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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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.