An interview with the creator of Drop Ship Formula Simon Vernon by Misi Owete

interview
 

In this video, Simon talks to one our the members of Drop Ship Formula Misi on her podcast. They talk about how Drop Ship Formula got started, what is high-ticket drop shipping and what's inside the program.


Transcript: 

Misi Owete: Today, I've got someone very special with us to the podcast. His name is Simon. Good Morning, Simon.

Simon Vernon: Good morning, Misi. How are you?

Misi Owete: Oh, I'm good. How are you?

Simon Vernon: I am fantastic. Yes, thank you for inviting me to your podcast.

Misi Owete: And thank you very much for accepting to talk to us about dropshipping. Now I've had a lot of people ask me what drop shipping is, a lot of people are aware of Alibaba, [inaudible 2:17], and the other types of drop shipping, not very many are aware of drop shipping the way you do it. So, I thought it would be a good idea to invite you over to talk to us about drop shipping, oh, for starters, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in dropshipping?

Simon Vernon: Yes, well, I started with drop shipping the business model probably about five years ago. But the reason that I got into this business model was that I actually went travelling, I used to work for a corporate company, Dell. I used to be a technical person, the technical lead used to be an implementation of business solutions and things and they got a little bit disillusioned with the whole career rat race kind of thing. And I don't know if it's foolish of me or what, but I decided to quit my career and travel the world. And I did that for about a year and a half and then I came to realize that actually, you know, I needed money to survive this, you know, you can only get so far on goodwill and smiles. So, I started looking at how I could make money online. I know, I previously made money online as a hobby, just with blogs, and Google AdSense and stuff like that when that was big, but I've never actually done any retail.

And so, I started my journey of looking for things to do online, looking how to make money, you know, affiliate marketing, maybe retail arbitrage, I did a little bit of selling cheap products from China and stuff. But through my journey, the best model that I could find that worked for me, at the time, because I still wanted to travel, I still wanted to live abroad, I was living in Southeast Asia at the time was drop shipping. And like you said, specifically, high ticket drop shipping. That gave me the freedom to be able to work from my laptop. I didn't need to hold any inventory. No, I didn't have to have a warehouse or any products. I didn't really need to be at the end of the phone. It was about bringing customers to the website. So, I thought that's fantastic. That suits me and my situation perfectly. So, that's kind of how I got, the short story anyway, Misi, of how I got into dropshipping and what brought me to here today.

Misi Owete: That sounds very interesting, especially in light of the current climate that we're in, the pandemic, people losing their jobs, looking for alternative sources of income. And even locked up because there are a lot of parents that are home, you know, they can’t even go to go look for work, I think. You know, from what you've described is just perfect for a time like this. But just to help our listeners, who've never heard of drop shipping at all, can you tell us what dropshipping means?

Simon Vernon: Sure, essentially, it's a fulfilment model. What I mean by fulfilment is, it's a way to get a purchased product or an item to a customer. Generally speaking, previously, we all used to go out to find the products that we wanted to buy, right, examine them, look at them in-store, maybe compare different retail stores. We'd get in our cars, or we'd walk around high streets and find the products that we wanted, purchase them, and take them home. Whereas drop shipping is a completely different model. As in we are looking for our purchases online and the retail store that we actually purchase from online won’t have any stock. So, an example might be, Misi, that you are selling chandeliers, let's say, right, and I come to your store, and I think oh, this is a nice chandelier. I wonder what else they've got, and I can browse through hundreds and 1000s maybe of chandeliers and I can find the exact product that I want without having to leave my living room, or armchair or I could even be laid in bed who knows right? I can browse your store, look at all these products. I can find the one I want. I can order it and have that delivered straight to my doorstep.

