By: Lily Cichanowicz March 31, 2017 Topic: Case Studies

Ecommerce has made starting a successful business a prospect available to people of all walks of life. Aloysius Chay & Galvin Bay were working as professional poker players in China’s most extravagant city, Macau. Last year, they decided to trade one exciting and lucrative lifestyle for another by trying their hand as dropshipping entrepreneurs with the help of Oberlo.

They are now earning upwards of $60K each day, less than a year after starting their first store. We recently had the opportunity to pick their brains about the keys to achieving success with ecommerce.

Tell us how you got started in dropshipping e-commerce? What were you doing before your successful drop shipping business?

Before embarking as dropshipping e-commerce entrepreneurs in 2016, we were earning a living as professional poker players in Macau. At the time, a friend of ours was already involved in running a dropshipping business, which planted the seed in our minds that this was a viable way to make money.

It wasn’t until May of last year, however, that we started seriously pursuing a future in dropshipping. By August, we were already expanding the business to a second store. Things really moved that quickly.

What were the main struggles in the beginning? How did you overcome them?

For us, the biggest challenge came in terms of product research–trying to find the right product at the right time for the right market. This required a lot of learning by doing. In fact, we tested 20-30 products and failed before finally finding things that worked. Of course, the process was a big test to our motivation. But in the end, we were able to discover a level of perseverance and creativity that we didn’t know we had.

While we certainly had to learn how to stomach these losses in the beginning, we kept our eyes on the big picture in order to maintain perspective. In comparison to more traditional business models that require major investments and can take years before finally taking off, dropshipping really is a much more straightforward way to get started. It’s easier and there’s less risk.

Even though getting started took some trial and error, dropshipping is the ideal way to start your ecommerce business in a short amount of time with a minimal amount of money. Plus, all the effort you put in contains the promise of reaping major returns.

Do you remember your first sale and where it came from?

We started out niche marketing jewelry in June of 2016. While the initial sales were on the smaller side and we ultimately didn’t end up breaking even, we learned a lot from this experience. It taught us that it helps to target a certain audience by country.

The prospect of growing and improving kept us moving forward with the business. After experimenting with jewelry, we tried selling all sorts of other products. After testing out a few new products and strategies,  we ultimately achieved the success we’re enjoying now.

Galvin Bay

Do you use Facebook Ads to market your store? What has been your experience with Facebook Ads? How did you learn to use this tool?

Yes, we like using Facebook advertising because it is a lot simpler than other ad platforms. All the necessary features for creating a successful ad campaign are integrated into a straightforward, user-friendly system.

Of course, as two guys who were just starting out within the world of e-commerce, we found that taking some time to explore different tutorials and courses on the subject really helped us to learn what we needed to know. We also consulted a lot of people in our own social circle. You’d be surprised how much you can learn just by sitting down with friends who are also working on their own e-commerce businesses to exchange tips and ideas.

What keeps you motivated as an e-commerce entrepreneur?

Naturally, being able to secure some extra income is a great incentive. More than that, though, being an entrepreneur is really fun! There are so many new challenges and opportunities coming your way, offering the chance to continually grow and learn as a business owner and as an individual. Plus, in this line of work, we have so much control over our daily lives because our dropshipping business provides us with both the financial means and the free time to create the lifestyles we’ve always wanted. E-commerce has changed so many lives, including our own, as well as those of our friends and families.

As an e-commerce entrepreneur, what is your sale-per-day record as a successful dropshipping business?

Our best day of sales to date is at high 5 figures USD, and we will continue to grow to surpass the 6 figures mark.

As an e-commerce entrepreneur, what’s your top recommendation to new store-owners?

Always keep in mind that fresh products are the lifeblood of any successful e-commerce business. If you’re going to go all out in any area of your shop, this would be it. Be willing to continually get creative and test out new items. Don’t skimp out here because the risk is worth the returns.

In addition, hire staff to assist you in your business operations as soon as you can. Having adequate manpower is crucial to the growth of your company. And it’s always better to over-hire than it is to be understaffed.

In the end, hiring people to help will save you valuable time and money that you can put towards expanding your shop. Besides, as a business owner, your efforts are better spent focused on the big picture than on answering emails and processing orders. It’s best to prioritize the streamlining of your e-commerce/dropshipping processes right from the start.

