Are you a dropshipping beginner? And are you wondering how to get started with dropshipping? Awesome! In this article, I'll cover 7 dropshipping basics that everyone should know before starting a dropshipping store. Although if you have already started, then you can still read this article to see if you knew everything!
Some of you might already know a thing or two, that's why I included the table of contents below. This way, you can go to the dropshipping basics that you want to learn and skip the ones that you already know! Awesome, right?
What is dropshipping and why do people do it?
Let's start by understanding what starting a dropshipping business means.
If you already understand it, then you can click here to scroll down to the first dropshipping basic!
If not, then I will explain it really simple to you:
- You got an online store where you sell products, but you don’t have any of these products in your storage, or in your house.
- When someone places an order on your dropshipping store, then you place that same order directly with your dropshipping supplier. Don’t worry. There are a lot of apps out there that help you with automating this. For example, DSers, or these 14 DSers alternatives.
- Then your dropshipping supplier will handle the rest. Think about preparing the package and sending the order straight to your customer.
- Now your customer will receive the package straight from your dropshipping supplier, and you never touched the product in between!
To make dropshipping even more clear for you, take a look at our infographic below:
The most common question people have now is, won’t my customer know that the package didn’t come from me?
For example, aren’t there any advertisements or recipes from the supplier in the package?
You just need to make sure that your supplier accepts dropshipping and blind dropshipping.
You can learn more about blind dropshipping by reading this article here.
Alright, but why are people interested in dropshipping? And why do people want to dropship?
Most people that are researching about dropshipping, and want to start/are running a dropshipping store do this for one or more of these reasons:
- Earning more money. If done right, then dropshipping could earn you a lot. Just take a look at these success stories.
- Being their own boss. Some people don’t like to work for a boss, so they search for other ways to earn an income.
- Location-independent work. A dropshipping store can be run from just about anywhere with an internet connection. As long as you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business. This is also called being a Digital Nomad.
If you're interested in learning more about dropshipping, then I suggest reading this article written by me:
7 Things you should know before starting with dropshipping!
Now that you know what dropshipping is and why people do it, it's time to learn what you came for!
Below you will find the 7 things that you should know before opening a dropshipping store.
These things are important to know. So please take some time to read them all!
Just don't forget that you don't need to remember them all. You can always come back and see if you remembered everything correctly.
1. If you want to dropship, then you will need to create a website
For example, how will people learn more about your store? How will you process the orders that you get?
This could be done if you're, for example, just selling some products on Instagram where you manually place the orders for your customers, but what do you think happens when you scale up to thousands of orders per day?
How will you easily process these orders then? And how will you tell your customers what your brand is about? How will you come over as a trust-worthy store without a website?
This is where having a website comes into place!
To get your dropshipping store online, you have two options.
You can go for an ecommerce platform like Shopify, or you can host your dropshipping store your self with WordPress/WooCommerce!
An ecommerce platform is more expensive, but it is easier to get started as a dropshipping beginner.
Hosting your store yourself, on the other hand, needs a bit more experience!
If you’re interested in learning what fits with you and your dropshipping store, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
2. Put time and effort into creating something amazing instead of a one-day scam store
I guess the title can speak for itself, but I'll explain it a bit more in detail for you haha.
Look, here is the deal. A lot of people are starting dropshipping stores right now:
If you don't put any effort into your business, then that will be a recipe for failure!
“But this YouTube guy says that I'll be rich if I follow his course. He says just sell these products: *insert some trending products* and start advertising directly. Is this true?”
I hope you understand this one. But yeah, most people that get into dropshipping do this because they had an ad from one of these “YouTube gurus” that are telling them to start dropshipping now to “quit their job forever” or “never work 9-5 again”…
Some ads are so obviously made by scammers that it is just sad for the people that purchase these kinds of courses.
That's why I created Do Dropshipping. To provide everyone with the information to get started with dropshipping as a dropshipping beginner!
The best thing? All my articles are free to read! My goal is to put an end to these paid dropshipping courses once and for all.
If you're interested in learning more about these “gurus” and why they are selling courses to you, then I suggest reading the article below:
And if you're interested in learning how you can build a real trustworthy dropshipping store and ecommerce brand, then I got some great articles for you here:
- 7+ Amazing Tips to Brand your Dropshipping Store in 2023!
- 7 Tips to Beat the Competition of Your Dropshipping Store in 2023!
- How to Build Trust in a Dropshipping Store? (Increase Sales)
3. If you don't put your customers first, then…
Well, then you can say goodbye to your precious 5-star ratings.
This one fits well with the number two on this list (about not creating a one-day scam store).
What do you think happens when you don't treat your customers right? Or worse, when you don't respond at all to customers who have questions?
Well, then I don't think that your dropshipping store will be online for that long…
For example, here are a few dropshipping stores that didn't care that much about their customers:
Here is one is from a dropshipping store called HYGO Shop:
But it won't be just your reviews on Trustpilot. It can be your Facebook page as well:
Alright, now you know that your customers can make or break your dropshipping business, but how to make your customers happy?
So, how to make your customers happy?
Firstly, always try to be as polite and understanding as possible when you reply to a customer with questions or demands.
Secondly, spend your time building a store where you look first at what the customer wants and not what your pockets want.
