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A drop shipping business is a fantastic way to make money online in Kenya on your own time. Whether it’s a full-time career or a part-time supplement, it’s an easy way to make some cash. But how does drop shipping work?

For those new to the concept, the drop shipping model is when a seller orders products straight from the wholesaler. This is less risky than traditional sales practices, which requires the seller to buy a bunch of products from the wholesaler then hope to sell it. Instead the seller is buying only what they know they’ve already sold.

Here are three steps on how to start a drop shipping business successfully in Kenya.

Finding the Right Wholesaler

There are many suppliers out there waiting for you to do business with them. To find a local wholesaler, flip through popular online directories in Kenya to find best drop shipping companies around. This will give you a sense of what items are locally available to you. This can keep shipping costs down. On the flip-side, searching the Internet for a wholesaler will point you in the direction of products that may not be easily available in your area, giving you a competitive edge.

Any business is built on its reputation, which means you need to check out the reputation and reviews of the wholesaler to ensure it’s up to your high standards. Check the company’s history and make sure they understand the ins-and-outs of drop shipping. Before signing any contracts, check out their shipping rules, such as cost, shipping time, and refund and return policies.

Creating Your Drop Shipping Online Storefront

The beauty of drop shipping is that you don’t need a brick & mortar store front. Although, many drop shipping businesses do have brick & mortar stores where customers can check out the items before ordering them. This can be great for building customer relations, but will eat into your profits.

Your storefront will likely be in digital format, usually a website or social page. Luckily, there is no shortage of platforms to display your drop shipping goods. The more known ones in Kenya are Facebook, Jumia, and Jiji.

While these are all great websites to list your products, they tend to be over-saturated. If you are specializing in a certain kind of product, such as used books, make up or electronics, then try selling your products online through specialized online auction sites. This could boost your reputation, because these sites tend to have dedicated repeat customers. Again, specializing in the best drop shipping products is key top your success in the business.

Managing your Products and Merchandise

So you’ve set up your drop shipping ecommerce website/shop on an online auction website. You’ve slaved over getting the right photo to show off you fantastic merchandise and you’ve carefully detailed the wonderful features of your gear, including where it is coming from (many websites need to know the location of the wholesaler).

Whether business picks up quickly or slowly, it is important to stay on top of your orders. Your reputation depends on it. Putting orders to the wholesaler right away, managing any complaints quickly and professionally and paying your wholesalers on time will ensure that you build a strong business reputation. The anonymity of the Internet is not kind to shady business practices. Bad reviews and low grades will not only lose you repeat customers. It will also scare off potential new customers.

Is drop shipping worth it in Kenya?

As with any business, the important thing to remember is that the toughest part of starting any business is the first few months.  Use this “dead” period to build a reputation and generate enough buzz for your drop shipping business. Once you get going, things will move more quickly!

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