So as from a customer perspective, it has much more convenience and time-saving than traditional shopping, right going out and comparing products. And looking around shops and from a retailer advantage. So, Misi, you are the retailer of a chandelier website, you don't have to have a showroom. And you don't have to have products from all different manufacturers and different brands and different styles and different sizes, you can have a packed store with hundreds maybe of products that people can come and buy. And then when you have a customer, when they make a purchase, you just then go to the supplier that has that and say, okay, I have a customer, please send the item to this address, here's my payment of you know, your trade price, your wholesale price, that you pay your supplier. They will send it direct to the customer and you would keep as the retailer, you would keep the difference the profit from the retail price to the trade price. So, drop shipping really is just a fulfilment model. It's the fact that you just drop an order on the supplier, and they will ship it, you don't have to hold any inventory if that makes sense?

Misi Owete: That makes, I mean, that makes perfect sense. But I suppose the question that a lot of people would have is how does your module differ from the other types of, you know, drop shipping, things like maybe fulfilment by Amazon, and the AliExpress, Alibaba model? 

Simon Vernon: Yes, as you say, I don't do, when I say I have a program called dropship formula, which is a UK based program, and we target higher-priced products. So, the term is known as high ticket, I think that's more of an American phrase that's come into the sphere of drop shipping. But I target or we target high priced products, high ticket products, and the fact being that, okay, you can still sell, you know, AliExpress and cheap products from China. You know, not all products from China are poor quality. But the delivery times are long, you know, you might be looking at 10, 7, 10, 20, even more days to get an item delivered from China. So that's why I didn't when I was looking at different business models for me to make money online. That's why I didn't like that business model, the delivery times, a lot of times poor quality because there's not a great deal of quality control with items coming from China or damages.

You know, and if you're trying to get a return, trying to return something to China, that's extremely difficult. And they say if FBA or the fulfilled by Amazon is another model, but that model would need some capital investment to start because you would have to source the products most of the time from China, right. You would need a capital investment of some cash to get some products, have your brand put on them, get them shipped to Amazon. Amazon would hold them and then sell them on their platform can be a great model, but it needs capital. And it's, you know that there's a lot of stories of Amazon changing rules here, there, and everywhere, you're in the hands of the Amazon Gods really, they can change their ways of working at the flick of a switch, and it can have a devastating effect on you. So, I didn't want to put my business in the hands of a third party. So that's why I didn't choose Amazon or trying to sell on eBay.

Another popular model is arbitrage, retail arbitrage where you would scour through online stores you know as a customer and try and find cheap deals and buy those cheap deals for yourself and then you could send them out to your customers from your location and make a tiny bit of profit. Or you could just send them direct to your customer and really annoy your customers. So that's why I didn't like retail arbitrage and the high ticket drop shipping was the one that really got my focus because it's using local UK suppliers. Okay, some of these products might be made in China, but it had been quality controlled as much more stringent rules about the imports of products and if they don't meet our laws and our standards, then they won't be sold right. There is more control over the quality, their high price, which means less sales as in frequency. 

If you think about it, if you're selling little trinket bracelets, or small objects, you know that are 5, 10 pounds in a day you might have make 100 or 200, maybe even more, I've seen people making, you know, three, four or 500 sales per day to generate a decent amount of revenue, to make a profit and cover your advertising. But with high ticket, high priced products from one sale, you know you could be generating, lowest I recommend is 300 pounds, and then anything up to 5, 7, 800, even 1000 pounds per sale. And the amount of profit in that sale and the amount of work that you have to do yourself to process that one single order just made a complete more sense than doing either retail arbitrage or doing the AliExpress, Alibaba kind of stuff and having to process hundreds of orders per day, having to communicate with hundreds of customers, having to answer questions from lots of different customers that may or may not have received their product or it might be faulty, or it might be bad quality, that just made a complete more sense, it was this same amount of work or less work, but for the same amount of money in profit.