Galvin Bay

How long have you used Oberlo?

My business partner and I used the Oberlo app right from the very beginning. Good apps are essential for optimizing the productivity of a dropshipping ecommerce business. Shopify Apps are awesome because they are relatively cheap for the amount of value they bring to your shop. And of course, Oberlo is free when you first start out.

Why did you decide to use Oberlo?

We decided to use Oberlo because it made dealing with dropshipping orders far simpler and more user friendly. Ordering a product manually on AliExpress normally takes between 3 and 5 minutes, but with the Oberlo app we can cut that time to as little as 30 seconds. On average, the entire fulfillment process goes about three times faster. Plus, the Oberlo app’s automation feature minimizes errors in handling tasks like entering the right customer details to each order.

What do you like about using Oberlo specifically?

What sets Oberlo apart is its user friendliness. It has a very straightforward design and eliminates the need to type relevant order information manually. This saves a lot of time and significantly reduces room for error in processing orders. We can use the time we save to further expand our business, and generally improve customer satisfaction.

What are your favorite features about the Oberlo app?

Definitely the semi-automatic fulfillment of orders on AliExpress ranks high on the list. Also, the app makes syncing order tracking numbers to Shopify virtually effortless. Oberlo allows me to make bulk payments where we can load up to 100 orders at a time and then pay all of them in one shot. This is incredibly useful if you wish to delegate order payments to staff members because it makes this process so easy that just about anyone can learn to do it in no time.

Would you recommend Oberlo to a friend or colleague? Why?

For sure! In fact, we think it’s the first product that anyone looking to make it in the world of dropshipping e-commerce should install. Doing so from the beginning is best because it’s not possible to retrospectively sync the store operations with the app later on. Oberlo also offers a free trial for those just getting started out so there’s really nothing to lose, and the savings in time and error are really invaluable.

Import hundreds of products to your store in minutes.

Import hundreds of products to your store in minutes.

  • Daniel Muvdi

    Hope to see this in woocommerce soon oberlo app is an amazing app, the features and the great code are incredible to work with but the shopify marriage is a bad bad choice from them. if they release the wordpress version it will be non stop for oberlo team. they will get the real presence that they are looking for. hope o see this happening soon.

  • I would like to see an overall survey of the median profitability for vendors using Oberlo.

  • Michael

    That is pretty much how every internet marketer operates these days. The original concept is often brought to fruition by someone who doesn’t have the resources to take it all the way. The idea gets noticed by the sharks and they have the resources to milk the idea dry long before the original dude ever gets to that point. I have seen this cycle time and time again. Every successful internet marketing campaign you see on the web these days was copied from somewhere else.

  • Any reason why these so successful people do not even mention their site’s name in such articles?

  • Xavi Glez Glle

    Because then everyone would try to sell the exact same thing. Look around on Instagram or Facebook, everyone is dropshipping the same EXACT products from aliexpress. You gotta go and sell UNIQUE items and that will cost you money. Few people make huge money with dropshipping and those ones have been in the business for many years. ( and most of them had lots of past failures and they know or do a lot of research about online marketing/facebook ads,etc)

  • Brian

    Recently installed Oberlo for a new drop shipping business after running a successful online store the last 4 years. We decided to order some product to see the samples before selling. 2.5 weeks now and only 1 item has left china so far. I can’t see this as a possible business, no way will customers wait 5-6 weeks for delivery in Europe. Customers in Europe want product faster than ever now with giants like Amazon doing same day delivery. The Chinese are just too slow.

  • Narly

    This is inspiring?

  • Alina Kravchenko

    Oh no! I hope this will not happen to me?! I recently started a company called Better Way Goods, where I invent and look for innovative products that solve a problem. I am starting out in the baby industry using droppshipping what do you think of my Better Way Baby website? http://betterwaybaby.com I am planning on having video reviews of every product!

  • Alina Kravchenko

    Thanks for this feedback, I completely agree. I recently started a company called Better Way Goods, where I invent and look for innovative products that solve a problem. I am starting out in the baby industry using droppshipping (selling user friendly baby products from Aliexpress) http://betterwaybaby.com I will sell my own inventions on there, including the patented one hand diaper rash cream applicator https://getswipensnap.com

  • Annie Spangler

    I worry about the product arrival time as well. Drop shipping seems like the most amazing concept, however products taking that long will not sustain a business. I’m getting ready to launch my ecommerce business in the next few days and that plus product quality are of my utmost concerns as it’s obvious many of the Ali express shops are making knock off products.

