In the business world, dropshipping has replaced affiliate marketing as the most exciting prospect. It has rapidly expanded into a multibillion dollar industry that rules the online retail sector.

In this detailed tutorial, I’ll demonstrate how to launch a dropshipping enterprise with minimal effort. Whether you’re completely new to the world of online business or have years of experience under your belt, by the end of this guide you’ll have a solid grasp on what it takes to launch a successful dropshipping operation.

I’ll explain everything in detail and show you how to do it yourself. To give you the most useful guide to starting a dropshipping business online, I will also avoid unnecessary jargon.

Contents hide

Find a popular niche

The first thing you should do when starting a dropshipping business is to identify a niche. It’s crucial to find a thriving market segment that has both little competition and a high demand. This will help you establish your brand as distinct from others in your industry, increasing your chances of success.

To locate a profitable dropshipping market, you can use a variety of strategies. Let’s examine some of the most well-liked and successful methods in greater detail.

Reflect on your interests and hobbies

The first step in finding a niche for your dropshipping business is to think about the things that you enjoy doing. Identify the things that truly fascinate you and ask yourself if they could be turned into a profitable business.

If you have an interest in health and fitness, for instance, you might decide to sell exercise machines for the home or accessories for various sports. Those with an affinity for nature may find fulfillment in the retail sale of camping gear. Any way you look at it, picking a specialty you’re enthusiastic about is essential.

Research and study other sellers

Discovering a profitable dropshipping niche can also be accomplished through research into similar markets served by other sellers. Check out the best-seller lists on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay first. Actually, Amazon has a page dedicated to its best-selling products, while eBay features a selection of its most popular product categories.

Check out the seller’s other items if one of them catches your eye. Examine the offerings of various vendors after conducting a search for comparable items on Google, Amazon, or eBay. In addition to finding other businesses that have found success in their respective niches, this is also a great way to come up with ideas for your own.

Use a free keyword research tool

Finding a dropshipping niche can be done quickly and easily with the help of free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Wordtracker. The tool works by having the user enter a seed keyword, at which point a list of related keywords, complete with information on monthly search volume and the level of competition, is immediately returned.

Use a trend spotting tool

If you’re looking for potential dropshipping niches, Google Trends is another excellent free resource. Entering some seed keywords into the software will reveal how popular that product has been over a given time frame. Further, it will suggest questions and discussions that are similar to your own.

Use a dropshipping niche finder tool

Another option for finding a profitable dropshipping niche to use a dropshipping niche finder tool. The best dropshipping niches and products to sell can be found quickly and easily with the help of a niche finder tool, saving you countless hours of manual research.

Create a brand name

The next step in starting a dropshipping business is to come up with a brand name once you have settled on a market niche to serve. Whether you intend to set up an online shop or sell through an intermediary like eBay, a strong brand identity is crucial.

Here is a guide to picking the right name for your dropshipping company’s brand. Because doing so is a crucial part of following our guide, please read them carefully.

Keep it short and catchy

Brand names should be simple, catchy, and straightforward. Because of this, you should aim for brevity and appeal. Also, you should think about how to tailor it to the specific audience you have in mind. If you’re in the pet supply business, for instance, “PowerPets” or “HappyPaws” would make great brand names to advertise your wares.

Use a business name generator

NameSnack and Namelix are two examples of free, easy-to-use business name generators. Just type in what you’re looking for, and you’ll get back dozens of results. When trying to come up with a list of possible business names, it is recommended to use more than one business name generator.

Make sure the name is available

The final step after coming up with potential brand names is to see if any are available. The most efficient method is to use a comprehensive name checker program like Namechk or KnowEm. Use these sites to see if your desired domain name is available across multiple services at once, including social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The name should also pass a trademark search to make sure it hasn’t been claimed by another business. If the desired domain name is free, it should be registered immediately, and accounts should be created on all relevant social media platforms.

Choose a selling platform

After deciding on a company name and market segment, the next step in starting a dropshipping business is picking a platform to sell your products on. It’s important to weigh your preferences against the many available options before settling on a single platform from which to sell your dropshipped goods.

