Part 1: Essential elements to setting up an online shop
The number one obstacle that stops people making money from selling drop shipped products online is that they don’t know how to set up a drop shipping store. The second reason is that they think it will be too expensive to do.
Neither of these is true. Whilst building an online store, finding the stock and marketing it looks like an incredibly complicated process, it is, in fact, very easy to do. So easy, that you could probably get your e-commerce shop built and selling and earning you money within a few days.
As for expensive, think again. We’ll show you how you can fill your shop with products to sell without the need to spend a penny on buying stock in advance.
If you are one of those who have been put off because you think the process is difficult and expensive, Timber World will, in our next series of posts, guide you, step by step, through the process so you know exactly how to do it.
Why are we doing this? Because we get a lot of budding entrepreneurs who are interested in selling our products but who tell us they wouldn’t know where to start or they don’t have the start-up capital to begin. We want to encourage more people to get on board and sell our fantastic log cabins.
The three main elements to setting up a successful drop shipping store
There are three major elements needed to set up your own drop shipping website: an online store from where you will sell your products; a wholesale dropshipper who will supply the products you sell; and an effective marketing plan to make sure you attract customers.
An online store
In order to sell, you’ll need an online shop or e-commerce store where you will showcase your products to your visitors and take orders and payments when they decide to buy. You’ll need a store that looks attractive, matches the products that you want to sell and makes finding the products easy for your visitors.
The store needs to be professional, both in terms of how it looks and in the quality of the written content. You will also need to set up a payment gateway with a company like PayPal so that you can accept payments online.
We’ll show you how to get excellent, cheap hosting and a low cost domain name (website name) and how you can set up a professional site, quickly and easily for no cost – using the same free software that powers 30% of the world’s online shops, including many huge stores run by well-known brands. We’ll also show you where you can get thousands of useful free designs to make your website looks spectacular and tens of thousands of free tools that give your shop much more functionality and make it more helpful for your customers whilst they are shopping.
Finding a wholesale drop shipper
As a retailer, you’ll need to find wholesalers who will supply you with the products you want to sell. To stock your website without the need for any up-front investment what-so-ever, you’ll need to find a reputable, wholesale drop shipper, like Timber World.
With a wholesale drop shipper, you don’t need to buy bulk quantities of stock in advance; instead, you wait until you’ve taken the order from the customer first and then, once you have been paid, you order the product from the wholesaler and they then ship the product to the customer on your behalf.
Operating this way means that you never need to buy stock in advance. This improves your cash flow, gets rid of the risk of buying stock you cannot sell and reduces any need to pay for warehousing, stock insurance, shipping fees and labour costs.
We’ll show you how to find wholesale dropshippers so you can get your online store selling very quickly. If you are interested in selling log cabins and garden buildings, we can even provide you with our own drop shipped products to sell.
A marketing plan
by many Once you’ve got the store built and the wholesale drop shipper in place to provide the products, the last essential element is to let people know your shop is out there. Marketing is essential if you are going to attract visitors to your website and make sales. However, when you first start-up you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds on expensive marketing campaigns or hire huge marketing companies to run them.
We’ll show you how to market your products using some of the most effective techniques employed of the world’s leading e-commerce sites. In this digital age, there are lots of ways to help your business reach out to potential customers without the need to spend anything.
If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.
By Timber World, the UK’s leading dropshipping wholesaler for log cabins
A guide to successfully pitching your dropshipped products to online customers
In order to pitch your products successfully, you have match the product to the customer. To do this, you have to understand the type of customer in your market and what they are looking for when they buy something.
Common Pitching Errors
When many people starting selling dropshipped products, they tend to think that it is the features of the product that will sell it to the customer. This isn’t actually how it works. Whilst the features are important, what actually sells the product is the benefits the features give to the customer.
When selling online, you should write your product descriptions to include the benefits of the product for your customer. However, before you can do this, you have to understand the benefits the customer is looking for and to do that you need to know the different types of customer who visit your site.
For example, if you are selling a vacuum cleaner to a customer who has a small house with little storage space, instead of focusing on the vacuum cleaner’s ability to suck up dirt, you should solve the customer’s real problem. “When you’ve finished using this vacuum cleaner, it folds up easily into a compact unit, small enough to be stored under the kitchen sink.” The customer needs a space saving device. If you pitch it that way, you sell the vacuum cleaner.
