5 Winning Products to Sell in 2020
What are some hot products to sell in 2020 and what are some product research tricks of the trade to make sure you get your ad in front of the right audience? Professional dropshipper Ryan Carroll shares with us some of his tried and tested strategies and provides some inspiring dropshipping lessons.
Jessica: Meet Ryan Carroll. Ryan scaled his first dropshipping business to make $60,000 in one month and then he lost it all. But Ryan is resilient, and his second dropshipping store made close to $350,000 in one year.
Today, Ryan is going to share five products he recommends new dropshippers sell in 2020. And along the way Ryan is gonna tell you exactly how he makes video ads that convert browsers into buyers. You’re not gonna wanna miss a minute of this.
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A Love Affair With Ecommerce
Alright, Ryan, your story has a lot of plot twists. But before we get to those, let’s begin at the beginning.
Jessica: Why did you get into dropshipping in the first place?
Ryan: So when I was 18 years old, I never went to college. After I graduated high school everyone told me to do that, and I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to build big businesses. I had big dreams. Everyone told me I’d fail and I had no idea really what I was gonna do or how I was gonna do it.
I ended up becoming a real estate agent and doing wholesale real estate, but I fell into ecommerce because I found a mentor who had told me about it. He told me about the business model of how you don’t have to hold inventory, how you can kind of just work from WiFi wherever you’re out in the world and that’s really what sold me on this business.
And so I started ecommerce and dropshipping back in late 2016, and ever since then, I’ve fallen in love with every aspect of it.
Jessica: What was the first store that you built then?
Ryan: So I built a women’s kind of Fashion Nova type store. Back in 2016, I launched it at midnight of 2017. And I did that, I built it in 2016 and I didn’t wanna launch it in 2016 because of taxes.
Jessica: That’s smart.
Ryan: So on New Year’s, I remember on the Year’s Eve I was like, “I gotta get home at midnight because I got Facebook ads to launch.” So I came home and ended up launching my first women’s store on January 1st, 2017.
Jessica: Okay, and that initial store was a success, right?
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, I mean a good success for sure. I didn’t lose any money with that store. I only really started ecommerce because I wanted to pay for my car every month. I wanted it to just be a side hustle, another stream of income.
And it ended up doing that and much more in the first month I mean I made $2,000. And that was my first month ever running Facebook ads.
And as I got better, and started learning more and implementing more marketing strategies, I scaled it over four months to make $60,000 in one month in that fourth month. And so…
Jessica: What happened to that store then? Because we’re not sitting down today because of that first store, right?
Ryan: Yeah, so I ended up selling it. I found the Shopify exchange where you can list all of your stores and pretty much sell them to someone else who wants to acquire your business. And so that’s what I did and I’d found another business that I had wanted to buy, which was an ebook. And so that book was a little over 20 grand. That was kind of all the profit I had left from that store.
So I sold my ecommerce store, put it into that ebook and ebook ended up doing zero dollars in sales. And so my plan was to have that ebook as a revenue stream and then to rebuild another ecommerce site.
So ecommerce was really my only option at this point, and I stuck with it even though I lost everything with that bad business decision. I just knew that Facebook and Shopify were my best friends. So kept going.
Jessica: And you spent that time learning about Facebook and Shopify with the first store, even though you lost the money? It’s so hard.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s the thing. It’s like you invest so much time and energy into learning and doing all these things, and eventually, it’s gonna pay off. People will quit way too early. And that’s one of the biggest dropshipping mistakes I see people do, is they just can’t stick with it long enough and go through the hard times which every one of us is gonna have.
Jessica: Talk to me about the stores that you’ve made since that initial failure that you’ve actually scaled and seen success with.
Ryan: Yeah, so after that I made a pretty big general store, but it actually didn’t really make money. I spend a lot of money on Facebook ads, and I kinda ended up breaking even with the store just testing a lot of things.
And then later that year in 2017 I made a men’s wear brand and this had men’s fashion accessories, sunglasses, stuff like that. And that store I ended up scaling to 100K within the last three months of that year.
Ecommerce Mentorship: Passing It On
Ryan: And it’s funny, I had a bet with my mentor at that time and he was holding me accountable to make 100K by the end of the year with that store. And so that really, really drove me to do it. And so having an accountability partner is huge and I was able to do that with that store.
Jessica: That’s not something we hear a lot about from other dropshippers. So it’s interesting to hear you comment on that.
Ryan: Yeah, I mean it really pushes you for sure to have someone accountable.
Jessica: Now, a lot of times when we have merchants like yourself with all this experience on the show, it can be a little bit hard to bring them down to the beginner level ’cause a lot of our viewers are just starting out with dropshipping.
Jessica: Do you have any experience working with someone and taking them from zero to dropshipping store?
Ryan: Yeah, well, a good example of that is my father. My father, last year, he knew I was dropshipping. He kinda understood the business model ’cause I explained it to him and he always heard my phone doing the cha-chings through Shopify.
