Integration
Seamlessly integrate to your eCommerce store to become a successful dropshipping business overnight.
Wix
Add Modalyst to your ecommerce plan and start taking your Wix website to the next level.
Shopify
Install Modalyst's Shopify app in one click to automate dropshipping for your Shopify store.
BigCommerce
List thousands of products to your BigCommerce store with a single click.
Partner
Kit
Peer-to-peer marketplace

Learn how to start a successful dropshipping business with Modalyst. Overnight.

Over 250,000 entrepreneurs & online businesses have signed up to receive tips, tricks, and news on dropshipping & ecommerce success.

How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

[lwptoc skipHeadingLevel=”h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6″]

Our entire world has turned digital, so it’s no surprise that we’re all looking for how to make money online without paying anything.

There are myriad ways to make money online. Whether you are looking for a side hustle or extra income, there are several options out there.

Some of the most compelling options require you to invest capital upfront in order to get started.

In many cases, these are the opportunities that involve building a small business and ultimately give you the potential for a high income.

The amount of money that you’ll have to invest varies quite a bit.

You can start a blog for under $10/month. But even writing several blog posts each month can be costly in terms of the time you spend. Creating a private label brand to sell products on Amazon is also an aspiration for many, but you will need a few thousand dollars for your initial inventory.

However, if you’re looking to start making money online and you have nothing to invest, don’t worry. There are some options to earn money online without paying anything, and in this article, we’ll look at many of the best possibilities.

These are the most commonly suggested ways to make money online without paying anything:

Common Ways to Earn Money Online for Free

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is where you get to promote and sell products and then earn a commission in exchange. The only catch here is that as an affiliate marketer you promote these products online, mostly on a blog using a special referral link. You get your commission whenever someone uses your referral link to make a purchase.

Blogging

Blogs are now the go-to sources of information. As a blogger, this is one of the most popular ways to make money online.

You can literally write about anything. This makes it relatively simple for anyone to start blogging.

While it demands your time, it usually requires only a small upfront investment. You can choose to blog on a free platform like Blogger or Tumblr.

However, if you want to make meaningful extra income (i.e., a few thousand dollars per month), it can be very time intensive and promoting the blog can get very expensive.

Freelance Writing

Thinking of how to make money online without investment? Start a service-based freelance writing business online.

Freelancing is providing your skill as a service to customers who have a need for the skill. You promote your skill to as many customers as you can manage and charge them on a per project basis.

You can become a freelance writer pretty easily. All you need is an interest in writing and the capability to write prolifically and tirelessly.

Freelance Graphic Design

If you have a knack for drawing and design, graphic design might be a practical option. There is a good deal of work available for freelance graphic designers.

The type of work varies. It can include creating websites, logos, and marketing materials. Increasingly, designing blog templates and social media images are growing in demand.

Create Online Courses

Do you have a skill that you are proficient at? How about teaching that skill to others?

Teaching online is not only fulfilling but also a way to make extra money without having to spend much, other than time, to do it.

This will, however, take up your time. If you don’t have the time to teach one-on-one classes, you could create online courses and sell them on your website.

Fill Out Surveys

Filling out surveys is easy and will not take more than 15 minutes to complete. Short surveys could take as few as 2 minutes. The survey sites will offer you money or amazon gift cards, and all sorts of other cool stuff in return.

At times it feels like a data entry job, but you can make quick cash without having to invest much money.

The Best Way to Make Extra Income Online 

While there are lots of options to earn money online without paying anything, the best way is to start a drop shipping website.

There aren’t many types of online businesses that you can start with literally zero investment. It’s even harder to find an opportunity that allows you to be either full time or part time and still generate side income.  Drop shipping is one of those rare opportunities and we’ll explain why.

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is Dropshipping?

If you’re wondering how to make money online fast, look no further than dropshipping.

Dropshipping is an online retail method in which you effectively serve as an intermediary between the end buyer and the suppliers. 

You don’t have to worry about producing or shipping items. 

All you have to do is set up an online storefront and start selling.

What Is Dropshipping?

With drop shipping, you don’t handle any stock. 

Instead, when you sell an item, that’s when you order it from suppliers, who then ship the item directly to the person who bought it from you.

If you don’t want to, you don’t even have to see the products you sell. All you have to do is promote your store and sell the products.

It’s a win-win.

How Do You Earn Money Drop Shipping?

If you run a dropshipping store, you earn money by taking your cut.

Let’s say you would buy a product from the supplier for $2. 

All you have to do to earn money in that case is set your margin. 

For example, you could sell the item for $3.

When someone orders your item and pays for it, you then pay $2 to the supplier who ships and sends the item, and you pocket $1.

Rinse and repeat.

Talking Numbers

The question of how to make money online comes with a simple answer where dropshipping is concerned:

  • On average, the top 10% of eBay dropshippers earn $7,731 month (Source)
  • Dropshipping transactions grew by 146% between 2016 and 2018 (Source)
  • Around 33% percent of online stores use dropshipping as their fulfillment method (Source

Talking Numbers

There’s no way around it: dropshipping is profitable.

If you run a dropshipping business, you don’t have to deal with: 

  • Hefty overhead costs (Storage space, utilities, production, etc.)
  • Billing and scheduling (You just process orders)
  • Upfront capital (You can start dropshipping even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to pump into your business)
  • Risk (You don’t buy products before your customers pay for them)

All of this makes dropshipping one of the best ways to make money online. It’s low risk, too. You’re not giving money to suppliers unless you’ve already received money from your customers.

There’s no way you’re getting that option with any other kind of business. 

But let’s talk specifics.

Pros and Cons of Dropshipping

As an entrepreneur, you have to choose a method of making money online that works best for you

So here are all the pros and cons of making money with dropshipping:

Pro: You’ll be significantly reducing your overhead costs if you start dropshipping.

For example, let’s say you want to open a brick and mortar store selling mugs. 

Even before you’ve opened the door, you have to pay the rent and order your products. Then, you’ll also have to pay the utilities, subscription for all the software you need to keep track of your inventory, marketing materials, shipping, and your own salary. After all, someone will have to run that store.

But maybe you don’t want to sell mugs in your town. 

Maybe you want to take them online.

In that case, you’re saving money on rent, but you’re still dealing with the fact that you have to order a certain quantity of products in order to sell them. There’s no guarantee you’ll sell them, but you’ve already paid for them.

In contrast, the main costs associated with dropshipping are IT costs. 

main costs associated with dropshipping

Pro: You can sell anything (and anywhere).

When you dropship products, not even the sky is the limit. You can sell absolutely anything. 

Ever wanted to sell smartphones? 

Now you can.

Did you want to start a fashion label and take the New York Fashion Week by storm?

Possible with dropshipping.

You can sell anything, as long as there’s a market for it. 

And when it comes to dropshipping, the more niche you can go the better.

This also means that you don’t have to restrict yourself to your immediate area. 

You can ship to wherever your suppliers agreed they would ship. One moment it’s New York, the other it’s Singapore. 

Growing a business is so easy when you don’t have to worry about constraints. 

Pro: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

The number one question entrepreneurs struggle with is: “How am I going to make money?”

Startup founders come up with cool apps. They create products that would impress Tesla. The world wants to see them. 

But at the end of the day, they find themselves asking:

“Is this business idea going to be profitable?”

They have to create their business models from scratch. And not to mention that they have to become economists in one night to create a viable business plan. Otherwise, they don’t stand a chance at getting funding.

With dropshipping, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

You just have to follow the steps and learn from best practices (some of which we’re covering in this guide). Your business will be profitable in no time.

Pro: Dropshipping Is a Low-Risk Business

The main risk in traditional business is ordering items that you might not sell. But with dropshipping, you don’t buy the inventory that hasn’t already been sold. 

Con: Limited Supplier Options

One of the main cons of dropshipping is the fact that not every manufacturer or supplier is open to dropshipping. 

However, times are changing. 

Even the most hardcore suppliers are changing their minds nowadays, having understood that dropshipping is the fulfillment method of the future. 

Con: Shipping Fees

Shipping comes with a cost, which will cut into your profit margin if you’re not careful. 

Fortunately, you can agree on fixed fees with your supplier and run the numbers, ensuring that you’re still earning plenty from your dropshipping business.

