How Fast Can You Make Money Dropshipping? [Realistically]

How Fast Can You Make Money Dropshipping? [Realistically]

Dropshipping is an alluring business model. It enables you to get set up and running an online business quickly with minimal risk and resources to get started. Therefore there is somewhat of an expectation that you can make money with dropshipping very quickly and you often see cases of individuals claiming overnight success.

So, how fast can you make money dropshipping? You can make money as quickly as you learn to offer desirable products to interested customers. Its when you can match market demand with your supply. From there, its just a matter of scaling. With dropshipping you can expect to earn money more quickly than other online business models (e.g. Affiliate Marketing), but you will need an effective business plan and strategy in order to obtain a return on your investment in the shortest amount of time possible.

Maybe not the answer you was expecting. The truth is, its a little more nuanced than just a simple answer.

What I am able to state is that dropshipping is a profitable legitimate business model where you can make good money. How long you make that money will depend on a number of factors that we will take a look at below.

How Would You Define ‘Fast’

Fast for some of you will mean different things to others. Are you expecting to make money overnight or within a month/year. You see, your expectations will largely determine if your goal is ultimately met.

That being said, it is definitely possible to start earning money (profitable earnings) straight away with dropshipping. There are plenty of examples of individuals and businesses doing this. However, you’ll largely notice that they have a business model and system that they have learnt and tailored. They’ve likely refined processes and tested vigorously to see what works and what doesnt.

For complete beginners, making money through dropshipping overnight is not the norm. If you are able to turn a profit within a couple of months of beginning then you are on the right track.

You may be wondering why it can take a while to start profiting with dropshipping. Considering you can have a store up and running and ads marketing products within a day. Here’s why it can take a bit longer.

The Dropshipping Learning Curve

Dropshipping is not just building a quick store on Shopify and then running ads to any old cheap product you find on marketplaces like AliExpress.

In theory it seems simple but theres a lot more involved if you want to actually profit from the process. Sure, this may work if you are fortunate and luckily stumble across a product winner, but for the most part this kind of approach fails fast.

Its easy to underestimate the work that needs to be done to build and manage a successful eCommerce store. You need to research your niche and products thoroughly, understand your target audience/the competition, know how to run successful marketing ads, manage your cash flow etc.

I cannot underestimate the importance of your products. It does not matter how good you are at marketing, if you’re trying to sell undesirable products then you are setting yourself up for failure from the start.

Once you learn how to research effectively, it becomes easier to identify other winning products. From there you can replicate the process on new stores and start making money a lot more quickly. But until you know how to find products that serve a need, are unique and are in demand, you will be forevor stuck in the testing and losing money stage.

Obviously there is a lot of benefits to becoming a dropshipper. Its an excellent opportunity to build a business from the comfort of your own home and with minimal costs and risks (compare it to a brick and mortar store). You can even outsource your processes to make the business a lot more hands off and passive. This will enable you to have more time to do what you love, build other income streams or just do whatever you love to do.

You’ll also be in control of your life and destiny; is that not the best benefit of them all?

However, these benefits do not just come automatically. You’re not entitled to them and you’ll need to put in the work to obtain them. If it was that easy to make money dropshipping then everyone would own and run a successful store wouldn’t they?

Before you actually begin to see an ROI (return on investment), these are pretty much required:

  • Product/ Niche/ Competitor Research
  • Store Creation/Optimization
  • Customer Acquisition and Retention
  • Online Marketing

And these are just the basics. Theres a lot to do and the quicker you can learn it all the faster you’ll find success with dropshipping.

I signed up to an eCommerce Training course that I would thoroughly recommend. Its inexpensive and taught me how to build, manage and scale an eCommerce store from scratch. If you’re looking to build a successful store, then I suggest you read my review of the course.

Overhype and Exaggeration

You’ve probably noticed by now but there is a lot of content around dropshipping online. Whether it be on YouTube or on websites/blogs, you’ll soon be overwhelmed with the amount of content there actually is.

A lot of these so called ‘resources’ will actually have a hidden agenda and will be there for the purpose or promoting a service or a course.

The problem is that a lot of people make money out if dropshipping by telling people how to dropship. Its the same as any other industry but dropshipping is not immune to this approach.

As part of this ecosystem you’ll find a lot of individuals claiming personal success who have never actually built a successful storw. Others will claim you can obtain guaranteed success which is simply is not true.

Furthernore, while strategies and recommendations may work in one particular niche or product, they may be largely innefective for another.

Ultimately becoming a successful dropshipper is about applying principles to your own store, your own products and your own context. Part of the process is about testing and learning what works for you and what doesn’t.

And then there’s the fact that platforms and industries change. What may have worked a year or two ago may not even be relevant anymore. You need to understand that things change and you need to adapt to fully maximize your earning potential.

Acquiring Customers is the Challenging Part

Even when you have an optimized store, and have spent the time to learn how to run ads to your products, you still need to acquire customers. in fact, its the most important part!

This can take a while; you need to be able to influence, persuade and entice people to buy. You need to get your products out in front of the right audience, at the right time.

The challenging thing is there are no ways to forecast or understand what this may look like om advance. For advertising through Social Media, your success is largely reliant on your Ad Copy, Audience Targeting and Ad Budget. Some ads will acquire customers straight away whereas others will take time to optimize and send traffic. You won’t know until you test.

Spending more money on your Ads may help you receive an ROI quicker (as you can target more potential customers), but even then your ads are not guaranteed to succeed. You could get your ads in front of thousands of potential customers but if its not an attractive proposition for them, you’ll not make many if any sales.

The predominant factor in your success is going to be down to Product and Niche selection. You need to be offering unique products at an attractive price point. You need to give people a reason to purchase from your store.

Starting Dropshipping

If you landed on this article, then you are clearly on the right tracks to building a successful eCommerce store. You’re doing your research and due diligence and these are the skills that will benefit you and your store. It also shows that you have the right mindset when it comes to the business model which will serve you well.

The best time that you can start dropshipping is now. There’s no time like the present. Dropshipping will be around for many years to come, so its best to enter the market while it is still relatively new and competition is low.

Dropshipping is not easy; I’m not going to lie to you. You may not make money right away, and that’s okay as long as you learn to recover your costs and make profit down the line.

The best thing with dropshipping is that you will learn things that will help you for any and every other business you start. There are so many practical takeaways that you can apply; customer acquisition, retention, marketing, research. It’s all applicable to any business venture you pursue (whether online or offline).

But if you continue to sit on the fence and not start, you are ultimately just losing time.

How To Make Money Dropshipping Sooner

You can go into the business model alone and learn along the way. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. Chances are it will take you more time and cost you more down the line.

There’s a lot to learn and the truth is you won’t have all this knowledge upfront. Getting a business plan and following a systematized strategy is always the best approach.

Doing so, you can learn the exact steps that you need to take to succeed. You learn of the things to do, but more importantly, what not to do in the various stages of the business.

Following an established and recognized training course is going to cut the learning time, and give you the knowledge you need to make money faster.

This could be the start of something special. You’ll need to apply yourself but if you are willing to learn and enter the business model with an open mind, you’ll have a good chance of succeeding.

Final Words

As you can see, how quickly you can make money dropshipping is a little bit more difficult to answer when you consider the factors involved.

Hopefully by now you’re in a position where you can set realistic expectations and be motivated to start.

While you can make money overnight, you’re likely going to need some time until you’re profiting a full-time income.That’s just how it is.

Then again, you can cut your learning curve down and give you a faster ROI by actually implementing strategies required to build a successful eCommerce store.

Other eCommerce guides you may be interested in:

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