Over the course of 2021, worldwide eCommerce sales added up to around 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars – and if predictions are correct, this value is only going to continue growing. A significant portion of this trend can be attributed to the business of dropshipping.
For online merchants, it can be incredibly complicated to arrange the storage and fulfillment of products, and having inventory significantly increases your startup costs. This is where dropshipping comes out on top as an affordable, simple, and safe way of reselling products at a profit.
What is dropshipping
When it comes to running an online business, there are a few different ways to go about it. You can create and sell your own products, you can become an affiliate for other companies, or you can dropship.
Dropshipping is a business model where you don’t keep any inventory on hand but instead rely on a third party to store and ship your products for you. When a customer places an order, you simply contact the supplier, who will then ship the product directly to your customer.
Dropshipping has become increasingly popular in recent years because it’s a very low-risk way to start an online business. You don’t need to invest in any inventory, and you don’t need to worry about shipping products yourself. Plus, there are several dropshipping suppliers who will ship products anywhere in the world.
How to make money with dropshipping
Starting a profitable dropshipping company requires only a few simple steps –
Choose a niche of products to sell
It’s important to choose a niche of products that you have some knowledge or interest in, as this will make it easier for you to market your store and the products that you’re selling.
Set up your online store
You can either set up an online store using a platform like Shopify or build your own store using WooCommerce, which provides users with everything they need to get their store up and running quickly and easily. Amazon also allows you to dropship.
Find a dropshipping supplier
There are many different suppliers out there. So, it is important to do your research and find one that meets your needs. When looking for a supplier, be sure to consider factors like the quality of products, shipping times, and prices. Always read the reviews online.
Market your store
Marketing your online store can be done in a variety of ways, including through online marketing channels like Google Ads, Facebook or Instagram ads, TikTok, etc, as well as through offline methods like flyers and word-of-mouth marketing.
In terms of startup costs, you will need around $100 to get started with dropshipping. This includes the cost of setting up your online store and purchasing a domain name and hosting.
Where to get products to dropship
Dropshipping differs from selling your own products, as you’ll be sourcing products from other companies that are already in operation. There are three main places where you can find products to dropship – wholesale suppliers, brand distributors, and online marketplaces.
Dropshipping and wholesale suppliers are websites or businesses that sell products in bulk to retailers. This is a great option if you’re looking for unique or hard-to-find items to sell. However, the minimum order quantity can be high. So, it is not ideal if you’re just starting out. These vendors are often used by those looking to start an Amazon wholesale business.
Brand distributors are companies that specialize in selling products from a certain brand, which is ideal for retailers looking to stock a wide range of items from a single supplier. This option can be more expensive than other sources, but it can be worth it if you’re looking for high-quality products.
Online marketplaces include websites like eBay and Amazon that allow retailers to sell products from third-party sellers. While online marketplaces are a great source of products, it can be difficult to find quality suppliers, and you’ll need to compete with other sellers for attention.
Where to sell your products
Once you have found a distributor and decided which products you are going to drop ship, you need to set up a store to sell these products.
The most popular way to do this is through an online marketplace such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. Marketplaces provide you with a pre-existing customer base and simplify the process of setting up your store and managing your inventory. They take a commission on each sale, however, which can be as high as 10-15%.
One of the simplest marketplaces to sell through is Amazon – all you need to do is create an Amazon Seller account, list your products, set your prices, and start shipping orders.
Your own store
You can also set up a standalone store using a platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce. These platforms provide you with a customizable store, as well as hosting and payment processing services. They also have a wide range of applications and integrations that allow you to connect with other services like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook.
Shopify and BigCommerce both have monthly fees starting at $29/month, but they also offer free trial periods so you can try them out before you commit.
Dropshipping product criteria
Although dropshipping is one of the simplest ways to make money through eCommerce, it only works if you are selling the products people want to buy. There are a few important criteria to follow when sourcing products for a dropshipping business –
- Make sure your product is in demand. You can use Google Trends to research popular keywords and see if there is growing interest in the product.
- The product should be something that people are willing to buy online. Check out what your competitors are selling and make sure you can offer a unique product or service. If not both, at least better value for their money.
- The price point of your product is important. You want to make sure you are able to make a profit on each sale, but also that the product is priced competitively. The ideal dropshipping price is between $20-$100 with at least a 40% net profit.
- The product should be easy to ship. This will help keep your shipping costs down and ensure that you are able to offer quick turnaround times to your customers.
Top tip: you can use the AMZScout Online Arbitrage and Dropshipping Extension to ensure that your products meet the criteria for saleability.
The online selling industry is booming, and many people are making the most of profitable opportunities like dropshipping. If you’re looking for a business model that doesn’t require a lot of financial investment, dropshipping is a great option to consider.
You can start your own dropshipping business with just a few hundred dollars (or less), and you don’t have to worry about stocking any inventory. When a customer places an order, you simply need to contact the supplier, and they will ship the product directly to your customer. This process is simple and convenient for both you and your customers.
Dropshipping is a great business model to consider if you’re looking for a low-cost way to start selling online.