Aubrey started working with me at my office and warehouse next to the Portland airport. The first step was to train her on my method of listing products for sale on eBay. I tested a new dropshipping sales method and, with sales coming in, it seemed to be working.
From early testing and results, it looked like I could scale the business with this new sales method. Training someone was the necessary next step. If I could not train someone and delegate tasks, I would not reach my goal of scaling the business to 10x of last years revenues.
Aubrey and I had the eBay app. Everytime we made a sale on ebay, our app would make the sound, “Ka-ching!” It was a beautiful sound. The items we were listing were selling…quickly.
We were reaching out to more potential suppliers, to be a reseller of their products. We wanted to list more and sell more. It was exciting.
But we would soon learn that dropshipping has its problems…
Out of Stock
After just a few weeks of sales with dropshipping, we learned that our suppliers would sometimes run out of stock. Uh-oh. This means we wouldn’t be able to fulfill an order. We would have to notify the customer of the bad news. Ebay looked down upon sellers who cannot fulfill orders. It would be a strike against us. If our performance metrics got bad enough, our ability to sell on eBay will be over.
Sometimes the problem wouldn’t be that suppliers ran out of stock. Sometimes they changed their price. It was always good if the supplier decreased their price – that means more profit for us! But if they increase their price, we would be fulfilling that order at a loss. That was no good.
In addition to listing, and all the other parts of running a business, we had to add the task of “inventory” to our routine. We had to manually check on our supplier’s inventory levels and prices 3-5 days a week. Me and Aubrey split the responsibility. We hated this task. Hated-it. HA-TED-IT. It was boring and monotonous.
More than that, it was taking us away from the tasks that were more important to grow the business. I can’t afford to hire another person just to do inventory unless…
…to be continued…