High chance that you found this article because you want to create an extra income online, but you don’t have that much money (if any). And then you found the term “dropshipping” some were on the internet and thought “this is it”. I will dive deep below into if you can start a dropshipping store without money! I recapped everything at the end, in case you’re in a hurry.
Do You Need to Invest Money to Learn About Dropshipping?
Let me start with this one.
There are a lot of “internet guru’s” out there claiming you will be rich the next day (or very soon) if you purchase their course and follow them step-by-step.
Maybe you have met them before. They are mostly found on YouTube.
The only goal that these gurus have is to sell you something, like a course. And trust me a lot of people purchase these courses.
For example, a YouTube guru with a course has 100,000 subscribers.
Let’s say that 0,1% of these subscribers buy the course. That’s 100 people!
Now let’s say that the course is $500. That’s $50,000 in total. Oh yeah, 0,1% conversion rate is pretty bad.
That sales number could be times 10! And don’t forget that they get new subscribers each and every day, because more and more people are learning about dropshipping.
See for example the screenshot below. You can see the trend of dropshipping worldwide for the past 5 years.
They make these people believe that they need their course in order to succeed with their dropshipping store.
No course? You can’t be rich!
I’m here to tell you that that’s absolutely not true.
In fact, I can prove it.
I wrote two awesome articles with so many free resources to learn dropshipping for free in 2019.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Selling Products on Your Dropshipping Store?
Now you know that you can learn dropshipping for free. No need to purchase any courses from these gurus.
But what about the rest of the costs, like platforms costs?
I will give you an easy to follow guide below on the most recent costs of starting a dropshipping store. Let’s see if you can start dropshipping without money in 2019!
How much money do you need for your Ecommerce Platform?
You will need someplace to open your dropshipping store.
See it like this: Did you ever go to something like a flea market?
Opening a dropshipping store on an ecommerce platform is basically the same as renting a stand on a flea market.
There are two options for you here.
And the other option is to host your store your self.
Upsides and downsides to using an Ecommerce platform like Shopify
The big upside is that you don’t have to worry about a lot of things, like hosting. And a lot of things are pre-made for you and are easy to use for beginners.
But the downside is that it is expensive, definitely when you’re just beginning.
You’re looking at around $29 per month for the cheapest Shopify plan.
Another upside is that there are a lot of Shopify apps available, but you will need money for a lot of these apps (except if you read the article that I will link to in the next paragraph).
How much money do you need for Shopify apps?
If you decide to use Shopify (or maybe you’re already using it), then I got a great article for you that will give you the 12 best Shopify apps for dropshipping beginners. I will give you both free and paid options to choose from.
The free options are great because this means that if you choose Shopify as your ecommerce platform that you won’t have any extra costs for apps at the beginning.
You can always use paid Shopify apps later on when you’re getting more and more sales. This will definitely help you with a lot of things.
Some will boost conversions, some will help you process your dropshipping orders easier and so on.
How much money do you need to host your dropshipping store yourself?
This will be less expensive per month, but you will need to take care of a lot of things yourself.
I suggest you take a look at the AliDropship plugin. I will review this plugin later on because it’s one of the best options to start dropshipping with AliExpress while not having so many monthly expenses (like the Shopify monthly subscription).
The plugin is currently $89. You can then use it for the rest of your life! So no monthly costs, like with Shopify and Oberlo (if you’re getting more than 50 orders per month).
If you don’t want to do dropshipping with AliExpress, then another great tool is Spocket. I talked about them a lot already as a perfect Shopify dropshipping app, but they also have a WooCommerce version available.
In case you don’t know what WooCoomerce is, then I suggest watching the video below.
It’s basically an ecommerce platform for free! Although, they have a lot of paid extensions and it’s running on WordPress, so you could purchase extra plugins if needed.
But what about the costs of hosting your dropshipping store yourself?
The other thing you will need is hosting.
I suggest you search around a bit to see what fits you most, but I do have three great suggestions for you.
- Bluehost. This is a great hosting company for beginners and it’s not that expensive! I’m also using it currently to host this blog!
- Cloudways. Great when you’re beginning to get a lot of visitors and want a faster host!
