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How to Start a Dropshipping Business with No Money in 5 Steps

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You may already have some knowledge about dropshipping. It can be a lucrative undertaking, but how much do you really need to get started? The answer? As low as $0. 

In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to start a dropshipping business with no money.

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Ecommerce Business

What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a type of business model in which the seller, also known as the dropshipper, doesn't maintain any inventory of the products he sells. Instead, upon receiving an order, the dropshipper sends the order details to a third party supplier who then directly ships the product to the customer. 

The seller earns by marking up the wholesale price of the goods purchased from the supplier.

basic dropshipping model
Dropshipping lets you sell products online without having to store physical inventory.

Success in dropshipping hinges on effective product research and marketing strategies. 

Nonetheless, it is possible to earn a profit through dropshipping, especially if done correctly on platforms like Amazon. In fact, some members of EcomCrew have successfully transitioned into dropshipping after a period of recovery.

Is Easy to Start a Free Dropshippping Business?

Starting a free dropshipping might initially seem like a lot of work, but with a well-thought-out strategy, launching a free dropshipping business is not only possible but also profitable.

The perk about dropshipping for free is that it helps you avoid the usual problems of high initial investments and inventory management.

In the next sections, we'll walk you through a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to kickstart and grow your free dropshipping hustle.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business with No Money in 5 Steps

Ready to start a dropshipping business with no money? Here’s how:

Step 1: Find a Niche

Find a niche that you’re interested in.

Although with dropshipping, the risks are low and let you experiment with different products within different niches without breaking the bank. For example, Amazon has a wide variety of niche categories you can sell in.

Related Reading: 10 Things To Think About Before Selecting Your Ecommerce Niche

Step 2: Find a Product Within Your Niche

Find a product that sells using a tool like Jungle Scout. If it sells any more than $25,000 per month the product is too competitive.

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Related Reading: How to Find a Product to Sell on Amazon 2023

Related Listening: E129: How to Pick the Perfect Product to Sell in eCommerce

Step 3: Find Suppliers

Find a good supplier on Alibaba (you can use Jungle Scout's Supplier database to find out exactly what supplier your competitors are using).

You can also find wholesale suppliers for online stores outside of Alibaba. Here are some Alibaba alternatives.

Step 4: Choose a Platform to Sell On

There are many free ecommerce platforms to choose from and most of them offer a range of free plans or trials that allow sellers to test and explore the platform before deciding whether it's suitable for their needs.

Two of the most popular platforms for dropshipping with no money are Shopify and WooCommerce. 

Shopify offers a free trial period for users to try out and familiarize themselves with the store before they begin selling, while WooCommerce can be downloaded and used for free. For a more detailed comparison of these two platforms, you can check this article: Shopify vs. Woocommerce: Which Platform Is Right for You?

Amazon Dropshipping

Amazon dropshipping is essentially the same as your classic dropshipping model, except that you sell the products on Amazon’s marketplace, instead of selling them exclusively on a standalone ecommerce store.

Many dropshippers choose Amazon as a selling platform due to the vast number of potential customers and the built-in visibility that comes with the site's enormous market share. Additionally, Amazon can be integrated as a sales channel with your self-hosted e-commerce site or Shopify store.

Check out our article on How to Dropship on Amazon to learn more about it.

Related Reading: The Best Ecommerce Marketplaces to Sell Your Products Online

Step 5: Create Your Store and Promote It

Once you've chosen your products and the platform where you want to start your dropshipping business, you'll need to set up your store.

Related Reading: How to Start your Own E-Commerce Store

How Dropshipping Saves You Money and Time

If you're cautious, dropshipping can actually be a very safe and reliable business model.

Dropshipping offers multiple benefits for businesses, including reducing upfront investment and the burden of shipping, cutting costs on warehouse space, saving time, and lowering risk. 

There is no need to purchase products upfront and sellers can enter the market with a low barrier and avoid the risk of purchasing too much stock. 

Dropshipping is a time-saving business model that frees up more time for sellers to focus on marketing, driving traffic to their channels and building customer support.

