Dropshipping has become super popular because it takes very little investment to get started.
This business model has been around for decades but Shopify made it extremely easy to build an online store and import dropshipped products.
(Sign up on Shopify here to get 2 weeks for free)
There’s also a ton of other dropshipping options which we are about to cover.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is selling products online but the main factor is you don't need to hold inventory of your products. A supplier holds your products and they ship it to your customers for you.
Here's an example of how it works:
A customer buys something from your store
You take your customer's money and buy the product from your supplier (and keep the profit)
The supplier ships the product directly to your customer
It's cheap to get started because you have zero inventory and only buy products once you have customers.
You only job is to create customers and fulfill orders (some platforms don’t even require you to fulfill orders).
How To Get Started
Step 1: What Should You Sell?
First, you need to decide what you want to sell and what your theme will be.
The options are endless so we recommend choosing a niche you're passionate about so you stick with it and not get bored.
Brainstorm 3-5 topics that you're interested in and do some research to find out which one is the most marketable.
If you like cars, you can sell car accessories and gadgets. If you like fashion and design, you can dropship your own clothing and so on.
For inspiration you can browse the categories of Amazon or AliExpress to brainstorm ideas for categories and products.
Step 2: What Products Will Work?
Once you pick a niche you should research and sell products that are not generic. Why would customers buy a product from your store if they can get it at Wal-Mart or Amazon? Your potential customers trust Wal-Mart and Amazon, they don't trust your store so they won't buy from you.
For example do not sell headphones. This a generic item that people will always choose Amazon before your store. You could make sales, but if you’re a beginner this path is more difficult and not necessary. Don’t. sell. generic. stuff.
Your success will more likely come from selling unique or exciting products that can't be found easily.
Step 3: Pick A Platform
Once you figure out your niche, you need a place to build you store. Here are the main platforms to consider:
Teespring (for starting a clothing line)
Each have their own pros and cons but Shopify and Amazon are by far the most popular. Aliexpress and Ebay can be used for finding products and suppliers.
We’ll cover these in a little more detail…
Shopify is the most popular platform for dropshipping right now.
They let you build a online store very quickly and easily. On Shopify you can have your first store with products live in under an hour.
The best places to dropship products from are:
Teespring or Printful (if you want a clothing line)
To begin you sign up on Shopify then you can download apps from the Shopify "App Marketplace" that let you import products from these websites above.
For example, if you want AliExpress products, add the "Oberlo" app from the Shopify App Marketplace. Oberlo connects to AliExpress which has thousands of products that range from clothes, to watches, to accessories, and the list goes on.
Oberlo lets you import any products from AliExpress in just a few clicks. Then you can set your prices, product names, descriptions and more.
You can also find apps that connect with Ebay products. The advantage of Ebay is you can choose products that ship from USA which which will get to customers much quicker than Aliexpress.
To setup your Shopify store, simply choose your theme, design, and name then your next step is to download your chosen app to import products.
Sign up on Shopify here for 2 free weeks.
I recently came across, Frank Hatchett, an expert on Shopify dropshipping. Frank has one of the top reviewed dropshipping courses on the market. It will teach you how to build a profitable online business I recommend checking it out!
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Another option is to dropship via Amazon FBA. Note that this may require a more substantial investment.
Amazon FBA is a model that makes Amazon handle your inventory using their warehouses, fulfill the orders, and provide customer service for you.
It’s like running a business without handling every single technicality. So how do you get started? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Create an Amazon Seller Account at Amazon Seller Central
Select either “Individual” seller or “Professional” seller. Choose professional if you’re looking to build a business for the long run.
Use the Jungle Scout app for Amazon Product research, this will help you when launching your Amazon FBA business.
Identify a product that you can sell for less, and improve on.
Launch your product, the process of importing products, and using suppliers is found on the Amazon Seller Central help guide.
Start learning about Facebook Ads or influencer marketing to generate sales
The key here is finding the gold mine product. The product that WILL sell.
With Amazon FBA you get the advantage of leveraging their brand to access millions of people visiting the site every day.
Teespring and Printful
Teespring allows you to design and sell shirts, leveraging social media and crowdfunding. All with no money down, and with holding NO inventory.
Teespring might be your option if you're good at making designs.
Sign up with Teespring here
Then it’s very simple, make appealing designs.
Either create a design yourself (if you go this route use Canva.com, it’s a free, high quality solution to creating simple designs), or simply hire a designer on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com to create a design for you.
Apply the design to the apparel you want to sell.
From here, you should learn about facebook ads or instagram influencers to sell your merchandise.
Teespring is one of the EASIEST dropshipping solutions that requires very little investment. All you’d need to spend money on is a designer (if you take that route) and spending some money on ads.
Still not convinced? Check out more information about Teespring here.
Printful is a similar option if you want to sell clothing and merchandise. You can compare Printful to Teespring here.
But now that you have an overview of dropshipping your next step is to keep learning and take action.
If you’d like to learn from a mentor I recommend Frank Hatchett’s dropshipping course which will teach you everything you need to know to build a profitable business online. There’s also a ton of free information out there. For that I recommend Alex Becker, The Real Zaki and Hayden Bowles on YouTube to learn more about dropshipping.
I hope all of you enjoyed this article! If you have any questions about dropshipping or the resources provided leave a comment below.