I thought I would reach out to the community with a couple questions regarding establishing a local (or face-to-face) presence with a dropshipping business.
First of all, I’d like to give a little background on my situation. I started a Clothing/Headwear brand using the dropshipping model in July of 2017 (Riverside Cap Co.; riversidecapco.com). Decent sales, decent traffic, but no consistency. Sales will spike and then I’ll go 2 weeks without a sale. Facebook/Insta ads get good engagement, but zero sales attributed to these. I have mainly sold to friends and Instagram followers.
I have operated this all by myself with virtually zero help. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished so far, but I obviously know that a lot of things need to be changed (AdWords, FB ads, etc.) but that can be saved for a later date.
Back to my original inquiry. I would like to know: How does one establish a face-to-face presence when using the dropshipping method? I would love to attend trade shows, sell locally, and get into local retail stores with my products. More specifically, how do I approach people with a product that is dropshipped? Do I just tell them that “yeah, I’m here at this trade show, but pretty much the only thing that I do is the designs. My products are made and shipped by someone else. But you can go online and purchase!”....just doesn’t seem reputable and valid to me if I was a potential customer or buyer.
I use Printful to print and ship my products (except for a couple hats) and I’m fairly satisfied so far with their operation and it has worked out for my store/brand, but I don’t see that as a long term solution for building a brand. My main focus right now is getting people to see my product face to face and I am wondering if anyone has had any experience in this area.
Thanks for the help! Here is the link to my store:
Feel free to offer any suggestions for my online store as well!
I'm involved in a similar type online store (hunting/outdoor lifestyle brand), except we do not currently use the print-on-demand service. I've got some experience with trade shows, apparel screen printing, hat/cap embroidery, etc. I've got a few ideas of how you can prepare yourself for transitioning your products into local retail shops and/or the trade shows. Maybe we can share some details with each other regarding what works/what doesn't. I'll send you an email to the address listed on your Contact page. Get back to me when you can.