In this day and age, it has never been easier to sell something online. Anybody without any prior experience can hop online, find products to sell, and build a brand around those products. But it’s extremely important to know where your products are coming from and the brand behind them. A very common practice through online retail being used is called dropshipping.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is the act of creating a website, listing products on that website that are typically sold for dirt cheap on websites such as AliExpress, allowing you to purchase them through their own website, and then copy and pasting your information into AliExpress so that they can fulfill their order directly from their factory in China. The item may cost only $1 to purchase directly from AliExpress, however a business may list it for whatever price they like on their own website and mark it up as much as they want. They create their “brand” based entirely on products already available dirt cheap if you take the time to look. It works by taking the following steps:
- Someone creates a website promoting a “brand” of merchandise. Let’s use t-shirts for this example and call the website “TshirtBiz”
- They list 100 or so t-shirt designs that they find available on AliExpress on their website. These designs already exist; they're just reselling them.
- You, the customer, go to their website and order one of the t-shirts. You pay $25 for the t-shirt as well as shipping.
- TshirtBiz will then take your information provided and purchase the t-shirt they have listed on their website through AliExpress. The factory, through AliExpress, then fulfills your order. TshirtBiz paid $6 plus shipping for the t-shirt while pocketing the $25 you paid for it, despite you being able to purchase that same shirt directly through AliExpress without the markup.
This means that TshirtBiz doesn’t have a physical warehouse, nor have they ever touched, felt or quality checked the items that you’ll be receiving. In fact, they’re pretty soulless. They don’t care about anything other than making a few dollars by reselling already available merchandise for a higher price. This practice is becoming more and more common because of how hassle and risk free it is.
It is also very easy to scam people using the dropshipping method. Recently there was a lot of drama involving a company called Kenza Cosmetics. I'll break it down as best I can.
Kenza Cosmetics ran a campaign on their website advertising that they were selling $80+ makeup brush sets for free. That's right, they were giving away makeup brushes. The only thing the consumer had to pay was $9.95 for shipping. They sold thousands of these makeup brushes 'for free' as a marketing gimmick. However people quickly came to notice that these makeup brushes they were advertising as being worth $80+ actually were brushes you could buy directly from AliExpress for less than 50 cents apiece. So Kenza was advertising selling something for 'free' when in reality they were profiting off of dirt cheap makeup brushes, falsely inflating the price of them, and then pocketing the money that people were paying for shipping while convincing their customers they were worth something they weren't. An all out scam. As of writing this, they still owe thousands of people makeup brushes.
Why is Nomad Complex better?
We are extremely against dropshipping. At Nomad, we do things the right way. Not only have we had nearly every design we sell commissioned and created just for Nomad, we also take care of packing, folding, fulfilling orders, customer service and ensuring every single item that leaves our home is handled with love and care. There’s no middlemen here. We put in the extra work and effort to make sure that we do things the right way, even if it is a little bit harder. We hold our own physical inventory of product at all times and we plan to keep it that way. How do you know that? Because we post stupid pictures of our idiot selves in our home office all the time.
As it becomes easier and easier to make money online, it’s important to make sure we know exactly where what we buy is coming from. Would you rather spend your money knowing that someone is taking the time to package an order themselves and to deal with you with care and attention, or would you rather spend your money on something that the seller has no interest in whatsoever other than the fact it will make them a few pennies and wait weeks for it to arrive from China?
Shop smarter. Know where what you spend your money on is coming from!