How to Start an Online Store without Inventory – The Dropship Model

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Before I started my own online business, I was always searching for ways to start a business of my own online.

I tried network marketing (not my fave) and I flipped thrift store items on eBay. Neither was very lucrative for me.

However, opening an online store is so much easier today thanks to the dropship model. I’ll share with you how to start an online store without inventory using dropshipping.

The Benefits of Dropshipping

how to start an online store without inventory

The biggest perk of dropshipping is that you do not need to buy any inventory to begin selling products and earning revenue.

That means that you can get started for a few hundred dollars (or less). It is one of the lowest cost businesses that you can start online.

How the Dropship Model Works

Dropshipping is a very simple process. It begins by finding dropshipping suppliers (more on that below) and importing their products into your store.

When a customer buys an item from your store, you then buy the product from your dropshipping supplier.

You also pass along the customer’s shipping details and the supplier ships the item directly to your customer.

You do not have to deal with ordering and storing inventory nor do you deal with any shipping and handling.

the dropship model

The difference in price between what you charged the customer and what the dropshpping supplier charged you is your profit.

It is easy to understand why many dropshippers have achieved great success by opening their own stores.

Finding a Dropshipping Supplier

You can find dropshipping suppliers on your own by doing a bit of research online. However, it is a tedious process.

Many dropshipping suppliers may not have a large enough variety of products that you want to sell. Therefore, you would need to find multiple suppliers.

Some suppliers also have specific requirements and fees. For example, some may not want to deal with new businesses and some charge fees for each product you sell.

Why Many Dropshippers Use AliExpress for Sourcing Products

The good news is that you can bypass all of the hassles of locating dropshipping suppliers yourself.

Many dropshippers utilize AliExpress as their dropshipping supplier. There are many benefits to using this particular website.

AliExpress is one of the largest online retailers in the world. They are made up of merchants primarily based in China.

They offer a wide variety of products, so finding products to sell within your niche shouldn’t be a problem.

Many of the merchants offer free shipping as well as ePacket shipping (a faster shipping method that ships from China.)

Most merchants do not require bulk ordering which is ideal for dropshippers since you’ll only order items individually as your customers buy from your store.

Here are more benefits of using AliExpress:

  • 200,000 exporters
  • 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
Get Your Own Custom Dropshipping Store in a Matter of Days
AliDropship offers a turnkey custom dropshipping store service. They handle all of the details of building your store from A to Z (including niche selection.) You are also assigned a personal manager that guides you through the process every step of the way. Click here for details.

How to Open Your Own Dropshipping Store

open a dropshipping store

Dropshipping begins by figuring out what it is you want to sell. The first step is figuring out the niche you want to be in.

Once you know what you want to sell, you can then register a domain name related to your niche. I buy my domains from

The next step is to get web hosting and connect your domain name to your hosting account. Many hosting providers will register your domain name for free as a new customer.

SiteGround is one such web hosting provider that I use and that will provide one year free domain registration for new customers.

Choosing a Dropshipping eCommerce Platform

Now comes the part where you must choose a dropshipping eCommerce platform. A popular option is to use Shopify and the Oberlo app.

However, there are some downsides to choosing this option. For one, you lose complete ownership of your store.

Let’s say you open a store on their platform. You must also abide by their terms of use.

Although you may not go against their terms of use, they have the power to close your store at any time.

Another thing to consider is the monthly fees to use the platform as well as the monthly fees related to the apps to create a dropshipping store.

An Alternative Option

The option I recommend is the AliDropship plugin.

It is a WordPress dropshipping plugin that transforms a WordPress website into an AliExpress dropshipping business.

You do not need to have any prior experience with WordPress to set up your store. If you rather not deal with any technical details, you can also order a custom dropshipping store from AliDropship.

What is great about this option is:

  • There are no ongoing monthly fees
  • You retain 100% ownership of your store

What Happens After You Have Your Dropshipping Store?

promoting a dropshipping store

Now the fun begins! Once you have your store up and running, it is time to begin earning revenue.

Part of the way dropshippers accomplish this is by promoting their stores using Facebook ads, Instagram shout-outs (influencer marketing), Pinterest, and more.

If you go with AliDropship as your eCommerce platform, you can use the money that you save in monthly fees for your marketing efforts.

Over time, you are sure to become a great marketer. It is a matter of applying what you learn as you go along.

Taking action is more important than anything. You learn much more from your own experience.

In Conclusion

Opening a dropshipping store is a great way to create another stream of income. With hard work and consistent effort, it can develop into a full-time income.

You can create a store in any niche that you want which can make it fun. Some dropshippers have even created multiple stores and tripled their incomes.

The sky really is the limit in this industry. What do you think so far about dropshipping? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

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