If you are in the market for a turnkey online store with products from AliExpress, then there are many services online that you can choose to build your store. I have done a bit of research for turnkey online business opportunities myself and have learned what is offered. This led me to create this turnkey dropship business buyer guide to compile what options are available.
Buying preloaded dropship websites can save a lot of time but it helps to be sure you understand what exactly you are buying. There are things to consider like what type of software each service uses to build your store? Are there ongoing fees? Is there training available? Support? What about store ownership? I’ll tackle these questions as we go along.
What is a Turnkey Dropship Business?
I won’t go into detail about how dropshipping works as you are likely already familiar with that. You are probably also already familiar with the time it takes to build a store yourself.
Although many of the dropshipping software that is available today makes creating your own store super easy, it is still time-consuming.
Here are some of the things you’d have to do if you were to do it yourself:
- Customize your store (colors, text)
- Create supporting graphics (logos, banners, etc.)
- Import products
- Edit product images
- Edit product descriptions
- Set up your payment gateway
- Create social media accounts
- Do initial SEO
A turnkey dropship store creation service handles all of that work for you. Once you receive your store, all you have to do is begin marketing your store and making sales.
6 Things to Consider Before Buying Your Turnkey Store
Now, before you run off and go buy a custom-made dropshipping store, I want to share some things that you need to be aware of.
These are all things that I came across as I explored various services and what they had to offer. Some were better than others but many operated in a similar manner.
1. Is it a Cookie Cutter Store?
This is something to really pay attention to and one of the red flags is a quick turn around time. Some services say they will build you a custom store, yet they deliver your store within 48 hours.
A “cookie cutter” store is simply one that is provided to everyone that orders it. Let’s say you ordered a store in the dog niche which sells dog toys, collars, etc.
The same store that is provided to you is the same one that will be provided to anyone else. The only difference may be the products that are imported into your store.
2. What Software Platform is it Using?
It is also important to find out what software your store will be using. Is it a SaaS (software as a service) company such as Shopify or an open source platform such as WordPress?
Let’s say for example that the service builds stores using Shopify. While Shopify is a great eCommerce platform, there are some things to be aware of.
You will have a monthly store fee, a fee to use a dropshipping app such as Oberlo, as well as other app fees that you may want or need for your store.
3. Are There Any Recurring Monthly Fees?
It is a good idea to find out if there are any ongoing monthly fees that you will have to pay once your store is complete. For some services, there are recurring software fees.
Below is a screen capture of a list of expenses for a Shopify dropshipping store that was listed for sale:
As you can see, this particular store owner had an extra $120 in expenses on top of their monthly Shopify store fee.
4. Do You Retain Complete Ownership of Your Store?
It is logical to think that once you have your store, it is 100% yours. However, that is not the case if you are using a software-as-a-service company.
Using Shopify again as an example, below is a screen capture of part of their terms of service that you agree to when you create an account with them:
Take note of it saying that your account or the service itself can be closed anytime for any reason. That essentially means that you do not have full ownership of your store.
You pay a monthly fee to lease the shopping cart software. You cannot download your store and move it elsewhere as the software does not belong to you.
This isn’t the case if you were to use WordPress for your dropshipping store. I’m referring to WordPress.org where you can download and install the software to your web hosting.
Also, most web hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installation so you have nothing to worry about in terms of getting it installed.
Using open source software like WordPress for your dropshipping store only requires a dropshipping plugin such as the AliDropship plugin (which we also use.)
That means we always retain 100% ownership of our store. There are no worries of our store being closed down. If we want to move our store from one web host to another, we can.
It is a matter of downloading the files and the database and making the switch. That is the freedom that you have when you retain full ownership of your store.
5. Does it Use More Than One Payment Gateway?
I have come across one custom dropshipping store service in which they only used PayPal as the payment gateway.
If you want to use a different credit card processor, be sure to ask what payment gateways are compatible with your store.
6. Does it Include Free Updates and Ongoing Support?
This was another important issue I came across with one dropshipping software provider. The software included updates and support but only for 6 months. Then you could pay a fee to extend support.
You may not think about support when shopping around but it really is an important factor to consider. If you run into any issues, you will definitely wish that you had that support.
Custom Turnkey Websites for Sale with Full Ownership, No Recurring Software Fees, and Free Lifelong Support
In my quest for finding dropshipping software for WordPress, I stumbled upon AliDropship.
I ordered the plugin and installed my store myself as I have been building my own websites for years. However, they also have a custom turnkey dropshipping store service.
What makes AliDropship’s custom stores stand out is that they are built on WordPress. That means that you always retain full ownership of your store.
Not only that, you are assigned a personal manager that will guide you through the entire process as your store is being built.
Other AliDropship custom store features include:
- Choosing a trendy in-demand niche
- Choosing and registering a domain name related to your niche
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis
- Custom design (logo and supporting graphics)
- Ensuring your store is mobile device ready
- Importing products with track records of sales
- Google Analytics installation
- Installing payment gateways
- On-site SEO
- Social media accounts creation
Regardless of which plan that you choose, it is only a one-time fee with zero recurring software fees. You can import an unlimited amount of products and have an unlimited amount of orders automatically fulfilled.
What is also important to keep in mind is that you also receive free lifelong software upgrades and customer support.
The AliDropship blog is also full of free and actionable information for store owners to follow and learn how to market their store and make sales.
There are various custom dropshipping store services that you can order a store from. To recap, before ordering be sure to ask about:
- Duplicate stores (cookie cutter stores)
- The software platform being used
- Recurring software fees if any
- Store ownership
- Payment gateways available
- Updates and ongoing support