REAL $$$ Making Dropship Store vs. A FAILING Store (Dropshipping Store Examples & Review)

By | August 21, 2019

– Hey, everybody. So today I’m gonna be comparing
a failing dropshipping store from one our Wholesale Ted
subscribers, Dragon Slayer Chest, against a successful dropshipping store selling similar items, Norse Blood. In this video, I’m gonna be explaining why Norse Blood has been able to successfully sell these products and Dragon Slayer Chest has, well, not. And I think some of the
things that I’m gonna say might genuinely surprise some people. It might challenge some
of your ideas and beliefs, especially in the latter
part of the video. And if you do disagree with me, feel free to let me know
in the comments section. So let’s get started. Now there is a something that a lot of people often say to me. “Sarah, I’ve followed all of your advice, “but my store is still losing money. “I don’t understand why
other stores are successful “and mine is not. SOS. Please help.” All right, John. So you seem like a lovely person. And I know I say it every time I review a subscriber’s store, but I just want to let you know I might be kind of harsh on you. In fact, I will be harsh on you. But it’s only because I care. Okay, so sorry in advance. I hope I don’t offend you. So in the comment, John said
that he watched my video literally titled Why
You Aren’t Making Sales. In that video, I give every store that is struggling to get
customers to buy from them despite having traffic a
15-point checklist to go through to see if their store is
missing anything important. Now John said he’s watched the video and that he’s done all 15 things right. Let’s see if his store really
does tick all of the boxes. So let me start out by
just showing everyone John’s store, Dragon Slayer Chest. Now, as I review this store, if you’ve got any advice for John, please leave it in the
comments section below. I don’t have time to talk about everything in a YouTube video, so any
advice you have for him I’m sure would be appreciated. So as you can see, John’s store
is in the niche of dragons, Vikings, that sort of area,
medieval fantasy and mythology. Unfortunately, I know
nothing about this niche from a personal perspective. I’m not the target audience. But I know a fair bit about it, how well it does sales-wise online. So down here, we can see that
John has a refund policy, a shipping policy, terms
of service, legal pages. And that’s a relief. You wouldn’t believe how
many stores don’t have this, so that’s good. Let’s now go and check
out some of the products that you’ve got listed here, John. And so here we go. As you can see, John’s store is selling lots of unique items,
mostly dragon-themed items. Check out these rings. They’re all very strongly dragon-themed. And something I’ve noticed is that John had varied up
the prices a lot in his store, which is something I strongly recommend. What that means then is that
when you see this ring here on sale for $90, it is a
psychological marketing technique to anchor the price for our brains and make this $15 ring here
feel like a much better deal. Varying up prices is something
I recommend most stores do, so I appreciate that you
took the time to do this. So that’s John’s store. Now let’s review it. To keep this video from
getting insanely long, I’m going to stick to
talking about three things. We’re going to review
his product selection, we’re going to review his
advertising and traffic strategies and we’re going to
review his store design. So let’s move on to the first one. One, did John pick good
products to dropship? The answer here is yes, you did. Well, mostly. There are definitely a few
questionable products in there. This one in particular stood out to me. You seem, John, like you’re an actual fan of the niche yourself,
which is a good thing. So I’m not quite sure why
you chose to include this. These are candy skull earrings. The candy skull niche is
based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. Now don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of money
in the candy skull niche. My friend and Wholesale
Ted regular contributor Michael Shih made over $1
million from his pair of shoes that he made in his print-on-demand store. But your store, John, is in the fantasy medieval mythology niche and has nothing to do with
the Mexican mythology niche. So this looks really out of place. But, as I said, you do have
lots of other products in here that have performed really
well for dropshipping stores. For example, back to the rings. Now, a lot of these
dragon-themed rings that you have and are selling, these
have performed very well for dropshippers and still do to this day. These are viral-worthy products. They appeal to an extremely
passionate fan base and they are very unique. You cannot just go buy
them at your local mall. Take this ring here. This has performed very well. Check out this ad on Facebook. 23,000 engagements, over 300
comments, over 590 shares. This is a viral product. And this ring that you’re selling here, this one has done super
well on Facebook too. Check it out. This ad posted by Norse
Blood did extremely well. Over 18,000 engagements,
over 1,000 comments, over 3,000 shares. So yes, you’ve definitely
picked some items that have huge dropshipping potential. And actually, I think
that this is a good time for a bonus tip.
