What Is Dropshipping? Beginners Dropshipping Guide

Dropshipping is one of the most popular and successful eCommerce strategies - find out what it is, how it works, and why you should consider using it in your business.

What Is Dropshipping? Beginners Dropshipping Guide

Are you a budding entrepreneur looking to start your own business but need help figuring out where to begin? Dropshipping might be the perfect solution for you. It has become increasingly popular amongst businesses of all sizes due to its unique flexibility and scalability—but what is dropshipping exactly? This beginner's guide will explain what dropshipping entails and how it can benefit your eCommerce business.

What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model in which eCommerce entrepreneurs sell products without carrying any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they contact the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to the customer's door. Dropshipping apps like Oberlo let you add products from various suppliers into your shop to fuel your product offering.

Dropshipping is the perfect business model for new eCommerce entrepreneurs. It's simple to set up and manage and doesn't require a significant up-front investment. You can also run your dropshipping business in your spare time – you don't need to quit your job to start a successful store.

How Does Dropshipping Work

Drop shipping is when a client orders through your website, and your sales automation software program routes it to your drop transport manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler to be packed and shipped, casting off the most high-priced factor of the typical brick-and-mortar enterprise model.

Although you can also count on the drop shipper if they are the manufacturer of the product in question, wholesalers drop ship merchandise and even offer customization. For example, let's say you begin a clothing manufacturer that sells printed t-shirts. You may want to go the traditional route, ordering lots of shirts with your designs display screen printed, but you will risk some of your designs now not selling correctly or at all. Instead, you ought to work with a dropshipping associate that provides on-demand t-shirt printing. When a purchaser orders one of your t-shirt designs, the order goes to your accomplice to print and fulfill. You don't have to inventory shirts, fear about which sizes to buy, and about pay for printing until you sell a shirt.

Related: Dropshipping Versus Third-Party Fulfillment

Benefits Of Dropshipping

Start A Drop Shipping Business With Minimal Capital

The Basics of dropshipping start when you begin a drop transport eCommerce business; you commonly want to avoid looking up and increasing a new product, manufacturing the product, or stockpiling inventory. That lowers the capital necessities for beginning your business. Your expenses will then be primarily related to the legalities of commercial enterprise formation, the applied sciences required to function your company, and the platforms where you can market your drop-shipped product line.

Drop Ship Business Model Allows Low-Risk Product Validation

Drop delivery offers the unique benefit of checking the waters before diving in. If you are still determining whether a shirt layout will sell, or any product for that matter, drop transport lets you list the item for sale besides investing in inventory. You only pay for merchandise if buyers buy your product.

Although the wholesale fee of drop shipped products is generally greater per unit than inventory you purchase in bulk, your universal economic chance is restrained because you don't invest in a stock that doesn't sell. Drop shipping is also a remarkable way to evaluate a new supplier's satisfaction. If you find the products defective, you may drop the supplier, and you won't be stuck with thousands of units of faulty merchandise.

Manage A Dropshipping Business From Anywhere

Renting a storage unit, office space, or even a coworking house may be quintessential to manipulating drop delivery returns if you cope with your returns. But if you partner with a supplier that handles reverse as nicely as forward logistics, your sole bodily tie to your dropshipping eCommerce organization is a computer. That frees you to control your commercial enterprise from anywhere. Dropshipping eCommerce can be an excellent commercial enterprise for digital nomads.

Private Label Dropshipping May Help You Grow A Brand

Some dropshipping suppliers

It can enable you to enhance a particular company via custom printing and on-demand production. When your consumer orders, the provider starts evolving the production line and manufactures your particular product on demand.

Another way to build a brand thru drop transport is a private label. A white-label organization that gives drop shipping services can deliver merchandise in your branded packaging. You may have to pay up the front to print the packaging. However, that's small funding compared to the price of shopping for warehouse stock.

Downsides Of Dropshipping

As your enterprise grows, you may additionally locate it makes more and more sense to move it to a regular supply chain. However, if you know the drawbacks and prepare for them, you can triumph with a drop shipping business.

Drop Ship Marketplace Is Highly Competitive

You are one of many online retailers sourcing products from your drop transport supplier. Hundreds or hundreds of other online stores provide identical products, so you have to get creative to stand out from the competition. Some of the money you retail by no more extended shopping for the stock will need to go to advertising and website design to make your commercial enterprise stand out from the crowd. You can also set yourself aside by sourcing merchandise from various unique dropship suppliers and supplying an exceptional product range.

Drop Shipped Products

Although drop transport can enable minor product customization, the extent of this is minimal. Unless you drive a large quantity of income for the supplier, your product will be functionally identical to the supplier's many other drop-ship customers. And then, if your product doesn't stand out in the aggressive landscape, you will probably be forced to compete for low prices.

Quality Control For The Drop Shipped Products Is More Difficult

All producers have some share of faulty finished goods. A manufacturing unit can pull most or all faulty items from the furnish chain with excellent top control. In the past, manufacturers would look for first-rate with the understanding that the retailer would also scrutinize every product when unpacking an order.

