How To Start A Drop Shipping Business in 2023

If you want to learn how to start a drop shipping business in 2023 you’re in the right place.

When starting the journey of launching your own dropshipping business, it may seem daunting at first. Fortunately, there are several key steps that can help guide you through the process as you set your business up.

In this article, we’ll cover all the vital aspects you need to know about starting a successful drop shipping business in 2023.

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How To Start A Drop Shipping Business in 2023 7

How To Start a Dropshipping Business in 2023

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What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an eCommerce business model where you sell directly to consumers without stocking any inventory. It is one of many ways people can make money online.

How to start a drop shipping business

When a customer purchases something from your dropshipping store, a third-party supplier will ship the item directly to them. The customer will pay the price you set and you will pay the supplier the wholesale price. The rest is profit.

Decide whether a drop shipping online business is for you

The first thing you need to do as you embark on this journey is decide whether a drop shipping business is what you actually want.

It warrants thinking hard about this because most people will only focus on the positives, like how it is a great and profitable way to start an online business quickly with a relatively small budget and how you can make money online with it.

Is dropshipping the right business for you?

On top of that, you don’t have to store the products or manage the inventory, and you get to make a lot of money if you do it right.

However, there are potential challenges that often come with starting any business venture and a drop shipping business is no different. For example, you will face challenges such as complicated legal issues, competition from the more established companies, and customer service problems.

Therefore, before you decide to start a drop shipping business, weigh these potential risks against your experience level and financial means to decide if this is something you can handle.

If you want to make money online but dropshipping is not something you can make work, there are alternatives ways of making money such as starting a social media agency, freelancing, becoming a virtual assistant, creating an online course, writing an eBook, and affiliate marketing.

Some of these options require an initial investment of time and/or capital but can be lucrative sources of income if you do them well.

In this piece, we cover the key steps you should take and some tips and tricks that will help you do well with drop shipping.

We take a look at things like how to choose the products that you will sell to your drop shipping customers and how to start creating a strong business structure.

We’ll explore marketing techniques, how to handle suppliers, and dealing with issues like fulfillment that will impact your success.

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If you want to start a dropshipping business, you can follow these steps:

  1. Picking A Drop Shipping Niche To Enter

When considering what drop shipping niche to enter, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

For example, if you choose a niche with a lot of competition, it will be challenging to do well because you’ll need to do so much more to stand out from other businesses offering the same products. You should research competitor websites to see what types of products they’re selling. You may find ideas you can use.

It is imperative that you find an underserved market because it will be easier for you to establish yourself and get some success. You can analyze trends in the industry and try to find areas that are underserved or growing quickly.

finding a dropshipping niche idea

Also consider factors like purchasing habits and customer demographics, as well as possible problems that could arise when selling products or services.

As you look into dropshipping business ideas, there are a variety of tools that can help you do your research. There are things like trade magazines, industry publications, blogs, and other online sources. Social media can also come in handy when looking for insights on customer opinions, current market trends, and industry news.

Shopify’s Oberlo will automate some of your research as you look for profitable products to sell or potential suppliers.

Google Ads and keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs or others will help you find popular search terms related to a niche.

Another way to find ideas for your ideal niche is to go through customer reviews to get an idea of what people are looking for and see what you can provide. Ecommerce websites like Amazon or eBay and platforms like Quora or Reddit are great for finding out what customers want.

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  1. Do Competitive Research

Having decided what niche you want to get into, it is important to find out who your competitors are and what they’re doing. There are various ways of doing this.

research your dropshipping competitors

Google Trends (which is free) is a useful source of insight into current market trends and customer interests. You can Google Search the products you want to sell and see who shows up in the top results on Google.

This way you will know who your competitors are and you can then examine how they’re marketing their brands and running their businesses.

Third-party tools like SimilarWeb will find competitors that don’t show up in a standard Google search.

You should then learn all you can about your competitors. For example, you can find out how much traffic they get and the kind of advertising they do.

When you know what you are competing with, try to understand their dropshipping process to either replicate it or improve on it.

  1. Pick Your Dropshipping Business Model

The type of drop shipping business model you choose is vital to your success.

You can partner with a manufacturer that makes the products you’ll be selling, or buy from wholesalers and resell the goods with a markup.