And so he wanted to start a store that summer, last summer. He saw this one ad on Facebook for this, like, little messenger backpack and he wanted to create a store for himself. So we downloaded Shopify, downloaded Oberlo, I sat down with him for a week and we built out everything and Facebook ads, we ordered the product. And I kinda just taught him the process and within five once he made $75,000 with that store. And he’s…
Jessica: Five months?
Ryan: Yeah, and he sold it for 14 grand a few months ago. So it was pretty cool to see that happen from him literally knowing nothing except the business model and being there from the start.
Jessica: Okay, so you definitely know how to coach some new dropshippers and teach them a few things.
Ryan: Yeah, and it’s very simple. I just feel like people will over-complicate things.
Ryan: And I get it, there’s a lot of little aspects to it, but just keep it simple and you just keep working on it and seriously things will start to click.
Jessica: Super cool. Okay, well let’s not over-complicate this intro.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jessica: Let’s get right into the product recommendations.
Ryan: Okay, perfect. I’m excited.
1. Anti Blue Light Glasses
Jessica: Well Ryan, this is the third time a dropshipper has recommended some kind of glasses on our show. And I don’t see how this is any different because the other glasses at least were golf ball glasses and then we had glasses for cyclists, but these are just plain glasses.
Ryan: Well, these are actually the anti-blue light glasses.
Ryan: Do you know what that means?
Jessica: No, can you break that down?
Ryan: Okay, so basically, the blue light or anti-blue light stops all of the light from computers and phones from hitting your eyes, the blue light, which ultimately helps you sleep better and you don’t really get the eye strains, like your eyes don’t get so tired. And so that’s a really good health benefit and a really good selling point because a lot of people have that issue.
So that’s one of the things when it comes to products is having something that’s mass appeal. Everyone wants glasses, everyone has glasses. And the way this is different is because it actually really helps you when you’re looking at your phone at night or you’re looking at your computer at night and so it’s really easy to sell to people when you have a good selling point like that. So that’s why I picked out these, these are the anti-blue light glasses, these are women’s though. I think they look better on you.
Jessica: They look better on me?
Jessica: But even if people don’t have glasses or need glasses, I think the selling point that you pointed out there is it helps people sleep better, reduces eye strain, so there are some health benefits to them.
Ryan: 100 percent. So you can always create a problem with a product.
Jessica: Huh! Oh really? Okay.
Ryan: And that’s one of the things when it comes to marketing, it’s like find the issue and there’s always an issue, if you dig deep, there’s always an issue that can be solved and that’s why I really like this because even if I don’t need glasses or prescription glasses, but I bought myself a pair of these and I wear them every night because I don’t like my eyes feeling all irritated.
So if you can just teach people that with your marketing and teach people how this is actually really gonna benefit them at night time when we’re watching TV or whatever, that’s when they’ll buy.
Jessica: I have questions. Let’s go into AliExpress, I wanna look at this…
Ryan: Okay, perfect.
Jessica: Product in a little bit more detail.
Jessica: Okay, so we’re on the product page that you recommended. One thing that I wanna know is what about this product, just looking on AliExpress what jumped out at you, how did you even find it? Because as you’re browsing and you just look at it, it doesn’t seem to have any special benefit?
Ryan: Right. So the reason how I actually found a while ago was through one advertisement and that’s what made me really dive deep into looking at these anti-blue light glasses. So, when we’re here on AliExpress, the first thing I like is the price because they’re only $3.94 and I mean ePacket shipping is gonna be probably a little bit of money, $2.
So ultimately you’re gonna spend about $5 or $6 on these which leaves you with really good profit margins because you can easily sell these for about $20 to $25 and people will justify spending that on a good pair of glasses.
In the AliExpress description, it will start talking about the blue light, so this will teach you about the benefits of wearing these glasses and this is kind of really good selling points and these are photos and stuff that you can actually use in your product description which will help your product sell. And so these are really cool things right here, and they actually have these cool tools that you can see these little blue lights go through.
Jessica: Oh, that’s right, when we got this product in the mail, I should reach over here. So it came with a little blue light.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s like a little tester.
Jessica: Yeah, tester.
Ryan: And that like right away, that’s a really good selling point for advertisements. You can show people how the blue light can’t even get through the glasses.
Training the Ads Algorithm
Jessica: Yeah, well, you mentioned an advertisement because you didn’t find this product surfing around on AliExpress. You found it through an ad.
Jessica: How, can you walk us through that process so that other people can learn how to look at ads with that product hunting eye?
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. So you’re always gonna see ads on Facebook and Instagram. They’re like every five posts. If you actually start clicking on product ads, you kinda teach Facebook, what you wanna see. And so I’m trying to teach my Instagram and Facebook what kinda ads I want delivered ’cause I wanna see other competitor ads out there that are being delivered to me.
So they’ll actually deliver a lot of dropshipper-type ads if you start searching around for these products online. And ultimately, I got this ad and the reason why it really spiked my interest, is because it was a good ad and I did some research on it and the product was selling really well, it had good margins and so that’s why, 100 percent, it’s a go for me.
