Thinking about starting your own online business but unsure what to focus on? A dropshipping business model is easily accessible and understandable by anyone. No specific background or knowledge is required.
Everyone has a dream to turn their hobbies into their full-time job. After all, if you do something you love, you don’t have to work a day in your life. Dropshipping allows precisely that: to make a profit selling products that you are passionate about.
One of the most popular hobbies in the world is cosplay. It is a whole culture that emerged based on various characters from movies, shows, books, etc. You can find cosplay fans almost anywhere. Whole festivals that last multiple days are held in major cities all over the world.
This makes it a very promising and interesting idea for a dropshipping store. Let’s look into how to cash in on a hobby that millions of other people share.
Is it possible to sell Cosplay items?
Cosplay is a hobby where people recreate the appearance of their favorite fictional characters.
There are three options to create a cosplay outfit:
- Buy a ready costume in an online store, like eBay, AliExpress, etc.
- Order a tailor-made costume
- Make the outfit yourself
Based on the latest trends, people have become more accustomed to creating their own costumes rather than ordering ready costumes online.
Any specific hobby, including cosplay, requires unique knowledge. To understand what products are going to be listed in your store, you have to know the specifics of goods that are needed to create a costume.
Knowing the ins and outs of a specific fandom will help you better engage with potential customers. And knowing when the most important events for the cosplay community are going to take place will keep you prepared for the promotion of your products.
As you can see, it is quite possible to sell cosplay products, especially if you are a cosplay fan yourself.
How to successfully dropship cosplay products
To run a successful cosplay dropshipping business store, there are several essential aspects you need to understand. First of all, who are your customers?
Cosplay attracts a large community of people who like to dress up on different occasions. Some may like to go to large-scale events such as Comic-cons. Others do it for blogging or modeling. People also dress up for smaller-scale events like costume-themed parties and Halloween.
For the proper promotion of your online store, you have to know how to correctly and effectively target your audience. There are a lot of factors you need to take into account as mentioned above groups of people have different expectations and needs. Your product range, pricing, and delivery time should differ accordingly.
Now that you know the essentials of how to dropship cosplay products, let’s see what items you can sell.
Selling Cosplay products from Aliexpress
- Character accessories
Some key elements of a character’s outfit just can’t be recreated. These elements have to be ordered from online stores. These can include iconic glasses, masks, bracelets, etc.
Note that some items may fall into the category of copyrighted products. It is better to stay away from these kinds of goods, as these items can simply disappear from your supplier’s store. And that’s not the worst part: you can get involved in legal issues. So, unless you are looking for a short term income, it is best not to focus on these products.
- Generic items
Generally, these products fall into the category of expendable items. This means that the products have to be replaced from time to time. Which in turn means that customers will return for additional purchases. These items can include wigs, attachable ears, fake eyelashes, etc.
- Craft materials
Listing various craft materials, you can appeal to all kinds of customers. You can start small, and as your store and customer count grows, you can diversify your product offering and add more materials to it. These materials can include foil paper, vinyl sheets, water-soluble canvas, skin color fleece, colored EVA foam, etc.
- Craft tools and equipment
You have to be careful with these products and make sure that they meet core dropshipping requirements.
Items that are technically complex must be checked before purchase and not a lot of people will buy them online. Some items might be too heavy which will result in higher shipping fees. And some sharp tools items might just be banned from import, as they are viewed as a dangerous item.
However, there is a solution for you. You can sell products like sewing clips, portable sewing machines, leather craft tools, measuring tape, travel sewing kit, sculpting sets, etc.
The process of ordering products on AliExpress
Many cosplay fans have doubts about where to order products to create their unique costumes. Some can deal with challenges of long delivery times, wonder if the product is of high quality, and be unsure whether it comes from a reliable supplier.
Let’s try to clear all your doubts when it comes to ordering products from one of China’s major retailers.
AliExpress is one of the world’s biggest online stores. Among all of the advantages, it includes a wide range of products, a lot of suppliers, and it allows shipping to almost any part of the world. One of the factors you should consider upon choosing a dropship supplier is his reliability. How can you tell if the supplier is reliable or not?
Each store on AliExpress has its rating system, where you can see the reviews, the amount of items sold, and how long the store has been active. All of these features heavily contribute to the reliability of the store.
Another important aspect to understand is that there are separate reviews and ratings for each product. In these reviews, some customers share pictures of the purchased products, as well as share their overall experience with the seller. This information lets you know beforehand whether the seller is reliable or not.
Considering the product itself, you have to take into account that since your customers are ordering products from a Chinese store, the sizes and measurements are going to be slightly different from those they are usually accustomed to.
If you are planning to dropship certain products, make sure to specify the measurements. Better yet, put a guideline that will help your customers to have a better understanding of how to choose a size.
One of the most important features of cooperating with AliExpress suppliers is that you can constantly communicate with them by messaging them. This is very convenient for a dropshipper.
Creating a dropshipping store is not easy. However, if you have a hobby that you wish to turn to profit, a dropshipping business model is a great way to do so. We hope that you found this article useful and wish you the best of luck in your new journey to build an online store based on AliExpress cosplay.