Can You Lose Money With Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model that poses very low risks of losing money, given its little to no upfront costs. The only real expense is the website's cost, but you can choose from various pocket-friendly options like WooCommerce or Shopify.

Nevertheless, there are still ways to lose money with a dropshipping business, such as

  • Unprofitable advertising campaigns
  • High rates of returned merchandise
  • Selling products with a high risk of fraud

Tips for a Successful Dropshipping Business with No Money

Maintain a Strong Branding

Many dropshipping sellers opt to source products from AliExpress and list them on eCommerce platforms like eBay or Amazon. However, the challenge lies in the fact that there could be numerous other sellers offering the same product. 

Therefore, it's essential to make every effort to distinguish yourself from these sellers.

Build Relationships with Customers

Providing customer service is a cost-free task that requires only your time. While dropshippers with greater financial resources may have the edge in various aspects of the business, customer service is one area where you can compete.

Although you may be selling the same merchandise as other dropshippers, customers will return if they feel valued and appreciated when shopping from your online store.

Build Effective Copy for Your Sites

Copywriting is essential to drive sales when customers land on your website or listing, but content writing plays a crucial role in attracting them there in the first place.

By utilizing content, you can improve your search engine rankings and gain traction. When individuals search for a particular query, your pages will appear as results, prompting them to click and land on your website. This strategy is known as content marketing via search engine optimization.

Improve Your Web Design Skills

Although graphic design can be complex, there are free tools available out there. To ensure that your dropshipping product photos and website's overall appearance inspire confidence, it's important to acquire a basic understanding of graphic design. 

Our article about The Best Freelance Graphic Design Websites for Amazon Sellers provides a comprehensive overview of some of the best platforms where Amazon sellers can find talented graphic designers.

Final Thoughts

Starting a dropshipping business with no money is possible. If you're looking to start a dropshipping business with zero capital, consider using free versions of tools and software whenever possible, focusing on a single niche first and investing only your time.

However, keep in mind that when you're starting with limited capital, reaching your expected outcomes will demand additional effort and time.

Have you started a dropshipping business with no money before? Let us know in the comments section below.

Helena Fernandez Morano

I'm proud to be part of an amazing group of talented political scientists who never shy away from blazing new trails, especially in uncertain times. Outside of my work in this field, I delve into the fascinating world of eCommerce. I'm always eager to join projects with scope, where I can team up with people who inspire me.

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  1. I think that this is responsive advice for dropshipping startup businesses to boost their business through their earning skills and client satisfaction. This field contains a huge bunch of scope in the shipping industry.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I completely agree that dropshipping can be a great way for startup businesses to enter the e-commerce world and start earning revenue without having to invest in inventory upfront. However, it’s important to note that while dropshipping offers a low barrier to entry, it also comes with its own set of challenges and it’s important for entrepreneurs to approach it with realistic expectations and a willingness to adapt and learn along the way.

  2. I am a small handmade business that sells on Etsy, I recently found someone on Etsy and Shopify selling my products with my logo and description and photos for more than I sell it for without my consent. Your article should point out how its unethical to do this without permission. I reported it to Etsy and contacted them, it was taken down, but the person seemed to feel they were entitled to do this. Go figure.

  3. Before reading this article I say drop shipping business is a very hard and we need a big investment to start. But after reading this article I’ll surprised I start this business with no money. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous knowledge.

  4. I don’t really know how to go about the dropshipping earlier but with the details given below it will help me a lot Thanks

  5. I have tried starting a dfy Shopify store loaded with 20 products( a few times now) and getting it up and running has not worked. I been getting charges for setting things up and can’t get my store launched. So I created a print on demand hoodie to sell and am launching with one product. The help they’ve offered in signing up doesn’t work so I’m figuring it out on my own( with difficulty) and I chose to make it work even if it takes me months to successfully launch. I have invested in creating digital products so I’m not burdened with fullfillment obligations. Definitely developing a thicker skin by moving forward regardless of offers failing flat.

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