What is High-Ticket Drop Shipping?
What is High-Ticket Drop Shipping? A Beginner's Guide To High-Ticket Drop Shipping
Now to start, understanding what high ticket drop shipping is, and what it isn't, is essential. I'm going to go over some pros and cons for you guys so you can get a better idea of what high-ticket drop shipping is and why its the best online business model for beginners.
eCommerce or Brick and Mortar?
A lot of people think about opening a brick and mortar store front when they think about starting an online business. If you've considered this, you might have realized the upfront expenses and on-going overhead involved. If not, all you need to do is look at some of the costs of opening a franchise like Subway or McDonalds to understand what the upfront costs of opening a brick-and-mortar retail storefront looks like.
You have to pay for rent, equipment and merchandising displays, insurance, electricity, water, employees, paint, and much more. Trust me, I went through this experience in 2014 and I will never do that again. I learned some really important lessons about opening a brick-and-mortar store and its just not something I'll ever want or need to do again because of what I know now about eCommerce, Dropshipping, and Private Labeling.
eCommerce vs. Private-Label vs. Dropshipping vs. High-Ticket Dropshipping
When you first start thinking about starting an online store, you might consider creating your own product. You might also think about creating a private-label product otherwise known as a white-label product. This process can take a lot of upfront investment in branding, product development, packaging, inventory, fulfillment, and insurance... so it's only for those who can afford it and are prepared to do everything it takes to build such a brand.
A more simple way to get started with eCommerce is to start a dropshipping business. Dropshipping is simply finding a supplier that will give you a wholesale discount in exchange for you selling their product for them, which usually costs time and money for advertising and marketing. They will ship your product directly to your customer so you don't have to warehouse or fulfill any orders yourself.
This business model has a very low upfront investment requirement and low risk, but it does come with its own set of risks as well. The risk goes up the higher the price of the product and the bigger the size and the more complex as well.
What's The Difference Between Dropshipping and the High-Ticket Dropshipping Method?
A lot of people think of dropshipping as finding a trending product online at a retail website like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Aliexpress, or eBay, and then listing it for sale in a different marketplace and marking it up.
This is known as "price arbitrage" because you are simply taking advantage of consumers dedication to shopping at a specific marketplace online like Amazon or eBay and not shopping around to find a better deal first.
However, this form of dropshipping means that you don't have an agreement with the brand that created the product, often referred to as an "authorized dealer agreement" and if you get caught selling their product without their permission then they could force you to take down your listing.
The essence of high-ticket dropshipping isn't just that the products are high-ticket or high-priced, but that you also work directly with the brands otherwise known as "suppliers" and utilize their processes and marketing materials to help them sell their products in marketplaces like Google Shopping, eBay, and Amazon.
It is high-risk to ship a product that costs over $200 from Aliexpress because if there is something wrong with the product, you are responsible for returns. So if you want to do price-arbitrage dropshipping, it's best to stick with low-priced and small products that are cheap to ship. The risk is lower this way. But the margins are still around the same, depending on the product and supplier. So you'll need to sell a lot of products to make the same profits that you would make by selling fewer products using the high-ticket dropshipping method.
Benefits of Dropshipping
There are many benefits of creating a high-ticket drop shipping eCommerce business rather than creating your own product, opening a physical retail store, or doing other online business models.
Less Upfront Investment Required
The coolest thing about high ticket drop shipping is that less upfront investment is required than brick and mortar businesses. Typical business models especially franchises can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in to get started. For instance, with a McDonald's franchise, if you wanted to start one it would cost you a quarter million dollars just to even be able to apply, and then you have to continue to pay for all sorts of marketing and overhead costs.
So as far as business models go, a high-ticket drop shipping eCommerce store can be a very low-cost startup, otherwise known as a lean startup. You will need a credit card with a high-limit to pay for your cost of goods sold when you make sales to speed up the order processing, shipping, and delivery times. If you don't have a high-limit credit card, with at least $10,000 credit line, then find someone who does and partner with them on your first high-ticket drop shipping store.
You Don't Have To Create Your Own Products
High ticket drop shipping is also a very easy way to get started online and compared to other business models, with the drop shipping fulfillment method, you can leverage your supplier's inventory to make online sales and profits. You're essentially using products that other businesses have already created and marketed and just selling them and marketing them in new channels, or just remarketing them in the same channels and taking those sales and then helping the customers while the supplier fulfills the orders for you.
