Life as a Dropshipper: Daily Routine
Today I’m lifting the veil on the mysterious life of a full-time dropshipper. Many people I’ve run into are intrigued by my unordinary business and want to hear what a typical day in my life is like. So, hello, my name is Victoria and I am a dropshipper. My business deals are made with the famous Chinese supplier Aliexpress and the well known e-commerce platform eBay. Over the years I’ve come up with a daily routine that works well for me and I hope these insights will help you improve your day to day operations or quench your curiosity about the life of a full-time dropshipper.
My daily tasks fall into two categories: proactive and reactive. I have to stay on top of proactive activities in order for my business to grow and thrive. Proactive activities are ones that will lead to future sales. The reactive part of my day consists of all the tasks generated by the sales I make. Hopefully, you can use my routine as a guide to help you with your own planning.
The Importance of Keeping Business Hours when Self-Employed
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have established business hours for yourself. Being self-employed takes an incredible amount of discipline as there is nobody looking over your shoulder, making sure that your work gets done.
If you work from home, it is easy to get sucked into personal chores or spending too much time on social media. I keep strict business hours and use time blocking to make sure all of my tasks get done each day. Pay attention to your own internal clock. Schedule activities that take the greatest amount of focus when you are most alert. For me this time is in the morning. I know that I am the most alert in the morning, so I do all of my reactive tasks immediately waking up. For you this time might be different but keep this in mind when creating your personal work schedule.
Reactive Daily Activities for Dropshipping
In my morning "time blocks" I focus on reactive tasks. Making sales is exciting, but each sale generates some work on my part. I have to make sure that my customers are happy and that my listings are well stocked. To my mind, any mindset activities you like to do, such as journaling, affirmations or meditations, should also be done first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day. This is what I work on every morning:
1. Order Products from Suppliers
My first task of the day is ordering products from suppliers. Since I live in Europe, if I order early enough, it is still daytime in China. This means that some orders can potentially be shipped the same day. Improving shipping times when dropshipping from China can become your key competitive advantage over other dropshippers, so I pay the utmost attention to this aspect of my business.
2. Process Orders
As a dropshipper, I don’t hold inventory. This means that when a customer places an order, I can have it filled by a third party vendor. The faster I process orders, the faster my clients get their shipment.
3. Pay attention to Customer Service
I make sure to keep up with all customer questions and issues daily. The better your response time is to messages, the more chances you have to get positive feedback from your clients. Positive feedback is also a competitive advantage when selling on eBay.
I have had several clients give me positive feedback just because of my friendly emails, even when Chinese suppliers sent the wrong products to them. High-quality customer interaction plays a huge role in making sales and customer loyalty. Pay attention to your eBay inbox and don't let customer messages sit there unread for too long.
Proactive Daily Activities For Dropshipping
After lunch, I’m ready to switch gears to some more proactive activities. It takes an imaginative mindset, so do these tasks when you are a little more relaxed and clam. For me this time is the afternoon.
1. Look for New Products
My first afternoon task is to look for new items to sell. To make money when dropshipping from Aliexpress, you should sell a lot of goods. I spend up to two hours a day searching for and researching new products for listing because inventory is a huge part of my business. Much research goes into product selection, so be sure to block out adequate time per day for this important activity.
2. Products Listing
If you’re not listing, you’re not growing your business. Listing newly found products includes making modifications to their descriptions, specifications and titles. I will make my wares look professional and write high-quality product descriptions. It’s not unusual for me to spend up to 4 hours a day on creating new listings and making adjustments to old ones.
3. Dealing with product returns
I choose to close out my day with one last reactive task – dealing with returns. No matter how great your product research or how stellar your customer service is, having some returns is an unavoidable part of any e-commerce business. As a rule of thumb around 3-5% of all products will be returned. I personally don’t have a ton of returns, so I deal with them at the end of the day and it does not take too much of my time. However, I feel like it’s best not to start my day with this activity in order to keep my positive mindset at least until the evening.
My Experience Takeaways
If you want to make serious money, you have to take your dropshipping business seriously. Setting up a working atmosphere at home can be hard. Yet it is something you need to do. I have listed the schedule that works perfectly great for me, as I can stay productive throughout the day. Choose what fits you, experiment, adjust the schedule to your individual alert phases and make the best out of it.