Is dropshipping a scam? The truth about dropshipping
In general no, but a lot of the online dropshipping courses out there are scams and some dropshipping stores are out to scam you.
What is dropshipping?
If you regularly shop online then you are being dropshipped products all the time through companies like eBaY, Amazon etc. In short, dropshipping is a way to get products to customers without having to physically retain stock or ship items. You essentially take orders and then send the customer details off to the wholesale supplier to fulfill the orders. You set your store price at a higher price than that supplier and that is where you make your margins and profit. Sounds too good to be true right?
There is a moral and an immoral way to dropship to people. The immoral way is to do the following
– lie about quicker delivery times
– lie about ‘sale’ item prices and sale periods
– Using images or videos that aren’t yours
– Ignore GDPR compliance (if relevant)
– mislead customers by showing different products in your product photos or videos to what is actually being shipped
The moral way is to create a store that sells products that you yourself have verified are of good quality and that you vouch for. You also must tell people up front about the delivery lead times and adhere to the law in the way you price your products. Another important step is to make sure you work with reputable suppliers so your orders are being delivered to your customers. So when you ask ‘Is dropshipping a scam’ you are really questioning the person or people behind the dropshipping store.
Dropshipping isn’t all profit though, you need to market your store well, either through an existing audience or through ads. The sheer amount of people doing this across social platforms will ultimately increase the ad costs making it harder to make good margins.
One of the things people don’t like to mention about dropshipping is customer complaints. People creating shady stores won’t have any legitimate contact details but you legally need to give real details and you are going to get people contacting you. The volume of how often depends on how many sales your store is making.
Are dropshipping courses worth the money?
Not at all in my opinion if you are just starting out and with experience comes the ability to spot scam courses and make informed decisions. This kind of ties into the post I did about online marketing courses.
If you have seen an ad with someone sat in front of an expensive car or nice house talking about how they made their money then the odds are it’s just not worth your time and money. Get rich schemes are everywhere online because of peoples ability to get them in all your social channels easily and manipulate you into buying them. You are here so you have clearly looked online for ways to make money dropshipping.
To clarify, when people talk about making 6 figures in their online shop this year, they are not talking about profit, you aren’t going to become a millionaire in 12-36 months. More often than not they are making up to 5% in some kind of affiliate or dropshipping income. So in the real world they are making 50,000 (around 37,000 after tax) annually if they are getting 5% on all of those sales which is not generally the case. Now that is still a very good amount of money and certainly enough to make a full time income from. But don’t be mislead on the numbers and don’t expect miracles in sales.
Don’t be fooled by their ‘communities’ full of people, you will notice almost always that any response will be be handled with ‘DM us for further info’. Many of these courses will offer a ‘money back guarantee’ if you aren’t happy with the content but they will almost always get out of this with small print on how much of the course you have viewed etc.
Being scammed is a very shameful thing and only a small amount of people will come forward and actually admit it happened. Most will just forget it happened and move on or try to justify it to themselves that they got something out of it and maybe they did it wrong.
The trouble is a lot of the people who fail at it are the ones who then start selling the courses to recoup the money back. They are essentially selling you a blueprint for their failure.
Should I start a dropshipping store?
That’s not to say you can’t set up and maintain a successful dropshipping store but there is no quick fix and you need to spend the time understanding the market you want to sell within. Then research and pick the right products as well as putting the time and effort into making it all happen.
Like anything, you need to put in the time to research a niche, write content for your store, take good images and market the product through the right channels.
If you are thinking of buying into one of these courses or schemes then my advice is just to look elsewhere. There are tons of great resources out there that don’t cost a penny to get you on the right track. Companies like Oberlo for Shopify stores and AliDropShip for WordPress stores are there to help dropshippers get started with relative ease.
Good luck in whatever you are doing, look forward, don’t be distracted by these get rich quick schemes and spend the money you do have wisely to boost your business! If you want the fancy house and car without having to sell false hope then you have to work hard for it!
excellent article. I’m going to be diving into dropshipping fairly soon but have been trying to find more articles about the scamming side of it as it’s so apparent to myself. I dont get how the people buy these courses without cringing at the advertising picture/video, its obvious something isn’t right when they have a grin the size of an elephant trunk.
Thanks Tom, appreciate it. Good luck with it all.