Dropshipping, one of the most profitable business models there is. Dropshipping businesses are very easy to start and very easy to maintain. You start your online store with very small investment or you can even do dropshipping without any investment at all. So how to start dropshipping for free? Before we get into this, let me give you a very brief description about what is dropshipping? and is dropshipping worth it?
Topics We Cover
What is dropshipping
How to start your own store
What is shopify dropshipping
Cost of creating a dropshipping website by yourself
How to start dropshipping for free
How to find product suppliers
Dropshipping product research
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model which you can use to start your own online store or an e-commerce website with very little money. If you start a business online or local, you always have to invest a lot of money on an inventory. Sometime you will end up with so much inventory that aren’t selling. But dropshipping eliminate this rick completely. Because if you are running a dropshipping business, you don’t have to have an inventory.
Dropshipping only required 3 steps.
- The customer placing an order on your store
- You take that order and give it to your supplier
- Supplier send the item to the customer
This is the beauty of dropshipping. You can earn money without even having anything to sell. All you have to do is create an online store and promote your store among potential buyers.
Is dropshipping worth it?
Some may think is it worth doing dropshipping in 2022? Is dropshipping business model outdated? The answer is Dropshipping is still worth doing. According to a research conducted in 2021, 2.14 billion people buy online each year. So you can understand how large this industry really is. You still can use dropshipping in 2022 to direct some of those customers in your way and earn some good money online. Dropshipping business model is not going to die anytime soon.
Now back to our main question. How to start dropshipping for free? There are two ways that you can use dropshipping business model. You can either start your own website and an online store, or you can use an existing marketplace like ebay to open your dropshipping store.
1. Your own dropshipping store
2. Open a dropshipping store in an existing marketplace
1. How to start my own dropshipping store? If you want to open your own store using your own e-commerce website, you have to invest some money on it. You cannot open your own website without an investment because you have to maintain a website. From creating to maintaining, it cost you some money. Here are some of the option that you have if you want to start your own dropshipping store.
- Shopify dropshipping
- Hire a professional
- Create your own
– What is Shopify dropshipping? Shopify is a platform which you can use to build an online store. Once you subscribe to one of their packages, shopify allows you to create your own store on their platform. This is one of the most popular method of doing self dropshipping because you don’t have to worry about much. They handle all the orders, payments and other necessary things. So if you decide to use shopify dropshipping it is going to cost you between $350 to $3500 per year. But if you become a successful dropshipper, $3500 per year is going to be nothing for you.
– Hire a professional. If you don’t want to rely on someone else’ platform and you want to run your business your own way, you can hire a professional web development company to create an e-commerce website for you. Usually E-commerce web development in USA cost around $3000 – $5000 per website.
– Create your own. The cheapest way to build a dropshipping store is to do it yourself. If you don’t have much money to spend on your dropshipping business, you can create the website by yourself. You can use WordPress to create a e-commerce website easily. But you have to have at least the basic knowledge. Here are few easy steps that you can follow to create your own e-commerce website with WordPress.
1. Buy a Host and Domain (you can use namecheap for that)
2. Install WordPress to your domain
3. Buy a suitable E-commerce theme and Install. (themeforest has good WordPress themes)
4. Buy a payment gateway and link your website to it.
5. Publish your products on your website.
There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube about creating E-commerce websites on your own. Watch some reliable videos and do some research before you start building your dropshipping website.
How much will it cost to create a dropshipping E-commerce website by myself?
|Item Name||Cost of the Item|
|Domain||$14 per Year|
|Web Hosting||$50 per Year|
|WordPress Theme||$60 Lifetime|
|Payment Gateway||$25 per Month and 3% from Each Payment|
These are some rough numbers. This may change according to the service provides you choose. But roughly it will cost around $410 – $500 for you to create your own E-commerce website for dropshipping.
2. How to start dropshipping for free? This is the exact method if you are looking to start dropshipping without investing any money. In order for you to start dropshipping without spending money, you need to find a place where you can open an online store for free. Because you need a store to sell your dropshipping items.
Here are a list of online marketplaces that you can use to create your free dropshipping store.
Now you have a general knowledge about what is dropshipping, Is dropshipping worth it, shopify dropshipping and all the other dropshipping methods. So now let’s take a look at the steps involved in starting dropshipping for free.
Steps to start dropshipping for free
1. Find a good niche
2. Find a good marketplace
3. Find best dropshipping suppliers
Step 1. You should find a good niche for your shop. Niche is a specialized category or a specific subject for your store. Don’t sell anything and everything. Pick a suitable category to sell. Let’s say if you have picked Beauty as your niche, you should only sell products related to that specific niche. There are two reason for you to stick to a specific niche. Some marketplaces doesn’t allow dropshipping so if you start selling everything on your store, they are going to realize that you are a dropshipper and ban you from using their website. Second reason is that if you sell so many different items on your store, you will lose the trust of your customers. They always expect to buy something from someone who knows the product.