Con: Coordination

Dropshipping relies on the coordination between you and the supplier. 

You have to be careful not to advertise items that went out of stock. Because of this, your systems and your suppliers’ systems have to be integrated.

Similarly, you’ll have to decide on how you want to handle returns.

Coordination isn’t a big problem. 

These days, there’s plenty of automation and inventory management software that ensures your store state perfectly reflects the state of your suppliers’ warehouses.

You can also find multiple suppliers so even if one doesn’t carry your item at the moment, you have a fail-safe supplier to rely on.

How to Start Dropshipping

There are a few surefire ways to start off your dropshipping business and ensure it’s lucrative:

What to Sell Online?

Before we get into the thick of it, you have to choose what you’ll sell online.

As a rule of thumb, niches are most profitable because:

  • You get recurring customers 
  • You can quickly build up credibility and increase your brand awareness within the niche
  • You’ll get more referrals (your customers will refer their like-minded friends)

And of course, if the niche isn’t extremely competitive, you’ll have better chances of earning more money than you’ve ever dreamed of.

 What to Sell Online?

After all, if you carry a lot of related products, you’ll soon become your customers’ go-to store for purchasing them.

Conversely, if you sell a bit of everything, you’ll have a harder time of differentiating yourself in the market and building a brand.

Look Into Trending Products

If you need something to jog your inspiration, use Amazon, eBay and Wish to find trending products.

For example, (Rolex) watches are trending on eBay at the moment of writing this guide. 

Now, some of those trending products will be great during the times they’re popular (e.g. Christmas – everyone gets their S.O.s fancy gifts), but others will be veritable cash cow products.

You can easily differentiate between shooting star and cash cow products by searching for the product name on Google Trends.

If we take our example with watches, here’s what we got when we searched for “buy watches online”:

Look Into Trending Products

We were focused on the long-term sustainability of dropshipping watches, which is why we chose 5 years as our trend period. 

You can absolutely mix and match, as well as find trends for specific countries. You can even compare different keywords (i.e. product ideas).

Word of advice: integrate words like “buy” or “shopping,” as well as location-based keywords when searching for your target products. You’ll get much more accurate results than if you’d searched for “watch” or “mugs.”

Niche Down

When you decide to shortlist a few products, it’s time to niche down. 

Again, you can be a generalist, but it’s much more profitable to operate in a specific niche. You’ll have less competition, and you’ll establish your brand sooner than if you’d just sold everything.

You can find your niche by looking at your products. Fitbits are in the fitness niche, lightsabers are for Star Wars aficionados, and so on. 

For example, let’s say you’re interested in dropshipping watches, mugs, smart watches, and fitness apparel.

First, define which niche your products fit:

  • Is it a niche people are passionate about?
  • Is there a community in the niche?
  • Do the potential customers like spending money on your niche?

For example, there’s not a specific watches niche. People just buy them. Yes, they can be passionate, but when it comes to luxury watches, you’ll have a lot of (already established) competition.

define which niche your products fit

Conversely, fitness apparel is a great niche because people are passionate about staying fit. 

They form communities (just take a look at Instagram), and they definitely love spending money, even if it’s just on yoga pants and eco-friendly water bottles.

You can find and validate your niche by:

  • Visiting social media and message boards
  • Assessing the level of interest in the niche (e.g. people in the fitness niche post about it on their profiles constantly – people who buy watches don’t)

Ideally, you’ll find a niche where people aren’t hesitant to spend money (typically when products are priced under $100). 

This way, you won’t need to convince them through marketing too much.

Stake Out the Competition

In order for your dropshipping business to be successful, you have to have something that the competition doesn’t.

Usually, it’s the quality (and variety of your products), or your prices.

When you’ve shortlisted the products you’re interested in dropshipping, conduct competitor research. You can do it on major platforms, or just by Google searching. 

Write down the prices you come across and try to understand where your competitors source their products.

Get in Touch with Suppliers

A great product is significantly less so if you can’t source it at a price that would generate profit.

Get in Touch with Suppliers

You can find individual suppliers and get in touch with them directly, or use a variety of supplier platforms such as:

You could even find niche supplier sites, so don’t be afraid to Google around. 

Questions for Suppliers

Before you start selling, get in touch with the suppliers to learn more about their policies. 

Your business depends on them holding up their end of the bargain, so you should make sure you do business with reputable suppliers. 

Ask about:

  • Minimum order quantity
  • Pricing and quantity discounts
  • Shipping and handling policies
  • Additional costs like taxes and duties
  • Their openness to eCommerce and dropshipping
  • Tools they use for inventory management, and automation with your store

You should always vet multiple suppliers.

It’s always good to have multiple suppliers on your roster, just in case one goes out of stock. 

This way, you won’t go out of stock even if your main supplier does.

Keep in Mind

The location of your supplier matters.

If you sell products in the US and you source them from China, it’ll likely take them a while to reach your customers. 

You should also be aware of any additional costs (e.g. shipping fees, duties and taxes), and either notify your customers of the possibility, or agree with the supplier on how you will include them in the price of the product.

Extra Services

Some suppliers offer extra services like white labeling (producing the products with your brand name on them).

If this is something vital to your drop shipping business, make sure you’re working with the supplier who can provide it.

Similarly, you’ll rely on automation to run your business. 

Your supplier has to have the ability of integrating their inventory management systems with yours, so the product levels on your site are always accurate.

Choose a Dropshipping Solution

Shopify Dropshipping

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions for both regular eCommerce and dropshipping alike.

Shopify Dropshipping

Pros of dropshipping with Shopify:

  • Easy set up
  • Over 1,500 apps and integrations
  • Built-in marketing and SEO features

Cons of dropshipping with Shopify:

  • Payment processor – you’ll pay an additional fee if you’re not using Shopify’s payment processor
  • Scaling and exporting your store to a different platform later on is tricky

Pricing: Shopify plans start at $29/month, with a 14-day free trial

Verdict: Shopify is great if you want to dropship a few products, and you don’t have a lot of experience with other content management systems. 

Wix Dropshipping

Dropshipping with Wix is a great solution if you want to build a brand and ensure your customers have a great user experience.

Previously, Wix was tricky for dropshipping, but now it has a fully integrated sourcing solution: Modalyst

Wix Dropshipping

Pros of dropshipping with Wix:

  • Ease of use – it’s very easy to start running your business and build a beautiful dropshipping storefront with Wix
  • No transaction fees
  • Access to thousands of high-quality suppliers through Modalyst

Cons of dropshipping with Wix:

  • Not originally an eCommerce platform
  • Fewer templates

Pricing: eCommerce plans start at $35/month

Verdict: Wix is a great dropshipping platform for small and mid-sized business alike. The fact that they don’t charge commissions is great for your bottom line!

Amazon Dropshipping

There are two kinds of Amazon dropshipping: Fulfillment by Amazon (Amazon FBA), where you store your products in Amazon’s warehouses (but you have to buy and ship them to the warehouses first), and traditional dropshipping.  We’ll focus on the latter. 

Amazon Dropshipping

Pros of dropshipping with Amazon:

  • Access to hundreds of millions of potential customers

Cons of dropshipping with Amazon:

Pricing: 10-15% on every item you sell.

Verdict: Great if you’re starting your business and you want to reach a huge audience from the get-go, but not great for scaling.

eBay Dropshipping

Similarly to Amazon, eBay gives you access to a huge audience. However, it doesn’t allow the kind of low-risk dropshipping that will help you generate revenue.

eBay Dropshipping

Pros of dropshipping with eBay:

  • Access to a huge audience

Cons of dropshipping with eBay:

  • You’re not allowed to sell products you haven’t already bought
  • Huge audience? Huge competition

Pricing: 10% fee per sold product.

Verdict: eBay dropshipping is great if you want to make money fast. 

But if you want to build a sustainable business, you’re better off starting your store on Wix, sourcing high-quality products through Modalyst, and promoting them through eBay and Amazon. 

Everything You Need to Know About AliExpress Dropshipping

When you run a dropshipping business, your first goal is making money.

However, a close second is having the platforms (supplier platforms included) you can rely on.

