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How Old Do You Have To Be To Dropship? A Guide For Age 15, 16, 17, 18

How old do you have to be to dropship? This guide breaks down the age requirements for teen dropshippers. Find out if you're eligible!

21 minutes
WRITTEN BY:
Aleksandra
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Chief of Content Marketing
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.
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Chief of Content Marketing

Have you ever wondered how old do you have to be to dropship? Are you a teenager looking to start your own online business and make some extra money? If so, you’re in the right place.

Dropshipping has become an increasingly popular business model, especially among young entrepreneurs. It allows you to sell products online without the need for inventory or upfront costs. However, age restrictions can sometimes be a barrier for teenagers who want to venture into this industry.

In this article, I will explore the possibilities and provide a comprehensive guide for individuals aged 15, 16, 17, and 18 who are interested in entering the world of dropshipping.

How Old Do You Have To Be to Dropship?

When it comes to dropshipping, age requirements can often be a roadblock for young entrepreneurs.

However, my straightforward response is that there are no age restrictions for starting a dropshipping business. Hence, teens have the freedom to initiate and possess dropshipping ventures, although there are additional factors to consider.

 Unfortunately, many e-commerce platforms, payment processors, and advertising campaigns have strict rules that require individuals to be at least 18 years old. Thus, this can prevent teenagers from opening accounts on these platforms and accessing the necessary resources to start their dropshipping business.

For example, Shopify strictly requires users to be older than 18 in order to make an account. Hence, these are their Account Terms. 👇

shopify terms

Also, the legal considerations for young dropshippers go beyond just age restrictions. In some cases, there may be additional requirements such as obtaining business licenses or permits, especially if you plan to operate as a legal entity.

💡 Tip: Read about Seller’s Permit vs. Business License: What Do You Need to Start Selling Online?

However, despite these challenges, dropshipping can still be a viable business model for teenagers. So, let’s see if there’s a right answer to the question “How old do you have to be to dropship?”.

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How Does Dropshipping Work?

dropshipping process

This business model involves a process called order fulfillment through a third-party supplier.

Essentially, as a vendor, I don’t handle inventory or shipment directly. Instead, my focus is on marketing and managing my online presence.

So, when a customer places an order, I forward it to my third-party dropshipping supplier, who then takes care of packaging and shipping the product to the customer.

Thus, this allows me to eliminate the need for warehouse space or inventory management, which can be a huge advantage. With this streamlined process in place, I can focus on growing my business and providing exceptional customer service.

👉 Read about Everything You Need To Know: Dropshipping Business Model Explained.

Pros & Cons of Young Dropshipping Entrepreneurs

Next, I will list the Pros & Cons when dropshipping as a young entrepreneur. Let’s see!

✅ PROS

➡ Adaptability

Young entrepreneurs tend to be more adaptable and open to new technologies and trends, which is crucial in the fast-paced world of dropshipping. Hence, you can quickly learn and implement new strategies and tools to stay ahead of the competition.

Plus, you have the freedom to experiment with different business ideas and strategies. So, you can take risks and try out new approaches without the fear of failure holding them back

➡ Low Startup Costs 

And, this might be the perfect venture for you! Of course, you are still young and financially dependent. However, with the dropshipping business model, there is no need to invest in inventory upfront. Instead, you only purchase products from suppliers when customers place orders.

Additionally, concerns regarding warehousing and storage expenses are eliminated. Since you do not maintain inventory, there is no need to rent or purchase physical space to store products. This significantly reduces overhead costs, allowing for the allocation of funds to other aspects of the business.

Dropshipping also saves costs by removing the need for shipping and fulfillment management. Furthermore, it eliminates expenses associated with product development and manufacturing.

👉 Read about How Much Does It Cost To Start Dropshipping In 2023?

➡ Tech-savviness

Next, you are often more tech-savvy and comfortable with online platforms and tools. Hence, this can give you an advantage in managing your dropshipping business, including setting up and optimizing websites, managing social media marketing, and utilizing various digital tools for automation and analytics.

➡ Creativity

What I admire about you as a teen the most is that you tend to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the table.

Hence, you are more likely to think outside the box and come up with unique marketing strategies or product offerings that can help you stand out in the competitive dropshipping market.

