What is Dropshipping? An Expert’s Guide to How it Works

Drop shipping is a type of eCommerce store that involves the taking of orders without the possession of any merchandise. Instead, the orders and their shipment details are forwarded to the producer, wholesaler, other retailers, or to a dispatch warehouse which delivers the goods straight to the customer.

The seller is responsible for marketing and selling a product but has little control over its quality, storage, inventory management, or delivery. By doing this, it eliminates costs related to maintaining warehouses – or even brick-and-mortar stores – acquiring and storing product stock, and employing staff for such tasks.

The drop shipper earns profit from the difference between an item’s wholesale and retail costs, less applicable merchant fees, sales expenses, or shipping costs.

In this guide, we’ll examine how dropshipping works and delve into its advantages and disadvantages. And then, to wrap up, we’ll provide some tips and tricks to arm you on your journey to taking up dropshipping as a business. So read on to get an edge on the competition!

How the Dropshipping Process Works
The dropshipping process involves several steps; here’s how it works:
Find a product to sell
Identifying the items you will offer is a vital part of any dropshipping business. Whether it’s a product that you feel passionate about or something that you have identified as having strong consumer demand, locating the right product for your store is paramount.
Find a dropshipping supplier
Finding suitable dropshipping suppliers for the goods you wish to offer comes next. This can be achieved through a wide range of means, such as wholesale marketplaces, supplier directories, and directly approaching the manufacturer itself. Examples of popular online suppliers include Worldwide Brands, SaleHoo, and AliExpress.
Set up an online store
Setting up an eCommerce platform is integral for those wishing to get into dropshipping. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of software out there for aspiring entrepreneurs. Services such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce make this process streamlined and simple.
Advertise and sell products
With an eCommerce site ready, it’s time to get your product out there and start earning. Setting up campaigns through social media, email, and adverts are all viable approaches to gaining exposure and turning a profit.
Place an order with the supplier
Having made a sale, it’s time to move forward with the transaction. You’ll need to pass on the customer’s shipping details and purchase the item from your supplier at a discounted rate. This is an essential step for completing orders and pocketing your profits.
The supplier ships the product to the customer
When the dropshipping supplier has received your order, they’ll take care of delivering the merchandise to your customer. This includes all tasks related to packing and transportation, so you don’t have to worry about shipping.

While these steps make the process seem simple, I won’t discount the fact that I like the idea of starting a dropshipping storefront and never having to lay a finger on any inventory is very attractive. Like any ecommerce business or other business models, there are always pros and cons to keep in mind. Here are a few to consider before starting your empire.

Pros and Cons of Dropshipping Business Model

In my opinion, the benefits of dropshipping and working with a third party supplier outweigh the negatives. But here are some pos vs. cons of the dropshipping model for your information.

Dropshipping Advantages

Low overhead: One of the most immediate advantages of dropshipping is its low upfront cost. By bypassing the need for stocking or storage fees, there is a much smaller financial burden before you can begin. This minimizes overhead costs and makes it easier to get up and running and start a new ecommerce business on a budget.

Flexibility: Drop shipping also provides a significant degree of versatility. You don’t have to be preoccupied with storing or organizing a wide variety of products, allowing you to trade in various categories. Commonly sold items in dropshipping include apparel, pet products, home and garden products, and health-related products – these are just a few examples.

Easy to start: Starting a drop shipping venture is considerably effortless compared to other retail options. All that’s required is a few essential tools, such as an online store and a source. But there are some disadvantages we’ll discuss below.

Dropshipping Disadvantages

Low-profit margins: One of the primary disadvantages of dropshipping is low-profit margins. Because customers order products from a supplier at a wholesale price and then resell them at a higher price, the disparity between the two represents the business’ margin of profit. On average, most dropshipping businesses can expect a profit margin between 10-15%.

Reliance on supplier: Business owners are entirely reliant on their dropshipping suppliers to process and fulfill orders. Any errors or delays on the supplier’s end can negatively impact the business and result in dissatisfied customers. Especially if you’re ordering wholesale products from overseas, it can sometimes take weeks for customers to receive products due to the supply chain.