- AliDropship. They have their own hosting which is perfectly optimized for their AliDropship plugin. So, if you’re going to use their plugin, then this might be perfect for you!
Hosting will be, depending of course on which hosting company you go with, around $50 – $100 per year.
So, hosting your self will cost you a bit more upfront (because you will most likely need to pay per year), but will save you money later on.
How much money do you need for your domain name?
If you decide to go with Shopify, then you can use their subdomain for free. Which will be: store-name.myshopify.com
This means that you won’t have to spend anything on domain costs, but if you have a bit of budget, then I highly suggest you buy a domain name for your store.
Preferably a .com domain, which is one of the most popular domain extensions. (Source)
You will gain so much more trust with mystore.com instead of mystore.myshopify.com and it looks so much better!
I suggest you check out Namecheap. Which got one of the cheapest prices for domains and it offers free privacy protection. This will keep your name and information private for anyone searching who owns the domain.
So yes, you can use a free domain, but for less than $11 per year, you can have your own professional domain name! Don’t forget to check for coupon codes! This could bring the price down even more.
If you’re not sure yet how to call your dropshipping store or how to name your domain name, then I suggest going to a domain name generator like this one.
But what if you decide to host it yourself?
Some web hosting companies, like Bluehost, offer a free domain when you purchase one of their hosting plans.
Otherwise, you will need to purchase a domain yourself, as I talked about above.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Advertising Products From Your Dropshipping Store?
I got good news for you.
You can advertise your dropshipping store or your products for free. No need to invest money into that, but do keep in mind that these methods will take longer and will take effort.
I suggest you read my other article here to learn 8 amazing ways to get free traffic to your dropshipping store.
It will include all the things you can do to get free traffic to your dropshipping store. This is perfect to get your first sale or sales!
So yes, you don’t need any money to advertise your dropshipping store, but if you want to get sales faster and if you want to quickly see if a product is selling or not, then you will need to have a budget for marketing.
How much money do you need if you want to do paid advertising for your dropshipping store?
I got three great articles for you regarding advertising your dropshipping store. So you know how to start (when you’re ready).
- 10 Ways That You Can Advertise Your Dropshipping Store – This one covers everything, except Facebook ads because a lot of people think Facebook ads are the only way to advertise a dropshipping store. With this article, I hope to open your mind that there is so much more possible!
- How To Quickly Test Products With Dropshipping? – I will go over a tactic that you can use to quickly see if your product has the potential to sell a lot or not!
- 9 Awesome Dropshipping Facebook Ad Examples – In case you want to do Facebook advertisements for your dropshipping store, then this article is great for you. It will show you a lot of awesome Facebook Ad examples from other dropshipping stores.
The budget that you will need for marketing all depends on your experience.
If you have a lot of experience already with things like marketing, ecommerce, creating ads, then a great budget to have is around $250.
You can read here why in a guide that Oberlo made.
But what if you don’t have any experience yet in any of these things?
What then? What if you still want to do paid advertising?
Well, then I do suggest you save up some money because you will need to learn a lot.
You will make a lot of mistakes, but you will learn from them (hopefully).
Some people will need the same budget as I said above (the $250), but some people will need way more than that, like $1000-$2000 before they see any success.
So, do think that through if you don’t have that much money yet and learn a lot before you start with paid advertising, but do know that there are a lot of ways to get free traffic to your dropshipping store.
This is great to do while you save up a bit for your marketing budget and while you learn more about how to do paid advertising correctly.
I got one more great article for you.
It answers one of the biggest questions people have when starting with dropshipping:
I will also give you in that article an easy to follow guide on what to do with the products that you’re testing and how many products I advise to test at the same time.
How much money do you need to test your dropshipping supplier(s)?
This depends. I suggest you test your products by shipping them to yourself before dropshipping them to your customers.
This way you know how it will get delivered, how it looks like, how the quality is, and how long it took before it was delivered to you.
You can even use the product now to make your own unique advertisements or you can use it for a giveaway!
But if you don’t have any money, then you can skip this step if you want, but don’t forget to do this before scaling to more sales!
