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HOT TOPIC Can Shopify rip me off?

Real Deal Denver

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I have an idea that will work. But I want to automate it by ordering through Shopify and then drop shipping it. I don't want to touch or see the product.

I'm thinking one of two things. First, if this goes as planned, it will be on auto-pilot, and it will be one of my baby business ventures that I don't have to tend to - which is my plan. Or - it could take off and Shopify could siphon the orders away from me. How would I know? Since I don't have the orders coming through me, and then I submit them to Shopify, I could set myself up to be a sucker that gets robbed blind.

I don't have experience in this yet, so I am throwing this out there for any ideas of how to protect myself from being ripped off, or just tell me I'm crazy and my worries are all unfounded...

Thanks for any and all feedback ~
 

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Joaquim

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The only business of Shopify is selling their platform, nothing else.

Your plan should work perfectly.
 

Scot

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Plus 1 to what @Joaquim said.

Shopify is in the business of building an ecommerce platform for other businesses to use.

If they started ripping off their customers, do you think their clients would continue to use them?
 
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Real Deal Denver

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I like the responses, but let me make things more clear, just to be sure that I am understanding everything correctly.

I build an infrastructure of funnels, etc. selling candles. I want this to be totally automated. I want my customers to find my websites, and eventually be led to my Shopify ordering page. There they will place an order for a candle, and it will automatically to to Candles USA, which will ship the candle out.

Throughout this entire process, I will not be involved in handling an order in any way. And I'm sure not going to be shipping anything. My goal is to not do anything.

So, since I'm "out of the picture" so much, my worry is that Shopify could accept the orders somehow without me knowing about it, and "hijack" my sales. Since the order process goes through them, could they short circuit the process somehow and cut me out of the picture? I would be using the manufacturer/merchant that is already approved and set up with the Shopify system.

Maybe that makes things a bit more clear. Do I have anything to worry about?
 

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I like the responses, but let me make things more clear, just to be sure that I am understanding everything correctly.

I build an infrastructure of funnels, etc. selling candles. I want this to be totally automated. I want my customers to find my websites, and eventually be led to my Shopify ordering page. There they will place an order for a candle, and it will automatically to to Candles USA, which will ship the candle out.

Throughout this entire process, I will not be involved in handling an order in any way. And I'm sure not going to be shipping anything. My goal is to not do anything.

So, since I'm "out of the picture" so much, my worry is that Shopify could accept the orders somehow without me knowing about it, and "hijack" my sales. Since the order process goes through them, could they short circuit the process somehow and cut me out of the picture? I would be using the manufacturer/merchant that is already approved and set up with the Shopify system.

Maybe that makes things a bit more clear. Do I have anything to worry about?
No.

Competitors? Yes.

Shopify? No.
 

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I like the responses, but let me make things more clear, just to be sure that I am understanding everything correctly.

I build an infrastructure of funnels, etc. selling candles. I want this to be totally automated. I want my customers to find my websites, and eventually be led to my Shopify ordering page. There they will place an order for a candle, and it will automatically to to Candles USA, which will ship the candle out.

Throughout this entire process, I will not be involved in handling an order in any way. And I'm sure not going to be shipping anything. My goal is to not do anything.

So, since I'm "out of the picture" so much, my worry is that Shopify could accept the orders somehow without me knowing about it, and "hijack" my sales. Since the order process goes through them, could they short circuit the process somehow and cut me out of the picture? I would be using the manufacturer/merchant that is already approved and set up with the Shopify system.

Maybe that makes things a bit more clear. Do I have anything to worry about?
I'm pretty sure thousands of stores already do this. They just run an app on the backend that talks to whatever system you supplier has and automatically forwards the orders.

But seriously, do you think a company trader on the NASDAQ is going to siphon a few bucks from you? Your store isn't even going to be noticed. What are they going to do, find a different candle supplier and divert sales to make hundreds of dollars a month?

What worries me more is that you want to be "out of the picture". That's not going to help grow your store.
 

