The Ultimate Guide on How to Start Dropshipping For Free in 2022
It’s possible to start a dropshipping business with little to no money. The bare minimum to start this business is a computer, steady internet, and your time. So if you’re broke but want to create your own online business, follow our ultimate guide below on how to start dropshipping for free.
- What is Dropshipping?
- How Does Dropshipping Work?
- What Do You Need to Start Dropshipping For Free?
- Tips for Starting a Dropshipping Business
- Is It Really Possible to Start a Dropshipping Business With No Money?
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of retail business that involves the seller accepting a customer's orders, but they do not keep goods sold in their shops. The seller then transfers the customers' orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, a wholesaler, another retailer, or a fulfillment house, which then ships the goods directly to the customer.
How Does Dropshipping Work?
A customer places an order at your e-commerce store. Like the store, you just need to upload the product catalog, including its images, details, and a unique description. Then, you will forward the customer's order to the supplier, who will then ship the product(s) directly to the buyer.
- The customer places an order for $100 (product price)
- You (e-commerce store) pay the supplier $50 (wholesale price)
- The supplier ships the product to the customer, and you keep the $50 (profit amount)
What Do You need to Start Dropshipping For Free?
As I’ve said, it’s very much possible to start a dropshipping business with little to no money. Just get the following tips right, and you are all set to start making money from wherever you are. So read on and find out how.
1. Choose your niche
The first thing you need to do to start dropshipping for free is conduct thorough market research. Then settle on a specific niche, and decide how much profit you should make. If you’re confused, you can refer to our guide on finding profitable niches with low competition.
Next, find a list of trending products from online platforms like Shopify. These will get you the attention of shoppers and gain traction, which will help your business grow. Beauty products, fashion, fitness, and electronics are some of the best private label products to sell for small businesses like yours.
2. Research your competitors
Having many competitors in your market choice is a good thing. These competitors hold great clues to success and can help you build a stronger marketing plan for your business. Learn everything you can about your competitors; their websites, prices, marketing methods, product descriptions, promotions, deals, etc. this will help you focus and plan your next steps.
For instance, by using a tool like BigSpy, you can easily track how your competitors' ads perform and draw inspiration from it to craft your own ads for maximum profitability.
Some ways to go about your competitor research are:
- Run a Google search.
- Use competitor spy tools like SimilarWeb and Alexa.
- Browse social media.
- Subscribe to competitors’ email lists.
3. Look for suppliers
Suppliers are the backbone of the dropshipping business. Without them, there wouldn't be any products to ship to customers. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify will help you connect to a marketplace like Oberlo, where you can find all the products you need with good profit and potential suppliers that you can easily add to your online store with just one click.
From directories to phone calls, there's a range of ways to find great suppliers for your dropshipping business. Here are some tips:
- Contact manufacturer
- Try out product research tool (niche scraper)
- Go to a trade show
- Google extensively
- Order from competitors
4. Build your store on free platforms
The next thing you will need (and the most important one) is a store where your customers can buy things from you. You will also need a website to send traffic to and process payments. Some of the drop shipping platforms that are free to start the business are:
If you decide to deal with Amazon, be sure to check out AMZChart for proper keyword search and find winning products on the platform.
5. Market your business
When building your dropshipping business, you may want to put extra effort into the marketing and advertising of your new venture. You can do this in the following ways:
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
- Get involved with communities who are passionate about your niche
- Mobile marketing
- Paid ads
- Search engine optimization
Though spending some money on ads and marketing would be helpful, it’s not really necessary. There are a lot of ways to market your business for free. All you need is a little bit of patience and a healthy amount of thinking outside the box.
6. Analyze your sales and customer data
Tracking and analyzing data from your business helps you uncover performance breakdowns so that you can understand each part of the process better and know which steps need to be fixed and those that are performing well.
Data makes it easier for your company to interact with its customers. When they are satisfied with the products they get, you can easily stand out from your competitors.
7. Improve your business strategies
The analyzed data can help improve your business strategies through:
- Better targeting - you can know which forms of advertising can effectively reach your customers. It also allows you to estimate the cost you will incur in making your products.
- The information helps you understand what products are suitable for your customers, so you know the areas to focus on to fulfill your customers’ desires.
- You get rough ideas of future trends in consumer behavior so that you can produce products and create services that will help you stay on top and have an advantage over your competitors.
- Cut the cost of production. You will be able to identify which areas of your business are using unnecessary finances and areas that need more funding.
- You are also able to solve problems that may arise during production.
Tips for Starting a Dropshipping Business
Now that you know how to start dropshipping for free, here are some tips on how to succeed in this business:
1. Do your research
Proper research helps startup dropshippers:
- make better and more informed decisions
- strengthen businesses' position
- minimizes any investment risks
- identify potential threats and opportunities
- stay ahead of the competition
Make sure to research the following things before you start your dropshipping business:
- size of your competition
- your target audience
- your web presence
- the market
2. Prepare everything
Preparation for any business is vital. To prepare for your foray into the dropshipping business, you need first to select a niche. Then perform competition research to know who your competitors are. It is extremely important to secure a reliable supplier so that they don't ruin your business. Finally, build your eCommerce website so that customers can access you easily.
All this preparation will help you set everything in motion once you start.
3. Manage your expectations
Yes, there's money in the dropshipping business, but it may take a considerable amount of time before you start reaping a bountiful harvest like the way you envisioned. It's always advisable to go into business with realistic expectations to avoid disappointments and eventually quit.
Have expectations that will help you cope with any financial eventuality if it occurs.
Is It Really Possible to Start a Dropshipping Business With No Money?
Dropshipping is a great low-risk, low-cost way to start online selling. The basics above will save you plenty of time and energy that you would have put into experimenting by yourself. Remember, persistence is key!
So, there you have it. That’s how you start dropshipping for free. Want to learn more about dropshipping? Head on to our blog or follow us on social media.