier, silver tier, or gold tier. I've learned to identify that sooner rather than later, but in the beginning I was just trying to sell for anybody and anybody that would let me sell their stuff.

And what I quickly realized is that there were trends to which suppliers, which brands offered good customer service, great customer service, or I could just tell there was something weird going on. For example, orders being slow to ship out or product quality not being consistent, or products being damaged while in transit. And there was probably a year or two period in my businesses, and this is across dozens of stores where I was still selling for these brands thinking, oh they're going through something, maybe I just had a couple of bad experiences, they'll figure it out. Maybe this customer just was kind of misrepresenting how the product actually arrived. And I gave certain suppliers way too much slack. This was a huge failure because what it led to was certain customers, specifically customers that ordered products from my stores, from those very few, maybe 5% of brands to have bad experiences.

What does that do? It leads to more customer service, more returns, less happy customers. And again, raising stress. So a big failure was early on not cutting the bad suppliers and just working with the ones that actually made great products that shipped fast, that offered excellent customer service that our customers loved and wanted to buy more of. So by the way, if you're listening to this or watching this, and you're wondering, how do I find good suppliers? I mean, the first piece of advice I would give you is enroll in my coaching program. I'll link to Dropshiplifestyle.com/ecommerce-courses. That's where you could see all of our product offerings, or if you want a free training that shares a lot more than I share in a YouTube video or podcast, you can go to Dropshipwebinar.com. I'll link that up in the description as well, to get a free training on how we pick niches, find suppliers, build stores and a whole lot more, so link in the description for that as well.

With that being said, let's move on to the third runner up for my biggest drop shipping failure. This one hurt me in a big way early on, and this was keeping too much money in my PayPal balance. So for anyone that's not familiar with how PayPal works, if you accept money through PayPal, it doesn't automatically go to your bank account. It stays in your PayPal balance. From there, you can withdraw it as quickly as you want and withdraw it to your bank account. So that way your PayPal balance could be whatever, zero, a hundred, a thousand dollars and the rest of the funds can go to your bank account. Well, early on, I wasn't consistent about moving money from PayPal into the business checking accounts and what happened after a few months, this was very early on, a few months of using PayPal and having sales grow and grow and grow.

Had a point where there was over $50,000 in the balance. I don't remember exactly what it was, but above $50,000. Received an email from PayPal saying that the business was deemed high risk. I found out that was because we grew so fast and because it was high risk to them, and I'm not saying they don't have risks, they definitely do. But they decided, guess what? We're going to hold this $50,000 or $53,000, whatever it was for 180 days. And no matter what I did, I couldn't get that money out. Now, again, this was very early on in my eCommerce career and this really hurt with cashflow. It made it so I couldn't advertise as much as I wanted to. It made it so my stores basically started to decline over a six month period while I waited for this money to come so that I can reinvest it and start growing again. And again, what did it do?

It added a ton of stress and made it much harder to scale. Totally avoidable. All I would have had to do was every day or every other day, withdraw funds from PayPal, put them in the business checking, that way I could have been out of the situation. That was a huge failure on my part. You don't know what you don't know when you first start. So hopefully now you know this. By the way, if that's important to you, if that helps you, if you're watching this on YouTube, give it a, like if you're listening to on Apple Podcasts, leave a review, appreciate it. It means a lot, but that was a big failure early on. It really set me back like half a year. And again, this is when I was new in business so I didn't know if I was going to financially recover from this. Speaker 2: I am never going to financially recover from this.

Anton: That leads us to the final one, the biggest failure that I have ever had with drop shipping and this one may not apply to everybody that is listening to this episode. This applies specifically to how I was handling my business and how my stores operated, where a large portion of what we were shipping was extremely large and extremely heavy. Now that's fine, you just ship with freight brokers. And when I first started I found a freight broker, I shipped with them every order. And literally years, years of my life, years of the businesses went by where for every order that shipped out, I was spending between $300 and $400 on average to ship these large and heavy items.

Now I still do, and back then I was offering free shipping, meaning that I was paying those costs, which was fine because there were still plenty of margins, still making a lot of money, but I don't even know. Again, I wish I can go back in time when I realized this, whenever it was eight, nine, ten years ago, and thought, I'm spending a ton of money on shipping. I should see if I can get better prices. And what did I do? I reached out to a few different freight brokers. I basically shopped prices.

And I found out that for all of those orders, literally thousands of them that I was paying between $300 and $400 to ship, I could have been paying $150 to $250 for the same exact level of service. So was I getting ripped off? I mean, maybe. The point is like, it was me that didn't do the research. It was me that didn't notice this sooner. And honestly, I don't want to add up how much money I lost, but I am sure it is well, well, well above six figures of what would have been pure profit if few years earlier on, I simply would have shopped around for better pricing on my shipping. That is by far the biggest failure, because just looking back, it's literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of real world money that shouldn't have went to a company that was just charging me their prices.

I should have paid it to another company with better pricing and had an extra... Again, I don't want to add it up, but a lot of money. So lesson learned there that I think should apply to anybody drop shipping, whether you're doing high ticket, like I do and like I recommend, or for some reason you're doing low ticket. What you want to do is look at your outgoing expenses, see where the majority of your money is going week to week, month to month, ideally not year to year like I did, but look at that and then see where you could potentially cut costs. And then just shop around. This took me a few days to realize how much money I could have saved over the years. So speaking of that on Thursday, we have a new episode coming out. It's going to be all about how I audit my stores to stay as profitable as possible.

So if you prefer YouTube videos, be sure to subscribe to the Drop Ship Lifestyle channel on YouTube. If you prefer to listen to episodes as you're driving to work or out for a run or whatever, search for eCommerce Lifestyle on your podcast player of choice and subscribe to the podcast with my face on it.

So with that being said, guys, as always, if you got value from this episode, do me a favor, hit the like button, leave a comment, letting me know. And for anybody that is newer to drop shipping or just struggling to be profitable, if you want to know exactly how my team and I build, grow, and sell online stores, checkout Dropshipwebinar.com for a free in-depth training from me, where I also will make you a special offer on my award winning program, The Drop Ship Blueprint, link to that in the description as well. So thank you everybody. I appreciate you. And I'll talk to you on Thursday for the next episode. See ya everybody.

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