It's 2024, and the dropshipping world looks dramatically different from what we remember a few years ago.

Artificial Intelligence has made waves, same-day delivery has become the norm, and Amazon is taking over retail space across America faster than ever.

But how does dropshipping fit into all of this? Is it still a viable way to generate income, or are there better solutions?

Let's dive in and take an honest look at dropshipping in 2024 - the good news and the bad news.

You'll be surprised by what you find!

What is dropshipping?

If you’ve stumbled upon this article but are still not sure what dropshipping actually is, we will give you a brief summary.

Dropshipping is an online business model that involves shipping products to your customers directly from your suppliers. This means that you will never hold inventory:

The dropship model - Infographic

For a more detailed explanation, you can check our article here.

There are many pros and cons to the dropshipping business model, and they really need to be considered before you decide to go ahead with it:

Advantages of dropshipping

  • No inventory. You won't find yourself stuck holding inventory that's hard to sell.
  • Low initial capital. You can start a dropshipping business with a relatively small investment.
  • Location independence. You can run your business from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Wide product selection. You can sell a wide variety of products without having to purchase or store them.
  • Scalability. You only order products based on demand, which makes scaling easier.
  • It's easy to learn. There are endless resources to learn dropshipping before starting.

Want to learn more? We've outlined all the advantages of dropshipping in this article.

Disadvantages of dropshipping

  • Low control over product quality. Since you never see the product, you can't control the quality before it goes to the customer.
  • Shipping complications. If a customer orders multiple items from different suppliers, coordinating shipping can be complex.
  • High competition. Because of low barriers to entry, the dropshipping space is very competitive.
  • Low profit margins. Dropshipping often has lower profit margins than traditional retail methods due to operating costs.
  • Dependency on third-party suppliers. If your supplier runs out of stock or fails to deliver, it could negatively impact your business.

Want to learn more? We've outlined all the disadvantages of dropshipping here.

As you can see, there are good arguments for and against dropshipping. The decision ultimately depends on whether it is a good fit for you and what you want to achieve.

And yes, before you wonder, there are also large ecommerce stores that are using or have started with dropshipping as their fulfillment method.

Why dropshipping might be worth it: A low barrier to entry

One of the biggest benefits of dropshipping is the low barrier to entry; you can start with very little money and still be a success, as shown in our article here, where Amer shared his experience of starting a dropshipping store with €300.

You will need to buy a domain, a few sample products, and some money set aside for marketing (although, technically, you can also do that for free).

One problem that many are facing today is competition. The wide availability of knowledge and low barrier to entry means others are also entering the market.

Users on Shopify, which is one of the main platforms used by dropshippers, have gone through the roof over the last years:

Total number of Shopify stores
Number of Shopify Users (2011-2023)

Tip: Have you already created your Shopify account? If not, sign up by clicking this link here to get a free 3-day trial + 1 month for $1!

Get your free Shopify trial

There are plenty of sources of information regarding dropshipping; however, there is also a great deal of misinformation out there.

Over the years, the business model was commonly used by gurus to sell courses that promise six-figure returns in a very quick timeframe. 

These courses generally offer very little value as the information can usually be found by a little Googling around.

Contrepreneur Bingo • Kevin David

So, if you're ever tempted to buy a paid dropshipping course, be warned!

Ready to level up? Our ultimate dropshipping guide for 2024 is full of our best insights, ideas, and steps to follow.

How much capital do you need to start dropshipping in 2024?

Okay, you're ready to start dropshipping, but how much cash do you actually need?

Of course, the answer is always, 'It depends.'

Do you want to hire a team of marketing experts and web designers, or do you want to do everything yourself using only free tools?

In general, we recommend having at least $500 to start dropshipping in 2024. This will help you set up a dropshipping store, purchase some product samples, and launch your first ads.

To help you determine roughly how much capital you need to start dropshipping, let's break down all the costs:

Domain

First, you need a domain.

It generally costs around $15 per year and can go up dramatically depending on how good the domain is. It is advised to shop around as the same domain can be priced differently depending on where you buy it from.

Namecheap is generally the cheapest platform to buy from, so it’s always worth it to take a look there first. They also provide free privacy protection for the Whois Registry.

Namecheap homepage

If you’re not sure yet about your store name, then you can check out this article with tons of tips for picking the right name.

Platform

Next, you will need an ecommerce platform to build and manage your dropshipping store.

Shopify is one of the most popular ones and doesn't require any technical knowledge to get your store up and running:

Homepage of Shopify

After the initial free trial, it will cost you $39 per month on the basic plan. 

Another option to consider is WooCommerce, which gives you a great deal more flexibility with your stores’ look, apps used, and monthly costs. However, it is not as powerful as Shopify straight out of the box.

You can learn more about the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping here.

Advertising is generally the second-largest cost for a dropshipping business after the cost of goods sold.

To begin with, you can put as little as $10 per day into marketing just to test audiences and general interest in your store:

Google Ads Platform
The Google Ads Interface

When you have figured out what is working and what isn’t, you can then look at scaling, which could cost as little or as much as you want.

If you're interested in learning more about all the marketing options for dropshipping stores, then you can take a look at this article here.

