Turnkey online business opportunities are everywhere. I have done my share of research on these various services.
Most offer good features. However, there is one major issue that stands out for me:
- Retaining store ownership
Why is this issue so important? Well for many of these custom dropshipping store services, your store will be located on their web servers.
You’re paying a monthly fee to lease their software which means that you do not own the software. If you wanted to move your store elsewhere, it would not be possible.
It also makes it so that these services can close your account at any time for any reason without warning.
Not retaining 100% ownership of my store concerned me which is why I searched for a WordPress dropshipping alternative.
I will explain why this issue is important to consider before buying a turnkey dropship website and the dropship software I chose instead.
Why Retaining Store Ownership is Crucial for Any Dropshipping Business
If you are going to invest hundreds of dollars in buying a turnkey online store with products, you better own 100% of it.
The problem with many of these turnkey eCommerce websites for sale is that a majority of them build your store on their platforms.
For example, you can buy preloaded dropship websites on the Shopify Exchange website.
Keep in mind that if you purchase a turnkey dropship website there, your store must remain on the Shopify servers.
Take a look at a screenshot I took of part of Shopify’s terms of service page:
Imagine spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on an established turnkey website with those terms hanging over your head.
It isn’t a comforting feeling in my opinion. That is what you can expect from most custom dropshipping store services that charge monthly software fees.
The WordPress Dropshipping Alternative I Found
I knew that if I could find a good WordPress dropshipping alternative, I wouldn’t have the worry of another service terminating my account and closing down my store.
During my research, I landed on the Quora.com website where someone mentioned that they were using the AliDropship Plugin.
I went over to the website and was immediately impressed by the plugin’s features. It reminded me of all the features that Shopify and the Oberlo app offered.
Except it is a plugin that works on the WordPress platform which is exactly what I was looking for. WordPress is free to download and install.
What I liked a lot about this plugin is that I was able to retain 100% ownership of my store. The plugin itself has a one-time fee so there are no monthly software fees to pay for.
The plugin has all of the most important features to operate your dropshipping store to include automated inventory/pricing updates, and automated order fulfillment.
Where AliDropship Sources Its Products
As the name suggests, AliDropship sources products from the AliExpress.com website. AliExpress is one of the largest online retailers in the world.
They are made up of merchants primarily based in China. Here are the benefits of using AliExpress as your dropshipping supplier:
- 200,000 exporters
- Over 100 million items
- No entry or participation fees
- No limits on your profit margins
- No limits on the amount of products you sell
- Works with individuals and registered companies
- Free shipping on most items
- Ships to over 200 countries worldwide
- Online shipping tracking
- Wide range of shipping methods
- Buyer protection system with full money back guarantee
How AliDropship’s Turnkey Dropship Website Service Resolves Store Ownership Issues
As mentioned above, I bought the AliDropship plugin which means I am able to build my dropshipping store myself. However, AliDropship also offers a turnkey custom dropshipping creation service.
Regardless of which option is chosen (plugin versus a custom store), you always retain complete ownership of your store.
The reason is that the plugin works exclusively on WordPress and WordPress is free. Another reason is that the plugin has a one-time fee and so does the custom store service.
Once you pay for it, it is yours to keep and entitles you to any future updates and lifelong customer support.
Things to Be Aware of with Other Custom Dropshipping Store Services
If using a third-party dropshipping service is your preference, it will still help to do your own research before investing in a turnkey dropshipping store.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Beware of Cookie Cutter Stores – A “cookie cutter” store is one in which a service may repeatedly replicate the same stores for their customers. For example, if you wanted a pet supply dropship store, they would give you a copy of one that is given to anyone that wants the same niche.
- Find Out What the Software Fees Are – There are some custom dropship services that will give you full ownership of your store. However, they still charge monthly fees to use their software. WooDropship is one such service.
- Who Are the Dropshipping Suppliers? – Some services source from multiple suppliers. If they use multiple suppliers, be sure that their software will properly update inventory and pricing for all products.
- Ease of Use – Surprisingly, I did come across one custom dropship service in which adding new products was a bit of a process. It required duplicating a page and keeping track of products in a spreadsheet.
- Are There More Payment Gateways Offered Besides PayPal? – It is good to have options in terms of credit card processing. I have come across a turnkey service that only offers PayPal as a payment gateway.
Retaining full ownership of your dropshipping store should be taken seriously. Before you spend hundreds on a turnkey dropshipping business, find out if you have monthly software fees.
Monthly fees are a strong indicator that you will be leasing software and therefore will be bound by that service’s terms of service.
AliDropship’s turnkey custom dropship service eliminates the worry of another software service closing your account.
Also, regardless of which custom package that you choose, you will be assigned a personal manager to guide you through your store’s buildout.
If you prefer to use other custom dropship store services, find out about retaining ownership of your store as well as any other recurring store fees you may incur.