Drop Shipped Items Have Thin Margins

Mass production leverages economies of scale, and suppliers offer reductions for high-quantity orders. In the dropshipping eCommerce model, you buy gadgets in quantities of one or a few at a time, so your wholesale price will be higher. The tradeoff for shopping for only the merchandise you promote is thinner profit margins.

 Products Going Out Of Stock Is More Common With Dropshipping

Turning over inventory management responsibilities to a supplier additionally potential blind trust in their inventory administration for goods you promote on your website. If your client orders a product that is out of stock, it can be frustrating for all parties. Discussing inventory administration during partnership negotiations and establishing strong conversation channels is best.

Related: What You Need To Know Before Starting eBay Dropshipping Business

How To Start A Dropshipping Business

Step 1: Choosing A Dropshipping Business Idea

The truth is, what you sell matters. Please take some time to locate lovely dropshipping enterprise ideas. Most people inform you to choose an area of interest you're passionate about. But that's only a half-truth. It's about a combination of income and passion, skewed towards profit.

Step 2: Competitor Analysis

Once you have determined what to promote, you need to instruct yourself on who your rivals are, what they sell, and how they promote their products. There are many ways to do this.

Enter the identity of one of the merchandise you want to promote into Google and do a quick search to see who shows up on top. The websites will supply a precis of the websites you are looking for along with their social media profiles, any advertising and marketing they are doing, target market and traffic statistics for their website, and a listing of opponents for that business.

Step 3: Find A Supplier

It can be effortless to locate a suitable provider on AliExpress. Once on the platform, you can search for products and choose suppliers from the results list. You can see reviews, ratings, and how lengthy the supplier has been on the platform for every dealer, which has to sway your choice on which dealer to choose.

Step 4: Building A Dropshipping Business Store

There are a few elements to building a dropshipping e-commerce business correctly. Here are a few:

  • Domain Name
  • Sign up for Shopify
  • Shopify Themes
  • Install Automizely

Related: How To Add Products On Shopify

Step 5: Marketing Your Dropshipping Business With Everything You've Got

So at this point, you've found your product and constructed your store, now's the time to market your dropshipping commercial enterprise like there's no tomorrow.

  • Facebook Advertising
  • Retargeting Ads
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Get free media coverage.

Step 6: Optimize

Once you have spent time building your website, brand, and advertising, you can begin to analyze the outcomes of your hard work. Certain advertising things are hugely successful, while others are less. Or you can appear at your pricing in opposition to rivals and see if you should exchange items for making things more competitive.

Tips For Running A Successful Dropshipping Business

Whenever choosing a niche for your dropshipping site, it's vital to seem to be at several factors, including:

1. Focus on Profitability

When it comes to running a successful dropshipping business, the most crucial factor is profitability. Analyze your costs for shipping and sourcing products and how much you can charge customers. Ensure that these numbers produce a healthy profit margin when all is said and done.

2. Keep Shipping Costs Low

Dropshipping can often involve high costs due to multiple "hands" involved in getting the product from the manufacturer's warehouse to the customer's doorstep. Do your research to find ways to reduce shipping costs without sacrificing the quality or reliability of delivery.

3. Have Staying Power

The dropshipping model is designed for those who plan on sticking around for the long haul. The more consistent you can be with product availability, customer service, and shipping times, the more successful you'll be in the dropshipping game.

4. Consider Local Availability

 Dropshippers often need help to compete with businesses that offer local availability and faster delivery times. When setting up a dropshipping business, it's essential to consider how your business model fits into the larger marketplace and find ways to differentiate yourself from competitors with a physical presence or warehouse resources nearby. This could include finding unique products or offering special promotions that customers won't find anywhere else. 

5. Build Relationships With Suppliers

As with any other retail business, you are having good relationships with suppliers is key to running a successful dropshipping business. Stay in touch with suppliers and build relationships that can help you get the best pricing, quality control, and reliability for getting your products sourced and shipped on time.

Dropshipping FAQS

Is Drop Shipping Legal?

It can be, but it depends on how you go about it.

There are two basic types of drop shipping: consignment and Fulfillment. With consignment drop shipping, the supplier sends products to the retailer's customers whenever an order is placed. The retailer is not responsible for inventory or fulfilling orders and does not handle any shipping or customer service responsibilities. This type of drop shipping is legal in most cases as long as the retailer discloses that they are using a drop shipper and that the supplier handles all order fulfillment.

With fulfillment drop shipping, the retailer handles all aspects of order fulfillment- including inventory management, packing and shipping orders, and conducting customer service inquiries. This type of drop shipping is more complex and requires more work from the retailer, but it is also legal in most cases.

To be a legitimate dropshipping business, you must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, it's essential to ensure that your supplier understands and agrees to any terms of service or policies outlined in your contract. It is also vital that you understand the products being shipped, as well as customer expectations when ordering them. When done right, drop shipping can be a lucrative way to run an online business.

What Type Of Merchandise Can I Dropship?

The category of drop shipping:

  • Health and non-public care.
  • Wardrobe and accessories.
  • Kitchen and grocery.
  • Home and bedroom.
  • Office products.
  • Tools and domestic improvement.
  • Camera and cellphone accessories.
  • Gaming.

When choosing the products to dropship, it's essential to consider the latest trends and what is selling well. You also want to ensure that you're selecting items within your niche. For example, if you're a fashion blogger, it would make sense to focus on clothing and accessories rather than home décor. However, if you're passionate about home decor, then by all means, go for it! It's essential to choose products that you feel comfortable promoting and that you believe in.

How Do I Locate Dropshippers?

Contact manufacturers:  If you need to locate dropshippers for a particular product, the best way to do this is by contacting manufacturers and asking them if they offer any dropshipping services. Manufacturers often partner with third-party drop shippers to help manage orders and fulfill customer requests.

Search Online Directories: A quick search on Google or another search engine will bring up several websites that can provide information about potential drop shippers. Online directories such as Worldwide Brands or SaleHoo list thousands of companies that offer dropshipping services. You can use these sites to compare prices, read reviews from other customers, and learn more about each company's policies.

Check Out Forums: Another great way to find drop shippers is to check out various forums related to e-commerce. Many retailers and entrepreneurs who have used dropshipping services in the past often leave comments about their experiences with different companies. This can be a great way to get an inside look at how each company operates and what customer service they offer.

Network: Lastly, it's essential to network with other businesses that could become your dropshippers. Reach out to local wholesalers or manufacturers and see if they would be willing to work with you as a drop shipper. Often, these types of relationships mutually benefit both parties involved. Additionally, attending trade shows or conferences is a great way to meet potential dropshippers.

How Do I Contact Dropshippers?

Find A Niche Where You Can Add Value

You'll want to find a niche where you can offer something different from your competitors. You may specialize in rare or hard-to-find products or focus on quality items with longer lifespans than similar competitors. Once you know your niche and how to stand out from the competition, it's time to start contacting dropshippers. 

Create A Listing Of 30 Suppliers In That Niche

You will need to research potential dropshipping partners and create a list of around 30 suppliers. Make sure each supplier is reliable and offers the types of items that fit into your niche so that you can confidently represent their products. 

Email Them All To Begin The Relationship

Once you have your list of 30 suppliers, start making contact. Send each an email to introduce yourself and explain why you'd like to partner with them. Include your website URL in the email and ask if they will drop ship their products on your behalf. 

Call Them And Communicate With Their Supply Or Distribution Department

 To ensure you fully understand the dropshipping agreement, it's a good idea to call each supplier directly—after you've sent them an email—and speak with someone in their supply or distribution department. During this call, make sure you clarify all critical points of the agreement, including shipping times, return policies, pricing structure, order fulfillment processes, and any other details that need clarification. 

Confirm Dealer Important Points And Agreement

After the call, make sure you confirm all of the crucial points in writing. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. 

Upload Products To Your Website

Once everything is set up and confirmed, it's time to upload products from each supplier to your website. Ensure you've correctly listed each item with accurate descriptions, images, and pricing information so customers can easily find what they're looking for.

How Do I Negotiate With Dropshippers?

Here are a few tips on how to negotiate with dropshippers:

1. Be bold and ask for a lower price. Dropshippers are usually willing to negotiate, especially if you're ordering in bulk.

2. Be clear about what you're looking for. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for the drop shipper to meet your needs.

3. Maintain a positive relationship with your drop shipper. You'll have an easier time negotiating future deals by establishing a good relationship.

4. Be patient. Negotiations can take time, so commit to a deal quickly.

5. Research other dropshipping companies and compare pricing. This will help you get the best possible deal for your business.

6. Don't be afraid to walk away from a deal if it isn't advantageous for you. Trust your instincts and stick to your guns!

7. Remember communication or follow-up after the negotiation. It's essential to stay in contact with your drop shipper and ensure that both parties remain satisfied with the agreement reached through negotiations.

Can International Orders Be Drop Shipped?

Most essential shipping providers supply internationally so that drop-shipped orders can cross borders. However, international orders also need to go thru customs, which can add to shipping time and cost. U.S. Customs and Border Protection warns that global imports are your accountability and liability.

Who Pays The Shipping Costs?

Most often, the supplier will invoice you for all shipping prices relevant to your business. You can offer free shipping and devour that cost or charge it to your customers at checkout. Ensure you understand your supplier's delivery charges and terms, so you can set your customers and fee your goods appropriately.


Dropshipping is an increasingly popular strategy among online retailers and eCommerce business owners. It provides a reliable and cost-effective way to manage your online store, and its success rate speaks for itself. The key to making the most of dropshipping is understanding how it works, coupled with plenty of in-depth research and knowledge. We've explored here why embracing dropshipping as part of your eCommerce strategy can take your business from strength to strength, plus some strange yet practical tips and insights. Now you should have the confidence to try out drop shipping for yourself. If you need help fulfilling your eCommerce orders, get in touch with Simpl Fulfillment for expert advice and support at every stage. Have you tried out dropshipping before? Don't hesitate to share your experiences in the comments section below!

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