A Gamble that Paid Off: A Dropshipping Success Story
Ecommerce has made starting a successful business a prospect available to people of all walks of life. Aloysius Chay & Galvin Bay were working as professional poker players in China’s most extravagant city, Macau. Last year, they decided to trade one exciting and lucrative lifestyle for another by trying their hand as dropshipping entrepreneurs with the help of Oberlo.
They are now earning upwards of $60K each day, less than a year after starting their first store. We recently had the opportunity to pick their brains about the keys to achieving success with ecommerce.
- Tell us how you got started in dropshipping ecommerce? What were you doing before your successful dropshipping business?
- What were the main struggles in the beginning? How did you overcome them?
- Do you remember your first sale and where it came from?
- Do you use Facebook Ads to market your store? What has been your experience with Facebook Ads? How did you learn to use this tool?
- What keeps you motivated as an ecommerce entrepreneur?
- As an ecommerce entrepreneur, what is your sale-per-day record as a successful dropshipping business?
- As an ecommerce entrepreneur, what’s your top recommendation to new store-owners?
- How long have you used Oberlo?
- Why did you decide to use Oberlo?
- What do you like about using Oberlo specifically?
- What are your favorite features about the Oberlo app?
- Would you recommend Oberlo to a friend or colleague? Why?
- Want to learn more?
Tell us how you got started in dropshipping ecommerce? What were you doing before your successful dropshipping business?
Before embarking as dropshipping ecommerce entrepreneurs in 2016, we were earning a living as professional poker players in Macau. At the time, a friend of ours was already involved in running a dropshipping business, which planted the seed in our minds that this was a viable way to make money.
It wasn’t until May of last year, however, that we started seriously pursuing a future in dropshipping. By August, we were already expanding the business to a second store. Things really moved that quickly.
What were the main struggles in the beginning? How did you overcome them?
For us, the biggest challenge came in terms of product research – trying to find the right product at the right time for the right market. This required a lot of learning by doing. In fact, we tested 20-30 products and failed before finally finding things that worked. Of course, the process was a big test to our motivation. But in the end, we were able to discover a level of perseverance and creativity that we didn’t know we had.
While we certainly had to learn how to stomach these losses in the beginning, we kept our eyes on the big picture in order to maintain perspective. In comparison to more traditional business models that require major investments and can take years before finally taking off, dropshipping really is a much more straightforward way to get started. It’s easier and there’s less risk.
Even though getting started took some trial and error, dropshipping is the ideal way to start your ecommerce business in a short amount of time with a minimal amount of money. Plus, all the effort you put in contains the promise of reaping major returns.
Do you remember your first sale and where it came from?
We started out niche marketing jewelry in June of 2016. While the initial sales were on the smaller side and we ultimately didn’t end up breaking even, we learned a lot from this experience. It taught us that it helps to target a certain audience by country.
The prospect of growing and improving kept us moving forward with the business. After experimenting with jewelry, we tried selling all sorts of other products. After testing out a few new products and strategies, we ultimately achieved the success we’re enjoying now.
Do you use Facebook Ads to market your store? What has been your experience with Facebook Ads? How did you learn to use this tool?
Yes, we like using Facebook advertising because it is a lot simpler than other ad platforms. All the necessary features for creating a successful ad campaign are integrated into a straightforward, user-friendly system.
Of course, as two guys who were just starting out within the world of ecommerce, we found that taking some time to explore different tutorials and courses on the subject really helped us to learn what we needed to know. We also consulted a lot of people in our own social circle. You’d be surprised how much you can learn just by sitting down with friends who are also working on their own ecommerce businesses to exchange tips and ideas.
What keeps you motivated as an ecommerce entrepreneur?
Naturally, being able to secure some extra income is a great incentive. More than that, though, being an entrepreneur is really fun! There are so many new challenges and opportunities coming your way, offering the chance to continually grow and learn as a business owner and as an individual. Plus, in this line of work, we have so much control over our daily lives because our dropshipping business provides us with both the financial means and the free time to create the lifestyles we’ve always wanted. Ecommerce has changed so many lives, including our own, as well as those of our friends and families.
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, what is your sale-per-day record as a successful dropshipping business?
Our best day of sales to date is at high 5 figures USD, and we will continue to grow to surpass the 6 figures mark.
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, what’s your top recommendation to new store-owners?
Always keep in mind that fresh products are the lifeblood of any successful ecommerce business. If you’re going to go all out in any area of your shop, this would be it. Be willing to continually get creative and test out new items. Don’t skimp out here because the risk is worth the returns.
In addition, hire staff to assist you in your business operations as soon as you can. Having adequate manpower is crucial to the growth of your company. And it’s always better to over-hire than it is to be understaffed.
In the end, hiring people to help will save you valuable time and money that you can put towards expanding your shop. Besides, as a business owner, your efforts are better spent focused on the big picture than on answering emails and processing orders. It’s best to prioritize the streamlining of your ecommerce/dropshipping processes right from the start.
How long have you used Oberlo?
My business partner and I used the Oberlo app right from the very beginning. Good apps are essential for optimizing the productivity of a dropshipping ecommerce business. Shopify Apps are awesome because they are relatively cheap for the amount of value they bring to your shop. And of course, Oberlo is free when you first start out.
Why did you decide to use Oberlo?
We decided to use Oberlo because it made dealing with dropshipping orders far simpler and more user friendly. Ordering a product manually on AliExpress normally takes between 3 and 5 minutes, but with the Oberlo app we can cut that time to as little as 30 seconds. On average, the entire fulfillment process goes about three times faster. Plus, the Oberlo app’s automation feature minimizes errors in handling tasks like entering the right customer details to each order.
What do you like about using Oberlo specifically?
What sets Oberlo apart is its user friendliness. It has a very straightforward design and eliminates the need to type relevant order information manually. This saves a lot of time and significantly reduces room for error in processing orders. We can use the time we save to further expand our business, and generally improve customer satisfaction.
What are your favorite features about the Oberlo app?
Definitely the semi-automatic fulfillment of orders on AliExpress ranks high on the list. Also, the app makes syncing order tracking numbers to Shopify virtually effortless. Oberlo allows me to make bulk payments where we can load up to 100 orders at a time and then pay all of them in one shot. This is incredibly useful if you wish to delegate order payments to staff members because it makes this process so easy that just about anyone can learn to do it in no time.
Would you recommend Oberlo to a friend or colleague? Why?
For sure! In fact, we think it’s the first product that anyone looking to make it in the world of dropshipping ecommerce should install. Doing so from the beginning is best because it’s not possible to retrospectively sync the store operations with the app later on. Oberlo also offers a free starter plan for those just getting started out so there’s really nothing to lose, and the savings in time and error are really invaluable.
Want to learn more?
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- 6 Inspiring Ecommerce Startup Stories You Need to Read
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!