Sell on marketplaces

For beginners, dropshipping on sites like Amazon and eBay is the best bet. This is due to the fact that both eBay and Amazon have millions of users from around the world and are very simple to use. Also, anyone can sign up and begin dropshipping on Amazon or eBay right away.

However, before engaging in dropshipping on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, it is crucial to study the rules. You should only buy in bulk from legitimate wholesalers and merchants. However, neither eBay nor Amazon permit sellers to offer drop shipping from third-party retailers like Walmart.

The selling fees of websites like eBay and Amazon must also be factored in. Use this information to figure out if dropshipping on a marketplace is the best route for you.

Build an online store

While selling on marketplaces can bring in some quick cash, a more permanent solution is to create an online store. If you have your own e-commerce website, you can sell products without worrying about thousands of other sellers. Plus, you’ll have better command over your dropshipping enterprise.

There are dozens of dropshipping website builders to pick from, including Shopify, WooCommerce, Ecwid, and BigCommerce, to name a few. Shopify and WooCommerce are the most popular choices because they are widely regarded as the most trustworthy e-commerce platforms. But your budget and skill level are major factors in determining the best platform.

Purchase a turnkey store

To avoid the hassle and learning curve of setting up your own dropshipping business, you can buy an already established “turnkey” store instead. As part of their turnkey service, most dropshipping store providers also offer assistance with website design, optimization, and configuration.

After the online store has been built and delivered, you can begin selling products and attracting customers immediately. In addition, you can make changes and add your own flair to your shop with minimal effort. It’s a cheap and easy way to get a dropshipping business up and running.

Sell on Facebook Marketplace

Since its launch in 2016, Facebook Marketplace has become one of the most visited e-commerce platforms worldwide. Its primary function was to facilitate the purchase and sale of previously owned goods between members of the same community; however, recent years have seen an uptick in interest in brand-new products being offered on the site.

Actually, just recently, you could start accepting payments and do direct shipping with Facebook Marketplace. To set up a dropshipping business, this is yet another fantastic website. Keep in mind, however, that at the present time, only US vendors can accept payments and offer shipping.

Sell on multiple channels

When dropshipping, expanding your sales channels allows you to reach more potential customers and increase your sales. You need only focus on one platform initially before gradually expanding into others. You should be making sales through as many channels as possible, such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and your own physical store.

The use of a centralized dashboard is a major advantage of multi-channel selling software, as it will allow you to monitor and control your listings, sales, customers, and stock from any of your sales channels. In addition, your listings will be updated simultaneously across all platforms whenever you make any changes.

Get automation software

When starting a dropshipping business, the most difficult tasks are locating suppliers and managing inventory. So, it’s crucial to have dropshipping automation software.

Finding and importing top-selling products from a variety of reliable suppliers is a breeze with the help of most dropshipping automation solutions, and so is fully automating stock and price management. In fact, using dropshipping software, you can control every aspect of your company from a single dashboard.

At this point in the tutorial, you should have an idea of the goods you intend to sell and the markets to which you will be distributing them. Consequently, all you have to do is locate software that is compatible with your company’s procedures.

There are a wide variety of dropshipping solutions available today, and each one works with a unique set of vendors and marketplaces. To help you find a program that works for you, we’ve compiled this guide to the top dropshipping software. The vast majority of them offer zero-dollar starter plans.

You can find dropshipping software that is compatible with your selling channel and niche suppliers, whether you want to sell electronics on Amazon or pet supplies through an online store.

For instance, Wholesale2b is a one-stop dropshipping shop where you can find over a million best-sellers from more than 80 domestic vendors. You can use Wholesale2b with any of the top e-commerce platforms, including: eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Our article on the best dropshipping suppliers in the UK and our guide on the best dropshipping suppliers in the US should be your starting points if you’d rather not use automation software to source products from suppliers.

For instance, Wholesale2b is a one-stop dropshipping shop where you can find over a million best-sellers from more than 80 domestic vendors. You can use Wholesale2b with any of the top e-commerce platforms, including: eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Our article on the best dropshipping suppliers in the UK and our guide on the best dropshipping suppliers in the US should be your starting points if you’d rather not use automation software to source products from suppliers.

