Although I am not a big camper (I’m more of a glamper, lol), I understand the earning potential in the camping niche. If camping is a hobby or passion of yours, it is an ideal option to dropship camping gear and create an additional stream of income.
The outdoor gear industry is a billion-dollar industry. There is plenty of room for anyone with a desire to open their own camping gear business to do so.
The dropship model has made it possible for anyone with no previous eCommerce experience to own their own online store. It is low-risk and low-cost to start.
If you were to open an online camping gear store it would require you to buy all of your inventory wholesale.
That means buying the items you want to sell in bulk. The start-up costs could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
This is why many people that want to venture into opening an online store stop before they even start due to the high costs of buying inventory.
The Dropshipping Model
The dropshipping model eliminates those expensive start-up costs. You can sell a larger variety of products without buying them upfront or even shipping them when orders come in.
The dropshipping supplier handles all of the hard work for you. You place their items for sale in your store.
When a customer places an order, you buy the item from your dropshipping supplier. During checkout, you input your customer’s shipping details.
The dropshipping suppliers packages and ships the item to your customer for you. Your profit is the difference in price between what you charged the customer and what the supplier charged you.
Should I Sell General Camping Gear or Specialize?
While you always have the option to open a general camping gear store, it often helps to specialize or choose a sub-niche for your store.
Choosing a sub-niche makes it easier to convert sales as you focus on one specific type of item or items.
For example, you could open a camping gear store that sells camping stoves and other outdoor cooking equipment.
It would then make it easy for you to market to a target audience (campers, hikers, etc.) and brand your business as the outdoor cooking store.
You would have less competition within a sub-niche of the camping niche. Over time, you can build up your brand and with continued marketing, people would remember your store for their outdoor cooking needs.
How Do I Find a Dropshipper?
You can spend time searching for camping gear dropshipping suppliers online. However, it is a time-consuming process.
Some dropshipping suppliers have specific requirements or charge monthly fees and/or fees per item dropshipped.
In order to save yourself time and hassle, you can source all of your camping gear from AliExpress.
AliExpress is a large online retailer that is part of the AliBaba Group. They are made up of merchants primarily based in China as well as other locations around the globe including the U.S.
Many dropshipping store owners source products from AliExpress for many reasons to include:
- No requirements or fees
- No limits on the number of products you can sell
- No limits on profit margins
- Millions of products to choose from
- Wholesale pricing on many items
- ePacket shipping (faster shipping from China to the U.S.)
- Buyer protection system with full money-back guarantee
- U.S. suppliers are available
- Online tracking
- Ships to over 200 countries worldwide
Due to the low pricing on a majority of the items sold on AliExpress, you can determine your own profit margins.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a majority of the merchants on AliExpress are accustomed to dealing with dropshippers. In fact, they welcome it.
You don’t usually have to be concerned about merchants shipping any promotional material in their packages. Even still, you can always notify merchants that you are dropshipping and not to include any pamphlets, flyers, or business cards.
How To Open a Camping Gear Online Store
Now that you are aware of how to source products for your store, it is time to dropship camping gear with your own dropshipping business.
There are plenty of dropshipping eCommerce platforms to choose from. However, in this post, I am going to share the software that I use for my own store.
My Reasoning For Choosing WordPress To Run My Dropshipping Store
I chose to use the WordPress CMS to run my dropshipping business for two major reasons.
Initially, I did open a Shopify store using their 14-day free trial. However, after the trial was over, I still wanted a WordPress solution.
One reason I sought after a WordPress solution for dropshipping was so that I could save money on monthly software fees.
Most third-party eCommerce platforms like Shopify charge a monthly fee, which is fine if you like the service.
Yet, I knew that I could do the same thing using WordPress (and WooCommerce) without spending money on software fees. WordPress and WooCommerce are free to use.
Retain Ownership of My Store
You may be thinking, how can you lose ownership of your store if you create it?
Well, if you use other eCommerce platforms in which you build your store on their platform using their software, you must agree to their terms of service.
Below is a screen capture of part of Shopify’s TOS. In it, they state that they have the authority to close accounts at any time for any reason:
Although it may be a rare occurrence, it has happened to people (you can do research about it.) I did not want my store built on another platform.
Having my store built with WordPress on a web hosting account that I choose gives me 100% ownership of my website.
It is something to strongly consider before opening your own store.
Why I Use the AliDropship Dropshipping Plugin
When I began to research for a WordPress dropshipping plugin, I was fortunate enough to learn about the AliDropship Plugin.
This plugin turns a WordPress website into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business. It is also compatible with WooCommerce.
The plugin is a one-time fee of $89 and does not have any recurring monthly software fees. It includes free lifelong updates and customer support.
I have years of experience with using WordPress so I simply ordered the plugin and began building my store myself.
Order a Custom Dropshipping Store
The great news is that you don’t need any WordPress experience to open your store. AliDropship offers a custom dropshipping store service.
There are three store packages to choose from as well as a Supreme Custom Store. Regardless of which package that you choose, you will be assigned your own personal manager.
This manager will handle all of the details of your store’s buildout. This service can save you a ton of time.
Importing products yourself is a bit of a time-consuming process as you have to edit product titles, descriptions, and sometimes the images.
A custom store buildout includes product importing. They do not bulk import random products either. They do product research to import only the best-selling items in your niche.
What Happens After Your Store is Complete
Having your own dropshipping store is exciting for sure. However, it is important to understand your job as a new dropshipping store owner.
Like any business, sales are made through consistent marketing efforts. It will be up to you to promote your store and the items in it using both free and paid methods.
Social media is definitely a free way to promote your store’s products. Paid advertising can lead to faster and more consistent sales.
Many dropshippers achieve great results by running Facebook ads as well as buying advertising from Instagram influencers within their niche.
My Closing Thoughts On How To Dropship Camping Gear
If you want to dropship camping gear, I feel there is plenty of space for you to do so. This is especially true if you choose a sub-niche within the camping niche (camping stoves, hiking backpacks, tents, etc.)
Dropshipping provides the opportunity for anyone to get into eCommerce. Plenty of people with little to no experience have managed to supplement their incomes and some have replaced their full-time incomes.
Although there are a lot of options for opening your store, you can save on monthly software fees and still have a high-quality store using the WordPress CMS and AliDropship Plugin.
Regardless of how you open your store, I wish you much success in your online business!