And then it's something also that is much more scalable. When I mean scalable is you can grow this into a real business and have an asset at the end of it. That if you want you could keep, and it will take care of you in future years, or it could be sold, could be sold on for a profit. And I've sold multiple high tickets stores, my drop shipping stores because I wanted to get back into teaching something, I didn't tell you a lot in my backstory is before I got into as a tech role with Dell, I was actually a tutor. I used to teach clinicians, doctors, or lots of NHS staff, that kind of thing, I.T skills, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, all those kind of things. So, I came from a background of having education and passing skills on and knowledge to other people. And although I enjoyed the building of these businesses, it didn't fulfil me as much as what I'm doing now and that's running a training program, selling my knowledge of how to move forward with high ticket drop shipping.

Misi Owete: This is amazing. One of the things I've been able to pick out of what you've just said is the advantage of high ticket drop shipping, compared to the others, is one there’s control over the quality of the products, there’s the delivery issue, you can deliver a lot quicker than if you're bringing it in from China, returns are a lot easier. It's not so capital intensive and you're in control, you're in control of your own business. And also, the fact that you do less work, I like the idea of doing less for more, you know, I think it's all about working smarter, not harder. And also, the fact that it's scalable and it can be an asset, you know, it's a business that becomes an asset that you can sell, or even, you know, if you even decide to hold on to it, it becomes a proper business. It's no longer as I would call it a site pursuit. I mean, this is really good. And to be honest, it's the reason why I got involved in drop shipping as well.

I just like the idea that if I'm going to offer service to people, it's good quality service, not just because everybody else is doing it. And I do know that drop shipping in the UK is a new concept. When I first got involved in drop shipping, I got involved in a similar concept but American based and it was just so difficult to do. But doing it in the UK, I think is a really, really, really good idea. And Simon will you talk to us about the fact that you wrote a drop shipping formula, you created. I would like you to talk to my listeners about this because I want as many of them who want an alternative source of income because I have a lot of people talking to me about drop shipping formula, how can I get involved? And I tell them what I know but you're the expert. You’ve been doing this for years, doing it successfully. So, businesses, you know, that you have created using this model, so I'd like to talk about drop shipping formula, and how my listeners can get access, you know to your program?

Simon Vernon: Yes, I'll just touch on a point you made there Misi about American courses and American programs. Yes, the UK is behind America, when it comes to this business model, especially high ticket in the USA, high ticket drop shipping has been a thing for a good five, maybe six years. And that's how actually how I first got started, I enrolled on an American course. Some of you listeners may have, you may have heard of it, maybe where you came from originally, which is drop ship lifestyle and it’s on cray list course. I started with that journey within the USA, I started trying to make the USA courses work in the UK. And I found it extremely difficult. They said, their formula or their criteria is US-based. So, it doesn't really map to how we do things in the UK, we shop a little bit differently, we're not as aggressive when it comes to marketing and sales. We have different laws, as well as what the US has.

So that's essentially how I first started with my journey through learning drop shipping, but I had to figure a lot of it out myself. And through that journey, I actually became a coach for Anton Crowley and dropship lifestyle, I coached a lot of his students for about a year, or just over a year. And in that time, I got a lot of UK students that were struggling. And I was trying to coach them, you know, half an hour, once a week, or maybe an hour a week, which is extremely difficult. And it was actually another student that said to me, Simon, you should make your own program for this in the UK, you know, you're ahead of the curve, you figured out a lot of the issues that we're trying to figure out, you've got the answers that we want, you'd be better off putting this into your own program. And so, I did, I made the choice to do that, I decided to create drop ship formula. Drop ship formula was created, it's been going nearly two years now.

You won't find that much on the internet about it because I only released it to the public in January of this year 2020. The reason being was I wanted to test it, I wanted to make sure that what I thought I had in my head and the ideas that I had and the formula. That's why I called it drop ship formula, what my formula would work. So, I took a small group of students around 10, 15 people, and I taught them, we did a lot of coaching evening calls, they helped me develop a program. So, for about a year, the course was in development until January when it was released. And now it is starting to gain momentum, as you know of being a member. We have quite a good amount of members, and it continues to grow, and it will continue to grow. My program is an online program. It's accessible 24/7, and the methods that it's delivered are online lessons.

