4 Hard Lessons Learned from Starting My First Dropshipping Business


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Today we are going to talk about some of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a new dropshipper. We’re going to switch it up a little bit today, and this is going to be just more like a story time with a couple of key takeaways that I hope will help you on your dropshipping journey.

My name is Asia Abston. I am the CEO of The Luxe Life Academy, where I have taught over 2000 entrepreneurs how to launch digital and passive income streams. Stick around until the end of this video so that you can learn from my mistakes instead of having to make them yourself. Now let’s get into it.

In no particular order, here is one of the really hard lessons that I had to learn as a beginner dropshipper. And that’s that dropshipping clothes sucks. And nobody ever wants to hear this, but in my personal experience, just speaking for me, it is the truth.

Don’t Dropship Clothes

I launched my first dropshipping business, my first e-commerce business period, and I was selling clothing. And what an epic fail that was. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, and I just picked clothes because that was the only thing that I was really into. Fashion was the only thing that really interested me and that I cared about. And I had always been taught to make your passion, your paycheck. So I was like, okay, I’m passionate about clothes. So I’ll just launch this business and make it a clothing business.

What a mistake and a failure that was. And here’s the breakdown. As you know with dropshipping, often we are sourcing our product from overseas, mainly China. But the issue with that, I mean, that’s fine. But the issue is when you get into clothing, the size charts in China are completely different from the size charts here in the states. So everything that you order is going to be two or three sizes smaller than you thought it was going to be. And I had to find that out the hard way. I was young, I didn’t have any help. I was just DIY figuring everything out, and it was such a failure. Everything was so off, it was so wrong. And people don’t read size charts, right? So even though I had communicated on my website that there were some size chart differences, nobody was feeling that. It was a shitshow, honestly.

And with that, I had to deal with a lot of returns. And there is nothing harder than trying to return a fricking shirt all the way to China. It was just a joke of customer service, of mishandling things, of shipping, of emails. It just was an absolute failure. I will never dropship clothes again. I know some people do it, and kudos to them. I would know how to do it a lot better now than I did eight years ago, but still for me, it’s a no. And I really don’t recommend people dropship clothes for a lot of reasons. But one of the more important ones is just that there are so many other products to make money from, to make a lot more money from, that are a lot easier to sell. So that’s my takeaway for you on that one.

Starting With No Money Sucks

Another really hard lesson that I had to learn as a beginner dropshipper is that starting with no money also sucks. And it’s difficult, right? Because dropshipping is a very low overhead business. It’s a very low barrier of entry business. Anyone could become a dropshipper, young, old, male, female, no matter where you live, no matter where you’re from, no matter what your background is, you can become a dropshipper.

And you don’t need a lot of money to begin dropshipping at all. You can really start this business for virtually free, but that really sucks. It honestly has a lot of downfalls. Because ads are so important. Running ads to your store, driving traffic to your store. I did it the no-money way. I think I may have had two or 300 bucks when I started my dropshipping business. So everything was done from scratch. So I had to learn ways of bringing sales and bringing traffic into my store or organically, meaning without buying paid ads. Because I literally didn’t have the money to do it.

And that’s cool because I learned so much, but that process was so slow. It takes so much time to do it without money. So my hard lesson learned was not to start with no money. I definitely should have stacked my money, got an investor. I don’t know, got a grant, got a loan, something. I should have had a few more dollars to get started, just enough so I could get started with paid ads.

And now that I teach dropshipping, the thousands of people, I know that you could start with paid ads with as little as $5 a day. But because I was on a shoestring budget, and I literally didn’t have the money for that, I didn’t. So it took me so much longer to reach success than what I would have preferred, and what I would recommend for other people.

Outsource When You Can

Another lesson that I had to learn the really hard way was that I could not do everything alone, no matter how efficient I thought I was or how smart I thought I was. I had no business trying to run absolutely every facet of my business alone. It was silly, bottom line. There are so many other people who can help you. So many people who are experts in the thing, instead of you trying to figure out every little factor and puzzle piece of your business. From design, from product picking, from copywriting, there are 10 jobs that you have to learn as a dropshipper. And I took the route where I tried to learn every single one of them. And I did.But again, this took a ton of time. I spent months and months and months learning every single puzzle piece, and every single job of my business.

Instead what I should have done, which was learn a little bit, learn just enough to understand the moving parts, and outsource it. Outsource it to someone who is an expert in that job so that I could stick to my zone of genius, and grow the business faster. So a major recommendation that I would have for you guys is to hire help a lot, lot, lot, lot faster than I ever did. Super hard-learned lesson there.

Invest In Help 

And the last hard lesson that I’m going to share with you guys that I learned as a beginner dropshipper is massive. This just brings it all home, honestly. And it’s that DIY is basically D-I-die.

And I say that because there are so many professionals that can just teach you the things you need to know, plain and simple. There’s only so much that researching videos, and reading articles, and putting together random pieces of content. It’s only so far that it could take you. And in hindsight, I wish I would’ve just hired an expert dropshipper to teach me the things that mattered and didn’t matter. And I guess the underlying theme of all of these is time.

You waste so much time on the things you don’t even know that you don’t know. And you’re spinning your wheels, and deep-diving into these things that seem important simply because you just don’t have the knowledge to know that they’re not super important. And then you’re avoiding or not getting clarity on the things that actually are important because you just don’t know better. And I just wasted so much time in that space that I regret doing, and I would never ever do that again. And that’s some of the hardest lessons that I had to learn, is to invest in help on both ends. So you want to invest in a teacher that can get you to the next levels and teach you what’s important. And then on the back end, you want to invest and help in your business so that you can thrive, remain the CEO, and not be doing tasks that aren’t imperative in that moment.

Okay? You’ve got time later to master those skills for yourself. In the beginning, you really just want to hit the ground running. You want to hit the ground with the absolute best odds of crushing it as a new dropshipper. So I hope that was super helpful for you guys, because that is the information I would’ve needed eight years ago when I got into the game as a dropshipper. So my question for you, because I’ve always got one, is, are there any things that you want to learn about dropshipping that you want me to make videos about? Do you want to know more about my journey, or are there other ways that I could help you?

The first thing that comes to mind before we even get into that is my free dropshipping beginners masterclass. Inside the masterclass I give you tons of guidance on exactly what dropshipping is, some beginner mistakes to avoid in the business, and tons and tons of free game that I’ve got two hours to explain versus these short YouTube videos.

So if you want to join the masterclass for free, click the link in the description box. Inside the free beginner’s dropshipping master class I’m dropping tips, tricks, guidance, all about dropshipping. How to get into the business model, how to get started, how much money you’re going to need, the full scoop. So click the link in the description box to register for the free training. I cannot wait to see you there.


Hi, I'm Asia

I preach abundance and luxury because no matter where you’re at now, I know it’s attainable. I know you can turn your life around on a dime. I know that every single thing you touch CAN turn to gold once you conquer your lack and scarcity mindset. I know because I did it.

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