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Who's Going To Try Oberlo?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce' started by Joe F, Sep 6, 2016.

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  1. I just read Kevin's review of Oberlo and it seems interesting.

    It's an app for Shopify that let's you import products from Aliexpress and sell them as a drop shipper - I think the whole process would be pretty hands off with the Aliexpress vendor doing all the shipping?

    http://www.kevinmuldoon.com/oberlo-review/

    With both Spotify and Oberlo offering free trials, you'd have 14 days to see if it has potential before investing.

    Anyone going to give it a go? I'm tempted but I'm sure it takes a lot more work that it first appears.
     
  2. I think it would take more than 14 days to build any momentum. So I think you're gonna have to invest some real $$ to give it a fair shot. And from people I've talked to, the beginning can be difficult to find a reliable supplier. But it's always something that intrigued me. There are plenty of dropshipping travelers floating around southeast asia who seem to make enough to live.

    Another option is dropshipping through Amazon. I really noticed this when I was trying to buy replacement heads for my electric toothbrush. All these people are basically dropshipping the same generic replacement heads as far as I can tell. They give away a bunch of discounted products to boost reviews and rank high.

    I'm about to quit my job and I'm debating trying either dropshipping or an Amazon affiliate store, since I should have some more free time.
     
  3. I think with Orbelo, it finds the products for you and the suppliers, based on their Aliexpress listing. It imports the products listings from Aliexpress. A customer makes an order on your site. The order details are passed to the Aliexpress seller and they fulfill the orders. Please correct me if I'm wrong Kevin?

    I tried Anton's Drop Ship Lifestyle course but couldn't find any suppliers in the UK. I think it's easier in the US and depending on what niche you choose.

    I think dropping the traditional way - i.e. following Anton's course is quite a lot of work - you don't hear from many people who've made it work, but plenty of people who gave up after making a few sales and realizing its not all its cracked up to be.

    If I were you I'd do an amazon affiliate niche site. Much less moving parts and it has the potential to be highly passive - plus you can sell the sites for 10 to 20 x monthly income.

    With drop shipping you've got suppliers to find and keep happy. Customers to deal with. Ad campaigns to manage.

    Affiliate sites are hard work. But it basically involves finding a good niche (keyword research), creating content, and building links - all of which can eventually be outsourced fairly easily. Plus no customers to worry about!

    Not tempted to start a WP blog?
     
  4. And go into that hornet's nest of competition? :) I'm not sure what I could bring to the table that hasn't already been done by a hundred WordPress blogs.

    Even with Oberlo's automation, I think you'd still want to vet the suppliers a bit, right? At least to make sure the product quality is good and the AliExpress seller is reliable so you don't risk your reputation.

    But yeah, you're right about the niche site. I think that will be my first attempt. Fewer moving parts is exactly right - I can just do it on the side and slowly build it up. No rush or dealing with customers/suppliers.
     
  5. Yes I feel the same! The tops guys seem to have the game sewn up.

    True about the suppliers.

    Yes, if you have a look at the Cloud Living, Cloud Journey, and Niche Pie blogs you can get some good tips.
     
  6. I'm going to give it a try and create a store towards the end of the week.

    The key is to find the right niche. I have some martial arts related websites so I might try and go down that route as I can utilise existing traffic etc.

    Although you only have 14 days of trials, neither platform is too expensive. Oberlo starts at less than $5 per month and Shopify is $29 per month. It's not a huge expense to let it run for a month or so and see how it performs.

    What I plan on doing is:
    • Searching AliExpress for suitable products
    • Find a suitable domain name once I have curated a list of good products
    • Register the domain and have a logo designed
    • Build the store
    • Have some banners designed so that I can promote the website on other websites I own
    • Add some text links to my related websites
    If it's a success I will use the money to start investing in other stores.

    It would be great if a few of us give it a shot as we can discuss it here.

    Kevin
     
  7. Agreed. It would be great for everyone to continue to contribute to this thread. I'm very interested in this kind of thing too.