After all, a drop shipping business model should be simple to launch. You find the right products from a reliable supplier, advertise them on your site, and take your cut. Your supplier handles everything else.

And with that in mind, we want to bring you even more ease. That’s why we’re looking into AliExpress.com today.

We’ll show you what to look for in vendors and products so you can position your dropship store for success in 2020.

Let’s dive in!

What is AliExpress?

AliExpress

AliExpress is a major eCommerce marketplace for dropshippers. Dropshipping suppliers, both manufacturers and resellers, advertise their products on the marketplace. Dropshippers and retailers then connect with them when they find the products they like.

As far as marketplaces go, AliExpress is one of the oldest. It’s a daughter company of AliBaba, and it was launched in 2010.  Where AliBaba is made for wholesaling and there are minimum order quantities, AliExpress is more flexible.

Today, it’s practically synonymous with the idea of dropshipping products.

You can find everything you need on AliExpress. From needles to trains, as the old saying goes. No matter what you sell in your store, you’re bound to find more items like your current products on this incredible marketplace.

Additionally, AliExpress is affordable. The pricing is extremely competitive; you’ll find products for much cheaper than you would on other platforms.

It’s why dropshippers love it so much.

The Benefits of AliExpress Dropshipping

AliExpress dropshipping is a piece of cake.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the United States or Hong Kong, you can easily find the products you like, and import them to your online store. Once you’ve sold them, you pay the wholesale price, the Aliexpress seller ships them, and that’s all you have to worry about.

It’s the ideal place to get started as a new store owner.

Upfront cost, bye-bye!

One of the pros is that you don’t even have to pay a fee to get started with the AliExpress dropshipping program. You’ll only pay the wholesale price when you sell the product. The profit margin is yours to keep.

The fact that there is no upfront financial commitment significantly reduces your start-up capital. All you need to do is create your own website. You won’t have to pay for products or fees to access the products until you start earning money.

And even then, it’s just the wholesale price + shipping.

AliExpress suppliers don’t dictate minimum or maximum prices, either. You can add your profit margin and set the final price on your own. The wholesale prices on AE are usually very low, so you’ll have plenty of room to work with.

Since AliExpress.com is a huge marketplace connecting millions of sellers with hundreds of millions of buyers, you’ll find popular products on there first. That is one of the competitive advantages.

While other platforms, such as Banggood, Lightinthebox and DHGate will be sluggish, AliExpress won’t. They depend on being the first and having super low prices.

Keep in mind that the majority of sellers on AliExpress are factories based in China. One of the widely spoken about cons of this platform is the shipping time. However, shipping times no longer are a month or more. While Ali Express used to be known for its long shipping times to regions like the United States, order fulfillment is now much faster.

With ePacket delivery (made possible because of smaller orders that don’t call for shipping containers) and new shipping methods, your customers will get their packages in 14 days at most. If you’re only looking for same day or single day shipping, AE may not be the best solution for you.

With that in mind, it’s time to set up your AliExpress dropshipping store.

Selecting Your AliExpress Dropshipping Products

Don’t fret if you don’t have fleshed out product ideas. Products on AliExpress are sorted according to categories.

For example, consumer electronics, home improvement, clothing, jewelry, etc. However, you can find your products based on keywords.

There are plenty of product variants on AliExpress. It can be a lot. But don’t panic! All those options (and your marketing) are what is going to help you get more customers than you’ve ever dreamed of.

If you already have product ideas and know what you want to sell, that’s great!

If you don’t, it pays to take a look at trending products.

Then, use those keywords (e.g. “fidget spinner buy”) and plug them into Google Trends to evaluate interest over time. Pay attention to the location, as well.

You can even compare multiple products at once and make sure that you’re selling profitable items.

Even if you don’t sell a thing, it’s okay. Remember: you haven’t paid for a single item that hasn’t been sold.

All you’ve done is synced your store to AliExpress’ catalogue.

Running your own website doesn’t get better than that.

You can use the following product tips and tricks to set yourself up for AliExpress success:

  • Stock up on seasonal products – If holiday time is coming, you can add seasonal products to your store to make extra money. If you can find seasonal products that fit your niche, that’s even better!
  • Think about what your customers want – Know your target audience well. If you sell to men, they might be on the lookout for great gifts for their S.O.’s. If you sell to teens, trendy products are always a hit. If you stocked up on consumer electronics, it might be good to add accessories and peripherals.
  • Go the extra mile – In drop shipping, you’re not going to compete based on the price. Not even quality. Plenty of dropshippers can sell the same products you sell in your store. What makes a difference is that extra mile – the additional value you provide your customers. Sometimes, that can be a blog with helpful tips, or extra materials. For example, if you sell within the fitness apparel niche, you could have a professional create an exercise routine book showing your customers how to snap on their yoga pants and get ready for the summer sunshine.
  • Shipping & Delivery – Choose products from Aliexpress sellers who offer free ePacket shipping, not standard shipping. ePacket delivery arrives in 2 weeks at most, standard shipping arrives in 1-2 months.
  • Margin potential – You want to earn as much as possible from your products. Pay attention to the wholesale price (+ shipping, unless it’s free) and then conduct market research (Googling works) to see what kind of markup you could add. After all, you’ll need to promote your store. That’s an additional cost that you should factor in.

Finally, it’s a good idea to order product samples.

You can test the quality of the product, as well as take your own product photos. It will significantly help your marketing efforts in the long term, especially if you have consistent branding.

Selecting Reliable AliExpress Dropshipping Suppliers

When you drop ship, your ecommerce store is only as good as your Aliexpress suppliers are.

The best part of drop shipping with AliExpress.com is that you get access to a vast number of not only products, but sellers as well.

You can choose the suppliers you think are the most reliable, get quotes from multiple factories, and make the best possible decisions for your business.

Conversely, other platforms offer fewer chances of connecting with different suppliers manufacturing the same products. And if you only have two-three potential suppliers, you’re forced to agree to their terms.

When you use the AliExpress dropshipping program, your business is completely your own.

The platform is just there to offer you plenty of options; from private label sellers who offer additional services (e.g. customization), to complementary products.

After you’ve decided on the product(s) you want to sell, it’s time to start looking for suppliers.

Check the suppliers’ product orders, product reviews, and feedback score.

The more positive reviews and stars rating your vendor has on the product page, the more reliable they are. Pay attention to what their previous customers mention, as well. Maybe they say the supplier was flexible or provided high-quality service.

Some sellers are simply there to ship the products, and they don’t pay as much attention to the presentation.

For example, you don’t want the dropshipping supplier to include your invoice in the package. Great drop shipping is invisible drop shipping.

If you have other requirements, pay attention to reviews mentioning them, as well.

If a Aliexpress seller doesn’t have a lot of ratings and product orders, it doesn’t have to be a red flag. Visit their profile to see how long they’ve been using AliExpress. If they signed up recently, it’s normal not to have a lot of product orders.

However, if they’ve been using it for a while and you can hear the crickets, keep moving down the list. The bottom line is that they’re probably not a reliable supplier.

The ideal seller has positive feedback, and their products are highly rated.

The quality of your products matters, so make sure you’re working with a reliable supplier producing quality products for your store.

Understand the seller’s background.

Has their store been open for a long time? Choose sellers whose stores have been open for at least a year.

Are they a Top Brand?

There are also some sellers on AliExpress who have Top Brand status. It means that they satisfy all the requirements, and have a history of excellence. They’re definitely a reliable supplier you want to shortlist.

Before you choose a vendor, send them a message.

Ask everything that they haven’t covered in their policy statements, and make sure you pay attention to:

  • The promptness of their reply – Were you waiting for their reply for a day? Two days? A week? It could be a good sign that they’re not that attentive, and you don’t want the lack of communication to jeopardize your business.
  • Their thoroughness – Have they answered all of your questions? Did they answer them clearly? Did you understand all of their terms and conditions?

You should clear everything up with the dropshipping supplier before you integrate their products into your store.

And once you’re ready, it’s time to set the wheels in motion!

How to add AliExpress Products to your eCommerce Business

There are two ways you can add AliExpress products to your online business:

  • Manually
  • Automatically

Manual import is okay if you run a small online store, or plan on selling one or two products.