Step 2. Find a good marketplace. Once you pick a niche, you should select the market place which is good for your niche. For an example, if you pick handcraft ornaments to sell, Etsy is the marketplace for you. Because Etsy is more popular for handcraft products than ebay or amazon. So you need to pick the marketplace suits your product the most.
Step 3. Find best dropshipping suppliers. Now this is really important. You must find trustworthy and reliable suppliers for your dropshipping business. Because your entire business depend on it. If you have a bad supplier, it reflects on you. If the supplier delays on sending products or he sends bad quality products customers are going to be upset with you. Bad customer experience is really bad for the business. Also if your rating drops, no one is going to buy from you and the marketplace will kick you out from their program because customers are the number one priority to the platform. So you must have a reliable supplier.
How to find best dropshipping suppliers?
This is where AliExpress dropshipping comes to action. AliExpress is the sister website of AliBaba which is a wholesale marketplace. Most dropshipping businesses use AliExpress to find reliable suppliers. Because AliExpress has lots of suppliers who sell the same product and their prices are relatively low. AliExpress has a very accurate ranking system so you can find if the supplier is reliable or not by checking their ranking and feedbacks.
So when you are on the process of finding a supplier for a particular item, you need to keep more than one supplier for your items. If something ever happen with your supplier you should have a backup. So follow these steps to find best dropshipping suppliers with AliExpress dropshipping.
- Search your item on AliExpress.
- Select the lowest prices and relevant shipping methods. (Check if the supplier provide AliExpress Standard Shipping and ePacket shipping methods or free shipping worldwide).
- Check seller rating. Always pick the sellers who has Top Brand title and at least 96% or above positive feedbacks on AliExpress.
- Then go to the product page and check feedbacks of the product.
- Contact the seller and ask them everything you want to know about the product, their shipping methods and other relevant details.
- Pick top 2 supplier for your dropshipping business.
- Always communicate with your suppliers and buildup a professional relationship with them.
- Ask for better deals and upcoming exclusive items and prices.
Follow these 8 steps to find best dropshipping suppliers for your business with AliExpress dropshipping. But AliExpress is not the only website you can use for dropshipping. Here is a list of Marketplaces where you can source your products for dropshipping.
Top 10 Best Dropshipping Supplier Websites
Now you know how to start dropshipping for free and how to find best dropshipping suppliers. Let’s see what are the latest dropshipping business ideas that you can use in 2022.
Best Dropshipping Niches in 2022
- Phone Accessories
- Pet Products
- Beauty Products
- Car Accessories
- Women Clothing
- Baby Products
These are the trending dropshipping business ideas in 2022. Let’s take a look at some winning product ideas for your dropshipping business.
- Knitted Dress
- Track Suits
- Wireless Security Cameras
- iPhone USB Cable and Type C Fast Charger
- Ear Plugs
- Cordless Electric Drills
- Deep Tissue Massage Tool
- Couple Unisex T-shirts
- Rice Cooker
- Baby Monitor
- Loose Jeans
- Wall Clock
- Flannel Shirts
- Car Jump Starters
- Portable Air Compressor
- Jewelry Making Tools
- Oral Irrigators
- Vacuum Packing Machine
- Baby Carrier
- Organic Tea
- Scalp Massager
- Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier
- Adjustable Nylon Rope Pet Cat Leash
- Smart Bassinet
- Hair Growth Oil
- Cream Foundation
- Electronic Headphones
- Repair Tool Kits
- Drawing Tablets
- Water Shower Filters
- Kids Alarm Clocks
- Digital Micrometers
- Laser Acupuncture Pens
Don’t just start selling items because its working for someone. Use some free tools for dropshipping product researches. Here are some free tools out there that you can use to research.
Free Dropshipping Product Research Tools
Now you know how to start dropshipping business for free. Dropshipping is a very profitable business model. It is easy to start but it is not easy. It takes dedication, lots of research, continuance and time. You may fail a couple of time but if you pass that hard shift, you will definitely be successful in Dropshipping. Is dropshipping worth it, Yes it is but it depend on your dedication and your hard work. So start dropshipping only if you are willing to work hard for your success. Otherwise it will just be a waste of your time.
Checkout our article about Top 5 Online Business With Small Investment to find out more ways to start small businesses.
Mawan Lakshan Aluvihare is a software engineer, social media marketer and an online entrepreneur in Sri Lanka. He completed his bachelor's degree in Interactive Media at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology in 2014. He is a level 2 seller on Fiverr, a successful dropshipper and the owner of redwolfTAG Solution, a web development company in Sri Lanka.