What are the best types of customers to pitch to?
1) Desperate customers
Desperate customers are ones that have problems which they urgently want solving and because of this they are impatient to buy and willing to spend money to solve it. Their urgency offers you potentially rich pickings, especially with upsells, but they are also the type of customer who will complain if your products don’t solve the problem they need to remedy.
With online stores, pitching to desperate customers means writing product descriptions aimed directly at them. You have to imagine what their problems will be and explain how your products and services will solve them.
If you sell log cabins, for example, a desperate customer might be someone who needs extra space at home but cannot afford to or move; perhaps they have a growing family. When pitching your log cabin you would show how much extra space a cabin would offer and then explain all the uses it could be put to. You would then discuss other benefits that having extra space could offer: somewhere for the children to play, storage space to declutter a busy household. You could also mention that it is much less expensive than having an extension built or a loft conversion. These are all things which appeal to a desperate buyer for this product.
Think of the products you sell. Why would someone desperately need them? If you write down the ways your product could solve their problems you have the ideal content to pitch that product to that customer.
2) Customers with a hobby
A customer with a hobby is an enthusiast, someone who is willing to pay well to do something they love. As they tend to have a passion for their hobby they will usually want the best products they can afford and this makes them a very good group to upsell too. They will, however, be quite knowledgeable about what they want and so you can’t pull the wool over their eyes with overblown marketing promises.
When you pitch to a hobbyist, you need to understand the pleasure they get from their hobby and how your products can enhance that pleasure. With log cabins, for example, there are two sorts of hobbyist that may be interested in your products: gardeners and people looking for a building in which to do their hobby.
With gardeners, you know that what gives them the most pleasure is a beautiful garden. The pitch, therefore, has to be about how the log cabin will make a perfect centrepiece for their garden, how attractive it looks and how it will enhance the gardener’s enjoyment of their garden. You can also show how it can be used as the perfect place to sit and admire their garden.
With craftspeople looking for somewhere to do their hobby, you would pitch the log cabins as a place where they could retreat to, a quiet, spacious place with lots of natural light and the freedom to move around or store lots of their equipment. It doesn’t matter if their hobby is restoring motorbikes, making dresses or working out, but as long as you explain the benefits, the hobbyist will be attracted.
For your own products, try to imagine why someone with a hobby might want them. How could they enhance the hobbyist’s enjoyment? How could they make doing their hobby better or easier? This will help you write a product description pitched at this type of customer.
3) Repeat Buyers
Some dropshipped products are ideal for repeat buying, especially items which are disposable or have a short lifespan. Repeat buyers are people who have developed a relationship with your website and find it a place where they feel comfortable on the internet. They have learnt to trust your company and like the things you sell. This puts you in a very powerful position to take advantage of this relationship.
With repeat buyers, you need to get them to buy other products besides the ones they keep coming back for. The first thing you would need to do is research your existing customers and find out what products they regularly buy. The next stage would be to find related products that they might be interested in. You can then pitch these products to them. This can be done in several ways – via your newsletter, at the bottom of any emails you send them as part of their purchase – such as an invoice, or you could ask your dropshipping company to put printed material in the packaging for you.
Once again, you would pitch the products by linking the benefits it offers to the same benefits they get from the products they regularly buy.
With log cabins, you would imagine that there is not much scope for repeat sales, but in fact, there is. Whilst a customer obviously isn’t going to buy a new log cabin every month, there will be other cabin related products which need renewing on a regular basis, for example, wood treatment, external paint, battery operated light bulbs, window cleaner, wooden floor oil. As a specialist log cabin retailer, you customers would think that you know the best products to sell and will buy them from you even if they are more expensive than elsewhere. When you pitch them, flag up you expertise before explaining how they will benefit the customer.
As you can see, pitching requires you to understand your customers and the reasons they are buying from you. Once you know this, you can capitalise on it by focusing your product descriptions on meeting the needs and desires of those customers. This will help you increase sales of your drop shipped products.
If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.
Our latest post to help you improve your online drop shipping business will focus on one single tactic that can have a massive boost on converting visitors into customers: free shipping.
