Dropshipping success stories are endless, at least for the next few years. We have not seen the end of the internet business success story in the last 20 years. But, if one knows how, it is possible. You have the opportunity to build a successful online business with fast-growing technology and digitalized people.
People want to spend time with their loved ones. This business allows them to start from anywhere, and they can also share most of their time with them. It is impossible to believe that a business can be started with only a computer and an internet connection.
The only thing that is hard to do here is to choose the right niche and build marketing strategies. It can be difficult to find a reliable supplier for drop shipping businesses.
Let’s start with John Haze, a young and dynamic individual who used dropshipping to reach all corners of the world and achieved success selling fashion shoes. This is real and people do make money, so let’s get to the point.
He never imagined the possibility of a dropshipping business. He was keen to start his own business and knew a friend of his who loved shoes. He wanted to know if he owned a store or if he could supply shoes when he receives orders. He laughed and said that this was the best thing he had ever done in his life.
Dropshipping is cool, and E-commerce allows you to sell your products. He shared his story and many facts that motivate us. This is how he did it. The first question was:
It was easy to open an online shop.
John stated that E-commerce was easy because there are many platforms online such as Chinabrands and Shopify. The best part is that they don’t need to be stored in any particular place. It saves time running from one place to another. Platforms such as Chinabrands save me the time I would have spent on shipping and delivery.
What is the cost to start a business?
“As an entrepreneur, my investment was 20$. That was fine with me. I didn’t have to spend my time looking for a store, or invest a lot of money in it. It was not possible to sell it.
What made you decide to wear shoes for your business?
My friend was a shoemaker and I chose shoes to be the first product. Although his local store wasn’t well-known and he received less exposure, I knew that the shoes he made could not be considered useless.
How did you make your first sale?
Instagram is a platform that allows me to post photos frequently and has many followers. I had a plan. I provided a discount code to them and explained that they would be paying a 30% affiliate fee for every sale. I was a bit unsure but managed to secure some partnerships. In just two weeks, the sales grew to more than 12000$.
What do you have in mind for the future?
This is something I would like to do again. In less than a month, I have added more products to my store and found good suppliers. This would be a good idea. People can’t deny the fact that everything is ready-made in one click.
Which recommendations could he make?
The conclusion is summed up with the saying “Better late then never”. There is no stopping you if you believe in your capabilities. Dropshipping allows you to open your own shop. Although it is a slow process at times, dropshipping can have a lasting effect if you get the right product for the right customer.
What to look for in a Shoe Dropshipper
Trends can change quickly, but there are some ways to stay ahead. Trendhunter.com is a good place to keep an eye on trends, or you can look for specialist publications by industry experts (this article about sneaker trends in 2020 by Sneakers Mag is a good example of how insider knowledge can help you to choose your products wisely).
Check how often your supplier receives new stock when choosing suppliers. You will have a greater chance of grabbing the latest trends as they become more popular if your supplier is always receiving new products.
Some shoes are guaranteed to be a hit. For example, Converse sell more than 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylors every single day. They are a timeless sneaker that is easy to spot, so you will find many eCommerce shops selling them.
Dropshipping is not something you will find often from big shoe brands. You’ll be more likely to find shoes made by smaller companies. There are some exceptions. Dropshipping Converse, Adidas and Nike are possible, among others.
It is important to be able to spot fakes. Avoid selling high-end sneakers from big brands without first ordering samples. Otherwise, you could end up with unhappy customers. There are guides on YouTube on how to spot fakes, so you can train yourself up on key signs to look out for.
What are the manufacturing methods used for your shoes? Are you satisfied with the working conditions of the workers? Dropshippers are concerned about this. It can be hard to trace the origin of an item, especially if it is shipped from abroad. Good suppliers will answer all your questions. However, it is worth considering your ethical stance as a brand so that you can find a supplier who matches your standards.
Shipping and Fulfillment
What speed will you be able to get your customers their shoes? Are the shoes well-packed? Another reason to order a sample is that it is always a good idea.