So, it's video lessons where I break down the concepts, I break down the theory behind a lot of the subject matter first, because I think it's important to have an understanding of how things work and why you're doing things. Which is something I noticed that a lot of courses and a lot of trainers don't do is they don't break down the theory and people follow step by step and then get to the point and think actually, why have I done that? What does that actually do, I don't understand the effects that, that change has made. So, I've invested quite a lot of time in breaking down subjects and breaking down the theory of lessons. And then showing people so I do screen recordings. So, it's kind of you get an opportunity to look over my shoulder and I build a store as an example, chandeliers that's why I mentioned earlier, is the example I use in the video lessons. 

You get to see me build a chandelier store. I'm not sure how many people go out and build their own chandelier stores and copy exactly my idea. But I also give you, you know, the skills, the criteria, everything about selecting your niche of looking at what products, looking at what makes a good product to sell, what products you want to stay away from price criteria, you know, demographics, all this stuff I have right at the beginning. So, I take people from zero knowledge, not knowing anything, you don't have to have any experience with drop shipping, it probably helps actually because if you've got experience with AliExpress, Alibaba and Facebook ads, you know that knowledge is counterintuitive to what we're doing. We're doing things the opposite way around. We're not using Facebook ads. We're using Google ads and direct traffic.

So, I take people from no knowledge, not knowing what product to sell, not knowing what niche to enter, to picking that niche, building their site, contacting suppliers. Now that's a big one, that’s something that people for some reason have quite a bit of anxiety around it and I can understand why. You know, I was to say, the first-time cold calling suppliers, not really knowing what you were talking about and being anxious that you might get asked questions that you don't know the answers to. But I put everything, all of my knowledge, and all of the knowledge that is shared by other people from the b2b program to students that I've worked with, in the past, when I coached. I put all of that into the lessons for dropship formula so that you would have everything you needed to be able to go out and contact high-quality product suppliers in the UK and sign them up and get them on board. So, you are an Authorized Retailer of their products, get those on your site, and then push traffic towards it. And that's the big part, you know, pushing traffic.

In my program, we don't use Facebook ads, Facebook ads is not a great way to sell high ticket products. If you think about it, most people on Facebook are just there to see what their friends and family are doing, maybe look at some videos or jokes or whatever, right catch up on a little bit of things they're interested in. They're not really there to buy products. So that's the difficulty with this AliExpress, Alibaba overload type stuff is you've got to interrupt people, you've got to stop them from browsing and get them to look at your products. And then you've got to make them think that they want your product. So, with high ticket drop shipping, we don't do that. We target people that are actively looking for products. So, if I'm looking to buy a chandelier, and I go to Google, and I type in, you know, buy glass chandelier with eight candles, you can, Misi, let's say the example you've got to still you can have your advertising show up when I search for that specific search, and I've got buying intent, I'm actually looking to purchase.

You're not interrupting me in any way, you're not interrupting my leisure time, I'm they actively searching to buy a product. So, you can say, there you go, Simon, I've got this product come and look at my retail store. And when I do when I click that ad, I get straight on your product page and all the information is there. Hopefully, I'm going to trust you, as a retailer, I'm going to look at your site and think yes, this looks nice and professional. You know, and if you follow drop ship formula it will do because I have a template in there, a free theme, that put everything in there for conversion optimization for high tickets, and you will make that purchase. And then you know, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and scale. And that's, you know, just spending more on advertising getting more customers in. Google is a fantastic machine where you can do that. Right? If you can imagine, imagine having a piece of software where you can put 10 pounds in and get 100 back, or you put 50 pounds in and get 500, you put 1000 in, right and get 10,000 back.

