There’s a lot of buzz going around with the announcement of the new iPad 3 from Apple! Are you thinking about pre-ordering yours? I definitely am!
By now you’ve probably heard about all of the new features, so I’m not going to be talking about them. (On a side note, I think there are some decent upgrades from Apple’s iPad 2.) Instead, today I want to discuss one of many viable Internet business ideas. Since the boom of accessories for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, many Internet entrepreneurs have been taking advantage of the Internet’s reach to make a lot of money through drop shipping e-commerce websites, centered on Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad accessories.
Why Apple accessories you might ask? Because they’re always in demand and every new product or product version that Apple releases brings droves of people online looking for the latest and greatest accessory. With the announcement of the new iPad 3, I’m sure there are going to be a couple of ‘Apple accessory’ entrepreneurs who join the ranks of other Internet millionaires.
I haven’t personally done this but know a couple of people who do, who are very successful at it. I’ve bought a few domains in the past that would work great for this business model, but that’s about it! It’s still a very good model, but I have elected to prioritize other Internet business ideas. But, who knows, this might be perfect for you.
In a nutshell, what you want to do is find an Apple accessory vendor in your country or abroad that is willing to work with you as a drop shipper. This means that the vendor carries stock of all of the products, fulfills all of your product orders, and with some vendors, they may even handle all customer support, too. Ideally, a vendor should have systems in place that integrate with different e-commerce websites so that when an order is placed on your website, let’s say for a new iPad 3 case, the order is automatically sent to the vendor. Upon receipt of the order, the vendor packages the new iPad 3 case, and ships it to your customer with your company branding.
If a vendor doesn’t have a system that integrates with your website, when a person places an order through you, again let’s say for an iPad 3 case, you would have to manually place the order with your drop shipper. Then, your vendor would take care of all other steps to ensure your customer receives their new iPad 3 case.
Benefits of Drop Shipping Apple Accessories
Drop shipping is a great Internet business idea because you handle only the sales and marketing side of the business. The inventory, back end operations, and fulfillment are managed by your drop shipper. In addition, you keep your initial and ongoing costs low because you don’t have to worry about manufacturing, carrying, or shipping any products. If you want to find out more about drop shipping or find drop shippers, this is a decent directory to start off with: Drop Ship Product Directory.
You make money by marking up a drop shipper’s products. So, if a drop shipper is charging you $1.50 for a new iPad 3 case, then you can charge anything you want on top of that and keep the profit. How high you want to mark up the product is up to you. Because most people spend $20 to $30 on iPad cases, well, you can do the math–you can make some good money doing this.
Some drop shippers are different and may pay you based on percentage of sales. I recommend going with vendors who charge a fixed price and leave the marking up of Apple accessories to you.
Marketing is the Key to Success
There are a lot of people who see the potential of the Apple accessories market, and more and more people are buying into this Internet Business idea (i.e. finding a drop shipper who sells iPod, iPhone, and iPad accessories). If you want to be successful, you will need the right exposure. You might be partnered up with a great drop shipper who provides excellent products and service, but if you can’t drive traffic to your own e-commerce website, or wherever it is online that you’re selling your Apple accessories, well then, you’re not going to last very long in this business.
Here are some tips I’ve learned from my friends who have been succesful with selling different Apple accessories online, using drop shippers.
- Use paid search traffic such as PPC, Facebook Ads, Retargeting, and Display Ads–rather than SEO. SEO is great if you know how to do it, and you have the time to spare. However, with drop shipping, if you can make $15 from selling an iPad case, and pay only $3 to $5 dollars for the sale using PPC, then it makes perfect sense to use PPC. It’s straightforward, traceable, and you can generate traffic to your website immediately.
- Network with popular bloggers who write about Apple products a lot. When you think it’s the right time, ask if they can mention your website in a post with a link to your site. If you can get them to give you a permanent link on their homepage, that’s even better.
- If your profit margins are high enough, you can affiliate with people who have popular Apple product websites that do lots of reviews, and give them a percentage of each sale that they bring in by using affiliate tracking codes. You might talk to a webmaster of a site and tell them you’ll give them 30% of everything you sell through the link on their website. This gives others incentive to work with you and promote your Apple accessories to their website followers.
- Hang out in iPhone, iPad, and other Apple forums. Get involved in conversations and subtly slip your link into a post every now and then. If you’re posting on a high traffic forum, you’ll get a decent amount of people visiting your website. Just make sure you do this sparingly and don’t make it seem like you’re only there to push your website. In fact, you might even want to pretend to be an entirely different person and say something in line with, “Hey, I’ve bought some cool iPad 3 cases from. . .” Then, leave a link to your own website. Yes, a bit shady, but numerous people do it and it works.
Well, hopefully this post sparks some Internet business ideas in your head (and to the power of starting an Apple accessory business online).
Are you in the drop shipping business? Do you sell iPod, iPhone, or iPad cases and accessories? Let me know what you think about the post.