High-ticket dropshipping can be a pretty straightforward business. This is a business model that I have years of experience with, and I’d like to think that I’m at least well on my way to mastering it.
That’s why I’m going to share some dropshipping do’s and don’ts that I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully, this will help encourage good business habits in you and prevent you from making some common mistakes.
I’ll jump right into it.
Want to skip the reading? Just click on the thumbnail below to hear me explain the do’s and don’ts.
Do: Sell high-ticket products.
I cannot stress this part enough. You shouldn’t be wasting your time with items that are $100, $200, or even $300 apiece.
My target price is at least $500. Anything above that, though, is even better.
The reason you should be selling these expensive items is simple: you’ll make more money on each sale.
Given that you’ll have to spend hours of your time working on your site and running ads, the profits need to be worth the trouble. Inexpensive items just aren’t going to do this for you.
At the end of the day, I’d rather spend my valuable time on something that will make me $100 or more per sale instead of $5-10. I’d be willing to bet you feel similarly.
Do: Pick a broad domain name.
The second big “do” is picking a domain name that doesn’t pigeonhole yourself.
If you choose an incredibly specific product and a domain name reflecting that specificity, you’re limiting what you could be doing in the future. You’re putting yourself in a tiny box.
This is crucial if the worst thing happens: the store fails, and you’re just not selling anything. With an ultra-narrow domain name, you’re more likely stuck with what’s in the store, preventing you from expanding to more profitable options.
On the other hand, a broader domain name gives you that room to breathe and grow. When something doesn’t work, you can secure other suppliers to put on the site.
We made this mistake personally a few different times. We started in industries that just weren’t working out for us, and ended up having to pivot to new suppliers in order to turn it around.
From my own personal experiences, I can tell you that’s a huge reason why we’ve never had a dropshipping site completely fail. We set domain names that allow us to pivot and bring in new suppliers to breathe life into the store.
Do: Form a legitimate business.
I don’t recommend just jumping into dropshipping without forming a business entity. It’s so important, both for tax purposes and for the sake of developing relationships with other businesses.
Additionally, when you’re dropshipping expensive items, it helps to have the authenticity that comes with being a real business entity. I suggest looking into forming an LLC, and you can see more about why here. (5 Easy steps or Dropshipping basics article link).
You don’t necessarily need to do this before you set up your site or anything, but I would advise getting it done early on as you work on other things.
Most people look into online income methods like dropshipping thinking they can just make a quick, easy buck with minimal effort on their part. While it’s true that you can earn money dropshipping, I always say you should do it by the book.
That means making a real business as a foundation for your efforts.
Do: Hire a virtual assistant.
Pretty much as soon as you make your first sale, I suggest hiring a virtual assistant.
I said earlier that your time is valuable, and a VA will free a lot of that time up. You can hire one for as much a $3 an hour, and that person can list products, answer emails, and answer phone calls for you.
Of course, in the beginning, you may not have a lot of phone calls, but it’s still nice to have that base covered. If you’re looking for a virtual phone system so you don’t have to use your personal cell phone number, I highly recommend Grasshopper. You can click here for a free trial.
While your VA handles the small stuff, your job should be to focus on the highest level tasks. If you’re spreading yourself thin doing everything, that’s simply not possible.
Outsourcing can help you solve that problem. We even have an episode in our podcast where we talk about Outsourcing High-Ticket Dropshipping Shopify eCommerce Stores.
Do: Start yourself with Google ads.
There many different platforms to advertise on, but the one I’ve had the most consistent results with is Google.
I generally don’t use Facebook ads, because you can’t really run them in the long-term and most people don’t go on Facebook to look at ads. I bet when you’re on Facebook, you’re scrolling through your feed looking for funny videos to watch. That’s not the kind of audience that’s likely to buy what you’re selling.
On the flipside, people who are searching for your product on Google are the ones who are ready to buy. These are the people you should be reaching.
Don’t: Worry about SEO right away.