Within your niche market, build relationships with related suppliers to ensure that you have options.

Alternatively, you can go for a “marketplace” model, where you bring together products from multiple sources and offer them all in one place for customers to shop from. This is a bit more advanced and you should probably do it once you are established.

Pay attention to your preferences, strengths, and experiences when selecting your business model.

You can make any dropshipping business model work with the right approach.

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  1. Choose a Dropshipping Supplier

Choosing a drop shipping supplier is one of the most important steps in starting a drop shipping business.

As you research potential dropshipping suppliers, look for those who offer the best terms that you are willing to work with. One of the things you want to look at is competitive pricing.

Find a dropshipping supplier

Find out what their customer service policies are to determine whether they provide quality support if something goes wrong.

Don’t stop there, review feedback from other customers and investigate any complaints or negative reviews they have received.

If you do your research comprehensively at this stage, you will be at a better position to decide whether what the supplier is saying is true.

Don’t forget to look into how quickly they process orders, whether they have accurate product descriptions, and and how their shipping services work.

  1. Choose a Platform For Your Online Store

Dropshipping businesses can exist on several platforms, such as OpenCart, Squarespace, BigCommerce, 3dcart, Shopify, Amazon, Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress, and eBay.

You should choose an ecommerce platform based on what works best for your online business.


For example, Shopify is popular because it has an easy-to-use interface and a selection of built-in features.


WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform built on WordPress. It is meant for online merchants using WordPress and is often used by bloggers who want to expand their reach into selling products online.

You can also go for ecommerce platforms like eBay and Amazon where you can list your products and start selling immediately.

Each platform has its benefits and drawbacks and it is important to research the different options before landing on one that will be best suited to your drop shipping business.

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  1. Build Your Online Store

Once you have chosen the platform that makes the most sense for your online store, build the dropshipping business store.

Start looking at what features and tools you’ll need for a functioning drop shipping business. This includes features such as payment processing, inventory tracking, and marketing support.

Create an account on the platform you’ve chosen and start setting up your store. Ensure that you fill out all of the necessary information and add the products you will be selling.

Add product descriptions, pricing, and other important elements of an online store.

Most platforms have guides on how to go about this.

Get a sales tax ID, or reseller’s permit, from the state tax office because most states require you to pay sales tax. You should also find out whether you will be required to pay sales taxes in the states where you sell your products.

  1. Market Your Drop Shipping Business

With your drop shipping business up and running, you should make marketing an integral part of your strategy.

There are many marketing techniques and you should choose what works best for your brand.

social media companies

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great at reaching new customers.

Email marketing campaigns can add to that.

Affiliate programs or paid search campaigns may help you to reach potential customers outside your existing network if you have the resources for that.

How much you can spend on marketing your drop shipping business depends on the resources you have.

Should you outsource marketing your dropshipping business?

If you don’t have enough money and time, it makes sense to do some or all of the marketing activities in-house.

To pull this off, you need training and to invest in the right tools. If you do it right, it will be a great way to save money in the long run.

If you have the resources, you have the option of outsourcing some or all of your marketing activities to an external party.

Going for an external agency can also make sense if you don’t have enough resources internally to develop an internal marketing team. Note that this applies to when your ecommerce store grows big enough to warrant that.

Either way, think carefully about how much time and effort you will commit to marketing and decide whether it is better for your business to do everything in-house or outsource.

Tools and platforms for marketing your dropshipping business

Speaking of the specific tools and platforms that you will use for your marketing strategy, you can focus on organic channels for marketing your drop shipping business. This includes content creation, social media, and other strategies that will drive traffic, engagement and conversions.

The three methods are cost effective and have a good return on investment in the long run.

Content creation includes things like blogs, webinars, videos, and infographics that provide potential customers with valuable information about what your business is about and products you are selling.

Social media gives you an avenue to interact with current and prospective customers through informative posts, comments, stories, and messages. You can use like and share counts to gauge the level of engagement your posts are getting. That can inform you to either tweak your approach or keep doing what you are doing.

Word-of-mouth is a powerful form of advertising because people trust recommendations from friends more than any other form of marketing. However this is not always possible depending on your niche or platform.