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JordanS

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What you're describing is how the majority of shopify stores work. Everyone either dropships or using fulfillment centers. You will have competitors who will try to copy your successful products, but that will happy with anything, it's not shopify specific.
 
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Real Deal Denver

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What worries me more is that you want to be "out of the picture". That's not going to help grow your store.
It's not candles, but let's say it is. Designer candles. My plan is to launch these with a lot of fanfare, and then - like crops - let em grow. I don't know what I can do day to day to help sales along. I'm going for selling 300K of these and making $3 each. This is "one is a series" of products, that I hope to have similar results with.

Of course, I fully realize that I may be missing the boat completely. If that is the case, any details would be appreciated on what I should be doing differently.

You will have competitors who will try to copy your successful products, but that will happy with anything, it's not shopify specific.
Like I said, they are not candles, but if they were, imagine they would be diamond shaped candles in different colors that are covered with sparkly glitter. Nobody has these types of candles. So, I'm not worried about competition. I just want to sell my X amount, and be done with it. If the business is even around five years from now, I won't care. I'm going for the "hit song" on the radio - make my money now, and let it run its course. I know my "song" has a market life and will fade away. I want to maximize that market in a very short time - say, 4-5 months. After that, it will slow to a trickle, or a steady pace, maybe.

Put another way, I'm going for the infomercial type of bang. They launch a product on TV - it sells like crazy for a few months, and then it fades away. I'm looking for similar results. Will it happen? I don't know. But I don't want the "grow a garden" type of business that is going to take a lot of work and grow slowly over time. I want flash in the pan results. If my product is done right, by the time the competitors get in the picture, I will have captured over half of the market. Anyway - that's the plan ~

Simple. Short. Effective. I hope ~
 

Scot

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It's not candles, but let's say it is. Designer candles. My plan is to launch these with a lot of fanfare, and then - like crops - let em grow. I don't know what I can do day to day to help sales along. I'm going for selling 300K of these and making $3 each. This is "one is a series" of products, that I hope to have similar results with.

Of course, I fully realize that I may be missing the boat completely. If that is the case, any details would be appreciated on what I should be doing differently.



Like I said, they are not candles, but if they were, imagine they would be diamond shaped candles in different colors that are covered with sparkly glitter. Nobody has these types of candles. So, I'm not worried about competition. I just want to sell my X amount, and be done with it. If the business is even around five years from now, I won't care. I'm going for the "hit song" on the radio - make my money now, and let it run its course. I know my "song" has a market life and will fade away. I want to maximize that market in a very short time - say, 4-5 months. After that, it will slow to a trickle, or a steady pace, maybe.

Put another way, I'm going for the infomercial type of bang. They launch a product on TV - it sells like crazy for a few months, and then it fades away. I'm looking for similar results. Will it happen? I don't know. But I don't want the "grow a garden" type of business that is going to take a lot of work and grow slowly over time. I want flash in the pan results. If my product is done right, by the time the competitors get in the picture, I will have captured over half of the market. Anyway - that's the plan ~

Simple. Short. Effective. I hope ~

I’ll be that guy. Have you ever sold a product before?

Because that’s now how this works.

You don’t just launch a product with lots a fanfair to huge opening numbers in a month and then let it trickle off and die.

You open with a decent “that wasn’t bad” and you grow your customer base and tweak your advertising and message until, a year down the road you say, “wow I didn’t know I could sell this many in a day.”

Not going to touch on the flawed thinking of chasing an event.

But I’m going to point out that that’s not how the real world work. Unless you plan on spending all your profit on massive magically high converting ads.
 

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RobD88

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I’ll be that guy. Have you ever sold a product before?

Because that’s now how this works.

You don’t just launch a product with lots a fanfair to huge opening numbers in a month and then let it trickle off and die.
^^^^ What he said ^^^^
 

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This is literally the hottest "passive income" trend right now.
And like all passive income trends, it's a lot of damn work.

Dropshipping went out of favor a while ago when Amazon private labeling got all hot and exciting. The trend has come back around to dropshipping again but in a lot more "tech savvy" way.

