Selling Online
January 2, 2023

How To Make Money Dropshipping as a Beginner In 2023

You must be wondering how to make money dropshipping as a beginner. Well, you came to the right place!‍ Did you know that some dropshippers can see profit margins of 300% or more? Dropshipping allows you to make money by increasing the profit margin on your product.

Joana Regulacion
Table of Contents:

Is your store already on its 12th month and still not earning? Worse, are you losing money? You must be wondering how to make money dropshipping as a beginner. Well, you came to the right place!

Did you know that some dropshippers can see profit margins of 300% or more? Dropshipping allows you to make money by increasing the profit margin on your product.

Your profit margin is determined by the cost of the product you are selling, and the retail price you are selling to your customers. You need to keep an eye on your competitors' pricing to determine where you may increase your markup.

However, you should keep in mind that online retail is extremely competitive. Your profit margin needs to be realistic to avoid losing customers. They can easily compare your prices to other stores after all.

What is dropshipping: How do dropshippers make money?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment strategy for online retailers that use a third-party vendor to send products. However, instead of maintaining inventory you'll be purchasing things from a third-party provider as your buyers order them.

You can make money through dropshipping by increasing the profit margin on items you choose to sell. It sounds like a great idea because it’s permanently scalable without requiring a large upfront investment.

Because there is no minimum order quantity required, you don’t have to worry about upfront inventory expenses. Having a website and free credit card processing is all you need to get started right away.

Do you want to get into dropshipping?

Can you make money dropshipping?

To be successful in dropshipping, you must have a long-term outlook. You should be willing to put in the time and effort just like any other business.

Can dropshipping make you rich?

Most people end up quitting their dropshipping terribly. They probably think they can earn a heap of cash for part-time work. My advice? Set realistic expectations about how much you need to invest and what your earning potential is.

For a dropshipping company, there are two things you need to invest extensively in: time and money.

Make time for your dropshipping gig

Our preferred method of starting a dropshipping business, especially for those just starting out, is to bootstrap and put in some sweat equity. I think this method is preferable to investing a significant amount of money.

What’s “bootstrapping”?

When beginning a business, bootstrapping is a term used to describe the process of relying only on one's own savings. It also includes money borrowed or invested from family or friends. Businesses that are self-funded do not rely on traditional sources of capital, such as private investors, crowdsourcing, or bank loans.

What’s “sweat equity”?

When a person works hard to build a business, they develop sweat equity, which is an ownership interest or rise in value. Due to their limited financial resources, entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses want to use this method of raising equity to help fund their initiatives.

Let's say you put $100,000 into your new business and sell a 25% stake to an angel investor for $500,000. Their sweat equity is the increase from $100,000 to $1.5 million, or $1.4 million, in the value of the initial investment.

Let’s be practical here. A lot of people can't afford to quit their jobs for six months to launch an online store. Yes, dropshipping can be done while still working a 9-to-5 job. But, you have to be prepared for how challenging it is.

Your customers will have to compete for your attention. You’re already busy at work, you have to consider if you still have time for satisfactory customer service. Oh! Don’t forget you also have reasonable fulfillment times.

As your dropshipping business grows, you may be able to work full-time on it as much as your budget would let you. Each business and entrepreneur is unique though. You may end up establishing a dropshipping business that pays you $1,000–$2,000 per month.

It's possible that sustaining your dropshipping business will require less time than a 40-hour workweek. The dropshipping model provides a lot of value in terms of efficiency and scalability.

This business will need you to spend 10–15 hours a week for 12 months. Dropshipping businesses typically need at least a year of full-time work to replace an average full-time salary of $50,000. You also have to throw in a significant emphasis on marketing.

It is ideal if you can work on your business full-time to increase your profit and dropshipping success chances. In the early days you should focus all of your efforts on marketing. This is a really good strategy because momentum is vital.

How long does it take to make money dropshipping? It could take you from 6 months to a year. A lot of time and work may feel like a waste, but remember, hard work always pays off.

Your dropshipping business is more than just a source of revenue; it's an asset that can be sold in the future. When calculating your genuine return, keep in mind both the stock value and the cash flow created.

Be smart with your money

You can start and build a dropshipping business by investing a lot of money. However, this might not be the best idea. You will have the best success when you’ve done the dirty work yourself instead of outsourcing the process.

Early on, it's critical to have someone who is invested in the company's development. When you work on your dropshipping business from scratch, you can ensure its success. A lack of awareness of how your organization operates at every level can be a problem later on.

For one, it will put your company at the whim of pricey developers, programmers and marketers who will eat up any profits you're making quickly. This doesn’t mean you should do everything on your own though.It might just be a good idea to know how a few things work.

To get your business up and running, you'll need about $1,000 in liquid assets. It’s easy to start dropshipping. The challenge is how to make it profitable and something you can live off.

How much can you make dropshipping?

So, how much can you make dropshipping? In your first year, you may anticipate making between $1000-$3000 a month. This is after factoring in the 10%-30% margins.

Dropshipping can be a lucrative business, but it's not without its challenges. You just need to know what you’re getting into. 