Sample products

Explanation of what product samples are

Product samples are a very overlooked part of setting up a dropshipping business.

As you will not be holding the product, it is crucial to know the quality of the product you are selling as well as its delivery time.

Starting a dropshipping store without physically seeing your product first is a recipe for disaster.

Someone taking product images with a camera

For one-product stores, you have virtually no excuse not to buy a product yourself first. However, for general stores, you should, at the very least, look at buying a few of your predicted best-selling products. 

As this is going to be your only means of quality control, you must get this bit right.

If you plan to have a sustainable business, you have to make sure that your products are both of good quality and arrive within a reasonable time frame.

You can also use these initial purchases to build the required dialogue with your suppliers and get to know them better.

In a previous article, Amer spoke of a very embarrassing situation in which he was put in a very awkward position with regard to packaging.

This is also another reason to always sample your products; you aren’t only sampling the product itself, but the customer experience, which will reflect onto your business.

An image showcasing cash on delivery

Dropshipping supplier

It is worth mentioning that AliExpress is not the only place to dropship from.

Yes, many of the tutorials and articles you may have looked at may focus on them, but it isn’t the only platform out there.

There are lots of 'premium' dropshipping suppliers that are located in regions like the US and Europe that can offer fast delivery times to your customers. On average, they charge about $29 per month.

Spocket, Syncee, and AppScenic are great options, to name a few.

Syncee homepage

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For more, check out our list of the best dropshipping suppliers!

And if you do want to start with AliExpress dropshipping, a few options to check out are DSers, AutoDS, and AliDropship.

Logo & social media pack

Branding is a very important element of your business that truly impacts how your customers will initially perceive your business, and it could potentially determine whether that visit results in a conversion or not.

Not only will you need a logo to go onto your store, but also social media activity for your social proof.

You can use tools like Shopify's Hatchful logo generator, which generally gets the job done for free:

Hatchful homepage

If you are looking for a more professional outcome, you can outsource this on a platform such as Fiverr or Upwork. This can usually cost between $5 to $100; just remember that you get what you pay for.

Apps

To start dropshipping, you usually need a few apps that make your life a lot easier.

Think about an order tracking and mailing list app, which are often considered essential.

The good news is most of these apps either have a free trial period or access to limited features within their app for free. 

Paid versions of these apps generally cost between $10 to $30 per month.

Shopify App store homepage

There are also others to consider, such as image compression, currency/language switchers, and SEO optimization apps.

If you’re going to use Shopify for your dropshipping store, then you can check out this article here which contains both free and paid options for every app that you need!

Store themes

Whilst Shopify and WooCommerce both offer free themes, the premium themes make your store stand out from the others and also have some cool built-in features that the free ones don’t provide.

The price of premium themes can vary from $50 to $500.

Minion Shopify theme

If you have the budget to buy a premium theme, then we would strongly recommend one; however, if you have a low budget, the free themes work just fine.

If you're wondering now what the best themes are, then check out the articles below:

Is it possible to offer fast delivery times now?

So, you've probably heard a common complaint about dropshipping: slow delivery times.

A few years back, this was a real struggle. The time taken for a product to reach the customer was one of the biggest deterrents for many would-be dropshippers, leading to plenty of customer complaints and difficult-to-manage expectations.

But guess what? Things have changed, and they've changed for the better.

Fast forward to 2024, and the dropshipping market looks vastly different. Now, with the emergence of local suppliers like Spocket, Syncee, and AppScenic, sluggish delivery times are becoming a thing of the past.

Take AppScenic, for example. It's a platform that connects dropshippers to thousands of suppliers, most of which are located in the US and Europe.

This geographical proximity to the target market means your customers can receive their orders in as little as 2-5 days. Amazing, right?

AppScenic fast shipping times

So, is it possible to offer fast delivery times in dropshipping today? Absolutely!

Can you start a profitable dropshipping store in 2024?

If you're thinking about launching your dropshipping store this year, you're probably wondering, "Is it even possible to start a profitable dropshipping business in 2024?"

Well, let us reassure you right away - it's a resounding YES.

But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First and foremost, adjust your mindset. Success in dropshipping - or in any business, for that matter - doesn't happen overnight. Dropshipping requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn.

You're likely to encounter bumps along the road, but that's okay. Every misstep is an opportunity to learn and improve. Cultivate a growth mindset and treat every challenge as a chance to become better.

A person tracking his profits

Next, strive to be unique. With so many dropshipping businesses popping up, it's crucial that your store stands out from the crowd.

Don't just sell products; sell a unique experience, sell a solution, sell a lifestyle. This could be in the form of offering unique products, customizing your offerings, or even excelling in customer service.

Find a niche that aligns with your passion and knowledge, and go all in!

Someone searching for a niche for their business

While dropshipping is an accessible business model with relatively low startup costs, don't overlook the small costs that can add up.

Shopify Payments Platform
Shopify Payments

This includes transaction fees from payment processors, taxes, costs related to returns and refunds, and any additional costs like website maintenance.

Shopify - Refunds
Refunds on Shopify

These might seem insignificant, but when unaccounted for, they can slowly eat into your profit margins!

