Do you want to know if an online store is dropshipping or not? Then you're at the right place!
I've got ten amazing tactics for you so you can see if a store is dropshipping or not.
Although you can't be 100% sure, if you follow my tips below, you can definitely know for a like 95% certainty if a store is dropshipping or not!
1) Check their shipping times
One way is to check out their shipping information in their product description, FAQ page, or Shipping page.
Does it take more than 2 weeks to get delivered?
That's a big indicator that that store is dropshipping.
Keep in mind that some stores will write it as business days. This way they can write fewer days because weekends are not business days.
So, in the example above, that will mean that they say it will take between 9-12 days (if you're lucky, that includes only one weekend). If you count the processing time as well, you're looking at a shipping time that most dropshipping stores have!
2) Take a look at the products that they are selling
Another way to check if they are dropshipping or not is to look at their products.
This might take some time, but when you've researched a lot of products for your dropshipping store, you know after some time what products most people dropship.
You have probably seen some of these products before, right?
3) Look if they've got something regarding customs charges
Another way to see if they are dropshipping is to look through their website and search to see if you can find anything regarding customs charges. You will most likely find this on their FAQ page.
If they have something included about customs charges and they say that you need to pay for that, then that's a great indicator that they are dropshipping. Most likely that they are dropshipping from China.
4) Look at their product reviews
Another sneaky way to see if a store is dropshipping or not is to check their reviews.
Like I said before, a lot of people open their store and don't put any effort into it.
Are you curious now about what I'm talking about?
This is not always, but some people just import reviews from the AliExpress page that they are sourcing the product from, and a lot of these people don't even look at how these reviews read.
Which is great because now you have another option with seeing if they are dropshipping or not!
Most people who leave a review on AliExpress use the word ‘seller'. If you browse through the review of the store and you find a lot of ‘seller' in these reviews, I'm almost 100% sure that they are dropshipping.
5) Look at their product images
Most dropshippers just copy the images from their dropshipping supplier (for example, their AliExpress supplier).
Most of these product images have a white background, and these stores don't make any effort to make them better.
Now, this is great for you if you want to see if a store is dropshipping or not.
Just do a reverse image search on Google; if you see more of the same images, that's a great indicator that that store is dropshipping.
I'll show you an example of a dropshipping store below where I use a reverse image search on Google.
One thing to note for this dropshipping store is that they did put a lot of efforts into their store, but they still had one image that a lot of other stores had as well.
Now that we've got a product selected, it's time to do the reverse image trick.
If you use Chrome, you can simply do a right mouse click on the image and press “Search Google for image.”
If you can't find that option, just simply go to Google and copy the image there.
If you see a lot of stores selling the same product with the same image, that's a great indicator that that store is dropshipping!
6) Look at their product descriptions
This is another big one to see if an online store is dropshipping or not.
You need to check their product description.
This is the same as with the product images; most people that are dropshipping don't put any efforts into their dropshipping store.
They just copy the information from their dropshipping supplier, start creating ads for that product, and expect to be rich the next day.
See, for example, the product description below (I used the same product as with the reviews above).
Yes, not all dropshipping stores have these kinds of product descriptions, but if you see a description like this, you can be almost sure that that store is dropshipping.
7) No phone number available
This is not a big indicator, but it can still help you see if a store is dropshipping or not.
Most dropshipping stores don't have a phone number for customer support.
They mostly only show an email address on their contact page.
8) A few more things that you can check on their FAQ page
I've got a few more things that you can check on the FAQ page of the store that you're checking.
Keep in mind that they could also have this information on a different page (like a Shipping or Refund Policy).
The first thing is to check if they talk about getting multiple packages when you order more than one product.
This is because they most likely have multiple dropshipping suppliers so they can't combine their orders. That's why you will get multiple packages.
The next thing is to check if they have something regarding returns.
Do they say anything about you not being able to return the item(s) to the address on the package? Then that's another great indicator that they are dropshipping.
The address on the package will probably be from their dropshipping supplier, and they may want to handle the returns themselves.
So they don't want you to send it back to their dropshipping supplier.
9) Look at their store design
Like I said above, a lot of people open their (Shopify) dropshipping store without putting much effort into it.
This is great for you now because it gives you another way of seeing if a store is dropshipping or not!
If the store design looks really simple, and a lot of the tactics above checked out as well, you can be almost sure that they are dropshipping!
One thing though, the example I used above still looks a bit good (there are far worse examples, but I couldn't find any at this moment – so if you've got one, send it to me!).
But it's still great for this section because it's a basic store design; anybody can put this online store together!
10) Look at their about us page
The last tactic is going to be a quick and easy one.
A lot of dropshipping stores love to write something like “we bring you the best deals” or “we search every place to get you the lowest price possible” in their About Us page.
If you find something like that in their About Us page, it's not a big indicator if they are dropshipping or not, but if all the tactics above are screaming “this store is dropshipping,” then this is like the cherry on the cake!
So there you have it! Every single way that you can see if an online (Shopify) store is dropshipping or not.
Of course, it's best to combine these ten tactics if you want to be sure if they are dropshipping or not.
If you've got any more ways to recognize if an online store is dropshipping, or if you have any questions regarding dropshipping, let me know by commenting below or contacting 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 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!
Here are some of our best articles:
- AliExpress Dropshipping: A 20-Step Getting Started Guide (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 want to get started with Shopify, then you can click here to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!