What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is selling products through online platforms or websites which provide e-commerce stores.
In drop shipping, you don’t need to have a physical inventory of your products. A supplier holds your products and it is shipped to your customers according to the orders you gave.
How Does A Dropshipping Business Work?
Basically, you are acting on behalf of the seller by promoting or advertising the products through an online store.
How Drop Shipping Works
- Someone saw the products you promoted in your online store and made a purchase.
- You took that money and purchase the ordered products from your supplier at a cheaper rate.
- Then the supplier directly ships the products to the customer.
- You pocketed the margin (profit).
- If it’s your own product, you have to do all the shipping and everything if you are not using any outside storehouse. But, you will be able to keep all the money you’ve got as you need not pay for any other services except for the shipping and packaging charges.
How To Get Started With Drop Shipping
Before venturing into any business, good research for what you want to promote is needed.
You have to do your own research on the followings:
#1. What Should You Sell And What Product Will Work in dropshipping?
- You have endless options for choosing products to sell. It is better to choose niche categories that are marketable and have high demands in the market.
- You can check which products sell more by browsing the categories of Amazon, AliExpress, eBay, or any sites you normally use to buy products for yourself online.
- When you visit those websites, you will see the most popular products on the home page itself.
- Another factor you must see is the reviews – according to market research, one out of 10 buyers are believed to leave a review of the product they bought.
- The products with the most positive reviews will be the winning product.
- You can also check at the bottom of the product page where it shows ‘People also buy’ products.
- Look around you and see what people are buying in the local marketplace also.
- Stay away from Generic items like television, headphones, etc. because people would prefer to buy them in bigger stores like Amazon or Walmart or in other places that have a good reputation and in which they already built trust. You can add them if you want but don’t base all your products on those items only.
- Try to sell products that are unique and that cannot be found easily.
#2. Choose The Right eCommerce Platform For Your Online Store.
If you don’t have your own e-commerce website, your best option would be to use either one of the popular ecom sites.
The main benefits of using these sites are:
- They use their warehouse for your products.
- Packaging and shipping are all done by them.
- No direct contact with your customer unless they contact you personally through email or phone.
#3. Find trustworthy sellers.
Your sellers must be reliable and trustworthy as you didn’t see the product which is shipped to your customers.
Your reputation depends on the sellers’ ability to maintain the quality of the products and timely shipments.
The Most Popular E-Commerce Sites
1. Amazon FBA
Let’s have a quick look at these eCommerce Websites.
#1. AMAZON FBA
Amazon is the largest eCommerce platform with more than 2.2 billion visitors each month.
Amazon FBA or Fulfilled By Amazon is a model that makes Amazon handle your inventory with their warehouse, it fulfills the orders and also provides customer services on your behalf.
It actually is an all-in-one solution for storage, packing, shipping, delivery, and customer support
- Create a Seller Account at Amazon Seller Central.
- Select either Individual seller or Professional seller. You can select a Professional seller if you are looking for long-term business.
- Choose products that you can sell for less in the beginning and you can improve on increasing the higher price products as you move on.
- Launch your product. The Amazon seller central guide provided within the website will teach you the process of importing products and using suppliers.
- Learn how to promote your products with social platforms like Facebook Ads to generate more sales.
For specific Amazon product research and how to be successful with Amazon FBA, you can use Jungle Scout which is one of the most effective tools available, and many FBA sellers credit their success to using Jungle Scout.
How much does it cost to dropship on Amazon FBA?
Shopify is undoubtedly one of the best and most popular eCommerce platforms used by drop shippers around the world with more than 50 million monthly visitors.
Shopify comes with several features and tools that provide an easy and quick to set up an online store and is also SEO optimized which makes it easier for people to find your store and products on the internet.
Shopify is not free but it gives you a trial period of 14 days to test run your online store while it gives you all the needed support to run your store successfully.