How do we know offering free shipping boosts sales?
Thanks to internet giant, Amazon, we now have a much better understanding of how shipping costs affect sales. Recently, they undertook a highly detailed study of online customers’ buying habits by following shoppers from the moment they arrived at their site all the way to their exit. One remarkable discovery that Amazon made was that almost half of all customers empty their shopping cart when they find out that the retailer doesn’t offer free delivery! The impact of this is obvious. You may have created the perfect website, chosen and curated the ideal items to sell, designed a successful marketing strategy that encourages visitors to your site, and promoted your products with well written listings and attractive images. With all these in place, your shoppers decide to buy, add your products to their basket and proceed all the way to check out – and then, once they see you charge a for shipping, almost half of them leave and buying nothing. That’s almost 50% of your sales lost. Or to put it another way, you could increase your current sales by almost 100% if you offered free shipping.
It gets even better
But it doesn’t stop here. Amazon also found out that if you do offer free shipping, three quarters of customers will actually purchase more than they first came for. So, for those of you who have been following Timber World’s Successful Dropshipping Techniques series and have put upsells, cross sells and bundles into place on your website, you now know that if you combine these with free shipping, you have a 75% greater chance of increasing your sales.
It works best for dropshippers
The best thing of all is that offering free shipping is much easier for dropshippers than it is for traditional retailers. Traditional retailers have to actually pay for the shipping out of their own takings, and so, by offering it for free, they have to take a smaller profit on their sales. When you retail using a wholesaler, like Timber World, who drop ships products on your behalf, you don’t need to lose anything – your margins can remain exactly the same..
How to offer free shipping without losing money
How do you offer free shipping if you use a drop shipper to deliver your products? Let’s take a look at how this works with Timber World log cabins. Imagine that you are selling a log cabin for £2000 and that the delivery cost Timber World charge you is £75. As a result you need to charge your customer £2075 in total.
Using he old way of trading, to try to make your product look more competitive, you would have advertised it at £2000. You would only mention the delivery costs right at the end of the buying process, when the customer had got to the check out. However, we now know that when customers see the £75 delivery charge, half of them will drop the purchase and look elsewhere.
Instead, you should now advertise your log cabin for £2075 and at the same time make a point of letting customers know this is with free delivery. You are still getting exactly the same price and profit as you were before and the customer is still paying the same price overall.
More importantly, the customer doesn’t know that the cost of shipping is built into the price of the log cabin, and so, psychologically, they think that delivery is free. This means that the 50% of buyers who would abandon the sale will now see it through to the end.
Even better, 75% of all your customers would go on to purchase an up-sale, cross sale or bundle – so you end up selling bigger log cabins with better specifications and a range of bespoke features. In the end, your £2000 initial log cabin could have developed into a £2500 sale.
So, the next time you are working on the pricing structure for your drop shipped products, remember that this is a clear advantage that you have over traditional retailers who find it difficult to absorb the costs of giving away free shipping.
Additional benefits for drop shipping on eBay and Amazon
There are other benefits too. If you sell on eBay and Amazon, your products are much more likely to rank higher in product search results when you advertise free shipping. eBay used to let you search for products by price so you could find the cheapest deals, now it’s price including postage and packing. Retailers who sell at lower prices with higher shipping costs can no longer jump above you in the search results. Nor can traditional retailers reduce their selling fees to compete better. These days all retailers have to pay eBay and Amazon a percentage of the total sales price, including delivery. Gone are the days when you could list products for a penny and charge £25 delivery fees just to get out paying eBay its 10% final valuation fee.
As a dropshipper, these changes really make it much easier for you to compete when you offer free delivery. You are also likely to get more satisfied customers and consequently better feedback if you advertise free shipping.
If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping AccountTimber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.
When you set up an online dropshipping business and have chosen the niche you want to concentrate on and the channels in which you are going to sell, one of the next steps is to identify the ways your business can add value for your customers. The reason for this is quite simple: companies who add value are far more successful than companies that don’t.
What is adding value?
To fully understand ‘adding value’ think about this scenario. Twenty online businesses are selling the same log cabin. They all get the same amount of web traffic and they all sell the product at the same price. As the product is dropshipped, there is no difference in delivery cost and all the delivery times are the same. Yet, 90% of customers buy from one particular website. Why?
