The Ultimate Guide of :What Is Reverse Dropshipping in 2022

You’re planning to start a reverse dropshipping business but don’t know what it exactly is?

Reverse dropshipping might sound weird at first, but when you look at it up close, you will understand why to reverse dropshipping is better than traditional dropshipping.

In this article, we will walk you through what reverse dropshipping is and how reverse dropshipping works, its pros, and cons, and how to do it step by step.

reverse dropshipping

What is Reverse Dropshipping?

Before we explain what reverse dropshipping is, you should first understand what dropshipping marketing is.

Dropshipping is an online business model that allows you to list wholesalers’ products on your e-commerce website and sell them to your audience without the hassle of storing them in some warehouse. In dropshipping, most of the products come from countries like China, Korea, and Indonesia, and are sold to developed countries around the world.

In reverse dropshipping, the business model is similar to dropshipping, but with one difference: the audience and the source are reversed. Here, products are sourced from developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom and sold to Asian countries such as China and Indonesia.

Now, you may be wondering: why this business model is profitable. The reasons are as follows:

Let’s take China as an example.

As an industrial giant, China is a hot spot for reverse dropshipping. Even though China is the world’s largest exporter of goods, most Chinese are looking for high-quality products that they cannot find in their own country. As a result, Chinese consumers, especially wealthy ones, try to find other ways to get the quality goods they prefer.

This is where the reverse dropshipping marketing business can help.

In reverse dropshipping marketing, quality products made in the West are sold to wealthy people in Asian countries through marketplaces or your own e-commerce site.

Therefore, in reverse dropshipping, top-quality dropshipping products are procured instead of low-quality products, which means higher profits and margins than the usual dropshipping business.

How does Reverse Dropshipping Work?

reverse dropshipping

We’ve covered the basics of reverse dropshipping, and we’re going to explain how it works next. Generally speaking, if you understand how conventional dropshipping works, then you will have no problem understanding the concept of reverse dropshipping.

The only thing you need to remember is that the reverse dropshipping business involves expensive and high-quality products made in Western countries that are sold to wealthy Asian countries’ customers.

In this business model, you will be working with domestic dropshipping suppliers. They will be responsible for manufacturing, storing, and packaging the products as well as shipping orders to your customers.

On your website, you will create a page containing the products, set prices for the products, as well as manage the inventory, and be responsible for advertising your offer and finding customers.

For example, if you choose to sell a product on Shopify, you will need to set a price to cover the supplier’s price and marketing costs so that it is profitable for you.

For example, if you choose to sell a product at a wholesale price of $60, you can display it in your store for $90 and wealthy customers will order the product from your website. You then forward the order to your manufacturer and pay the wholesale price, and the rest is your profit.

The Pros and Cons of Reverse Dropshipping

Now that you know what reverse dropshipping is and how it works, let’s see if this business is suitable for you. Let’s see its advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros
Higher Profit Margins
Lower Competition
Effortless Return Process
Widenable Operations
Cons
Diverse Market Conditions
Obstacles To Entry
Tariffs May be Objectionable

The Pros of Reverse Dropshipping

  • Higher Profit Margins
higher profit margins

One of the most attractive benefits of reverse dropshipping is that the profit margins are higher than traditional models. You may not believe it, but middle and upper-class individuals in countries outside of Europe, the United States, and Canada are often willing to pay way more than what you would for the same new product. In many cases, this is due to the fact they are already paying more for American and European products. Taxes, tariffs, and higher shipping costs, as well as higher markups, lead to them paying more for the same product. 

Simply put, by reverse dropshipping, you will be selling high-quality goods in smaller quantities in a high-demand country. This means you will have a wider market reach, so your profit margins will be higher as well.

  • Lower Competition
lower competition

Because fewer people ship to these countries, there will be less competition. Most businesses that ship to major exporting countries will be larger importers or big box retailer types. However, as a reverse drop shipper, you have an advantage over them because your overhead is lower.

Larger companies will only be able to import the most popular products. This leaves a gap in the market for less in-demand products.

  • Effortless Return Process
Effortless Return Process

Another major benefit of reverse dropshipping is that you will be exposed to suppliers with good return policies. Return policies have always been a concern for many suppliers and returns can be easy with reverse dropshipping. Often, reverse dropshipping suppliers in the US or Europe will offer a good return policy to make returns easy for their customers. So working with a supplier that offers a good return, exchange, and refund policy is a big benefit.

  • Widenable Operations
Widenable Operations

With the reverse dropshipping business model, you can work with top suppliers to fulfill your orders in a timely manner. Your suppliers are responsible for sourcing, picking, packing, and shipping. This makes it easier for you to grow your business operations quickly.

The Cons of Reverse Dropshipping

  • Diverse Market Conditions
Diverse Market Conditions

One of the biggest problems with reverse dropshipping is that it can be difficult to sell the best dropshipping products in foreign countries. While e-commerce PPC may work in your country, it may not work in other countries. They may also use different social media platforms, or there may be a language barrier. You need to understand the market you are expanding into, their unique needs, and any cultural differences that will affect your product sales. You may need to create some dropshipping jobs and hire locals in the areas you want to sell to help you achieve this more easily.

