Dropshipping is a profitable online business model that allows you to sell products without having to handle inventory, fulfillment, or shipping.
Essentially, dropshipping is the process of acting as a middleman between the customer and the supplier. You simply send your manufacturer the order information for each sale, and they fulfill and ship the item(s) for you.
Dropshipping can be a highly profitable venture, with business owners only having to pay for the products they sell. That means entrepreneurs of any background can start their own dropshipping business for free, without needing any capital to invest in products.
What Is Free Dropshipping?
Free dropshipping is a way of starting a dropshipping business without paying anything upfront. This means you don’t have to buy or maintain a physical inventory. Instead, you only pay your supplier when you make a sale, and they handle the rest. Free dropshipping may also include free tools and resources to set up your store, such as hosting, domain, marketing, and website-building tools.
If you want to engage in dropshipping without any initial investment, adhere to the following six guidelines:
- Take advantage of free services, platforms, tools, and plug-ins to establish your online store, import products, handle product fulfillment, and perform other essential tasks.
- Utilize a cost-free dropshipping platform like Trendsi for sourcing products and managing your business.
- Use free website themes on your platform of choice instead of paying for a custom theme. You can always update this later.
- Utilize free logo makers like and other graphic design tools such as Canva for any social media content or website content instead of hiring a professional designer.
- Focus on organic marketing by producing SEO-driven content and making social media posts to reach your target audience for free.
- Order single items afterthey’ve been bought by customers on your online store, rather than acquiring them in bulk quantities beforehand.
How To Start Dropshipping for Free in 7 Steps
Let’s dive into the seven steps you need to follow to launch your free dropshipping business.
1. Choose Your Niche
A niche is a specific segment of the market that you target with your free online store. Choosing a niche is crucial for your success as a dropshipper because it helps you stand out from the competition, attract the right customers, and increase sales.
To choose your dropshipping niche, consider the demand for the type of products, the profitability of those products, and your personal passion for the industry. This way you’ll know that there’s an audience for your niche and you’ll be able to maintain your drive for your business.
Some of the best ways to choose a niche for your business for free include:
- Google Trends. Google Trends is a free tool that is great for starting a dropshipping business because it shows the popularity of any given niche or product type over time.
- WordStream Free Keyword Tool. WordStream offers a free keyword tool similar to Ahrefs or SEMrush’s paid tools. You can type in a keyword relevant to your niche to see the monthly search volume and competition level or difficulty.
- Competitor research. We will discuss this in more detail below, but finding unsaturated market areas can be a good way to choose a niche you can dominate.
One of the most successful niches for free dropshipping is women’s apparel. This niche has a huge and growing market, with a variety of products, styles, and trends to choose from. Women’s apparel also has high profit margins and low shipping costs. If you still have no idea where to start, take a look at 15 Best Products to Dropship in 2023 we recommend.
2. Do Competitor Research
Competitor research is the process of analyzing and learning from your competitors. Research what competitor businesses are doing to help you:
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Find gaps and opportunities in the market
- Learn from their best practices and mistakes
- Improve your products, prices, and marketing strategies
- Run a successful business
- Research profitable dropshipping products
To do competitor analysis, you can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. These tools allow you to view what a website’s top pages are, what keywords they are ranking for on search engines, how much monthly traffic they are pulling in, and more.
Do a deep dive into a few top dropshipping stores in your chosen niche to see how they organize their store, what their best-selling products are, how detailed their product descriptions are, and what their shipping rates are.
Look closely at what channels your potential competitors are using to market to their audience. Are they active on Instagram? Do they run Google Ads? Or maybe they only use SEO. Whatever the case, it’s good to know what works well for them so that you can experiment with what avenues may work best for your business.
Discover how you can differentiate your store from other retailers by innovating on what they are already doing to make your brand better. If your competitors are offering free shipping on orders of $50+, consider offering free shipping on all orders. If your competitors are using social media to promote their brand, consider creating better quality, more creative content to wow potential customers. These small things can make a huge difference in setting your dropshipping business apart.
3. Find a Reliable Supplier
When starting a free dropshipping business, you’ll need to find a reliable wholesale supplier. We have another blog that discusses how to source a fast shipping and reliable wholesale supplier. You will find more detailed answers there but in a few words, a dependable & free dropshipping suppliers should:
- Deliver fast and reliable shipping
- Have affordable prices for high profit margins
- Offer an extensive catalog of quality products
- Have excellent customer reviews from other dropshipping suppliers
- Provide helpful customer support
By meeting these criteria, you can better ensure high customer satisfaction and increase your brand reputation.