I'm in a few facebook shopify groups and I'd say that 80-90% of the folks in those groups are drop shipping. We're talking hundreds to thousands of people, just in a few groups.

You shouldn't be worried of Shopify stealing your idea. You should be worried that you are about 15 months behind the curve on this idea.

My goal is to not do anything.
So, since I'm "out of the picture" so much
I hope you only mean regarding the shipping - because your idea isn't even remotely passive.

What you are describing is starting an online marketing company based around physical product sales.

If you think it's as easy as turning on some ads, running some social media traffic and sitting back to watch 300k orders come in - you are dead wrong. You need to understand how to run traffic and optimize conversions at a well above average level and keep a hawk's eye on those numbers to make sure you remain profitable when platforms change their algorithms or when your ad has hit every eyeball that it can and stops being effective.
 

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If you think it's as easy as turning on some ads, running some social media traffic and sitting back to watch 300k orders come in - you are dead wrong. You need to understand how to run traffic and optimize conversions at a well above average level and keep a hawk's eye on those numbers to make sure you remain profitable when platforms change their algorithms or when your ad has hit every eyeball that it can and stops being effective.
^^^^ And what he said ^^^^
 

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I want flash in the pan results. If my product is done right, by the time the competitors get in the picture, I will have captured over half of the market. Anyway - that's the plan ~

Simple. Short. Effective. I hope ~
Good luck. You want a Snuggie but without any customer service or social media or marketing campaign You don’t know how to drive sales day to day to help it along?

I see zero percent chance that it’s going to go the way you think.

This is more realistic. You are going to launch and sell 50 of them in a day and then maybe 20 the next day, then a trickle of 1-3 sales a day and then nothing in week 3.
 

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Good luck. You want a Snuggie but without any customer service or social media or marketing campaign You don’t know how to drive sales day to day to help it along?

I see zero percent chance that it’s going to go the way you think.

This is more realistic. You are going to launch and sell 50 of them in a day and then maybe 20 the next day, then a trickle of 1-3 sales a day and then nothing in week 3.
While worrying that the concept is so hot that even a service provider will want to switch business models specifically to knock it off.
 

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If he can sell 300,000 unit’s this quick with minimal effort, I want to hire him immediately as my marketing director.
 

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Put another way, I'm going for the infomercial type of bang. They launch a product on TV - it sells like crazy for a few months, and then it fades away. I'm looking for similar results. Will it happen? I don't know. But I don't want the "grow a garden" type of business that is going to take a lot of work and grow slowly over time. I want flash in the pan results. If my product is done right, by the time the competitors get in the picture, I will have captured over half of the market. Anyway - that's the plan ~

Simple. Short. Effective. I hope ~
How do you plan on getting sales?
 
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Real Deal Denver

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I have no ego to bruise, so I deeply appreciate the comments here.

What I know is what I have learned from the short reads on Amazon, i.e. how to sell a million products in a week. I don't know how to do this, and I have not done it. But I know other people have, and I'm planning on following in their footsteps.

I may be naive, ok - I'll rephrase that - I am naive... but the funnels, landing pages, facebook buzz, et al, look so extremely easy to me. Maybe that's because I'm from the old school where *nothing* happened automatically. Every sale, every contact, every client, had to be led by the hand. Now - we have this thing called "going viral" which I think I can tap in to.

If you think it's as easy as turning on some ads, running some social media traffic and sitting back to watch 300k orders come in - you are dead wrong. You need to understand how to run traffic and optimize conversions at a well above average level and keep a hawk's eye on those numbers to make sure you remain profitable when platforms change their algorithms or when your ad has hit every eyeball that it can and stops being effective.
That is a part of my plan, but not my main focus. Let me give you a real life example which absolutely astounds me. I take it as a learning lesson. Some rapper releases a CD of the worst crap I've ever heard. It doesn't even register a ONE on a scale of 1 to 10. Next thing you know, he's in the news wearing 100 lbs of gold chain, being chauffeured in a limo. I don't just see the crap there - I am studying the sheer ability of there being so many idiots that will shell out money for his product. Let's keep this as a study in marketing example, and not make it into a lesson about tastes, or whatever. The fact is - anything will sell if you tap into the right market - the vein of gold. This proves it.