Returns and Customer Service Policy
Just like fashion dropshippers, you may find yourself with a high number of returns on your hands – it’s hard to tell if something will fit without trying it on. It is important to be satisfied with the return policies of your suppliers. It’s also worth finding out how easy it will be to reach someone for additional support. Some suppliers will assign a representative to your account. This is a great benefit in the long-term. It will help you avoid having to call a different person every time you have a question.
Are your suppliers’ websites easy to use?
Although it may seem like a minor concern, a confusing, inconvenient, and difficult-to-use website can cause you to lose your mind. Although your supplier does not need the most modern and minimal interface, it should still function properly with good loading speeds.
Minimum Order Quantity
Some suppliers require a minimum order quantity. This can be a problem if you are just starting out and don’t have many orders. Talk to customer service to determine if you can pay a specific amount to your account for future transactions. This could be a way to sidestep the issue.
It’s important to choose a supplier who will send you samples (more details later).
Which supplier should I choose?
The vast majority of shoes are manufactured in China. Should you dropship directly from China or choose a local supplier closer to your customers?
Let’s look at the pros and con of each:
Domestic Suppliers – The Pros and the Cons
These are some of the benefits to choosing a local supplier.
- Shipping will be faster and your customers will have more options, such as express delivery.
- Returns will be faster and easier
- Communicating with your supplier may be simpler if there is no language barrier or time difference.
Here are the down sides:
- Locally manufactured goods may have higher prices.
- You may have fewer options when it comes to styles and brands
The Pros and Con’s of Overseas Suppliers
These are the benefits of selecting an overseas supplier.
- You will have a wider range of suppliers and products to choose from
- Some products may be cheaper than others.
Here are some cons.
- Shipping may take longer
- Returns may be more complex
- You may find products of lower quality
- It might be more difficult to determine if shoes were made ethically.
Avoid these Shoe Dropshipper Pitfalls
Fake and Scammers
As we said earlier, it is possible to fall for counterfeit branded goods. It can be difficult to distinguish between genuine knock-offs and fakes. These are some obvious things to watch out for:
- It’s unlikely you’re getting the real deal if a pair or designer shoe has an outrageously low price.
- Some colors may appear slightly different from the real thing.
- It is possible that the serial number on your shoes is missing or may not match the number on your packaging.
- They may feel cheap, but they will be made of lower quality materials and won’t feel as luxurious.
Another thing to watch out for is a product that’s too saturated. You may not have the best chance of selling a product if it is extremely popular and there are many sellers who want them. Picking a niche is a great way to make a sale, but it might take some trial and error before you find the right products.
How to establish a good relationship with your supplier
Once you have found your supplier, it is important to build a strong working relationship. Professionalism is a good habit to have in all aspects of your business. But it’s particularly important for this area. A good supplier can give you additional benefits such as being more flexible in your orders or being “in the know” about new products. Although this is unlikely to happen, it’s worth having someone to talk to if you have any questions.
A few simple things can make your supplier happy:
It is unrealistic and even dangerous to try to reply to every email that comes in your inbox. It is still a good idea to reply promptly. Suppliers will look upon you favourably if you respond within a couple of working days – not responding to emails can harm both working and personal relationships (according to a study by the University of Bath), so make sure you don’t leave it too long.
Pay on Time
Pay it before or on the due date if there is flexibility in payment. Late payments can leave a bad impression on suppliers, making them less likely to work with you in the future. According to this study by SAGE, there is a real impact to businesses from constant late payments, with small to medium businesses being hit particularly hard. It is a good idea to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Consider Cultural Differences
This may seem obvious in today’s age of the internet, where people rely more on email than phone calls. However, a little awareness can make a big difference. Remember that suppliers from overseas may have different working hours than yours.
You should also consider whether your communications are culturally sensitive. While you won’t run into any issues, if you do, it could be a big problem for your brand. To see examples of multicultural brand mistakes, read this “Hall of Shame”.
Here are some tips for shoe dropshippers
These are some things that you may want to do before you start.
We have already mentioned that samples are very important. Here are some reasons why.
- There are many ways to spot fake designer shoes
- It is possible to see the time it takes for your product to reach you, and how long it will take for it to reach your customers.
