Isabel: So today we've got Kamil Sattar joining us who is the founder of eCommerce Mentoring and the YouTube channel Ecom King. I'm really excited, he's going to share some of his dropshipping advice, tell us about how he built his stores and give some tips for beginners. Hopefully we're all going to learn a lot. Thank you so much for dedicating some time today Kamil.
Kamil: Thank you Isabel for having me on today. I'm excited to share my wisdom with your subscribers and followers.
Isabel: I think a good way to start, because this is going to be for beginners to dropshipping who may not have a solid understanding of the model, how would you describe the concept of it?
Kamil: Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model. You have your own website and obviously you're going to be selling products, but the products that you're selling you don't have inventory of them. You find a supplier that has the inventory for you. Once you have a sale on your website, then you order it from your supplier. They handle all the logistics, sending it out to the customer, making sure that it gets delivered to their address. You don't handle any of that. Literally all you do is place the order on the suppliers website, the job’s done. That's probably the easiest way to explain it.
Isabel: I think people get intimidated about it, but it's a really simple model when you have got to grips with it. Can you remember when you first heard about dropshipping?
Kamil: Back in 2017 I did some research on Google, I literally typed in ‘the best business models’ or I think it was ‘how to make money online’. An article came up listing 30 different ways. Dropshipping was one of them inside of that article. You have affiliate marketing, there were loads of other ones in there. When I read what sropshipping was it stood out to me a lot more because prior to dropshipping I was doing buying and reselling so it's quite similar, but I just didn't have the stock so I thought it was so similar to what I was doing before it fits me very well, so that's why I chose it.
Isabel: I was going to ask what made you want to start dropshipping and it was because basically it was sort of what you're already doing, but just a lot easier and involved like less money really?
Kamil: Yeah less risk and less cash flow. So it was just very attractive at the time and that's really the reason why I got started with it and didn't look back.
Isabel: So if you hadn't heard of dropshipping before I'm guessing you didn't have much knowledge about it then, did you have to teach yourself about it?
Kamil: Before I heard of dropshipping, like I said was doing buying and reselling all through influencer marketing on Instagram. So I had the influencer marketing knowledge.
I did run a few Facebook ads back then, they were very very small ads. Nothing crazy and I was doing it all through the boost a post so that shows I didn't know what I was doing. But then when I did do dropshipping I had to learn Facebook ads and everything.
But in terms of influencer marketing I was pretty solid with that anyway, so that's really what helped me gain success pretty quick within my journey, which was around about 8 to 12 months. I was able to see some decent results. So that's probably why.
Isabel: When did you first get your business knowledge, was it through education or through experience?
Kamil: In 2015 when I left my job in college I just thought I want to do my own thing. At the time was working at JD Sports, it's like the FootLocker of America and I love shoes, I love fashion, I was very into it and I thought why not do something myself that can basically make me more money?
So that's pretty much the reason why I thought you know what, if I've got all this knowledge, why not make my own business out of it and then make more money from it?
Isabel: Yeah, definitely. You said you quit your job, do you have a day job at the moment, do you juggle the two or do you just focus on dropshipping?
Kamil: No, full-time ecommerce. That's been the case for the last three, sorry, that's been the case for the last four years.
Isabel: So that must be so much more fun than your day job at JD sports.
Kamil: It's amazing because obviously I can choose when to wake up, I can choose when I want to go away for a holiday, as long as I’ve got a good Wi-Fi connection then I can do my business and make very good money for my age. So I can't be more than grateful.
Isabel: Brilliant. For someone watching this that's hearing about dropshipping, just learning about it, what would you tell them is the first step to just take the plunge?
Kamil: For those that are interested and want to get started I think it's important that you teach yourself and you educate yourself about the business platform. Not just the business platform but business in itself.
A lot of people try and do dropshipping and think it's a get-rich-quick scheme, think it's easy, think because you don't need that much money to start it's not a proper business, when it really is a proper business.
So I think it's important that number one people actually educate themselves about what is business. What are the risks involved, how business works, compound interest and then I think it's important that people also look into the business model, understand the concept, understand what goes into making it actually work, because I feel like a lot of people fail because they have no idea how anything works in terms of e-commerce and selling online.