(cheering) So this ad here, it did crazy good. And interestingly enough, a lot of people actually ended up posting that they purchased them
as engagement rings, which makes a lot of sense,
given its premium price point. You see, Norse Blood, the
successful money-making dropshipping store, they are
selling this ring for $50. That’s a lot of dollars,
especially when you consider how many dollars it costs them to buy it. Right now, this ring, depending
on which size you pick, costs between 12 to $14
to buy and ship to the USA with ePacket shipping. That is a huge markup, and the reason why they
can have such a huge markup is because if you scroll down the page, you’ll see on the AliExpress listing that they can engrave a name
inside this ring for free. Now when you offer a
customization like that, it does two things. Firstly, almost no one would question that you actually have the rings yourself. Most people would assume that you are the one doing the engraving. Secondly, no matter
who does the engraving, it turns this mass-produced
product into a handmade item. The ring you now have
is unique and special. And thirdly, because the ring
is now unique and special, the value is ambiguous. There is no way to find
a dragon-themed ring at your local store that is
also engraved with your name. So customers can’t price-anchor it against a similar-cost item, which of course means that
the value is ambiguous, meaning you have more
leeway to mark it up. And, you know, there are a
surprising amount of products that can be customized that you can dropship from AliExpress. So that’s definitely
something to keep in mind when you’re doing product research and choosing products
to list in your store. And, by the way, if you
are enjoying this video and learning something,
be sure to subscribe, so that you can learn even more about building a successful online store. Anyway, back to the review. So John, you have definitely picked some good products for sure. However, let’s take this product
that you’re selling here, this dragon ring. Now I’ve got a quiz question for everyone, and if you get it right,
you’ll win 10 points. Yay! So this page is missing something that the Norse Blood page has, and you need to figure out what that is. You’ve got five more
seconds to look at this. Five, four, three, two, one. All right, now over to the
Norse Blood product page. As I’ve said, John’s product
page is missing something that this product page has. I’m gonna tell you what it is in five, four, three, two, one. And time’s up. All right, drum roll please.
(drum roll) The answer for 10 whole points
is there is, inexplicably, no product description
for John’s product page. If you guessed that correctly,
then you win 10 points. Yay. And actually, it’s even worse, because check out these
bullet points here. All John has done is taken
the product specifications from over at his AliExpress
supplier’s listing. Dropshipping Shopify apps like Oberlo usually do this as a default option. That’s why he has this
weird bullet point here, Shape/pattern: Animal. It’s because his AliExpress supplier has that as one of his product
specification bullet points. Now let me ask you a question. What do you think is going to happen when a new potential
customer comes and sees this? They’re gonna be like… Now John, do you remember
what you said to me? “I watched your video and believe
I satisfied the criteria.” Well, I would beg to differ,
John, because in that video, one of the crucial questions
that I ask you is this: Question 10, did you
add product descriptions to each of the products
that you are selling? The answer, John, is that you haven’t. Now I’ve been looking through your store. I can see that for most items,
you’ve either just pulled the AliExpress product specifications or at times, wrote in
no description at all. And for some of them, they
have this really awkward variant dropdown menu
which you haven’t fixed. And several of these have
really low-quality images, which is something I talk about avoiding in that video as well. Except for this product here, this one product that you’ve
put a lot of work into, even though it’s only very loosely tied to your store’s niche. And nothing in your description plays up that connection at all. This is all extremely generic copy. And the the fact that Norse Blood has added unique product
descriptions and that you haven’t is actually a lot more important
that you might realize, and I’ll address why later in the video. For now though, let’s
move on to the next part of the store review. Two, do you have an effective
advertising strategy to drive new customers
and sales to your store? The answer here is a straight-up no. No, no, no, you have not done this. And honestly, this is
probably the number-one reason that you’ve made no sales,
because you’ve done so little to get customers into your store. Now normally on this channel,
I recommend that beginners that want to make fast sales
to products in their store invest in a paid advertising
strategy such as Facebook Ads. This is the fastest way to drive targeted, high-quality traffic. But I also understand that not everybody wants to pay for ads. And I’m sorry, John, if I am wrong. I just couldn’t find any evidence that you were actually using
