Dropshipping: Finding The Perfect Niche

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Finding the perfect niche in dropshipping is as confusing as this photo of a girl standing in front of a blackboard with tons of math equations on it.

There is no perfect niche. There never will be. There is only perfect execution of a niche. Too many people have asked me “Rashad, how do I find the perfect dropshipping niche?” and it just amazes me at how green this question is. It really shows me how little most know about consumer retail psychology. So, the answer to finding the perfect niche?

Shut your laptop.

Go do something else.

If you have to ask this question, then you simply don’t understand how retail works. Any niche is an excellent niche and no niche is saturated for the right people. Yes, all niches are pretty crowded, but 98% of the stores out there are half-hearted attempts at something that resembles dropshipping, minus real drive and experience.

A bored looking office worker with tons of people handing him tasks to do.
I know you want to quit that office job, but before getting into dropshipping and finding that perfect niche–first understand there is no perfect niche. An office job does not teach you retail skills, either.

You’ll find that most successful dropshippers with multiple stores (keyword: MANY) are intrisically motivated by survival. They’re not trying out dropshipping to see if it works. They approach it with an all-in mindset. This mentality endows them with tremendous stamina and patience. But finding the perfect niche goes much further when it comes to fact-based knowledge.

Retail experience is king.

If you don’t have any–you’ll likely fail, I’m just being honest.

There are no number of courses you can take or plugins you can fit into a site that will help you succeed if you don’t have strong retail experience. In addition, retail management experience is a huge bonus. Does that mean you may not get lucky in dropshipping?

There are always exceptions in life.

But odds are 95%+ will fail–which is why dropshipping has such a terrible reputation.

Finding the perfect niche in dropshipping ought to be reworded as finding the right skill set. Again, you need on-the-ground experience. You can’t read or take a course about being a general in Afghanistan. You have to first be a soldier in Afghanistan. You have to deploy and gain experience, then, one day, after numerous promotions, you may be ready for the responsibility of being a general.

Here are some other tips for dropshipping success that will help you find the right attitude instead of finding the perfect niche:

Competition

If competition scares you, stick to whatever it is you were doing before. Don’t waste your time or your supplier’s time. If someone you know copies you or infringes on your idea, deal with it. This is life. This is a competitive world and crying won’t sort it out for you.

A woman sitting and crying in front of her psychologist.
“I can make it all go away, Amy, all your competition. There’s nothing Xanax with a morphine shooter can’t fix.”

You will get a constant stream of new competitors over time and that will never stop. Some of it will be fair competition, some unfair. Accept it and learn to adapt. It isn’t going away.

Flipping

I wish I’d stop hearing this BS about people trying to flip stores. Look. Hardly anyone flips successfully, unless they have a store with a long track record or they got lucky. If you’re in it for the flip, you’ll fail. No, really. We have enough people whining about failing because their dreams of flipping went up in smoke. Even if they could flip, many don’t keep proper tax records and no one will end up buying a business without clean book keeping (and I’m not talking about some ragged-looking excel sheet like I’ve seen most keep).

Technonerds

If you’re the technical type, love plugins, love analyzing data, love moving a margin here and there, love checking out heat maps, and flows, and charts, and numbers–you’ll fail. Why? Because you don’t get that it’s all about consumer retail PSYCHOLOGY and salesmanship first and foremost. Now some technical types are ALSO excellent salesmen (maybe less than 5%)–so I’ll vouch for the exceptions. Some may also get lucky. But try replicating that luck over several stores–not happening. For all the rest–you’ll fail. Don’t take my word for it–just do it and find out.

Replicating

I actually replicate plenty of niches out there, even my own. Heck, why not compete against myself? I have no shame in entering any niche. No niche belongs to me or you. But the issue is those who don’t understand dropshipping retail psychology AND who copy a niche. Not having the skills OR the creativity is a double-whammy that always ends up in failure. I’ve seen it before many times, and I’m sure I’ll keep seeing it. Take the time to learn retail before replicating–if you can’t do that, or don’t have the patience to, you’ll join the horde of failures.

Learn

Find an experienced dropshipper with multiple stores to mentor you. Don’t dive in. Yes, yes, I know how this freedom lifestyle is being touted, but there’s nothing free about it. I have tons of stores and work 7 days a week, even when I’m at the beach. I also sink tons of money into each store–and it’s a continuous process.

Picture of a dog with glasses next to a bunch of books.
“Fooled by my appearance, be not. Fountain of dropship knowledge, I am.” – just make sure he’s got several successful dropshipping stores so you’re not dealing with a one-off.






My mentor explained that you are never done. There is always something you can improve and you’ll never be able to lay back, relax, and watch the money flow. It’ll always be a constant battle for survival. That same mentor copied some of my stores–which only went to prove his point.

Only the strong survive in dropshipping–and there is not a lot of strong out there.

I’ve bought tons of stores. I turned stores around that were sold to me by people who run or create courses on being a successful dropshipper–and who failed at making money with their stores! I mean, really? WTF. However, I’ll credit my retail experience with that. My retail career spanned 20 years up to and including head of sales of a Fortune 100 company. Experience is what makes sh*t happen. Go get some.

For those of you out there with limited retail knowledge and instead with experience in the realm of coding and God knows what irrelevant else–recalibrate your expectations. Take your flow charts, and diagrams, and plugins. Throw them in the garbage. Go work in retail or for someone who runs a MULTITUDE of successful stores. Then at least you’ll know you’re not learning from a one-hit wonder.

A defocused photo of Chiang Mai's night market.
Everyone wants the freedom of travel and work. Most return–why? They are sold a bill of goods packaged as a freedom lifestyle.

Gone are the days when novices could start stores and just–maybe–succeed. Times have changed. Shopify has made it easy to enter (and exit) niches. To stand out from the masses, you’ll need to know your retail stuff inside out.

Again, finding the perfect niche in dropshipping doesn’t exist. Your niche doesn’t matter.

What matters is perfect execution.

Take a hard look at yourself.

Take a real, hard look.

Either you have it–“it” being the retail experience and consumer psychology know-how.

Or you don’t.

There is no in-between.

Don’t be fooled by some course. Don’t try to convince yourself “you got it”.

Nothing replaces experience, especially when you go head-to-head against retail’s best out there.

What is your take on finding a perfect niche? What advice would you give someone trying to flip a store?

 
Additional resources I highly recommend:

shopify

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