Start creating listings

There are a number of factors to consider when making listings for your online store or for a third-party marketplace. The following tips will help you to maximise your traffic and sales by creating attractive product listings.

Remember that if you use automation software, listing products on your selling channel will go quickly. This can typically be done in bulk with a web app or Chrome browser extension. Without the aid of software, listing creation will require manual labor.

Use high-quality product images

It’s simple to create eye-catching listings that attract buyers by including high-quality product images in the listing. Dropshipping requires some creative editing of product images to make them stand out from the crowd.

There are a number of websites, such as Img2Go, that allow you to easily watermark images in order to promote your brand. Changing the dimensions of your images is one simple way to stand out.

In fact, you could take it a step further and create your very own special product photographs. Suppliers who engage in drop shipping are typically more than happy to send out product samples for you to photograph. Instead, you could hire a professional shopper-oriented product photographer.

Create keyword optimised titles

When dropshipping, it’s crucial to create titles with relevant keywords, especially if you plan to sell on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. Your title should always contain as many relevant keywords as possible. As a result, more potential customers will see your business in the results of their Google, Amazon, or eBay product searches.

Either use a free keyword research tool or look at the titles of competing sellers’ products that are similar to yours to get some ideas. As an alternative, you can use a free title generator like FireTitle to come up with some possibilities.

Write your own unique descriptions

Writing your own unique product descriptions is the single most effective way to stand out from the competition, but it can be time-consuming. As an added bonus, you can use this space to better position your listings in search results by strategically placing keywords.

If you don’t have the time to come up with original descriptions, you can always hire a dropshipping description writing service to do it for you. Professional descriptions can be purchased for a low price from freelance writers on sites like Fiverr and PeoplePerHour.

Set reasonable selling prices

Setting prices too high is the single biggest mistake made by dropshipping newbies. Finding the sweet spot between high profit margins and high sales is crucial. A smaller profit with higher sales volume is preferable to a larger profit with lower volume.

Always factor in your costs and the percentage you plan to keep as profit when determining a price to sell a dropshipped item for. Aim for a profit margin of at least 20–25 percent.

Countless cost-free profit calculators, including Salecalc and eBayFeesCalculator, are available on the web. These tools allow you to quickly work out your fees for eBay or Amazon, as well as payment processors such as PayPal. Fees can be calculated instantly after entering selling and cost prices.

Choose winning products

The best way to jumpstart your dropshipping business is to start with a winning product. That’s why it’s important to research products and select items that are popular and in-demand. You can either do this by hand or use a dropshipping research tool to save time and effort.

You can find profitable products that are selling well for other retailers and dropshippers with the help of most research tools designed specifically for this purpose. Researching the competition, analyzing sales and revenue, or consulting a database of the best-selling dropshipping items are common methods.

Drive traffic and sales

Your dropshipping business can’t survive without a healthy flow of sales. To maximize sales, you must make an effort to increase visitors to your online shop or product listings. While dropshipping via a store or marketplace, these are some of the most effective strategies for increasing sales:

Optimise conversion rate

Simple optimization and improvements in your dropshipping conversion rate can have a significant impact. Providing free shipping and original product descriptions are two options. Altering or lowering prices is another strategy for maximising sales.

Your online shop can benefit from user ratings, faster page loads, and guest checkout if you implement these features. Dropshipping video ads are another tried and true method of significantly boosting conversion rates.

Furthermore, there are a plethora of third-party plugins and apps available for most ecommerce platforms that can assist in raising your conversion rate. Tools to streamline the payment process, extend available payment methods, facilitate real-time communication, and make use of exit pop-ups are all included.

Run sales and promotions

One other proven method of increasing foot traffic and ultimately sales is to hold sales and promotions. Dropshipping on eBay allows you to set up multi-buy offers to attract more customers, while Amazon’s platform gives you more flexibility to create a wide variety of discounts and specials.

