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Guest Interview

Guest Interview: Chris Wane from Advanced Dropshipping Academy

1. Hello, for those who don’t know who you are, would you kindly introduce yourself and what you do?

My name is Chris Wane and I run multiple six figure dropshipping websites and I also teach other people how to build their own six figure businesses inside my Advanced Dropshipping Academy.

2. When did you realize drop shipping could work for you? (What was your drop shipping journey?)

The first time I thought this was probably within the first 6 weeks of my biggest store being live. I went from zero to £10,000 in sales within that short time, even though I had no experience in how to build a dropshipping business. Once I started making more overnight, whilst I was asleep, than what I would do for the rest of the week working a 9-5 job I knew this is what I wanted to pursue.

3. Most drop shipping gurus out there make newbies feel drop shipping is an overnight success, what’s your take on this?

Dropshipping is a business and it needs to be treated as such. Hopefully I get this across on my Youtube channel because I’m all about building a sustainable business and not promoting some get rich quick scheme. Yes, there is a lot of money to be made with dropshipping but you need to put the work in and understand all the processes if you want to make a success of it.

4. Was there a time in life that you nearly dropped the dropshipping idea and decided to pursue a different venture?

Yeah, my first 5 attempts at this failed. It was my 6th store that finally cracked it but every single day before that I thought about quitting. The only thing that kept me going is that thought that the only way I can fail with this is if I stop.

5. Talking of giving up on drop shipping, what were some of the failed niches or products you tried but never took off?

I tried the typical pet niche stores, I tried a snowboarding store, I tried a vulgar mug store where I did POD mugs with vulgar messages on them, I tried all sorts and they all failed.

6. If you were to start over again today, what would you have done differently in terms of product research, store design, and marketing in general?

I would look at the data of the products I’m thinking of selling to validate them more than I was doing originally. There were so many products that I tried to sell in the past that were never going to work and I wasted a lot of money trying to sell them. Now that I look back, knowing what I know now, I would have never tried those products in the first place.

7. What are some of the myths about dropshipping you had to beat to be where you are today?

That every product will sell, that every product can be scaled to six figures. Only a small number of products ever reach that six figure number. I have had so many products that have been comfortably in the five figure range but I was never able to scale them because they just weren’t true six figure products.

8. How did you find your first Dropshipping niche? Did it fail or worked out?

My first successful store was a general store that I eventually evolved into a themed general store. I narrowed down all my random products to two high level categories, Gadgets & Accessories and that store then blew up and generated over $700,000

9. In most cases, newcomers get stranded between choosing between a niche store and a general store or a one-product store, what’s your take on this?

Each type of store has it’s pro’s and con’s, ultimately it comes down to the product whether your store will be a success, not necessarily the type of store. That being said I do think dropshipping is evolving and one product stores seem to have the highest success rate if done correctly.

10. What are some of the elements you look at when choosing a niche or a product?

Does it have a mass market appeal, does it have a unique appeal and does it solve a problem for the customer.

11. Kindly list niches or products you wouldn’t touch or add to your store, and why?

Anything copyrighted or trademarked so I don’t get sued and anything that is sexual or violent in nature because it’s very hard to get ads approved for those products.

12. As a dropshipper, we face many challenges when it comes to suppliers, what is the worst challenge you’ve ever faced with a supplier?

I was selling some posters a while back and they were doing really well, I was doing around 300 orders a day very early on but what I didn’t realise was that the supplier was sending these paper posters out in bubble wrap and not in a cardboard tube. Probably 60% of my orders had to be replaced because they turned up damaged, it cost me so much money and time but I learnt a very valuable lesson when it comes to checking how suppliers ship their products.

13. What’s the best method of finding a hot selling niche or product you can recommend?

The best free method is just keep your eye open for ads that you get targeted with. I’ve had some great products in the past based on what others have been doing. A paid method would be using something like Sell The Trend to validate products using data on their app.

14. What’s the best way to price a product?

Some say it should be 3x or 4x, what has worked for you when pricing your products? – I always try and price mine at a 3x minimum to cover the ad costs and still make a decent profit.

15. What’s an ideal product page for you? (What should it include or not have for conversion)

It needs to show the benefits of the product and not just the features, it needs to have social proof in the form of positive reviews and it has to have great product photos and even videos with the product in use.