    Got to say... I'm not completely convinced that Oberlo/AliExpress is the best way to set up a store. For one, I'm not sure if the mark-up on the products will be all that much better than affiliate commissions and you've got the hassle of dealing directly with customers too, which is easily avoided with an affiliate store. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the delivery time on a lot of the products - to the UK at least - is as much as 6-7 weeks. I mean, deary me, that's not going to appeal to impulse buyers so much, is it? Amazon is gearing up to do 1 hour deliveries on some things and I watched a programme the other night about a Chinese company whose record was delivering a mobile phone to a customer's house in something like 7 minutes from them placing the order on their website.

    I quite like Amazon's AP, even though the commissions are kinda low (up to yesterday I've done 54 sales so far this month and only made £40!) but Datafeedr (Google it) is pretty cool and the affiliate networks they use store cookies longer than Amazon and pay higher commissions. Plus, you can manage everything in Wordpress, which is a plus!
     
  8. Delivery time is a concern. In the example I saw the seller made a point of saying that delivery may take 30 days or more, but it isn't ideal. When deliveries take that long people become frustrated and then start sending emails about it. Dealing with support will be very time consuming so you want to try and minimise that.

    I have been checking some products on AliExpress. There are some products that can be delivered quicker.

    When you search for an item, change the "Ship From" filter. You can change it from China to United States and the UK etc. The delivery time for the UK appears to only be seven days compared to the thirty-nine days for China.

    Creating a UK specific store could be a good way to test the waters. Seven days is manageable.

    The one hour delivery thing with Amazon is insane. I don't know how other companies are going to compete with that.
     
  9. Yeah, totally agree with all the above Kevin. I've got a load of work on tomorrow and the next day, but will take a good look at everything over the weekend.
     
  10. I'm the same. I'd love to play around with this sooner but I have some reviews to complete before I do so and I'm taking a day off to spend with my girlfriend as I can't see her on Saturday.

    I'm keen to play around with this though.

    I'm sure between us we can figure this out and help each other.

    We can set up an Oberlo/Shopify discussion thread so that we can discuss this further and keep everything tied up in one place. I'm happy to set up a private discussion room if we need to discuss sensitive information too.

    We can make it invitation only so that only those who are doing this are permitted to participate. I don't want to do that too much on the forum as it means content isn't searchable and that is the primary way of attracting new members etc. Plus I don't want to exclude other members.

    However, by the same token, if we are discussing this frequently we wouldn't want those not actually building a store to interrupt us all the time and from time to time that happens on a forum.
     
  11. Quoted from the other thread we were discussing this topic.

    If this Oberlo/Shopify is as good as they make it out to be, you would be able to do more than one website a month. One website a week could be possible once you know the process of setting it up.

    I'm perhaps getting ahead of myself :)
     
  12. Yeah, cool. I'll try the Oberlo trial too and I'll also try to figure out Datafeedr etc. More than happy to share my findings too.
     
  13. It's the back-breaking "listing yourself all over the place" bit that's a pain in the ass though. Just to make you look like a proper business in Google's eyes and get some organic traffic. Sure, you can outsource stuff like this, but I like everything to be done right, and cheap. And the cheapest person I know is me :)
     
  14. Would love to set up a thread to discuss Datafeedr too if you guys would be interested. That interests me a lot too, but I don't want to derail this one :)
     
  15. Feel free to create a new thread about that Colin :)

    Yes the backlinking thing can be a pain.

    I don't mind sharing some link love and helping out where we can.

    Perhaps someone like @Brian Jackson who is better with SEO can say whether this is a good idea or not, but we could always link to each other's shops in the footer. Or simply add a partners page where we recommend each other. It's not much, but every link will help.

    All we need to do is make a couple of sales. With a project like this, I am happy to keep plowing all profits back into until it's established. For example, on paying for ads, on hiring staff to take care of customer service etc.

    Again, I'm getting ahead of myself here, but the key thing here is to get the store setup and then established. Once it is has been setup to be automated you can work on things like link building in the background or hire people using some of the profits.
     
  16. Well, I'm definitely going to sign up for Datafeedr this weekend Colin and I'll set up one of the sub-domains I was talking about and see how it goes getting the products in and so on. I'll worry about the theme/multi-site side of things later. So if you want to create a thread, or I can once I've installed everything etc., that would be cool.

    You might be getting a 'little bit' ahead of yourself Kevin :) but we're all triers and there's nothing wrong with that!
     
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  17. Shame Oberlo doesn't work with WordPress - would make it cheaper to get started. Although more fiddling around in the background I expect - as is the WordPress Way.