Because something that company does ‘adds value’ for the customer.
A good online retailer doesn’t just sell a product. Above and beyond that they sell a solution, offer expertise and give useful advice.
In a nutshell, ‘adding value’ is solving problems for your customers.
How do you add value for a customer?
The best way for us to illustrate how to add value is to show you how we do it. Here at Timber World we see adding value as a key element of our business and it helps us to be very successful. As a manufacturer and wholesaler, our job is to solve problems for our retailers – so how do we do this? Here’s a list of 9 ways we solve problems and add value:
If you notice, none of these are about our actual products. Instead, they are about the things we do to make buying from us valuable to our retailers. Of course, our log cabins have to be excellent too.
So what can you do to add value to your dropshipping business?
Here are some examples:
As you can see, sharing your expertise is a key component in adding value. By solving problems for your customers you make yourself valuable to them. You become the expert, you become trusted, you are building relationships and this means you are building a serious business. Customers like that – and buy from you.
We’re doing it right now – by sharing our expertise of dropshipping to help you develop your business. We want you to know, that if you sell our log cabins, we’ll provide the solutions to make you successful.
So, if you are considering setting up an online business selling drop shipped products, think carefully about how you can add value for your customers and, in doing so, compete far more effectively with your competitors.
If you are thinking about selling log cabins and other garden buildings online, then Timber World can add considerable value for you and help you add value for your customers. If you want to find more check out our dropshipping service.
Dropshipping on Amazon
In our last post we looked at dropshipping on eBay in this post we’re going to look at another major dropshipping sales channel for online retailers, Amazon.
Many people actually think that Amazon only sells its own range of products. In fact, Amazon also sells products for third-party retailers and even members of the general public who want to sell their used goods. In this sense, Amazon has two branches of its core business: one is as a retailer and the other is as a version of eBay, with the exception that it doesn’t auction, it only lets you sell at a fixed price. Just like eBay, Amazon helps you carry out the sale and resolve problems with customers. In this sense, it’s an ideal place for online retailers to show case their products.
The Advantages of selling on Amazon
Easy to set up your selling account
Just as with eBay, it’s very easy to set up an account and start selling on Amazon. However, careful thought needs to be put into selling the products in the best way. If you are selling log cabins on Amazon, take time to research and see which other sellers are doing well. Analyse their sales, read their product descriptions, look at how they present their log cabins and themselves to the readers. Check your prices in comparison to theirs. What things do the reviewers say about them? By using your competitors as a guide you’ll quickly become aware of the best practice to put into place when selling your products on Amazon too.
Gigantic UK market
One of the main advantages of selling on Amazon is that your products are immediately accessible to a large and growing market. Although Amazon has been overtaken by eBay in the UK over the last few years, it is still, by a considerable margin, the second biggest online market in Britain and only slightly behind eBay in terms of visitors. It has almost 27 million visitors per month which is more than the next three biggest online stores, Argos, Tesco and Asda, put together. Just like eBay, your products will be presented in search results directly to those people searching for them, so you do not have to spend large amounts marketing your own products to drive sales.
Limited competition for log cabin sellers
For those selling niche products like log cabins and garden buildings this is an ideal way to make sure that your products get seen by those people looking for them. Amazon’s ability to put the right products in their customers search results is one way to guarantee your products will be put in front of the customer. At the time of publication there were less than 100 log cabins on Amazon UK and many of these were just summer houses or decorative sheds. There is very little competition and so the opportunities are there to those who want to launch a log cabin store on Amazon.
A name customers trust
Where Amazon wins over eBay is with customer trust. Some people are still quite wary of buying on eBay whereas Amazon seems to have more credibility when it comes to resolving issues with returning products or getting your money back. This is more perception than reality as eBay has made great strides in improving the protection for customers. However, that perception exists and can affect buying choices, especially with high value products like log cabins. If a customer saw the same product for the same price on both Amazon and eBay, the likelihood is that they would feel more secure in their purchase if they bought it from Amazon.