Jessica: So could you show us that ad that you noticed?
Ryan: Yeah, 100 percent. So what we’re gonna do here is dive into Facebook. This is the company that has these sunglasses, or excuse me, glasses, it’s called Kind Eyes. And if you’re inside Facebook, you can actually scroll down to where it says page transparency and click on “see more”.
When you do that, you can actually see ads from this page. So Facebook, they like to be very transparent now with all of their users and that’s really good for us dropshippers ’cause now we get to see all of the types of videos that are being delivered for these products.
Jessica: Oh wow!
Ryan: So the actual ad I saw was this one right here, it was an Instagram story. I don’t think that’s gonna allow us to click it.
Jessica: Can we click?
Ryan: But this one right here is pretty much the same exact ad, and it’s just demonstrating, it’s just demonstrating right here how this blue light cannot get through these glasses and so right away people are like, “Oh, these are the glasses that I’m wearing every single day and then these are the blue light glasses.”
And so, you’re kinda doing that comparison and it’s a really good selling point. You can see all of the description right here, protect your eyes long term.
Jessica: Huh! What I love about this ad too, if you’re a completely new dropshipper, if you go to that first frame when they were just shining the light through the glasses, if you order a product sample, it comes with that little blue light as well as the glasses.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly.
Jessica: All you need is a white sheet of paper and a phone, and you could make your own, that exact video.
Ryan: Exactly, it’s like, you just need to replicate things that are already doing good, you don’t need to over complicate it. Like I said, just shoot something very similar that’s already being done, that’s already proven to work, and you can start making sales for yourself.
Product Saturation: True or False?
Jessica: I’m gonna play devil’s advocate because one thing that we always hear is if a product is performing well for other dropshippers then it’s saturated and you shouldn’t start selling it.
Jessica: Well, how do you respond?
Ryan: I kind of agree and I kind of disagree. So the thing is, if the product is very saturated, you need to have a very strategic way of going out there and marketing the product.
If you’re just gonna go out there and use basic photos that are from AliExpress and stuff, you’re probably just gonna lose money with your ads and you’re not gonna sell anything.
You also need to have a good back-end, meaning upsells, emails that go out after people purchase, different types of retargeting, that way you can ultimately create a bigger average order value, so you’re gonna be able to make more money after the sale is already completed.
And the reason why I would sell these even though these are saturated is that I know I can go out there and increase the average order value and create custom ads with them. If the product is not very unique in a way it’s kind of hard to create custom ads for, I kinda just don’t even look at it.
Jessica: What kind of new store would you offer these in so that you make those upsells and cross-sells in the same order?
Ryan: I would make a sunglass store that’s dedicated to anti-blue light sunglasses.
Ryan: Yeah, I wanna… I mean, you could put it in a big general store. But if you really wanna have better customer retention and more of a long-term brand for yourself, I would make this an actual little brand like an anti-blue-light sunglass store. And I would have all of the variances from AliExpress in that store.
Blanket Ads Testing on Facebook
Jessica: If someone wants to start selling these glasses, how would they target their ads?
Ryan: Yeah, very, very simple. What we’re gonna do is come into business.facebook.com, and I like to look at the audiences I’m actually gonna be targeting. Okay, so we found the product, we know that this could be a winning product, it has really good potential. We’ve seen competitors ads and now it’s like, who can we actually sell these products to?
So we come here to Facebook Business Manager. We’re actually gonna start by clicking on “create” and we’re only gonna do this so we can go into the “ad set” section, so let me see if I can just save this to draft real quick… Perfect.
Okay, so now we just need to go to the “ad set” level, when we’re going to create these ads and we’re gonna go to the audience. So right away, what we could do is type in “glasses” and I wanna see how many people are interested in just glasses.
So we have 99 million people interested in just glasses in the United States, and that’s from 18 to 65. Okay, and what we can do is actually narrow this down with a second audience. Someone that’s probably interested in health, because if someone’s interested in health, they probably wanna protect their eyes. And so this would be like an ideal audience to target.
So we’re targeting people interested in healthcare and glasses, and that’s 5,700,000 people. So that’s already a big target audience size that we know we could put our good video ad right in front of.
Jessica: And you’re targeting everyone, men and women of all ages around the world.
Ryan: Yeah. That’s how I’ll start my Facebook ads. I really like to start broad and pick out what’s working well, and then you can always narrow down and scale up from there.
Jessica: I was surprised that you went so broad. I was expecting you to put in “blue-lights health” or something like that.
Ryan: Well, this would be an example of one ad set. I will do multiple ad sets…
Ryan: I kinda call it blanket testing, where you’re gonna create one campaign, for these anti-blue-light glasses. But you’ll target about ten different ad sets, in each ad set you’re gonna have different types of interests and behaviors and that way you can kind of test what is going to work.
Jessica: Really cool.
Jessica: I never knew you could create such a cool ad from such a simple product. So great first recommendation, let’s move on to the second.
