Doing a search for dropshippers on your own can be a tedious and frustrating process. You’ll soon realize that many dropshippers have monthly participation fees.
Some even charge registration fees as well as fees for the products that you sell. Another issue is that some suppliers have high prices so your profit margins are low.
I’ll share some options for no monthly fee dropshippers as well as how you can open your own dropshipping store with zero monthly store fees.
No Monthly Fee Dropshippers You Can Use Right Away
Before you can even think about opening a dropshipping store of your own, you will need to find reliable dropshipping suppliers.
This is not always an easy task as many suppliers have restriction and fees in order to use them. Years ago, I used to dropship tactical gear on eBay.
It was very short-lived as there was so much competition, there was no way for me to turn a profit since competitors were offering the same products for much less than I could.
Another thing that I didn’t like was that I couldn’t sell certain higher-ticket items that my supplier offered.
It was one of the restrictions. Some items were off limits to dropshippers. Their prices were also high. That ate into my profit margins.
Searching for dropshipping suppliers is still a tedious task. Fortunately, it is much easier when you discover some decent resources.
There are two main resources that I know of that anyone can use to get their own dropshipping store up and running.
The two resources I like include:
AliExpress is one of the largest online retailers in the world and SaleHoo is a large directory of reputable dropshipping suppliers.
The Advantages of Sourcing Products from AliExpress
The first thing to know about AliExpress is that it is an online retailer made up of merchants primarily based out of China.
They offer a wide variety of products. You can order items in bulk and most merchants allow you to order items individually.
Although most of the items ship from China, it is not a deterrent for many dropshippers. The reason being that most items offer ePacket shipping.
ePacket shipping is a faster shipping method from China to wherever your customer is located.
Another reason why shipping doesn’t affect dropshippers is that most dropshippers sell items that are bought on impulse.
Meaning, most items are not life-critical products. Most customers won’t have an urgent need for what you are selling and therefore will not mind the shipping time.
You can read more in-depth about AliExpress shipping time and how it affects your online business by clicking here.
Here are more awesome benefits of sourcing products from 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
Why Use SaleHoo for Dropshipping?
SaleHoo is a search directory of both wholesalers and dropshipping suppliers. SaleHoo is a legitimate resource and has been in operation for years.
The advantage of using them is that it saves you all of the time of doing research on your own. They put high-quality suppliers in their directory.
They charge a yearly fee of $67. If you can’t find suppliers that you like, they do offer a 60-day money back guarantee.
How to Create a Dropshipping Store with Zero Monthly Store Fees
Many people new to dropshipping will often come across the Shopify eCommerce platform. Even I tried out Shopify when I wanted to learn more about opening a dropshipping store.
In order to use Shopify as a dropshipping store, you must also install a dropshipping app. Their most popular dropshipping app is the Oberlo app.
There are two downsides to using Shopify and Oberlo. They are the fees and store ownership. I will go into detail with what I mean below.
Shopify and Oberlo Monthly Fees
I don’t have any issue paying recurring monthly fees for products and services that help me run my business.
However, if there is an alternative option that has zero monthly fees (and there is, more below), you will understand where I’m coming from.
Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29 per month. Oberlo’s basic plan starts at $29.90 per month. That equates to $60 per month or $720 per year.
This doesn’t include other apps you may want or need to install to help your store run more efficiently and convert more sales.
Here is an example of one dropshipping store on the Shopify platform which was for sale. Look at the monthly expense of the apps which were installed:
That is $120 + Shopify’s basic plan. That is $150 per month or $1,800 per year.
Giving Away Your Store’s Ownership
That means they have the power to shut down your store at any time for any reason. That is a big risk to take as an online business owner.
Imagine your store earning income each month only to have it closed without notice. That is the type of power you are giving away using third-party platforms.
A Better Option with No Monthly Fees and Retain 100% Store Ownership
A better option to consider is using WordPress for your dropshipping store.
Why WordPress? For one thing, it is free to use and you always retain 100% ownership of your store.
Like Shopify, in order to turn WordPress into a dropshipping store, you will need a plugin.
My most recommended plugin to use is the AliDropship plugin. It transforms your WordPress website into an AliExpress dropshipping business.
Unlike Shopify, you do not have to pay any ongoing monthly fees to use it. It has a one-time fee of $89 and the plugin is yours.
The features are all similar to the Oberlo app. You get unlimited product importing as well as unlimited automated order fulfillment.
Consider how much money you save by using WordPress and AliDropship:
WordPress (Free) + AliDropship Plugin ($89) + AliDropship web hosting (optional at $48 yearly) = $137.
AliDropship Custom Store (Basic – $299 + $48 web hosting) = $347 one-time
The money that you save for not having to pay any ongoing monthly fees for the software can be put towards your marketing budget.
Overall, it is a more cost-effective way to open and operate your dropshipping business.
I hope that this post has helped to provide you with good resources for finding reliable dropshipping suppliers.
I also hope that it has provided you with an alternative option for opening your own dropshipping store.
Remember that all businesses carry some type of business risk. Dropshipping is no different.
However, I recommend checking out some of these dropshipping success stories for some inspiration.