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Success Stories

Tammy Was A Total Newcomer And Now Her Success Inspires Others To Try Ecommerce Business

by Roman P. | | 7 min read
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What do you need to prepare for when you start a home-based business? Well, let’s hear from Tammy, a newcomer to dropshipping, who is happy to share her experiences. She’ll discuss everything from product strategy to advertising and customer service advice. There’s a lot of useful information here for anyone starting out in ecommerce!

Can you tell us about yourself?

Sure, I’m Tammy, a part-time employee at a liquor store in Australia, and I also run a business from home in my free time. I’m 26 years old and have always worked casual or part-time jobs. My current job suits me because I enjoy having plenty of time for my hobbies like playing video games, drawing, and reading. However, those hobbies don’t pay the bills, so I needed to find a way to make extra money while still having time for myself.

How did you get started with running a dropshipping business on the side?

It all started in January. I had never run my own business before, nor did I have any experience in marketing or ecommerce. I was just doing some research online about ways to earn money from home. Dropshipping kept popping up, so I decided to explore it further. After a lot of research, I finally decided to take the plunge and give it a try. I looked at several dropshipping companies before choosing one that seemed the best fit for me, both in terms of pros and cons and starting costs.

When did you make your first sale, and how did it happen?

Believe it or not, it happened in my first month! I was completely surprised. The customer bought three items, and I was a bit panicked at first, but processing the sale was actually quite easy, which felt great. It gave me the confidence to keep going, even though I didn’t make another sale until a month later. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the first one came in.

How is your business doing now?

Here’s how things have been going in the first five months:

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I still have only 1 store, but I think I’m confident enough to open up another one, now, to double my income!

Sometimes I might have a day or 2 without sales, maybe even 3 days, and I start to lose faith in my business. I just tell myself that this happens from time to time and I just need to keep posting on social media to show everyone what my website has to offer. It usually works and then I get a sale!

What’s your approach to selecting products for your store?

For my initial store, I chose to dropship products that interested me personally. I understand this isn’t always recommended, but I was familiar with the category and knew how to advertise to attract potential buyers. To identify suitable products, I spent considerable time searching for specific items and scrutinizing customer reviews.

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Once I had added the initial products to my store, AliExpress started suggesting more items based on my preferences. Several times a week, I dedicate time to review these recommendations and ensure they have a satisfactory sales history before adding them to my store.

Regarding pricing, I follow the guidelines provided by Sellvia. I aim to make a profit of at least AUD$10-$20 per item, sometimes more depending on the product. I’ve noticed that the majority of my customers are from the United States or the United Kingdom, where the currency is stronger than the Australian dollar, leading to higher spending at my store.

How do you market your store?

Firstly, I make sure to read all the emails from Sellvia containing sales-boosting tips. Even before making my first sale, I created an Instagram account. I started following individuals interested in the products I sell and also utilized Facebook by sharing product posts in relevant groups. This approach has proven to be quite successful.

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I continue to employ a similar strategy, primarily focusing on promoting the business through Instagram. Instagram is particularly effective for reaching a targeted audience. By searching relevant hashtags, I quickly identified potential customers and followed many of them. Most reciprocated by following back and making purchases from my store.

Periodically, I run paid Facebook ads, which also extend to Instagram. Additionally, I share product posts in niche Facebook groups. Although Instagram yields the best results, I appreciate that Facebook ads appear across various platforms, including Facebook Marketplace, inboxes, videos, stories, and Instagram.

Facebook marketing is relatively cost-effective for me. I typically allocate around AUD$40-50 per month for ads, occasionally pausing ads for a week or two to assess their impact on sales. I’ve observed a significant increase in Instagram followers during ad campaigns, with actual sales often resulting from repeat website visits. Therefore, my primary objective is to expand my following to generate engagement through organic posts.

How do you manage your online business on a daily basis?

Initially, I spent about 10 hours a day building my website, though it wasn’t entirely necessary. I just got caught up in the excitement of creating something cool.

a picture showing how to start a dropshipping business and enjoy work from home

Nowadays, I typically dedicate 1-3 hours daily to tasks like responding to customer inquiries, processing sales, tracking shipments, and occasionally updating my website.

The most time-consuming aspect is often answering comments and emails on Facebook and Instagram. My customers appreciate the level of service I provide, as noted in website reviews, so I make it a point to respond to everyone. Sometimes, there’s a lot of questions, and finding the right answers for each can be time-consuming.

When dealing with challenging customers, I try to maintain a positive attitude. Many inquire about the arrival time of their packages, especially considering the occasionally slow shipping. I ensure to convey positivity, apologize for any inconvenience, and provide as much information as possible. Fortunately, most understand and are willing to wait a bit longer for their items.

Did starting and running a home-based business change your life in any way?

Absolutely! Registering my business was an exciting step, and it didn’t cost much. I now have more disposable income for both saving and spending on things I’ve always wanted. I’m even considering opening another store soon! (Still deciding on a niche.) Interestingly, my 56-year-old mother has been inspired by my success and has just started her own dropshipping venture this month. Her website is looking great!

What advice do you have for our readers, both those already running their stores and those considering starting a business?

For those already running a home-based business: Keep going! If sales are slow, don’t lose hope. Avoid overcrowding your website with too many items. Maintain a presence on social media, and most importantly, understand your target audience.

For those contemplating starting a business: It’s been the best decision I’ve made! The toughest part is choosing what to sell. Avoid niches with limited popularity. Focus on products that sell well online and ensure your website maintains a thematic consistency.

Tammy’s journey is undoubtedly inspiring, and her detailed business strategy offers valuable insights. We wish her and her mother the best of luck with their new ventures.

Start dropshipping custom products on your own online store with Sellvia

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Get a custom product package crafted just for you! Let us fill your dropshipping store with top-selling items of your choice. No more limits: just let us know your preferences and enjoy an exclusive product collection with unique descriptions.

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Unlimited choice of best-selling products:

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Feel free to explore the custom product package and take your dropshipping business to the next level!

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by Roman P.
As a copywriter at Sellvia, Roman helps aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs around the world learn how to launch and grow their online businesses. He has a degree in economics, which gives him an edge in understanding the ecommerce industry. Roman creates engaging and informative content that empowers people to achieve their full potential.
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