2. Body Camera
Jessica: Okay, so for product number two, you’re suggesting a secret body camera, it looks like.
Ryan: Yes. So the reason why I chose this is ’cause a while back ago, a really, really hot product was the little car cameras that you put in front of your windshield and it records everything that’s going on.
And this again was another ad that popped up inside Instagram just because I click on a lot of Instagram ads, and when I saw this, it had a really good selling point because someone was actually wearing it. And using the camera as the ad, you see what I’m saying? So…
Jessica: So crazy.
Ryan: Yeah, so it was a really cool selling point and you could see from this view, how it was kind of like a hidden camera ’cause the guy was walking around and filming whatever. So this is a really good ad where a product where you could go out there, order this product, and start shooting really good product videos with it, using the actual product to film your ads.
Reverse Engineering the Product Search Process
Jessica: One thing I’m noticing is that you search for products in a really ad-driven way. You first look and see who’s creating great ads and then you go back and you…
Ryan: You wanna reverse engineer the process. And this again another good selling point is this is only $21 and this is a really good HD camera. And so, you could justify selling this for almost $100 online.
Jessica: Is that too high of a price point for new dropshippers, do you think?
Ryan: No, not at all.
Jessica: Do they have to spend a lot on ads to get that kind of…
Ryan: You might have to spend a little bit of money. But the thing is as long as your ads are producing an ROI, it doesn’t really matter, right?
Jessica: Let’s say someone finds this product through an ad and they really like it. But there are tons of other products that one could sell that also have great ads. Like the blue-light glasses. How would someone decide between selling this cam and the blue-light glasses?
Ryan: At that point, I would definitely go with the blue-light glasses. And the reason being is you gotta look at how many ads are out there for that product. So another way to see that, if you can’t find all of the ads, which I know can be difficult, is to look at all of the products that are selling on AliExpress and see how many orders there are.
Like if this product has a ton of orders and a lot of different vendors, people are dropshipping this. And the same with the anti-blue-light glasses.
But you gotta think at that point, how can you outbeat your competitors? How can you outbeat everyone else that’s already dropshipping these?
Okay, ’cause a lot of people are using just basic photos and basic videos, and so if there’s not anything out there that’s really eye-catching and really getting people to buy, you can easily recreate a video like that and start selling these hot products. So, but in that case, I would definitely go with the anti-blue-light glasses.
Determine If the Product Is Being Dropshipped
Jessica: I wanna dig into what you just said about if you go to AliExpress and you find a product with multiple suppliers, what that tells you. So let’s do a quick search on AliExpress and see how many other competitors or other products like this there are.
Ryan: Yeah, 100 percent.
Jessica: Okay, so we searched “body camera”. These are cameras that people can wear on themselves. And where would you go from here?
Ryan: Okay, so what we’re gonna do first off is click on “orders”. This is just gonna bring the top-performing product to the top. So this order has about 1,500 sold, which is a good number.
I like products that aren’t tens of thousands ’cause those are just very, very saturated products, and so if the top order is only 1,500, you have a really good chance at being another seller for this product, and so right away, if we just click on this.
You can see there’re 732 reviews, which is really good because that means people are actually probably buying this product from AliExpress. So this is kind of a weird little ratio number here.
So that’s about half of the orders. So that means just about 50 percent of all of these purchases aren’t even bought from someone dropshipping it from AliExpress.
‘Cause if someone’s dropshipping this product, the customer is not gonna go then to AliExpress and give a review of the product because the product’s not coming from AliExpress. It’s coming from your Shopify store. So this shows me right here that people are actually finding this product on AliExpress and buying them themselves.
Jessica: Wow, that’s a great hack. So you look at the number of votes here in the reviews and you compare that against orders. 50 percent you’re saying is a pretty good ratio.
Ryan: Yeah, because that means the other 50 percent maybe could… They just might even still be people going in and buying the product off AliExpress and just not leaving a review. But it just shows me a lot of people are buying this product straight from AliExpress. So there’s not a lot of people dropshipping this product right now.
And if this maybe was like 20 reviews or 100 reviews then you would know these 1,500 orders are coming from someone dropshipping the product. And one other little hack you can do is scroll to the very bottom and we can see right here all of these names and these country flags.
What this is actually telling us is the person… I mean, it stars off their whole name ’cause it doesn’t wanna show you. But if you see the same letter over and over and over again, that means that person is dropshipping that product. And you see how all of these are different letters?
I know this is super random, but that means these are all just different customers buying this product. But, for example, if I was dropshipping this, my name is Ryan. You would see the letter R through this whole thing because I would be ordering a bunch of these products daily. So that’s another way you can see if these products are actually being dropshipped or not.
Jessica: Yeah. You can also look at the countries because I know the US, Canada, Australia, are big dropshipping markets. But a lot of these countries that we’re seeing, Russia, Poland, you can dropship to them, but not a lot of people are.
