You’ve probably already heard people say that you can start your own e-commerce business with almost no money in your pocket. It won’t be Amazon, but if you only want to create something of your own to make some profit and quit your day job in the near future, dropshipping is the perfect solution for you. There is some truth to it, but how much exactly? Is it really so cheap and easy? If you’re one of those who wonder how to start a dropshipping business and minimize the costs, we’ve got some estimates and tips for you to take into consideration.
Avoid the Middlemen
Of course, you can invest a lot of money into your dropshipping business, but there’s no need for it, even at the very beginning. There are several ways that can help you get started, and one of the popular ones is looking for so-called Middlemen. These are companies that charge you money and in exchange, they build you a website and they allow you to sell their products. The thing is that you need to pay them upfront so it generates costs from the start. Most businesses that decide to start like this, lose.
Nothing is ever that easy. Don’t look for middlemen who will do everything for you because you will end up with nothing. You will always need to put some time and money to build anything profitable, but you also need to do it right.
Start the dropshipping business the right way
If you want to do it cheaper, you need to do most things by yourself. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to build your own online store, thanks to the e-commerce platforms available on the web. The most popular these days are Shopify and WordPress (WooCommerce).
You’re not paying for selling products, working with suppliers or shipping. So where are the costs?
- Account: $29/month – you’re starting right away, as Shopify takes care of hosting, so you only need to set up an account. There’s also a 14-days free trial for you to decide if you really want to do this.
- Domain: $14/year – even the most basic e-commerce website will need a distinctive domain name to stay professional.
- Dropshipping app: $29-$39/month – Shopify offers you two ways of scaling up your e-commerce store: Oberlo or Spocket. Oberlo will merge your store with AliExpress while Spocket can link you to thousands of their suppliers all over the world. Spocket has shorter shipping time than AliExpress, but it’s also a bit more expensive.
- Add-ons: $98/month – that’s $19.99 for discount pricing, $19.99 for cross-sell, $30 for boost sales, $29 for pop-ups, and more. It’s not mandatory to buy anything, but you will probably need these apps to get going, especially at the beginning.
- WordPress (WooCommerce)
- Hosting account: $58/year – you can choose from several web hostings, but the price is for BlueHost that’s recommended by WordPress.
- Domain name: $10/year – it’s free if you decide on BlueHost hosting package.
- AliDropship: $89 one-time fee – this plugin will integrate your website with AliExpress allowing you to import products from there and manage your sales from your page.
- Add-ons: $145 one-time fee – social rabbit plugin, countdown timer, recent sales pop-up, Facebook business, Google Merchant, Upsell – they are all optional, but by many considered essential to start and keep going.
Apart from hosting accounts, domain names and all necessary plugins, you will need to have some budget for marketing – $500 should be enough to get you going. Just like with every other store, you will need to promote your dropshipping business. It’s hard to estimate the exact price of your marketing strategy – it all depends on your niche, location, audience, and more. The best way is to use Google Ads, but it’s $20 per day which makes it a bit expensive.
As you can see, if you decide on Shopify, you can even start for free to get a grip on what it looks like. However, it’s difficult to estimate the costs of starting a dropshipping business – it all depends on your choices, the niche, the place, chosen marketing strategy, etc. Shopify is probably easier, but with WordPress, you get more control – it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer.