What Do I Need to Start a Dropshipping Business?


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The great thing about starting a dropshipping business is that you don’t need very much to get started. It is one of the lowest cost online businesses that you can start.

Thanks to the great dropshipping software that is available, you can build your store for free or get started for under $200.

I’ll explain how to start your dropshipping business with quality software and without paying monthly software fees.

What You Need to Start a Dropshipping Business – The Basics

man sketching
There are several things that you will need to get started. They include:

  • A niche (what you want to sell)
  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • WordPress
  • Dropshipping software

Before I go on, I will go ahead and explain why my first recommendation isn’t Shopify and Oberlo. I have written on this topic many times in the past.

There are two main reasons why I choose to dropship using WordPress versus software-as-a-service companies such as Shopify. They are:

Retaining Full Ownership of My Store

By signing up with another service, you are always risking the chance of having your account closed.

There is also the possibility that the service could close as well. If you read the terms of service on such services, you may find something similar to this:

shopify terms of service

Building your store with WordPress helps eliminate ownership worries because you retain full ownership of your store.

Saving Money On Recurring Monthly Fees

The second reason I prefer WordPress for dropshipping is that I can use a dropshipping plugin such as AliDropship and have zero monthly software fees.

Both Shopify and Oberlo’s basic plans are about $30 per month. Using WordPress and AliDropship saves you over $700 per year. The money that is saved can be put towards your marketing budget.

Choosing a Niche for Your Dropshipping Store

You probably already have an idea about what you want to sell. If not, you will need to choose a niche for your store.

A niche is a group of people interested in the same thing. There are many benefits to having a niche store versus a general one.

For one, you’ll have less competition. Another is that by focusing on a niche, you are more likely to have repeat sales as customers are more likely to remember your store.

Some niche store ideas that come to mind include:

You can test out your own niche idea using AliDropship’s niche tool selector.

Choosing a Domain Name

Your store’s domain name can be related to what it is you are selling. You can also go with an uncommon name and brand it towards your niche.

I use a free service at instantdomainsearch.com to search for domain names.

Once I have one picked out, I register it at a domain registrar such as NameCheap.com.

You can also find free domain registration through some web hosting providers. HostPapa plans offer a free domain registration for new customers.

What is the Best Web Hosting for Dropshipping?

Most commercial web hosting providers will work fine for a WordPress dropshipping store. I use SiteGround to host my web store and it works great.

Before you choose a hosting provider, it is a good idea to find out the hosting requirements for the softwre that you want to use.

I wrote an article about choosing a web hosting provider for the AliDropship plugin.

My WordPress Dropshipping Plugin Recommendations

There are many types of dropshipping software to choose from that work with WordPress. I’ve written about many of them to include WooDropship, Dropified, Ezusy, and more.

However, I use and recommend the AliDropship plugin.

What is AliDropship?

AliDropship is a WordPress dropshpping plugin that turns your WordPress website into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business.

It can be installed on a clean install of WordPress or if you prefer to use WooCommerce, they have a WooCommerce version of the plugin called AliDropship WOO.

The plugin has a ton of features and automates the essential functions of operating a dropshipping store.

What is even better is that it is affordable and has a one-time fee. In combination with WordPress, you always retain 100% ownership of your store as well.

Expenses: WordPress = $0 + AliDropship Plugin = $89 (one-time fee) + AliDropship hosting (optional) = $48/year

Total: $137

What is DropshipMe?

Remember in my introduction paragraphs where I mentioned that you can build a dropshipping store for free?

Well, you can by using WooCommerce and the DropshipMe plugin.

DropshipMe is a product sourcing plugin that enables you to import only the best selling products from AliExpress.

Over 50,000 products were manually selected to import into your store and more are being added.

When used with WooCommerce, you can build your own dropshipping store for free.

One thing to make note of is that you will be required to manually process any orders that you receive.

If you want to automate your store, you can do so by installing the AliDropship plugin.

Then your store’s essential functions will be automated such as automatic order fulfillment and automatic tracking information sent to your customers.

Expenses: WordPress = $0, WooCommerce = $0, DropshipMe = $0 (first 50 product imports then you have the option to upgrade.)

Total: $0.

Have Your Store Custom Built

Having access to the dropshipping software mentioned above is a great way to build your own dropshipping store.

If you prefer not to do all of the buildout yourself and want to speed up the process, you can outsource your store’s creation.

AliDropship also offers a turnkey custom dropshipping store service. For a one-time fee, they will build your store and handle all of the details to include niche selection, domain registration, product importing, payment gateway set-up and more.

Each store package includes your own personal manager that handles the entire process.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it doesn’t take a whole lot to have your own dropshipping business.

By using WordPress for your dropshipping store, you save a ton of money and you still have access to quality dropshipping software in the form of AliDropship or the DropshipMe plugin.

Both plugins can also work together making it even easier to build your store quickly and efficiently.

Another plus is that you get lifelong software updates and customer support for free. If you bundle in AliDropship web hosting, they will install WordPress and the plugin for you for free as well.

Click here to learn more about the AliDropship plugin

What are your plans for starting a dropshipping store? Leave your comments below.

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