Last week, just before the week ended, a bright idea struck me, and this is to revive my first dropshipping venture that I started during the last quarter of 2015. Anyway, to give you a brief history, I started my first dropshipping venture around November 2015 and lasted around late January 2016 and this is because I have to stop due to the Chinese New Year, and if you ask why? because all of the products on my store are coming from China, and the vendors during Chinese New Year are on a week-long vacation and any orders that they receive within that timeframe will only be processed after the holiday, so I have no choice but to close shop because if you have a store, you don’t want angry customers, and customers get angry especially when they don’t get their items in the shortest span of time. Anyway, what happened next was I discontinued the shop to open a new store, but unfortunately the new store didn’t do well so I have to close it, then opened up another one, then another one, but regrettably, these stores didn’t really took off, so I shut them all down, and now I’m back to square one.
It was only last week when I was doing some soul searching and remembering my failures in making money online that I realized that my first store actually has the most potential, and it has the most “success” compared to my other stores, success because it is the only store that I have a positive income as I actually earned a revenue of almost $3000, but don’t get too excited because if you deduct the product costs and advertising costs, what’s left is just around $100, so I still can’t consider it much of a “success”, but still, $100 is better than none.
Anyway, last week, I tried to relive my experience on my first store – you know, the feeling of that “first” sale, I really can’t express how happy I am on that day when I first saw the email from Paypal that someone had made a transaction other than me and I just can’t forget that. Anyway, enough of the drama, and back to reality, so what I will do is to revive my first store, and I will make it as a journey for everyone to see, and I will be updating this blog on a weekly basis regarding the status of my store especially the sales and the costs, and other activities that I will do. What I will not tell you is of course the name of my store and the products that I am selling, but mostly other than that, I will be putting it here.
As of this writing, I have already started with my project and have already been doing some major make over on my store, and just for your information, When I opened my first store before, I actually use the Woocommerce platform, but later on, I transferred to Shopify. Although now, I will be using again Woocommerce as my ecommerce platform to save on cost since Woocommerce is free. For the products, I will be getting products mostly from Aliexpress and resell it on my store at a higher but still affordable price. Also, I will be using the following WordPress plugins to make my life easier.
Alidropship Plugin – I just recently bought this plugin for $57.85 (instead of $89, I used the code XMAS35 for the 35% discount) and this will be the main plugin that I will be using in this dropshipping venture of mine. This plugin can get products from Aliexpress with the help of the Alidropship Chrome Extension and import it to my store. This plugin is very helpful and really a time saver because I don’t have to go through all of the product information and images in Aliexpress as this plugin can do it for me with less effort
PixelYourSite Pro Plugin – I will be using mainly Facebook ads on my promotions, and to get a good analysis on these promotions, you need to add a Facebook pixel to your site so Facebook can capture the type of audiences interacting with your site. This way, the ads can be optimized by Facebook based on these audience interactions which will give you better conversions on your ads later on, and If there’s a wordpress plugin that can do this job well, I believe it’s going to be the PixelYourSite plugin. PixelYourSite plugin easily ads the necessary pixel events on your site such as ViewContent, AddtoCart, and Purchase events, so every time a visitor goes to your shop, the pixel gets triggered, then depending on where the visitor goes – whether it just viewed a product, added a product to cart, or purchased something, this events will get recorded and added to your pixel data, and the beauty of this is you can build custom audiences based on these events later.
The “pro” version of this plugin is what I really need because it can capture the audiences depending on your product categories and tags, and this very important and a very powerful features of the plugin especially if you are running a general niche store because you can separate your site visitors based on the category or tags of the products they visited, then you can create custom audiences on it where you can market again your other products related to these niche-specific audiences later on. Just for your information, the store I have is a general niche store, which means I have several niches such as pets, sports, and hobbies, and in this case, I really need to separate the audiences per niche so that I can properly target them and that the ads that I will show them will be relevant, and these is where PixelyourSite Pro plugin comes into play (feel free to read my post on PixelYourSite Pro Review).
WP Optin Boxes – I will also be doing some email marketing especially to capitalize on events such as Christmas, Valentines, St. Patrick, Black Friday, and other important events where people are on a buying mode, and the best way to actually do this is to offer discount codes in exchange for them signing up to my newsletter and there is no much better way to create optin forms but with WP Optin Boxes plugin. With WP Optin Boxes, I can create professional looking and mobile responsive optin forms that I can put anywhere on my store, plus it has a built-in tracker that can analyse the number of impressions and conversion rates your optin form is getting. Anyway, if you like more details on this plugin, you can read here my WP Optinboxes Review.
Mailit Plugin – I used to subscribe to Aweber, but when this WordPress plugin was launched last year, I bought this immediately, then cancelled my Aweber subscription right away. With this plugin, I can add unlimited subscribers and can send unlimited emails with no monthly fee and without any restrictions, but of course, it’s capabilities is still limited by the performance of your server where your site is hosted. Also, what’s nice with this plugin is it can be integrated with WP Optin Boxes thru HTML support, so I can just generate a HTML signup form with Mailit plugin then add it to WP Optin Boxes, so whenever someone subscribes via the optin form I created using WP Optin Boxes, the subscriber automatically gets transferred to my email list in the Mailit plugin which can then send an automatic welcome message to the subscriber with the discount code, which is really cool.
So far those are the main tools that I will be using on my store. Also as of this writing, I have already added around 300 products to my store using the Alidropship plugin, though I still have to painstakingly edit some of the products because there are store watermarks on some of the images and I still have to remove it to make my site more professional, plus I still have to rename the product titles as well to make it unique. Anyway. Even though there are still a lot of things to be done, the Alidropship plugin has really done a great job, especially since it also has a feature that can monitor price changes and if there are products that are not already sold or is already out of stock, my store will also be updated real time.
In total, below are the capital costs mainly attributed to my dropshipping journey
- Domain (yearly): $8.99
- Alidropship: $57.85 (I used the code XMAS35 to get 35% discount)
- PixelYourSite Pro + Product Catalog Feed: $74.25 (I used the code woopro101 for a 25%discount)
TOTAL CAPITAL CASH OUTLAY: $141.09
I didn’t include the hosting fee because my store is just sharing resources with my other websites although I’m planning to migrate it to a much better server like WP Engine when things get better (hopefully) in the near future, I also didn’t include the cost of acquiring the WP Optin Boxes plugin, the Mailit Plugin, and the Genesis Theme (both the framework and child theme) since I already bought these items before and the acquisition of these plugins and themes are not directly attributed to my store.
Wrapping Up (For Now)
I guess that’s all for now. I will be providing update on my dropshipping journey on a weekly basis (My journey week starts Mondays and end on Sundays) so expect a new post around Monday every week. Also, the vendors on Aliexpress are still on vacation due to the Chinese New Year, and I think it will last until the 5th of February this year, so I still have time to prepare.
For comments, questions, suggestions or anything you would like to share, do not hesitate to write it on the comments section below