Isabel: How did you actually learn about dropshipping, was it online videos?
Kamil: I had two mentors James and Ashley that taught me all about marketing, all about sales funnels and all that kind of stuff.
In terms of the actual drophipping business knowledge I learned a lot of things from seminars, online videos, a couple of courses and then all that information put together with actually doing it myself came to me now and obviously kept grinding, kept grinding. Kept evolving, kept sharpening my sword and now I'm in a place where I feel like I'm very very good at what I do.
Isabel: Yeah, I agree with you on that point that I think the best way is just to do it. I think some people can spend too much time watching hours of videos, doing courses. Just learn as you go, just do it and you'll learn more.
Kamil: I think the reason why people do that is because it's like a distraction for them not to do it. It's a way of them putting it off so they don't have to actually do it because it's easier to watch it then do it. It's like trying to learn how to ride a bike, you can read a book about it. But until you actually get on the bike and try and do it, you're not going to know how to do it.
Isabel: Hundred percent. In terms of products, it can be quite easy to just go with the trends, the products that are huge right now, do you think it's worth going into a really saturated market?
Kamil: As a beginner I wouldn't recommend testing a saturated product because there's so much competition. There's so much cashflow that needs to go into it to compete with it. So I wouldn't do so.
If you're somebody that knows what you're doing then you can because you can just change the marketing angle and be successful as long as you know what you're doing. But as a beginner, I would try and test something that's new. It doesn't have too many orders and go with it because if you go for something too competitive, it's going to cost you too much money.
Isabel: How did you decide on what products you wanted to sell in the beginning?
Kamil: When I actually started it was all about what I was interested in and it still is today. I won't sell something unless I know what I'm selling, unless I'm passionate about what that industry is.
The first-ever product that was successful for me was an iPhone screen protector and I'm a big tech nerd, I love my tech, so I knew everything about it. So that's the reason why I was successful with that product because I knew my target audience, I knew what would get their attention, I knew what my product was so I knew how to sell it the best.
Isabel: Hmm. That's definitely a common theme amongst people who have been really successful in dropshipping. Everyone says be passionate about it because you'll be better at selling it and you can be motivated to get up in the morning. I think that is key to just selling something that you just don't really care about because you're just not going to care about the business.
Kamil: Yeah, because if that's the case you're forcing yourself to do it. And when you force yourself to do something, you're not going to do it properly.
Isabel: Hmm hundred percent. Do you think there's a way to spot a trend before it's happened?
Kamil: The best way to spot a trend before it happens is by going on social media, see if there's some influencers talking about a certain product.
Look on Google Trends and look at different search terms and see if they're trending. Look who’s selling that product on Google shopping. You don't want too many people selling it where it's just crazy. You want to see glimpses of it and if you can see loads of different people doing it in different spots, then that means it's starting to get a lot of attention and it will eventually blow up.
Isabel: If you've got an idea of what products you want to sell, that's the first step, but then where are you going to get those products from? How are you going to choose reliable suppliers? Because that's really important in the beginning, with customer experience choosing reputable suppliers. What was that like for you? What advice would you give?
Kamil: In terms of finding suppliers that you can trust you need to make sure that number one you contact them and you ask them look have you got the last five tracking numbers for that product so I see what the tracking times like at the moment. Can I see your history?
Normally when you go on suppliers websites, it will tell you their history, the positive feedback, how trustworthy they are. Do some due diligence and Google the company, see if there's anything negative about them and then order a sample product to your house and see how long it takes to see what the experience is like, see what the communication is like. Apart from that there is not much more you can really do unless you get a third party to validate them for you.
Isabel: Mmm. Yeah. How long did it take you to find your winning products?
Kamil: It was about 8 months.
Isabel: Did you have to go through a few not so great products?
Kamil: I think I went through about six or seven products that I just wasted loads of time with and lots of money with because you know when you get attached to a product you don't want to give up on it and I got into that phase which really messed me around.