If you want to know how to start dropshipping, here are a few things you need to familiarize yourself with:

  • the pros and cons of dropshipping
  • how much it costs to open and run a dropshipping store
  • what it takes to earn an income in dropshipping, and
  • how much is your expected income in dropshipping

How easy is it to make money dropshipping?

I wanted to show you people’s personal experiences about dropshipping. Here are some of the things I found online about what people think of making money dropshipping.

How much can you make dropshipping advice on reddit
How much can you make dropshipping earning 1k

But don’t be too excited with what you are reading. Let me show you earlier comments from people who aren’t too optimistic about dropshipping. Or are they just being realistic?

How much can you make dropshipping pessimistic comment

How much money do you need to start dropshipping?

You shouldn’t start dropshipping without any money. Because it will be much harder —maybe even impossible to be profitable if you don’t have money to spend on testing, advertising, and tweaking.

The pros can absolutely start with less, but as a beginner you are bound to make mistakes. And mistakes in business cost money.

Think about it this way, since you can start a dropshipping business for free, there are likely to be a lot of companies selling the same stuff for the same price —or much much cheaper. How do you make yourself stand out? Do you think you can start a business that makes $60,000 a year without spending much?

The idea of dropshipping is very alluring thinking you can have a functioning store for $20. But the truth is you’ll need a lot more to get traffic to that store.

Here is a list of costs you should expect when running a dropshipping store:

A subscription to an ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform can help you sell products online. It allows dropshippers like you to manage your website, marketing, sales and operations.

If you get into Shopify, for example, you can start with a $29 a month subscription which is their cheapest plan. 

Having a well-made online store on an ecommerce platform will help you reach more people. And your site can do better especially with the help of SEO tools. It also lets you build trust with customers through a unique online experience.

Tool for Dropshipping

Next, you need a tool for dropshipping that can help cut down on the time it takes to order. There are tools like Oberlo and DSers that can help you find the best suppliers. They can also solve user problems, offer support, and answer questions at any time. 

DSers work with WooCommerce and Wix, in addition to Shopify and will cost at least $19.9 per month. 

Your own site

Actually, you can get into a dropshipping business without a website. The dropshipping business model is quite flexible this way.

However, if you're serious about your store, it can cost between $10 and $20 a year to buy a new domain. GoDaddy says that you can register a domain with them for as little as $0.99. 

Fees for processing payments for sales of goods

Processing fees are another cost you should plan for. These are fees you pay each time you make a sale through Stripe or PayPal.

You can be charged a handling fee which is usually between $1 and $5 for picking, packing, and processing your order. Most drop-shipping companies will just add the cost of shipping by UPS or FedEx to your wholesale price. 

Ad campaign and Email marketing

Paid traffic can't be used as a long-term plan. To get more organic traffic to your site, you need to learn SEO.

SEO costs range from $500 to $20,000 or more per month. 5–20% of the monthly ad budget will likely go to PPC like Google Ads.

You’ll also have to consider content marketing which could cost around $2,000 and $20,000 a month. Social media marketing can cost anywhere from $250 to $10,000 per month. Lastly, email marketing costs between $300 and $2500 a month.

dropshipping cost

How To Make Money Dropshipping

Now that you know how much you are likely to spend on this business model, let’s figure out the best practices to make money.

1. Do you need a registered business to dropship?

Let’s use Shopify for this. Shopify has to send the IRS a 1099-K form for every transaction that goes through Shopify Payments. Then, you have to include these amounts when you file your taxes. This form is made by Shopify Payments, and it is sent to both you and the IRS every year.

According to Shopify, you need to enter your tax information when you set up Shopify Payments. Every business needs to give a tax ID number. If you are a sole proprietor and don't have a tax ID you can use your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).

2. Look for profitable dropshipping products

You need to know if there is even a market for what you want to sell. If not, it doesn't make sense to learn how to dropship and make money through dropshipping. This is why researching a product is important.

Look for profitable dropshipping products

You need to have at least a basic understanding of how customers think and feel. A niche dropshipping store only sells to people who are already interested in that particular niche. Because of this, more people buy from these stores. This also makes more people want to come back.

Here are a list of a few trending products to sell:

  • laser hair removal
  • swimsuits
  • athleisure
  • head scarfs
  • wigs
  • shapewear
  • men’s watches
  • temporary tattoos
  • plushies

In essence, you need to sell a product that solves an immediate problem for your target market. Another thing that you need to realize is most people buy stuff due to emotional need. The best thing you can do is to know the best dropshipping niches you can get into and which you think is the best match for you. 

3. Identify and analyze competition

Analyzing Dropshipping competitors

When done correctly, competition analysis will provide you with a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data to support your own business decisions. Competitor analysis is the process of looking at the companies, products, and marketing plans of other dropshippers you are up against.

To get the most out of your analysis, it's important to:

➡️Choose the best competitors to study.

➡️Find out what parts of your competitors' businesses you should look at.

➡️Know where to find the information

➡️Learn how you can use what you've learned to make your own business better.

