When you read the title of this post, it almost seems unbelievable that anyone can have an online business without inventory or having to ship any products.
However, it is a very real business model that anyone can start with very little to no experience. This business model is called dropshipping and I’ll explain how you can get started as well as how to find tons of free marketing information to promote your store.
What Exactly Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an online business model that has been around for many years. It has picked up speed in the last few years thanks to the ease in which to find dropshipping suppliers as well as the various options for dropshipping software.
No Need To Buy and Store Inventory
The big advantage of dropshipping is the fact that you do not have to buy and store inventory. That means you do not have to worry about having a lot of start-up cash, nor do you have to worry about having your cash tied up in products that may or may not sell.
You only buy products from your dropshipping supplier when a customer has bought them from your online store. Let’s use the backpack below as an example.
The supplier price is $13.77. You mark it up for double and sell it in your store for $27.54. When a customer orders the backpack, you pay your supplier their $13.77 and pass along the customer’s shipping details.
The supplier then ships the item to your customer and your profit is the difference which is $13.77 in this case.
What Kind of Dropship Products Can I Sell?
There are all types of products that you can sell in all types of niches. The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out what you want to sell and locate a dropshipper that offers those products for sale.
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a large online retailer that carries millions of products. They sell products individually as well as in bulk. Pricing is low which enables you to set your own profit margins.
A majority of the manufacturers on the website are based in China. However, they also have items that ship from the United States. Most of the distributors on AliExpress offer ePacket shipping. It is a faster shipping method from China to the U.S.
Most products offer free shipping which you can pass along to your customers. Unlike some dropshipping suppliers, AliExpress has no entry or participation fees.
They do not have dropshipping fees, there are no limits on the amount of products that you can sell, and there are no limits on your profit margins.
In fact, you can begin selling products from their website immediately.
Do I Need To Use Shopify To Dropship?
It is not uncommon to come across the Shopify platform when you begin searching for dropshipping software. It is a very popular eCommerce service.
While it offers a ton of features and is easy to use, it is not your only option for dropshipping software. For example, I tried out Shopify’s free trial but I still wanted a WordPress alternative.
I knew that if I had a WordPress option, I could save on monthly fees. Fortunately, I did find a good Shopify alternative called AliDropship. It is a WordPress plugin that enables you to create a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business.
If you are familiar with using WordPress, installing and using AliDropship is a breeze.
What Is The Easiest Way To Sell Products Without Inventory?
In most cases, regardless of which dropshipping software or platform that you choose, you’ll have to build your store yourself. The software definitely makes it easier.
However, the easiest and most hassle-free way to get started is to have your store custom built by dropshipping professionals.
I’ve researched various custom dropshipping store options but none of them have stood out in terms of features and service as AliDropship’s custom store service.
Here is what you get with a custom made store:
- A personal manager is assigned to you
- They help you choose a trendy in-demand niche
- They will choose and register a domain name related to your niche
- They do keyword research
- They perform a competitor analysis
- They will custom design your store (logo and supporting graphics)
- They ensure your store is mobile device ready
- They import products with a proven track record of sales
- They install Google analytics
- They will install your payment gateways
- They do your initial on-site SEO
- They create your social media accounts
- They will create a custom video (ultimate package only)
- Includes their social media promo tool (ultimate package only)
Besides all of the cool features above, they also provide lifelong plugin updates and customer support for free.
Learning How To Get Your First Sales
Once you have your store up, you will be ready to start making your first sales. Now it becomes a matter of promoting the products in your store to a target audience.
There are numerous ways in which to do so that include both free and paid methods. Some of the most common marketing methods include:
- Facebook ads
- Instagram ads
- Pinterest ads
- Google Shopping ads
A great resource for learning how to promote your dropshipping store can be found on the AliDropship blog under the “marketing tips” category.
They share a ton of free information for promoting your store using free and paid methods.
Your Next Steps
Now that you know how to sell products without inventory, it is up to you to make the decision to get started. You can build your store yourself or start 100% hassle-free with a custom built dropshipping store.