Isabel: I think especially people that are really entrepreneurial, it's like well no, I don't want to give up, I want to make this product work, I can make it sales. But I suppose their comes a time where you've got to realise look that's not earning me money, I've got to let it go. Was that difficult for you to realise?
Kamil: Yeah at the start when you get attached to something because you feel you know everything about it and you think yes, it's going to do great because if I think it will do great why wouldn't the world? And then you think why give up on it, I need to keep going and then you realise that you've got to detach your emotions to things.
Isabel: Is your company still running at the moment? Is that still what you're doing?
Kamil: Yeah we've got five dropshipping stores running at the moment. We've got a few branded stores as well at the moment and we've got ecommerce brands as well.
Isabel: What plans do you have for the future of your companies?
Kamil: There's one company that I'm really focusing my time, energy and money on at the moment and that's the lingerie company that my partner is working on. We want that to be a big brick and mortar store like Victoria Secrets and become a massive global presence in that industry. So I've put a lot of my time and effort into that.
Also, I want to be able to put myself in the public eye to try and educate people on the whole business model as well. And they’re my goals for the future.
Isabel: Something people struggle with, and it's something you clearly don't struggle with, is motivation. Is there anything that keeps you motivated?
Kamil: Yes. So motivation is always a problem for people and the key is to have a reason bigger than you. Like if the only reason you're doing this is for your own good, then you're going to quit on yourself. So you need to have things like your family, your mom, your dad, your grandkids, your potential kids. So for me, I'm always thinking about my kids. I don't even have kids yet. But what about if they were born? I'm always motivating myself in the morning when I feel lazy and say look Kam you need to get up because your future kids are going to need you to get up so you can give them a good lifestyle. So it's not about you. It's about whoever else is around you and it's important that you do that.
Isabel: Yeah, that's great advice, not just thinking about yourself, but other people. So other people can learn maybe from your past mistakes, what are some errors you've made along the way with dropshipping?
Kamil: So the one mistake I've mentioned already is don't get attached to a product. I would say spend $500 or £350 on a product on Facebook ads. If it doesn't do any good numbers in terms of like five or seven sales a day put it off very quickly because you don't wanna waste too much money too much time on it.
I'd also say don't listen to people around you like mom, your dad, your friends. They're going to be negative. They're going to tell you not to do it. It's natural, just ignore them, stay in your own lane.
Also you need to throw the bad habits out the window, things like going out on the weekends, spending money, going out and spending money on lots of drinks. If you want this to work, give it your all.
The reason why I was able to do some decent numbers quite quickly into my journey was because I gave everything else outside of my other life out of the window. I focused solely on this and I feel like people try and live two different lives, living the ecommerce life and also trying to live a big social life and you can't do that. You have to really make sacrifices for this to work.
I'd also say for people that are watching this, you need to really educate yourself and you need to really teach yourself the lessons you need to be able to do this because this is a business. It's not easy. The marketing is going to be the hardest part of your journey when you do dropshipping by far.
Isabel: Yeah, I think people see on Instagram the cars and all the expensive things people buy with dropshipping and that's an amazing life. But from what you're saying it is quite disciplined, there are rewards if you work hard but the hard work has to come first and the discipline has to come first and I think maybe some people might not realise that.
Kamil: The guys with the rented cars and the rented apartments, don't be fooled by them because honestly most of them don't even make money doing this, they make money selling you a lifestyle. The ones that are not showing off about their lifestyle and the ones that are in the trenches every day are the ones to follow. The ones that are bragging about their lifestyle are the ones you should avoid.
Isabel: It's been amazing to get your perspective on dropshipping and there's been some great nuggets of advice in there especially for beginners. If people want to learn more about dropshipping where can they find you online?
Kamil: Yes, my YouTube channel is one of the biggest ones in the industry, The Ecom King we've got 82 thousand subscribers. You can find me on Instagram @kamilsattarofficial and you can also find me on www.e-commercementoring.com
Isabel: That's great. Thank you for your time, I've learned so much from you today, and people can find you on YouTube and learn loads more if they have more questions. Thanks so much Kamil.
Kamil: Thank you so much Isabel for having me onboard today.
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