How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020)

Here’s a quick way to start a drop shipping business with no money – or with very little capital.

And what’s more…

I’m about to show you how to set up shop in a single day. I’m talking products and all. Hundreds of them, if you like.

Let’s do this.

To set up a drop shipping business you need a store (shopping cart) and a supplier (drop shipper) willing to ship the products you sell to your customers. Using Shopify or WooCommerce as your shopping cart and a certain app, you can import hundreds of products into your store from multiple drop shippers without an approval process.

Sound good? Then let’s dig into the details…

So the 3 things we need to get started are:

  1. an online shop
  2. quality products we can sell on our shop
  3. a willing drop shipper who will ship the products to our customers once we sell them

Those 3 things are the core of your drop shipping business (i.e. without products, there is no business). And, as I mentioned earlier, they can be set up in a day – in less than an hour for many people.

Let’s get set up.

Starting an online drop shipping business from home

To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s take a brief look at what Wikipedia says about drop shipping :

Drop shipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment.

Wikipedia

Here’s a high-level view of the drop shipping model:

  1. you find a manufacturer with a cool product
  2. you agree on a dropship deal with the manufacturer (or vendor)
  3. you sell the product on your website
  4. you give the order details to the manufacturer (or vendor)
  5. the manufacturer (or vendor) then sends the product to your customer

Drop shipping vs selling direct

It’s true that when you sell your own products you have more control over everything, from branding to pricing, but drop shipping is far easier to set up and doesn’t require upfront acapital like most businesses do.

Here are the main benefits of the drop shipping business model:

  • you don’t have to buy stock in advance (massive saving in cash flow)
  • you don’t have to stock inventory (no rooms full of boxes)
  • you don’t have to deal with shipping items to customers
  • you pay only when you make a sale, removing the risk of buying stock that you can’t sell

Those are pretty attractive benefits, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s how I look at it:

If you want to get into eCommerce, dropshipping is the safest, easiest and fastest model with the lowest risk.Click To Tweet

You can always change models down the line and start selling your own products, but this model enables you to get into selling online with very little risk.

Additionally, the experience you can gain from selling online will serve you well in future online ventures.

OK, so now let’s get started on the nuts and bolts. I promised you at the beginning to show you how to set up your drop shipping business in a day, so I’ll give you the easiest and fastest method I know of.

Im going to use Shopify for this example, but you can use WooCommerce if you prefer.

How to set up a drop shipping website in 1 day

Step 1: click here to get yourself a Shopify store

sign up to shopify
sign up to Shopify

Just enter your email address to get started on your 14 day trial.

Step 2: sign up to the Spocket app (free plan)

Step 3: in your Shopify store, go to Apps

Shopify apps
Shopify apps

Step 4: search for and select the Spocket App

How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020) 1

Step 5: click the app. That will take you to the search page where you can search for products.

How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020) 3

Step 6: click on any product to check details such as price and shipping times.

How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020) 5

Step 7: once you have a product you’d like to sell on your store, click on the Add to Import list button.

Step 8: once you have all the products you want, click on Import List on the left navigation menu.

This will load up your Import List.

How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020) 7

Step 9: now click the Push Current Page button to ‘push’ the products into your store.

How to Start a Drop Shipping Business (2020) 9

Step 13: now you’ll see your drop shipping products listed in your own store.

How easy was that?

Take a moment to absorb the above information and you’ll appreciate that what we just covered here is pretty astonishing.

You can set up a dropshipping store ready to sell in 1 day using just 2 tools. That's pretty amazing.Click To Tweet

You can literally set up a store and fill it with products to sell, and somebody else will take care of the picking, packing and shipping for you, in less than an hour. Whaaa!

Here’s a video I made that you may also find useful:

Of course, once you’ve added the products you want to sell, you’ll want to prettify your store a little (add some banners and such) but the 2 core components of your drop shipping business are now in place!

Now, as I mentioned earlier, there are more ways than one to do this, but this is the easiest and fastest by far.

A traditional way of doing this looks like this:

  1. decide what you want to sell (research)
  2. find wholesalers or manufacturers or vendors (more research)
  3. contact suppliers and ask if they will dropship for you

If you do things this way, be prepared to spend a week on the above 3 points, and good luck wooing dropshipping companies if you don’t already have a store or a website.