However, if you plan on selling multiple items across different product categories, you’re going to need a scalable solution for importing items in just a few clicks to your own website.

Fortunately, there are a few great plugins you can use to automate your work and set yourself up for success:

Adding Aliexpress.com products to Shopify

New ecommerce entrepreneurs love to set up their dropshipping businesses on Shopify. If you have a Shopify store, you can use Oberlo to import products to your own website. It comes with a free plan for up to 500 products.

When you want to import product listings with Oberlo, you have two options: using the Oberlo dashboard, or getting the Google Chrome extensions.

From the dashboard, you’ll find the products and add them to your import list.

If you’re using the browser extension, you can add products while you’re on AliExpress.

After you’ve added the desired products to the import list (with the app or the extension), you can modify your product listing before uploading them to your ecommerce store.

If the product you’ve selected comes in different variants, visit your Oberlo Import list and select only the variants you want to sell.

Otherwise, the product will be imported with all the variants.

You can also use Oberlo to automate fulfillment and track product inventory levels.

Adding AliExpress.com products to Bigcommerce

If you run your own online store on BigCommerce, you can use apps to import AliExpress items to your website.

Currently, CedCommerce’s dropshipping app offers the best pricing and features. Users frequently note the ease of use, support, and a seamless process. In just a few clicks, your AliExpress products will be displayed in your own online store in a matter of seconds!

Tips & Tricks

If you want to maximize your store’s success, you shouldn’t just import products and call it a day. Every major integration and plugin gives you the ability to customize your product details, images, and create your own listings.

You can automatically import details directly from the product listing on AliExpress. However, it’s much better to customize your product descriptions for your audience:

  • Stand out from the competition: your marketing is a significant differentiator for your store. Don’t hesitate to write your own copy, take your own product photos, or create mockups.
  • SEO perks: If you use the same descriptions other dropshippers are using, your website could be flagged for a duplicate copy. This can impair your search engine results.
  • Aliexpress sellers are selling to you, not your customers: Create listings that speak to your unique audience.

If you’re not taking your own photos, then select the photos that aren’t branded by the supplier in any way. This will ensure that the customers associate your products you’re your brand, and not your supplier’s brand.

Make sure you mention shipping costs and delivery times on your website.

If your products usually take two weeks to arrive, notify your customers of that before they purchase the product to avoid chargebacks and refund requests.

If you have products from multiple wholesale suppliers listed on your website, you should specify shipping times and shipping costs for each variant in the product description. Remember, epacket delivery option isn’t the only method of sending orders to your customer. Take a look at Aliexpress premium shipping for faster shipping and high-quality carriers.

Finally, everyone likes free shipping.

You can always integrate the average cost of shipping into the price, but it’ll sound much nicer for potential customers who are on the fence. It’s an additional perk greatly appreciated by many, and it could bring you plenty of repeat customers.

Dropshipping with AliExpress

You can process orders of AliExpress products manually or automatically.

If you’re dropshipping Ali Express products with your Shopify store, you can use apps like Modalyst or Oberlo to automate order fulfillment.

Oberlo is designed for beginners. It automates so much of the workflow, including tracking price changes. This way, you won’t have to go through the pain of manually entering order specs for every single order that comes through your dropship store.

Instead, the entire process will be automated, allowing you to focus on marketing and selling your products.

One of the other pros is that Oberlo allows you to add order notes.

It’s always a good idea to tell the seller that you’re a dropshipper. This way, they won’t add packing slips or invoices to the shipment. If you’re an affiliate, you may not be concerned with this as much. But online businesses looking to drive repeat business to their storefront, should always request this option.

Make sure you add your request to every order note.

Speaking of branding, if the seller is open to customizing shipments with your thank-you notes or other materials, add that to the order notes.

Finally, select ePacket delivery for smaller orders.

Sometimes it’s the default option, other times it’s not. It’s why it’s good to set it as the default shipping option with Oberlo. This way, Oberlo will select ePacket shipping every time orders are processed through the app.

If you’re not using Oberlo, take the tracking info you’ve received and add it to your Shopify store’s order, marking it as fulfilled.

With Oberlo, this is completely automated and completed for you.

The process is similar if you’re dropshipping with BigCommerce. You can use one of the apps in their store to automate the process.

Paying for Products

You can pay for AliExpress products in a few ways:

  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Wire transfers
  • Cash payment in certain countries
  • SMS payment in certain countries
  • PayPal for certain countries and sellers

AliExpress accepts other country-specific methods, such as German Giropay.

Credit cards and Paypal are the best options. You can easily reverse the transaction if the order isn’t shipped, or if there’s something wrong with the order.

When you first add your credit card to AliExpress, it’ll take a few days for it to be verified so don’t plan on processing orders during that time.

Returns and Refunds

Every supplier’s returns and refunds policy is different.

While AliExpress does their best to protect the buyer, you’ll have to manually check with your Aliexpress seller regarding refunds and returns.

If you or your customers encounter a problem, you can file a dispute with AliExpress:

  • Get photos from your customers
  • File a dispute
  • Receive a partial refund, refund, or return the product

If the product hasn’t been delivered, you’ll typically have to wait for the standard 45 days to pass, after which you can receive a complete refund.

Again, this is why it pays to select your suppliers carefully. While undelivered or mismatching items are not common, you can ensure there are no problems by carefully vetting suppliers and communicating with them extensively.

AliExpress has a strong Customer Support team and a great Buyer Protection program, so if the suppliers’ policies are matching, you won’t have to worry at all.

AliExpress Dropshipping Best Practices

In addition to the basics, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success like many new ecommerce entrepreneurs running their businesses on autopilot:

Automate Everything

As a rule of thumb, if it can be automated, it should be automated. Automation is a real competitive advantage for new ecommerce entrepreneurs.

For example, Oberlo is a great Shopify plugin. You’ll save a lot of time and headaches by automatically importing products and processing orders. You’ll even get access to real time inventory tracking so you never sell a product that’s not in stock.

Similarly, you can use other automation tools for your marketing activities.

Is the goal to chill poolside while your store runs itself?

Definitely.

And while you’ll always need to create strategies to scale and grow your store, you can make the process a lot easier by using the right tools.

Aliexpress dropshipping with Modalyst

Invisible Dropshipping

Always ask the supplier not to include packing slips, invoices, or anything else that could ruin your branding. Even if you choose epacket for delivery, blind shipping is available for drop shipped orders.

If you want to scale your business and build a brand your customers are going to love, you can also ask your suppliers to include your thank-you notes and paraphernalia. The manufacturers on Ali Express can sometimes surprise you with the level of customer service they offer.

This way, your customers will be tangibly reminded of your store.

Motivate Your Customers

Around 40% of a store’s revenue comes from repeated purchases. Yep, that means your customers loved your products and they want to buy more.

However, sometimes they need a little push.

You can offer free shipping, promotions and discounts. Especially if the season calls for it. There’s nothing people love more than seeing their favorite store offering a Black Friday discount.

If you want to attract even more customers, offer referral incentives. For example, you could offer your customers and the referee 5% off if the referee makes a purchase at your store.

Drop Surfing

Since AliExpress gives you access to thousands of suppliers, don’t limit yourself to just one.

Instead, always look for the best ratio of price and quality.

Keep browsing the catalogues for a chance to spot a supplier with a lower price and equally amazing products.

Ready to Dropship?

Drop shipping with AliExpress really is the best way for entrepreneurs to start earning money as soon as possible.

What do you say? Are you ready to import snazzy new products in just a few clicks?

Let’s get going!

How to Start a Wix Dropshipping Store with Modalyst

What is Wix?

Wix was founded in 2006 as a cloud based platform to help people build fully personalized high quality websites for free. On their site, the company highlights that Wix.com is a place where you can:
  • Promote your business
  • Showcase your art
  • Set up an online shop
  • Test new ideas
The Wix vision, according to their CEO and co founder Avishai Abrahami , is “to see every small business owner effectively leverage the web to take their business to new heights … we want to give [everyone] the easiest and most effective way to do so.” The company’s vision is quickly becoming a reality. Wix is ubiquitous. Used by approximately 160 million users worldwide, it remains the leading website builder on the market. While the company has always been known for its ease of use, including the drag and drop editor, and vast selection of design templates, it has been less widely considered as a powerful and extensive ecommerce platform.  But very recently, its reputation as an online store builder is changing. Wix is looking to dominate ecommerce and target everyone who wants to sell online. Over the last few years, the company has impressively expanded the functionality of its platform. While they continue to add extensive tools and features for their website owners, they have also built an online store builder that makes it easy for everyone to create an ecommerce store. Now, Wix has set their sights on strengthening their moat and competing directly with other big companies in the space, including Shopify, Squarespace Commerce, and WooCommerce.