  • Sara Khani

    This is a total waste of money and time. It takes ages and lots of trial and errors to find the right niche only to get disappointed by shipping time and product quality. Not to mention that Aliexpress sellers sell their items on ebay for way cheaper price than what they are offering to dropshippers making it impossible to compete with them. Good luck to all dropshippers out there.

  • Max Adrianna

    i’ve been learning dropshipping these past 3 months but was saddened by the fact that I can’t pretty much do this if Im based in the US. I live here in the Philippines and I’ve been researching about solutions for this but to no avail. Any suggestions or insights will truly be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Scott Townsend

    What is their website?

  • Nicole

    It took me 2 seconds to find their website – lol

  • I believe the point here is to be inspired to think outside the box, not copy exactly what someone else is doing. It doesn’t matter what their site is or what someone else stole they are trying to show you that if they can do it so can you.

  • Mr Dramendra Abdosh

    Yep! You can can do this in any part of the world, except in the USA Syria and Nicaragua. heheehe. All you need is Shopify, Facebook, Oberlo and 2checkout.

  • Mr Dramendra Abdosh


  • Lily Cichanowicz

    When dropshipping, it’s essential to establish clear expectations, define your shipping policy, and display it in the relevant places on your store. That said, you’d be surprised at how many cost-conscious people out there, who wouldn’t mind waiting the extra time to have their product delivered if it means getting a better deal. Dropshippers often counteract the downside of long delivery times by offering free shipping. This automatically tells your customer that it’ll likely take a little longer to receive their product. While this is a totally valid concern, we can attest that our users have still managed to be very successful with this business model.

  • Ruta Ganusauskaite

    Great article!

  • Hi Everyone,

    I am just starting with oblero and i have imported
    products to my Philippines based store. However since its my first time i
    am so worried about the shipping and wondering if there are any custom
    taxes. Assuming someone orders a laptop fulfilled via oblero. Except
    from the unit price and shipping fee, is there any fee we are required
    to pay in the Philippines since the item is shipped here and direct to
    my customer. I would appreciate any useful answer, especially if there
    are any Philippine drop-shippers here. Thanks

  • I am just starting with oblero and i have imported
    products to my Philippines based store. However since its my first time i
    am so worried about the shipping and wondering if there are any custom
    taxes. Assuming someone orders a laptop fulfilled via oblero. Except
    from the unit price and shipping fee, is there any fee we are required
    to pay in the Philippines since the item is shipped here and direct to
    my customer. I would appreciate any useful answer, especially if there
    are any Philippine drop-shippers here. Thanks

  • Cool Hand Luke

    I could use a little reality check. Do the suppliers on AliExpress display cheaper prices if you have the Oberlo app?
    From what I see, you can buy stuff at retail on Walmart for less than AliExpress, and some of you are marking up these items 200-300%? You must have some really stupid customers! LOL. And on top of that, you want me to believe that people will wait 3-4 weeks for a slow boat from China, when I know how I feel after waiting 3-4 days!! Come on, tell the truth… why are all the success stories always about these barely twenty something Asians?

  • Cool Hand Luke

    The last thing they want you to know is what they’re selling.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    You got me to go your website, very clever. I’ll keep that in mind.

  • Donita Hernandez

    From Phils, too. I’ve been doing ecommerce (informally) since 1999. I have signed up too many accounts at Oberlo trying to test the system. Looks good except for the shipping time. Pinoy mostly don’t want to wait 3+ weeks for items to arrived. So i put off all my Oberlo store due to this shipping nightmare. If only there’s a way shipping will be faster (i.e. talked to a local forwarded with office in china, 2 weeks is their earliest commitment but items need to be shipped to their warehouse in China.
    On your question re: laptop, PH has a new custom law, no tax on all items below Php10,000.00 but you’re still at the mercy of the customs assessor. Though it’s mostly your clients burden since they will be the one picking up the items in the Post/Customes office if you ship direct to your customer…unless you ship via DHL or Feedex which is impractical considering the frieght cost.