With my fast method, you can skip having to search for suppliers and having to contact them and wait for a response and avoid the back and forth.

If you really insist on taking a look at the traditional method, then let me show you how that works, but you already have all you need to get started quickly with the above fast method.

The traditional (slow) method of starting a dropship business…

Step 1: decide what you want to sell

You can literally sell anything online, so let’s start with that. You may already have an idea (in which case, yay!). If not, then choose something.

If you need ideas for your dropshipping biz, go to Amazon’s best sellers and check out what’s hot right now. To do this, simply to do a search in Google for Amazon best sellers and click the relevant link.

Amazon best sellers
Do a search for Amazon best sellers

Other ideas can come from just looking around you at what other people are buying. Look at tv ads, look at what stores are selling. Ideas are everywhere.

Step 2: find wholesalers with the product you want to sell

Once you decide what you want to sell, it’s time to look for our supplier. Suppliers can be:

  • manufacturers
  • wholesalers
  • vendors
  • agents

Things to avoid: I recommend avoiding agents. Ideally, you want to go straight to the manufacturer, that way you remove all the middle guys. The problem is finding a manufacturer that’s clued up and set up to work with vendors and wholesalers.

Manufacturers are (hopefully) good at manufacturing but typically suck at sales, because that’s not what their game is.

In the 5+ years that I worked 1 on 1 with eCommerce clients, I dealt with many manufacturers and I’ve yet to find more than half a dozen that are set up to dropship.

Typically, you will be dealing with wholesalers who buy the products in bulk from the manufacturer.

So how do you find manufacturers and wholesalers?

You simply search for them online. Type the name of the product you want to source, and add the word manufacturer or wholesaler.

Here are some examples:

  • pram manufacturers
  • pet supplies wholesaler

You can get fancy and use search operators like + and “” but Google is pretty smart at figuring out what you want. And if search operators mean nothing to do, don’t worry – you’re not missing anything.

Tip: you may also want to try adding your location or country, like this:

  • pram manufacturers US
  • pet supplies wholesaler UK

So, at this point, you have an idea and you’ve identified some potential suppliers. Now it’s time to contact them.

Step 3: set up your store

I recommend that you set up your store before you contact suppliers. Why? Because you want to be taken seriously! Trust me: I’ve been doing this a long time. If you contact a supplier and you tell them you’re about to start a dropshipping business, you may as well give up on that supplier there and then.

They are busy, just like you and I, and they don’t want to be dealing with wannabes. It’s too much hassle and most wannabes ask a million questions to find out if they should start a dropshipping business in the first place… and the supplier is not there to educate people.

So let’s not be like the wannabes and let’s get ourselves looking professional.

Here’s how:

  1. click here to get yourself a Shopify store
  2. choose a free template and set up your information

Tip: there are a million Shopify tutorials online that you can look at and they have seriously good 24×7 support, so contact them via live chat for anything you need.

Step 4: contact suppliers

Never mention that you’re about to start a drop shipping business. That will get you immediately disqualified. You want the supplier to be confident in you for them to put in the effort to work with you, and that means conveying professionalism.

Tip: if you really want to do things this way, you could set up your Shopify store and follow my fast method to populate your store with products very quickly. That would make it appear as though you’re already in business and carrying inventory (to suppliers).

And a cool infographic so you can visualise the process:

How to start a drop shipping business in 5 steps (infographic)

How to use this infographic on your own site or blog:

  • visit Slideshare by clicking here
  • in Slideshare, click on the Share button at the bottom of the infographic to get the embed code, like this:
how to get the amazon fba infographic

Conclusion

There is a fast way to do this, and a slow way to do this. With my fast method, you can get up and running in a day and you don’t ever have to contact suppliers.

Once you’re up and running, you can always contact a specific supplier directly. At that point, you’ll have a store populated with products and some experience, so you’ll come across like a true professional, which will increase your chances of doing business with your dream suppliers – if you ever wanted to.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and I hope you take action and get yourself setup! You can get a store with a 14 day free trial and the extension you can use for free… so the bar couldn’t have been lowered any more for you!

If you haven’t already, check out my guide, where everything you need is on one place:

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