This is more realistic. You are going to launch and sell 50 of them in a day and then maybe 20 the next day, then a trickle of 1-3 sales a day and then nothing in week 3.
My product is going to be talked about. That is the core strategy that I'm hoping will propel it to super high heights. I'm banking on people that see it, to tell 5 more people. That's the simple method of going viral. 5 people from each person, repeated for 10 days is a cumulative total of over 12 million people. I am shooting for 2 million being customers. As astronomical as this sounds, that is the power of numbers, and I think I'm being very conservative in my sales estimate. My product is 100 times better than the rap that is making millions. Hate their product, but I sure like their sales numbers!

If he can sell 300,000 unit’s this quick with minimal effort, I want to hire him immediately as my marketing director.
Love your posts Scot. I'd jump at the chance for us to work together.

With that said, I know for a fact that nothing is impossible. I've been doing nothing for years! LOL.

I know I'm in that insane group of dreamers that really doesn't know any better of what to expect realistically. But, enough of those insane people do make it big, so the rest of us are excited enough to believe we can do it too...

But I am not totally lost in dreaming. That's why I read every word here. Twice. I know great advice when I hear it, and I want to say that I appreciate it tremendously!
 
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I think you're absolutely right to be paranoid and you might as well just not even do it at all. :playful:
 

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I think you're absolutely right to be paranoid and you might as well just not even do it at all. :playful:
I have not been able to find out the details, but I heard that the guy that invented the fishline weed trimmer did not make any money. He had his invention engineered around his design. It was stolen from him.

That's one reason I research things. There are hundreds more.

For that bit of knowledge, you're welcome.
 

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I have not been able to find out the details, but I heard that the guy that invented the fishline weed trimmer did not make any money. He had his invention engineered around his design. It was stolen from him.

That's one reason I research things. There are hundreds more.

For that bit of knowledge, you're welcome.
I thought I'm the biggest worrywart and most paranoid guy among everyone I've known, but I guessed you dethroned me lol

Let's say you're scared of Shopify stealing your idea. How will you sell online then?

Amazon? Amazon employees might steal your ideas if they see you selling 5,000 items per day. Heck, even Jeff Bezos with a net worth of 128.7 billion USD might do it!

Sell on your own website? Hosted on GoDaddy? They might steal it too!

Maybe the only way to prevent all these is to setup your own servers and infrastructure/data center, and host your website on that.......
 
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Let's say you're scared of Shopify stealing your idea. How will you sell online then?
Let me explain. Shopify will be THE portal which takes the order. The sale will be completed using their software. They will have the customer name, the credit card number. The order. That puts them in a unique position to cut ME out of the picture. Can an employee of Amazon cut me out of the picture AND keep the sale? No. But if Shopify does it, I could be completely in the dark about it. The sale is entered into THEIR system - not mine. They could do an end run and complete the sale with the fulfillment center. Could it happen? Yes. Would it? I don't know.

So the end result is - the customer enters the order and pays for it - Shopify diverts and completes the order. The customer gets their product, and everyone gets paid. Except me. Since it is their system that everything takes place on, why is this so hard to understand how it could be hijacked by them? Hill, they don't even have to hack into anything - it's in their control already. And how could I find out about it happening? Well, if no records exist in "my" side of the equation, then no crime has been committed. So, I guess I can't know.

It's kind of like a cash transaction in a restaurant/bar/show/Uber that never makes it to the cash register. How can you know it happened? I know of several Uber drivers that have the contact info for some regular clients. Can they bypass Uber? Child's play. I watched a show on how a bar was losing money (Bar Rescue). They had investigators stake it out for weeks. EVERY sale was punched into the system and accounted for. Where was the money going? It was only when the investigators said that they personally watched EVERY sale being rung up and collected on all three cash registers, that the owner said "three?" I only have TWO cash registers.