This probably sounds a little counterintuitive. If you want people to find your stores, you should be worried about SEO, right?
Well, not in the beginning. If you’re working with suppliers, you’ll be able to use their descriptions. You’ll also be paying for advertising.
SEO is something you can work on further down the line, once you’re off the ground.
Don’t: Get tempted by other business models.
It’s pretty easy to get discouraged if you don’t see money pouring into your bank account right away. But my advice is, if you committed to dropshipping, stick with it.
Do it correctly, and the risks and chances for failure are small. Don’t spend all your time reading about other business models rather than working on your own.
One thing I’ve realized over my years of dropshipping is that the best way to truly learn the ins and outs of a business model is to do it.
You can spend all day analyzing articles or theories about the business model, but the only way you’re going to gain a deep understanding of it is to immerse yourself in doing it.
If you’re curious about other business models and how they compare against dropshipping, we’ve done a few useful comparisons. We have guides on dropshipping vs retail arbitrage and dropshipping vs affiliate marketing.
Don’t: Use Facebook ads.
I kind of touched base on this issue a bit earlier when I said to use Google ads. I’m reiterating it here, because I think it’s so important: don’t use Facebook ads…at least, not initially.
The majority of Facebook users aren’t on there to look at your ads. They’re drinking in their newsfeed or looking for something to entertain them. Your ads aren’t going to fulfill that need. We talk about it in even more detail here.
Later on, once you get traffic to your site, I think Facebook ads can work for re-targeting, but that’s about the only thing I’d recommend them for.
Don’t: Stop thinking about weird niches.
Keep your eyes open. Try to remove those blinders you have and really look out for potential niches that you can get into.
It’s breathtaking how many opportunities are out there, even for high-ticket items. You’d be shocked at how many people spend a lot of money on hobbies and interests you’ve never even heard about.
I’ve actually discovered a new niche just by running into it in real life. So when you’re out and about, take a look around yourself and actually pay attention to the world around you.
You never know what you might find.
Don’t: Neglect other types of markets.
If you’re wondering what I mean by “types of markets,” I’ll explain.
There are two major market types out there today: B2B and B2C. B2C stands for “business to consumer,” and B2B stands for “business to business.”
You could potentially have dropshipping stores that do either one, or even a dropshipping store that does both. Don’t limit yourself here.
Don’t: Give up (until you’ve made at least one sale).
No matter how hard it seems, trust me when I say this: don’t give up. Wait until you’ve made at least one single sale. Don’t let that negative voice in your head tell you this isn’t for you.
Too many people fold under the pressure way too early, distracted by either their own personal lives or other business models.
The best way I’ve found to keep going when it gets rough is consistency. Rather than working crazily hard one day and slacking off the next, keep it consistent.
What consistency means for you personally can be different from my definition, too. If that means working on your business for ten hours a day, that’s great – you might make your first sale in two weeks.
But even if that means you’re only able to put in half an hour a day, accept that that’s what you can do, and keep doing it. Once you make that very first sale, like I said before, invest in a virtual assistant.
Suddenly, you’re freeing up your valuable time to focus on the more important aspects of your business. Even if you personally are only able to continue putting in that daily half hour, that VA you hired for around $3 an hour will now be working eight hours a day for your business.
Not to mention, that first sale will have also made you a profit. A handful of monthly sales on high-ticket items can usually recuperate your losses and then some.
Further on down the line, you could even look at selling your Shopify dropshipping store. We’ve even done a case study on whether or not buying existing Shopify stores is worth it.
There you have it: some common do’s and don’ts of dropshipping. Following these suggestions will have you well on your way to enjoying some degree of success with this business model.
Of course, this is just a shallow look at the business model. We dive even deeper into it in our free Online Assets Playbook.
Beyond that, if you want to hear even more about what we personally do to make our dropshipping stores profitable, try our Instant eCommerce Assets course. We’ve created it specifically to help even complete novices develop their own high-ticket dropshipping business.