We all want to find the perfect business that can be profitable and enjoyable.
Perhaps, starting a dropshipping store in the United States might be that ‘perfect’ business for you!
The United States is one of the greatest countries for dropshipping businesses because it has an established ecommerce industry and is the largest consumer market in the world.
In this article, we will guide you on how to start a dropshipping business in the US and give you some of our recommendations.
With our tips and tricks, your chances of succeeding with your ecommerce store will be a lot higher!
So, how do you know if starting a dropshipping business in the US is right for you?
Read on to find out!
Should you start a dropshipping business in the US?
When thinking about the largest consumer market globally, the United States quickly comes into mind.
And that’s true; the US is indeed the largest consumer market in the world! And predictions are that China’s economy won’t overtake the US. (Source)
While this is a massive advantage for the US compared to other countries, an attractive country for dropshippers also needs to have some other traits.
- Fast shipping options. The country needs to have fast shipping options available, usually ePacket or better.
- High GDP per capita. The average income of the country’s residents should be relatively high. This increases the chances of a high disposable income.
- High social network penetration. If many of the country’s residents are present on social media like Facebook and Instagram, you will be able to reach them more easily!
- A large population. When dropshipping in a country with a large population, problems like ad fatigue are less likely to occur.
So, how does the US score here?
Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the United States pretty much meets all these criteria!
First of all, the infrastructure and shipping options in the US are excellent. The logistics system is well set up, and when using suitable shipping methods, delivery times shouldn’t be a problem for your dropshipping business.
Secondly, the US has a high GDP per capita of $63.544. To put that into perspective, Australia has a GDP per capita of $59.9k, and the UK has a GDP per capita of $40.3k.
So, what about the population and social media usage?
As it appears, that’s nothing to worry about too. 82% of the US population currently uses social media, and that number is growing each year.
Meanwhile, the population of the US reached 328.2 million in 2019, which should give you more than enough room to scale your business.
In the end, these reasons make the United States a great country to start a dropshipping business in. The US even made it to the number one spot in our list of the best countries to target as a dropshipper!
But does the US also have any disadvantages?
Of course! Just like any other country.
Because the country’s positives are so… well, positive, the majority of dropshippers are targeting the US.
The effect of this is that the US has become one of the most expensive countries to target using paid marketing campaigns. Besides, you will have to deal with a lot of competitors.
Still, our opinion is that the pros outweigh the cons, and you should definitely start a dropshipping business in the US if you can!
If you’re interested, here is an infographic that summarizes the reasons why the US is such a great country to target as a dropshipper:
And what about dropshipping from the United States?
If you live in the United States, you may wonder if you should do dropshipping from the US. Or in other words, by using a local dropshipping supplier located in the US.
Well, it’s definitely possible! And if you see an opportunity in the market, we think you should go for it!
If you want to do dropshipping from the United States, you have two options.
First, you can target people in the US and use your local dropshipping supplier to quickly deliver products to your customers.
This is a great way to win customers over your competitors with longer delivery times!
The other option is to sell your products to countries outside the US. This happens way less often but could be worth it if you found a local supplier with a really unique product.
If this sounds interesting to you, you may want to look at reverse dropshipping:
Reverse dropshipping is a relatively new online business model that literally reverses the traditional dropshipping model.
It involves buying high-quality items from suppliers in the US or Europe and selling them to wealthy people in China.
Once again, check out this article for more information! But as always, be aware of the downsides that come with this, such as high costs of goods sold and shipping costs.
Here’s how to start a dropshipping business in the US in 8 steps
Ready to start working on your online business? Awesome!
Here are the eight steps on how to start a dropshipping business in the US:
- Decide between a general, niche, or one-product store
- Pick out the right products to sell online
- Define your ideal target audience
- Find a dropshipping supplier
- Pick your preferred ecommerce platform
- Design and brand your dropshipping store
- Set up your payment gateways
- Promote your store with social media and content marketing
Unfortunately, guiding you through all steps in detail would make this article way too long.
Don’t worry, though.
If you are interested in a detailed guide on creating your dropshipping store, check out this article.
Alternatively, you can follow our checklist, which is a step-by-step guide that includes 22 steps you can follow to start your dropshipping store!
But don’t leave this article just yet. Below, we will give you our best tips for starting a dropshipping business in the US. Not only that, but we will also answer some frequently asked questions about dropshipping in the US!
As a final note, remember that starting a successful ecommerce website in the US is not as simple as it may sound.
Many factors come into play when it comes to building a profitable dropshipping store. Just think about picking a winning product, finding a good supplier, and setting up a profitable marketing campaign.
There will be times when you will feel like it’s better to quit. However, remember that this is just part of the process. Try to evaluate and, if necessary, adjust your plan, and you will see that brighter times will come!
5 Tips for starting a dropshipping business in the US
The following five tips will be for those thinking about starting a dropshipping store in the United States.
They will help you make some critical business decisions like what ecommerce platform to pick or what dropshipping supplier to choose.
Furthermore, they will help you prevent some of the common mistakes that people make, which will make your dropshipping adventure much smoother.
