If you’ve been wanting to start a dropshipping business but don’t have the capital to do so, Shopify is the perfect platform for you to start a dropshipping business.
This e-commerce business model allows you to sell all sorts of products to your customers around the world without having to handle the items yourself.
If this sounds like the business for you, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Shopify dropshipping!
Dropshipping is a form of retail in which the seller doesn’t stock or own the items that they are selling. Instead, when they get an order from a customer, they purchase the item and have it shipped directly to the customer.
This is different from typical retail because the dropshipper never actually handles the products that they’re selling. They just purchase the items as needed to fulfill purchase orders that come in.
This approach offers businesses a much lower-risk model, where they can try out new product ideas or see how different products work in various markets without having to stock the items.
What is Shopify Dropshipping?
By paying a subscription fee, entrepreneurs and business owners can set up a store, add products to sell, and process orders all in one place.
This is exactly what dropshipping is, with Shopify making the process as easy as possible for its paying users.
Shopify users can seek out a supplier for their products located anywhere in the world or use Shopify-friendly apps to connect your store to a multitude of suppliers around the world.
Once the store is set up and suppliers are found for the products, customers can find your store and place an order, and Shopify will help to process the order and have the product shipped straight from your supplier to the customer’s door.
This eliminates you from having to keep an inventory of the products that you want to sell and helps connect customers to global suppliers to get the products they truly want.
Shopify dropshipping also benefits the suppliers by connecting them to more customers on a global basis, even if they’re selling them to you knowing that their products will be marked up.
All in all, Shopify dropshipping is a win-win-win. You make money by marking up the products, suppliers get more global distribution, and customers can find the products they want at a good price.
Try Shopify for free and get more than just an ecommerce solution. Sell anywhere, to anyone, with Shopify's ecommerce platform and point of sale features.
The amount that you can make as a dropshipper will vary widely depending on the products you sell, the amount of marketing you do, and the profit margins you aim to get on your products.
What is typically seen when it comes to dropshipping is that the store owners — the dropshippers — make between 10% and 40% profit margins on the items that they sell.
Looking at it from a margin per item standpoint helps to standardize it to get an idea of what you can expect. This can then be applied to your specific situation.
For example, if you do $10,000 in revenue per month at a 10% profit margin, you’ll make $1,000 per month on average.
If someone else is doing $25,000 in monthly revenue at a 40% profit margin, that dropshipper will be making on average $10,000 in profit per month.
As you can see, there’s a wide range of potential income that you can make through dropshipping, it all depends on your particular store and business model.
How do I Open a Shopify Dropshipping Store?
Opening a store on Shopify is a surprisingly simple process that can take less than 30 minutes to an hour to complete. The simple process is laid out as follows:
- Click here to Create a FREE trial account with Shopify. Using Shopify means you don’t have to create, set up, and maintain a server; it’s all done for you through Shopify.
- Come up with a creative business name. You want something that people will be able to find and also tell their friends about so you can get more customers.
- The easiest way to dropship through Shopify is to use a Shopify app such as Oberlo, which helps to automate the process and creates even less work for yourself.
- Use Shopify Payments to set your payment processing and checkout procedures up so you can accept all different forms of payments quickly and easily.
- Set up a shipping rate — it’s recommended to use free shipping as a default when starting a new online business to attract more customers.
- Add your products with engaging descriptions, enticing images, and fair prices to get as many people to buy them as possible.
- Design the layout of your online store to make it easy to navigate and visually appealing to customers.
That’s all it takes! Shopify does most of the hard work for you, you just need to have a good business model and get the pieces put in place.
What Can I Sell Via Shopify Dropshipping?
When it comes to dropshipping, you can sell almost anything. There are no shortages of items out there for you to start selling.
Maybe you want to sell phone cases, books, electronics, tools, etc., it’s more likely that you can sell it rather than you can’t.
Instead of trying to go over every possible item that can be sold, let’s take a look at some of the most common items sold via dropshipping and the items that aren’t good choices to dropship.
What are the Best Dropshipping Products?
There’s an abundance of products that can be sold for profit while dropshipping. The following list is 10 of the best dropshipping products ones to choose from:
- Fitness trackers
- Bluetooth headphones
- Bluetooth Speakers
- Vape pens and e-cigarettes
- Insulated cups and bottles
- Fitness attire
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of what to sell, so you should feel free to try selling anything that you can *legally* sell to make money.
What Items Should You Not Dropship?
While you can sell most things using Shopify dropship, there are some items and item categories that you would be better off not trying to sell.
Either due to their price, size, shipping price, or legality, here are some of the items that you should not dropship.
- Health items — you typically cant list items for sale that claim to alter a person’s state of health (for better or for worse) without violating policies.
- Tight clothes — people order clothes that don’t fit them far too often, and you don’t want to be constantly dealing with returns from disgruntled customers.
- Fragile items — you’re just asking to have issues from customers receiving damaged or broken goods.
- Trademarked products — trademarks can give you all sorts of legal problems if the company whose name your using decides to take action.
- Furniture — it’s just too big! Shipping prices will be astronomical, you have to deal with potentially low-quality furniture from your supplier and extraneous issues with unhappy customers.
Shopify Dropshipping Suppliers
There are several dropshipping suppliers out there that you can use for Shopify dropshipping, all over the globe.
The suppliers you use will largely depend on the types of products you’re selling as well as what you’re looking to spend. Here are five of the best suppliers to use.
- Oberlo — while not really a supplier itself, Oberlo connects you to many suppliers around the world in an instant. Please click here to read our review on Oberlo.
- Chinabrands — the largest dropshipping supplier in the world, Chinabrands offers expertise in the industry.
- Dropship Direct — a general dropshipping supplier offers you a free merchant account which is great when you’re getting started.
- National Dropshippers — offers nearly two decades of experience in the US dropshipping marketplace.
- Salehoo — similar to Oberlo, Salehoo will connect you to suppliers around the world and help get your products to your customers.
AliExpress is a massive online marketplace with several overseas manufacturers as their suppliers, so there’s highly competitive pricing available.
With how big of a marketplace AliExpress is, it makes dropshipping far simpler than some may think. You just need to add their products to your site, process orders, and AliExpress will ship directly to your customers.
With AliExpress there’s no upfront fee and it works Oberlo and Shopify to make the experience simple and seamless.
Shopify Dropshipping App
The best Shopify app you should consider using to help automate your business is Oberlo.
With Oberlo, you are connected to thousands of suppliers around the world rather than having to try to find suppliers by yourself for every product that you sell.
Oberlo will also help to automate the ordering process when you go to fulfill orders to make the entire dropshipping experience even easier on you.
Sign up Oberlo for free and get your products for your store without any inventory risk. Start dropshipping directly to your customers.
How to Fulfill Orders on Shopify Dropshipping Strore
Fulfilling Shopify dropshipping orders is incredibly easy if you’ve followed the tips to use Oberlo and AliExpress.
Oberlo will automate much of the process by adding the customer’s information to your AliExpress checkout for you, then you just need to place the order with AliExpress.
AliExpress will then ship the item directly to your customer, and you’re all set; it’s that easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you dropship without Shopify?
The short answer is yes. There are other options available out there to help you start your dropshipping business. However, Shopify and Oberlo combine to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Can you lose money dropshipping?
Unfortunately, there is the possibility of losing money dropshipping. Shopify costs $29/month for the basic plan, so you need to be making at least more than that to start making any money. If you don’t market or price your items well, you could miss out on a ton of sales and even lose money over time.
How can I start dropshipping with no money?
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial that you can use to store your online store without paying a dime. You won’t need to put any money into your store until a customer has placed an order that you need to fill.
Shopify dropshipping vs Amazon FBA?
Both dropshipping with Shopify and using Amazon’s “Fulfillment By Amazon” program have benefits. Shopify dropshipping is typically preferable for new businesses as you get lots of perks with little capital. Amazon FBA can help scale a business due to its large customer base.