No Warehousing or Inventory or Returns Management Required
As far as managing or paying for any kind of warehousing, you don't have to do that with drop shipping. Your suppliers do that for you. You don't even need to pack or ship your own orders. Your suppliers do all of that for you. You don't have to track inventory for accounting reasons, just for your own website.
You don't need to handle the merchandise when it is returned unless you have suppliers that don't take any returns and even then there are systems you can set up, like a fulfillment warehouse service, that can handle situations like that for you and even take pictures of the merchandise so you can sell it on eBay as an open-box warehouse deal.
If there's a really popular selling product on your store that's out of stock, you might want to mark that product out of stock or at least put on the product listing a backorder notice so that customers don't get annoyed when you tell them that you're actually out of stock when you take the orders.
Low Overhead Expenses and Location Independence
Another cool thing about high ticket dropshipping and ecommerce is that you have very low overhead costs. Overhead is where you have to pay for all the marketing, travel, and home office-related expenses for your business.
With a brick-and-mortar store, in order to run your business, you have to pay for the rent of your physical storefront. You have to pay for your displays and stuff like that to display your stuff, you have to pay for employees, you have to pay for insurance, and you have to pay for utility bills.
All these things add up a lot and a home office is a lot less expensive to run. It's a part of your home and that's where you'll be running your high-ticket dropshipping business a lot from, so it's even tax deductible. It's very inexpensive to run a home office, in fact, it can be within the same cost as your normal everyday life.
There are also coffee shops and coworking spaces that you can work out of as well which are very cost effective at around $3-$5 a session. You can use that coffee shop for as long as you need or a few hours or whatever and you get your work done and you have a very flexible location. Longer term coworking space memberships cost between $100 a month on the low end, in Thailand for instance, or a few hundred bucks on the high end in Los Angeles, for example.
When you're doing high ticket dropshipping, you can travel around the world because you just need a place with Wi-Fi in order to run your business. You can make Wi-Fi calls, you can do emails, you can do everything from a Wi-Fi location. If you get a cellular data plan that includes unlimited data and a hotspot, you are only limited by your data reach. You could potentially work from parks, from your car, or from your hotel pool.
You can travel to Thailand, you can travel to Europe, you can travel to central and South America, and anywhere there is good Wi-Fi you can run your business from. It's the ideal lifestyle business for someone who wants to travel because it's easy to start up, low overhead costs and it's very flexible as far as your location goes.
Wide Selection Of Products Making It Easy To Scale
You have a really wide selection of products you can market with high-ticket drop shipping. When you want to scale your business you can get new suppliers, add their products to the site without having to buy them first, optimize those product listings, and run paid traffic to those product listings. It really doesn't cost much more than doing all the marketing work. The ads will run on their own once you get them all set up and eventually you'll start ranking organically and you'll get free traffic to those listings.
When you sell the product, all you have to do is send the order to the supplier, and the supplier will charge your business credit card, then send the product to the customer, and the customer will get the product and be happy and leave you a nice review. That's the ideal situation.
As far as scaling goes, there are many more ways you can scale, but adding suppliers and products is the best way. Another great way is to add more content to your website and to build out sales funnels from those content pieces to the products that are related to them. So, for instance, you could hire writers for writing roundup articles for the resources that are within your niche. You can hire writers to write how-to content, how to solve a problem that that product solves, and then say buy this product if you want to solve your problem.
So there are all sorts of cool things you can do and it is really easy to scale. Scaling a high-ticket drop shipping business is very cost effective compared to other business models. It's the best way to reach people these days because everybody is either on their smartphone or on their computer and they're shopping and they're very used to spending money online these days.
The Risks Of High Ticket Drop Shipping
High ticket drop shipping does have some disadvantages though, and I wanted to go over that in this article because it's really important when you're understanding drop shipping you have to understand both the pros and the cons. You want to be prepared for this because mentally you're going to need to deal with this later on and my best advice is to always just understand the systems that you need to have ready when you're going to encounter these things on how you deal with them. These are called standard operating procedures and whenever something happens you should have an answer to that. So with that said let's move into them.
