May 22, 2023

Rethinking Dropshipping: Building Quality Over Quick Bucks

There's a running joke in the business world: "How do you know an industry is in trouble? When many start teaching others how to do it rather than doing it themselves." Well, this is exactly what's been happening with dropshipping.

Despite boasting a global revenue projection nearing a whopping 500 billion euros by 2026 (Statista), dropshipping is a realm where self-proclaimed advisors have multiplied like mushrooms (We are sorry, mushrooms). They paint pictures of quick wealth, promising that for a certain fee, they'll show you how to set up a successful dropshipping business requiring little skill, effort, or time. The reality? Some unsuspecting entrepreneurs find themselves victims of 'get-rich-quick' schemes that fail to deliver on their promises. Most others fail after discovering that building a successful dropshipping business isn't as easy as promised. Some estimate that even over 90% of dropshipping businesses fail.

Launching a dropshipping business usually means you build a store on Shopify or WooCommerce and source products from Aliexpress or some intermediary like CJdropshipping. Almost all non-Aliexpress solutions, in the end, provide Aliexpress products, and even if someone says they provide EU brands or US brands, it just means that they have local warehouses providing Aliexpress products (e.g., Trendsi and Spocket). Then, you start bringing in traffic with Facebook, Google and Tiktok ads and hope some of it converts. If there is an order, you hope it is delivered at all as it's often shipped with the cheapest delivery option from China and is good enough quality, so the user doesn't want to return it immediately. You already know that you won't have repurchases, and you also consider that the trending product you are selling will only be trending for a while. And after the trend cools down, you start again and launch a new store with a new "winning product."

At Hertwill, we're challenging the notion that dropshipping is about selling low-grade products at high margins in a shoddy store. Instead, we provide a platform where online stores can dropship high-quality goods sourced from over 70 small local brands. Our range spans from award-winning designers to traditional shoe manufacturers with an almost century-long heritage. Each product ships from within Europe, has a warranty and can be integrated into your store in under 5 minutes. Although establishing a successful online store still demands time and effort, your odds significantly improve when offering quality products. If usually, even successful dropshipping stores have a short lifespan as trends die fast, consumers understand the quality of the products is average at best, and you'll have lots of copycats. With us, you are building a long-term business as our products are more exclusive, of higher quality, and genuinely make customers happy.

So, if you're considering launching an online store and are keen on offering genuine value rather than peddling cheap products, let's chat. We are all about the long game, and we'd love to show you how you can be, too. So, contact us in chat or drop us an email at Let's change the face of dropshipping, together.

Hertwill is founded by former employees of Pipedrive, Single.Earth and Omniva, and it is backed by Icebreaker VC.

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What is Hertwill?

Hertwill is a plug-and-play solution for online stores that enables them to sell products of independent European brands. Our solution includes sourcing, warehousing and order fulfillment. We handle all the logistics of getting the products from brands to the online stores' customers, so the stores can focus on marketing and selling the products.

Hertwill is an Estonian startup founded by former employees of Pipedrive, Single.Earth and Omniva, and is backed by one of the most well-known Finnish VCs. You can read more about our story.

What kind of products do you offer?

Currently, we are working with more than 50 independent European brands and manufacturers, but new products are added to our catalog daily. We focus on brands that are still relatively unknown but whose products are of excellent quality. None of the products we provide are available on Amazon or Aliexpress. The main categories we focus on at the moment are clothing, shoes, bags, home decor and jewelry. Our special attention is on sustainable goods - for example, we work with a jewelry brand that is upcycling materials left over from aircraft manufacturing.

Do you offer integrations for online stores?

Our API enables seamless integration with your store, so you don't have to manually insert product information or manage your orders. Currently, we provide plugins for WooCommerce and Shopify.

In which regions is Hertwill available?

Hertwill is available for online stores and brands in the European Union.

How can I start selling Hertwill products in my online store?

It's relatively easy. Sign up and choose products from our catalog, sync them to your online store and start selling.

How much time per week does running an online store as a side business take?

It depends on your area of expertise and ambitions. For example, if you have run an online store before, it might be a couple of hours a week. But if this is your first time and you don't have a digital marketing or e-commerce background, it might be 3-6x more. In general, building an international store requires even more time.

Usually, most work hours are put in at the beginning when trying to get the store up and running. After that, the amount of work usually decreases over time, and ultimately, if you outsource customer support, the store might become a source of passive income. We recommend running the store together with someone as it's more fun, you get things done faster, and you have a higher chance of success.

How much does an online store, on average, make selling products provided by Hertwill?

The average store makes about 40 000€ per year selling our products. The most successful makes about 200 000€, and the least successful has made 400€.