    I guess Google Shopping ads or whatever they are called now is going to be your main source of Oberlo traffic. So you want to pick high priced products with decent margins.

    With Oberlo, are you free to choose your own prices? So the merchant is listing it on AliExpress for $10 and you list it for $20?

    You could always add a blog to your store and try and do content marketing. But that could take a long time and lot of effort to pay off.

    Datafeedr sounds interesting so will look into that too.

    Has anyone tried anything like Prosociate to import products from Amazon into WordPress and promote them as an affiliate? There's a WooCommerce add-on that does this too on CodeCanyon. Your affiliate sites ends up looking like a proper ecommerce store, with the customer send to Amazon right at the end to check out their order.

    The pros of affiliate marketing are huge compared to running an ecommerce/drop shipping store.

    But if you find a low competition niche, a product with a high margin and good profits, the money to be made from a drop shipping store could possibly outweigh the downsides of running a store (customer service etc).

    Another option is always to just create listings on eBay for the products you find on AliExpress. Then order the product from AliExpress to be sent directly to the eBay customer. More work and less automation but at least you aren't putting the time and money into setting up your Shopify Oberlo store.

    I've got an old amazon affiliate niche site which gets about 150 hits a day for a specific type of product. Maybe I can drive some of that traffic to my own Oberlo store?

    Lots to think about...
     
  18. I have no problem with Oberlo being designed specifically for the Shopify platform. One of the reasons I am attracted to trying this setup is because of how simple everything is. Plus it's good to get out my comfort zone and try and use a different platform/service :)

    You can literally create a store in minutes with Shopify. That saves me a huge amount of time setting up a website and installing WordPress plugins etc.

    If you check your Shopify account you can see that you can change your store name at any time. For example, if you create a store about toys and then decide sports t-shirts is more suitable, you simply change it in the settings area. I had called my store kevinmuldoon for the Oberlo review, however I can simply change it to whatever I want for my store.

    Shopify has some cool marketing tools too such as coupons and gift cards.

    I realise the monthly fee might put some people off, but when you consider that they host everything from you etc it's not too bad. Particularly when you consider how much you would have to spend on WooCommerce extensions to add similar functionality etc.

    I personally would advise trying to add eBay into this mix. The whole point of using Oberlo with Shopify is that everything is automated. Everything is taken care of automatically. If you were going to do that via eBay, you would have to spend a huge amount of messing around placing orders for a few dollars of commissions per time.

    @Paul G Do you use a PO Box for your store? I don't want to put a fake address as I want the store to be legit, but obviously I don't want my home address plastered on the web either.

    When me and my friend ran an eCommerce store ten years ago we had a PO Box. I have been thinking of getting one again because I am starting to get more items sent to me for reviews on my YouTube channel; but it's just simpler to give them my real address and have things delivered there.

    Royal Mail PO Box prices start from £23 per month - http://www.royalmail.com/business/services/receiving/safety/po-box

    For an online store, I wouldn't really need a PO Box. I wouldn't be using it to have things delivered so a full PO Box seems a bit excessive.

    A more practical route is to use one of the online PO Box services.

    A quick search brings up a couple of services that may be good. They receive your items and then scan them so you

    One is UK Post Box. They have a pricing scheme which starts at sixty pence an item received etc. Other services include PO Boxes and Scan My Post.



    Another thing I need to consider is whether to deliver worldwide or just deliver to the UK. I like the idea of just focusing on the UK market initially until I find my feet. If I only choose items that are delivered within seven days then I don't see there being too many complaints about delivery times.

    If I do create a martial arts related store, restricting orders to the UK isn't in my interests since my audience is worldwide.

    What's your thoughts on this? Would you only target the UK or one particular region or would you just make it worldwide?

    One option would be to deliver worldwide but make UK the target group and concentre most of my marketing efforts there.

    Kevin
     
  19. On a side note, there are a lot other good apps in the Shopify app store. There are some cool marketing apps for upselling and gaining email subscribers. Many of them are free too.
     
  20. You should check out Beeketing's apps. I know these guys because they're located in Hanoi. But I'm not biased :) They have some really cool marketing automation apps and are doing really well. A lot of stuff for upselling/cross-selling/list building. I think they're up to around $50k in monthly revenue, so they're doing something right.
     
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
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