 This doesn’t exactly mean being a copy-cat. Although, this can occasionally work for you. 👍

4. Find a supplier

Dropshipping suppliers and wholesalers can be found through a trusted directory. You can also research through word of mouth and recommendations. Or, you can look at the suppliers for products from companies you love.

You can try out the following suppliers:

  • AliExpress
  • Alibaba
  • SaleHoo

There are a few things dropshipping newbies should know. First, you need to take responsibility for your supplier's errors. Unfortunately, you are the face of your product so you can’t just tell customers that it’s out of your hands.

This is also why you need to find good suppliers you can vouch for. After all, one of the important things to consider is to provide superb customer service, like phone support.

You need to maintain inventory levels, have satisfactory order fulfillment, as well as implement the best practices for fraud prevention and security. You also need to consider how quickly you can handle chargebacks, and create a strong return policy.

5. Create a brand

Branding is the act of studying, designing, and implementing a distinguishing feature or collection of qualities for your business. Through this, customers can begin to identify your brand with your products or services.

Here are the 6 things you need to remember when creating a brand:

➡️Who’s your target audience?

➡️What’s your mission statement?

➡️What are your values, features, and product benefits?

➡️What are your visual assets?

➡️What’s your brand voice?

➡️How do you market your brand?

You won’t be able to control all aspects of the customer experience. But investing in creating a brand will definitely pay off.

creating a brand infographic

6. Build your store

The first and most important step in running a successful dropshipping business is deciding on which platform to build your dropship store on.

Here are some of the best eCommerce platforms for dropshipping:

1. Magento

2. Shopify

3. WooCommerce

4. BigCommerce

5. WIX

6. Shift4Shop

7. PrestaShop

An ecommerce platform must help your business to run smoothly and profitably. These should be part of its general features. Here are a few things you should consider:

➡️Ease of use



➡️Dropshipping integration Built-in marketing tools 

➡️Customer support

Your chosen platform should have dropshipping solutions and integration that matches your specific needs.

7. Start marketing

When you have everything else set up, it’s time to start with the aspect that can make ok break your business: marketing. You need to find out your customer demographic and decide which channels you should use to get your traffic.

This will also guide you about customer service management. Here are ways to drive traffic for dropshipping businesses:

1. Build a website

2. Learn and use SEO content marketing

3. Employ email marketing

4. Employ social media marketing

5. Join online communities

6. Consider YouTube

7. Set a budget for marketing

What you want to achieve is a consistent flow of site visitors that would either convert on the spot or be nurtured through your marketing funnel. Either way, this should eventually lead to a sale.

How To Make Money Dropshipping marketing infographic

8. Run your store

Running your dropshipping store isn’t as easy as it seems. Although you don’t have to worry about inventory management or product fulfillment, you are bound to encounter some challenges.

Here are a common dropshipping challenges:

  • handling refunds and returns
  • managing out-of-stock products
  • managing several dropshippers and shipments

Maintaining a dropshipping business is less hands-on than running a regular online store. However, you must be aware of these hazards while you operate your business.

Other dropshipping challenges you will likely suffer are low profit margins, fierce competition, supplier issues, legal liability issues, as well as difficulty with building a brand.

The right way to make money dropshipping in 2022

The dropshipping business concept won’t make you a millionaire overnight. Pretty contrary to what most people think. Sure, it appears to be your way to earn easy money.

All you need to do is sell other people's stuff and consider your profit margin. But when you factor in the cons, difficulties, and day-to-day management, it's far from easy.

The best way to make money with dropshipping is to use it as a stepping stone for your own store.

The dropshipping approach works best for product validation or fleshing out an online store that is lacking in specific categories. Overall, dropshipping is best used when you need product validation, have a limited budget, are new to ecommerce, and want to carry a range of products.

Dropshipping is an excellent approach to test new items with no upfront commitment. You can determine whether to go all in on a product niche by placing ads and swiftly testing the market.

Do you want to sell quality coffee products?

With a dropshipping store, you don't need to pay for or carry inventory. It is by far the cheapest option to get started in ecommerce. If you are new to ecommerce dropshipping is a good method to take baby steps with minimum risk.

Lastly, if you want to open a store with a wide range of products, dropshipping is the best option. You may start selling hundreds of items overnight with just a few third-party providers.

You can go big with the help of a very reliable supplier whose products you can private label and build your own brand. Dripshipper for example, will help you with selling quality coffee and stamp your brand on it.

It’s possible to earn with dropshipping. You can even go big if you want with just $100 if you approach it strategically!

Use dropshipping to become a better marketer - Is dropshipping worth it?

Dropshipping can help you become a better marketer. With the effort to make your dropshipping business take off, you get to hone your marketing skills. You get into copywriting, design, sales, and even video editing —all for buyers attention.

I hope this article has enlightened you about how to make money dropshipping as a beginner. Is dropshipping worth it? It definitely is!

About the author
Joana Regulacion
Joana is an engaging content writer and dynamic virtual assistant. ✍️ She helps business owners and entrepreneurs deliver a clear message to everyone and attract and engage the perfect audience. She is a proud wife, mom, and animal lover.‍ She believes that her love for learning new things is her key to writing engaging content.

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