❌ CONS

➡ Age Restrictions

One of the biggest challenges to dropship as a teen is the requirement for someone over 18 to enter into certain contracts and agreements.

This can pose a problem for young entrepreneurs who want to establish relationships with suppliers or payment processors that have age restrictions.

➡ Lack of experience

Unfortunately, you may lack the necessary business experience and industry knowledge to effectively run a dropshipping business.

So, you may struggle with aspects such as inventory management, customer service, or financial management, which can impact the overall success of your venture.

➡ Limited financial resources

Another disadvantage is that you may have limited access to capital, making it challenging to invest in inventory, marketing, or other essential aspects of your dropshipping business.

Also, this can hinder your ability to scale your business and compete with more established players in the market.

➡ Unrealistic expectations

I know you are young and wild and free, and that’s all good! However, most of the teens failed because of their unrealistic expectations about the potential success and profitability of their dropshipping business.

Likewise, they underestimated the time and effort required to build a successful venture, which led to frustration or giving up too soon. So, be careful about this.

➡ Lack of industry connections

Young entrepreneurs may lack industry connections and networks that can be valuable in the dropshipping industry. And, building relationships with suppliers, influencers, or other entrepreneurs can be beneficial for sourcing products, marketing collaborations, or gaining industry insights.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business as a 15, 16, 17, 18 Year’s Old

So, instead of asking “How old do you have to be to dropship”, let’s get to the part on how to dropship.

In this article, I will guide you through the most crucial steps to succeed in this dropshipping business venture. Let’s start! 👇

Step 1- Find A Product To Sell

When it comes to starting a dropshipping business, one of the first tasks is finding a product to sell. This step is crucial as it sets the foundation for the success of your venture. 

There are multiple methods to find dropshipping products. For example, you can directly access the Google search engine and type in specific keywords related to the products you are interested in dropshipping. 

Let’s assume you want to dropship baby products, so you would simply type “baby products” into the search bar. In response, Google will likely provide you with a list of results. 👇

how old do you have to be to dropship

However, I do not recommend this approach because it does not distinguish between legitimate dropshipping opportunities and potential scams.

Here’s the method I personally use to find dropship winning products:

I employ product research tools, such as one of my preferred options, Adserea. This tool allows me to monitor advertisements on social media platforms and observe how well these products are selling.

By using Adserea, I can uncover profitable products, create compelling ad copy, optimize advertising conversion rates, generate sales-driven product descriptions, seamlessly import products, and access valuable resources for any niche.

adserea

Furthermore, once I find my winning product, I gain access to comprehensive information about its sales performance, pricing, competitors, supplier list, and more.

how old do you have to be to dropship

I also find the Dropshipping.com product directory very helpful. This directory not only lists suppliers and market prices but also calculates potential profits I may obtain from each product.

how old do you have to be to dropship

👉 Check out The Ultimate Guide: How To Find Products To Dropship In 2023.

Step 2- Find Reliable Dropshipping Suppliers

The next step holds great significance, and I personally attach great importance to it as I aim to avoid falling victim to dropshipping scams and incurring financial losses.

Therefore, I recommend seeking out dropship suppliers who specialize in or offer the kind of products you intend to sell. Additionally, once you locate them, establish collaborative partnerships or agreements to ensure a consistent supply of inventory.

For instance, I consistently come across valuable information within the supplier directory provided by Dropshipping.com. They offer a comprehensive directory containing over 2000 reliable suppliers for you to select from.

dropshipping.com suppliers

These directories enable me to refine my search based on my specific dropshipping niche, supplier location, shipping costs, and other relevant criteria.

Furthermore, I gain access to valuable information regarding each supplier’s pricing, order processing time, minimum order quantity (MOQ), warehouse location, product range, and additional pertinent details.

Step 3- Setting Up Your Dropshipping Store

Setting up a dropship store has become incredibly convenient these days, with plenty of cost-effective alternatives available.

If you possess coding knowledge, you can construct your own online store from scratch. Simply use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, granting you the flexibility to personalize it to your liking.

However, I recommend saving your valuable time by utilizing popular website builders to establish your store.

For example, I personally use the Shopify eCommerce platform, which offers a wide range of pre-designed store themes that can be easily customized. The best part is, you don’t need any coding skills. Additionally, it provides an impressive array of customizable options.

how old do you have to be to dropship

Furthermore, their drag-and-drop editor simplifies the process of creating high-converting and visually appealing landing pages.