Lack of product control: Another downside to dropshipping is the lack of control business owners have over the product and fulfillment process. Because you’re not handling the inventory or fulfillment, you must depend on the supplier to provide a high-quality product and experience to their customers.

Customer service: You’re not free from customer service and support. Just because you outsource product fulfillment doesn’t necessarily mean there is no customer support involved. If a customer is unhappy with a product, you must handle the situation and provide a refund or replace the product with an RMA (return merchandise authorization).

dropshipping example

Tips for a Successful Drop Shipping Business

If you’re considering starting a dropshipping business model, several tips can help you succeed:

1. Research and choose the right products: When dropshipping, it’s crucial to research and select items with high demand and favorable profit margins. Evaluating trends and other successful drop shippers can assist in identifying products that have the potential to be successful.

2. Find reliable suppliers: For a drop shipping business to be successful, it is essential to source dependable suppliers with a reliable supply chain. Performing rigorous research and vetting should be done to make sure they are capable of delivering top-notch products and prompt fulfillment.

3. Understand and comply with the law: For your dropshipping business to adhere to the law, it’s pertinent to be familiar with various regulations like a business license, consumer protection, advertising guidelines, and required sales tax. Make sure that you are aware of these laws and that your company is in accordance with them.

4. Use effective marketing techniques: Having an efficient marketing strategy is integral for your dropshipping venture to be successful. Utilizing various outlets, including social media, email campaigns, and paid advertising, are all great methods to get the word out about your product and make an impression on potential customers.

Implementing these tips can help you improve your chances of making it in the dropshipping industry and set up a flourishing e-commerce business.


In conclusion, drop shipping is an eCommerce store that allows retailers to offer products without the requirement of having inventory or taking care of fulfillment themselves. The system involves discovering a product to sell, tracking down a supplier or multiple suppliers, setting up an electronic store, and publicizing and selling products.

The advantages of this approach include low expenses and flexibility, yet it additionally accompanies some weak points, such as thin profit margins and less control over the item and fulfillment process.

To come out successful in dropshipping, it’s crucial to investigate and choose the right items, discover reliable suppliers, comprehend and comply with regulations, and use effective marketing techniques. Through consistent implementation of these tips you will raise your odds of success exponentially and create a booming online business with the drop-shipping model!

Frequently Asked Questions about Drop Shipping

What is the definition of dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where the inventory isn’t kept physically in-store. Instead, when an item is sold, the online business obtains it from a third party and has it delivered directly to the purchaser. In this way, the merchant never interacts or comes into contact with the product.

Is dropshipping a good business model for beginners?

The benefits of dropshipping outweigh the negatives. It can be a viable business model for first-time entrepreneurs as there are generally low start-up costs, and it’s easy to set up. Nevertheless, it’s essential to keep in mind the competition, the profit margins may be slim, and you must invest effort into advertising your products correctly to get traction.

How do I find a supplier for my dropshipping business?

There are many ways to go about it – from wholesale marketplaces, supplier directories, and contacting manufacturers directly. Generally, popular online suppliers include Worldwide Brands, SaleHoo, and AliExpress. There are also many free training videos on youtube. Just search for “how to find a dropshipping supplier.”

How do I advertise and sell products through my dropshipping business?

Promoting and selling products through your dropshipping business can be done through various channels, such as social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. To ensure success, you should focus on the channels that perform best for your business, while tracking and assessing results to optimize future campaigns.

Can I dropship internationally?

Dropshipping beyond national borders is a possibility, although it includes additional concerns like duties and taxes, delivery fees, and language issues. Thorough research of the unique needs and obstacles of international dropshipping should be done before trying to expand your business. Popular countries for dropship suppliers include the US, China, and the UK.

Who do you recommend for online stores?

Shopify is the most popular option for Dropshipping and the provider we recommend the most for an online store. We like that they also have Shopify POS integrated into the e-commerce store.


Don't worry, we don't spam

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Compare items
  • Total (0)