If you want to not be ripped off, you have to think like a crook. That's just due diligence. If you want 100+ more stories, I have them.

Sell on your own website? Hosted on GoDaddy? They might steal it too!
For efficiency of scale, I don't want to handle the ordering process. I don't want to handle the order fulfillment either. BUT I do want to know how I can NOT be cut out of the picture.

I find your comments about worrying about my idea/sale being stolen kind of funny. You're from Singapore? I am not involved in any business relationships abroad, but I do remember knock offs of many products coming from that part of the world. I've read articles that it's an accepted part of their culture, even. Some parts of the world don't believe they have to pay a price to a software company, or a movie company, for the costs of "developing" their products. So they think bootlegging or knocking off a product is perfectly justified. These articles astounded me, but they're true. They're all over the internet too - this is anything but a secret.

And you, coming from Singapore even, think I'm paranoid?
 
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GSF

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Let me explain. Shopify will be THE portal which takes the order. The sale will be completed using their software. They will have the customer name, the credit card number. The order. That puts them in a unique position to cut ME out of the picture. Can an employee of Amazon cut me out of the picture AND keep the sale? No. But if Shopify does it, I could be completely in the dark about it. The sale is entered into THEIR system - not mine. They could do an end run and complete the sale with the fulfillment center. Could it happen? Yes. Would it? I don't know.

So the end result is - the customer enters the order and pays for it - Shopify diverts and completes the order. The customer gets their product, and everyone gets paid. Except me. Since it is their system that everything takes place on, why is this so hard to understand how it could be hijacked by them? Hill, they don't even have to hack into anything - it's in their control already. And how could I find out about it happening? Well, if no records exist in "my" side of the equation, then no crime has been committed. So, I guess I can't know.

It's kind of like a cash transaction in a restaurant/bar/show/Uber that never makes it to the cash register. How can you know it happened? I know of several Uber drivers that have the contact info for some regular clients. Can they bypass Uber? Child's play. I watched a show on how a bar was losing money (Bar Rescue). They had investigators stake it out for weeks. EVERY sale was punched into the system and accounted for. Where was the money going? It was only when the investigators said that they personally watched EVERY sale being rung up and collected on all three cash registers, that the owner said "three?" I only have TWO cash registers.

If you want to not be ripped off, you have to think like a crook. That's just due diligence. If you want 100+ more stories, I have them.



For efficiency of scale, I don't want to handle the ordering process. I don't want to handle the order fulfillment either. BUT I do want to know how I can NOT be cut out of the picture.

I find your comments about worrying about my idea/sale being stolen kind of funny. You're from Singapore? I am not involved in any business relationships abroad, but I do remember knock offs of many products coming from that part of the world. I've read articles that it's an accepted part of their culture, even. Some parts of the world don't believe they have to pay a price to a software company, or a movie company, for the costs of "developing" their products. So they think bootlegging or knocking off a product is perfectly justified. These articles astounded me, but they're true. They're all over the internet too - this is anything but a secret.

And you, coming from Singapore even, think I'm paranoid?
So what, shopify takes ownership of your store, swaps your payment account details with theirs and cuts you out. That's not gonna happen, as far as I know has never happened and you should not even be worrying about. You haven't even had a sale yet, in the time that you've been worrying about this you could have started the store and actually made a sale and proved the concept!
 
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So what, shopify takes ownership of your store, swaps your payment account details with theirs and cuts you out. That's not gonna happen, as far as I know has never happened and you should not even be worrying about. You haven't even had a sale yet, in the time that you've been worrying about this you could have started the store and actually made a sale and proved the concept!
1) So what? Reread my earlier post, that's what.

2) As far as you know it's never happened? That's exactly my worry. How can I know? I thought I covered that in intricate detail already? Their system - their software - their control, etc. How much control do I really have (remember the CENTS concept?). How can I have control to prevent being stolen from, as I explained in great detail? How do I do that? Oh - take your word for it that it's not gonna happen, and I shouldn't even be worrying about it? That's it? Not enough. Sorry.

