What Do You Need To Start A Dropshipping Business?

I’ve just finished updating my “dropshipping” guide and yes, in case you’re wondering;

YES. You can still make money with dropshipping.

For how to do it, you can take a look at the linked guide above but today, I am going to share with you all you would need to start a dropshipping business yourself.

I have been doing dropshipping for mid-2017 and I still run the very same store I started with.

3 years later, that store is still running and it is still making me money as we speak.

Over the years I learned a few things you should (& must) have when getting started so with that said;

Let’s get into it and see what you need to make money dropshipping in 2020 and beyond.

What You Need To Start A Dropshipping Business (Overview):
  • A Product or A Niche
  • An E-Commerce Store
  • A Way To Fulfill Your Orders
  • A Facebook Ads Account
  • Customers
  • Money To Fulfill Your Orders

what you need to start a dropshipping business

A Product or A Niche

The first step, before you spend any money on a store (or even a course) is to find a product you would like to sell.

There are 100s of ways you can find dropshipping products, with the most popular method being dropshipping items from China through AliExpress.

Even though my store uses the AliExpress method, personally – I’m not a fan of using Chinese suppliers.

The reason for this is the shipping, which can be quite a turn off for customers to having to wait 3-4 weeks to receive their product.

If you can, find suppliers who are in the US (I suggest you look into Spocket for that) but if you’re just starting out;

You can “explore” what type of products you can dropship on AliExpress.

The question is; what product should you dropship?

What exactly are we looking for in that sea of products?

Well, there’s no straight answer to this as any product can be both a failure and a success. It comes down to much more than picking “the right product”.

However, there are some general dos and don’ts when picking a product that I can share with you. These are:

✖️ Do NOT Pick A Product You Can Find Everywhere:

Don’t try to dropship spoons, tables, or anything else that anyone can find by going to their local big-box retailer and getting it cheaper (and faster).

Ideally, you want to find something that is not typically available in these malls and other such places.

Some call it “the Walmart Test”. If you can find it in Walmart, it’s best to avoid it.

✖️ Do NOT Dropship Things That Can Break:

This is up to you, but I would not want to be dropshipping items that can easily break.

Items such as vases, globes and other glassy objects are best avoided.

If you’re dropshipping from China, shipment takes 2 weeks (or more) and God knows what happens to your items while dispatched.

You do not want to find yourself constantly having to refund your customers due to damaged goods.

✖️ Do NOT Dropship Cats Necklaces:

Please, let’s leave the cat necklaces and the dog iPhone covers in the past.

Every tutorial and every “how-to” dropshipping guide tells you to drop ship pet items.

That trend is dead. It’s saturated, boring and nobody cares about that anymore.

Again, that’s just my 2c. I’m sure there is someone somewhere making a killing selling cat bracelets.

✔️ DO Promote Something You Understand:

A good way to pick a product is to find something that you already know/use or that you have good experience in the industry.

This will help you understand how to best pick products knowing well how your target audience can benefit from such a product.

I dropship niche-specific rings and merchandise and I know exactly what that “niche’ is about, why they like wearing these specific rings, and what they’re hoping to get from buying that item from me.

Look at your hobbies. Is there something that others like you will find useful in that niche?

✔️ DO Promote A Passion-Driven Product:

Another way to think about this is to find a passion product.

Nobody needs a new blank water bottle, but if that water bottle is somehow tied to who they are and what they are passionate about, they will be far more likely to buy it.

NB: Remember, for your target audience, these will likely be impulse buys so make sure you find something that they see and WANT immediately. Of course, you can never get this 100% right, but with that in mind, you’d be able to find much better products to promote and sell.

An E-Commerce Store (Shopify)

Once you have your product (or products) at the ready, it’s time you start taking some serious steps towards starting a dropshipping business.

That is; starting your Shopify store.

There are many ways you can build a dropshipping store, my suggestion is to use Shopify as it is literally built for you to be able to do dropshipping easily and without too many headaches.

start a DS store for free

Shopify stores start from $29 per month which is what you need to get started, however; using this link;

You can start a Shopify store for free and remain on a free membership at no cost until you decide to launch your store.

Showing you how to create a Shopify store from scratch is a guide on its own (and I have one for you here) but the best way to do it is by watching.

Here’s a 20-minute Shopify tutorial you can watch now (or later):

A Way To Fulfill Your Orders

Next up, you’re going to want to set up your store so it automatically fulfills the orders for you.

This means once you get a sale, you will be able to quickly order the product from your supplier and the supplier will then send the product to your customer (this is how dropshipping works).

To do this, you can use the Oberlo tool which is by far the best way to dropshipping products from China.

Again, you can also check out Spocket as it works just like Oberlo and it ships from the USA/Europe (although the product selection is not as big as AliExpress).

Again, this step is best understood by watching a video tutorial.

Here’s how you can set up Oberlo on your Shopify store:

A Facebook Ads Account (Optional)

If you’ve been doing your research, you should know by now that dropshipping works best when you use paid advertisements (on Facebook or Instagram).

While yes, I would agree that paid ads are the best way to start dropshipping, you don’t have to be spending money all the time.