The disadvantages of selling on Amazon
Just as with eBay it costs to sell your products on Amazon. The fees vary depending on what type of product you are selling but for log cabins and garden buildings there is a referral fee of 15% for every product sold. For log cabins, this can be a sizeable amount. You will also need to pay other small fees to list your products. Either 75p per product or £25 a month is you sign up for a professional plan (over 33 products a month).
At first glance it looks like selling on Amazon is more expensive than eBay. Final sales figures for eBay are 10% whereas they are 15% on Amazon. However, on eBay you have to sell through PayPal and they also charge you either 3.4% (if you sell up to £1500 per month) or 2.9% (if you sell over £1500 per month) and on top of that there is a 20p fee on every payment you receive. With these figures added on, the difference between the two is very little. What it does mean is that you have to work these figures very carefully into you pricing structure to make sure you end up with a profit.
At Timber World, we do not limit the price you can charge for our log cabins so you will not be restricted by Amazon fees. Every other retailer will have the same fees to pay, so in essence no-one is put at a disadvantage. Even better, we do restrict how cheaply you can sell our products so that no retailer can undercut another and force them out of the market place.
Getting the product spec right
It’s important when selling on Amazon that the information you give about the products you sell is detailed and accurate. Timber World provides online retailers with a web pack containing all the product descriptions and detailed specifications as well as images you can use. This will assist you in selling our products on Amazon as it will let customers know exactly what they are getting and make your business look much more professional.
Just like eBay, Amazon customers are used to leaving feedback for their purchases and are able to sort their search results by both product review score and popularity. On top of this, third-party retailers are given a feedback score which looks at their customer feedback over the previous 12 months. Both the feedback on the retailer and the product will affect sales, especially if negative. Having no feedback can also cause some customers to think twice. To stop fake reviews being put on, Amazon now tells its readers if the customer actually bought the product they reviewed.
The difference between eBay and Amazon is that it is harder to get good reviews on Amazon. With eBay all you have to do is buy 10 small things and pay for them immediately and you’ll get 10 positive feed backs from the people you buy from and a score of 100% – even if you’ve never sold anything. With Amazon you have to sell and there’s much less pushiness from Amazon to make you give feedback than there is on eBay.
If you are thinking of selling on Amazon you can begin by viewing their ‘Sell on Amazon’ page. If you are considering selling our log cabins on Amazon, or anywhere else, take a look at how our dropshipping service can help you boost your online business.
Why Micro-Niche sites are the way forward
Setting up an online store is anything but easy. Those of you who have already undertaken research will already know that the only way for smaller retailers to get a foothold in the marketplace is to specialise in sell niche products. With increasing competition, today’s successful start-ups tend to be micro-niche companies: businesses that specialise in one segment of a market niche. So for example, if your niche was cameras, you might specialise in underwater cameras. If you were interested in garden buildings as a niche, rather than selling sheds, greenhouses, and summerhouses, you might just focus on log cabins, or even on bespoke log cabins.
Whilst focusing on a micro-niche will limit the size of the market you can sell to, it does offer huge advantages. As a micro-niche site, you will be seen by consumers as a specialist in that area. This will mean that your customers will see you as an expert in your field. By building on this expertise, you can command greater authority over that area of the market than less specialised stores and this can lead to a greater proportion of sales than the size of your company could generate if it didn’t specialise.
Specialising also creates a higher level of trust for your business; helps to build customer loyalty, thus increasing repeat sales; and means that customers will often pay a higher price for your products even though they could get a similar product for less elsewhere.
Once the micro-niche company is making money, the next step would not be to expand the niche the business operates in, but to repeat the process by starting up another dedicated micro-niche website.
Best Micro-Niche products for online retailers
We believe, that at Timber World, we have the perfect range of niche products available to help you start an online niche business. For a start, the log cabin market niche is only just taking off in the UK and now is the ideal time to establish your business as a niche leader. Whilst most online stores focus on a large selection of building types, mainly sheds, green houses, summer houses and log cabins, by focussing on log cabins you will be automatically building a micro-niche business on which to create your brand.
To help you beat the competition and develop your brand, all the log cabins, garden offices and bespoke log cabins that we sell are white label. This means you can give each model its own brand name. No-one else will have that name, so there will be no direct competition with our other retailers.