Someone trying to figure out what a good profit margin is

So, roll up your sleeves, immerse yourself in the dropshipping world, and start creating your success story today!

Summary

Before we go to the final verdict, we've created a quick summary of this article for you, so you can easily remember it:

  • Pros of dropshipping include low initial capital, location independence, wide product selection, scalability, and ease of learning.
  • Cons include low control over product quality, shipping complications, high competition, low profit margins, and dependence on third-party suppliers.
  • Despite high competition, dropshipping's low entry barrier makes it a viable business option.
  • A minimum of $500 is recommended to start dropshipping in 2024, covering costs such as domain, ecommerce platform, advertising, and product samples.
  • You can achieve fast delivery times in 2024, thanks to local supplier platforms like Spocket, Syncee, and AppScenic.

Final verdict

So, after all this information, you're probably excited to hear our final verdict:

Final Verdict: Yes, dropshipping is worth it in 2024. It's a versatile business model that requires low initial capital, offers location independence, and opens the door to selling a wide selection of products without holding them in stock.

However, success isn't guaranteed.

The days of picking a random product on AliExpress, running some Facebook ads, and making the insane figures they tell you about on YouTube are pretty much over.

You'll need to differentiate yourself with a unique product offering, pay close attention to small costs, and maintain a growth mindset to become profitable.

We wish you a lot of success on this exciting journey!

Want to learn more about dropshipping?

Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth guide on how to start dropshipping here!

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Ecommerce enthusiast with huge interest in dropshipping and Google Ads.

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16 Comments

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi Jake,

      That’s awesome to hear! Let us know if you have any questions while building your store.

      Good luck with everything!
      – Richard

  1. Hi! great and honest article :)!

    I just have a question. You said that ” the days of picking a single product on AliExpress, running Facebook ads, and making them insane figures that they tell you about on YouTube are pretty much over”
    Do you think it would be better to set up a niche but multi-product store and get organic traffic?

    Thanks!
    Enrico

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo
      Amer Reply

      Hi Enrico, thanks for your kind words.

      I personally started with a multi-product store, had around 50 products, it was way too much. Trust me, after about 4-6 weeks, you will know what does and doesn’t sell. At this point, trim off the fat and lean into what is selling a little more. I ended up with 12 products after this process.

      Having fewer products within a niche makes it both easier to manage and easier to advertise too, whilst having a single product store is essentially putting all of your eggs into one basket.

      As for organic traffic, it’s nice to have this in the back of your mind, but this comes after quite a while once you have established a presence both in your Google rankings and on social media.

      Wish you all the best!

  2. Hi,
    great article. I wanted to start a drop shipping store last year but due to personal reason couldn’t do it. It is on my list for this year though. I think the biggest hurdle is to find a few good articles to put on the store.

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi Jef,

      Thank you for your comment! Just to be sure, do you mean you’re struggling with writing articles for your store?

      If so, you can check out this article to get a basic understanding of what it’s about. (For example, what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is)

      Good luck with everything!
      – Richard

      • Pratik Patil Reply

        Hello.I have some questions to ask you.
        Is dropshipping is becoming more difficult in these days where e-commerce sites are on boom?
        Means there is trust factor. Why people will buy my products and not directly from the popular or trusted e-commerce sites.
        Will spending money on promoting products (advertising) brings me conversion?
        Why organic isn’t enough? And some more marketing strategies.

        By the way. The article was very good. Thank you.

        • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo
          Amer Reply

          Hi Pratik, thanks for your kind feedback.

          Ecommerce is certainly becoming more competitive, but difficult? I don’t think so, as more and more people are buying online, which also creates a great deal of opportunity.

          The main reason why people would decide to shop with you over Amazon, for example, all depends on how you brand yourself. As cliché as it sounds, the customer is not just buying the product, but the idea, how you project that idea is very important.

          You will of course need to spend money to make money, and this is where you will need to use paid ads, to begin with. Unless you have a huge social media following, getting that organic traffic will be challenging when you start off.

          Good luck and have a nice day!
          – Amer

  3. Hello Richard,

    What are your thoughts on the new iOS update for Facebook Ads ? Is this killing drop shipping too ?

    Many thanks

    Thao

  4. Hello Richard,

    You said its difficult to start right now on the dropshipping business, do you know another alternative?
    Despite all this, still profitable nowdays?

    Thank you

    Wesly

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo
      Amer Reply

      Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for your question; it is most certainly still profitable even in the tough economic environment of 2021. Still, if you are starting up, you certainly have a lot of homework to do beforehand. But, if you can find a hot product to sell and capitalize before competitors come sweeping in (and they will), then you can still make it.

      Focus on profit margins and delivery times, and everything else will sort of fall into place after that.

      Good luck with it!

  5. Hi Richard
    I am trying for dropshipping but i heard that nowadays shops are getting banded.
    is that true? Or what r most important things we need to follow for increase our positive reviews from customers for our shops..
    Thank You
    Kabir

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi David,

      Thank you so much for your amazing comment! I had to use Google Translate, and it translated to something very positive 😊

      Good luck with everything!
      – Richard

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