If you are ready to become your own boss and work from wherever you want but are short of money, you might be interested in learning how to start dropshipping for free.
Feeling tired of corporate nonsense? As long as you are feeling uninspired and unmotivated at work, it is not something that you should take lightly. Fortunately, you can take things into your own hands.
Want to make the leap into entrepreneurship? Interested in starting a dropshipping business but don’t want to put a huge investment in upfront?
Do not worry – we have put together some strategies to guide you as you make this shift. We can help you reach your goal.
So, keep reading to learn how to start a dropshipping business for free in 2022.
How to start dropshipping for free: Is it possible to start such a business with no money?
Unlike a physical store, a lot of startup capital is NOT required for starting a dropshipping business.
The truth is you can start certain types of online businesses, including a dropshipping business, with no money since so many free services, tools, and trials facilitate the possibility.
However, at some point, you will need to invest money into growing and scaling your business.
For example, most ecommerce platforms offer free trials so that you can set up your store during the free trial. Still, you will have to choose a paid plan sooner or later.
But why? Because you will want to modify the look and feel of your store and improve its functionality.
You will want to unlock some advanced features and create a truly great experience for your customers, won’t you?
Let us give you another example. In the beginning, you can promote your dropshipping store with no money at all.
But in today’s ever-changing digital marketing world and competitive dropshipping industry, it is best to use a combination of organic and paid marketing tactics to let the world know about your awesome business and get more people to know about your dropshipping products.
Again, starting any type of business requires some money. But there is always something that you can do to help minimize the starting costs.
So, in this guide, we will teach you how to start dropshipping for free.
Before we go any further, we suggest that you check out our ultimate dropshipping checklist, which is actually a list of the most important things that you need to do before you start a dropshipping business.
5 tips on how to start dropshipping for free
We really do not want to repeat this over and over again.
But we want you to remember that even though you can set up your dropshipping store without paying anything, you will surely have to invest money in your business sooner or later.
Now, we will focus on how to start a dropshipping business for free:
1. Identify your niche and products
Unluckily, many excellent dropshipping product research tools that can help you find some best-selling products are not free to use. But do not get disappointed!
There are many free ways to find products for dropshipping in 2022.
Here is how to find what to sell online without spending a dime:
Google Trends is a simple, yet handy tool that allows you to find a dropshipping niche and products to sell online. And the best part? It is completely free to use.
This tool takes multiple factors such as time (e.g. weeks and years), location, and language into consideration, thus helping you analyze the popularity of top search queries on Google.
In brief, it can help you figure out if a market is trending or evergreen.
We have recently created a comprehensive guide to using Google Trends for dropshipping. So, feel free to read it.
By using the Amazon Movers and Shakers List, you can find out which items are selling well over the past 24 hours.
It is also a free and easy tool to use. To use it, you just need to click on a product category and see the best-performing products in that category.
This tool is created by AliExpress to help you, as a dropshipper, find winning products for your store. Moreover, it is also free to use.
And if you are interested in AliExpress dropshipping, you may want to include this tool in your product research arsenal.
2. Find a supplier
You cannot begin your dropshipping journey if you do not find a dropshipping supplier.
Not only should you find a dropshipping supplier to source products from, but you also need to ensure that supplier is certified, reliable, and trusted.
But that process is not going to be a simple one, particularly if you do not have a whole lot of money.
Of course, it is still possible to find a good supplier, even if you are on a tight budget. Here is how to do that:
• Search on Google
A basic Google search won’t cost you anything. Still, it is a great way to do some initial research.
Simply type something like, “dropshipping clothing suppliers” into Google if you are planning on dropshipping clothing, for example.
In most cases, you will be able to identify the best suppliers for your online business. Just make sure the supplier you are willing to work with is reliable.
• Use a free supplier directory
An online wholesale & dropshipping supplier directory is actually a list, i.e., a database of suppliers. The database is usually organized by industry, niche, or product.
And most directories employ some kind of screening process to confirm that a supplier you want to contract with is both legitimate and reliable.
Some of the best online wholesale & dropshipping supplier directories do not offer their services for free.
However, there are some online directories out there that allow you to get access to its database of vetted suppliers for free. One such directory is Dropshipping.com.
3. Set up your dropshipping store
You should now set up your dropshipping store. But what does setting up a dropshipping store mean?
It means that you need to design your store (e.g., homepage and images), add products to your store, set up payment methods, add checkout and shipping settings, buy a domain, and launch your store so that you can receive orders.
No worries – we will not stray from the topic in this paragraph. We know that the purpose of this article is to teach you how to start dropshipping for free.
As we have already said, almost all e-commerce platforms offer free trials.
Thanks to that, you can set up your store with no money at all. Some of the most popular platforms for dropshipping are the following ones:
Shopify is an e-commerce platform boasting powerful e-commerce features, great integration, and synchronization options, etc.
