Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Name: Laura V.
Dropshipping Experience: 4 years
DSTitan Experience: 1 year
Job: Full-time dropshipper
Fun fact: she listens to music and sings while dropshipping
Laura, our readers, and DSTitan users are dying to know your dropshipping success story. How many years have you been dropshipping so far?
More than four years now. Yet, only about a year ago, I became a full-time dropshipper, reached my income goal, and now this is my only job and primary source of income.
Why did it take you 3 years to transition into full-time dropshipping?
Mostly it was psychological. For those 3 years I had a stable job and even if I didn't like it, the salary was ok and it provided a sense of security. Also people around me did not believe in dropshipping so they did not encourage me to leave. Last year I found an experienced dropshipper who needed an assistant and I immediately decided to leave my previous job and start working on dropshipping full time. I am very grateful for that opportunity.
Now that you are a full-time dropshipper, can you say that you have achieved your income goals?
When I started dropshipping, my initial goal was to make 600$ profit per month. I have to tell you, that I’ve been working really hard to achieve it. First year was really tough. Some months I made a couple of hundred dollars, some months I didn't make much money at all. Initially, I did not focus on the income, because I wanted to figure out what this online business is all about, what skills I need to improve and how I can build a reliable source of income myself. After a few years, I have reached my initial goal. However, now I am aiming much higher.
What encouraged you to become an online seller and make it your primary job?
I always knew that I could earn more than I was getting paid at my regular job. I wanted to be independent from company schedules, I wanted to be able to travel and, most importantly, I didn’t want my life or my income to depend on anyone else but me. So, after some searching, I stumbled upon dropshipping and this is how it all started.
What did you sell initially when you started dropshipping?
My first sale was a set of motivational wall stickers. I made around 8$ profit but it was exciting and encouraged me even more to continue. My first month of dropshipping was actually really good: I sold around 30 sets of stickers with a Fox from the "Little Prince" story and made around 200$ profit. I thought it was a gold mine, but then all of these stickers were suspended from eBay because of VeRo policy. Obviously it was a huge setback for me but I didn’t give up and kept looking for new products that might be popular.
What was the most expensive thing you’ve sold so far?
Once I sold an item for 180$ and half of it was pure profit. I think the product was selling for around 40$ on Aliexpress. Actually I don't like selling expensive items because they are somewhat risky.
Do you have any secrets of how to make listings more appealing?
I cannot really say that I am doing anything extraordinary with my listings. I simply try to put myself in my customers’ shoes. I try to think about what is important to know about a product and what things I need to know before if I buy it.
What has changed when you started doing this full-time?
When I started dropshipping full-time, I started listing a lot more and started making a lot more sales. The workload has increased significantly. I was adding new listings all the time, updated them constantly, dealt with customers and was solving all the other issues that came up. At one point I decided I need to start working smarter not harder. That is when I found DSTitan. Instead of 15 minutes, I used to spend on a single listing, it now takes me less than 5 minutes. You can imagine how much time it saved for me. So during the last year, I started automating my business.
What features of DSTitan do you find particularly useful, something you cannot imagine your dropshipping without?
I’ve told you about my first sale and how that item was suspended from eBay. I really like that DSTitan has a VeRo check feature. It has reduced the number of issues with fake items.
I also like that it automatically calculates my product prices.
What are the most common issues you have to deal with?
Most of my issues come from Aliexpress sellers who send the wrong product or to the wrong address. This negligence is driving me crazy because I have to work everything out and stay on good terms with my customers.
Sounds stressful. How do you deal with these unpleasant situations? Any secrets?
As an intermediary between customers and manufacturers, you have to be a great psychologist, understand people and have great communication skills. There was a situation when a customer wanted to return a 150$ product. It was my largest return case ever. I was very disappointed initially. But after I calmed down and started talking with the customer we agreed on a 50% refund. Afterwards, I asked for a refund from the Chinese seller as well. In the end, my loses were only a few dollars. It was a great lesson and I learned that with great communication you can solve almost anything in this business.
That’s great, Laura. As an experienced dropshipper, what would you advise to the newbies?
Well, I still think I’m far from being an expert. There are many things that I don't know. What I can suggest comes from my personal experience:
Stay positive and polite in any (absolutely any!) situation
Never give up if something goes wrong
Improve your soft skills and communication skills
Automate your business, it’ll save you time and money
We hope that this interview with a real-life dropshipper was useful! Good luck!