Dropshipping from Uganda,Is it Possible? Find out.
As we all know I promised to be posting interviews and case studies to help my readers see how dropshipping works and also show some proof of sales plus success stories.We started by sharing with you How Sharma Made $140,000 in 18 days On Shopify.
Today, we cross borders take you to Uganda where I was privileged to interview Mr. Daniel Mickoh who is among the few Non-US citizens who are successful dropshipping. Dropshipping business is not an easy avenue to venture into more so if you are living Outside the United States or the other big 5 countries.
There are many challenges faced by Non-US dropshippers who use Aliexpress to Shopify dropshipping business module or other methods.We are lucky to have with us a successful drop shipper who happens to be in Africa; we engaged him to get answers to some of the problematic questions any newbie would struggle to solve more over if not living in the US and wants to start dropshipping.
It’s my prayer that through the information he shared you get to learn and put into Practice.So,let us meet him.
1.Hello, Would you kindly introduce yourself to my readers who haven’t heard of you and bring us to speed what you do?
I am Daniel Mickoh, an online entrepreneur, Africa’s highest ROI Facebook ads strategist and funnel architect for small and medium sized businesses. I am a coffee cup missionary, founder of Tenge , Experience Africa and Fundraising and Marketing Director at Charity Pads.
2.Talking about Shopify and Dropshipping, how did you come to know about it and what was your plan for starting this type of business?
I have been making money online since 2010, I started with affiliate marketing (First $100 day came promoting the affilotheme from Mark Ling), then went on the Adsense, Amazon and Clickbank, and in 2012, went into selling services (SEO and Social Media Marketing). Shopify came in recently, I was seeing my friends making exorbitant amounts of money, and I told myself, I have money for ads( I could afford to lose upto $20,000 on ads and if it failed, walk away), I knew how to run ads pretty well, why not test it and see what happens.
My tests here and there led to me making over a million in sales from 5 stores in less than 15 months!
3.Still on Dropshipping, what made you decide or pushed you to give it an attempt considering in Africa online business opportunities are not well explored since many consider them scams?
I am an entrepreneur first and foremost, so anything that I can invest $100 and gives me back $20 in profits, and can consistently do so for at least 5-10 years, I will invest. I am never after getting rich quick, am always looking at the long term perspective.
I had made money with amazon and ebay arbitrage methods, and having made money online, I know there was so much money in e-commerce, I only needed to tap it. Amazon had become one of the greatest companies doing nothing but e-commerce, and the industry was growing at almost 50%+ per year!
4.How did your family take your work having in mind is something you’ve not gone to school for as you know some families only consider offline or 9-5 jobs as the only viable source of income.
Most of them always told me get a job and get a real life, until I was the one paying the bills. It’s hard to understand that I have work I do, because I spend most time on my laptop and spend most times in my bed room, except for the times I have to check on my offline businesses. But its hard for people to understand to date to be honest.
The following questions cover the niche selection process:
5.Would you be kind enough to take us through the strategies you followed to choosing a hot selling niche for your Shopify store?
There are a number of ways to pick products, but I have two reliable ways
1-Spying on competition (When I enter into a new market, I am looking to see what competition is doing, I subscribe to their newsletters to see how they are marketing, spy on their best sellers, and see their top performing ads) from here, I then decide which of their products I can take and promote in other countries outside of where they are targeting.
2-Using services (I hire a private team that finds products for me and I pay heavily, and also software tools that cost me around $950+ a month)
3-I at times use the Amazon wholesale method, where I see the untapped products that people on Amazon are selling but are not getting very good money, but are proven to produce sales, I check out if I can find suppliers in China, then I just put them on my store and advertise.
There are many methods I use.
6.What factors were you looking for when choosing Dropshipping Suppliers on Aliexpress and what was the steps you took?
Trust is key, I have to talk to them and find out a lot about them. I look at order count, the number of years they have sold on Aliexpress, reviews etc then I can go ahead and place orders.
7.Now that you’ve selected a niche imported the products, which factors did you take in when pricing your product’s ad apart from that is there any special treatment you have the products, e.g., descriptions, etc.?
When doing dropshipping, its about the numbers. First, I don’t even look at amazon or ebay when thinking of prices, because people on those websites will choose to sell a product and only make $0.1 as long as they get sales. So for me, I use people’s laziness, sense of urgency and wanting to be exclusive to make sales. I target the right people using a specific criteria of making sure my front end(Ads copy, product page, product descriptions, up sells etc) is as strong as my back end (Email, repeat sales)
So when pricing products, I usually multiply the cost of the product by 2 or even 4 depending on perceived value.
8.Which platform do you us to market your products and how do you strategically plan for your product marketing? Any special tip for us?
- I use mainly Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Email.
- I could give many tips, but for me, ACTION and TESTING products are the difference between making money with eCommerce or not. I don’t waste too much time overly thinking
- I have a very straight forward funnel
- Ad(Offering the Product) > Product Page(With reviews, scarcity, activity of previous buyers etc) > Checkout > Purchase >Up-sells > Email Follow up Series.
- Anyone who drops at anyone point in the funnel, I re-target with an ad for either a discount or a coupon or cross sell them on different products in the same family. Facebook Audience insights helps me a lot in determining this, and also frequently bought together section of Amazon.