After the end of 14 days, you have to pay ₹29 per month if you want to continue your online store which is also one of the cheapest online store providers.
One of the best parts of using Shopify is that you need not go for other tools to help you grow your online store as it has thousands of important tools already integrated within the platform you can use. Many of these tools are free.
All you have to do is link your Shopify account to those tools.
How Much Does It Cost To Dropship On Shopify?
There are a few factors that determine the costs of running a Shopify store including the initial costs of setting up your store, the Shopify pricing plan you choose, and the cost of additional features if you want to add them.
So, your running cost on Shopify depends on the pricing plan you subscribe to.
Shopify has three pricing plans –
- Basic Shopify – ₹29/month
- Shopify -₹79/month
- Advanced Shopify – ₹299/month
- Shopify Lite – ₹9/month
- Shopify Plus
The Shopify Lite is like a plug-in for which you need to sell your products via an existing website or social media platforms with a ‘Buy’ button for the products.
The Shopify Plus comes with all the features available in the Advanced plan and additional features such as automation and will cost around ₹2000.
Apart from these, Shopify will charge you 0.30% to 2.5% fees on every credit card transaction.
How to Get Started With Shopify
- Sign-up on Shopify (It is not free but you will have a 14 days trial period, which you can cancel anytime if you think it’s not for you).
- Choose your theme, design, and download Apps like Oberlo from Shopify App Marketplace.
- If you are a complete beginner, you can look out for tutorials within the Shopify website itself or from videos on YouTube or learn it from a course from Udemy.
- Decide on a specific niche for which you are passionate about. Try to sell products that revolve around that niche.
- You will find an app that connects with eBay products also. eBay products that shipped from the USA are much quicker than Oberlo which imports products from Ali Express.
- Set your own price, product name, descriptions, and fill all the required fields.
- You can also import clothing products from Teespring or Printful which are Print On Demand (POD) sites.
eBay is one of the most popular eCommerce websites where you can run your dropshipping business for free.
Since eBay does not source your products, you need to work with your supplier to directly ship them to customers.
After you find your products, you need to source them from a trustworthy supplier and list your items on eBay.
When a customer purchases from your eBay listing, the details will be passed along to the supplier, who is then responsible for shipping the product to the customer.
Your profit comes from buying products at a wholesale price and then reselling them at a higher price.
You can learn How To Master eBay Dropshipping here.
How much does it cost to dropship on eBay?
eBay has more than 729 million visitors per month and naturally, it is profitable to dropship on eBay, especially for beginners who do not want to invest money or does not have the needed money to start a dropshipping business with such a huge potential for your listings to be seen.
However, unlike Amazon, eBay does not have storage facilities.
You have to contact a seller to do the dropshipping business for you.
The best part is that there is no upfront cost to pay.
All you have to do is create an eBay Seller Account and find a wholesaler who will do all the dropshipping to your customers.
eBay allows you to list 50 products for free per month and beyond that, it will charge you $0.35 for listing an item in most categories.
To directly give you the answer, apart from the 50 free listings, it will charge you $0.30 per listing and also take a 10% cut from the products you sold on eBay.
How To Dropship On eBay?
- Create an eBay Seller Account.
- Find products and wholesalers who would do the fulfillment for you.
- Since your dropshipping business depends on the reputation of your supplier, make sure you do good research as they are responsible for storing and shipping the products to your customer and your reputation is in their hands.
- Unlike other platforms, you will be solely responsible for the products to reach your customers, so make sure your supplier is trustworthy and helpful.
- You can use Amazon Fulfillment services to stock your products but you are not allowed to buy them from Amazon and then dropship to your eBay customer.
- You need to submit your tax ID.
- Set up your own payment method. The requirement may vary according to country. For sellers in the US, one has to have either a Paypal account or merchant credit card account.
- Create your profile page by putting details about your store and policies, such as shipping and return policies in detail as much as possible to build trust.
- List your items on eBay marketplace.
