Are you thinking about starting with dropshipping? Or are you currently dropshipping, but you’re not sure if you’re doing everything right? Awesome! In this article, I will cover 18 things that you should know before starting a dropshipping store! I’m 100% sure you will learn something new today.
1) There is more than just dropshipping with AliExpress
Let’s start with this one.
A lot of people that are starting with dropshipping think dropshipping with AliExpress is the only option.
But is it?
There are so many options available for you!
This is great for people that don’t want to dropship from China but keep in mind that you can select a different country to ship from on AliExpress. (Source)
Take a look at these articles if you’re wondering now if there is something else available than AliExpress:
- 15 Alternatives to Dropshipping With AliExpress in 2021!
- How to Have a Fast Delivery Time When Dropshipping in 2021?
2) If you do want to dropship with AliExpress, then pay attention to this
Do you still want to start/continue dropshipping with AliExpress?
You just need to keep some things in mind when you do want to do this.
Like your mindset, upsides and downsides to AliExpress, what an “AliExpress Connection” app is, and much more!
I did write a complete guide for AliExpress dropshipping beginners.
So if you’re interested in learning more about this, then I suggest reading AliExpress Dropshipping Complete Guide for Beginners! (2021)!
3) Looking at other dropshipping stores is a great way to learn
Do you know why looking at dropshipping examples, for example, stores, Facebook Ads, product descriptions, and so on, is a great idea?
One word? Inspiration!
This is great if you’re just starting, and you have no idea how your dropshipping store is supposed to look like.
I suggest you take a look at some of my dropshipping example lists:
- 5 Bad Dropshipping Store Examples & What They Can Improve
- 8 Awesome Dropshipping Product Description Examples
- 9 Awesome Dropshipping Facebook Ad Examples
- 14 Awesome Shopify Homepage Examples
- 16 Winning Dropshipping Product Examples
- 23 Awesome Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
This way, you will hopefully have some inspiration for your own dropshipping store already!
Also, don’t forget to be original and not just copy everything…
4) Focus on creating a brand and not a one-day scam store
Branding a dropshipping store gives you the opportunity to create a long-term ecommerce store.
Branding is also great to increase the percentage of customers returning to your store.
The opportunity of a branded dropshipping store is great in 2021 because not everyone wants to put this amount of time into their business.
If you want to learn more about why branding is so important when dropshipping, then I suggest reading my other articles below:
- Dropshipping Branding: What Is It & Why Should You Care?
- 7+ Amazing Tips to Brand your Dropshipping Store in 2021!
5) Put your customer on number 1
Please treat your customer as a king (or queen).
I will start by showing you some screenshots of what will happen to your dropshipping store if you don’t treat your customers right:
And here is one more from a general dropshipping store named Shopolis.
And this one is from a dropshipping store called HYGO Shop.
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.
And then you will see more of these 1-star review pages appear.
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!
- Dropshipping Returns & Refunds: Everything You Need to Know
Keep in mind that these articles above are big articles, but they contain everything you need to know about that topic!
6) Pick your dropshipping store name carefully
Do you know why it is important to name your dropshipping store correctly?
Because the name is the identity of your dropshipping store.
Just like what your personal name is with you.
If your marketing is great, then that name will be “stuck” with people.
For example, you probably know what brand I’m talking about when I write down the following words:
That’s the power of having an awesome name for your store (or service).
If you want to learn how to pick the name for your dropshipping store, then I suggest reading 10 Tips to Choose the Best Name for Your Dropshipping Store
In that article, I will also show you how to purchase a domain name and get a logo.
7) Pick your ecommerce platform wisely
If you want to open a dropshipping store, then you can go with an ecommerce platform that includes hosting, or you can use WordPress or WooCommerce and host it your self.
These two are the most popular options that people choose when they open a dropshipping store.
Both have upsides and downsides.
This step is important because, without any hosting, your dropshipping store can’t be online, and you can’t sell any products!
If you want to learn how to pick the best ecommerce platform for your dropshipping store, then I suggest reading the articles below:
- How To Get Your Dropshipping Store Online in 5 Steps? (2021)
- 13 Shopify Alternatives for Your Dropshipping Store (Ecommerce Platforms)
If you don’t want to read it now, but you want to know what ecommerce platform I recommend the most here on this blog, then here you go:
8) A niche dropshipping store is nice, but you can also go for a general store
There are upsides and downsides to both having a general store and a niche dropshipping store.
But one tip I can give you already is that if you go for a niche dropshipping store, then please pick a niche that you’re at least a bit interested in.
This is another big reason why people fail with their dropshipping store. They pick a niche for their dropshipping store just because they think they can earn money with it.