In addition, it is a favorable choice as long as you want to set up your store with no money.
Again, although you can get started with Shopify for free, it is NOT a complete and forever-free platform.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. Unlike many other platforms, this platform enables you to sign up without adding your card details.
This means that when using Shopify, there are no hidden costs or things like, “if you forget to cancel the free trial, you will be charged…”
To sign up for a free trial, you just need to click on the green “Start Free Trial” button in the upper right corner of the Shopify site.
But when the free trial ends, you will have to choose one of the paid plans. Just take a look at the picture below.
For more information about how to set up your first store on Shopify, read our previous article.
WooCommerce is a fantastic shopping cart plugin for WordPress.
Therefore, you will need a WordPress site so that you can download, install, and use WooCommerce for free.
WordPress and WooCommerce are both free to use.
Though this could mean that you can save money, when it comes to setting up a dropshipping store using WooCommerce, you will have to pay certain fees such as hosting and domain fees.
WooCommerce is open-source software. As a result, the costs that may incur will be customizable.
And you will have greater control over how much money you spend and when compared to many other e-commerce platforms.
Another great way to set up a dropshipping store for free is to use Ecwid. Namely, it allows you to create an online store and embed it on other platforms via plug-ins.
With it, you can sell on your website, social media, and marketplaces such as Amazon all from a single dashboard.
If you only have a few items to sell (up to 10), Ecwid is entirely free.
To get started with Ecwid, just visit the Ecwid homepage and tap the “Get Started for Free” button.
You can check out our in-depth Ecwid vs. Shopify review for more information about both platforms.
4. Use free dropshipping software
A dropshipping software solution can provide you with everything you need to run and grow your dropshipping store.
There are many dropshipping software solutions out there. Some are free to use (some offer free trials), whereas others are not.
Furthermore, some integrate directly with e-commerce platforms. So, depending on your chosen ecommerce platform, select the right free dropshipping software for your online store.
For example, Oberlo is an excellent dropshipping software solution for you if you are using the Shopify platform.
It can help you automate certain processes and import products from AliExpress to your Shopify store. Plus, it offers a free trial.
5. Promote your store with free (organic) marketing tactics
Regardless of what you sell, which e-commerce platform you use, and where you sell, you must promote your store and your products.
As already mentioned, it is ideal to use a combination of free and paid marketing tactics to build a solid dropshipping marketing strategy.
However, you can start with free tactics in the beginning.
And here are some of the most effective free marketing tactics to include in your dropshipping marketing strategy:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a complex topic. But you do not have to be an SEO specialist to increase organic traffic to your online store.
As a dropshipper, your main marketing objective should be to drive qualified website traffic to your store as well as convert that traffic into real customers. With a good SEO strategy, you can achieve that.
SEO is a free marketing tactic, and it will certainly take time to see results.
But with a good SEO strategy, you can optimize your dropshipping site around specific keywords to rank higher in Google Search results.
This means that with it, you can help people more easily to discover and access your products and online content. And you can do that without paying anything.
Although some of the best SEO tools are paid, others are free to use. Now, we will create a list of the free ones because you want to learn how to start dropshipping for free:
This is one of the best free SEO tools to measure and improve your site’s performance.
Additionally, it helps you better understand your website visitors so that you can use those insights to take action.
This is another free SEO tool. Still, it helps you get suggestions for keywords related to your products or online store, find out how many times a certain keyword is searched for within one month, figure out how your keywords fit into different categories related to your brand, etc.
Ubersuggest is a free powerful tool that gives you a long list of keyword ideas based on the main keyword you enter.
And this can help you come up with product ideas, find angles for marketing, etc.
Starting a blog is one of the pillars of an excellent content marketing strategy.
When you have an awesome blog (with informative and relevant content + the right keywords) on your online store, you can easily acquire organic traffic.
In other words, people will visit your dropshipping store if your blog post ranks high in Google Search results.
Let’s say you have a blog post that ranks for the query “Best winter boots for women”.
If this is the case, you will probably attract a large number of visitors to your online store. And some of them will surely buy your winter boots.
But there is one thing to keep in mind when creating a blog for your online store. When writing your blog posts, you should not try to be aggressive and persuade people to make a purchase at any cost.
Instead, you should do your best to share informative content so that more people can make an informed purchase.
Want to succeed in a world where everything people do is shared, liked, and tweeted?
Then, you cannot simply leave social media marketing as an after-thought for your dropshipping store.
That’s why you must integrate social media into everything you do before you even get your new dropshipping store off the ground.
What’s better, you can promote your brand on social media sites with no money.
So, it is advisable to create social media accounts such as an Instagram account, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, etc., before launching your business.
How to start dropshipping for free – The bottom line
Setting up a dropshipping business with no money might seem like a daunting task.
However, with a little planning and guidance, it is perfectly feasible.
And we hope that this guide can teach you how to start dropshipping for free.