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Oberlo 101 Module 5

August 16, 2020

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MODULE 05: SCALE YOUR BUSINESS
Video Lesson 01: Fulfill orders and track shipping

What happens when we get orders? As exciting as it is, we still have to process EVERY SINGLE order manually. 

This means that we still have to place the order with our supplier - Oberlo does NOT automatically place orders for us. As far as I know, there is no App, Plugin or Tool that does this for us - sorry.

Back to the course: 
Jessica takes us through the steps of fulfilling orders, which includes:
  • When Shopify notifies us of a new order (a sale!), we still need to fulfill that order via Oberlo. Remember that our supplier is shipping the product, not us. So, we need to do that order manually, otherwise our client never gets the order, even though we took their money. (Not cool, if you're thinking that's a good business model. Not cool man. 🙂).
  • When placing an order with our supplier on AliExpress, we need to double-check that ePacket shipping is selected. It's the most hassle-free option in terms of reliability and speed.
  • Once the supplier ships the product, we can import the tracking code into Oberlo and automatically email it to our customer. Jessica shows us how to effortlessly set this up. There's a bit of copying and pasting involved, but just about anyone including my grandmother, could manage it. 
IMPORTANT NOTE:
Regarding our Profit:

When a customer places an order through our Shopify store, they are paying the product cost, plus the markup of the product, AND the shipping.

When we place an order with our supplier, we’re only paying for the original cost PLUS the shipping.

Our profit will thus be what's left, after taking into consideration our Advertising Costs and Other Costs (such as Oberlo, Shopify, Domain hosting costs etc.) as well. 

Do not think (as advertised) that our: 

Profit = Selling Price - Cost of the Product - Shipping

 Total video length for Lesson 01: 17 minutes 55 seconds
Video Lesson 02Manage returns and refunds

Unfortunately as a dropshipper, you will have to deal with returns and refunds. 

Luckily it doesn't happen often - it all depends on the quality of your supplier though. 

I've heard of Shopify Stores with a return rate of as high as 10%. It doesn't sound like a lot, but if you decide to follow a refund and replace policy, that takes 10% out of your profits right there...
  • As a dropshipper, we do NOT accept returns. We don’t want the customer to send the product to our home (imagine an angry customer knocking on your front door) or back to our supplier in China.
  • When (not if, but when) a customer wants to return a product (for whatever reason, even if we feel it is ridiculous or unfair), we simply refund them. It’s much easier to give them a refund and ask them to keep or donate the product. The key is to tell them they can keep the product - this builds a trusting relationship with that customer.
  • If a customer’s refund request is legit and delivery never took place or the product was defective, we can request a refund from our supplier. We simply request photographic proof from the customer, which we will then pass on to the supplier. In most cases, the supplier will reimburse us.
  • To get a refund from the supplier, we need to open a dispute in our AliExpress Orders page. (This is not always successful though, but we have proof and the request is valid, we should get a refund.)
 Total video length for Lesson 02: 10 minutes 
Video Lesson 03: How to scale your business
According to Jessica, there are Three Elements of Scaling Your Business.  They are:
  • Your budget
  • Apps
  • Resources
We need to keep tight control over our budget and really do our research before deciding on Apps to boost marketing, conversions, productivity etc. And we need to actively use the resources offered to us by the course. They were created to help us. 

As an additional resource with this lesson, we get a basic Budgeting Spreadsheet that we can use to keep track of our monthly expenses. Expenses that we can expect to have on a month to month basis, include:
  • Monthly Shopify account fee = $29
  • Test products ordered = $?
  • Shopify Domain fee = $14
  • Media purchased for ads (Tools like Canva = $12) = $?
  • Facebook ad spend = $???
  • Oberlo Pro App = $29.90
  • Other Shopify Apps = $???
As a dropshipper, it's extremely difficult to even make an educated guess as to how much your expenses will be each month. It actually all boils down to your budget and what you can afford / what you're willing to spend (and for how long) before you start making a profit.

Only spend what you can afford and don't make the mistake of going overboard.

If you use Shopify Apps for marketing and conversion purposes, it can easily add up to another $80 per month on top of everything else. Worse case scenario, if you follow Fred Lam's advice in his Zero Up course, you can end up paying $180 per month for apps...

