Do you have an idea for a dropshipping business but don’t have a huge budget to get started? You are not alone. Although dropshipping is one of the lowest-cost online businesses to start, watching your expenses is still important when starting out.
Many eCommerce platforms are SaaS (software as a service) companies. Meaning, their software is on their servers which equates to a monthly fee. I’ll explain how you can create your dropshipping store for free using a particular dropshipping plugin which can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
How to Create Your Store Using a Free Dropshipping Plugin
There are only three pieces of software that you will need to create your own dropshipping store for free. They include:
I’ll explain how each of these pieces of software work. You may already be familiar with using WordPress and possibly WooCommerce. However, the DropshipMe Plugin may be new to you.
Step 1: Install WordPress
One good reason why WordPress is a great option for operating a dropshipping store is that it is free to use. You can download and install WordPress for free.
Another plus is that you will always retain 100% ownership of your store. When using a software as a service company, you must also agree to their terms of service.
For example, in Shopify’s terms of service, they state that they have the authority to close your account at any time for any reason:
All that you need is a registered domain name and web hosting. If you have never installed WordPress before, don’t worry. Most major web hosting providers have one-click WordPress installation available.
I use SiteGround web hosting and they have one-click WordPress installation in their CPanel:
You can register your domain name with any domain registrar you like. I use NameCheap for all of my domain registrations. However, you can also register your domain with most web hosting providers as well.
Step 2: Install WooCommerce
While WordPress is the software that creates your website, WooCommerce is the software that turns your WordPress install into an eCommerce website.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that is free to download and use. Installing a plugin is easy to do within your WordPress admin area.
Here is a tutorial to explain how to install plugins:
Once you have WooCommerce installed, you can sell just about anything you want. It is an easy to use eCommerce platform. In our case, we want to dropship so in order for this to work, you will need a dropshipping plugin.
There are several to choose from that are WooCommerce compatible. However, the DropshipMe plugin is not only free, but it also sources only the very best products for your store.
Step 3: Install the DropshipMe Plugin
This plugin was created by the team over at AliDropship.com (the creators of the AliDropship plugin.)
Over 50,000 of the best selling products on AliExpress.com have been manually selected. They’ve also edited the product titles, descriptions, and images. You can also import product reviews.
This saves you a ton of time doing product research yourself as well as having to edit each product’s title, description, and images.
Another plus is that these selected products also have more reliable suppliers which means fewer disputes.
The first 50 product imports are free and then you have an option to upgrade packages for a one-time fee.
Why Source Products From AliExpress?
The DropshipMe plugin sources products from AliExpress.com. AliExpress is one of the most popular sourcing options for many dropshippers.
There are multiple advantages to using this service which include:
- 200,000 exporters
- Some suppliers ship from the U.S.
- Over 100 million items
- No entry or participation fees
- No limits on your profit margins
- No limits on the amount of products you sell
- Works with individuals and registered companies
- Free shipping on most items
- Ships to over 200 countries worldwide
- Online shipping tracking
- Wide range of shipping methods
- Buyer protection system with full money back guarantee
Thanks to DropshipMe, you don’t have to waste time doing product research. That work is done for you which means that you can build your store faster and begin earning sooner.
Putting It All Together
Once you have all three pieces of software installed, you are all set to begin importing products and selling them. There are some other things that you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to creating your store. They can include:
- You’ll need a payment gateway to process payments. WooCommerce supports several popular payment gateways to include Stripe, Square, PayPal, and Authorize.net. Each one will have its own fee structure.
- It’s important to choose a web hosting provider that can handle an eCommerce store. Most commercial web hosts should work fine. If you want excellent customer support, I do recommend SiteGround. They also offer free SSL which is required for any eCommerce business.
Choosing a Niche for Your Store
- It always helps if the niche that you choose is one in which you have a genuine interest. If you are feeling stuck or want to be sure the niche you choose will be profitable, you can run your idea through the AliDropship niche selection tool.
A Marketing Budget
- You can definitely use free methods of promoting your store’s products to include posting on various social media platforms. Instagram is a really good options as well as Pinterest and Facebook. However, many dropshippers find success using paid advertising as well. This is another reason why a building your store for free is a good option as you can use the money that you save towards ad fees.
I hope this post has opened you up to another option for creating your own dropshipping business.
I wish you much success in your online business!