This is amazing because I think most people just look at product orders and then they think a lot of orders means a lot of competition. But you’ve just given people extra data within AliExpress that they can look at to determine, “Are those orders actually from competition or is it just people love buying this?”
Ryan: Yeah, because the thing is, regular people can go to AliExpress and they’re not dropshipping. They just wanna buy the product for a cheaper dollar amount, and that’s what we’re doing with it as well. It’s not all dropshippers.
And in this case, that’s what we have here. A lot of people just want this camera, which even makes me think this is a good product because people want it, right? People are actually coming to AliExpress and buying it.
Jessica: Yeah. Now, we’ll get to the product that you taught your dad to dropship in just a minute. But before we do, let’s move on to product number three.
Ryan: Okay. Perfect.
3. Solar Powered Charger
Jessica: This is our next product, and to me, it is a black rectangle, and I don’t understand. These products keep getting less and less intuitive. Enlighten me.
Ryan: Okay, so, what we have here is a solar-powered phone charger. Well, it can really charge anything just as long as it’s a USB charger, but it’s a solar panel. So that’s why this is a really unique product, and it also is a flashlight.
Jessica: Whoa. Okay.
Ryan: Yeah, so it has multiple functions to it, and the reason why I really like this is that it, number one, has mass appeal. Everyone needs to charge something every single day, and not always people are around outlets. People are out in the wilderness all the time.
So this to me is a great product to sell to someone who’s interested in traveling and camping and hiking ’cause they’re out about and they really could benefit from having a charger while they’re out hiking or whatever they’re doing. And so that’s why I chose the solar panel charger.
Jessica: And did you discover this solar panel charger through another ad?
Ryan: I actually just stumbled across it on AliExpress. Honestly, just searching for products. And you can go through all of these different categories here. And I just stumbled across it one day on chargers.
And then when I went deeper into it and started looking at it, it seemed like a really good product to sell. I mean, it doesn’t have too many sales but it’s up there. But it’s a product where you can really create a good product video.
Jessica: Can you retrace your steps on AliExpress a little bit? Do you just go into product categories?
Ryan: Yeah, we’ll go back in time a little bit.
Jessica: Yeah, or take me down the rabbit hole that you go into.
Ryan: So, yeah, as soon as I found this product on AliExpress just searching around. First off, I’m just gonna search it in the search bar. And right away… Let me click on orders. There are all these different really random ones. And so this was deep into AliExpress.
Jessica: But why did you choose to search solar power panels in the first place?
Ryan: Well, ’cause I stumbled across them on AliExpress. So that’s what really caught my eye. And solar panels are obviously a new trend. We’re trying to be more efficient and so it’s just going down the route that we’re kind of all going anyways. So that’s why I liked it.
And here it is right here. It only has 500 orders and half of those we can see 322 reviews. That means that this product again is just being bought from random people on AliExpress, not even dropshippers. We can scroll down, check out the data again. These are all random letters and countries.
Jessica: So it looks pretty good.
Ryan: Yeah, it looks really good. And the thing is, this is a great product to shoot a really cool ad with. You could go out in the wilderness and just get a phone or something and kind of shoot a little video ad with this actually charging the phone.
Cross-Check the Data on Google Trends
Jessica: Now, you found this because you were searching around for solar panel chargers. But if you know to search for it, then that means your customers know to search for it too, right? So do you take into account that other people might be searching for it rather than stumbling across ads?
Ryan: Yeah, exactly, and that actually brings me to the next little point. Something I use in my business to see kind of if a product is taking off. For example, back in the day, when fidget spinners were taking off, that was just being searched for left and right every single day. And so if you go to Google Trends.
This is actually a really great spot for you to see if products are even being searched for, like organically, people will just, in Google, wanna see if these products exist. So here in Google Trends, we can just type in solar power-bank, which is what it’s called in AliExpress and this is gonna show us what this is like inside the United States right now.
Jessica: Add a little space right there.
Ryan: Yeah, spaces, I’m sorry my spelling’s not too great.
Jessica: That’s fine.
Ryan: So, this is a really good sign, right here. This is just in the United States, in the past 12 months. And what this is gonna show us is a month-by-month basis of how many searches this is really getting searched for.
And we can see right here, in June second to June eighth, it’s at 49. So it’s about 50 percent which is okay. You want it to be above 70, which means it’s started to go in that upward chain where we’re getting a lot of volume.
Jessica: What does… A 70 percent of what?
Ryan: You know what, I don’t know necessarily. I’m gonna be completely honest, but I just know, “The higher, the better.” And if it’s lower, you just don’t wanna really mess with it because not that many people are searching for it.
But if we look here, June 9th to June 15th, it’s at 100. So that means there are a lot of people actually searching for this product online, just in the United States. And so, this is another… This is just another little asset I use in my business to allow me to justify, me going out there and actually putting time and energy into creating ads, and putting this on my store, whatever it is, just because right here, the data shows me that this is a product people want.
Get Pricing Right
Jessica: Yeah. How would you price a product like this, because it’s… It actually feels really high quality, this test product that we have. Let’s look at AliExpress and see how much it goes for?