What is Shopify?

Shopify, like Wix, is a cloud based development platform with millions of users. It is an out of the box e-online store builder designed specifically for entrepreneurs to sell products and services online. Many consider Shopify to be the leader of the ecommerce development sector. However, it appears that Wix is going to be a formidable challenger in this arena as it looks to take over a lot of Shopify’s market share.

What is Squarespace Commerce?

Squarespace Commerce is Squarespace’s platform for online businesses. There are over 100,000 Squarespace websites that use the ecommerce plan. Squarespace Commerce is a compilation of features for selling products and managing orders online. By simply integrating a payment processor, you can process credit card transactions, accept PayPal payments, and receive refunds. If exceptional design is your foremost priority, Squarespace Commerce may be the best fit for your needs. But different online store builders are better suited for different concerns. For example, if you have big growth plans for your store, Shopify is great for scalability. But if you’re looking for cost effective options for beginners, then Wix may be your best bet.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce helps you sell products and services from your WordPress site. It’s a free WordPress plugin with additional features available as extensions. WooCommerce is owned by Automattic, the parent arm of WordPress. Automattic is reputable, so when you use it, you’re in good hands. WooCommerce has been around since 2011 and has an experienced development team behind it. It’s no surprise then that WooCommerce keeps getting better and better. And more and more popular. Just like WordPress, WooCommerce is free and open source. So despite its premium feel, it’s completely free for anyone to download, use and modify.

Wix eCommerce Review

Historically Wix has been regarded as a popular solution to create fully personalized, high quality free websites. And it continues to be the leader for anyone who wants to create beautiful professional websites. Nevertheless, Wix is becoming the best website builder on the market with ecommerce functionality. It is not a dedicated online store platform like Shopify, but rather a website builder with extensive tools and features to build an ecommerce store. If Wix is not a dedicated platform for building online businesses, why should I use it? We believe Wix is an excellent choice for launching your first online business, and then taking it to the next level. Wix has many ecommerce plans, catering to the needs of first time retailers to power sellers. And while Wix may have fewer built-in ecommerce features for creating an online shop, it is very easy to use for beginners and has an extensive app market which make it powerful enough to build and scale your online business.

Wix and Dropshipping

Can I Dropship on Wix?

As the demand for Wix ecommerce grew, so did the demand for ways to drop ship using a Wix store. As more and more people become interested in online entrepreneurship, the more they look for out ways to start a business online. Wix now makes it easy to sell online. And while many have the aspirations to sell products and earn extra income, very few know what to sell online or where to find the best dropshipping products. For the last few years, Wix users have been clamoring for a way to use WixStores to run a successful drop shipping business. In fact, if you use the Google search engine, you won’t find a ton on the topic of Wix drop shipping. But you may be able to find this thread posted a few years ago in Quora. Quora thread on Wix dropshipping The question drew in many responses, most of which started with “No” or “Not really.” Other users have asked about whether Oberlo or Spocket can be used with Wix. Until a few weeks ago, these responses were all true. There was no way to import dropshipping products in just a few clicks to your Wix ecommerce store. In October, Wix.com and Modalyst released a dropshipping app for WixStores. The app is still new to the market, but it is already generating positive reviews.  Modalyst is a Wix dropshipping app

Why is Dropshipping with Wix Popular?

Here are the reasons why dropshipping using Wix ecommerce is popular:

No inventory needed

You don’t need to buy inventory upfront and can post images of the inventory to your Wix storefront. The inventory remains with the supplier until you sell the product. When you sell the product, the supplier will ship the order directly to your customer. The only thing you should do is carefully vet the products before listing them to your virtual store on Wix. Generally, if the products are of high quality, they will be easy to sell online.

Easy to manage

You don’t have to monitor your own inventory or sales. There are many apps, like Modalyst, that will do this for you automatically. Similarly, you don’t have to monitor price fluctuations on your website: as the price from the supplier change, the software you use will update it for you.

No shipping logistics

You don’t need to pick, pack and ship orders to your customer. The supplier you work with will do this for you. All you need to do is to start a Wix ecommerce shop and sell products.

Small investment capital needed

Unlike many other businesses, you can start drop shipping for less than $30. As you don’t need to buy inventory upfront, the only capital you’ll need is payment for a website provider. If you do not want to pay that, you can dropship via Amazon or eBay, and you can start your business for free.

No real estate overhead

You don’t need to rent a warehouse to keep your stock. The stock will be warehoused and managed by the dropshipper. Furthermore, you can literally sell products from your home. Many online entrepreneurs set up shop in their living rooms or kitchens; others in coffee shops. You can also hire freelancers to help you if you need the extra capacity.

Many products to choose from

There are millions of products from thousands of suppliers available on platforms like Modalyst. You can find trending products or focus on a specific niche.

Global market opportunity

Ecommerce is becoming more globalized and cross border transactions are easy to do. This means the world can literally be your target audience. Just find suppliers from specific regions or ones that deliver worldwide.

Easy to start a store

You don’t need an advanced degree to be a successful drop shipping online store. You just need the right direction to learn it. You also don’t need to build a website for ecommerce from scratch.

Suppliers are willing

Many suppliers are looking for ways to expand their sales channels. They now understand its a huge business opportunity to work with online boutiques who dropship their products. These are the many reasons behind the popularity of dropshipping. Before we dive into how to set up a Wix dropshipping store using Modalyst, let’s take a moment to review how to create an online store on Wix.

Wix Stores

Wix is one of the hottest platforms right now for building online stores. Wix Ecommerce Stores to Grow Your Business It has a great range of website friendly templates, which makes creating your online boutique a piece of cake. It’s also seriously improved the backend of its platform. A robust backend enables online entrepreneurs like yourself to use the reporting and analysis tools necessary to grow your business. Plus, you still get all the great customization tools that come with the regular Wix website building platform.

How to Start a Wix Store

Per the Wix ecommerce site, there are 8 steps to create a professional ecommerce website using Wix:

How to Start a Wix Store
Sign up for Wix
Go to Wix.com to create a free Wix account, or log in to your existing site.
Pick an Online Store Template
Choose from 500+ designer-made templates. Each template is fully customizable and comes with powerful business tools built right in.
Customize Your Site’s Design
Go wild with 1000s of stunning design features. Make your online store fit the style and personality of your brand.
Import Products to Your Online Store
Add physical or digital products to your store catalog, or quickly import product info as a CSV file.
Accept Payments on Your Site
Select your preferred payment methods. Get paid in-full via credit/debit cards, PayPal, in-person and more.
Finalize Online Store Settings
Define the regions you ship to and your rates. Offer real-time tax calculations at checkout using Avalara®.
Publish Your eCommerce Website
Promote your site and let customers know you’re in business. Send an email marketing campaign and create a social post.
Connect Your Own Domain
Look professional online and make it easier for your customers to find you. Get a custom domain name for your store.

Wix Apps

The Wix App Market is filled with over 300 popular web apps, powerful services, and amazing features to enhance your website and grow your business. As a stand-alone e-commerce platform, Wix has extensive functionality. But even that functionality can be limited in certain respects. Wix doesn’t do everything out of the box. Fortunately, there is a growing marketplace of third-party applications that you can add to your Wix website to enhance it. Wix App Market In this market, Wix provides you with a vast selection of apps that extend the functionality of your website or store and are easy to install. Wix apps are similar to Shopify apps or the plugins you add to a WordPress site.

Wix Apps for Dropshipping

As of right now, Modalyst is the only dropshipping software for Wix online businesses. You can find Modalyst on the App Market for Wix here: Wix Apps for Dropshipping in Wix App Market

What is Modalyst?