- Due to the low entry barrier, you will be facing fierce competition. So, you have to be creative to make your listing stand out.
- Use the promotional materials provided by your supplier.
- Product listings that are well-written are more likely to rank higher on eBay’s search engine.
- Start building a strong, positive reputation by fulfilling your orders as quickly as possible, and check with your supplier on a weekly or even daily basis to make sure everything is running smoothly.
- Remove listings for out-of-stock or discontinued items and replace them with new products regularly.
- Do not forget to respond to customer inquiries and complaints promptly and professionally, and try your best to create a positive experience that will build loyalty to retain your customers.
- Provide your tracking numbers to your customers.
BigCommerce has around 6.5 million visitors per month and hosts more than 50,000 e-commerce stores.
It is driven by flexible APIs and over 400 calls per second, per customer and is hosted on Google Cloud Platform for best-in-class uptime and server response.
You can easily launch and edit your BigCommerce site pages with drag-and-drop functionality that requires no coding.
BigCommerce provides three packages for setting up your online store with the Standard, Plus, and Pro plans and prices range from $29.95 to $249.95 a month.
Like Shopify, it is easy to set up BigCommerce.
All you have to do is opt for the 15 days trial and register an account.
Select a template and start customizing your store.
BigCommerce provides all the necessary eCommerce features for you to start your online store.
Some of the prominent features it provided are :
- Products and catalog creation.
- Order and inventory management.
- Marketing features integrated with ShipperHQ and ShipStation for shipping.
- Multiple payment gateways.
- Avalara for tax automation.
The BigCommerce platforms for dropshipping provide support via email, phone, live chat, and forum.
WooCommerce is another popular eCommerce platform for dropshipping with an easy and user-friendly interface.
The platform is intuitive and clean which makes it pretty easy to use, even for beginners.
WooCommerce as such is not a standalone website, it is a plugin that you should integrate with a WordPress site.
That means you need to have your own hosting and domain name to run the WooCommerce store.
Your WooCommerce dropshipping website will be equipped with basic eCommerce features such as product catalogs, pre-installed payment gateways, auto taxes, and shipping calculation, inventory management, multiple shipping methods, geolocation support, discount and coupon codes, sales reports, etc.
WooCommerce is more suitable for small dropshipping stores.
How to Dropship With WooCommerce?
- You need to buy a hosting and domain name.
- Install WordPress.
- Install the WooCommerce plugin.
- You need to integrate the drop shipping function to your WooCommerce website by installing a third-party plugin that will cost you around $50.
- Basically, you need to know how to manage a WordPress site.
- You can ask someone to do it for you through Fiverr if you don’t know how to set it up by yourself.
How Much Does It Cost To DropShip Using WooCommerce?
For the hosting and domain, you need to pay around $40 for a year, extra third-party integration for dropshipping service will cost you another $50.
If you want to add extra features to your store, you need to pay for them.
The total cost would come to around $100 to $500 exclusive of the product pricing.
Conclusion On How To Start Dropshipping Business
To sum up, the ideal way to start with a dropshipping business is to use a platform like Shopify or Amazon FBA to avoid unnecessary trouble of integrations to keep your online store running.
However, if you do not have the necessary money to invest or do not want to invest, you can use eBay which is the most affordable one but you need to have high sales amount to be able to generate a good profit.
You might not get it right at your beginning, but have patience because I can tell you that once you roll and master the art of drop shipping, you will never look back!
If you haven’t started yet but was dreaming about starting your online store for some time now… well, don’t you think it’s time for some action now? What are you waiting for? The ‘Right Time’?
The right time is now!
FAQs On How To Start With Dropshipping Business
How do I find my local supplier for dropshipping? How do you source suppliers for dropshipping?
- Reach out to the manufacturers of the products you want to sell and ask for their list of wholesale distributors.
- You can directly approach suppliers and ask if they dropship. They might be more eager to partner with you.
- Go to a trade fair show.