Lower Margins Than Other Business Models
The first thing about high ticket drop shipping is that generally speaking, you'll have lower margins than you would if you were to sell your own product. If you were to sell an imported product from China or if you were to create your own product like an information product or digital product, the margins are generally 40% all the way up to 90%, but with high ticket drop shipping, your margins are around 10 to 30 percent, maybe even higher sometimes, it depends on the supplier.
And those are somewhere between gross and net is so usually your gross margin is like somewhere between 30 and 40 maybe 50 percent. And then your net margin which includes shipping costs, fulfillment costs, advertising costs all that stuff will be usually closer to like as low as 5% to as high as probably 25 or 30%.
It really just depends on the product and the supplier, so just understand that it is an easy model to start with, very cost-effective, but since you're not actually creating the products and you're not actually marketing them the way the manufacturer is, you're just doing it as a retailer, the margins are generally lower. And this changes from supplier to supplier.
Some suppliers offer better margins because they want you as the retailer to do more marketing for them and some suppliers offer lower margins because they've already done a ton of marketing and they have their fulfillment all setup and so all you need to do is to actually just market the products. So it just depends on the supplier and it can change.
The other issue is inventory. So when you're doing high ticket drop shipping, a lot of the time you won't be connected to the suppliers' inventory. The supplier may send you inventory updates via a spreadsheet or some sort of a feed or just an email saying this is out of stock or that product is discontinued but that's usually the best you'll get, in fact, sometimes suppliers don't even send any kind of updates at all.
The way you handle this kind of stuff is having a standard operating procedure in place. So when you take an order on your website for an item that's either out of stock or discontinued, you have a way of talking to the customer that tells them that there are other items available in your store that are similar either from the same brand or different brands and if they would like that, and then you can usually offer some sort of an incentive to go with it and it really depends on the customer. Some customers don't care, some will try to eat you alive and try to get as much of a discount as possible. It's up to you as the retailer how much you want to give away or willing to give away.
How To Get Market Share In The Beginning
The best way to get sales in the beginning is to focus on one product category with a "niche site" so you can go deep into a niche and really optimize for the target market. You can become what's known as an "authority site" in your niche and provide the best service possible. This is what Amazon did in the beginning when they started as the world's first online book store.
I usually tell people when they're first getting started, it's a good idea to take on the same idea that Amazon had when they got started. And that is to get as many customers in the door as possible even if that means losing a little bit of money or breaking even because those customers will hopefully refer you to their friends or talk about your company to everybody else around them.
So the key is to get as many people in the door as possible and out of the door with one of your products. So if there happens to be something out stock, there's an inventory issue, you just cover it up and give it to them for cost or even a small loss and you have a customer now. And so you ask that customer for referrals. You tell them could you please tell all of your friends and family about it. Take pictures of the product, even do a video review of the product for you.
Eventually, you can work on creating your own private label version of the products or accessories you sell as you get data about what the best sellers are. You can even buy inventory from your suppliers during the busy season so you can secure your profits. This is a great way to solidify your business from future competitors. However, it does take more capital so you need to be prepared by either having capital available in cash or have the ability to get a low-interest business loan.
Shipping Complexities with High Ticket Drop Shipping
The other thing about high ticket dropshipping that can be a big issue is shipping complexities. This especially comes into play when you're doing high ticket drop shipping because you're selling expensive products and shipping companies will often need to ship these expensive products that are often large and LTL Freight instead of regular UPS or FedEx Parcel. That just comes with the niche you're selling in, a couch instead of a phone case for example, so there's gonna be more shipping complexities to deal with.
You're often going to have to hire your own freight forwarder or shipping company which is not that hard. There's a lot of really great services that do this, make it super easy for you but it is something you're going to have to set up and it is an extra few phone calls or emails and that's just the way business goes.
So just understand that when you're getting into high ticket dropshipping, that sometimes you're going to have to deal with the shipping because the supplier doesn't always handle everything for you. You're going to have to take over, for instance, when you have shipping damage issues or maybe even the product didn't show up on time or something like that because of the LTL company's mistake, which by the way, stands for "less than truckload." It's a type of shipping where you put a large product on a pallet and then load it on to a truck that has five or ten other pallets on there and they drop it off in that zone.