When drop-shipping via an online store, you have more leeway to create unique discounts and sales events like flash sales, lightning deals, and buy-one-get-one-free specials. In fact, Shopify, WooCommerce, and other storefront solutions all have a variety of add-ons and apps available for managing your online store’s day-to-day operations.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business
How to Start a Dropshipping Business

Improve search engine rankings

One of the best ways to get people to visit your store or product listings without spending a dime is to boost your position in the search results on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Google. The most effective strategy for this is to strategically place keywords in your titles and meta descriptions.

Low-competition keywords with high monthly searches can be found with the help of a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Wordtracker.

Installing a search engine optimization plugin, such as the All in One SEO Pack for WordPress, is a good idea if you run an online store. There are many SEO add-ons and built-in features available for Shopify and other popular store builders.

Create an affiliate program

In order to increase sales for a dropshipping business, one of the best things to do is to start an affiliate program. With the help of GoAffPro and similar platforms, you can easily and affordably set up an affiliate program. With this setup, affiliate marketers can promote your business online for a cut of the profits.

Promoting your store and individual product listings is crucial if you want to maximize your sales. This is possible regardless of the type of online shop or marketplace you use. Here are some of the most efficient methods for promoting your dropshipping business:

Utilize social media marketing. The most common form of advertising for dropshipping stores is on social media platforms. Some of the largest dropshippers make millions of dollars annually from video ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Examine the sponsored results. Promoted listings are a great option for eBay dropshippers. You can pay a modest percentage of your sales to boost your listing’s visibility and clickthrough rate.
Use to spread your ads. Amazon sellers have the option of promoting their wares to a wide audience. You’ll only be charged for Amazon product ads when they bring in actual sales.
Take advantage of Google AdWords. Promoting your dropshipping shop through Google Ads is another effective strategy. Advertising on Google is a great way to boost visibility for your company and its offerings.

You can increase traffic to your dropshipping store and sales in many other ways. Finding up-to-date information on the most effective digital marketing strategies for e-commerce and drop shipping can be done easily through YouTube. If you do a quick search, you’ll find hundreds of video guides on the subject of traffic generation for newbies.

Process customer orders

As soon as sales begin to roll in, it’s time to get to work filling those orders. When possible, you should have orders sent to your supplier the same day they are received. For further consideration when handling orders, here are some additional suggestions:

Incorporate a tracking identifier. Don’t forget to incorporate supplier tracking data into your online store once you receive it.
Messages regarding orders should be sent. Keep your customers happy by always notifying them when their orders have been shipped.
It’s important to double-check addresses regularly. In order to avoid any delays in shipping, double check the delivery addresses before placing or forwarding orders to the supplier.
Automated order fulfillment is a feature some dropshipping platforms offer. The uploading of tracking information and the sending of notifications upon a shipment can be automated in some cases. These functions are usually included in turnkey dropshipping software packages.

Manage customer service

Your dropshipping business requires more than just order fulfillment; you also need to handle all customer service inquiries. If you can keep your customers happy, they will come back and buy more from you. What follows are some suggestions for those in charge of customer service.

Process customer returns quickly

For whatever reason, if a customer needs to send an item back, you should get in touch with your supplier right away to make arrangements for its return. The majority of the time, your vendor will be able to supply you with a return address or return label. Please share this with the buyer.

Remember that customers can start a return process at any time through marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. This is why, when dropshipping on marketplaces, you need to handle returns as soon as possible.

Answer questions from buyers

Customers of your dropshipping business may have inquiries about your inventory or procedures. A timely response is essential, as is addressing concerns head-on. When you have questions about a product or its features, you can look it up online and find the answers you need.

Request feedback and reviews

It is important to contact customers again after they have received their orders so that you can get their opinion. Particularly when selling on marketplaces, it is crucial to amass positive reviews and feedback, as many potential buyers prefer to read reviews before making a purchase decision.

Track income and expenses

One of the most crucial aspects of managing a dropshipping company is keeping track of your earnings and expenditures. It’s crucial that you track your sales and profits meticulously. It’s important to keep track of your earnings and expenditures even if you’re just starting out in dropshipping.