Ryan: And the crazy thing is, chargers like this can go for a lot of money and those chargers that go on your phone case, people… Those big companies are selling for like $120. And these are only $13 on AliExpress with about a dollar for shipping.
This one doesn’t have ePacket, but I’m sure we could find one that does. But yeah, about $13 to $14 for this product. When I sell a product, I would like to price it at least double.
Jessica: At least double?
Ryan: At least double. So, if this could be sold for at least $30, that’s a good price point. Or I would like to sell it for about $40 to $50, ideally, that leaves me with a healthy margin, and obviously that’s good for Facebook ads. Yeah.
Jessica: Do you do free shipping on everything, or do you make people pay for shipping?
Ryan: So, I do free shipping and then I also do free-plus-shipping.
Jessica: Oh, okay.
Ryan: So, I have… If products are cheap, about $4 to $5, I’ll do free plus shipping with, where the product is actually free, we’ll do a giveaway and all they’ve gotta do is pay about $9.95 shipping and that will cover, ultimately, the cost of the goods, and usually our Facebook ad cost.
Now, the critical thing, if you are gonna do free plus shipping, you really have to have upsells for a similar product or a product that kinda goes hand-in-hand, because a lot of people will actually buy that product for full price $20, $30, and that will increase your average order value which will be… Which you’ll be able to justify spending money on Facebook ads for.
Jessica: That made total sense.
Ryan: Yeah, but this is a great product to sell for about $30 or $40, online.
Jessica: Really cool.
Jessica: Alright, well you have indeed enlightened me.
Ryan: You’re funny.
Jessica: So let’s move on, product number four.
4. Shatterproof Wine Glass
Jessica: Okay, so what have you got for product number four?
Ryan: Alright, so for product number four, we have a wine glass.
Jessica: Do not ever give me an empty wine glass again.
Ryan: I’m sorry. Okay, well listen, this is not just any wine glass, okay? Again, mass-appeal, but there’s something very unique about this wine glass. It’s unbreakable.
Jessica: It doesn’t break?
Ryan: No, it doesn’t break. And so the reason why I really like this is that the wine industry is huge, especially on Facebook, there are a lot of… A lot of… Especially like, this is a great product for older women. We have probably kids as well. Like that’s the demographic I see for this product because it doesn’t break, right?
And so you could go out there and create a really good video, maybe you could use a regular glass, even a regular wine glass, and drop both of these and do a slow-motion video where one breaks and the other one doesn’t and do something cool like that. And talk about how it’s unbreakable.
You could get an influencer mom to use this and be like, “Hey, I drink out of my unbreakable wine glass every day and it really helps out because I have kids running around the house, and a lot of times will break glasses, but these are perfect.” So, that’s really good selling points and that’s why I like this product.
Jessica: I’m gonna challenge you on it just because this is a plastic wine cup. This is something that I think I could walk into a lot of big-box stores in the US and find. Is this something that a beginner dropshipper, with no experience creating video ads, could sell? Could they be Target and Walmart to those wine-drinking moms?
Ryan: Well, you gotta be creative. A lot of people in Target, they might just stumble across and be like, “Oh yeah, I need wine glasses.” But if you can catch someone’s eye on Facebook or Instagram, different types of social media, and show ’em how cool this product is, that’s why they’ll buy from you.
Jessica: You mentioned…
Ryan: Because guess what, Target doesn’t do that. You go into Target, and it’s just in a box sitting there. But on social media, our brand, we’re demonstrating how this product is really cool, we’re showing influencers using this product and how they love it. So that’s why it’s a great selling point.
Tap Into the World of Influencers
Jessica: You mentioned using influencers?
Jessica: That’s not something that a lot of new dropshippers get into. Can you talk a little bit more about how someone should work with influencers for the first time?
Ryan: Yeah, so when I first started dropshipping, I used influencers in the way of trying to drive traffic to my ecommerce store, where we would put our website in their bio. And the thing with that is, it’s really hit or miss and it’s not consistent at all. So, I never really made good money doing that.
And what I found with influencers that really works these days is just getting real people to use your product, to demonstrate your product because right away on Facebook, people are more attracted to seeing someone and the trust is there. If people just see a random photo, I couldn’t sell this product on Facebook with the photos that AliExpress gives us.
Jessica: Those are… Yeah.
Ryan: It’s just wine glasses, right? But if I had a cool video with an influencer actually talking about the product and demonstrating it how it doesn’t break, that’s when it actually sells well.
Jessica: Clarify this for me then, are you shipping this to a, say, Instagram influencer and paying them to make a video with it, and post it on their page for their audience?
Ryan: So no, not exactly.
Ryan: I’m getting them to create content for me. All I really want is content. At this point, with dropshipping, I’m not too worried about them posting about our brand, and like the long term of it. Even though that is something healthy and something that every brand should have. In the beginning, especially, like all I really want is content and good content.
