Is Dropshipping a Scam or Illegal? – What It Really Means

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It’s not uncommon to think that a product, service, or even an online business model is a scam. Often times, some people will call something a scam when they’ve tried it and it doesn’t work the way they thought it would.

This doesn’t necessarily make anything a scam. Especially when others have had success with whatever product, service, or business model that is in question. That being said, I answer the question, “is dropshipping a scam?”, by pointing out how it works and why some may call it a scam when it is not.

Is Dropshipping a Scam? – Here’s Why It Is Not

In a typical eCommerce business, you would buy your inventory from a wholesale supplier and store that inventory yourself. You would then add those products to your online store and when an order is placed, you would pack and ship the product to your customer.

The difference with dropshipping is that you do not buy any inventory up front. There is no need to tie your cash up in products that may or may not sell, nor do you have to worry about storing inventory, or packing and shipping products.

Your dropshipping suppliers ship your orders directly to your customer for you. Thanks to this online business model, you save a ton of money which makes it easy and affordable to open your own eCommerce business.

Why Is Dropshipping Considered a Scam?

I believe that some people write off dropshipping as a scam because they underestimate what it takes to earn income with this business model.

Dropshipping is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a real business that should be treated as such.

When you open a dropshipping store, it is a business that you must manage and promote. What that means is that you must learn how to market your store.

Whether you use free options such as social media, paid ads, or both, there is a slight learning curve.

What is great about dropshipping is that it isn’t difficult to learn how to market your store. The AliDropship blog has a ton of free marketing information that you can follow step-by-step.

An Affordable Alternative To Start Dropshipping

When I wanted to open a dropshipping store, I turned to the Shopify platform like many others. Shopify is quite popular for starting a dropshipping business. Using it in combination with the Oberlo app makes it easy to get started.

However, after trying the platform using their two-week free trial, I still wanted an alternative solution.

The first reason for wanting an alternative was that I wanted to have full ownership of my store. When you use a software as a service company such as Shopify, you must also agree to their terms of service.

Often times, the terms will state that they have the authority to close accounts at any time for any reason. Here is a screen capture of what I’m referring to:

terms of service

The second reason had to do with saving money. I wanted a WordPress alternative for dropshipping because I knew that I would keep full ownership of my store and I would save on software fees.

The WordPress Dropshipping Plugin I Chose

At the time, I wasn’t sure if there was a WordPress dropshipping alternative. I did some research and came across some plugins but they weren’t too impressive.

Then by luck, I came across a recommendation to use the AliDropship Plugin. I was immediately impressed when I read about the features.

For one thing, it is a WordPress plugin so I knew I’d be able to retain full ownership of my store. I also liked the fact that AliDropship is a one-time payment. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about a recurring monthly software fee.

Pricing Comparison

Shopify Expenses

  • Shopify Basic Plan – $29 per month
  • Oberlo App (Free) or Basic Plan – $29.90
  • Yearly Total = $706.80

WordPress and AliDropship Expenses

  • WordPress – Free
  • AliDropship – $89 one-time
  • Web Hosting – $48 a year (with AliDropship)
  • Yearly Total = $137

That is a huge difference in price which is helpful if you are on a budget. As mentioned earlier, a big part of running a dropshipping store is promoting it.

Therefore, any money that you can save on expenses can help with any of your paid marketing methods.

Is AliDropship a Cheap Alternative to Shopify?

I don’t consider AliDropship to be just a cheap alternative. It is very powerful software that turns a WordPress installation into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business.

It automates the essential functions of a dropshipping store and does it all quite well in comparison to other eCommerce platforms.

Yes, you will lower your expenses by a significant amount by using WordPress and the AliDropshp plugin. However, you will not sacrifice quality in terms of the software’s features.

Nor will you lack support. The plugin comes with lifelong updates and customer support.

Wrapping Up

Dropshipping is not a scam at all. It is a legitimate online business model. Like any business, you have to put in the work to get any results.

If you are seeking a get-rich-quick scheme, I suggest you pass up this business model. You can expect to spend a bulk of your time promoting your store.

The AliDropship Plugin is a great alternative to other software as a service eCommerce platforms. You can save money and retain complete ownership of your store.