I have not spent any money on paid ads for my store for about 10 months now and it is still making me ~$1000 a month in profit, just from the organic traffic I’ve built up over the years.

With that said, as a beginner – you are most likely going to need to run some ads at first to “get the ball rolling”.

For this, you need a Facebook Ads account which you can get from your Facebook profile.

It may look intimidating, but don’t worry – once you get the hang of it, it’s very simple to use, navigate and create campaigns.

Here’s a great guide from Facebook showing you how you can get started with the Facebook Ads platform.

Visitors (& Customers)

The goal for the ads is to hopefully start getting your visitors which you can then convert into buyers once on your store.

This is easier said than done and as I will explain further down below, this would require a bit of patience, testing and some copy-skills (more on this below).

One thing is for sure; you do need people to come to your store. That is the only way you will be able to make money.

Shopify has a post covering 5 high-impact strategies you can leverage to build traffic to your store (& convert them into customers).

Go and check that out and whilst you are testing out the paid ads, keep working on building free traffic sources to your store.

This won’t be a quick win, but it will a great way to plan ahead for the future of your dropshipping business.

Money To Fulfill Your Orders

Thanks to the sea of YouTube drop shippers telling you how easy it is to make ‘$10,000 a day online with dropshipping”;

People come into this business thinking all they need to do is set up a store, and retire the next day.

If that’s the case, congratulations – you’re wrong.

In fact, you should hope you do not get that kind of volume on day one as that would lead to a disaster!

The reason for this is that you are going to need some cash to fulfill your orders.

Your payments from the sales you’ve earned might take weeks to land in your bank account, but you need to have cash-on-hand to fulfill those orders the same day they come in.

This means you are going to need some cash to help you get started.

How much depends on how much you sell (which goes back to driving traffic to your store).

To be on the safe side, I suggest you start your dropshipping adventure with at least $1000.

  • This will allow you to have some money for ads &
  • Some money to fulfill your orders

That’s pretty much all you need to start a dropshipping business.

Before I tell you of the 4 things you need to LEARN to MASTER dropshipping;

Let’s do a bit of a recap and see what we’ve covered so far:

  • Find some products to promote
  • Create your Shopify store (you can use this link for a free store)
  • Set up Oberlo so it can semi-automatically fulfills your orders
  • Learn Facebook Ads (& other ways to get traffic to your store)
  • Have at least $1000 to afford the ads and the cost of fulfillment.

As you can see, dropshipping is not as easy as they make it out to be, however – you can do all the above in a day or two.

I will also share with you a great training course by the “OG of dropshipping” further down below but first, let’s take a look at these…

4 Things You Need To Master Dropshipping


Experience (That Comes With Testing)

I would love to tell you that the first dropshipping store you will ever create will be a huge success, but most likely it won’t be.

I got lucky with mine and that’s because before I started my dropshipping store, I already had another site in that same niche so I was able to quickly figure out how to connect the dots.

The truth is, it may take some trial and error to fully understand the entire process of starting a dropshipping business, but that’s ok.

Experience comes with patience and a whole lot of testing so make sure you test different ads, different products, different pricing methods, etc…

Always – always – be testing, even if things are doing well.

Money For Ads

One other thing which you need to think about is more money for ads.

We already said you need about ~$1000 to get started, but if you find a winning product, you are going to need to keep spending money (and likely increasing it as well).

Just keep this mind for now but understand that once you have a winning product, the only way to make more money is by spending more on ads.

If you can get $2 on every $1 you spend on ads, you’ve found the winning formula and with that, you can keep increasing your ad spend and make even more $$$$.

That is how some dropshipping stores end up making $10,000+ a day/week/month.

An Understanding of Copywriting

If you want to make money online (whether that be dropshipping or else), learn copywriting.

Copywriting is the forgotten art of selling with words and since words on a screen are what your target audience will be seeing, it’s smart to make sure that text is primed to make you money.

For this, I suggest you start with the book ‘Cashvertising” as it’s a good primer for good-enough copy.

If you’re looking for something more advanced, you can look into Tej Dosa’s 6-Figure Promotions course.

Understand What Triggers People To Buy

Last but not least, I want to continue on from the previous point of getting people to buy from you.

This time, I want to share with you 2 very interesting findings from the Google insights blog.

Here is an image showing you what Google knows to be the “most influential factors” to getting people to buy from you:

Learn Dropshipping From The “OG of Dropshipping”

ecom elites member reviews

That’s all from my end today.

Before I let you go, I want to share with you one little secret that can help save you money, and help you reach success faster with dropshipping.

The secret is simple; know what you are doing.

If you start with $1000 as I suggested above, make sure you do not lose those $1000 by doing dumb mistakes that could’ve been avoided.

One of the reasons I was able to quickly find “success” with dropshipping, is by following Franklin Hatchett’s Ecom Elites course.

Franklin is who introduced me to dropshipping back in 2016/2017 and it’s safe to say he’s one of the most influential figures in the DS world.

If you’ve never heard of Franklin Hatchett, you can learn more about him on the linked guide but I would highly recommend you also check out my Ecom Elites review to learn more about it.

I’ll leave you to it.

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