Opening a dropshipping store is already a low-cost online business to start. There are various types of dropshipping software to choose from.
You can use web-based dropshipping software or choose a WordPress dropshipping plugin. However, if you want to test out dropshipping without investing in software first, you can do so for free.
All that you need is WordPress, WooCommerce, and the Dropship.Me plugin.
I’ll briefly explain how you can get started and the advantages of starting with a free store versus jumping into paid software.
Dropship for Free Using WooCommerce
At a bare minimum with this option, you will pay about $30 per month to use Shopify. The Oberlo app is free but for additional features and options, you’ll need to upgrade to one of their fee-based monthly plans.
That could increase your minimum monthly expense to $60 per month. This expense can be a bit much for someone new to dropshipping and not making any sales yet.
Starting with a free dropshipping store is a great way to learn about dropshipping without the overhead. As you learn and make more sales, you can easily automate your store with paid software.
What You Need To Open a Free Dropshipping Store
For this free store, you will need three pieces of software which include:
Getting WordPress up is extremely easy. Most commercial web hosting providers have one-click WordPress installation available.
Some web hosting providers will auto-install WordPress for you such as using any HostPapa optimized WordPress plan.
Another hosting provider that I use is BigScoots. They have one-click WordPress installation. They have monthly plans starting at $3.55.
Once you have your WordPress website installed, you can click on “Plugins”, then “Add New” in your admin area. Type WooCommerce in the search box.
It will be the first result returned. You can then click on “install” and then “activate.” Follow the set-up wizard and you’ll be all set.
In order to install DropshipMe you will need to download the plugin from their website. When you do, you will be given an API key.
Installing it is similar to installing WooCommerce. The only difference is that you will click on “Add New” under Plugins and then click on “Upload Plugin” at the top of the screen.
Activate the plugin after it is installed, then scroll to the Dropship.Me menu item. You’ll see a link to add your API key.
The DropshipMe plugin enables you to import the best selling dropshipping products from AliExpress into your WooCommerce store.
It saves you the time of doing product research, editing product titles, descriptions, and images.
Things To Keep in Mind
Building your free dropshipping store using this method means that you will have to manually complete any customer orders on AliExpress and you’ll also have to manually send customers their tracking IDs.
The good news is that when you’re ready to automate your store, you can do so easily using the AliDropship plugin.
The Benefits of Opening a Free Dropshipping Store
If you are new to dropshipping, opening a free store has many benefits. Some of them include:
Save Money On Software Expenses
- Many new dropshippers are on a budget and spending money on software can eat into your budget. With a free dropshipping store, you can get started right away without worry of dipping into your budget for software fees.
Test Out Your Niche
- It is not uncommon for new dropshippers to choose a niche that isn’t profitable. The only thing you risk with a free dropshipping store is your time. If you’ve chosen a niche that isn’t working out, you haven’t spent a dime on software fees. You are learning as you go for free.
You Can Upgrade Later
- As your free store increases in sales, you always have the option to upgrade your software. This enables you to automate many of the daily tasks such as order fulfillment and tracking information.
Which Dropshipping Software To Upgrade To?
When you begin to experience success with your free store, you will eventually want to automate your store as much as you can.
Manually processing orders and sending out tracking information is extremely time-consuming. Chances are you won’t want to add another expense by outsourcing those tasks.
Since your free store is running on WordPress and using WooCommerce, the ideal software to upgrade to would be the AliDropship Plugin.
This plugin automates essential tasks such as order fulfillment, inventory updates, pricing updates, tracking information, and more.
Another huge plus is that it is only a one-time fee of $89 which means no recurring monthly fees to use it
You also get unlimited product imports and unlike other third-party software, you retain full ownership of your store. You can learn more about WooCommerce and AliDropship here.
Promoting Your Free Store
Getting sales with your free store will be the same as an eCommerce store. You’ll likely use both free and paid advertising. Since you will not have monthly software fees, you can use the money saved for paid promotion.
Many dropshippers promote their stores for free on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You can also run paid ads on these platforms as well. Facebook owns Instagram so creating ads for both platforms can be done from your Facebook account.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great platforms to advertise on as you can target the people in your niche ensuring that you get the most for your advertising dollars.
Opening free dropshipping stores saves a lot of money and enables you to test out various niches without having to pay software fees for each new store.
This works out well for both new and experienced dropshippers. To recap, the only software you will need for your free store include:
You also have the option to upgrade your store to an automated dropshipping store later with the AliDropship plugin.
Do you want to dropship for free with your own store? What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.