them, so I can’t critique them. But what I did see is that
you are trying to drive free Instagram traffic, and
I’m going to explain to you why it’s not working for you and why this traffic strategy
is working for others. So here is what I saw John doing. He’s using free Instagram
traffic to drive customers and traffic to his store. And so what he’s doing is
he’s posting lots of cool, relevant pictures to the account, using related hashtags to drive viewers. He’s built up a fan base of followers so that he can then make posts like these, advertising products in his store, putting the link to
the product in his bio. Now this is a free traffic
strategy, and it’s works. For example, it’s worked for
this Instagram page here, CatCurio. Now if we go to the store that they’ve linked to in their bio, we’ll be taken to, surprise, surprise, an AliExpress dropshipping
store built with Shopify. They’ve been doing this
now for quite a long time, since 2017, and so over time, they’ve added over 200
products to their store. So CatCurio is of course
following the same strategy that John is trying to copy. They have posted lots and
lots of viral-worthy pictures and videos to Instagram, slowly
building up their fan base. And they’ll come from time to time here and advertise products like
this one here on their page, which, of course, they are
selling in their store, that they are dropshipping for
big markups from AliExpress. So, you know, back to the question. Why is CatCurio making money and sales from this traffic method and
Dragon Slayer Chest isn’t? Well, the answer is
actually really simple. They’ve been doing this since 2017, and John, you’ve been
doing this for a month. And over that period of time, they have organically grown
to over 60,000 followers, whereas you have just 1,000 followers, and give how many pages you are following, a lot of these will be low-quality follows that you’ve gained from
the follow/unfollow method. And to be honest, John, this
is not a scalable strategy like paid ads are, so you’ll
never see the same results as you would from those. But regardless, while
scrolling through your page, I noticed something else that you missed from my 15-point checklist, and that is that you
should try to advertise at least 20 products. While scrolling through your page, I only saw direct ads with calls to action for just six products,
which honestly, makes sense, because again, you have only
been doing this for one month. Not only is that way too short of a time to have built up any significant
traffic or conversion data, but no matter what, your traffic quality is
going to be way worse than CatCurio’s. And that’s because they’ve
been doing this for years. Over time, they’ve built up a relationship with their page’s fans,
and because of that, they’ll convert better. You can’t build a relationship in a month. A relationship takes time. Basically, John, you have
unrealistic expectations. You can’t expect to be
an overnight success. If you want to have CatCurio’s success, then you need to be
willing to put in the time like they did. And Norse Blood have also
used a similar strategy, except they’ve built up
a huge Facebook fan page with 80,000 fans, and they’ve
built up a big Facebook group of dedicated Norse mythology fans. And so because of this, when we do go and post a
product on their Facebook page, their fans like them enough to go and actually buy the products. All right, so on to the final thing that I’m going to be reviewing
for Dragon Slayer chest. Three, is your store designed well? Is it trustworthy? I’m just gonna say this right now. No, no, no, your store
does not look trustworthy. But, you know, it’s not just
because it has design flaws; it’s because of the specific
type of design flaws that it has. Now this is the part of the
review where I said that some people might disagree with me. Usually at this part in the store review, you’d be just critiquing design flaws left, right, and center. But the honest truth is
that in a niche store, if you build it right, you
can get away with some. Now I’m not gonna sit here and say that not having a nice design doesn’t help, it most certainly does help, but you can still run a
profitable store making sales with some design flaws,
again, if you do it right. Case in point, we’re
back at Norse Blood here. Now check this out. This is the ring of theirs that they advertised that blew up. This page is ugly, so ugly. I’m really bad at explaining
why things are ugly. Web design is not my area of expertise. But even I can point some things out. For one thing, look at
this big ugly white space next to their ring image gallery. This looks terrible. And look down here. They’ve just got this
big picture of the ring indented to the left. Just lots of really awkward white space below more awkward white space. And they’ve got these
massive paragraph spaces which add even more awkward white space. And look at their ring sizing chart that they’ve just ripped from AliExpress. It’s a completely different font, and it’s even a little pixelated
and clearly low-quality. So, you know, not a well-designed
page in the slightest. A lot of ugly, strange design choices. And yet despite these
interesting design choices, Norse Blood is still
