What is drop shipping?
Drop shipping is selling on behalf of a manufacturer’s products by building a niche website you run. Ideally, items for sale are high-ticket, ranging from $300 and upwards into the thousands. One biggest advantage of the drop ship method is that one does not have the financial and inventory burden of owning the physical products—manufacturers process and send the product from their warehouses, charging the seller a wholesale price, which could range from about 15-20% margins.
Over the last few years, the Drop Ship Lifestyle course, founded by Anton Kraly, has been the go-to blue print for anyone wishing to start a drop ship business. With a decade of ecommerce experience, Anton provides a lot of value from how to start dropshipping, how to get suppliers, how to optimize one’s website, to best ecommerce marketing practices. In 2017, I purchased the nearly $2,000 online course and participated in two Drop Ship Lifestyle Retreats, the 2017 Playa del Carmen, Mexico Retreat and the 2018 Bali, Indonesia Retreat.
Who is Johnny FD?
Since 2013, Johnny FD, an online entrepreneur, has become the digital nomad movement cult leader who put Chiang Mai, Thailand on the digital nomad map. After spending nearly a decade of experimenting with becoming a professional dive master and Muay Thai boxer, Johnny found himself broke without enough money in his bank account to buy a ticket home to the U.S. Luckily for him, he came across Anton Kraly who shared with him his ecommerce and dropshipping knowledge. Soon after building his first ecommerce store, Johnny started to see results and started to blog about it.
In the past 5 years, Johnny has been very successful in dropshipping and affiliate marketing—making over 6-figures in income— and has been organizing the highly popular annual Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai, bringing together digital nomads to learn from other successful online entreprenuers. In fact, what started as just a handful of foreign travelers attending just a few years ago has now grown to a 400+ person event.
What is Johnny’s Drop Ship Bootcamp?
Starting November 2018, Johnny invited 8 entrepreneurs to join his 8-week dropship boot camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working under his and his business partner, Sebastian’s, direction. In order to be considered, one had to send in a short video explaining why one wanted to join the boot camp and what one was hoping to get out of the experience. There was also a short exercise to see if the applicant could follow directions as well as to gauge how proficient one is in basic technical tasks such as the ability to downsize a .jpeg file to creating a thumbnail with text. The only other requirement is that one be a member of the Drop Ship Lifestyle course ($1,900) and have a burning desire to succeed in ecommerce, as well as being able to make oneself available to attend the boot camp dates. Out of over 200 people showing interest and over 50 actual applicants, I was lucky to be selected second of the 8 this year!
So what’s the financial payout and terms? Each participant is required to make a non-refundable $1,000 deposit as well as agree to sell his/her ecommerce store within a year: 70-30 percent split of the profit from the store sale. To give you an idea, most stores sell for about 27 x, meaning, 27 times the average monthly store profit. On average, a store could sell for $30K-50K, depending on actually monthly profit, the store niche, and the quality of suppliers.
Who are the participants?
This year’s members are quite a diverse group. Most of the participants are from United States, while two people came from Australia. All are male, except one middle-aged woman and the oldest member is a man in his 50s; the youngest in his 20s. Most everyone is familiar with drop shipping and have some experience, but most are not experts and have yet to create, own or operate a successful drop shipping store.
What is the drop ship boot camp like?
As a group, we meet twice weekly—Mondays and Thursdays from 10-2 pm—at a centrally-located Starbucks conference room. For the most part, Johnny leads the sessions ranging from how to choose a niche the first week, how to obtain suppliers, and how to optimize one’s website to convert. Sebastian covers the more technical aspects, including how to set-up shipping options, how to create product pages, and how to set-up and launch one’s Google Product Listing Ad (PLAs).
The other days we meet informally at an open-space cafe, working on our stores. If need be,Johnny and Sebastian are available to assist with specific questions. This arrangement—meeting formally two times a week, while working on our stores the alternate days—has been really productive. We get expert feedback and advice, while the flexible schedule allows us time to call suppliers and put in the hours needed to get the store up and running.
Was it worth it? What did I learn?
More than halfway through the boot camp, for me, I would have to say a resounding, “yes!” I started my own drop ship journey over one and a half years ago, but hadn’t succeeded. Johnny and Sebastian’s boot camp offers me expert advice—they both have created and sold multi-six figure drop shipping ecommerce stores—quickly. I don’t have to go through the hard, long, and arduous pathway; rather, I can speed up my success rate exponentially!
The other great benefit is having a structure which keeps me accountable. Entrepreneurship is inherently lonely and finding the motivation to keep on-track on the day-to-day tasks of building one’s store can be challenging. Not to mention there so many technical, marketing, and sales aspects to learn and to apply to one’s store—working in community of like-minded entrepreneurs has certainly helped overcome this! Johnny’s boot camp, by contrast, forces me to be accountable everyday, whether it be making supplier calls to tweaking my ecommerce site. The supportive community has been a boost to my success.
To be continued…
We’re nearing the end of our boot camp, and it’s been a lot of fun! I”ve generally enjoyed the group dynamics, as well as working directly with both Johnny and Sebastian. There has been so many memorable times together, such as dinner and lunch outings, as well as attending Chiang Mai community events.
Be sure to check in a year from now to see how much money my drop ship store has sold for! I’m looking forward to a big pay out!