So let's use a conservative figure and suppose we have a Shopify App budget of only $50 and we don't use ANY paid for tools such as Canva, and we spend a miserly $750 per month on FB Ads. This brings our monthly expenses to $872.90...

We need to sell a LOT of products before we show a profit...

In the previous lessons, Jessica showed us that only her FB Ad spend came to over a thousand dollars, and she only ended up making a hundred. And this is a PRO we're talking about, who only had a few sales after 6 weeks... 

And to be brutally honest, I thought she was onto a genuine winning product.  I expected the reusable coffee pods to be a running success, and see how that turned out...

I hope you're seeing the warning signs about dropshipping...

Anyway, this video is more about keeping track of your expenses/budget and what to do once you need more detailed information (visit the Oberlo website and look under the Menu Resources tab.) It's not about scaling...

 Total video length for Lesson 03: 9 minutes 34 seconds
Video Lesson 04: Watch the Live Oberlo 101 Q&As
The latest Oberlo 101 LIVE Q&A Session was held on November 6th 2019, and Jessica promises there will be one every month. 

As students of Oberlo 101, we have access to these sessions via our course dashboard. You can also subscribe to the Oberlo 101 channel on YouTube.

Personally, I think it is a waste of time sitting through a Q&A session if you, yourself didn't ask any questions. I can utilize my time much more effectively than listening to answers from other people's questions.

So did I watch the entire 45 minutes?

No. 

But I did read through the comments section and the feedback that Jessica and Magda received was positive. 

Ps: Many of the topics covered in the course, is available to view for free on YouTube, so if you're undecided whether you should fork out $49, and you don't trust my review, simply go and sample Oberlo's free videos...

There are some worthwhile additional videos on YouTube that you you will not find in the course - such as "DO NOT Start Dropshipping These 10 Products in 2020", so make sure to check out their Channel anyway. 
 Total video length for Lesson 04: 45 minutes 32 seconds

Module 5 - My Key Takeaways 

Highlights of this module includes:


Setup of your shipping in video 1

  • Jessica explains the entire process without making it seem overtly complicated. 

Handling Returns and Refunds in video 2

  • As dropshippers, we are bound to get queries for returns and refunds - it's inevitable. It's part of being in the retail trade. 
  • Jessica offers useful tips on how to handle these queries and how to claim for a refund from our suppliers.

I do however, feel the Oberlo 101 course falls short on recommending specific Shopify Apps to help boost your marketing and conversion efforts. 

OVERALL 70%

OVERALL IMPRESSION OF MODULE 5: SCALE YOUR BUSINESS

Oberlo has a different take on the meaning "Scale your business". To other dropshipping "gurus", it means outsourcing.

It's refreshing to see a different take on the term and it's one that makes sense for the first time, beginner dropshipper. 

Outsourcing is not something that should be considered until you are making hundreds of dollars a day in profit.

Yes, hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines sounds like a great idea. Especially since you can hand-off the more mundane and menial tasks to someone else. 

Just remember: you still have to pay for that VA...

Getting back to the course:

This module is actually not very aptly named.

When I think of scaling my business, I think of expansion - and it's only something you do once you start seeing results, the money starts flowing in and you start to get a little overwhelmed. 

In this module, Oberlo 101 doesn't quite reach the heights of their previous module - the course highlight, section 4. In fact, this last module falls quite a bit short in terms of actionable content. 

Module 5 (they call it Category 5), is thin on content when compared to the rest of the course, and although there are useful tips and highlights, they pale a bit in comparison to the rest of the course and other dropshipping courses. 

I would especially have liked seeing more Shopify Apps in action. 

Perhaps because Oberlo is itself a Shopify App, they don't want to or cannot recommend other apps, even if these apps offer a completely different service.

Either way, info on additional apps to improve marketing, conversions and productivity, is something that every new dropshipper desperately needs. 

It's a pity it was omitted...



That concludes the Oberlo 101 COMPLETE, LESSON-BY-LESSON, REVIEW. 


What now, you may ask?

Well...

Can I recommend my number one online business?

Have a read by clicking the link below. It might just change your mind about the different online business models out there...

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2020, is to build your own 6-figure lead gen biz. You can learn more here.

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