Sounds easy, right?
It could be, but a lot of people just don’t care about their customers. I really don't understand why they don't care.
You need your customers in order to build a long-term brand. (Source)
If you understand now that customer service is important, then I suggest reading the articles I linked to below:
- Customer Service for Dropshipping Stores – Complete Guide!
- Complete Guide: Handle Dropshipping Refunds and Returns
Keep in mind that these articles above are big articles, but they contain everything that you need to know!
The last one is also very important because most dropshippers are clueless when it comes to handling refunds and returns. Let's just say that you won't be clueless anymore after reading that article.
4. Don't pick dropshipping suppliers based on price
Let me ask you this question, do you want the person who handles the production of your products and the shipment to your customers to be reliable or not?
Most people who start with dropshipping pick their suppliers based on price. They go to AliExpress, sort by price, and pick the lowest one.
Because this will make you rich, right?
Wrong, all though this may work for you in the short-term. It will definitely haunt you in the long-term.
What if your supplier doesn’t respond to your messages asking where the package from your customer is? What if your supplier cannot keep up when you’re getting hundreds of orders each day?
This is where my steps in this article come into play. With these steps, you will carefully pick your dropshipping supplier(s).
Yes, that article is focused on AliExpress, but you can still use these tips if you're dropshipping with a different platform or supplier!
5. You don't need a paid product research tool to find products; you can do it for free as well
In case you don’t know, product research is the process that you research what kind of products are best to sell in your store. Most likely, these are products that are selling a lot.
Alright, brace yourself!
This one might hurt a lot of these paid product research tools out there…
You don't need a paid dropshipping product research tool to find “winning” products!
Yes, you read that right! I'm telling you that you can do it for free as well. And even better, there are free product research tools out there as well.
Although I won’t deny that product research tools could definitely save you time and give you a lot of inspiration for the product research part.
But the problem is that most of these tools cost you a monthly payment.
And most people that are starting with dropshipping don’t have much money available.
One more thing to note, keep in mind that most of these paid product research tools have free trials / free accounts available for you! You could use these as well if your budget is tight.
No need to pay anything then!
If you're interested in learning more about the product research part, or if you want to know what kind of product research tools are out there, then you can read the articles I linked to below:
- What Is a Winning Dropshipping Product? (+ Examples)
- 13 Products You Should Avoid Dropshipping | Be Careful!
- The 17 Best Winning Dropshipping Product Research Tools
- 16 Winning Dropshipping Product Examples | Inspiration for 2023!
- How to Find Winning Dropshipping Products? (Product Research Methods)
6. You don't need a paid dropshipping theme when you're just beginning with dropshipping
Okay, this dropshipping basic might go against the opinion of most of these paid dropshipping theme creators, but I personally think that you don't need one of these fancy themes when you're just starting with your dropshipping journey!
I personally think that a free theme, like Dawn, is great if you're just starting with dropshipping.
However, some people could use a paid theme. Think about people that are having a lot of in-built apps, are trying to build a brand, are obsessed with conversion rates, or just have too much money to spend.
If you're interested in learning more about which one fits you the best; a paid or free theme, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
7. You don't need to pay to learn more about Dropshipping and ecommerce…
This is the last dropshipping basic that you should know before starting a dropshipping business!
For me, this is the most important one. This is the reason that I created Do Dropshipping.
Most people don't believe that you can learn a lot on the internet for free. They blindly believe these “gurus” (that I talked about at the beginning) that they need their courses if they want a chance to succeed.
This is not true…
And I can prove it to you!
The first argument, the articles I linked to in this article are all free to read for you. You don't need to pay anything for that.
Secondly, I also wrote some great articles where you can see that you can learn dropshipping for free:
- Top 10 Dropshipping & Ecommerce Blogs
- The 17 Best Free Dropshipping Courses
- Where to Learn Dropshipping and Ecommerce in 2023 for Free?
Please understand that you don't need to purchase these expensive courses!
Alright, I got a third argument for you. Watch this great video from CoffeZilla:
So there you have it! All the dropshipping basics that you should know before starting a dropshipping store.
I hope you understand now that dropshipping is a real business, and not an “I'm going to get rich tomorrow” type of thing.
Please don't believe these “gurus” selling you this dream…
I hope my honesty here can bring some much needed light in this “dark” dropshipping space full of these so-called “gurus”.
If you got any tips for this article or if you have any questions regarding dropshipping, then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top!
I wish you the best with your dropshipping store, and don't forget that you can always come back to these dropshipping basics to see if you understood them all!
Getting Started with Dropshipping in 2023
So, are you ready to get started with dropshipping? Or maybe you have already started, but you’re looking to get some inspiration?
If so, then I suggest reading my complete Shopify dropshipping guide!
It’s a huge article, but it contains everything that you need to know to create your own Shopify dropshipping store in 2023. It’s like a dropshipping course, but then for free!
Reading this article will surely help you to get started and to stay motivated while beginning and continuing your dropshipping journey!
Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!
And here are some of our best articles:
- 12 Reasons Why Most People Fail With Dropshipping in 2023 | Beat Them!
- 23 Awesome Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
- 18 Things to Know Before Starting a Dropshipping Store
- AliExpress Dropshipping: A 20-Step Getting Started Guide (2023)