When you think of Zappos, you might think of a company that sells shoes online. But did you know that Zappos actually started out as a dropshipping company? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of Zappos and how it became the successful company it is today. We’ll also explore the pros and cons of dropshipping and whether or not it’s a viable option for your business.
How did Zappos Start?
In 1998, Nick Swinmurn set out to find a pair of brown Airwalks to buy online. He was frustrated by the lack of selection and customer service he found at the time, so he decided to start his own company. Zappos was born soon after, and began as an online retailer specializing in shoes.
But how did Zappos get its start? Some people believe that Zappos started by dropshipping, but this is not the case. Swinmurn actually started by buying inventory from local shoe stores in Las Vegas and selling it on his website. It wasn’t until 2000 that Zappos began dropshipping, and even then it was only a small part of their business. Today, dropshipping makes up a very small percentage of Zappos’ sales.
The Pros and Cons of Dropshipping
There are a few pros and cons to dropshipping that are worth considering before starting your own business.
1. Low Start-Up Costs: Dropshipping is a very low cost way to start an online business. You don’t need to invest in inventory upfront, which means you can start your business with very little money.
2. Easy to Set Up: Dropshipping is also very easy to set up. You can have your business up and running in just a few days.
3. No Need for Storage Space: Since you don’t need to carry any inventory, you won’t need to worry about finding storage space for your products. This can be a great advantage if you live in a small space or don’t have a lot of extra room in your home for storing inventory.
4. Flexible Location: Dropshipping allows you to run your business from anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection, you can operate your dropshipping business from anywhere.
5. Freedom and Flexibility: Dropshipping gives you the freedom to work when you want and where you want. You’re not tied down to regular business hours or working in a physical location. This makes it perfect for entrepreneurs who want the flexibility to work around their other commitments.
What are the Different Types of Dropshipping?
There are four main types of dropshipping:
1. Manufacturer to customer: In this type of dropshipping, the manufacturer ships the product directly to the customer’s door.
2. Supplier to customer: In this type of dropshipping, the supplier ships the product to the customer’s door. This is often used by businesses that don’t want to carry inventory themselves.
3. Distributor to customer: In this type of dropshipping, the distributor ships the product to the customer’s door. This can be used when there is a middleman involved in the sale.
4. Retailer to customer: In this type of dropshipping, the retailer ships the product to the customer’s door. This is often used by online retailers who don’t have a physical store location.
How to Start Dropshipping
If you’re looking to start dropshipping, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to get started. First, you’ll need to find a supplier who is willing to work with you on a dropshipping basis. This can be done by searching online or contacting manufacturers directly.
Once you’ve found a supplier, you’ll need to set up an account with them and provide them with your contact information and shipping address. You may also need to provide them with payment information so that they can bill you for the products you purchase from them.
Once your account is set up, you can start browsing the supplier’s catalog and placing orders for the products you’d like to sell. When a customer places an order on your website, you’ll simply need to forward the order details to the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to your customer’s door.
Zappos is a great example of a company that started off by dropshipping and then built their own inventory once they had established themselves. Dropshipping can be a great way to get started in ecommerce, but it’s not the only option. If you’re thinking about starting your own online store, research all of your options and choose the one that makes the most sense for your business. Thanks for reading!