Because if your product is low quality or something is wrong with it, then you will want to find that out rather sooner than later.
I suggest reading this here if you want to learn more about this.
Yes, in that article I do talk about AliExpress dropshipping suppliers, but you could also use these tips if you don’t use AliExpress.
How much money do you need to legally open your dropshipping store?
This is another one to think about.
You will be opening a business. Like I said before, you need to treat your dropshipping store like a real business and not as a get rich quick store.
You will need to find out how much it costs to start a business in your country. For example, how much does it cost to register a new business?
Also, don’t forget to think about the extra costs of having a real business, like hiring a bookkeeper if you’re not that good in doing taxes yourself.
Extra Costs That You Could Have for Your Dropshipping Store
Below you will find some extra costs that you could have when starting your dropshipping store.
These are costs that you could have but are definitely not necessary if you don’t need them or want them.
You could get a logo for your dropshipping store
I suggest you check out Fiverr. You can get a logo there for around $5-$20. Another option is to create something your self or to not have any logo yet.
Don’t forget about other design stuff, like your Facebook cover photo on your Facebook profile (if you have one).
You could purchase a theme
This will be $150 on average. You can check out this article here with the best Shopify themes for your dropshipping store. It also includes the best free theme for when you’re just starting with dropshipping or if your budget is tight!
This is important to start early with, but not before getting your first sale (or you got a lot of spare time for learning).
I suggest you check out Omnisend. They got a free plan available where you can send up to 15,000 emails per month!
You can click here if you want to learn more about Omnisend and why email marketing is so important for your dropshipping store.
So, Do You Need Money to Get Started With Dropshipping in 2019?
Well done, you made it to the end! Or maybe you skipped to this part, I will never know.
Let’s recap to see if you need any money to start with dropshipping in 2019:
You don’t need any money to learn about dropshipping. There is a lot of information about dropshipping on the internet for free.
You do need money if you decide to go with an ecommerce platform. The costs are different depending on which platform you choose, but if you go with Shopify (like I recommend you do), then it will be $29 per month.
You don’t need any money for Shopify apps. Most apps that you will need at the beginning are free or have a free version to use.
You do need money if you decide to host your dropshipping store yourself. Hosting will cost you around $5 – $10 per month, in the beginning, depending on your hosting company (keep in mind that you will most likely need to pay per year).
You might need money to process your orders if you decide to host yourself. You will need a plugin to process your orders.
If you want to start with dropshipping with AliExpress, then I suggest you look at the AliDropship plugin. It’s $89 for a lifetime license, so no monthly subscription costs like with Shopify.
If you don’t want to dropship from AliExpress, then I suggest you look at Spocket. They got a lot of dropshipping suppliers in the U.S. & Europe.
You might need money for a domain. You could use the free domain name offered by Shopify (if you’re going with Shopify), but I highly recommend you purchase a domain name. It will look way more professional and it’s less than $11 for one whole year.
If you decide to host it yourself, then the only way to not need any money for this is to look for a hosting company that offers a free domain when purchasing a hosting plan.
You don’t need any money to advertise your products or dropshipping store, but as you read above, it will be easier to get sales once you have a budget for marketing available.
You don’t need any money to test your products before dropshipping them to your customers, but I do highly recommend doing it if you have the budget because you can check so many things this way. Most importantly, the quality of the product that you’re selling.
You might need money to register your dropshipping store as a business in your country. You will need to check how much it costs to register a business in your country. Don’t forget extra costs like having a bookkeeper if you’re not that good in doing taxes yourself.
So yes, you do need some money to get started, but this is mainly for the platform that you’re going to open your dropshipping store or for the hosting if you decide to host it yourself.
All the other things, like advertising and buying courses to learn about dropshipping, have free options available!
I hope you now know if your budget allows it to start a dropshipping store or not (or maybe you have already started, but you just wanted to know what kind of costs you can expect).
If you got any questions regarding dropshipping, then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!
I wish you so much luck if you’re going to start a dropshipping store and don’t forget that my blog has a lot of articles that will help you on your dropshipping journey!
Also, don’t forget that success takes time and effort. It doesn’t come overnight!