4. Build Your Store
Building your online storefront is one of the most important steps in starting your free dropshipping business. There are two excellent options to build your free dropshipping store with simple templates and guides:
- Shopify: Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows you to create and manage online stores without any coding or design skills. We explain how to use Shopify for dropshipping in our blog “What is Shopify Dropshipping?” and share best practices for starting your store.
- WordPress (with WooCommerce plugin): WordPress is a popular content management system for any type of website or blog, and WooCommerce is a plug-in that adds e-commerce functionality to your site. For more information about how to configure the setting on WooCommerce to start a WordPress dropshipping site, read this blog post.
Once you’ve selected your preferred platform, you’ll need to sign up and select that plan that matches your business needs (For WordPress, we recommend the Commerce plan!). Next, you’ll need to purchase a domain name or use a free domain. Finally, start designing an aesthetically pleasing e-commerce store using free themes on the platform of your choice and then you’ll be able to add your dropshipping products!
5. Import Product Listings
Product listings are the pages on your store where you display your products and their details, such as images, titles, descriptions, and prices. When dropshipping, you can import product listings directly from your dropshipping supplier so orders integrate seamlessly.
Trendsi allows you to automatically import your chosen product listings onto your Shopify stores. You can simply click the “Add” button on the product page and select “Add to Shopify”. Just remember to keep all of the Inventory information the same so inventory syncing can work. If you need some additional help with adding products to your Shopify site, just take a look at our walkthrough video!
6. Market Your Business
Marketing your dropshipping store is essential. Luckily, there are many ways to market your dropshipping business for free, such as:
- Social media: Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok are perfect for free marketing. Create and share content that showcases your products and brand, and make sure to use relevant hashtags, tags, and keywords to reach your audience. Here are some tips from us for each platform:
- Reels increase your reach.
- Carousel Posts help build user engagement.
- Stories keep your brand top-of-mind.
- Pro Tip: Use Reels templates to simplify content creation and trending audio to increase your reach!
- Facebook Lives build connections with your audience.
- Single posts can highlight your products and increase sales
- Pro Tip: Posting a blog post from your website is a great way to send more people to your site!
- Eye-catching images make your content stand out
- Relevant captions help users find your content through search
- Shopping pins help users discover and easily purchase products
- Pro Tip: If you’re new to Pinterest and content creation, try creating outfit ideas for family pictures, date night, going to the park, or a day at the beach!
- Users are very likely to purchase products found on TikTok
- TikToks can be much longer now, but keeping your content short will help performance.
- Pro Tip: Use the first 3 to 5 seconds of your video to capture attention so users don’t scroll past!
- Email marketing: Tools like Mailchimp let you create and send newsletters and campaigns via email that inform your subscribers about your brand.
- Content marketing: Aside from social media content, you can create and share content that brings value to your audience, such as blog posts, articles, short films, podcasts, and more. This can be a great free way to market your business and be found on Google. Be sure to use SEO best practices to rank higher in search engine results.
7. Analyze Website Performance and Optimize
Once you’ve set up your store using the dropshipping model, keep it updated with new products to interest your audience. To do so, make sure you’re working with a supplier that brings you new products to test on a regular basis, keeping up with trends and demand.
Next, you will want to track and analyze your website performance and keep optimizing key metrics. One of the most popular and practical analyses methods is funnel analysis. You can use tools like Google Analytics to set up “events” that will show how customers interact on your website. For example, you can see how many people added items to their cart, but didn’t check out. This would give you a chance to make adjustments to your sales funnel and retarget customers that are sitting in various stages of the buying process. Emailing the users with coupon codes or reminders about their cart to increase conversions is a form of email marketing used to help move customers through the funnel stage of purchasing.
Now that you know how to start a dropshipping store for free, you need a reliable supplier! Read on to learn about Trendsi.
Start Dropshipping for Free with Trendsi
As you can see, starting a successful dropshipping store for free is possible and profitable, but it also requires some planning, research, and creativity. Luckily Trendsi is here to help make the process a breeze.
Trendsi is a platform that connects you with verified suppliers of trendy women’s apparel and jewelry. Trendsi brings dropshippers:
- High-quality products
- Fast shipping worldwide
- Low prices and high profits
- Easy integration with Shopify, WordPress, and WooCommerce
- Automatic orders
- Hassle-free returns and refunds
Free dropshipping is a low-risk, high-reward endeavor that anyone can take on. So what are you waiting for? Start dropshipping for free with Trendsi today.