I had a dropshipping store selling stuff via Aliexpress/Oberlo. Made a loss overall, though we're not talking big numbers at all. It was an amazing learning, experience, though. Enough so that I'd like to do it again, and properly this time. Thanks to a pending redundancy, I'm about to find myself with lots of free time, and some money to put behind it.
This time I'd like to do things differently, like only sourcing from local suppliers, removing China from the equation. I'll start off selling only to my own country. Have a good, responsive, paid website theme. Contract someone to create a logo and advertising collateral, etc.
I want to start with dropshipping until/unless the site makes enough to consider purchasing goods wholesale and engaging a 3PL supplier. I don't want to be sitting on $20k of product I can't shift like some Herbalife chump.
I'm cognizant of the fact that the dropshipping industry is riddled with 22-year-old charlatans selling their $500 dropshipping courses and promising get-rich-quick schemes. So I'm not under the impression that it's some path to easy riches. However, people can and do run sustainable businesses.
But I do need a sense check before I invest any time/money into this – am I on a hiding to nothing? Is dropshipping a fool's game?