One way to alleviate this problem is to invest in affiliate marketing with reverse dropshipping and have influencers and bloggers in your target market help drive traffic to your site. The best dropshipping sites do the same thing, they need to have enough visitors to expand their visibility. This is crucial if your business is going to be successful.

  • Obstacles To Entry
Obstacles To Entry

Unfortunately, there are a few hurdles when trying to reverse dropshipping.

First, many countries have very strict requirements on what products are allowed to be sold and who can sell them. Importing certain products, such as electronics, food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, can be regulated in the market you are looking at. Therefore, if you want to sell food, wine, and baked goods online, the reverse dropshipping business model is probably not the right choice, and choosing it is one of the mistakes of many dropshipping beginners.

Second, logistics can be difficult. While international shipping is easier than ever, it’s still much more complicated than domestic shipping. Whether your supplier uses bulk shipping or handles order fulfillment for each order, there is a good chance that these products will be held up at international borders, making it difficult to get the product to your customers in a timely manner. This can certainly cause problems for your reverse dropshipping team.

  • Tariffs May be Objectionable
Tariffs May be Objectionable

In many countries, you will be dealing with taxes and tariffs. This is especially true in exporting countries with heavy protectionist policies to protect local manufacturers.

Before doing business in any country, you need to speak with an accountant and a lawyer. These local experts can help you get started the right way and make sure you don’t run afoul of local laws that could lead to your package being seized by customs.

How Can You Get Started Reverse Dropshipping?

Figure Out Which Niche You Want To Operate In

Market research is a top priority when determining which target market to choose to do business in.
A common mistake that many entrepreneurs make when developing a business plan is that they underestimate many of the factors that affect their business.
Therefore, your goal is to develop a viable business plan for your reverse dropshipping business.

When you are developing your business plan, the most important thing is to know what market you are stepping into.
Know what products you are going to sell and who (consumers) will be interested in buying those products.

Select Suppliers 

Once you have decided on a niche for your reverse dropshipping business, the next step is to find a reliable, high-end supplier that will help you grow your business. Unlike a Dropshipping business, you must find suppliers that produce goods in the UK, US, and Canada.

When selecting a supplier, you want to make sure they have a reasonable product catalog so that you can sell a number of products from the same supplier (having one supplier will make returns and exchanges easier) and that they can ship to the destination country of your choice. On top of that, you want to make sure that the supplier offers products that are in high demand in your destination country. For example, the most purchased products online in China are cosmetics, luxury bags, clothes, shoes, fashion accessories, and home and furniture, with high-end foreign furniture being a new trend that is now popular among wealthy Chinese.

Set Up Your Store

Now that you know your audience, market, and supplier; the next step is to build your online store.

Once you have chosen your market, suppliers, and products, and have a good understanding of your audience, it’s time to decide exactly where you want to sell. Each country will have its own preferred marketplace platform, so you should definitely research each country’s marketplace.

For example, instead of using Amazon or eBay, Chinese customers buy from Tmall, Taobao (both part of Alibaba), or JD.com, just to name a few. China is even known as “one of the most mobile-centric societies in the world”, so shopping always needs to be mobile-friendly as well.

When you get started, you can rely on a simple method to build your e-commerce store.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Domain name for your website (e.g www.mywebsite.com)
  • Hosting space for your website
  • Content Management System (WordPress, Wix, Shopify, or other) 
  • Payment gateway integration 
  • Plugins to make your store look attractive and track important metrics

If you’re unsure of how to do this, you can hire a freelancer who can develop an eCommerce store for you.

Translate Your Pages

In e-commerce, product descriptions are the final frontier. Once you start working on your site, you’ll want to consider translating the pages into the local language of your target audience to convince them to add the product to their cart whenever possible. Don’t use google translate, as that may not always be accurate.

If you plan to build a Shopify store for reverse dropshipping betting, using the Shopify marketplace to convert your store into your local language may be your best bet.

Marketing and Branding

The most essential step in any business is the marketing and branding of your product.
As you have learned, one of the most difficult parts of reverse dropshipping is finding the right audience, so effective marketing will be the key to business success.

The platform your target audience uses will determine how you market.
Going back to our previous example, in the Chinese market, much of the high-converting marketing is done through influencers and celebrity endorsements, while paid advertising plays a smaller role than in traditional import countries and Google-based campaigns.

With the help of audience analytics, you can plan your marketing strategy and adjust your goals over time.

Conclusion

Reverse dropshipping is a relatively new business model for many D2C sellers. It involves manufacturing high-quality products in India and then selling them in the US and China. Using this business model, you can start selling your products in a broad market with little or no competition. Therefore, reverse dropshipping may be a good business model for you.

If you want to learn more about eCommerce fulfillment services or other eCommerce information, contact us now.

FAQ about Reverse Dropshipping

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What should you not do when dropshipping?

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