We also understand that setting up an online niche business can be expensive and difficult, however, by selling Timber World log cabins you can make this much easier. For a start, our free dropshipping service means you don’t need to pay us for our products in advance – only after you have taken the payment from your customer. This is the ideal solution for new businesses which need to keep tight control over their cash flow. We also deliver the product direct to the customer for you, so that you don’t have to deal with the fulfilment part of the sale – we even provide an after sales service on your behalf. All you need to do is set up your website and focus on sales; and even here we will provide you with all the necessary product images and specifications to upload.
Of course, none of this would be much good if the products we were selling were not up to scratch. However, our log cabins, garden offices and bespoke garden buildings are exceptionally well designed and built to the highest standards.
If you are considering setting up an online retail business and are looking to find high quality niche products, why not take a closer look at our products and our free dropshipping service.
When choosing a dropshipper for log cabins or garden buildings, it’s absolutely crucial that they provide you with a high quality drop ship delivery service. If they don’t, you could be putting your entire business in jeopardy. In this article we’re going to be looking at the different delivery services retailers need from a good dropshipper and why you need them.
Why quick deliveries are key
When a customer buys a product, especially something they have paid a lot of money for, like a log cabin, they don’t want to have to wait a long time for it to be delivered. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, some customers get suspicious if you ask them to pay for a product which they have to wait for a long time for; and, secondly, if they can get something similar, but much quicker, from another retailer, chances are they will.
You need, therefore, a retailer with the ability to deliver quickly. Here at Timber World, for example, we deliver all out standard models within one week. For non-standard and bespoke models, which have a longer delivery time, we remove any suspicion by only asking for a deposit at time of purchase and the rest to be paid just prior to delivery, making the customer feel much more confident about the delivery we carry out on our retailer’s behalf.
There’s nothing worse than an unreliable delivery service for generating customer complaints and getting your business bad reviews and a poor reputation. When using a dropshipper this can be complicated because if they have a poor delivery service, it’s your business which will suffer.
A good dropshipper will deliver on time, to the right address, and the product will reach the customer complete and undamaged. Here at Timber World we pride ourselves on our reliability. All our components are bar coded so that no log cabin can leave our premises incomplete, they are checked before they leave and we schedule our own deliveries using modern, purpose built vehicles that can provide easy drop offs. We make sure we have made contact with your customer beforehand; so that someone is home when we arrive and that there is provision to get the product to exactly where it needs to be installed.
There are quite a few dropshippers who only deliver to certain parts of the UK. This can be awkward if you are selling online and can get orders from any location which you need to fulfil. Failure to be able to offer these locations for your products means you are potentially losing out on lucrative sales. Ideally, you need a dropshipper who can deliver throughout the UK. At Timber World this is exactly what we do.
Log cabins, garden offices and other timber buildings are large and heavy products to transport. They require large, purpose built vehicles, with integrated cranes, to carry and drop the products off. Buying the vehicles, paying for drivers and fuel as well as covering overheads like insurance, road tax and servicing means the cost of transporting a log cabin can be expensive. Some dropshipping companies will not only try to charge the full amount to cover their delivery services, but will also try to make a profit on top. This can be the one factor that loses you the deal when selling a log cabin.
At Timber World we have an entirely different approach. Firstly, we don’t try to make a profit on delivery; we don’t even pass on the full amount. We do charge, but we think it’s a very reasonable amount to pay. However, only our retailers know what we charge for deliveries. As a retailer, you have the option to hide the delivery cost completely, by charging a little extra for the log cabin and offering free delivery. The choice is yours.
Unbranded drop ship delivery
Many retailers choose to create their own brand and want products which are unbranded to sell. A good dropshipper will not only allow this to happen with their products, but they will help their retailers to do this. When it comes to delivery, the last thing you want is for your branded log cabin to turn up with different branded name on the pallet and with different branding on the paperwork. It gives your customers a very bad impression of your company when it happens.
If you become a retailer of Timber World log cabins and garden buildings, you can be sure that all our products are white label; there’ll be no branding to confuse your customers.
As a retailer, you’re the expert at selling log cabins and not an expert in their construction and installation. As you use a dropshipper, the chances are that you will not have actually seen one of the cabins you have sold. It can be extremely problematic, therefore, if a customer needs to contact you about a specific question or has a problem.