What happens is that sometimes the freight company will lose track of the shipment or it just didn't make it onto the truck for whatever reason. The customer, of course, will get upset because with an LTL Freight shipment, for instance, you have to actually call the freight company and schedule that delivery.
And if the customer isn't around for the delivery there are storage fees and stuff like that so you really have to be upfront with your customer and tell them "hey, this is what to expect" and if you know for some reason the freight company makes a mistake then you have to deal with that. You have to call the supplier and talk to them, you have to call the shipping company and talk to them, call the customer, of course, and talk to them, and that's pretty much your role.
The last things of course that can go wrong is the supplier themselves can actually make an error. So if you're selling complicated products or products with a lot of different variants like colors or size then your supplier might accidentally ship out the wrong size or wrong color. Sometimes the customers can get really upset about this. Sometimes they don't even care they'll just keep it.
It really just depends, so you have to be just extra diligent when you're doing stuff like when you're sending in your purchase orders that you make sure that you make it very clear as to what the variants are. And if you added any free gifts onto the order, make it really clear on that purchase order to add in those accessories and charge you for them, and to ship them with the product and of course you can make things as clear as possible and someone over at the supplier might not be doing their job and that just happens.
So you have to actually take responsibility for that when you're talking to the customer and you have to be able to just say that our warehouse made a mistake you don't say the "supplier," you say "our warehouse" so I'll get more into that later when it comes to how to run your high ticket drop shipping business.
Read more about finding the best high-ticket dropshipping suppliers.
Is High Ticket Drop Shipping Worth It?
But those are just some things to look out for to be aware of, to be mindful of. You are doing what a regular retail brick and mortar storefront does but you just happen to be online only. But you know you have to ask yourself is it worth it? Is it something that you're really interested in doing or not? And that's up to you!
Honestly, do you want it badly enough?
Are you a newbie to internet marketing and is this type of business model something that's ideal for you?
Are you advanced and you have a lifestyle that you know requires location independence and yet you know you're not like the most advanced internet marketer out there creating your own info products and doing launches and stuff like that?
Do you just want an easy to run and sustainable real online business?
High ticket dropshipping is great because it's a fulfillment method in which you can run and build an e-commerce store and scale indefinitely as much as you want to. I've seen some of these high ticket ecommerce stores doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales per month and it's truly incredible as to what level you can scale these stores.
One word to warn you guys, of course, is that the more you scale your business, the more hassles you're gonna have to deal with, the more customer service you're going to have to deal with, the more of all of this stuff. I mean real business does turn into this huge thing so like I said from the beginning you have to set your goals and you have to set up standard operating procedures so that you understand what's going to be required in the future and how to scale and so you don't have as many growing pains as you might if you didn't.
You'll need to hire a team eventually, especially if you don't want to have to do all the work yourself. There are going to be some things you suck at like graphic design or things you just don't want to do like product uploading and updating inventory which can drive you crazy unless you hire an virtual assistant to do it for you. The best thing is that you can outsource to countries where the average minimum wage is much lower than the USA and they still speak great english and are very intelligent. I use and recommend hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines.
That's it, guys! So now is the time. Make up your mind whether this is something you want to continue doing or not. And if you do, if it is something that you decide that you want to do, that's right for your business, right for your lifestyle, right for your needs, your family then definitely continue with this article.
Are High-Ticket Drop Shipping Businesses Profitable?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is it depends on you as a business owner. If you know how to make one profitable, then it can certainly be profitable, but if you don't know how to make one profitable, then you need to get a coach or mentor who can show you the way.
I got lucky with my first store because I did a lot of research and found a profitable niche, found an eCommerce platform that ran google shopping ads (before I even understood them), and it didn't cost me a thing. The gross margins were high enough and the marketing expenses were low enough to result in about a 10% net profit with the products in that niche.
Since then, I've discovered many more niches that are more profitable and easier to deal with after the sale, resulting in more net profits and fewer headaches with running the business. If you don't understand what all this means, then you need to hire a mentor to help you. I was hard-pressed to find a mentor I could hire when I first got started, so I vowed to create a coaching program and help entrepreneurs like myself when I became successful. I have now done so with my high-ticket drop shipping masterclass.
Can High-Ticket Drop Shipping Make You Rich?