Because I can go out there and target the exact demographic I want with that content, right? They might post it on Instagram and half of their followers might just be, like, random… I mean, people who obviously aren’t interested in one.
Ryan: Right, so you can’t really justify an ROI from that. It helps your brand and establishes your brand name. But if you really wanna get a return on your investment, you wanna run Facebook ads with that good content the influencer made, targeting your ideal audience, which in this case would be you know a 30- to 45-year-old woman that also has children.
Jessica: So you don’t even…
Ryan: Interested in wine as well.
Jessica: So you’re not interested in the… How big a following an influencer has, you are more interested in looking at their feed and going, “Is their lifestyle representing my audience? Do they know how to create high-quality videos and content?”
Jessica: Then you’re paying them to just send you that video.
Jessica: And you do what you want with the video.
Make Sure Your Video Screams Authenticity
Ryan: Yeah, it doesn’t even have to be an influencer.
Ryan: No, it doesn’t have to be an influencer. They just need to know how to create a video. Like, I’ve shot videos with my dad, my mom, my friends, like just real people. People wanna see real people on social media using the product, and that would do, I mean, wonders for you guys.
And influencers, the reason why I use bigger influencers is that they usually have more high quality, like cameras and lighting, and things like that. So they kinda know how to work it more than just you know anyone. But listen, if your mom or dad will do for the video, and you don’t have a big marketing budget for influencers, just get them to shoot the product for you.
Ryan: Seriously, yeah.
Jessica: So when you send this to influencers, are you giving them a script of what to say?
Ryan: No. And the reason why I don’t give any script… I give them a few things to talk about, obviously, it’s like unbreakable. And yeah, we’ll want them to demonstrate it not breaking by dropping it.
But the more natural it is, the better it is. Because people know these days on social media if things are fake or real.
People are smart, they’re gonna know if they’re trying to be sold something.
And so if it’s more like a testimonial basis of how they got this product, and they love it because of these features, that works way better.
And I mean even if they have something negative just… I mean, I shot a video with my step-mom, and she was using a face mask. And she said, how she didn’t like that it took so long to dry. So she’s already kind of giving like objections about the product but just makes it so much more real.
Because people are still gonna like the product, even if there are a few flaws in it. And so just as real as possible, and keeping it clear to the point that it’s unbreakable, and it’s a lovely wine glass.
Jessica: That’s incredible. It would be a little better with wine in it, but I see your point.
Ryan: I’ll get you some Pinot Noir.
Jessica: Okay, let’s move on to product number five.
5. Shoulder Military Bag
Jessica: Alright, we’re looking at product number five in AliExpress. This is the product that your dad sold knowing nothing about dropshipping, right?
Ryan: Yeah. So don’t sell this product guys. No, I’m joking. You guys can go for it if you want. So this is a tactical backpack, kind of like a military bag. My dad saw a dropshipping video, and it was just like a little intro of people unzipping it, and putting stuff in it, and taking it out. He was like, “I could do that.”
So that’s why I helped him set up the store. And we ordered the product, we shot a video with him actually using it. He took it off, he put some stuff in it, and then it kind of blew up from there. I think he was selling it for about $30, and we were getting it for about $7 or $8 here, so he had healthy margins on it as well. Yeah, I mean, this is a proven product right here in front of you guys.
Jessica: So no influencer is necessary for this product.
Ryan: No, again, it doesn’t have to be an influencer.
Ryan: My dad worked perfectly. He came to my place in LA, and we used an iPhone to just shoot the video real quick on the balcony. I edited it on just my iPhone on a simple little app called Videoshop. That’s a good app for you guys to download, super basic. And I’m not big on video editing or any of that, and so it’s all we did.
Jessica: Boom, instant dropshipping store.
Ryan: Yeah, it was crazy, because… You know what the crazy part about this was? He was trying to sell this before we shot that video ad just with these little photo ads. And he was like, just breaking even. He’d get a sale or two, but he wasn’t making any money.
And I kept telling him, “We gotta shoot a video, we gotta shoot a video.” So he finally came up to my house, and we got the video done. And as soon as we did, like within the next day, we were already profiting.
Ryan: And like that’s one of the reasons why it’s so critical. I have multiple stories on reasons why videos work so much better, like really good custom videos.
Jessica: So if you learn nothing else create your own video ads.
Ryan: Yes, please do it.
Deciding Between Two Similar Products
Jessica: When we were looking at this product on AliExpress to show our audience, one thing that I noticed is there are multiple products available that all look really similar.
Jessica: And I’m wondering if I’m a new dropshipper, how would I decide between two products that look like they’re the same thing?
Ryan: Of course, this is gonna be with pretty much every product. Like, almost every product on AliExpress, there are just multiple vendors. So don’t let that intimidate you in any way.
So the first thing, if we go to the very top, these are actually different little tactical sling things. He had these on his website as well, they were just like little upsells. But if we go down to the first product right here, we’ll click on that, and then we’ll click on the second one under it as well. ‘Cause these are both the same product.