A good dropshipper won’t just take care of the delivery, they’ll also support you by providing your customers with a helpful aftersales service; offering them the expert advice, whilst letting you concentrate on sales. Here at Timber World, we offer a first class customer service on your behalf and if you customer needs it we can even arrange for their cabin to be installed for them.
How the internet has impacted upon the smaller garden retailer
The increase in internet shopping has brought about many changes to the garden building retail sector over the last decade. One significant change is that many local garden businesses now find themselves competing against online retailers from across the country and even overseas. As their local customers shop online for the best prices, they are forced to make up for the loss of sales by selling to customers further afield through their own websites.
Unfortunately for the retailers, the manufacturers of the products they sell have not thought about the impact of the internet on the market. Where, 20 years ago, there may have been two or three outlets selling a particular brand in one town, nowadays, the population of that town can find hundreds of retailers, nationwide, selling the same product. As a result there is enormous competition, prices and profits have reduced and some retail businesses, unfortunately, have gone under.
The consequences are that, as the number of retailers shrivels, manufacturers become far more reliant on a select few retailing giants. These giants then have greater power over them to demand products for less, which puts smaller retailers at a distinct disadvantage as they will not be able to compete on price.
How Smarter Retailers are Adapting
As a result, the more intuitive retailers are starting to demand white label garden products. The reason for this is that, as there is no manufacturer branding, the retailers can brand the products under their own names. This prevents online customers from doing a like for like internet search and price comparison and thus completely removes direct competition for their product from the retailing giants. As a result, the smaller retailer has a much greater chance of making the sale.
Of course, big name brands aren’t going to do this. They do their own marketing, not the retailer, and it’s their well-known name which brings about the sale. Smaller retailers are always going to have a struggle on their hands to compete for custom with these goods. However, with lesser well known, high quality manufacturers, white label goods make the playing field much more level for the smaller garden building retailer.
How Timber World Takes the Lead in White Label Log Cabins
Here at Timber World, we sell our entire range of log cabins under white label. This gives all our retailers the unique opportunity to call each product by whatever name you like and create your own branded range.
By selling Timber World’s white label log cabins you give your business much greater freedom to market your products in the way you wish. No-one who visits your website and sees one of your own branded log cabins will be able to search for a cheaper version of it online because only you are selling it under that name. That brand of cabin will be unique to your business.
To help you get started with selling our log cabins, we provide you with high quality, unbranded sales materials: images, website content and even videos that you can use, either as they are or with your own branding added to them.
In addition, we’ll take the pain out of the retailing process completely through our dropshipping service. Here, you only pay for our products once you’ve sold them, and then we deliver them to your customer for you in unbranded flat packs. So, there’s no need to buy stock in advance, warehouse them or deliver them. We’ll even offer your customers free after sales service and, if you wish, we can organise their installation.
So, if selling white label garden buildings seems like a solution for your garden centre or online business, get in touch today or register for a free dropshipping account to get started.
The problem with finding high margin products
If you’re a small internet retailer, finding products you can sell online that will earn you high margins can be a difficult task. To make a significant sum on each sale requires you to be retailing expensive goods, however, to buy these in bulk, in the traditional wholesale way, is very costly and, if you don’t manage to sell them, a risky operation.
In normal wholesale practice, you would need to pay up front for the goods you wish to sell, unless you could prove that your business was financially secure enough to be allowed a credit agreement with the wholesaler. Even then, the size of your margin would be dependent upon the size of your order. The more you buy, the greater the discount. For small retailers, this can be a huge stumbling block to selling highly valuable goods with significantly high profit margins.
The other obstacle is that, even if you could purchase them, you are then left with the costs of storage. High value goods are precious commodities. They need to be warehoused securely and safely to prevent theft or damage. If you have invested this amount of money into the products, you’ll want them insured in case the worst happens; otherwise, your business may go bust. You’ll also want to make sure that they don’t go missing or get damaged during delivery.
The cost of storing, protecting, insuring and delivering high value stock all adds up and reduces the final profit from your activities.
The solution is to find a wholesaler or manufacturer who is willing to dropship their products for you. Using a dropshipping service is the perfect answer for a small, online retailer wanting to make a move into high margin goods.
