When I just started out with
Free plus shipping will definitely work for you in 2023, but you need to use it wisely. Build it to grow your store, not to look cheap. Some products are overdone (watches)! Make sure that the products you pick for your free plus shipping offers are adding value to your store.
What is a Free Plus Shipping offer?
A free plus shipping offer is a product you sell for $0.00, and only charge the customer for shipping costs.
You may be asking yourself: ‘Wait, how can you make any money from this business model?’
The shipping costs that you will charge will cover your product costs and a bit more than that to give you a profit.
For example, if you price your products like a normal dropshipping store then you will ask for $9.95 in total for a product.
But now you have a free plus shipping offer.
You will set the selling price at $0.00 and the shipping costs at $9.95!
I suggest reading my article if you want to learn how to set up the free plus shipping method on Shopify.
So, do you see that with both options you will earn $9.95 in revenue?
As you can see, the free plus shipping model is a clever tactic which dropshipping store owners can use to add instant appeal to their products.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like free stuff?
Why Free Plus Shipping is a great way to start with Dropshipping
The free plus shipping model is a great way to run your store. It’s relatively simple to set up a free plus shipping offer, and when it’s up and running you’ll be able to select a wide variety of products to add to your store.
When you advertise you will see that you will have a lot of engagement and that a lot of people will check out your offer.
You know why?
Because they see the word “Free”.
That’s why it’s such a good model to start with because it’s not difficult to get people to your site.
Yes, it might still be difficult to get them to purchase, but this will be a lot easier than selling high-ticket items.
How do you pick the best Free Plus Shipping products to sell?
When you’re deciding on which product to sell with your free plus shipping offer, you need to consider that you will be relying on your shipping fees to generate profit.
This may bring some limitations to the products you can sell with this model.
But don’t worry; I’m here to help you!
What price range is the best?
If you decide to do a cheap product then you will have a smaller profit margin.
On the other hand, if you’re offering high-value goods like a television, for free, and you’re charging $100 for shipping, your customers may be skeptical.
So what kind of price point do you pick?
I highly recommend you stick to products that cost you anywhere between $0 to $10 to ship to your customer.
When you sell products at this price range you will still receive a large profit margin which is great!
I recommend doing the shipping costs for your customer like this:
Your total cost: $0 – $2 = Your price: $4.95
Your minimum profit: $2.95
Your total cost: $2 – $4 = Your price: $7.95
Your minimum profit: $3.95
Your total cost: $4 – $6 = Your price: $9.95
Your minimum profit: $3.95
Your total cost: $6 – $8 = Your price: $12.95
Your minimum profit: $4.95
Your total cost: $8 – $10 = Your price: $14.95
Your minimum profit: $4.95
Of course, you could charge more for where your total costs are lower (for example, instead of $4.95 you could charge $7.95), but this all depends on what kind of perceived value your product has.
You can price it differently than I said above, but keep in mind that:
– You get at least $3 – $5 profit (or you’re going for the lifetime value of that customer, then your profit could be lower; more on that below!)
– And you charge no more than $15 for shipping. You could try $19.95, but it really depends on what kind of product you’re selling (for example, I don’t think you will get away with selling a fidget spinner for free, but asking $19.95 for shipping)
What kind of products are the best?
As you read above, the best products to sell with free plus shipping are the ones with the highest perceived value.
That’s why for a long time a lot of people did free plus shipping only with watches. That is because people tend to put a higher price tag on watches in their head.
Just look at the picture of the watch. Doesn’t it look like it’s worth much more than the $11.97 they are asking for shipping?
Well, I can ensure you it’s not. You can see that they are getting a nice profit.
Do you see how they upsell on their shipping? My guess is that they still have the same costs, but they make it look like it’s worth more.
This is all because people think it’s worth more. That is the power of perceived value.
I’m not saying you should open a watch store yourself now and set the price of all your products to $0.00 because everyone is doing this already!
Read more on if free plus shipping is dead below (this is especially about the watches!).
The Free Plus Shipping model for a niche store
So what else could you pick?
You could hunt on products like the watch above that have a high perceived value.
But what if you have a niche store?
Then the best products are the ones that fall into your niche and have the right price range.
Take this cat toy for an example.
Advertise it to cat lovers. Set the price to $0.00 and the shipping costs to a maximum of $7.95 (if this price is not working then don’t forget to test lower shipping costs as well).
This is also a great way to get more lifetime value out of your customers.
Because it’s so much easier to sell your products to customers who already purchased from you in the past.
So all you have to do is set up an email marketing campaign where you try to get them to purchase a higher valued item later on (where your profit margins are higher!).
If you start with email marketing, then don’t forget to send your customers value as well. Otherwise, they will not open your emails anymore. Keep them engaged!
If your email marketing is working and you’re getting more repeat customers, you could also try to set the shipping price lower and lower to get more customers (and emails!).
This especially comes in handy when you want to build a long-term brand with repeat customers.