Let’s begin with the first tip:
1. Use an ecommerce platform that fits your dropshipping business
Your ecommerce platform will be the base of your dropshipping store. It is a platform that allows you to design, build, and manage your store.
An excellent ecommerce platform should offer the right features, be easy to use, and provide excellent customer support.
However, there are many ecommerce platforms to choose from, so picking the best one can be challenging.
If you do manage to choose one that fits your business, you will genuinely benefit from it, as it will be much more straightforward to manage your dropshipping store!
The platform that fits you best depends on a few things.
- Do you have the budget to spend on a platform with a bit more features?
- Are you looking for the platform with the best SEO performance because you want to market your store organically?
- Do you want a platform that doesn’t require a lot of web development – or do you want more freedom?
Whatever it is, the following table may help you decide which platform to pick:
|You need:||The best options(s) for you:||Read Review|
|The best platform overall||Shopify or BigCommerce||– Shopify Review|
– BigCommerce Review
|The best SEO performance||WooCommerce||– WooCommerce Review|
|The platform built for dropshipping or POD||ShopBase||– ShopBase Review|
|The cheapest option||Shift4Shop (in the US) or ShopBase||– Shift4Shop Review|
– ShopBase Review
|The platform with the best resources||Shopify||– Shopify Review|
|The most flexible and customizable platform||WooCommerce||– WooCommerce Review|
|The platform with the easiest setup for an online store||Shopify or ShopBase||– Shopify Review|
– ShopBase Review
And if you are still not sure, let us give you our recommendation.
Three brilliant choices of ecommerce platforms for dropshipping businesses in the US are Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
Lastly, remember that you can always read our review of them (link in the table above) before starting if you have any doubts!
2. Find a dropshipping supplier with a warehouse in the US
Another important thing to research before opening up your store is the dropshipping supplier you will use.
These are the companies that will keep your product in stock and ship them to your customers once you start receiving orders.
You could opt for the “traditional” option and go for a Chinese dropshipping supplier. However, our tip is to look at dropshipping suppliers based in the US.
These so-called US dropshipping suppliers operate from and store their products in US warehouses.
- Faster shipping times
- An easier return process
- Sell high-quality ‘Made in the USA’ products
- A better customer service
- Not holding any inventory
The only downside is that you may have to pay a bit more for the products themselves, but you will get all of the listed benefits in return!
Sounds great, right?
Once again, we have a table for you. This time, it’s an overview of some of the best dropshipping suppliers in the United States.
By clicking on the supplier’s name, a new tab will open to that supplier’s website. Besides, if you click on ‘Read Review,’ a new tab will appear where you will be able to read our review of that supplier, including things like their pros and cons!
|Spocket||General||$25 to $99 per month||Spocket Review|
|Printful||Print on demand||Free||Printful Review|
|Brandsgateway||Fashion||€295 per month||Brandsgateway Review|
|DropCommerce||General||$19 to $89 per month||DropCommerce Review|
|Dripshipper||Coffee||$30 per month||Dripshipper Review|
|Sellvia||General||$39 / $69 per month||Sellvia Review|
|Modalyst||General||$0 to $90 per month||Modalyst Review|
Tip: If you want to discover more suppliers, you can view this article for the best paid US suppliers and click here for the best free US suppliers!
3. Set up the most preferred payment gateways used in the US
Another important tip for your dropshipping store in the US is to offer your customers their preferred payment options.
To do this, you should know which payment gateways are the most popular in the US.
Luckily, we have already done some research for you.
Here are the results:
It turns out that credit cards are by far the most preferred payment method in the US, with a rate of 71.5%. This includes popular cards like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express.
Digital wallets are ranked second with a rate of 17.6%. The bulk of this rate is likely from PayPal, but wallets like Amazon Pay and Apple Pay are quickly gaining popularity too.
To sum up, if you can offer the payment methods in the following list on your dropshipping store, you will satisfy pretty much all of your visitors!
- Credit card
- Debit card
- Amazon Pay
- Apple Pay
If you struggle to choose the best payment gateway for your store, we recommend reading our article about the seven best payment gateways for dropshipping stores in 2023.
4. Learn about your dropshipping business’ expenses
Starting a dropshipping business in the US is not something you do for free.
You will need to reserve a budget to invest in your dropshipping business.
One of the first things you will have to buy is your domain.
We recommend checking out Namecheap. It offers one of the lowest prices for domains. Besides, it provides free privacy protection, which will keep your name and information private.
Luckily, a domain is not that expensive. For less than $11 per year, you can have your own professional .com domain! (Which you can then use as a custom email address as well.)
Next up, you will need to pay for your ecommerce platform. Most people choose Shopify, which costs $29 per month for the basic plan after your free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months has ended.
You may also need to pay for some dropshipping apps that add some extra functionalities to your store. However, if you choose the right apps, they may very well all be free. Check out the best Shopify dropshipping apps for beginners here!
Then, you may need to pay for your dropshipping supplier. Some US dropshipping suppliers (like CJdropshipping) are free, while others (like Spocket) can be paid in some cases and can cost you $29 per month.