9.How long did it take to make your first sale and what was the feeling like?
With dropshipping, it was less than 30 days, but to get it very profitable, took me close to 2-6 months.
9.Some gurus say you don’t need capital to invest in dropshipping, do you agree? If not what is the minimum investment capital you would advise a newbie to have at hand?
YES and NO.
1-Whats your goal? If your goal is to make just $100-500 a month, then you are okay, you could start with even no money and in 30-60days of consistent effort and work, you’ll have made money, you have seen that in the FREE group, Shopify Dropshipping Mastery Group
2-If your goal is to make $2k+ a month, starting with $2-3k is the best (For Ads) and that’s if you know what you are actually doing. If you are a total newbie and want to make serious money, then you will need almost $3-5k in ads money.
10.What are some of the challenges you faced at first times when you started this business?
- Payment processing! This is a big one if you are in a country not supported by Stripe, it’s a serious pain, had to navigate a lot to get it working.
- Knowing what to focus on (Dropshipping is 90% product selection and only 10% everything else)
- It’s a lie that this thing is a PUSH Button solution to one’s money problems. If you are not ready to put in the work, don’t waste time.
- Dropshipping needs one to have the right plan and strategy upfront. Without which, you will sink!
- Becoming successful too fast, without understanding the business side of things and how to scale when I needed to made me lose a lot
- Handling customer care. After the products, the heart of a Dropshipping business depends on the communication with customers. They can make or break you.
11.If you would start again, what would you do differently that you wished you knew when you first started dropshipping?
1-Spend more time researching products
2-Invest in masterminds
3-learn copywriting for ecommerce.
12.Considering you are non-US citizen how did you manage you overcome the payment gateway limitation and ban (PayPal) and others that require SSN to use?
I opened an LLC in the US, and Used payoneer to handle the banking side. It’s the only whitehat way, all the other ways are blackhat. Read more about How To Get A Stripe Account for Shopify Store For Non-US Citizens
13.How many stores do you own and averagely how much do you make monthly? I have about 5 stores, and am planning on creating 3 more this year, and on average, the 5 stores each produces about $15k-$30k a month.
14.How do you handle disputes and chargebacks?
I have a very good relationship with my customers, at times we even call them physically, our relationship with them has meant that I rarely get chargebacks, except this one time I did a case study and posted it on Blackhatworld and people went and ordered for products using stolen cards and the store was even closed.
15.How do you handle taxes and exchange rates when it comes to getting paid?
I have hired an accountant that helps with all that. Whatever I can avoid, I avoid.
15.Why do you think aspiring dropshippers more so from Africa tend to fail in this business and what advice can you give them?
People are so negative, they never try hard enough and are always discouraging others. We have this very bad mindset that has made sure that we always say, it’s impossible. I always say, where there is a will, there is away. Imagine because of the payment issues, I had given up, would I have proven to all the Africans and people around the world that this was possible? NEVER! So I never gave up and kept trying different methods until I hit the jackpot.
16.Do you think dropshippers targeting their own country can succeed? Suppose you are targeting fellow Ugandans instead of international customers?
With Africa, the biggest problem is that not many countries have embraced ecommerce. Even with my offline business, when I run ads, people still want to pay physically or come to a physical location. So yes you can succeed, but it’s more tiring and requires more effort. And the price people pay is a lot less than what an international client would pay. So I prefer international clients
17.If you were the owner of Shopify or shareholder with a vote, what would you change or add to ensure Shopify accommodates all walks of life?
Open up payment methods for 2nd and 3rd world countries. That’s the only thing holding back African entrepreneurs. The cost of starting a shopify shop when going the US route is expensive. And not many people can afford that.
18.List of 5 things you wish anyone not to do or try when starting?
-Don’t assume it’s going to be easy like many so called Gurus tell you
-Don’t spend money on ads unless you know what you are doing
-Know who you are following and make sure they genuinely want to help you succeed
-Don’t run your store based on someone else’s business. Just because someone posts that they are making $10k doesn’t mean you should feel the pressure to do something..be patient with yourself, follow your strategy and do what moves you closer to your dreams
-Avoid joining many groups and listening to too many people, you will fail.
19.Whats your take on the million gurus out there claiming to have success key to drop shippers?
Many Gurus have had some sort of success, not really serious success. Many of them hide the truth of what it will really take you to succeed.
Imagine for me, I had a lot of money to test ads, tested and failed several times until I found the winning ads and products and made a kill. What they don’t tell you is that you have to spend a lot testing, they only show you the winning ads and you think, boy this is easy. Not it’s not, I always tell people; if you are hustling and that’s the only money you have left, don’t do shopify, lest you go hungry, or fail to pay rent. Shopify and any other business is a long term project not a get rich quick scheme.
20.Your parting shots?
Like Brendon Buchard says,
Live fully, Love openly and make a difference in someone’s life today. Everything I do is to change someone else’s life. Because that’s the only way I get fulfillment, and it’s the reason for the FREE Facebook group. Take time to do the things that matter like spending time with your loved ones. I failed here and it almost cost me my relationship. Learn from me….
Now you know dropshipping from Uganda is very possible and you can dropship from any other country whether in Asia or Africa as long as you have solution to the payment process you will be using on your shop.
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