So right away, what I look for at the very top is the positivity feedback, and this is from the vendor. So the vendor has been open for three years, and this one has a 99.3 percent positive feedback.
Jessica: That’s like unheard of.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s actually really good. And all that means is people are giving them good feedback, right? Like, they’re shipping the products out, they’re good quality, and so this is a reputable vendor. Now what we’re gonna do is go to the other vendor.
This one has been open for one year and has a 95.6 percent positive feedback. So, right away, the other vendor is already winning by a little bit. They have better positive feedback, they’ve been open longer, which ultimately means they’re just more experienced in shipping out products.
And so what we’ll do we’ll go back to that other vendor we were at. And we can see right here the pricing is next, which is at $9.95 and that’s free shipping. So we’re at $9.95 and then we’ll go to this product. This one is $5.70, and it’s about $4 to ship. So they’re almost the same price.
So what I would really do at this point is probably just go with the better vendor because they both have the same amount of orders and everything like that.
But I want a vendor who’s really gonna be on my side and ship the products out on time, and get them to my customers and have good quality.
And again, you guys can look at the reviews and everything like that. And if you scroll down a little bit, you can actually contact the seller. So sometimes you could just contact them and be like, “Hey, I’m about to be dropshipping these on my store, I just wanna make sure you have them in stock. If you guys can give us any type of better deal, that would be really cool as well.”
Jessica: Really? Do you get that?
Ryan: Yeah. Sometimes they will. You have to prove yourself first. Make sure you guys, maybe, have orders coming in consistently. But if you do, they’re more than likely gonna give you a little bit of a discount because they know… They’re playing the same game on their end.
There are multiple people on AliExpress, multiple vendors that are selling the same product. So you kinda get to compete in that sense, where you’re like, “Hey, if you don’t give me a better price, I’m just gonna move over to this vendor and give him my business.” As mean as that is, it’s just business. And we can get better pricing by honestly just asking them.
Budgeting for a First Dropshipping Store
Jessica: One question that is on every beginner’s mind is how do you budget for a first dropshipping store? So surely your dad asked, “How much money do I need to start dropshipping?”
Ryan: Yeah. Well, the good thing with dropshipping as we all know, we don’t have to buy any inventory upfront. We’re only buying inventory when it’s sold on our website. So right away, that cost you don’t really need to worry about because you’ve made money before you’re actually spending money.
Now, what you’re really budgeting for is just Facebook ads or whatever social media site you’re really marketing on. For me, it’s Facebook ads and Instagram ads. And I like to just have a few hundred dollars to test a product.
You don’t really need that much to start testing, ’cause you can spend $5, $10 a day on an ad set and see right away when you get that data back if that’s gonna be a product that is actually gonna be profitable or not. And that’s literally why I love dropshipping, ’cause you can go through products…
You could spend 50 bucks just testing for a day and right away you’re gonna know if you should even continue selling this product.
So, literally, as soon as he tested this and, I mean, when he was selling it at first, as I said, he was just using a basic photo and he was pretty much just breaking even with his ads. But as soon as we had that custom video, we started running those ads, we started seeing an ROI on those Facebook ads, right? And then all that money can just keep being re-invested into the business.
Don’t Let Failure Set You Back
Jessica: I wanna pull up for a second. You have done this a lot, and I’m sure when you were just starting out, there were moments when ads weren’t working. So everything was going wrong. How did you remind yourself or how did you motivate yourself to keep moving forward?
Ryan: I’ve spent so much money on ads that I’ve not made… Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on Facebook. Thank you, Facebook. Seriously. That I have not made any money on. And like you just have to keep your head high, you gotta know that this is literally a business that you can make a lot of money in.
Also, is this a business that you really actually do enjoy? I love this because I get to travel around the world whenever I want, as long as I have WiFi and that motivates me. It makes really good money.
And so it’s like, you’re gonna have failures along the way, but don’t let that set you back. This is a long-term business, you can keep building new stores and testing new products. And so just remember to take a deep breath. I always like to do *breathe*. It’s gonna be okay.
Jessica: I can’t help but follow along. Okay, you got me feeling relaxed.
Ryan: Actually, make sure you meditate in the morning at least once before you launch your Facebook ads because it can get stressful sometimes.
Ryan: But yeah, you just gotta keep learning, keep being persistent, keep watching Oberlo’s YouTube videos because they know what they’re talking about. And also, subscribe because…
Jessica: We didn’t even tell him to do that.
Ryan: I know there are new videos coming out and you guys are amazing. So that’s pretty much it. Just keep on looking forward and keep testing new products, guys, you’ll find something eventually that works.
Jessica: Amazing. Ryan, it’s been incredible having you on the show.
Ryan: Thank you so much for having me.
Jessica: And if you want to follow Ryan’s digital nomad adventures, you can just follow him on Instagram.
Ryan: Perfect. I’ll make sure to go get you some Pinot Noir for that unbreakable wine glass now.
Jessica: Thank you. Until next time guys, learn often, market better.
Ryan: And sell more.