making money and sales, so why is that? You see, here’s the thing. Usually when you see a poorly
designed page like this, you go, “Oh, what a horrible
design. How unprofessional. “How can I trust a store like this?” And that’s the thing. Poor design choices hurt
your trust with the customer. But Norse Blood are actually
able to overcome this objection because of elements like these that they’ve added throughout
their entire store. Check this out. They actually link to
different dragon stories throughout Norse mythology. Now, why is this so effective? Well, it’s effective because now people aren’t just buying a ring; they are buying the story behind the ring. Now let’s take a look at the page for your exact same ring. What have you listed here? You’ve listed product specifications. This is not why people buy it. This, the story, this is why they buy it. Norse Blood puts this ring into the context of Norse mythology, and so now when people buy it, it makes them feel like they
are a part of this world, and they give this love for
all of the major products that they advertise and push. Take this wolf pendant here. They are selling this in their
store, and as you can see, they’ve had a lot of success
advertising this on Facebook. And well, honestly, this is just a cool-looking
fantasy Viking wolf pendant. That’s all the AliExpress
supplier has advertised it as, a Viking-inspired wolf pendant. But look. They didn’t just
call it a wolf pendant; they gave it a story. They have called this
the Fenrir Wolf Pendant. Fenrir is a major wolf
figure in Norse mythology, and in the description,
they use it as a chance to further connect wolves to
Norse and Viking mythology and to tell a story with this product. And here is the thing: by adding this, they’ve proved their
love, passion, knowledge, and thus authority in the niche, and they’ve done this in other ways too. They have written a bunch of blog posts that all talk about
elements of Norse Mythology that are related to the
products that they sell. And they consistently post
new pictures and videos to their Facebook fan page that fans of this passionate
niche actually appreciate. And so when people land on this page and they see these horrible design flaws, it’s a lot more easily forgiven, and that’s because Norse
Blood proved themselves to be trustworthy because
of showcasing knowledge and by crafting an experience
around their products. And so when you see these design flaws, like this horrible white empty space, you’re like, “Eh. Web design,
that’s not their expertise. “Norse mythology is.” Now that’s the thing
about Dragon Slayer Chest is that by having this
generic product specification description box, it
doesn’t just look lazy. It makes it look like you know nothing about the product or the niche at all, and so you build up no good will or trust to offset the design mistakes that I’m gonna point out right now. And one of those mistakes is down here. Now, you’ve got these green buttons which I think is a mistake. This doesn’t fit with your
niche and it looks terrible, but if you’d built up an
experience like Norse Blood did, you could probably still
have gotten away with this. Of course, it’s an easy fix,
so you know, why not fix it? And if we come to your homepage, this banner image here, this is ugly, and the other banner image
you have is ugly too. But again, that level of imperfection could have been overlooked
by potential customers if they trusted you otherwise. Down below the banner,
I can see you’re using Shopify’s category homepage widget. I really hate this widget. Most people who use it don’t use it well. It almost always looks ugly. My advice for you is to switch this out and just list your favorite products here. This will look way nicer than just listing your product categories. But again, if people had
built up trust with you in other ways, you could
probably have mistakes like this, just like Norse Blood
do, and still have sales. But there are some mistakes
that are worse than others. This design mistake here
of having this picture of a generic girl next to
images of generic earrings, this is way worse than a poorly
designed bad banner image. Why? Because with the banner image, at least you tried to make it
related to medieval mythology. This has literally nothing to do with it, which again, doesn’t
just make you look lazy; much worse, it makes it look like you don’t understand this niche at all, so it hurts your authority. But given these stories that
you’ve written down here, I suspect you actually do know
and really like this niche, which is great, because you know what? This is how Norse Blood have
been able to successfully sell the same products you’re
struggling to sell. They took the time to
build up their authority and connect their products to their niche. And so John, if you want to have success, this is what you should do too. Thanks for watching this
video, and as always, if you would like to learn even more about how to build and grow and scale your own successful dropshipping store, then you should be sure to
download our free ebook, which teaches the six steps that six-figure online stores follow to make over $10,000 a month. And you’ll find the link to download that in the video description below.

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