My Journey | Store building still in Progress [Last updated : Oct 2018]

#1
Hi All,

I want to share with you my journey, I will keep updating this thread with every step of the way. (I want to have it as a reference for myself as well)

If you want to Jump directly to my store experience go directly to " ~~~ My Dropshipping Journey ~~~ "

This thread is going to be a bit long but I as I mentioned, I'm basically documenting everything for myself but I wanted to write it publicly so that if anyone wants to read it, you're more than welcome to do (apologies for the boring details)

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SUMMARY

  • TOTAL INVESTMENT = $2,706
  • TOTAL SALES = ZERO
  • LAUNCH DATE = PLANNED NOV 2018
  • NUMBER OF PRODUCTS = 73
  • WINNING PRODUCTS = NOT TESTED YET
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~~~ My Beginning in eCommerce ~~~
It all started back in 2012 when I heard the term of Drop Shipping, but because the person who explained this for me explained it in a wrong way so I did not really care about it (He told me that the seller must be packing your orders using your own label)

Moving forward to 2015, I decided to create my own online store (Just Instagram account and a Facebook page) in my home country. it took me a year to plan and test (12 months exactly) because as you know products took between 45 to 60 days to arrive.

Basically this store was generic but was selling cute products, and it was cash on delivery (Yes I buy from AliExpress and sell it on my store). It was sh!t of course because you can't buy more than 5 pieces from each product, if you bought more than 5 It will be held by the government because I was an individual not a business entity.

I started in 2016, I import the products, take the pictures or shoot a video using it and then publish. I was using Facebook and Instagram Ads (That was perfect for me because I worked on Facebook ads for 2 years so it was peace-a-cake to market those)

I had my own micro studio on my desk
My studio.jpg

I was taking care of everything (Online Ordering, Tracking the order, Receive it and pay the costumes, take the pictures/videos, promote, contact customers, pack the shipment and deliver it myself)
envelopes.jpg

I ran this store for almost 4 months, total cost for the products back then was $500 and I had a revenue of $660 which means I had $160 profit in 4 months :)

Yes its nothing, and even less than a month salary (My salary back then was equivalent to $600) but It was making me so happy.

~~~ My Dropshipping Journey ~~~

|-- The Start
In mid of 2017 I discovered Quora, and I kept reading random questions that was so informative, that's when I came across few questions about dropshipping and how successful this business model is.

There was this guy (I think he was just building links for Alidropship.com) answering so many questions with providing the link for this website, so I clicked to know more about this dropshipping thing.

It wasn't too long when I decided that I want to have my own store, I said to myself that I already have the experience of ordering, promoting and selling, the only difference that this will be easier, I don't have to worry about packing items and delivering it myself, or call a courier to do the job for me.

|-- Buying the Plugin
I decided to commit myself by buying the plugin (You know when you pay 2 months subscription for the gym to force yourself to go but you don't? that's what happened).

I bought the plugin on Nov-2017 (after few months from reading about Dropshipping)

I knew there were other stuff that I should buy like issuing a company, host, domain and all this, but I wanted to start somewhere, so this somewhere was to buy the plugin first.

|-- Legal stuff
I started to do my homework and read more about Dropshipping. The first thing I started to read about was issuing the company in US because I wanted to sell in US, So I found my self reading about taxes, IRS EIN, ITIN, and some bullsh!t that I had no clue about, All I cared abut is to start the website and start selling but it wasn't that easy.

I found that If I want to sell in US, I must have a legal entity (company) located in US {Not sure of this piece of info though but I moved with it}. After reading more and asking a help of a friend, I found that Delaware was the best option to open the company because in Delaware there're no sales tax, it's just $200 or $300 a year to be paid to the IRS and that's it (Law are changing every year so its better to be up-to-date)

|-- Issuing the company (My experience with MyUSAcorporation)
While browsing AliDropShip Blog, I found in couple of articles a link for MyUSACorporation that was responsible for issuing a company in USA. I went through there website for sooo many hours reading about LLC companies and different types of ownership looking for more information about what I need.

Plus, It's not easy to pay huge amount of money for an entity that you're not sure of, so I had to check them and check their competitors.

I ended up proceeding with them because their competitors were so stupid in terms of UX, but MyUSACorporation was so clear about what you're going to get with information next to each item.

On 22-Dec-2018, I paid them $100 for a 30 minutes consultation because I still had few questions regarding how to pay taxes and stuff like that (its a lot but it was really worth it) But because I'm stupid, I did a force shutdown for my laptop without saving the info I got it from the guy o_O

On 10-Jul-18, I paid them $750 to issue an LLC under my name in Delaware and to ship the original document to my address (Never shipped the original documents, they just charged me $150 to ship me a copy of the documents that I was already able to print them)

Couple of months later, I discovered (Stripe Atlas) which is cheaper and will save you a lot of this company's issuing hassle :rolleyes:

|-- Buying the host (My experience with Siteground.us)

To Be continued ... Still Twice what I've already written to go
 
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