- Join supplier groups on social media like WhatsApp, Facebook.
How many suppliers do you need for dropshipping?
It actually depends on the product availability and how many different types of products you want to dropship. You might want to partner with more than two suppliers who will dropship different products to your customers.
Which platform is best for dropshipping?
Is Drop Shipping profitable? Is dropshipping still profitable in 2022?
Yes, dropshipping can be profitable if you do it right. Meaning, know what you are doing and know which products will sell well in the market.
It is also profitable because all the shipping and manufacturing are done by someone else and you are just the middleman who profits with a good margin if you happened to partner with a reliable supplier.
Is dropshipping worth in 2022?
Yes, dropshipping is worth even in 2022. In fact, it has become more popular as more and more people are preferring to shop online from the comfort of their homes rather than physically visiting the store. Besides, many online stores give better prices than physical stores.
Is AliExpress good for dropshipping?
Dropshipping with Aliexpress is good as you need not worry about keeping inventory or shipping the items to your customers. It takes care of everything.
What is the success rate of dropshipping?
Normally, the success rate of dropshipping is 10% to 20%. The success rate of dropshipping will depend on certain factors like your product selection, quality of the products, the product delivery time, and above all, how you treat the business. If you take it as a business from the start, you will succeed.
Can you dropship with no money? Can I dropship with no money?
Yes, it is possible to dropship with no money upfront as you do not need an inventory for starting a drop shipping. You will be paying your supplier who will take care of delivering the product only when a customer placed an order. So you can dropship with no money.
How much do dropshippers make?
Successful dropshippers make $100,000 or more per year or between 20% and 30% profit from each sale in profit which can be from $1000 to $5000 a month on average, apart from the money spent on purchasing the products from suppliers, marketing, paying the dropshipping websites fees and hosting.
Is eCommerce better than dropshipping?
If you want to build your own brand, you can go for eCommerce where you have complete control over the products you sell included choosing the quality of the product, selling your own products, or putting your company name on the products.
On the other hand, with dropshipping, you have no control over the products from your suppliers, or sell custom products and brand your products.
It is up to you to decide which one is the better option for your business.
How do you dropship for beginners?
As a beginner, this is what you need to do to start dropshipping:
- Research the market trends and what products will sell.
- Select the products or niche you want to dropship.
- Find out a dropship supplier that fits your needs and partner with them.
- Choose where to list your items to sell. You can either build your own website integrated with the payment portal or do it in Shopify.
- Collect orders and send them to your supplier.
- Pay the price of the products and your supplier will dropship it to your customer.
- You can automate your business or hire someone to do it for you by sharing the cut.
What are the disadvantages of drop shipping? What are the cons of dropshipping?
There are some disadvantages you might face with dropshipping. Here are some of the cons of dropshipping:
- You have almost no control over the quality of the products delivered to your customer.
- Dealing with customer complaints.
- Stock shortage
- Low-profit margin.
Is Amazon dropshipping profitable?
Amazon dropshipping can be profitable if done right. The average margin is between 15% to 30% out of which Amazon takes around 15% off the products sold. That means you will get a 15% profit margin if your margins are around 30%.
How much do you need to start Amazon dropshipping? How Much Does It Cost to Start Dropshipping on Amazon?
Amazon will charge $0.99 per unit sold for the individual plan, while the Professional plan will cost you $39.99, regardless of how many items you sell. The other cost will depend on the products you want to dropship. On average it can cost you up to $500 to run a profitable dropshipping business on Amazon.
Are Shopify stores profitable? Is selling on Shopify profitable?
Yes, selling on Shopify is profitable as there is a higher demand for online products due to the huge market shifts from physical stores to eCommerce platforms.
How do I find bulk suppliers?
There are a few ways to find bulk suppliers for your products. If you are looking for a local supplier, you can go to a trade fair show, contact the manufacturer for their supplier list, Join social media groups in Whatsapp or Facebook which are in your niche and joining trade organizations for your products.