Moreover, Shopify seamlessly integrates with numerous dropshipping apps, guaranteeing complete automation of your dropshipping business.

Learn How To Set Up Your First Store On Shopify [No.1 Beginners Guide]. 

Step 4- Registering a Business and Domain Name

When starting a dropshipping business, one of the important steps is registering a business and purchasing a domain name. This process is necessary to establish your online presence and build a professional image for your business.

➡ Registering a business

To register a business, you will need to determine the legal structure of your venture, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), and comply with any local or state regulations. So, if you are under 18, you will need someone older to complete this step on your behalf as there may be age restrictions for registering a business.

👉 Read about Do I Need an LLC For Dropshipping? The Sellers Guide.

➡ Buy a domain name

However, there are no age restrictions for purchasing a domain name. This means that even if you are under 18, you can still acquire a domain name for your dropship business.

So, when having an online store, there are two essential components: a domain name (which serves as the address of your website) and hosting (which enables your website to be accessed online).

There are numerous providers available where you can purchase both your domain name and hosting, such as Bluehost or GoDaddy.

For instance, I have personally had a positive experience with Bluehost. Not only does it provide domain name services, but it also offers an affordable option starting at $9.95 per month. 👇

bluehost

Additionally, Bluehost provides the added benefit of a complimentary SSL certificate, ensuring the highest level of security for users’ websites.

Notably, it excels in optimizing WordPress hosting, making the installation and management of WordPress websites seamless for its users. Therefore, I highly recommend Bluehost to you.

Step 5- Marketing Your Store

Last but not least – Marketing! What’s sales without marketing? Well, this simply is not working dear dropshippers. 

So, there are various techniques in digital marketing that can be used to drive traffic to your online store. To start, I recommend incorporating search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, email marketing, and paid promotions.

Hence, social media platforms are rocking the world today! Hence, with so many users aka your potential customers, you can boost your sales quickly. For instance, Facebook had 2.989 billion monthly active users in April 2023.

Plus, you have various options to advertise your dropship business on both platforms. In addition, on Facebook ads, you have image ads, video ads, Lead ads, Dynamic ads, Story ads, Collection ads, Slideshow ads, and Messenger ads.

Additionally, you can enhance your dropshipping sales by implementing marketing tactics such as cross-selling and up-selling, offering promotional codes, referral programs, and more.

💡 Tip: Read and Learn about Dropshipping Marketing: 14 Best Practices For Your Online Store in 2023.

Furthermore, I suggest integrating video marketing into your dropshipping marketing strategy, as it allows you to showcase your products in a visually captivating manner and demonstrate their usage, features, benefits, and more to potential customers.

👉 Check out the 10 Best Dropshipping Video Ads Service For Aspiring Dropshippers.

Lastly, I advise automating these marketing endeavors using tools. For example, you can explore the 16 Best Marketing Apps available on Shopify.

Can You Dropship From AliExpress as a Young Entrepreneur?

So, how old do you have to be to dropship from AliExpess?

I hate to break it to you, but AliExpress requires users to be at least 18 years old to use their platform, which means you need to ensure you meet this age requirement before starting a dropshipping venture.

aliexpress minors requirements

What’s more age verification is an important step in the dropshipping process, especially when it comes to selling age-restricted products. Hence, some products, such as alcohol, tobacco, or firearms, have specific age restrictions and may require additional verification or licensing.

So, I advise you to research these legal requirements to avoid potential consequences, such as fines or legal repercussions, for selling age-restricted products without proper verification.

👉 Read about Is AliExpress Legit And Safe For Buying And Selling?

What Is The Minimum Age Requirement For Accepting Payments In A Dropshipping Store?

When it comes to accepting payments in a dropship store, age restrictions and requirements must be taken into consideration. Hence, different platforms have different requirements.

For example, PayPal age limit is over 18 years old, for accepting payments. However, an alternative option like Stripe requires users to be 13 years old and above to create an account. But, remember that if you are under the age of 18, Stripe requires a legal guardian to sign off on your Stripe account before they are able to transfer funds to your bank account.

So, as a minor, you will probably need an adult to assist with payments. So, certain information from the adult may be needed, like their legal name, address, and social security number.