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Tips For Running a Successful Dropshipping Business

Once you have everything set up, there are a few things you can do to ensure the success of your drop shipping business.

Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate

When running an online store, keep your personal and business finances separate to eliminate any confusion or discrepancies when you will be filing taxes.

Maintaining accurate records separately for your income and expenses enables you to track your spending habits and potential losses or gains more accurately.

You should open a separate bank account for your business because with a separate account, it will be easier to track payments, deposits, and other financial activity related to running your store.

Another advantage of keeping personal and business finances separate is that it makes it easier to stay on top of all aspects of your business.

Keeping business finances separate will also help with future funding. You will have proper records and financial reports when you want to secure financing or investment.

You will appear as a responsible business owner who is in control of all aspects of your store.

It also helps with the saleability of the business because potential buyers will look at these documents as proof that you have been a savvy, organized entrepreneur.

Separating your business and personal finances is beneficial to both the short-term and long-term success of your online store.

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Periodically Invest Money In Your Dropshipping Business

Once you have got your business up and running, don’t rest on your laurels. Keep investing money in your business to scale and grow the venture.

When you have established a customer base and started generating consistent revenue, invest some of it in ways that will increase your efficiency too.

You can invest in tools that will automate customer service, inventory management, and marketing. This will not only benefit your business but enable you to have more free time to focus on other aspects of your life.

Investing in these resources will increase profitability, improve customer experience, and make it easier to manage business operations.

It will also raise the value of your business and make it more attractive to potential buyers who want to acquire it.

Is Dropshipping Worth It?

Dropshipping is a great way for you to start making money online with your own business without the expensive startup costs of stocking and managing inventory.

However, it’s not always straightforward and there are some challenges you will have to deal with.

For example, margins can be slim due to the cost of goods sold (COGS) and the fees you will be charged by dropshippers and other third-parties. If you decide to hire a marketing agency or influencers, that will factor into your expenditure.

Another challenge with outsourcing fulfillment is that you have less control over customer experience and delivery times. You can’t also be in charge of product quality.

Drop shipping has legal loopholes too, such as not being able to guarantee product authenticity or refusing returns, which makes it difficult for you to protect yourself when there is a dispute.

If done the right way, drop shipping can be a profitable business model. However, you should do your research before taking the plunge because it is not for everyone.

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Pros and Cons of the Drop Shipping Business Model

Pros of Drop Shipping

  1. You can scale quickly
  2. You have more time to focus on marketing and customer service
  3. You can reach a wider range of customers
  4. You reduce upfront costs for inventory, stocking, or storage
  5. Compared to a brick and mortar store, it is low risk and easy to start up

Cons of Drop Shipping Business Model

  1. There are legal loopholes when it comes to authenticity and returning goods
  2. You will encounter difficulties with creating a unique brand identity
  3. You may have slim margins due to the cost of goods sold and fees charged by 3rd party vendors
  4. There is less control over product quality and customer experience when you outsource fulfillment like in a drop shipping business.

Is dropshipping really profitable?

If you do it the right way, dropshipping is a profitable business model. To pull that off, you need careful research and planning.

One of the important determinants of success is finding the right products and suppliers that will provide quality goods at competitive prices.

You should also leverage the advantages of scale because you can reduce costs and boost profits.


Starting a drop shipping business requires careful research, planning and execution. As I’ve mentioned before, you should be aware of the potential risks and legal loopholes that come with starting dropshipping businesses before you take the plunge.

To enhance your chances of succeeding, you’ll need to have a clear vision of what you want to do, develop an effective plan, and secure the necessary resources to get started. Find the right products, suppliers, and execute your plan, making adjustments along the way as needed.

If dropshipping is not for you, there are other ways to make money online that we have mentioned above.

Finally, it’s important to understand the potential risks and legal loopholes that come with drop shipping to avoid any disputes or issues down the road.

Before you leave

If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.

It’s helped me earn over $300,000 in the last 12 months alone:

Go here to see my no.1 recommendation for making money online

(This is a 100% free training)

How To Start A Drop Shipping Business in 2023 7

David Fortune has been the editor since 2019. He is an expert at writing content on stock advisory services, side hustles, reviewing online business opportunities and many more topics. You can learn more about David on our about us page.

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