Spreadsheets are widely used by dropshippers to keep track of money coming in and going out. However, with the help of accounting software, the procedure can be made much easier and quicker to complete. Accounting software will simplify the process of determining your company’s revenue, expenditures, and net profit.

When it comes time to file your taxes, you’ll be glad you kept all your records and documentation of your income and expenditures. When your business begins to see consistent sales and profits, you may want to consider enlisting the services of an accountant to assist you with filing your tax returns.

Keep growing the business

The ultimate goal of this dropshipping manual is to help you expand your company. You can achieve this by consistently listing new items, revising existing ones, working to improve your Feedback score, and accumulating more positive customer reviews and sales data.

Eventually, your drop-shipping enterprise will take off and bring in a steady stream of profit. To succeed, you must maintain a high level of motivation and consistency. You probably won’t experience a sales avalanche right away, but if you put in the time and effort, the money will start rolling in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the dropshipping business model work?

Dropshipping is a business model in which goods are sold online without the initial investment in inventory. The products are obtained from the wholesaler or manufacturer directly after a sale has been made.

Take the hypothetical case of David’s online store. He then locates a dropshipping vendor and puts the item up for sale on his website for twenty dollars plus shipping. When a customer makes a purchase, David sends the order to the manufacturer and pays $10 (the wholesale price).

The supplier then packs and ships the order to the consumer, omitting any sort of invoice or company logo. David gets to keep the $10 profit that results from the difference between the retail price ($20) and the wholesale price ($10).

Why start a dropshipping business?

When compared to running a standard online store or brick-and-mortar storefront, starting a dropshipping business has many distinct advantages. Dropshipping is a business model in which products are shipped directly to customers rather than in bulk to save money.

You won’t need to make any up-front stock purchases, and you won’t have to keep any stock on hand. In addition, there will be no need for product shipping or handling returns. This makes it the perfect venture for those who want to dabble in e-commerce but don’t want to put forth a large initial investment.

Launching a dropshipping business also allows you to rapidly expand your product catalog, which is a huge plus. Dropshipping software makes it especially easy to list thousands of products for sale in a short amount of time. In addition, a dropshipping enterprise can be operated from any location.

Can anyone start a dropshipping business?

Following this tutorial’s advice, anyone can launch a successful dropshipping enterprise. You don’t need any experience with online stores or advertising to get started. Having internet service and a trustworthy vendor are all that is required.

In spite of this, it takes time and effort to establish a prosperous dropshipping enterprise. You won’t become wealthy overnight, and this isn’t a scheme to help you do so. Those who aren’t willing to put in the time and effort won’t succeed at dropshipping.

How much do I need to start a dropshipping business?

While drop shipping is a highly lucrative business model with low overhead, you will still need an initial investment. How much you need will be determined by the selling platform and the associated software.

To sell on websites like eBay or Amazon, for instance, you will have to pay listing fees in advance. The cost of dropshipping software for managing stock and pricing will also need to be covered. If you want to sell products online, you’ll need to either pay for a complete solution like Shopify or invest in a domain name and hosting on your own.

Therefore, you should set aside at least $100-$200 to launch your dropshipping enterprise. This will give you the freedom to open a store or start selling on marketplaces without worrying about starting capital.

Is running a dropshipping business legal?

To answer your question, it is entirely legal to operate a dropshipping company. In most countries, dropshipping is not illegal and is not restricted by any regulations. Third-party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon typically permit dropshipping as well.

Keep in mind that dropshipping is just one method among many for fulfilling online orders. Buying and selling items for a profit is not illegal because of this. The dropshipping model is used by thousands of companies, including some large retailers.

How long does it take to make money with a dropshipping business?

Dropshipping is a business model where your success is directly proportional to the time and effort you put into it. Profits won’t materialize overnight, but if you stick with it and keep adding new products, you should see some progress within a few months.

However, when selling via an online storefront, the time it takes to begin turning a profit from dropshipping is typically longer. This is due to the increased effort required to promote and drive traffic to a website. For this reason, if you want to start making money right away, you should consider selling on more than just eBay.

How much can I earn from a dropshipping business?

Operating a successful dropshipping business can generate monthly incomes of $2,500 and up. Some highly profitable dropshipping companies pull in millions annually. Earning potential in a dropshipping enterprise is infinite.

You may or may not see success depending on the niche you choose and the amount of time and energy you put into your business. How much money you make with a dropshipping business depends not only on how much product you sell, but also on your profit margins and how much you invest in advertising and marketing.

How do I start an eBay dropshipping business?

You need to pick a profitable niche and establish your brand before you can launch an eBay dropshipping business. Locating a reliable wholesaler or dropshipper is the next step. You can begin creating eBay listings once you have a supplier.

Refer to our detailed dropshipping guide on eBay for additional resources. In this article, we’ll look at the upsides and downsides of eBay dropshipping, as well as the steps you need to take to get your business up and running.

Is starting an eBay dropshipping business allowed?

In response to your question, you can open an eBay store specifically for dropshipping. However, before beginning dropshipping on eBay, you should read the rules very carefully. In short, the policy specifies that you need to buy the supplies from a business or wholesaler.

Products sold on eBay cannot be dropshipped from other retailers such as Amazon. The rules also specify that the onus for ensuring the security of shipments and handling returns and refunds rests with the sellers. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a supplier you can trust when dropshipping from eBay.

How do I start a dropshipping business with no money?

To start a dropshipping business with no money, it’s recommended to use a free online store builder such as Ecwid or Wix Stores. Other ecommerce platforms including Shopify and BigCommerce would be suitable as they both provide a free trial.

The following step is to look for open-source drop-shipping programs. As mentioned previously in this guide, dropshipping software will provide you with an all-in-one solution for finding suppliers, listing products and managing the day-to-day operations of your business.

Please refer to our article on the best dropshipping software. We’ve compiled a list of the top software, many of which are available for free or with a free trial. One of the most well-known programs for dropshipping from AliExpress is DSers. It has a free plan for importing up to 3000 products.

Alternatively, you can find a trusted dropshipping supplier with no membership fees, without having to use software. You can easily find them by conducting a search on Google or by using a free supplier directory. Once you have a supplier or software to use, you can start building your store and adding products.

How do I find suppliers for my dropshipping business?

Using dropshipping software is highly recommended because it streamlines the processes of sourcing products, creating product listings, and managing inventory.

If, on the other hand, you’d rather not use software to find reliable dropshippers, we have a helpful guide to the top UK dropshippers and a similar post for the top US dropshippers.

The best vendors in a wide range of industries have been compiled in curated lists on our blog, which you may find useful. To find legitimate wholesale and trade suppliers for dropshipping, you can either conduct a Google search or consult a dropshipping directory

What are the disadvantages of starting a dropshipping business?

There are many advantages to starting a dropshipping business over conventional e-commerce, but there are also some drawbacks to think about. The lack of management over product quality, shipping times, and order packaging is the biggest drawback.

This makes it tough to ship orders on time and adequately protect them during transit. This means you can’t bundle any paperwork or marketing materials into the orders either.

To counteract this shortcoming, it is best to establish a solid working relationship with a trustworthy supplier. If you do well enough, your supplier may even let you put your own logo on the box or include customized shipping invoices with orders.

Costlier product sourcing is another drawback of starting a dropshipping operation. Because they deal in such large quantities, wholesalers can usually offer very competitive prices to retailers. Since your supplier will have to ship your items separately, dropshipping usually results in a small price increase.

However, if you buy from a real wholesaler or trade-only distributor, you’ll still pay less than retail. This will give you a nice margin to work with. Though dropshipping individual items might save you money, it usually isn’t as cost-effective as buying in bulk.

Final Word

This concludes our instruction on how to launch a dropshipping company. Regardless of your background or current predicament, I hope you’ve gained some useful knowledge from this article.

There’s plenty more helpful information on dropshipping and online business scattered throughout our other blog posts, so take some time to peruse them. Increasing conversion rates and sales with digital marketing strategies are just two of the many topics we cover in our comprehensive guides.