5 Steps to launching your sex toy dropshipping business
Starting a new business is an exciting journey that takes hard work and dedication. You will spend countless hours of research, money and time on this new venture. However, it will be worth it! Creating a dropshipping business is a challenging area of business right now because of the lower barrier of entry. What I mean by this is it doesn’t take much money or skill to launch a new dropshipping business. However, merely putting up a website and throwing some products that will be dropshipped will hardly get you the results you will want.
My name is Sean Mason, one of the Account Executives here at Lifestyle Distributing, and I have been in the adult toy business for over a decade. As a boutique wholesale sex toy distributor, I understand the hardships retailers around the globe face. I understand these hardships because I have navigated through thousands of scenarios with our customers, and we have seen a trend in what it takes to be successful. This is across all business models such as selling on a website, through a home party model, in a brick-and-mortar store and more. Although I won’t be able to cover everything in one article, I do want to share my 5 steps to launching your sex toy dropshipping business in hopes of this helping someone who is seriously considering launching a dropshipping business in the sex toy niche.
Figure out if the dropshipping business is right for you. I know this sounds basic and obvious, but you really want to research, up front, if the dropshipping business model is the right for you. You want to compare the pros and cons of dropshipping versus holding inventory. You will be able to determine which model is better for you. We have taken some of the heavy lifting for you and will include a visual graphic highlighting the differences from our perspective. Since this article is about the dropshipping business specifically, we will proceed and assume after this first step that you are choosing the dropshipping business model.
Work backwards from a business launching perspective to see if there is feasibility. I always encourage my new customers to start at the end of the sales process instead of the beginning. This is what I mean:
Standard Method of Launching Business (Wrong in my opinion)
- Pick a company name or website domain.
- Create your legal entity (LLC or Corp).
- Create a business plan.
- Choose a vendor.
- Build the website.
- Start marketing.
- Make sales.
- Be happy.
Inverted Method of Launching Business (Correct in my opinion)
- Be happy.
- Take note of how you will make sales. How will you sell your products and where?
- Start marketing your MVP (Minimum viable product). This could be a test with some advertising spend to see if you are getting any traction on a small subset of products. An example would be a simple landing page with a couple products being advertised to a targeted group of people. Did it work? If not, try another landing page? Did it work? If not, try another target market. This is the science portion of the sales process and there is a TON of testing needed in this step. The reason why I’m suggesting you do this step earlier in the process is to test feasibility of your business structure/plan. Trust me when I say, this is going to help you so much save time and money. This will also help you determine early on if your business will work or not before pouring in thousands of dollars.
- Once you have a proven MVP and you have generated some interest/sales, you can build a beautiful website knowing your product is going to kick ass.
- Now you can choose your vendor. Try us our for your wholesale sex toy needs!
- Create your business plan for your roadmap. Refer back to it once a month to make sure you are on track.
- Create your legal entity.
- Pick your company name or website domain.
Starting a dropshipping business means you will basically be a marketing company. Since you will not hold inventory, all you need to focus on is selling products that will be shipped out for you. You will need to make your website assets (images, descriptions, etc) flawless because this is what your customers see. You cannot cut corners and just be mediocre with your design if you want to run a successful dropshipping business. Make sure you invest time and money into professional images, quality descriptions that are helpful and add value to your customers.
Adding value to your customer is going to be key. In the sea of millions of websites, how will your website standout? How will you get people to purchase from your company instead of Amazon? Keep in mind that if you try to win by being the low-priced leader, this is a losing battle. What I mean by this is eventually you will cut your price so low (possibly to match other retailers) that profitability won’t exist. Not a sound strategy.
Really spend some time figuring out why someone would buy from you. The outcome from this will be your money maker. Hint, hint, answering this question is extremely hard so don’t be tough on yourself if you don’t figure it out right away.
Here are some suggestions on where and how you could shine:
- Offer local delivery.
- Offer customer service 24/7.
- Offer a long return policy window.
- Provide helpful data on your product descriptions.
- Allow people to call you for suggestions or questions.
- Be an expert in your niche. This is so important.
- Get influencers to discuss your website or products to add authority.
Figuring out your niche will be something you should pay attention to early on. There are thousands of sex toys you can sell in hundreds of categories. However, you don’t want to offer thousands of sex toys to your customers right away because it won’t work well. Create a niche within a certain segment of the business and be a specialist in this area. For example, you can be known as an expert with Lubes. Or you could be a specialist in BDSM products. This way you keep it controlled and focus on just this segment of business. If you try to sell everything under the sun, you won’t sell anything.
I hope these 5 steps were helpful for launching your dropshipping business. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about this article or anything else regarding wholesale sex toys. Setting up a wholesale account with Lifestyle Distributing is easy and free. We only work with businesses so please make sure you are a business or are starting a business before you apply.