They don’t think about the future, “the grind”, the time that they need to work, and work on their store before they see success (if they ever do) — for example, the time before you see your first sale might be a while.
If you’re not interested at all in your niche, then this period will be really hard for you.
A lot of people give up after some time, simply because they are bored with their niche.
For example, don’t pick gardening as your dropshipping niche if you hate gardening yourself.
You will have a hard time communicating with your customers, maybe making blog posts, coming up with newsletters, or simply writing product descriptions that convert your target audience into buyers (people that love gardening).
If you’re not sure which one to pick, then I suggest reading General vs. Niche Dropshipping Store | What Is the Best Choice in 2021?
That article covers all the upsides and downsides to having a general store or a niche store, and I will give you my recommendation if you’re just beginning with dropshipping!
And also, if you have already decided to go for a niche dropshipping store, then these articles will definitely help you further:
- Top 10 Dropshipping Niches to Avoid as a Beginner in 2021
- How to Find the Best Niche for Dropshipping? (7 Methods)
- How to Find out If a Dropshipping Niche Could Be Profitable in 2021?
9) Being unique is important
Most people fail with their dropshipping store because they are not unique.
There are so many people learning about dropshipping and starting dropshipping stores right now.
For example, type in Google Trends “Dropshipping”.
Do you see how popular dropshipping is?
Everyone wants a piece of it because so many of these “gurus” advertised it as an easy way to earn money online. (Source)
But do you know what the sad thing is?
Most of them don’t put any effort into their dropshipping store.
They open their store, import some products without changing anything, and start advertising.
This means that a lot of people that are dropshipping are selling the same products with the same information they got from maybe even the same dropshipping suppliers.
Of course, having the same product is not a bad thing yet, but to also have the same images, description,s and so on will definitely not help you!
So, how to be more unique than other dropshipping stores out there?
If you want to learn how to be more unique than other dropshipping stores out there, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
That article goes over all the things that you can do to stand out from the crowd!
10) Take your time doing product research, and product research tools are NOT necessary
Alright, this might be the opposite of what most “gurus” tell you, but you don’t need a product research tool to do product research for your dropshipping store.
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.
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 some of these 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 want to learn more about product research, then I suggest reading the articles I linked to below:
- How to Find Winning Dropshipping Products? (Product Research Methods)
- What Is a Winning Dropshipping Product? (+ Examples)
- 16 Winning Dropshipping Product Examples | Inspiration for 2021!
And, if you’re interested in product research tools, then you can read The 17 Best Winning Dropshipping Product Research Tools written by me!
11) There are some products that are better to be avoided
This one is important to know while you’re doing your product research.
There are some products out there that are better to be avoided while dropshipping.
I made an easy to follow list for you where I will go over 13 products that are better to be avoided. You can find it here:
12) Don’t focus on a lot of products at the same time when you’re just beginning
When you’re just beginning, I would suggest you import 5-20 products in your dropshipping store, but only really focus on 1-3 products at the same time.
These products are going to be the first products that you’re going to start advertising with.
The rest of these products are there to make your store look alive and real!
Do you want to learn more about this? Like how to make these 1-3 products perfect and why you shouldn’t focus on that many products at the same time when beginning with dropshipping? Then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
13) Have money available to purchase the items
A common dropshipping beginner mistake is thinking that if someone purchases on your dropshipping store that you will receive the money instantly.
This depends on what payment gateway you’re using.
For example, if you use Shopify Payments, then this is how long it will take before you get paid from Shopify:
You can read more about getting paid with Shopify Payments here. It also includes some extra information if your business is located in Japan.
With PayPal and Stripe, it tends to show up in your account immediately, but if you want it on your bank account, then it will take a bit longer.
Also, don’t forget that these payment gateways can put your account on hold if you’re getting a lot of refunds or when a lot of customers are not getting their orders.
You can learn more about how to correctly use PayPal without getting banned in the article I linked to below:
Another great tip regarding these payment gateways is to check how much fees they charge. You can find more information about the fees here.
But what to do if you need the money on your bank account?
Do you wait until you receive the money and then purchase the item(s)?
You just need to set some money aside dedicated to ordering your orders.
For example, you can use a credit card where you can need to pay the credit card debt after 30 days. This is usually more than enough time to receive the money!
Oh, one more bonus for using a credit card, you can apply for a credit card that gives you cashback or even miles with each purchase!
Or you can use a debit card and put some money on that and purchase your dropshipping orders with that card. You can find more information about debit cards here.
14) There is more out there than just Facebook Ads
Let me start with this one.