It's once you get it going and once you get direct in the traffic to exactly where you want it, to people that are looking to buy that have buyer intent, it really can be done that simply. It takes time, it takes learning, it takes, you know, determination and overcoming obstacles, but it really is and if people are interested, if your listeners are interested, the best thing to do is go to dropshipformula.com at UK slash masterclass. And I have there is a prerecorded masterclass, but I will break down in more detail than what I've just said just now. I will break down those concepts for you. I've got my five key principles to high ticket drop shipping in that presentation. And I've also got more information on my program as well for anyone that's interested.

Misi Owete: Yes, I mean, I've seen it and I think it's amazing. It's really amazing and I suppose the next question people would ask is how easy it is to, you know, start a store using the dropship formula. 

Simon Vernon: I would say it's very easy. The software nowadays, and I do recommend using Shopify. Shopify is a great platform. It was around long before AliExpress or below type this model. It's a very effective way to create your own website and because it has an app store, you don't need to know any programming, coding, or anything like that. You can add in extra functionality and that functionality will get you to the point where you can actually compete against larger retailers. So, you could easily add in a piece of software that will send out remarketing emails. So, emails to people that may have abandoned checkout and not purchased. And the fact that you can do that without having to know any programming languages or having to hire somebody is the true fact the reason why I recommend Shopify.

I've tried other platforms, you know, self-hosted WooCommerce, with WordPress, et cetera. But you're constantly doing updates, constantly breaking parts of your website when WordPress has an update, or the theme has an update. And it just wastes so much of your time. The convenience of Shopify plus the ability to be able to expand it is why we choose that and if following dropship formula, you will have a professional-looking website because I have a theme that I have coded myself with all the optimizations, there's plenty of great themes out there, as you probably know Misi. You know, you can buy these themes out of the sandbox to probably one of the biggest popular ones. But it's created for a generic audience, it's not created for a specific use. So, it has lots of features. But a lot of those features are useless in high ticket drop shipping. So that's why I created my own, so you can install that theme, follow along over through the lessons over the shoulder and have a professional, trustworthy. That's probably the most important thing.

If you think about what I said previously, is when I land on your website, let's say for example, I make an instant decision, you probably think about this yourself and your listeners have think about this is when you go to a website to purchase something consciously or unconsciously, you're judging that website on its appearance, and trustworthiness, you're thinking, well, you know, if they have misspellings if they can't have menus that don't look correct, or they've got dead links, do these people really care about their business? Am I going to get my product on time? Is it going to be of good quality? Is it going to arrive damaged? All these things you very quickly make an assessment on. So, having a professional trustworthy website goes a long way to seal in that sale, and has the least resistance people will think, yes, beautiful website, trustworthy, it's got all the right signs, it's got reviews, et cetera. And make that purchase from you.

Misi Owete: Very interesting and I can attest to that because when people have been on my website, and I use your theme.

Simon Vernon: Yes

Misi Owete: They ask me who builds my website for me? And when I say something like, oh, I did it myself. They’re like, no, you use a [inaudible 29:41]. I’m like, no, I use a theme. Which is part of the program that I run, so I can attest to the fact that yes, it's an amazing thing. And it makes your website look really, really professional, as well and the other question I suppose people would ask is, if they already have a store, an online store? How can they migrate that store to dropship formula, or will you have to start all over again?

Simon Vernon: If you already have a store. No matter, if we're talking on Shopify or some other platform it’s probably better to leave it where it is and start fresh. There'll be certain things that you will pick up through my lessons that you may not have picked up. And you might have to like undo certain things, or I just think it would be a lot straightforward and a lot more simple. You wouldn't miss out on anything if you were to start fresh. I mean, Shopify give you two weeks on a free trial. You know, so you've got that two-week period to start again, from scratch. If you had a high ticket drop shipping store already on Shopify, you could easily just install my theme. So, if it was something that you'd already started, the theme could go over the top, and you would just have to configure the theme. But I think personally, I would recommend starting afresh.