Modalyst is a dropshipping app that can be integrated into Wix stores. Modalyst enables online stores and website storeowners to find unique and quality dropship items that are immediately available for sale.

Modalyst for Wix Dropshipping Businesses

Modalyst allows you to find dropshipping products for your online store and have them sent directly to your customers. We focus on connecting you to the best products and dropship wholesale suppliers globally. Modalyst is the only dropshipping platform with a diverse list of suppliers, including designer wholesale suppliers, US dropship suppliers, and trendy fashion dropshippers with fast shipping products. Modalyst has trending products to sell in over 40 different categories. Modalyst Dropshipping features for Wix Online Stores Modalyst has all the features which you need in a powerful dropshipping platform for ecommerce businesses:
  • Single, Centralized Platform – manage thousands of suppliers & products in one place
  • Inventory & Pricing Updates – inventory, imagery, descriptions and pricing are continuously updated
  • Suppliers Offering Fast and/or Free Shipping!
  • Automatically Add the Cost of Shipping into the Product Price & Offer Free Shipping to Your Customers
  • Item Customization – edit descriptions, pricing, variants and imagery before adding products to your store
  • Pricing Rules – control your markup and margins
  • Sync Tracking Numbers – orders and tracking numbers are synced with your store
  • Profit Calculator – see what you will earn on each product in real-time

Setting up your Wix dropshipping business with Modalyst

As we reviewed above, the first step to launching your dropshipping business is to sign up for Wix.com.

Select Your Target Market

Once your Wix store is set up, you must decide on a target market. To get the most out of your dropshipping business, you need to identify a niche market so that you can cater your product offerings to meet the needs of your customers. Through research, you can determine the best products to sell to the target market that you choose, but consider products that cost less than $20 and have no discernible brands, as this will help you maximize earnings and minimize competition.

Use Modalyst to Find Products to Sell on Wix

Signing up with Modalyst to find products to sell is your next step. Browse the Wix app market and select Modalyst, then click “Add”. This will automatically install the app to your Wix site and integrate all of its features. You can initially sign up for free on the Hobby plan, and this will give you full access to the app for Wix dropshipping stores and their marketplace so you can get a feel for how it works.

Adding Products to Your Wix Store

What’s a Wix ecommerce business without products? You can go directly into the Modalyst application to select the products you want to add, but remember to consider your niche market when creating your product list.

Find Products to Dropship on Wix

Choosing the right products to feature in your dropshipping store is essential. Find Products to Sell on Modalyst using Wix dropship Focus on items that have a large number of high ratings, and drop ship suppliers with a feedback score of at least 95%. Find the best suppliers to sell on your Wix store If possible order a sample from the supplier to see how the purchasing flow works and to determine the quality of the product. You will be working with these dropshipping wholesalers extensively, so make sure you understand their policies as well as how responsive they are with communication.

Import Products to Your Modalyst Account

To add a product, simply click “Add to Import List”. Adding to Import List automatically transfers the product title, description, supplier name, and wholesale pricing. The variants and product images are also included. High resolution images and compelling descriptions will help increase your sales volume and attract customers. Once you review the products in your list, you can sync them all to your online store on Wix in just one-click.

Determine Pricing for Your Wix Dropship Procuts

After adding items to your store, you need to determine the selling price. Use platforms like Amazon to research what is reasonable pricing for items similar to the ones in your catalog. Your goal is to sell items for more than what you pay the supplier for the product and for shipping, but not so high that buyers are not interested. Be sure to link payment options to your store at this time too. Wix payments are ideal as it can track all of your transactions for you and help you create customized templates. However, it is not available in all countries so you may want to consider setting up another payment gateway as well.

Configure Shipping Terms and Rates 

At this point, you have to edit your shipping rates to ensure you are providing accurate prices. To do this, look at the size and weights of your products and determine the pricing for both local and international deliveries. Note that this price should also consider the surcharge the supplier may charge for packaging and preparing the product for shipment – you want to make sure you are not on the hook for these costs.

Set up Customer Service

Setting up customer support is an extremely important step, as you want to help your customers make a purchase. Even though you already set up contact information in your store, consider an additional tool like Wix Chat to decrease your response time.

Wix Chat is a great way to build relationships with your visitors. You can help your customers faster, increase sales, and more.

  • Chat from your desktop or on your phone with the Wix App

  • Let visitors chat with you on your mobile site

  • Know instantly when a new visitor comes to your site

  • Get notified when someone buys a product or books an appointment
With Wix Chat, anyone visiting your site can instantly send you a message and start a chat. Chat back anytime – even from your phone.

Start an Online Dropshipping Store on Wix

Last but not least, it’s time to launch your store using Wix for dropshipping! Up to this point, your site has been password-protected and kept private, but when you are ready to open for business you can unlock it and make it open to the public. Once you hit save the site will be live, so now you can get started with promoting your store on social media and start attracting paying customers. Good luck!

5 Ways to Start a Profitable Dropshipping Business Before the Holidays

Learning how to start a dropshipping business has become an earnest pursuit for many entrepreneurs.  This pursuit should be even more attractive during the holiday season.

The holiday season is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to take advantage of increased web traffic to online stores.  Consumers also have an elevated intent to purchase, so conversions on websites increase dramatically.

With several big shopping occasions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your chance to successfully launch a dropshipping business is finally here!

Starting a dropshipping business during the holidays

According to a report on Holiday Shopping Predictions by Salesforce, overall online sales are expected to grow in 2019 by 13 percent to $136 billion. That report is based on a survey of more than 10,000 consumers and major e-commerce sites.

If you’re looking to start your own online store and want to take advantage of the holiday boom in eCommerce, look no further.

There is no better time to start an ecommerce website and jump on one of the fastest-growing trends in 2019 called dropshipping.

If done right, starting a successful drop ship business can be very lucrative and scalable.

It is no surprise, then, that new entrepreneurs are starting online businesses as a way to make money online in 2019.

What is the dropshipping business model?

The drop shipping model is a fulfillment strategy where an online website can sell products without owning the inventory or shipping orders themselves.

Instead, when a customer purchases the item on your store, you place the order directly with the original wholesaler. The wholesale supplier owns the inventory and will send the order directly to your customer.

The main difference between a drop ship business and a traditional eCommerce operation is that drop shipping doesn’t require you to stock or own any inventory in advance. You also don’t have to deal with shipping or handling logistics.

When a product is sold through your storefront, you simply forward the purchase order to a wholesaler or manufacturer who fulfills it.

Due to the low operating cost and relatively out of the box setup, dropshipping has become a global trend across the ecommerce landscape.

This business model has a few pros and cons that you need to keep in mind before getting started.

How does dropshipping work?

There are three primary components:

  1. Dropshipping Companies
  2. Online Business Owners
  3. Online Shoppers
What is the role of drop ship suppliers?

Suppliers are responsible for the following:

  • creating products
  • warehousing inventory
  • shipping products to your customers
  • accepting returns and replacing defective products
  • selling items to you at a discount or wholesale price
What is your role as a business owner?

As an ecommerce operator, your first job is to find the right suppliers and items to sell.

Once you do, you list and sell these products on your retail storefront. Depending on your agreement with the wholesaler, you may be able to white label the products and list them under your brand.

Additionally, you’ll also be tasked with delivering customer service, including answering customer questions and collecting feedback.

What is the role of your customer?

Your customer buys the new products directly from your storefront. If questions or issues arise, your customer contacts you. During the entire relatioship, the dropshippig provider you work with is usually invisible to your customer.

how to start a dropshipping business during the holidays

What is the difference between starting a dropshipping business and selling your own inventory?

Understanding the difference between how to start an online business and how to manage your own inventory is paramount.

It’s especially important if you plan to start an online store during the holiday season.

While the holiday season presents many opportunities to tap into increased online traffic, it is a relatively short window of time and the competition is fierce. With that in mind, it is critical to learn the key differences between these inventory models.

Let’s start with the zero-inventory model, also known as dropshipping.

Some of the key features of how to start a dropshipping business include:

Vast Inventory Selection

Select from thousands of products to stock in your drop ship store.

Seek out trendy and popular products based on trends and sell-through research to keep your online store stocked and thriving at all times.