How do you market your Free Plus Shipping offer?
I started with Instagram shoutouts.
What I did was I searched Instagram pages in my niche (or the niche from the product you try to sell).
If you don’t know anything about Instagram, I suggest checking out my article here to learn more about Instagram shoutouts.
One of the main benefits of using the free plus shipping model is that you get to use the magic word “FREE”.
The word “FREE” attracts instant attention and gets people hooked.
The psychology behind the success of a free plus shipping offer isn’t a surprise. Free products excite customers!
If you want to see some free plus shipping offer examples then keep on reading!
After that, I tried to do Facebook Ads for my free plus shipping offers as well, but that didn’t work for me.
My costs for the advertisement of the products before getting a purchase were much higher than the profit I had per purchase.
Is Free Plus Shipping dead?
Free plus shipping is definitely not dead. Only overdone with some products.
If you still want to use free plus shipping then use it to grow your brand, not to make your brand look cheap!
Free Plus Shipping watches
It’s no secret that watches are definitely the most picked product for free plus shipping offers.
That also means that a lot of people saw these kind of free watches and chances are, a lot of them bought them as well thinking they got some crazy good deal.
Only to later find out that it was some cheap quality watch.
You can also see it if you google for something like free watches or free plus shipping watches:
– The Weird World of Viral ‘Free Watch’ Scams on Instagram
– The Free Watch Scam
– What is up with the free watches but pay for shipping ads all over Social media
And then especially this one is a great read:
– There’s No Such Thing as a Free Watch
So, as you can see, the whole free plus shipping is overdone by so many people trying to make a quick fortune.
I also suggest you read my other article here that goes over four reasons why not to start dropshipping watches.
So, how do you use Free Plus Shipping offers then?
Does this mean the free plus shipping model is dead?
You just need to use it differently.
First, make sure the product you want to sell falls within your niche so you can attract new customers who are likely to buy different products from your store in the future (which are not free plus shipping products but have normal retail offers).
Secondly, pick your product carefully.
Make sure that the quality of the product you picked for your free plus shipping offer is great so people won’t feel scammed, and you can sell it with a good feeling!
Follow this guide here to find the best AliExpress suppliers for your dropshipping store!
Free Plus Shipping examples
See below for some examples of how to market your free plus shipping offer on Instagram.
Use these examples as an inspiration for your marketing!
Don’t forget to look at the descriptions, especially the difference from the first example and the last one.
You will have to test what kind of descriptions work the best for your niche.
So, there so you have it, everything you need to know about the free plus shipping model. Everything from what it is to how you can best use it for your dropshipping store!
You now know how to use this powerful selling method to your advantage and not to your disadvantage (looking at you watch dropshippers!)
Use it wisely to build your brand and get more loyal long-term customers.
If there is anything you would like to add or if there is something not clear to you, please comment below or contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top!
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, 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 for free!
Reading this article will surely help you to get started and stay motivated while beginning and continuing your dropshipping journey!
Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!
Shopify Dropshipping Complete Guide 2023: Create Your Store!
Here are some of our best articles:
- AliExpress Dropshipping Complete Guide for Beginners! (2023)
- The Complete Guide: Can You Start Dropshipping Without Money in 2023?
- 12 Reasons Why Most People Fail With Dropshipping in 2023 | Beat Them!
- 23 Awesome Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
Also, if you haven’t created a Shopify account yet then you can click here to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!
Right on! I’m planning to start my blog soon, but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
Thank you for your great comment! I think this article here will guide you further.
It goes over all the options that you can take to get your dropshipping store online!
But if you mean blog as in blogging (no dropshipping), then yes, WordPress is great.
Good luck with everything 😊
Hi Richard, very helpful article! May I ask how to set this up if I don’t want to be the one to do the delivery of the physical product? For instance, if I wanted to do a Free + Shipping Funnel offering a Free CD album, and then someone does order, could I assign a third party to do the inventory and delivery to the customer (maybe a Media On Demand company)? Interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
Thank you for your great article! Just to be sure, are you talking about offering digital products – or are you curious if you can do this without holding the inventory?
If the second one, yes, this is called dropshipping 😊
You can learn more about this in this beginner’s guide here.
Let me know what you think, and good luck with everything!
thank you for your great article, if customer wants more then 1 piece, how to make profit because we only charge shipping. How to include multiple orders to shipping price then? And what about taxes? Do I have to include taxes or? Thank you so much
Thank you for your great comment! You have two main options for that, you can either limit it to one piece per customer – or you can increase the shipping costs when someone orders more than one piece; to cover the extra costs.
Don’t forget that it’s usually cheaper to send someone two pieces of something (since usually the shipping costs won’t increase that much in comparison to just sending one piece), so you can keep that in mind for the extra shipping costs when someone orders two or more pieces.
For taxes, you can check out this article here, which will go over some of the tax basics. (Don’t forget to contact your accountant to get the best tax advice for your situation)
Good luck with everything!