06 Aug 2018
When Jose moved to England in 2015 to improve his English, he was very happy with his job.
“I started my first job in a call centre and wanted to work my way from the bottom of the company to the top. I was in the call centre for a year and a half , then I moved to being a call centre supervisor and then I was managing the affiliates for the Spanish market. Things seemed to be going well."
But all of a sudden everything changed.
“I was working very hard at my last position but for some reason despite bringing sales and growing the market I was informed that they weren’t happy with my performance. It was a huge surprise for me because I was giving so much to them but I realised that in business these things can happen. It was this moment that started to make me think I could become my own boss and create my own online business."
Figuring out how to make money online...
Without a job, Jose quickly needed a way to make an income but found that it wasn’t as easy as it first seemed. He’d already tried to sell wholesale products from China whilst he was working full-time but hadn’t had much success, so this time he decided to try something new.
“When I lost my job I tried building some websites but I couldn’t figure out how to make money from it, so I started another job wholesaling mobile phone accessories. The owner was making loads of money but wasn’t really working very hard and I started to realize that even though I was working hard as an employee for companies, I didn’t feel I was being valued back."
So shortly after September 2016, Jose decided once again to try a different approach.
“I was just looking for a different way to earn money online after I left my job in September, until one day I was searching and came across this guy that offered an eBay dropshipping coaching course. I paid $995 and then my dropshipping adventure started!”
With the help of the course to teach him the basics, Jose started getting to grips with finding items from Amazon and selling them on eBay for a small profit. And very quickly he started to see his hard work pay off.
“In my first month I made about £500 (~$650) of profit because I was already doing some wholesale work so I could list some of those items too."
Like a lot of early dropshippers though, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Jose was having to work everyday and whilst the method from the course he took was getting him a lot of sales, it wasn’t very focussed on his profit margins.
“The problem was I was just copying and pasting items, focussing on any items that had sold a few times in 30 days and without doing any title optimization. I was doing it all by myself; listing, customer service, everything!”
Moreover, this meant that to do everything he needed, Jose was now working every day on his business with very little rest in between.
“It was crazy! I was waking up everyday at 7am. By 8am I was manually fulfilling all my orders with SmartyDrop for a few hours, and then I had a target of creating 50-80 listings a day which took me around 6 hours. And just when I thought my day was finished I’d have to fulfil more orders again before the prices changed on Amazon.”
“People often think success is easy but I went a whole year without taking a day off working!”
With the long hours that Jose was working, his business started to take off. He was consistently getting 60-70 orders per day but he knew something needed to change to grow his business dropshipping business to the next level.
“I got to the point where I was making £10k - £15k per month in sales but not growing from that, so when the guy from the coaching course recommended ZIK Analytics - I thought why not!”
Soon Jose discovered that by using market research tools, optimizing his titles with keywords and exploring new dropshipping methods, he could double the growth of his business. He regularly tuned in to the regular Facebook Live streams in the ZIK community and implemented the advice in his business.
“I started using the competitor research tool, got to know Nahar (owner of ZIK Analytics) and started watching the Facebook Live’s, and it really opened a new way of doing things.”
Whilst Jose had previously been copy and pasting items, he soon started using the new methods he was learning like the “similar items technique” to make much more profit from every item.
“I was using the competitor research tool and the “similar items” technique, and quickly started making lots more money from these techniques. I mixed both of them together and grew to £30k/month by September 2017 - and then it really exploded from there!”
Not only did Jose start to grow his business more quickly, but he started sharing his success and advice in the community for others to benefit from too.
However, Jose still had one main problem.
Because he was spending everyday doing all the manual work for his business, he was getting very little rest. So like a lot of dropshippers, he decided to try hiring some virtual assistants to do some of the work for him.
And what he soon realized was the importance of hiring the right people and making sure they’re doing a good job.
“Finding a good VA is a numbers game. I’ve hired over 140 of them - so many that I had to change my Skype because of all the contacts I added!”
Hiring poor quality VA’s quickly started to cost Jose. In 1 month, his sales halved and he had to take drastic action to get his business back on track.
“The problem at the time was I wasn’t focussing on my eBay store a lot and all of a sudden my sales started going down because the products my VA’s were listing weren’t quality products so I went from around £30k to £15k in 1 month. To fix it, I had to remove around 7,000 out of my 10,000 listings, fire all the VA’s and start all over again.”
Today, after hiring so many VA’s, Jose finally has 4 VA’s that he can trust and rely on to help grow his business. And while he believes that hiring VA’s is overall a good business decision he believes it’s a mistake for new dropshippers to start outsourcing the work too soon.
“Don’t hire VA’s at the beginning, you need to have a good overview of how everything works because the more you know, the better you’ll spot the mistakes."
2 years from when he started, Jose is now able to work just 1 hour every day yet make more profit now than when he was working full-time.
“The difference now is that I wake up in the morning about 7am, login to my eBay, check my auto-ordering system and upload my sales records to a spreadsheet for my VA’s. Then I go through and quality check a few messages sent by my VAs as well as about 10 listings - and that’s it.”
In the last 12 months, this has allowed Jose’s business to boom - with it now generating around £600,000 in sales and 67,322 items sold within the last year alone.
Perhaps even more impressively, using the methods taught by ZIK Analytics has meant that Jose’s profit margin has doubled.
“Last month was my most profitable month yet even though my sales were only £40k, compared to £100k in December!”
According to Jose, the secret to this boost in profit margins is quite simple.
“I don’t focus on high price items, I focus on high demand items that sell at least a couple of times per week. Items where a buyer doesn’t mind spending £1 more for a good title, good service and something a bit different to other sellers.”
Now that Jose has built a successful dropshipping business that runs largely on autopilot, he finally has the freedom to focus on other things in his life like his new dropshipping website and creating his own free eBay dropshipping course.
If you want to join his free eBay dropshipping course, you can do so here.
-For new dropshippers: “People expect instant results and instant sales and they drop off quickly if it doesn’t happen. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get sales at the start - people often take a while to succeed. Even if you list 10 or 100 items and don’t get a sale - keep going - but if you get to listing 1000 items without a sale then you have a problem."
“There’s a lot of bad information about dropshipping so make sure you find people and companies that are proven to be successful and that know you can trust”
-For growing dropshippers: “You need to have a balance of items in your store. You want quick selling items but also the big profit items. You need a mix. And for me the mix that works best is 70% quick selling items and 30% high profit items because the quick selling items are going to bring you traffic which will help the big profit items. To choose quick selling items for your store, I’d advice looking at what has sold well in the last 7 days, not 30 days because the items will be more recent and have less competition."
-And Jose’s most important piece of advice for everyone:
“If I can do it, anyone can do it.”