No Warehousing Required

No need to store your selected inventory in a physical warehouse or storage facility when operating your own dropshipping business.

Outsourced Order Fulfillment

Making sales is the fun part. Fulfilling orders to your customers is not nearly as energizing.

As a storeowner, you can avoid the fulfillment process and have all of your orders fulfilled and shipped by a wholesale supplier.

Low Start-Up Cost 

When you start an online business, you can usually do so with a low upfront investment and minimal overhead and operating costs.

Typically, you can get around investing in purchasing inventory upfront before you understand the demand.  When you avoid buying inventory upfront, you also avoid having to warehouse that inventory. Instead, a dropshipping business will warehouse those products until you make a sale.

No Inventory Tracking

While working with a dropshipping wholesaler, you can circumvent the laborious task of tracking inventory through manual systems and processes.

Inventory tracking can be done by the wholesaler you work with.

Returns and Shipments

You can outsource the headache of managing returns and inbound shipments.

Just hire a third-party provider to manage any returns to your online store as well as any inbound inventory shipments.

No Restocking Inventory

One of the biggest advantages of running a successful drop shipping business is the ability to sell great products without the hassle of placing reorders for the inventory that stocks out.

Just enlist a third-party vendor to fulfill the responsibility of reordering products and keeping track of stock levels.

While running an ecommerce website offers myriad benefits, selling your own inventory also has its advantages:

Creativity

When you develop your own products, you will be able to exercise more creativity and control over the creative process.

Generally speaking, it’s much easier to set your business and brand apart when you have more oversight and control over product creation and development.

Specificity and Selectivity

When you create your own products, you can be very specific and selective about quality and design of the products you want to sell.

The freedom to be specific and selective in the product design and creation processes can be a pivotal factor in your success.

When the design and quality are under your purvue, you can better communicate the value of the product to your target audience.

Markup Flexibility

When you run a dropshipping business, you may not have the latitude to dictate the pricing that is best for your business and customer. Working with dropshipping suppliers can limit your ability to set certain profit margins, as well as provide your customers with incentives or discounts.

Furthermore, the revenue split you set with your dropshipping supplier will have many more constraints. Typically, dropshipping business owners receive 20-40% of each sale they make, while the dropshipper gets the remaining percentage.

When you own your inventory, you have much more flexibility to determine the markup as well as the profit margins you earn on each sale.

Needless to say, choosing the markup of your products is much easier to do when you own the inventory.

Return on Investment

Entities who sell their own products and manage their own inventory may find they have a higher ROI.

Using a third-party service to manage the inventory, ordering, shipping, and fulfillment of owning an eCommerce store can cut into profits while providing a stress-free dropshipping business solution.

Disadvantages of Selling Your Own Inventory

Owning your own online store and selling handmade or individual items you have created is extremely tempting when launching a business or brand for the first time.

However, it is important to keep in mind that managing your own inventory and selling merchandise without a dropshipping solution can become laborious and overwhelming.

This is especially true if you are not fully prepared to take on the task.

Some of the disadvantages of selling your own inventory include:

Upfront Capital Requirements

The capital needed to launch your very own online business with unique inventory and products is high. You will find this to be especially true if you plan to create custom or bespoke product lines.

Inventory Risk

It is quite risky to launch an online store while purchasing all your inventory in advance. If the inventory you buy upfront does not sell, you will lose out on the money you invested in the products.

Managing Inventory and Stock

When you choose to own and sell all of your promoted merchandise, you are fully responsible at all times for managing the inventory of your online store.

Keeping track of sales, inventory, and products that are in high demand can quickly become an exhausting exercise.

Doing your own Accounting and Finances

When you own your inventory, there is even more emphasis put on you to keep track of cash flow, revenues, losses, product sales, and overall earnings. These line items will become your full responsibility in addition to doing other activities that keep the business afloat.

Some of those other activities include building and cultivating relationships with manufacturers, negotiating wholesale pricing, and hiring additional staff to monitor trends and keywords. Each of these is core to running a successful online business.

Manually Adding New Product Information

With a dropshipping business, you are often provided with a complete overview and description of the products you stock.

When you are the owner and operator of your own online store and stock individual items, you are responsible for inputting proper copy and messaging for each new product you plan to merchandise.

Dropshipping works especially well for solopreneurs with limited time and capital.

If you have both, then you already have an edge, but you don’t require either to launch a successful dropshipping company.

This post sheds light on everything that goes into starting a dropshipping business, from finding trendy suppliers to choosing an eCommerce platform to sell on.

To make the process easier to follow, I’ve broken it down into 5 super-simple steps.

start a dropshipping business in 5 steps

1. Find Dropshipping Suppliers

You need to explore multiple avenues to find the best dropshippers for your needs.

A good place to start is the Modalyst website which connects you with reliable suppliers, including USA dropshippers, stocking a wide range of items from designer handbags to kitchen appliances.

Modalyst drop ship suppliers and wholesale distributors offer millions of profitable products, all of which can easily be found on our platform.

Also, you get to see the potential profit for each dropship item, which can be factored into your product selection.

In addition, Modalyst users enjoy the following benefits for online stores:

Modalyst dropshipping features

In addition to researching Modalyst, you should spend some time on the below steps when looking for drop ship suppliers:

Research and plan your ecommerce goals

You need to spend time doing your research.

You need to understand your own business, establish goals and objectives, as well as evaluate the needs of your customers, and the types of products that you would like to sell.

This can help you narrow down your options when it comes to finding the best suppliers and dropshipping companies.

There are dropshippers for pretty much anything you can think of, no matter how niche it may seem.

Understanding the particular niche or market that your business fits into can make it easier to find a dropshipper that you can rely on.

Finding American dropship suppliers

There is a strong likelihood that your initial research on drop shipping suppliers will yield a long list of Chinese wholesalers.

The conventional formula most online entrepreneurs use looks like this: find cheap products from Chinese dropshippers and sell the products for massive profits.

This formula still works today. However, it’s becoming less effective and profitable as more and more online stores use the same product sourcing strategy.  While more Chinese products flood the market, the more competitive pricing becomes, making it more difficult to reap a profit on the sale of an item and differentiate your business from others.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. It has helped create interest in a new market: USA dropshipping suppliers.

One way that you can differentiate is by working with suppliers who are based in the United States.

You don’t have to be located in the US for this to be a viable option.

So long as you have a strong customer base in the USA, or you’re looking to break into the American market, then using US dropshippers makes a lot of sense.

Why dropship from the US?

There are thousands of wholesalers and manufacturers in the United States.

The good news is that many of them are starting to offer dropship products and services. If you’re selling.

What to look for in American dropshipping suppliers

While partnering with American vendors is compelling, you still have to do your due diligence.

A dropshipping company in the US isn’t automatically qualified just because they are based in the United States. These dropshipping companies need to be vetted, just like any other supplier you want to work with.

You should follow the same process that you would when vetting any supplier. After all, your supplier is one of your most important business partners. You want to choose the best one.

The best ways to vet potential dropshippers is to do the following:

Review suppliers’ business practices

While you may be the one advertising and selling products to your customers, your supplier can still affect your business and how its viewed by the general public.

You need to figure out as much about a potential supplier as possible before you decide to work with them. Figure out how they do business and see if it works with your company’s needs.

A dropshipping supplier might look good on paper. However, digging a bit deeper into the fine print of their service may show that the company has less-than-ideal ways of handling things like refunds or shipping disputes.

Understand suppliers’ fees and minimum order policies

Drop shipping providers make their money a couple of different ways.

It’s important that you understand how suppliers’ fees work so that you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting a fair deal.

Some dropshipping companies charge a monthly fee.

This usually means that they are a directory that can connect you to hundreds of suppliers at once.

Examples include Doba, Oberlo, and SaleHoo. In addition to the monthly fee, you may have to pay a service fee to each individual supplier. It’s something you should clarify before making a commitment.

Another thing to consider is the minimum order size.

One of the most attractive reasons to work with a dropshipper is to avoid investing in a warehouse.

Unfortunately, minimum orders may prevent you from taking advantage of such a benefit.

If the dropshipper has minimum order requirements or fees, you should make sure that they will still hold onto your product. This is a very popular way of doing business.