Also, the adult may need to set up and operate the payment account on behalf of the minor, ensuring compliance with the platform’s terms and conditions.

👉 Check out the 7 Best Payment Gateways For Shopify In 2023.

So, as a young dropshipper, you must be fully aware of all the legal concerns and requirements if you want to have a legitimate dropshipping business. Thus, here I will list the most important legal requirements to consider. 👇

🔸 Age Restrictions

One of the main legal concerns for you as a young dropshipper is your age. As I already mentioned above, many dropshipping platforms and payment processors require individuals to be at least 18 years old to create an account or engage in financial transactions.

So, you may need to find alternative platforms or seek parental consent to comply with these age restrictions.

🔸 Business Registration

Depending on the jurisdiction, you may be required to register your dropshipping business with local authorities. This includes obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally.

Also, it is important to research and comply with all legal requirements specific to the location where the dropshipping business is being conducted.

🔸 Tax Obligations

Dropshippers, regardless of age, are responsible for fulfilling their tax obligations. This includes reporting and paying taxes on any income generated from the dropship business.

So, since you are a young dropshipper I highly recommend you to consult with a tax professional or seek guidance from your parents to ensure compliance with tax laws. 

👉 Learn about Dropshipping Taxes and Payments – Must-Know Facts.

🔸 Consumer Protection Laws

You can’t just jump into the dropshipping venture. Hence, there are laws and regulations to take care of, and the ones that require your utmost attention are the consumer protection laws and regulations.

This includes accurately representing products, providing clear and transparent information about shipping and returns, and handling customer complaints in a timely and fair manner

🔸 Intellectual Property Rights

Furthermore, you need to be aware of and respect intellectual property rights. This includes avoiding copyright or trademark infringement when using product images, descriptions, or brand names.

So, you should obtain proper authorization or use royalty-free and original content to avoid legal issues.

🔸 Privacy and Data Protection

So, while running your dropshipping business, you will find yourself collecting and storing customer information, such as names, addresses, and payment details.

Therefore, you must comply with applicable privacy and data protection laws, such as obtaining consent for data collection and implementing appropriate security measures to protect customer information.

👉 Also, I advise you to learn about Dropshipping Accounting: Tips For Managing Your Finances.

What Is The Best Age To Start Dropshipping?

As a dropship enthusiast, I believe there is no specific age at which one must start dropshipping. In fact, in my opinion, always is a right the right time! 

Hence, the dropshipping statistics show no signs of stopping. This business model is expected to reach  Rather, it is important to consider certain factors when determining the best age to embark on this entrepreneurial journey.

how old do you have to be to dropship

Also, don’t be afraid of all the dropshipping mistakes and pitfalls you’ve heard. It doesn’t mean that this is going to be your story. Hence, there are various dropshipping platforms and communities, like Dropshipping.com that teach you do to it right.

In short, it is essential to consider legal requirements, acquire the necessary skills and knowledge, and involve parents in the process. With the right mindset and support, dropshipping can be a rewarding and profitable venture at any age.

For example, I admire Drayson who gained practical experience with dropshipping while he was in his second year of college. 👇

young dropshipper

In that period, he established a Shopify store to market iPhone covers, which quickly gained popularity. Subsequently, he expanded his product range and expanded his business to draw in a larger customer base.

Presently, at the age of 21, Drayson has amassed more than $2 million in earnings from his dropshipping venture. Consequently, he aims to share his expertise with aspiring dropshippers and increase the prevalence of this business model.

What’s more, Kostify made his first $1000 at only 15 years old. And, he claims that it all starts with finding your winning dropshipping products. Hence, that’s what he did using Minea. Check this out. 👇

As you can see, there’s no real answer to the “How old do you have to be to dropship”. 

Why Is Dropshipping Ideal For Teenagers?

Dropshipping is an ideal business model for teenagers due to several benefits and advantages it offers. 

➡ First thing first, you know that renting an office is actually not a small investment nowadays. But, with dropshipping all you need is a laptop or PC, and you can work from any place in the world. So, you don’t need to ask your parents for office-kind-of-costs.

➡ Moreover, the dropshipping business model eliminates the need for inventory. Consequently, there’s no requirement to rent a warehouse or transform your own space into a storage facility. Instead, you can rely on your suppliers to handle these logistics on your behalf.