Misi Owete: Yes, that's true, I suppose. The other question also is, how much does it cost?

Simon Vernon: My program?

Misi Owete: Yes 

Simon Vernon: My programs price currently is 5 9 7, so 600 pounds.

Misi Owete: Wow, that is cheap.

Simon Vernon: It is, and I know it's cheap. And I have lots of comments, people saying that it's very cheap. It is priced at that for a reason because it's quite new. I want to get it out there. Get people on there, get it proven. And as you can see, if you go to the homepage of my site, there's reviews there. I have review video now, so it will increase. I'm guessing this podcast will go live straight away or within the next day or so. So, we're currently August, what is it August? The 19th?

Misi Owete: 19th  

Simon Vernon: Yes, so I would imagine within the next four to six weeks, the price will be going up. The price of the program will go up, price of the coaching, individual coaching that I do as well, because that's something extra that I offer. Outside of the program is, you know, I'm also available as a coach, they'll not just, you know, buy my program, and you're left to it. We have other the ways of support, members-only group, and we also have a Facebook Live, which is tonight. I don't know if you're going to join us, Misi tonight.

Misi Owete: I hope to be able to.

Simon Vernon: Yes, so there'll be the Facebook live tonight. Every two weeks on a Wednesday, I'll still do that. But yes, the price will be going up from 597, yes.

Misi Owete: Yes, that was the other question I was going to ask was is there any support, of course, I know there is support, but just for the sake of the listeners and you've answered that question. And the other question that I get is what products can I do? I know the answer to this, but this is for the sake of the listener, what products can I look to send in if I decide to go for drop shipping formula?

Simon Vernon: I would never tell anyone which products to sell, to be honest. I will never pick a niche for somebody that is a business decision that individual has to make, what I will do is guide them towards that decision. So, in module one, that's all about niche selection, right? So, you would have a certain criteria to follow, that will help you get rid of bad ideas, what things are not good to sell. And at the end of it, you'll probably have four or five maybe, maybe even less. And at the end of the day, it's a decision you have to make. I know this simplifies things, Misi but I generally say look, with high ticket drop shipping it's all about demand that’s important, right? It's not looking for products that no one is selling, it's not looking for products that may be on the verge of being on the rise. It's looking for products that sell everyday products. Right and there's products that I would never dream of selling myself that I know other people have done. 

An example I always give is I've got a husband-and-wife friends that are from Australia, I met them when I was travelling in Southeast Asia, and they sell mirrors. I personally would never sell mirrors because of the fragility of it, right? I know that they'll be aftercare support requirements, there's going to be breakages, 100%, there'll be breakages of a mirror when it's delivered might not be every single one, it might be as low as 5%. But it's going to be there, and it was a choice that I wanted something where I could travel around and not have to be on the phone, right. But they make it work, they make itself. And I also give another example of two people with the exact same niche when I was coaching for drop ship lifestyle. They have the exact same niche, one of them went on and did really, really well with it and is actually a coach now. The other one came against hurdles and gave up, you know, within two months of starting said it couldn't be done. So, it's not always down to the niche. A lot of it is down to the individual.

There's an element of tenacity, there's an element of being able to overcome problems and obstacles that come in your way. So everyday products is probably the answer to your question. But we don't encourage talking about our niche and the reason being is there are some, I'm not saying pointing any fingers, but there are people that are lazy, and they don't want to go through the process because it is a process of selecting your niche. And they'll just copy the first person that they know has already got a site up and running. So, we don't generally talk about our individual niches. But you know, the answer to the question is, is everyday products, things that you might see and utilize every day. Right, a bed, sofa, chest of draws, right? All those kind of things are high ticket products that could be drop-shipped.

Misi Owete: Fantastic. I mean, this has really been amazing.

Drop Ship Formula is the only training program of its kind that not only shows you exactly how to create and market your high-ticket dropshipping business here in the UK, but how to get it and your niche products in front of buyer ready customers from day one.

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