From Software Engineering to Dropshipping Success
As BrandsGateway continuously grows, we strive to improve our services and deliver even better experiences for our existing and new dropshippers. One dropshipper who has been loyal to our services for two years and counting is Assaf who joined BrandsGateway with the idea of starting a lucrative business on his own.
Assaf has always been passionate about starting his own business, and as he emphasizes that “at some point, I decided to give it a shot and going into dropshipping seemed like the best option, as the investment is relatively low compared to a brick-and-mortar business.”
Before getting into the dropshipping industry Assaf was working as a software engineer at a large company in Israel. Today, he mainly sells through the online store he built from scratch using the Shopify platform.
To the question – how much investment one needs to start a dropshipping business, he states that for one to make dropshipping their main income, it requires some investment and effort.
“Personally, I do it as a full-time job and, of course, the more effort I spent the better I can get the business growing. If you are learning by yourself, it’s possible to save a lot of money. However, generally, to get started with it more seriously, one needs an investment of a few thousand dollars for building the online store, contracting with suppliers, and advertising on different platforms.
Assaf has been working closely with BrandsGateway’s team for more than two years. He decided that he wanted to sell luxury clothes so he started looking for dropshipping suppliers that would satisfy his needs and requirements.
“I got in contact with you guys, and I think the good thing about your services is that the profit margins for selling premium products are pretty good. There are dropshippers that want to focus on small products with small profits but that’s not the right approach I’m looking for. I’m more interested in selling products with larger profits, so I decided to focus on premium products like high-end fashion. I was looking for products that would allow me to get a large amount of profit with a smaller number of sales. The reason why I got in contact with BrandsGateway was that you have high-fashion products with relatively high prices that can ensure significant profit”, explains Assaf.
Assaf’s online store based on Shopify is focused mostly on selling both women’s and men’s clothing with a special accent on premium items by Dolce & Gabbana. Discussing the luxury fashion industry and his personal experience, he notes that women’s clothing is the most popular category when it comes to selling online.
“It usually goes to women’s clothing, specifically there is a big interest for dresses but sometimes because of the higher prices the selling can take up to some quite of time. However, there is a big interest in the category of dresses, and I get a lot of queries about measures and prices. Additionally, there is also interest in shoes which are relatively less expensive than dresses. When it comes to men’s clothing – suits are among the most popular products alongside blazers. For example, for one sale of a male’s suit I got a profit of a bit more than $1000”, he adds.
Speaking on the topic of how much he earns by selling BrandsGateway’s portfolio of luxury clothing, Assaf says that the sale of the male suit of around $1000 was his highest profit since he started working with BrandsGateway.
“On a monthly basis, for example, in the beginning, I was making around $2000 in profit, but it really depends on the time of the year, the holidays, and the process of advertising. I’m constantly changing the advertising approach because I’m still learning. At first, I was working with some advertising agencies but then I’ve decided to do it myself, so I’m currently learning new policies of advertising”, concludes Assaf.
Since as a team we seek to do our utmost to bring out the very best of our services and provide a constant superior experience for our dropshippers and their end customers, we asked Assaf to share what he thinks are the main strengths and weaknesses of our services. With reference to strengths, he points out that communication is BrandsGateway’s best trait.
“Communication is one of the most important things for me when working with a dropshipping supplier. I’m working with other suppliers as well and the communication is usually based on robotic mailing. On the other hand, BrandsGateway’s customer support is based on communication with people which is a big advantage. When communicating with you I always get answers from people that really care and want to help me. It’s good to know that there’s someone on the other side that is willing to take care of me and my customers’ issues. Therefore, whether I need help from someone at the warehouse or anything else, I really feel like your team cares to provide dedicated support”, says Assaf.
He continues explaining how communication is very important, especially for dropshippers – “We are in the middle, and we want our customers to feel like we are really giving them support and we can’t do it without our supplier, so the great thing for me is the communication I have with your team”, he adds.
When it comes to weaknesses, Assaf mentions that sometimes he feels like it takes a while for the warehouse to answer some of his questions. For example, usually, the questions that his customers have are related to measurements of the products and sometimes the warehouse can take a while to check them and give him an answer.
“Now with the Covid-19 situation, I understand that there are some issues and the warehouse can’t check some of the products and their sizes and measurements. Sometimes this can create issues for me because my customers start to look for products somewhere else. So, I think that this is one aspect that could be improved – when it comes to this kind of questions, BrandsGateway to manage to check their products faster”, concludes Assaf.
Addressing how important it is for anyone to educate themselves before getting into the dropshipping industry Assaf comments that since the beginning he is constantly learning through the internet, BrandsGateway’s blog, and YouTube videos, and tutorials. In addition, he was listening to some of Udemy’s courses about dropshipping and selling online. Assaf believes that there is a lot to learn through the internet. In the end, he emphasizes that he made a lot of mistakes during this time and that he was teaching himself the hard way sometimes.
When asked about what the future holds and what are his plans about expanding and targeting different markets, Assaf notes that currently, his focus is mostly on the USA market. Since dropshipping is his full-time job he emphasizes that he would like to expand and start focusing on the European market as well.
“It should be easier from the shipping and the tax point of view which is sometimes difficult with the prices when moving the products between regions. So, once my online store starts earning more money I will have the opportunity to start advertising in more places. For now, this is my plan”, he adds.
Finally, for those seeking to enter the dropshipping industry, Assaf advises them to be prepared, as the business does take effort and preparation. Especially if one wants to make it a full-time job with a solid income.
“You need to really learn how everything works and how dropshippers work with different platforms. For example, I work a lot with Shopify and it’s important to understand how to automate the processes, and so on. In conclusion, you can make it a part-time job but if you really want to be successful in this industry, then you should really do your research. Read how people work with suppliers, how they work with different platforms, and learn all the pros and cons before you start investing money in advertising. I, for example, have spent a lot of money before I started to make my profits. You need to be prepared for this and make good research before jumping into the water”, finishes Assaf.
About the Author
Kristina, Head of Content at BrandsGateway. Eternal inspiration: The Doors music and lyrics, Bernardo Bertolucci's timeless “Stealing Beauty”, and the dynamic and meditative Ashtanga Yoga.