- Check that the packaging meets the required standards and that the shoes arrive unassailable
- You can test the quality of the shoes
How can you verify quality? You can do a few things.
- Make sure to inspect the soles. It is easy to see traces of glue on the soles. This is usually an indication that your shoes won’t last long and will eventually break.
- Check for defects. This is obvious but cracks or tears in the soles will give you an indication of the quality.
- Pay attention to the seams. You will see a seam at the back of some high-heeled shoes or ballet flats. Some shoes can be stiff and take some time to break in. Others are more painful with sharp seams that will dig into the feet of your customers. It’s not always easy to see, but it is possible to make some sales if there are any hard parts sticking inwards.
- Make sure they are clean. White shoes are difficult to clean if they are made in dusty factories. It is worth checking your samples to make sure they are clean. They will be delivered to you in the same condition.
- Verify the materials. Are they consistent with the description? Advertisements for patent leather shoes must be genuine leather. In this instance, there will be a tag that says “Real Leather” or “Genuine Leather”. Look closely, as real leather will have imperfections. Fake leather will be uniform and more plastic-like.
It is possible to change your stock to match the seasons. It’s worth researching new products and making preparations in advance so that you can begin selling them right before the new season arrives.
Pay Attention to Your Competitors
You might consider ordering from your nearest competitors. How does their packaging look? What is their product delivery time? This will help you to determine what you should aim for and what you would like to excel at.
Packaging and branding
Dropshipping companies often allow you to personalize some packaging and branding. They may even offer to place your logo on invoices. It is worthwhile to research this before you make your purchase. Some suppliers offer better pricing for custom packaging and more flexibility.
How to find reliable shoe dropshipping suppliers
You can connect to dropshipping suppliers using a variety of apps and services. Here are some of the larger companies that dropship shoes.
Dropshipping with AliExpress
The AliExpress Dropshipping Shopify app is perfect for beginners. You can access a variety of AliExpress products starting at $5 per month. Although it is very easy to set up, you may need to search for good shoes that aren’t being sold elsewhere. You can also use the Chrome extension to import AliExpress products into your Shopify store.
Distribution of Brands
Brands Distribution is a wholesale and dropshipping provider. You can find a wide range of top-brand shoes at Brands Distribution, such as Adidas, Fila and New Balance. Their dropshipping app, BDroppy, is compatible with Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, and PrestaShop, with more integrations planned for Shopify and Facebook. Monthly subscriptions start at $55.
Salehoo is a directory and market research combo. It is a very useful tool that allows you to sort through thousands of products and find the most profitable. For $67, you get one-year access.
Spocket is an app that integrates with Shopify and WooCommerce. You can connect to many fashion suppliers, including footwear, and you can have your invoices and receipts personalized. You can also order samples of products to check the quality. They also offer a free plan.
Modalyst is a fashion-based platform, connecting you with a variety of suppliers, including big brands. It integrates with Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce. There is also a free plan that allows you to try it out.
My Online Fashion Store
My Online Fashion Store has a dropshipping program, giving you access to lots of suppliers in the fashion niche – including shoes. You’ll find new products almost every day so you can be sure to find the right product for your customers. Integrations are available with many platforms, including Shopify and BigCommerce, WooCommerce Amazon, eBay, Facebook, WooCommerce, WooCommerce, WooCommerce, WooCommerce, Amazon and eBay. They start at $19 per Month.
Chinabrands is a service aimed at dropshippers, connecting you to many products in different niches – including tons of different types of shoes. Although they offer lower-priced shoes, you might want to steer clear if you are looking to specialize in higher-end items. However, they have a wide range of products. Sign up free of charge.
Doba is a dropshipping catalog that will connect you with tons of suppliers in a huge range of niches. You can try their shoes for free. Prices start at $29 per month
A premium supplier’s directory is another option. These directories are meant to help you find reliable suppliers and save you time searching online, which can be very time-consuming.
Our directory will link you to some of the best suppliers out there. We cover many niches, including shoes, and all our suppliers have been vetted. It’s easy to find the supplier you like by linking to their landing page. You can also search by area or niche (or both).
We update it frequently – once your payment is made, you have lifetime access to any updates. Click here to find out more.
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