What are the best wholesale products to sell?
The best wholesale products you can sell:
- Clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories.
- Food products – preferably dried and packaged ones for longer storage.
- Toys and baby products.
- Educational materials like books, pens, pencils, etc.
- Purses, bags, backpacks, school bags, handbags.
- Home décor items, candles.
Is Oberlo better than AliExpress?
It depends on the availability of the products you want to sell. Oberlo has more of wider product listings for dropship.
Which is better Oberlo or Shopify?
Shopify is actually an eCommerce platform that provides support and solutions for your dropshipping website.
While Oberlo is an integrated Shopify app for dropshipping. It is a product supplier.
Does Oberlo take a fee?
The Oberlo starter plan is available free of charge, with subscriptions it increased to $79.90 per month with a 30 –day free trial.
Do you need Oberlo to dropship?
You do not necessarily need Oberlo to dropship. Depending on the products you want to sell, there are multiple alternatives available for you other than Oberlo.
Why do most dropshippers fail?
Most dropshippers fail due to some factors.
- Using the wrong platform to market their product.
- Choosing the products which are saturated in the marketplace.
- Not treating dropshipping as a serious business.
- Poor quality of the products.
- Poor or unreliable supplier.
How much does the average Shopify store make?
The average earning per customer in the 10% of the best performing Shopify stores is $88 as of April 2022. This shows a growth in comparison to the average Shopify store revenue which is $72 in 2020.
How many products should I start with Shopify?
The best way to start with products is to import 20 to 25 products that complement each other. I would recommend you to laser focus on 2 or 3 products and start advertising. And then scale according to your success rate.
Do you need a website to dropship?
You don’t necessarily need a website to dropship. But, if you have one, it will be more beneficial and easy for you to establish your brand.
Does Alibaba do fulfillment?
Yes, Alibaba.com’s shipping and logistics partner, GELS Enterprise Shanghai Co Ltd. Handles all the warehousing, shipping and logistics for AliExpress orders that choose to use the Fulfillment service.
Which is better dropshipping or affiliate marketing?
Dropshipping is more profitable in terms of the revenue but requires more work to research the products, contact suppliers, and deal with customer support and refunds to make the business successful while with affiliate marketing all you have to do is refer the product to someone else and you will get the commission. While Amazon pays 3% to 10% for referring, other platforms like Clickbank, and Digistore24 will help you earn even up to 75% as affiliate commissions.
Overall, affiliate marketing is easier and more scalable.
Do you need money to start drop shipping?
You can start drop shipping without money. However, if you want to build a successful dropshipping business, investing in a few products and building a store with a hosting company or using Shopify is the key.
How do you get customers to dropship?
Here is what you can do to get customers for your dropshipping store:
- Do product research.
- Select products which are not generic and not easy to find in the local market.
- Target the right audience.
- Make your product pages informative and appealing.
- Ask your customers to give reviews for the product they bought.
- Give attractive deals or discount coupons now and then.
- Share it on your social media profiles like Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook.
- Run Facebook ads, Bing ads, and Google ads.
- Create YouTube videos about the products.
Why do most Shopify stores fail?
Most of the Shopify stores fail due to one or more of the following:
- Selling products that are saturated.
- No proper product description and information.
- Not treating it as a business.
- Not using an ideal theme like the Shopify Booster theme which is designed and highly optimized for improving sales.
How often does Shopify payout?
By default, Shopify will pay you every business day as soon as your funds are available to be paid out. You can also choose to be paid weekly or monthly.
Do you need a barcode to sell on Shopify?
No, you do not need a barcode to sell on Shopify.
Can I put my own label on wholesale clothing?
You cannot just put your own label on the garments unless you have permission from the manufacturer to do so.
How long does it take to make money dropshipping?
It depends on your marketing strategies and how seriously you take your drop shipping business. If done right, you might be able to see good results within as little as six months.
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