Do you want to get rich? I think most people would answer yes to that question. Although it isn't as easy as it sounds, it's certainly possible with high-ticket drop shipping if you're willing to commit and work towards your goals every day.
You certainly won't get rich overnight with high-ticket dropshipping, but over years of doing this business and keeping your personal expenses low, you can build up a substantial amount of savings.
You should keep re-investing in your business using your profits and when you have a surplus, consider creating your own brand or even investing in the stock market in the same tech companies you use to run your business.
If you take personal finance seriously, then you'll understand that making a budget for yourself and spending less than you earn is the foundation to "getting rich" but sometimes you still need to take risks to get big rewards... just be careful with the risks you take and don't ever invest more than you can afford to lose.
How Does The Fulfillment and Supply Chain Work With High-Ticket Drop Shipping?
Products are imported by the supplier from China to the USA, then sold online and checked for quality control, crated up and shipped out using freight or just boxed up and shipped using ground carriers. The customer then receives the product and either assembles or installs it and leaves you a positive review.
Sometimes suppliers manufacture their products in the USA, but often times they have them manufactured in China due to their low costs of labor and large amount of factories and warehouses.
Which Online Business Should I Start?
I recommend before getting started with an online business, you have to write down your ideal lifestyle outlook. From there, you can decide what kind of business model you can build.
You have to picture out your lifestyle first before you run a business because if it is the other way around, your life will be run by your business. Focus on the life you want to live first then build a business.
High ticket dropshipping is a great business model, it is evergreen. You have suppliers that make the products and you just have to market and sell those products. You are basically a middle man. It is online retail but you are only selling expensive products. The products that you are going to be selling are the same products sold year after year. You don't have to constantly look at new products and create new ads like you do with Aliexpress dropshipping.
The ads funnel is also evergreen as well. You are catching them in the middle of shopping for the product and offering a better deal than your competitors. You have to do the processing the orders and customer services. It is a location independent because you can do it on your laptop and you just have to make sure you have an internet connection.
Starting a service-based company by freelancing or starting an agency is completely different. The same goes for creating online courses or a Youtube channel. There are ways you can outsource content creation but it takes more upfront investment, so you'll need to decide what is best for you.
Usually, people start by being a freelancer and doing certain service for themselves for people which will allow them to "learn while they earn". An example of a freelancing service is creating a logo design company for eCommerce businesses or local businesses. If you are really good at it, you can hire people and train them to do it for you.
You can sell your service on marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork, or on your own website, otherwise known as a "productized service". A marketing agency is a service-based company so you have to be dealing with clients and you have to understand what they want. You have to be really creative and really good customer service and communication skills.
It can also be hard to do because you are dealing with people's expectations of your service, and often times this can change from person to person. The quality of the service depends on the quality of your work or the people that you hire to perform the service. What will make or break a marketing agency is how well you can hire people to do the work for you and deliver it to your clients. If you try to do all the work yourself as a freelancer, you basically have a job and will not be able to scale your business past what you can personally handle.
Some people are ok with this, but for business-minded individuals who want more passive-income, this will become a nightmare to deal with. You also will most likely need to do a lot of personal branding to make it successful and by doing a lot of organic marketing in the form of youtube videos, blogging, or podcasting, not to mention advertising and creating sales funnels and talking to prospects all the time and closing sales over the phone.
When you are just getting started, you have to take a look at yourself and your skill sets. If you feel like working with clients is something you're more interested in than selling products online, then go for it. It really just depends on your personality and skill sets and the kind of life you want to live. You should design your business around your dream lifestyle, not the other way around.
Step-By-Step Training for High-Ticket Drop Shipping
Here are the next steps you'll need to take to start your high-ticket dropshipping business:
Resources for Starting A High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce Store
These are the resources I've created to help you start your own high-ticket dropshipping eCommerce store:
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eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business selling high-ticket products online with the drop shipping fulfillment method so you can make more profit per sale, have a sustainable and evergreen online business, get started with very little upfront investment, and live a location independent lifestyle. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of over 10 virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia. Trevor is also a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate referral links. I will get a commission from the vendor when you make a purchase after clicking them at no added cost to you. As a result, many of them also provide you with a special discount just for using my link. You can go directly to their support if you have any issues with their software or product.