E-commerce expert Chimpele Kelvin Tsamwa has taken the route less travelled—authoring a book that will help young e-hustlers to make a decent living buying and selling goods online in an art that is called dropshipping by turning one’s smartphone into a money-spinning gadget.
Dropshipping is a business model that allows entrepreneurs to start an online business and sell products to their buyers without ever actually stocking the items themselves.
Instead, it transfers the orders and their shipment details to either the manufacturer, a wholesaler, another retailer, or a fulfillment house, which then ships the goods directly to the customer.
“As such, the retailer is responsible for marketing and selling a product, but has little or no control over product quality, storage, inventory management, or shipping. This eliminates the costs of maintaining a warehouse – or even a brick and mortar storefront, purchasing and storing inventory, and employing necessary staff for such functions,” says Tsamwa.
The e-trade expert notes that in any other form of retail, the seller makes their profit on the difference between an item's wholesale and retail price, less any pertinent selling, merchant, or shipping fees accruing to them.
In the book, the author demonstrates how a novice with pretty little or no online sales experience can turn themselves into wealth with adequate zeal and enthusiasm.
“Dropshipping is a really good way to venture into the Internet business as a newbie. It is appealing to a first-time entrepreneur because one does not need much capital and the risk level is quite low, so it does not make one feel like they are gambling.
“You could be a well-established business that seeks to expand its portfolio but initially seeks to test the waters without injecting a lot in the initial stage. Dropshipping would be ideal for you since you would be able to list the products without having to stock them and see how well they do before you commit yourself,” Tsamwa writes in the book.
He, however, warns that dropshipping is not a get rich quick scheme: “If you are expecting supernormal profits right from the word go, then maybe dropshipping is not for you. Have you tried loan sharking? Otherwise, another option would be going straight to the manufacturers so that you cut out the suppliers but manufacturers normally do not do dropshipping,” he says.
This is a must have book for young entrepreneurs seeking a break from the noise and bustle of the heavily clogged unemployment market as it does not need much for one to set up—just a smartphone, an internet connection and you are good to go.
In the spirit of promoting e-trade, the book will only be sold digitally, with no paperback editions available.
Tsamwa describes himself as an e-commerce ninja with nine years’ experience, and blogs
When not writing and assisting people set up, grow and scale online businesses, he works as the Master of Lightbulb Moments at Green Thingz (www.green-thingz.com)
He has lived in Botswana, Zambia and Malaysia but currently resides in Malawi. He has done a handful of digital marketing consultancies and ghostwriting gigs for “some really important people”.
Tsamwa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Malawi and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Linton University College in Malaysia.
To cement his passion for e-commerce, he submitted a thesis titled ‘Exploring Consumer Perceptions of Internet Retail Service Quality: An Empirical Study on Africa’ for his MBA (2014) which earned him the President Award for Academic Excellence. He subsequently graduated with distinction.
Tsamwa is the lead author of the research paper ‘Modelling Consumer Perceptions of Internet Retail Service Quality Using Structural Equation Analysis: A study on Africa's E-Marketplace’ published in the International Journal of Advanced Business and Management in 2019.
You can visit him online at www.africandropshipper.com.