16. Free shipping Vs. Paid Shipping, which one works magic in your case, and why?

Free shipping all the time. Customers are more likely to buy a $25 product with free shipping than they are to buy a $20 product with $5 shipping.

17. Share with us your top 10 must-have apps in your store and their Importance?

Never had or needed that many apps so I’ll skip this question.

18. What are some of the apps people use in the Shopify store, but they are not necessary as per your experience?

Countdown timers are generally outdated now, they can work but I think a lot people know they are fake now.

19. Do you recommend free or paid apps more so when one just started dropshipping?

It all depends on the return on investment, some paid apps will make you more money and end up paying for themselves so they are worth paying for.

20. Refunds hurt business, how do you handle them?

What’s your history with PayPal limitation, chargebacks, and bans? How do you keep your records in check balancing profit and expenses? – I’ll skip this one, too lengthy to talk about.

21. Now that PayPal is likely feared by drop shippers due to their limitation and holding funds, which payment gateway can you recommend for a dropshipper to have configured?

I still use Paypal for my dropshipping stores and never really had an issue. As long as you provide legal documents about your business and can upload tracking numbers there’s no issues.

22. Suppose a supplier tells you he is out of stock, and yet you have orders to fulfill how do you tackle this?

Never had this issue so I’ll skip this question.

23. How do you manage your income from your dropshipping business, do you pay yourself a salary or you chuck out cash?

I’ll skip this one.

24. You talked of running a profitable store and running on losses, when do you term a store profitable? – I don’t understand this question?

It’s profitable when it’s making money?

25. How important is email marketing to you, and has it boosted your business in any way?

Very important, especially when it comes to abandoned carts. If you don’t have an email sequence in the back end to capture lost customers you are leaving so much money on the table.

26. Free vs. Paid advertisement, what’s your take?

Paid all day long, it’s the only way to grow quickly.

27. Which advertisement platforms do you recommend for running Ads?

I use Facebook for the majority of my ads but occasionally try Google ads as well.

28. Before you launch Facebook ads, what’s your checklist?

I don’t have one as such, I just make sure everything is ready for the customers to buy.

29. Video vs. Image Ads? Why?

Both, you just need to test which one works the best when you’re advertising and then focus your budget to that.

30. What scaling methods work for you?

Duplication always works well once you have a few adsets that are profitable. I just duplicate them into a new campaign with a higher budget and go from there.

31. When do you kill or keep an Ad?

When it goes past it’s breakeven point and it’s below my breakeven ROAS.

32. What’s your advice for newbies when it comes to running an effective converting ad?

You need to capture the viewers attention within the first 3 seconds of that ad or they will scroll straight past it. Test different clips at the beginning of your ads to see which works best.

33. What is dropshipping business-like in the US?

Fine? I’m not sure what you mean by this?

34. What are some of the myths about dropshipping you came to learn were not true?

That every product can be scaled to six figures. This just isn’t true and there’s only certain types of products that you can do that with.

35. Did dropshipping business change in your life?

Yes! Mortgage free at 31, financially independent and so many other opportunities have now opened up for me because of it.

36. If you were to choose again, would you prefer to drop ship over 9-5 jobs?

My only regret is that I didn’t start dropshipping sooner. I would never choose a 9-5 over this business.

37. What do you think about the Debutify theme?

Loved it, really clean and simple and all the additional apps are a great addition.

38. What makes a good Shopify theme more so when it comes to dropshipping on Shopify?

Fast loading on mobile, responsive design, additional features like sticky add to carts etc.

39. Where do you see drop shipping in 5 years? Do you see yourself still doing it?

It will evolve for sure and I think a lot of it will be dropshipping from US and EU suppliers, we are already seeing that trend starting now so I believe that’s where it will be going. I will still be dropshipping as long as it still makes me money.

40. What motivated you to start drop shipping?

I needed an extra £200 a month to help me pay my bills and so I could save for a holiday. That was the only reason, extra cash.

41. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ll be focusing on growing my dropshipping business and also my personal brand. I want to reach as many people with my Advanced Dropshipping Academy so I can help them do the same as I have done and I’ll also be trying to diversify even more and expand my business to places I never thought were possible.

42. How can people reach you?

You can reach me through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chriswanedropshipping), Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/c/chriswane) or through the chat on my website (https://www.advanceddropshipping.com)

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