3) In this time, I could have made a sale. I'm not looking to make "a" sale. I'm looking to launch a rocket. The difference in doing things right, and just "doing things" could amount to millions of dollars. Planning and knowledge are going to be the factors that greatly increase the odds of success in my favor.

You have somehow managed to miss every point that I made earlier.
 

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1) So what? Reread my earlier post, that's what.
Sorry could have worded that better, meant context of "so what youre saying is" was in hurry.

2) As far as you know it's never happened? That's exactly my worry. How can I know? I thought I covered that in intricate detail already? Their system - their software - their control, etc. How much control do I really have (remember the CENTS concept?). How can I have control to prevent being stolen from, as I explained in great detail? How do I do that? Oh - take your word for it that it's not gonna happen, and I shouldn't even be worrying about it? That's it? Not enough. Sorry.
Dont take my word or anyones word for anything, you need to do your own research and find shit out for yourself if you wanna succeed pal. If it worries you so much, you don't have to build on shopify, you could try building your own with woocommerce on wordpress or some other setup, that could give you more control but with additional headaches.
3) In this time, I could have made a sale. I'm not looking to make "a" sale. I'm looking to launch a rocket. The difference in doing things right, and just "doing things" could amount to millions of dollars. Planning and knowledge are going to be the factors that greatly increase the odds of success in my favor.
Lol, this is entertaining, not sure if you're being serious now or if you're trolling and doing this for laughs. Also, don't forget to worry about setting up the correct company structure, paying taxes, getting insurance, business cards, etc etc etc (what color lambo you'll get). You'll need all that for when your 'rocket' launches. LOL.
 
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biophase

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So the end result is - the customer enters the order and pays for it - Shopify diverts and completes the order. The customer gets their product, and everyone gets paid. Except me. Since it is their system that everything takes place on, why is this so hard to understand how it could be hijacked by them? Hill, they don't even have to hack into anything - it's in their control already. And how could I find out about it happening? Well, if no records exist in "my" side of the equation, then no crime has been committed. So, I guess I can't know.
Ok let's put an end to this...

Suppose Shopify does exactly what you say... they divert your order and fulfill it themselves. How are they going to fulfill it? Are they going to suddenly manufacturer the product and ship it? I thought you were going to be first to market with this unique product and you would be the only one selling it?

Or wait, somebody else has all the inventory and is dropshipping or fulfilling for you right? So you're weakest link in your paranoia should be your supplier.

So let's say you launch and suddenly get alot of buzz and traffic. You know what your biggest worry should be? It will be the internet marketer who is sitting at home waiting for the next fidget spinner. He sees your stuff trending and calls your supplier and says look, I'll buy all your inventory today. Send it to my warehouse. Then he throws up 10 landing pages and blitzes Facebook with $100k spend per day. Your supplier will call you to say that he's out of stock. End of business.

I've bought all my dropshipper's inventory right before Xmas before so all my competitors went out of stock and I was the only store that had it in stock for the month of December.
 

WinTheDay

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I never heard of them doing such a thing and I doubt they would, but why don't you try it out and let us know?
 
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Sorry could have worded that better, meant context of "so what youre saying is" was in hurry.


Dont take my word or anyones word for anything, you need to do your own research and find sh*t out for yourself if you wanna succeed pal. If it worries you so much, you don't have to build on shopify, you could try building your own with woocommerce on wordpress or some other setup, that could give you more control but with additional headaches.

Lol, this is entertaining, not sure if you're being serious now or if you're trolling and doing this for laughs. Also, don't forget to worry about setting up the correct company structure, paying taxes, getting insurance, business cards, etc etc etc (what color lambo you'll get). You'll need all that for when your 'rocket' launches. LOL.
I don't know why, but everyone I've ever encountered from UK has been cheeky. A bit full of themselves. And kind of a waste of time.
 

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