Q&A: Private Label or Dropship, Sourcing in USA, Integration and Tools [Episode 10]

Welcome to Episode 10 of the E-BusinessOnline Podcast

Host & Speaker:  Fred McKinnon
Topic:   Fred answers questions from fellow EBO’ers sent via email and on the Facebook Group
Summary:   Fellow EBO’ers (that’s code for folks in our E-BusinessOnline community!) ask questions and have them answered here on the podcast.

3 Things We Are Asking Every Listener to Consider:

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  • Checkout Fred’s 1+ hour long interview of his story on fellow podcaster, Stephen Peterson’s show, ECommerce Momentum

Question #1 from the Facebook Group from Lance:

Hi Fred and EBOers   I have been selling a pl product on Amazon with poor results, 20 units in 2 months.  I want to focus more on dropshipping, but just getting started.  Can you dropship on Amazon?  I heard they don’t like it due to the fact that merchant shipping goes through more than one set of hands and could result in late shipments to their customers.  I have about 10 vendors from worldwide brands that I have been approved on but listing on my Shopify site has not yielded sales thus far.  I like the idea of listing many products on Amazon and other platforms to drop ship.  Thanks in advance for an advice

Lance, thanks for the question and thanks for being a part of our FB group!   I answer in detail on the podcast but YES, you can definitely dropship on Amazon.  They even do it themselves.   You mentioned a few things in your question that I addressed.

  • WorldWide Brands:   this is a directory that you can purchase a lifetime membership to that puts you in touch with wholesale distributors who will agree to dropship for you.  You can definitely use these – lots of distributors and thousands of products at your fingertips.  This is great – the negative is that everyone else who buys this directory is reaching out to the same suppliers, so competition is fierce.
  • Shopify:  this is a great choice for those wanting to build an online store.  After building your store, you’ll still need to drive traffic, using things like Google Adwords, Google Shopping, and other marketing options.

Question #2 from the Facebook Group from Amy:

Hey Fred! I just wanted to say thanks for the add on your E-business online FB site.  I am trying to get started in this business and learning as much as I can.  It just seems there are sooooo many people out there selling courses to teach you how to do this business.  Is it worth it to buy a course? I do want to but I’ve come to find out alot of people will say their course will tell you all you need to know but some of them i have found are selling crap. Would you mind telling me how you got started?  Do you still enjoy it? I am trying to start a business that will let me be flexible so i can be here for my family but make enough money to not need an outside job. Can i do that with this business?  

Amy, first – great to have a local from the Golden Isles to discover the podcast and group.  Thanks for chiming in.  I’ve answered in detail on the show.   Ultimately, yes, some of the courses are great.  I’ve purchased a couple and some have proven to be very helpful for me.  Stay away from courses that claim to make you tons of money for very little work or time or effort.  That is “crap” as you put it.   This is hard work.  If it’s super easy, it’s money that will disappear as quickly as it appeared, and that’s a Biblical principle.   Research a course, don’t buy on impulse.  Ask others before making the purchase.  But, there is a ton of free help just by posting in our FB Group – so you can always start there and by listening to our podcast.

Question #3 from the Facebook Group from Michelle F:

Hi Fred – really enjoyed your podcasts. Thanks for sharing the information. I listened to all of them this weekend while working on my taxes! For dropshipping, can you address integration partners? We are currently on Amazon, eBay and Walmart with a handful of suppliers and have tried out several integration partners and have a demo scheduled with channeladvisor. It looks like some of them have more features for dropshippers. Thank you!

Michelle thanks so much.  Glad you caught up on the episodes of the podcast but hate that you had to endure TAXES.    I agree, it sounds like you’re in the place where an integration partner would be useful.  I don’t typically recommend or endorse any of them on the show but can only comment on ChannelAdvisor, as it’s what we use.  I go into great detail about what an integration platform does for those who don’t quite know what it means.   Good luck.

Question #4 from Facebook Group user, Sergei from the Ukraine

Sourcing in US. How to negotiate with US wholesalers\ manufacturers when you are not just big enough yet. And\or not a US resident 🙂 Where to look for your source.

Hey Sergei, shout out from Georgia to the Ukraine.  How cool that we’re reaching an international audience.  As discussed in the show, I think there will be some challenges in setting up accounts without having a US-Based company but it’s not impossible.  Each vendor will have their own rules.  You may eventually need to setup a small, legal entity in the USA for this purpose but my recommendation is to first choose the suppliers that you are interested in buying from and then ask them how to proceed.   If at all possible, have a business plan, a strategy, and vision prepared to share with them on the phone.  They will hear your excitement and eagerness and be more likely to work with you.

Question #5 from Facebook Group user, Jacob F

What are some tools/software that you use for your business that you couldn’t live without

Hey Jacob, love having you active in our community.   I love these questions because everyone likes a list of tools.   There are so many but a few that came to mind as I was recording the show included:

  • Accounting Software (QuickBooks Online, Xero)
  • Transactional Accounting Database (listen to the show to hear details of why this is important)
  • Google Drive, Google Apps
  • Jungle Scout Chrome Extension for Product Research
  • Keepa Chrome Extension and CamelCamelCamel
  • Skype
  • ChannelAdvisor (or other integration platform)
  • Online Calculators (FBA calculator, Margin Calculators)
  • MS Excel
  • TaxJar (sales tax)
  • the PHONE:  yes, Fred goes on this soapbox again about using the phone and putting down the keyboard every now and then.

Lots more questions to ask, but we’ll tackle on another show . Thanks to those who posted questions and please continue to do so!

Links

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