Domain Development – Drop Ship another option worth considering
As a domainer I am always interested in looking at better options to generate more revenue, I don’t have the largest portfolio in the world so my income from PPC is pretty low, I have been trying to build ecommerce sites using the skills I have taught myself and also using domain developers for larger projects.
Something I have been looking at doing for a while is Drop Shipping, Drop Shipping for those of you who don’t know is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
I own several ecommerce domain names and I operate ScreenProtectors.co.uk as many people know and I have had success with the site and sell my own branded Screen Protectors, I have been considering adding a drop ship service to this site but have chosen not to as of yet. Another website I own is AutomaticHandDryers.com – This site currently has information only and doesn’t sell products, It has Google Adsense but doesn’t do huge revenues but the adsense clicks are converting so it shows the traffic can be converted to potential sales.
I found a small business here in the UK that has their own branded Automatic Hand Dryers and have been operating for 3 years so I reached out to them to see if they would consider offering myself a drop ship service, The business owner has come back to me and confirmed he would be willing to do this and we are now negotiating buying prices, What I shall do is add a sub domain to my site probably something simple like Store.AutomaticHandDryers.com and build the site out using the similar setup on ScreenProtectors.co.uk – I shall then switch my Adsense banners on AutomaticHandDryers.com to be banners that point to my store.
I see this an excellent opportunity for both parties and something domainers should consider as another option if you don’t have development skills there are loads of excellent domain developers who can assist with projects like this, If you are interested in doing your own development then you need to get a hosting provider and setup WordPress – I offer a free WordPress setup service if you are interested leave me a comment, you can read more about the free WordPress service setup I offer here.
If the site doesn’t generate any sales all I have lost is my time which yes could have been spent on another project but YOLO! You only live once, why not try… It is better to try and fail than never try at all!
I know that domainers with huge portfolios wont have the time to do this with all their domain names but if you have a small portfolio that isn’t generating huge amounts of PPC then why not – Adam Dicker covered it off at T.R.A.F.F.I.C this year developed domains often sell for more cash!
If the site does generate revenue then I become cash positive for virtually doing nothing except ensuring the site stays SEO friendly and keeps driving traffic to the store. I am not going to make as large a revenue as I could have buying the products myself or having an own label product created but I also don’t need to spend thousands of pounds on inventory that might not sell.
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One thing I do need to be cautious of and I would say to any domainers that is considering a drop ship model, Do your background on the company you plan to work with… Remember that the customers who buys the item from your website is your responsibility and not the shipper / manufacturer, If for some reason the shipper doesn’t supply the item and it disappears with your payment your customer wont want to hear that excuse they have a contract with you so for refunds and damages etc you are liable make sure you “CYA” Cover Your Ass! Protect yourself – Ensure you fix the prices for 12 months nothing worse than you start at one price point and have your margins set then the next month the shipper increases costs.
A little risk can bring huge rewards and that’s what I see the Drop Ship model as another avenue for us to create additional revenue, Yes there is risk but the rewards could be huge!
One last point is if you site becomes hugely successful you also have the opportunity to potentially sell the domain and business model to the manufacturer or another investor.
I shall keep everyone updated on the progress of the site and hopefully discuss future domain names I can build into similar models.
See this infographic from a blog post at Shopify.com about Drop Shipping.