➡ Additionally, dropshipping allows you the freedom to test various products without the need to purchase them upfront. Also, while advertising expenses are necessary, if a particular product fails to generate sales, you can easily switch to another option.

Consequently, the risk level associated with dropshipping is significantly lower compared to other business models.

How Did I Get My First Sale As a Dropship Youngster??

First things first, since I was sure I was going to use social media to start dropshipping, and I knew how important is to find the winning product in order to succeed. So, I used the Adserea product research tool. 

Using this tool helped me search for products on TikTok based on several metrics. Hence, these metrics specify exactly what you are looking for, and find it much quicker! Take a look.👇

how old do you have to be to dropship

Furthermore, since I was 17 years old when I started, I had a huge help from my mom, who opened an LLC for my dropshipping business. Also, I always tend to stay up-to-date with all the legal requirements and tax obligations.

👉 Check out the 10 Best TikTok Ad Spy Tools [Honest 2023 Review]. 

So, the first sale I made was because of the persuasive TikTok ads and high-quality videos I made showcasing my products. Hence, I was posting 5-6 TikToks a day. After 3 days, I made my first sale.

👉 Check out my PiPiADS Review 2023: Is This The No. 1 TikTok Ad Spy Tool?

However,  I also experimented with different ad placements, copy, and visuals to attract potential customers.

Additionally, I focused on adding value for my customers by providing detailed product descriptions and high-quality images that showcased the benefits and features of the products. This allowed customers to make more informed decisions and increased their confidence in purchasing from my store. 

💡 Tip: Read about The Power Of Product Advertisement: How To Increase Your Sales?

What’s more, as I already mentioned above, finding reliable dropshipping suppliers wasn’t easy at all. But, thanks to online supplier directories, like Dropshipping.com I managed to find the perfect ones for my socks dropshipping business

By combining these strategies and techniques, I was able to generate that first sale and kickstart my journey as a successful dropshipper.

Plus, now I am planning to design my own socks and use print-on-demand dropshipping services for this.

My Advice To First-Time Dropshippers?

As someone who has had experience in the world of dropshipping, I have some advice for first-time ecommerce entrepreneurs.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that success in this field doesn’t come overnight. It requires dedication, hard work, and a lot of learning along the way. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. But, keep pushing forward and stay persistent.

So, one key factor is the competitiveness of your chosen niche. Conduct thorough research to identify a dropshipping niche with potential customers and limited competition.

👉 Check out the Best 8 Profitable Niches With Low Competition For Dropshippers.

Additionally, consider the demand for your products. For instance, you can always check on any product interest for free. Hence, Google Trends got your hands full when it comes to product demand. Thus, simply type in your keyword, and you get it. 👇

google trends

💡 Tip: Check out my Step-By-Step Guide + Top 24 Baby Products For Dropshipping.

Also, consider the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.  Marketing is everything here! A solid advertising budget and investment in high-quality products can greatly impact your profitability.

However, for example, if you’re considering dropshipping on Amazon, it’s important to understand the criteria set by the platform. Amazon has specific requirements for dropshippers, including product availability, shipping times, and customer service. 

To sum it up, my advice to first-time dropshippers and entrepreneurs is to be prepared for the challenges that come with a dropshipping venture. Put in the necessary work and stay committed to your goals. Remember that profitability depends on factors like niche competitiveness, customer demand, advertising budget, and product quality. 

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Summing Up

In summary, the dropshipping business model can be a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. It allows for a low startup cost and provides flexibility, making it accessible for those with limited capital and resources.

And, as I can conclude, there’s no right answer to the “How old do you have to be to dropship”. Thus, everyone can do it at any time. However, there are various dropshipping platforms and payment gateways that require users to be over 18 years old. But, don’t let this be your burden.

With dropshipping, you have lots of benefits, like minimal inventory management, a wide range of products to offer, and the potential for high-profit margins. However, there are challenges to consider, such as fierce competition, customer service demands, and the need for effective marketing strategies.

So, be patient, don’t hesitate, and ask for help and support from your parents or any adult! Dropshipping requires dedication, hard work, and a lot of learning along the way. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. But, keep pushing forward and stay persistent.

About the Author

Profile picture of Aleksandra
Aleksandra Miteva
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.