A lot of people learned that Facebook Ads are the number one (and maybe only place) to do advertising for a dropshipping store, but that’s simply not true.
There are so many more ways to advertise your dropshipping store, then just using Facebook.
Think about using Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and even Twitter.
Just make sure that your target audience is online on these platforms before you start advertising!
There are both paid and free options available!
And please note, I’m not saying Facebook Ads are bad for dropshipping stores, but I just want to open your eyes a bit that there is so much more possible!
If you’re interested in learning how to advertise your dropshipping store, then I suggest reading one (or more) of the articles I linked to below:
- 8 Amazing Ways to Get Free Traffic to Your Dropshipping Store in 2021
- 10 Ways to Advertise Your Dropshipping Store (No Facebook!)
If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Ads, then I suggest reading these articles:
- Facebook Ads for Ecommerce Stores: A Beginner’s Guide
- 13 Facebook Ad Beginner Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
- Should You Use Facebook Ads for Your Dropshipping Store?
- How To Quickly Test Products With Dropshipping (Save Money)
15) Be prepared to spend money to make money
You’re starting a real business, and starting a business costs money!
Please don’t fall for the trap that you can start dropshipping without any money.
Yes, alright, you could start for free (with a free Shopify trial, for example), but sooner or later, you will need to spend money.
If you’re interested in knowing what kind of costs are behind the opening of a dropshipping store, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
16) A paid theme is not necessary but could increase your sales
Do you need a paid theme when you’re starting with dropshipping?
Well, you can purchase a paid theme, but you don’t need it yet when you’re just beginning with dropshipping.
Definitely, if your budget is tight, then your money is best used to grow your dropshipping store.
It’s wise to start with a free theme.
If your budget is a bit bigger, then purchasing a paid theme is a great way to increase your conversion rates (if you choose the right theme).
Plus, a paid theme could help you with the design of you’re dropshipping store. (To be more unique)
Like I said above, you don’t want to come over as a scammy one-day store.
If you want to read more about who should pick a free theme and who should pick a paid dropshipping theme, then I suggest reading my other article here.
If you decided to go with a paid theme (or if you want to know what is out there), then I suggest reading The 10 Best Shopify Dropshipping Themes in 2021!
That article also contains the best free Shopify theme for when you’re just beginning with dropshipping!
17) Don’t give up if you got little or no sales at the beginning
This is a big reason that people fail with dropshipping.
Some people give up early, some people after a long time (like a year), but most of the time when people don’t see any process, they give up.
If you’re at this stage of not seeing any process, then I suggest you to keep learning.
Keep trying new things. Just don’t give up!
There is so much that you can learn, and don’t forget, you’re running an ecommerce store.
Don’t only try to search for information about dropshipping stores.
Information for ecommerce stores also applies to dropshipping stores!
Yes, your budget might not allow it anymore, but know that there are ways to do the things that you think only cost money, for free. You can read more about this here:
You could pause your dropshipping store and advertisements for a month or so while you’re learning new things.
While you pause your store, you can also think about stuff that you can change at your dropshipping store, like the design, products, product descriptions, different images, and so on.
If you really want to give up, then at least bring the things you learned from your dropshipping store into your new adventure!
If you want to read more reasons why people fail with dropshipping, then I suggest reading 12 Reasons Why Most People Fail With Dropshipping in 2021!
18) You don’t need a paid dropshipping course to learn dropshipping
If you’re new to dropshipping, then you probably think something like “dropshipping equals getting rich fast” or “dropshipping equals easy money”.
Let me burst those dreams for you, I’m sorry…
A lot of so-called “gurus” talk about this, but do you know what they all have in common? They got a course (and most are not even that cheap)!
Maybe you should buy their course and follow them step-by-step to get rich, right?
So what can you do then?
I suggest reading my other article here:
In that article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know about these so-called “gurus”, and why they sell courses to everyone.
I’ll also include how to learn dropshipping for free, so you don’t have to pay for any dropshipping course!
So there you have it!
Everything that you need to know when you’re a dropshipping beginner.
I hope this article was an easy way for you to see what you will need to know when you’re just beginning with dropshipping.
If you want to learn more about dropshipping, then don’t forget to read my complete guides below:
- Shopify Dropshipping Complete Guide 2021: Create Your Store!
- AliExpress Dropshipping Complete Guide for Beginners! (2021)
And also, if you want you to get started with Shopify, then you can click here to get a free 14-day trial!
If you have any suggestions for this article or if you got any questions about dropshipping in general, then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top.
Let me know if you learned something new today!
Good luck with your dropshipping store, and don’t forget that success doesn’t come overnight!