The new way to make money that has people on TikTok claiming to earn £10,000 a month
From eBay to Etsy, the internet is full of online marketplaces where sellers sell their wares to customers all over the world.
But an emerging trend that has taken off on TikTok sees entrepreneurs selling goods they’ve never even touched.
So-called “dropshipping” is a modern fulfillment method. An entrepreneur identifies a product – usually through the AliExpress e-commerce platform; a cheaper Chinese version from Amazon – then advertises it to customers online.
The ad, which is often shown on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, directs the customer to an online store.
Once the order has been placed, the entrepreneur – who has no physical stock – returns to the original AliExpress listing and has the product sent directly to the customer.
An emerging trend that has taken off on TikTok sees entrepreneurs selling goods they’ve never even touched. Mohamed Camara shows people how to turn to “dropshipping”
A price breakdown shows the low cost of starting a dropshipping business and is used by many students and people working in minimal jobs as a way to create an additional stream of income on top of their salary. However, others warn that it is not as easy as it seems
They can set the final price, which usually takes into account the money spent on marketing, but is usually much higher than the original.
The seemingly simple premise has attracted would-be entrepreneurs from around the world who claim to earn the equivalent of £8,000 a month from dropshipping. The industry is said to be worth $15 billion.
Hundreds of ‘how-to’ videos have appeared online showing the program’s ‘simplicity’, but people are warning that it’s ‘not as easy as it looks’ and won’t make you a millionaire overnight. on the next day.
Low start-up costs mean that in theory anyone can become a successful dropshipper for little more than the cost of setting up an online store and paying for ads.
A dropshipping business can also be run from any laptop with an internet connection, attracting the generation of “digital nomads” who want to be able to travel while working to earn money.
TikTok user Alice Liu @alice_liuuu says dropshipping can bring in a six-figure annual salary.
A dropshipper will promote the product online in a stylish way, using trending music and platforms and sometimes sell the product at triple markup to make a profit. Videos can often look homemade and relevant – which is appealing to the contemporary market that wants to feel more engaged with the products
The TikToker claims that to maximize your earnings, you need to be smart when choosing your products by checking out lists such as Amazon Must Haves and Tik Tok Made Me Buy It – a label given to products that go viral on the video-sharing platform .
Alice said: “You have to find a unique and must-have product. Next, you need to start a 14-day Shopify trial. Look on Amazon Must Have lists or TikTok Made Me Buy it.
‘You will then go to the Shopify app store and go to Zendrop. Find the product on Zendrop, then import it to your Shopify store. After customizing your Shopify store, it’s finally time to advertise.
“Use TikTok and Instagram to drive traffic to your store. Regularly post articles about the product and show them how this product has improved your life.”
A man called Mohamed Camara claimed to make $38,000 in just two weeks from dropshipping and posted a video showing how he did it.
He found products on AliExpress which included a pink diffuser with deer decoration that cost £7.98 and decided to sell it for more than triple the retail price of $24.99.
An AliExpress product (left) restyled and used in TikTok videos. Many users have taken this simple ‘bright note’ and used it in videos – and it’s commonly seen on TikTok (right)
He said: ‘I went to Shopify where I could build my store, it was very simple and took about 38 minutes, I did a little home video for an add on to promote the broadcaster and that’s it that I can make six figures a month from home.’
Mohamed then shows a few accounts with large sums of money on the video for a few seconds.
E-commerce sites welcome dropshippers because they channel new revenue streams they otherwise wouldn’t have and additional marketing.
Big sites benefit from having people online do the advertising work for them and buy large amounts of their products to get a lot of profit from successful dropshippers.
However, others claim that dropshipping is not as easy as it looks.
Low start-up costs mean a lot of people are trying to cash in on the trend. To stand out, they set their prices extremely low, which in the end can cost them money once you factor in the cost of advertising.
The market is full of vendors all trying to whip up the same product – kind of like having a street full of Avon reps, each rep would make very little money compared to if they were the only one in the area.
The home video made by Mohamed showed how the AliExpress broadcaster fits into his home and enticed users to purchase the product through his store.
Some have also claimed that start-up costs are not as low as one might think.
It is estimated that the cost of an online store, a domain name for a website and advertising will be more like $500 to make the business a success.
One TikTok user said, “For people who think it’s easy; this is no longer the case. You can still earn a good amount of money, but it takes time, it’s not passive income lmao.
@Nina.modernluv was a successful dropshipper who was asked to raise her prices by one of the vendors she used to set up her store.
She said: “I built my life and put all my love and energy into my business and I had a successful page selling bridal products and I got an email saying I need to increase my price.
‘So I bred them, and in the end I was like ‘these products aren’t even worth what I’m selling right now’.
“So apart from the prices, I also had problems with shipping, customers were contacting me asking ‘where is this product? and had no control over it either.
“Also with the quality – I couldn’t guarantee that – so I’m dealing with brides looking to get everything right and if the print is off or something goes wrong – I’m going to have a heart attack for they.
“Of course they want everything to be perfect, so do I. That’s why I’m never dropshipping again.
Since the dropshipper does not have control of the products, they can be left to the mercy of the original supplier, who may demand that they sell the product for a higher price, which can then cause the dropshippers to lose money.
Morally, as @nin.modernluv experienced, she was selling products that she felt weren’t worth the extra cost – so she backed out of the game.
Offering tips for getting started, Shopify, which helps people build online stores popular with dropshippers, said: “Dropshipping businesses act as product curators, picking the right mix of products to market to customers. .
“Remember that marketing is a cost you incur, in time and money, to help potential customers find, review and buy the right product.
“You will also need to include the cost of customer support whenever there is a product or shipping issue.” Last, but not least, is the original price at which your supplier sells the product.
“With all of these costs to factor in, dropshipping companies mark up individual products in exchange for distribution.
“To make a profit with your dropshipping business, it’s a good idea to know how much it costs you to ‘acquire’ a customer and price your products with that in mind.”