So, by now, you are probably aware of what drop-shipping is, if you’re not, then you can read more on that here. The next most frequently asked question tends to be “how much money do you need to start dropshipping?” Well, the good news is that we’re here to tell you how to start a dropshipping business with no money. That’s right, you can start today. Interested? Read on to find out more.
What you need to start a dropshipping business with no money
So, although you don’t need a mountain of money to start your own business, you do still need to make an investment. Time. If you could literally sit there and do nothing and then start making money, then everyone would be doing it. If everyone was doing it then nobody would make any money, because the market would be so saturated. That brings us to the second thing you need. A niche. You want your offering to be unique, you need something that makes you stand out from everyone else; you need to give people a reason to buy your product, and not Maureen-from-down-the-road’s product instead.
Okay, so I have my ideas and some free time. How do I start dropshipping?
Okay so you want to get started with your dropshipping business, you’ve got some great ideas, that are yours and only yours, and you feel like you’ll have the edge to come out on top. So what do you need to do to actually take things to the next level? How do you step things up from great idea to actual working business model?
Step 1 – Create a store
That’s right, you need a store. How can people but things from you if you don’t give them a place to shop? Sounds pretty self-explanatory huh? Well, there are many platforms that you can use to start a dropshipping business, with no money investment at all. Some of the major players are eBay, Amazon and Shopify. Alas, none of these options is entirely-completely-and-forever-free. However, you can get started on any of them for free. They all work slightly differently.
Some of Your Options
- eBay – pay a fee when you sell an item, you can list your item and a percentage of what it sells for you’ll pay to eBay. This is subject to certain conditions. For example, using a standard auction listing. This is great if you want to shift your old lawnmower, but less so if you want to set up a business. There are other options for setting prices and other features, but unless eBay is running a free listing event they often cost to use
- Amazon – pay a fee per item sold, plus some additional fees too. As above, this is great if you’re clearing out your DVD rack, but less so when you’re trying to sell large volumes. Amazon has introduced a professional account for those who sell more than 35 items a month, where you pay a monthly subscription fee and it eradicates the per-item-sold fee.
- Shopify – pay a monthly subscription depending on the features that you want to access and how big you want your e-commerce empire to be. With a basic plan that starts at $29USD (yep, the price shows in dollars even on the UK site) as well as a lite plan and more comprehensive plans, you have plenty of options.
But, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that this guide is here to focus on how to start a dropshipping business with no money. We are going to opt for Shopify as they offer a 14-day free trial. Unlike many free trials, Shopify lets you sign up without adding your card details. That’s right, the only thing you agree to when signing up for the free trial is marketing emails. No hidden “if you forget to cancel we are going to charge you and it will be a lovely surprise” that we’ve all come to hate.
Step Two – Find a supplier
Ahem, that’s where we come in. We offer dropshipping on every one of our 450+ products. From fashion and fabrics to homeware and decor, we have a huge range of products that you can customise, design and sell through a third-party e-commerce platform (the store that you found and set up in step one).
We won’t charge you any fees to set up a drop-shipper account – hidden or otherwise. No free trial, just total free-freeness. Simply click the image below, fill out the form, and check your email. Signup is as simple as that.
Once you have set your account up, you’ll need to sync it to your Shopify account. You can see full details on how to do that here.
Step Three – Invest Your Time
Here is the part where the hard work comes in. Sort of. If you want to start your own dropshipping business, with no money or otherwise, we would like to assume that it’s because you love designing things. By that logic, this part won’t necessarily be hard work, it’ll be you doing your hobby somewhere different than you normally do, in order to earn a living doing what you love. Either way, whatever you call this part, it’s the bit where you need to invest your time, and set up your product range.
This is super easy to do as we have built a bespoke design interface specifically for this purpose. Within this tool, you can upload your designs, to your chosen product. You can add, remove, resize, reposition and add effects to your designs. You can add text, you can remove it, and what’s more, you can see each and every change in real-time. Our design preview lets you see exactly what your product will look like when it’s done – whether it’s a tea towel or a tea dress.
Step Four – Market, market, market
A little bit more time investment here. You need to market your products. It’s all well and good having them, but without any kind of marketing, you’re kind of relying on people just ‘falling’ into your store. There are a few ways that you can do this, although again, this is a ‘how to start dropshipping for free‘ guide, so we are going to ignore any of the paid advertising options. (For those who aren’t specifically looking to start a dropshipping business with no money, take a look at PPC. That’s paid advertising, which you can do via Google, Facebook, Instagram etc, and it will target your intended audiences specifically).
Social media is a powerful tool. You might recently have seen the story about the guy from the little bookstore in Petersfield, who tweeted about the fact that nobody had been in, for perhaps the first time ever. Sci-fi author Neil Gaiman retweeted this and the little bookstore was inundated with orders. A heartwarming tale, but also a true example of the power of social media and why it should be embraced. So, while we aren’t all internet-buddies with Neil Gaiman, we can harness the power of digital-word-of-mouth and use this to get your name out there.
It’s as easy as that
It really is super simple to set up your own Shopify store and link it with Contrado. If you still have any doubts, check out this video tutorial to see exactly how it is done.
Congratulations, that’s how you start a dropshipping business with no money
There you have it. You have a business plan. That’s how you start a dropshipping business with no money, how you earn a living with your hobby. If you want to try for yourself, then why not click below to get started.