Once you have started dropshipping, online marketing could be one of your highest costs.
Some people will need a advertising budget of $250 before they see any success, while others will need $1,000-$2,000, or even more.
Here is an overview of the costs that you may expect when starting a dropshipping business in the US:
|Domain (Namecheap)||~ $11 per year|
|Ecommerce platform (Shopify)||$29 per month|
|Dropshipping apps (costs vary depending on you)||~ $10-$50 per month|
|Dropshipping supplier||~ $0-$29 per month|
|Marketing||~ $0-$2,000+ per month|
For a detailed discussion on what costs you may come across when dropshipping, take a look at this article!
5. Put effort into branding your dropshipping store
Remember one of the drawbacks of starting a dropshipping store in the United States?
That’s right, a lot of people do it, which means you will face heavy competition.
In the US market, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
One of the best ways of doing this is using the power of branding.
Although ‘branding’ can be a difficult concept to explain, Ignyte does a great job:
A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. More than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes.
Brands, then, live in the mind. They live in the minds of everyone who experiences them: employees, investors, the media, and, perhaps most importantly, customers.
Simply put, brands are perceptions.From Ignyte
By branding your dropshipping store, you may go from a ‘generic’ online store that most people forget they visited the day after to a ‘genuine’ brand that people keep coming back to.
But how do you brand a dropshipping store?
Well, there are a couple of ways to get that branded feel.
For example, you could get a memorable name or logo. Or, you could get some custom-made images for your store. But it’s also possible to try and get branded packaging for your products!
As you can see, multiple things can contribute to being a brand. Some are easy to implement, while others are a bit harder.
If you would like to learn more about branding your dropshipping store, check out our seven tips here!
Dropshipping in the United States FAQs
Now, starting a dropshipping business in the US is not a light task, so we can imagine that there are still some questions left in your head!
Therefore, we have created this little frequently asked questions section to try and answer them!
Don’t see your question in here? Then don’t worry, just write your question in the comment section below, and we may add it here too.
Is dropshipping in the US profitable in 2023?
Yes, dropshipping is profitable in the US in 2023. The country offers great logistics, an English-speaking audience, a large population of 333 million, and a high GDP per capita of $69.3k.
Due to these excellent market conditions, anyone can work on their own profitable dropshipping store in the US!
How much money do I need to start a dropshipping business in the US?
You’ve already learned a bit about the expenses you can expect from a dropshipping business in the US at step number four above.
Generally, the costs of starting a dropshipping business are relatively low at the start and increase when your store scales to more considerable revenues. To start a dropshipping business in the US, we recommend having a starting budget of at least $300.
How do I find dropshipping suppliers in the US?
This is a great question. By finding a dropshipping supplier located in the US, you will lower your shipping times and be much more competitive compared to the stores that are still using Chinese suppliers.
Finding dropshipping suppliers in the US can be done in many ways, so check out our six amazing tips here!
Is dropshipping legal in the US?
Yes, dropshipping is a legal business model in the US. As a retailer, you aren’t obliged to have a product you sell in stock or in possession. (More info here)
Still, remember that you should register your dropshipping company in the US and comply with all laws regarding consumers, online stores, and taxes. Getting a clear insight into these laws is best done by consulting with a professional.
How do I find a good niche for my dropshipping store in the US?
We recommend picking a dropshipping niche that interests you or that you are passionate about.
If you want to get some inspiration and see the possibilities, check out our 25 best dropshipping niche ideas here!
How do you start dropshipping in the US?
The first step of starting a dropshipping business in the US is learning about the right mindset and the basics of dropshipping.
Once your foreknowledge is up to par, you can continue thinking about what kind of store you are going to open and which product(s) you are going to sell.
For a complete step-by-step guide on starting a dropshipping business, check out our dropshipping checklist here!
Other countries to start a dropshipping business in
Not sure yet about starting your dropshipping business in the United States?
We’ve got you covered! Check out the lists below to learn more about starting a dropshipping business in a different country:
- How to Start a Dropshipping Business in Canada
- How to Start a Dropshipping Business in Europe
- How to Start a Dropshipping Business in Australia
- How to Start a Dropshipping Business in the United Kingdom
Plus, check out our guide here, which contains the best countries to target when dropshipping!
Fantastic to see that you are interested in starting a dropshipping business!
Either way, you are starting in the right direction. The United States is one of the best choices you can make regarding what country to target.
As you saw, consumers in the US have high purchasing power and can be reached relatively easily through social media and marketing methods like Google Ads.
A final tip from us is not to go too far in your research before actually carrying out the initial steps of creating your dropshipping business.
In short, learn as you go!
Covering all the information you need to start a dropshipping store in the US from start to finish is way too much to cover in one article.
Therefore, we advise you to follow our step-by-step checklist. By doing so, you will learn everything much quicker!
Plus, check out our guide here to learn how to get your first online sales.
If you have any questions left, just leave them in the comments below.
Good luck with starting your dropshipping store in the US!