6 Mistakes Every Dropshipper Makes (And How to Avoid Them!)

By May 31, 2016Dropshipping


Look, just like in any business, as you learn the art of dropshipping you must expect to make mistakes.

I’m not trying to be Negative Ned or anything, I just want you to know that when they happen, don’t panic, don’t freak out, it’s all going to be okay!

I’ve messed everything up you could possible think of! Get this, my very first shipment I ever made I put my product in an old blender box from Target. Then, as the master shipper I thought I was, I proceeded to wrap the box in masking tape (not box tape) and a few weeks later I was shocked to learn that my product never made it to the customer because the masking tape didn’t hold up and the product fell out the bottom of the box.

The United States Postal Service was kind enough to promptly return my flattened (and empty) blender box.

It’s a funny story now, but really, it’s all part of the journey. It’s what makes the life of entrepreneur fun. Isn’t that why we got in this game, because we are problem solvers right?

While I can’t help you avoid ALL the mistakes, curveballs and speed bumps that will come your way, I CAN help you avoid the ones I made along with the most common ones I see with the people I coach.

Use these lessons below and shave years off your learning curve.

Avoid These Mistakes:


1. Start FASTER. This is the number one mistake I want you to avoid. You DON’T have to get everything perfect, you DON’T have to have it all figured out (I still don’t!) you just have to launch. Once you launch, then you will learn. People will spend several months, even years trying to perfect the product and then usually don’t ever launch because it’s not perfect yet.

When I first started I thought my product would sell to a certain demographic. I quickly learned they weren’t interested in what I had to sell. BUT a new demographic rose up and began buying like gangbusters. So I switched gears and made my content cater towards those buyers. Thank the Lord I launched fast, so I could learn that information fast. 

2. No fear, just figure it out. In the same vein as point number one, I see so many people worry about everything that could go wrong. They spend days or weeks researching taxes, studying the perfect business name, logo and LLC. They think they need to get their website name trademarked and yada yada, on and on…Look. I’m not against you doing all those things, just don’t do them now. Get a DECENT website up, get a marketing game plan, and make some sales.

Once we know this business has a future, some money is coming in, THEN we can go revisit all those things. If you start fast, no one is going to steal your idea and beat you out, and let’s say your business does get big super quick – GREAT! Go and hire someone to take care of the details. But for now, just move forward confidently and you’ll figure things out

3. Test your ideas BEFORE you invest lots of time, energy and money. I have more in depth training on this inside the Community, but I want you to avoid this mistake like the plague! I can’t say it enough, before you spend weeks and months finding your product, building your site, getting a logo, hooking up a payment processor, on and on, TEST YOUR IDEA FIRST.

Asking your friends if it’s a good idea won’t cut it. You need cash in hand. You need people to pay you first and prove they think it’s truly a good idea.  My first run, I threw up a fast, ugly website and actually had 2 sales made BEFORE I even had the product. Two people gave me money and THEN I went to my supplier, made the purchase, and shipped it to the customer. I had validated my idea by getting two sales right off the bat.

4. Pay extra for shipping insurance and tracking numbers.  I only made this mistake once, but it was on my very first customer order. I didn’t want to dish the extra $4 or so, to pay for this. Consequently, that package got lost, we had no idea where to even look and I didn’t have insurance on it, which meant I was out the cost of the product, $150.  Not to mention the disappointment, anger and discouragement I had to fend off after that!

5. Invest in learning about online marketing.  I tried to figure this out on my own too much.  I listened to a lot of free content like podcasts, read a ton of posts, and learned as much as I could about online business and dropshipping, but I never PAID for any of it. Once I started buying online courses and spent money for them, something changed. I learned faster, I learned how to succeed faster, it’s like I paid for shortcuts.

Marketing tactics I didn’t know existed, how to buy laser-focused traffic and bring hungry customers to my site, I learned how to use Facebook advertising which completely changed everything for me.  But not only that, because I had some skin in the game, I wanted to make sure that I squeezed every ounce of knowledge I could out of these mentors and coaches.

One of the very first courses I paid for was $2,000. A lot of money for me at the time. But in that course, I learned ONE strategy that I implemented that same day I learned it and it went to bring in easily $25,000 profit for me. I’d say that was a good ROI on my investment wouldn’t you?

Number One Mistake to Avoid


Now this one is going to be my personal opinion, but I to me, it’s a powerful one:

6. Pick a product with a lot of profit.  I personally am very selective on picking what I want to sell on my websites. I know people who are making huge amounts of money selling $5 and $10 items. But here’s the thing, you have to sell 10,000 units a month to make it worth your while! That’s crazy!

I would rather pick a product that only requires me to sell 5-10 a month and I still make really good money. It may take me longer to find that particular product, but to me it’s worth it.

Remember, one of the reasons we are getting into dropshipping is because of the lifestyle it affords you. If something is less maintenance, less sales, less working parts, but still profits really high, that’s the product and business model I’m going after! And trust me, it’s out there, and the more you dive into your business, avoid the mistakes mentioned above and invest in yourself, you’ll start to see those “unicorn” opportunities all around you!

Want to create a simple drop shipping business and Escape Your Day Job?

Travis Peters is the founder of EscapeYourDayJob.com, the online course that walks you step by step through the exact same formula he used to build a simple drop shipping site that brings in 20k per month. It's also home to the EscapeYourDayJob Community which gives you access to other like minded entrepreneurs, as well as personal coaching from Travis himself. Click here for a guided tour of the EscapeYourDayJob Course and Community.