You would pay the minimum order fee and the manufacturer will simply fulfill orders as they come in until the minimum is met.

Reach out to drop shippers and get references

Once you identify some solid candidates to be your dropshipping suppliers, you should reach out to them.

Use your first contact to establish a good working relationship. Be friendly and ask all the questions that come to mind. You should also be clear about your business goals and objectives. Starting a relationship with a supplier should be about the mutual benefits of working together.

Also, if you have time, you should ask for some references.

Many dropshipping suppliers are happy to give you contact information for current or former retailers. You can then give these references a call and learn more about how working with the supplier really is.

Place sample orders with suppliers

The most realistic way to understand how a dropshipping company performs is to simulate the buying experience yourself.

By placing an order with the vendor, you’ll be putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Make a few of sample orders.

Not just from the suppliers you’re thinking of partnering with, but also from their competitors. This will give you the opportunity to compare and contrast service quality firsthand.

Pay close attention to every detail. Make note of delivery times and scrutinize the packaging. Remember, this is the same experience your customers will have when they order something. So, if there are any big red flags, don’t ignore them.

Consider working with multiple dropshipping wholesalers

Even after you have found one or two suppliers that you want to work with, you should continue to search for additional suppliers.

Diversifying your supply is always a good idea.

Working with multiple dropshippers gives you the opportunity to expand your product categories significantly.

You may also be able to take advantage of additional services, such as private labeling. Not all dropshippers will sell you private label products. Private label is a unique opportunity to sell the suppliers’ products with your own branding and labeling.

Another reason to work with multiple suppliers is to get peace of mind.

While most dropshipping providers in the USA are reliable, dynamics can change in an instant, forcing you to find a new supplier with very little lead time.

What would you do if your only dropshipping company decided to shutter their business?

Your dropshipping business would likely be in a pinch overnight. Having multiple dropshippers ensures that your entire business is not instantly in a crunch and customers always have something to buy.

Online sources of dropship wholesale suppliers 

One of the largest barriers new dropshipping business owners face is finding suppliers.

These companies are not easy to discover, especially if you’re a new online store.

Here are a few providers to get you started on your search. These sources connect you with thousands of different suppliers and millions of products.

AliExpress: AliExpress is one of the most popular websites to find individual dropshipping suppliers. It’s an international marketplace that offers access to millions of products. You can find suppliers based on the particular product you’re after. Simply perform a search and you can connect with the supplier from there. The best part of AliExpress is that there is no monthly membership fee. It’s free to sign up and get started.

Inventory Source: The site connects you with 150+ suppliers and even offers an option to add your own private supplier. Its features include optimized inventory sync, full product data integration and worry-free order automation.

Worldwide Brands: This is one of the oldest and most popular supplier directories with over 10 million products. It says it only includes suppliers that adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure quality wholesalers.

Doba: Doba boasts a selection of over 2 million items ranging from books to apparel. The site also lets retailers export products into their stores and ensures that the products are shipped in a timely manner.

If you’re on the lookout for local dropshipping suppliers, go through the Suppliers section in your Yellow pages.

Consider ones who have prior experience in dropshipping and understand the importance of delivering products to your customers on time.

You might also want to inquire about their quality control system i.e. how they deal with sub-standard products and return requests.

This will help prevent headaches down the road.

2. Take a Cue from Amazon Best Sellers

We recommend browsing top-selling items across other marketplaces, especially Amazon best sellers.

Browsing popular items in online marketplaces

You can search online marketplaces to discover which of your selected items have the potential to become top sellers.

Check out sites like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba to gauge the demand of your product mix.

If you find the products you want to sell (or similar ones) in one of the lists, you’re on the right path.

However, you’ll have to spend some time looking around as there’s currently no option that allows you to search for specific items.

Use Google trends to speed things up

If your product selection doesn’t match any of the best selling items, you’ll likely start questioning its viability.

However, a product not making Amazon’s best sellers list doesn’t mean it’s not in demand. You can study the popularity and trendiness of any product by typing its name in Google Trends.

Using this tool, you can easily and quickly see search volume trends over a period of time to know whether or not your selected item is in demand. For instance, let’s say you want to sell drones.

To get started, go to Google Trends and type in “drones” to see what the search volume looks like. At this time of writing, here’s what I see:

 

Dropshipping business

As you can see here, there is an upward trajectory for the month of December, which possibly implies that this is a viable product to sell during the holidays.

It’s also worth mentioning that its demand has been somewhat stagnant during the second and third quarter of 2017, which isn’t a good sign. Hence, the search volume trend can also be an indicator that it’s time to modify your product selection.

3. Choose the Best Ecommerce Platforms to Dropship Products Online

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms and shopping cart solutions to sell products online.

As such, we encourage you to do your research in advance. There is a good deal of overlap in the use of platforms, so you should also think about how you plan to differentiate your brand and online store.

Creating a branded store is one of the best ways to present yourself to prospective customers.

It is a tangible extension of your business that defines the purpose of your existence, what you like and don’t like, what makes you stand out, and if customers are able to resonate with your brand, they’ll buy your products with confidence.

Shopify and Wix are the most recommended eCommerce solutions for dropshipping.

They are inexpensive, easy to understand, and intuitive for the services they provide. On top of that, they’re very scalable platforms.

Note: If you’re using Modalyst to source products, you’d be glad to know that it automatically integrates with Shopify and Wix and has .csv files for you to easily import items to stores hosted on other ecommerce platforms.

The other option is to sell via a marketplace.

The most obvious choice is Amazon but there are plenty of other online platforms out there which get a lot of traffic.

Check out sites like Etsy.com and Bonanza.com and find if there is a market there for your product selection. It’s smart to diversify when it comes to online selling platforms as each one has its own unique audience.

4. Create Beautiful Product Pages

Your product pages are your opportunity to impress prospective buyers.

If you want them to choose you over your competitor, you need to build compelling product pages.

Here’s what goes into an amazing product page:

  • Original product image
  • Enticing product description
  • Easy access to shipping details and return policy
  • Transparent pricing

A lot of suppliers will provide you with product images, which should be integrated into your listings in their original state. Consumers will appreciate the fact that they’re getting exactly what they saw in your product listing (edited images often raise expectations and result in disappointment later on).

In addition, several suppliers will give you pre-made product descriptions. Awesome, right? No, not in this case. I don’t recommend using pre-made descriptions because everyone else is using them. How can your products stand out when everyone else has described them in the same way?

That’s where your copywriting prowess comes into play. Carefully construct copy for your products to resonate with your audiences’ personalities/interests/demographics, and you’ll be in the driving seat.

5. Get Rest of the Things in Order & Launch

The last step pertains to adding the final touches to your store and then experiencing that big moment: the launch!

Some of the things you need to set up at this stage are social media accounts and any third-party applications that will add to the experience of shopping from your store.

Most online store owners should focus on important social media platforms, namely:

You can reach the audiences on these platforms by posting about your store in general as well as by promoting your product listings.

As for the applications, only install the ones that’ll really make a difference for your prospective buyers. Install too many and you can face problems like slow-loading product pages. I suggest installing a couple, and once you know how to use them well, you can consider installing new ones.

Some apps I recommend:

Abandonment Protector: This Shopify app retrieves those who abandon your cart and encourages them to come back via email. Similar apps are available for BigCommerce and other ecommerce platforms.

FOMO: This Shopify app creates urgency and social proof by showing how many products other people are buying (makes a great add-on for hot selling items). Orders are displayed in real time via a small popup.

Boost Sales: This app does a great job at lifting up sales by increasing order value per customer. It does that by collecting sales data and creating offers that will make people more likely to buy.

Finally, once you get these things in order, you can launch your dropshipping business.

Conclusion

We’ve reached the end and, by now, you should be well on your way to starting a dropshipping business in just 5 easy steps.

Once you do, continue to update your product listings, learn how to make them more beautiful, continually post on social media and maintain a good relationship with your suppliers. With persistence and hard work, you’ll craft your way to dropshipping success!

Additional Resources 

Below are additional resources which can help you build and launch your online store.

These will help you choose a website builder, find eCommerce design inspiration and discover ideas for trending products to sell.