(Please note: all of these are great options, in my opinion (I don’t think anyone should judge anyone else’s business models and strategies) - we have to do what works for us).
However, I will say that you want to make sure quality and brand style are taken into consideration and that you use your own unique photos whenever possible; otherwise, you are just out there looking generic and blending in with all the other boutiques doing the same - and this is where you can find yourself competing with the ‘bad guys’ (big and small) to a race to the lowest price which you can never win.
(By bad guys, you know who I mean for the big guys, for the small guys, I mean those not running a legal legitimate business mostly.)
Ok, so the three ways:
Pre-orders: I don’t think this should be a long-term strategy, but sometimes, you may need to fall back on this. Just ensure your vendor is damn reputable, and ideally, you already know, like, and trust their product quality and turnaround times.
Never pre-sell anything you love if you’re not sure; your reputation is worth more than that, and if you use the cash and something falls through, you’re the one liable.
Dropshipping: Don’t be lured into carrying all the things; still curate like you would if you were shopping with your hard-earned cash. Too many options can be overwhelming anyway, and too wide a variety of products and styles, you aren’t catering to your ideal customer. Who are they? Curate for them!
Also same advice as above, about making sure your dropshipper and the vendor of that particular product are reputable (particularly in quality and shipping times). Watch your pricing and margins (but consider time/resources saved and scalability as part of the equation).
Print on demand: Similar to dropshipping, except these are blank items (tees, blankets, shoes, home decor items, pins, accessories, the list goes on) that are printed with a design of your choice and then shipped directly to your customer.
You can actually buy the license to designs you like all over the place online (or have someone design something unique for you - eh ehhhm we can do that lol), or design on your own if you are good at that kinda stuff. Same as above in terms of watching your pricing and margins (but again, consider time/resources saved and scalability, AND product unique-ness as part of the equation).
Watch out for selling items with designs that are or include copyrighted elements or those that you do not have a license to use in this way (some designers sell printable designs you can only use if you have the items printed yourself vs. print on demand or they may limit the number of times you use a design on a product you sell).
Remember, even when you’re low on cash, there are still plenty of creative ways to keep your store stocked and ready to shop - sometimes you just need to be a little more creative! (and you never know where it may lead you, so go on!!)
👉 Need help with your Shopify or CommentSold website?