By using a dropshipping manufacturer you don’t need to buy in bulk before you get your hands on the products. Instead, you sell the product online first, collect the payment from your customer and then pay the manufacturer or wholesaler. The manufacturer or wholesaler will then deliver the product straight to your customer for you.
The advantages are obvious: no huge cash advance to be paid, no storage, security, insurance or delivery costs eating into your profits and no risk of even a single unsold product. It’s safe and simple. But is it too good to be true?
We’ll almost, because whilst dropshipping is big business in US, here in the UK there are surprisingly few manufacturers or wholesalers who are prepared to offer this service to their retailers. There are some dropshippers around, but the vast majority deal in small, low value goods, where the profits are small.
Dropshipping the Timber World Way
Here at Timber World, we offer a fantastic dropshipping service for all manner of online retailers and garden centres. We offer a margin of between 10% and 15% on our products, which, when you consider the retail price of our log cabins, can earn you hundreds of pounds profit per sale.
Most importantly, our products are of exceptional quality, our delivery times are short and our customer services are second to none in the industry. So, not only will you make a reasonable profit from your retailing, you can also be assured that through working with us, your customers will be highly satisfied with the quality of their garden building and the service they receive – all of which, as far as your customers are concerned, will have been provided by your business.
In addition, all our products are unbranded, allowing you to create your own brand around them and we ensure that there is a minimum price at which our products can be sold, so that margins are guaranteed. We will even provide you with a web pack containing all the sales materials you need to get your website or promotion up and running.
So, if you are still looking for high margin, wholesale products to sell online, sign up for a dropshipping account with Timber World today.
Dropshipping offers small scale traders a low risk, low investment way to start and grow an online business. It’s the perfect solution for those wanting to start their own business but who don’t have the capital available to buy wholesale products in bulk.
However, its take up in the UK has been hampered by bad publicity, due mainly to the poor reputation of some of the wholesalers who were the first to offer dropshipping in the UK.
The problems which faced the retailers were many: some of the wholesalers charged customers simply for signing up; the products they sold were poor quality and were widely available; and the margins they offered were so low, it was impossible for retailers to make a living.
In addition, there were issues with stock availability and delivery and perhaps worst of all, some wholesalers undercut their own customers by retailing their products more cheaply. Sometimes they did this under their own name, sometimes by setting up a new company to keep their customers in the dark.
As a result, internet forums for online retailers were full of accounts of people complaining about dropshipping and the companies that were operating these types of business.
In the USA, however, dropshipping has been used successfully by reputable businesses for decades. Rather than sticking to a small number of large scale retailers who buy in bulk, American manufacturers and wholesalers also dropship for many smaller internet businesses that serve niches in the market place. It’s been an incredible success for them. Now the bigger businesses are getting involved in dropshipping too. Over 30% of US, online retailers use dropshipping in whole or in part, including Zappos, Amazon, Sears and Wayfair.
Now finally, after years of not being taken seriously, the UK market is beginning to take notice of how dropshipping is used in the US as a successful solution for order fulfilment. A growing number of companies now offer dropshipping and an increasing number of high profile retailers are now requiring manufacturers and wholesalers to offer it.
Whilst dropship margins are slightly lower than traditional wholesale margins, this is offset by completely eradicating the losses attributed to unsold stock and by the huge savings retailers make in warehouse and delivery costs. It also helps them enormously with cash flow, as the final customer pays them before they pay the dropshipping company.
Here at Timber World we take our dropshipping service very seriously indeed. We know that if we restrict ourselves to traditional wholesale methods we create a barrier for many smaller scale retailers. Log cabins and garden buildings are expensive for retailers to buy, costly to transport and require large storage space, warehouse staff and equipment to move them.
Our dropshipping service means you do not need to worry about any of this. You can sell our products without the need to buy up front, store in a warehouse or transport them to your customers. All you need is a channel through which you can sell, be it a website, online auction, leaflets, brochures or advertisement in a local newspaper.
In addition, we’ll guarantee you a margin or 10% – 15% (depending on the product) and as we do not sell any products to the general public, we won’t undercut you. And, of course, like any reputable manufacturer, we wouldn’t dream of charging you to sign up for an account.