Thanks to the software and technology available today, just about anyone can get started with their own eCommerce business.
Dropshipping in particular is one of the lowest cost eCommerce businesses that you can start. The biggest reason being that you do not need to invest in any inventory.
I’ll explain how to start a dropship business of your own without spending a ton of money to do so.
First, What is Dropshipping Anyway?
Dropshipping is the process of selling physical goods without buying any of the inventory up front. You begin by finding reliable dropship suppliers.
You also need your own eCommerce platform (store) in which to display the items you are selling. When your customers buy products from your store, you pay your suppliers for these items.
Your dropship suppliers then ship these items directly to your customers for you. The difference in price between what you charged your customer and what your supplier charged you is your profit!
Pretty simple, right? Here is a graphic representation of how it all goes down:
Being a dropshipper holds so many advantages. Let’s take a look at some of them now:
- It is a low-cost online business
- No inventory to buy or store (saves money!)
- You can offer a wider variety of products in your store
- No shipping & handling worries
- Work from anywhere with an internet connection
- Start with one store and create more as you grow
- Unlimited income potential
- No experience necessary
Is Dropshipping a Risky Business?
Absolutely! Every business has risks involved. Some business models have less risk than others. Overall, dropshipping is probably one of the least riskiest businesses you can start.
Where’s My Order?
The main risk is relying on another company to ship your products for you. You always run the risk of a company missing your order and not shipping a product on time or at all.
This leads to irate customers and leaves you to deal with making your customers happy using refunds, discounts, etc.
How Do I Make Sales?
Another risk falls within store promotion. Without visitors, you won’t make sales. Putting up an eCommerce store does not generate instant visitors.
You have to invest in various marketing methods. A lot of dropshippers begin by promoting their stores using Facebook and Instagram ads.
If you cannot afford advertising your store, you may have very little sales. Some dropshippers manage to get all free advertising by becoming experts on social media platforms like Instagram.
This Shirt Doesn’t Fit!
You can be sure that you will deal with customer complaints and refunds. Everything from items not fitting, not being what was expected, or not receiving an item at all.
Customers will demand refunds and they will complain. That is just a part of doing any type of business.
There is no need to take it personally. Always provide your best customer service and try to make your customers happy no matter what.
How to Start Your Dropship Business for as Little as Possible
Believe me, I get what it is like to try and figure out a way to have a business without spending a ton on up front costs.
Back in the day, starting a dropshipping business was much more difficult. There wasn’t any of the cool software that is available today.
You would need to hire a web developer to program a store for you that would enable you to dropship items.
Or you would have to customize whatever eCommerce software was available yourself. Thankfully, that is not the case today.
Tell Me More!
You have options! Many people start off by using Shopify for dropshipping.
I tried this option and used the Oberlo app to import and sell items from AliExpress.com.
Both pieces of software worked extremely well together. However, in order to use both, you have to pay monthly fees.
Remember, we are trying to create a dropship store on the cheap so using Shopify and Oberlo is already adding up!
Shopify’s basic plan is $29 per month. Oberlo’s basic plan is $29.90 per month. That is already $60 per month minimum to maintain a store on Shopify’s platform.
That’s not to mention the fact that you also lose 100% ownership of your store using third-party services such as these.
That means they have the authority to shut down your store for whatever reason they see fit which can leave you in the lurch.
What’s a Better Option for a Dropship Store?
Glad you asked. I use and recommend the AliDropship Plugin. What makes this little plugin so spectacular?
For one thing, it works on WordPress. WordPress is free to download and install. It also means that you retain 100% ownership of your store rat off the bat.
That eliminates the worry of a third-party service closing your store for any reason. You have full ownership and control of your store at all times.
The AliDropship plugin sources products from AliExpress—one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world.
AliDropship performs all of the necessary functions required of a dropshipping store. This plugin has become widely recognized by dropshippers all over the globe.
Here are some really great features of this plugin:
- Search and import products
- Auto updates product information
- Pricing automation
- Fulfill orders automatically
- ePacket shipping filter
- Auto order tracking
- Built-in themes
- Product customization
- Unlimited number of products
- Product variations
- WooCommerce support
- Built-In Image Editor
- Discount coupons
- Product reviews
- SEO product tags
- Abandoned cart
- Email lists
- Live statistics
- Payment gateway integrations
- Inventory management
- All-in-One dashboard
- Cash-back system
- Free updates and support
AliDropship Has a One-Time Fee
This is where you save a lot of money with your own dropship store. You do no have any recurring monthly fees by using the AliDrophship plugin.
There is a one-time fee for the plugin and a one-time fee for a custom store (if you choose that route). That savings can easily be put towards your own marketing efforts.
There is no better time than now to start your own dropship business. It is one of the lowest cost online business models out there.
Many people have achieved enormous success and had little to no experience when they got started.
Imagine the potential for someone like yourself who is ready to work hard and achieve their dreams of being an online entrepreneur.
I hope that this post has helped you in your goal to start a dropship business with little money. I wish you much success in your online endeavors!