Dropshipping and eCommerce took a big turn in 2020. With the pandemic almost everywhere, a lot of businesses moved online.
Some people also started building online businesses from the comfort of their own homes. However, there were some who wanted to but did not have the money to do it.
So, here in this tutorial, I am going to show you the best way to start a dropshipping business with no money at all.
Starting something free will always have some limitations and this method is no different. Only follow this method if you have no money to start.
Dropshippers usually use Shopify or Woocommerce to start their online store. They also use paid traffic to bring in sales.
We won’t be using the above platforms nor will we use any paid traffic here.
Since, we won’t use any paid traffic, this method will probably take a lot of time for you to get some sales.
This is how the whole method will look like:-
Online Store – We start with Ecwid. Ecwid is an online store builder. They do have a free plan which would be more than enough for you to start. There aren’t many platforms that offer you to create a free online store and Ecwid was the best one I could find.
Supplier – There are a lot of suppliers to choose from. Aliexpress, Syncee, Spocket are some of them.
Traffic – We’ll use Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube, and Quora for bringing in customers to the store.
The main problem that you would face would be the inability to automate the ordering process. This is because Ecwid does not allow you to connect your store with your supplier on their free plan. So, this means that whenever you get an order you will have to manually order the product from your supplier.
Related Article – Is Shopify Dropshipping Worth It?
Step By Step Tutorial To Start a Dropshipping Business With No Money
Here are the step-by-step instructions.
1. Setting up Ecwid
After signing up, you will have to set up your home page, payment gateway and tweak some settings.
Editing Your Store
To edit your store, just go to “website” on your left menu. And then click on Edit Site.
Ecwid’s online store builder is so easy to use. If you spend some time navigating through the different options, you can easily set it up in no time.
Once you finish editing your store, you can click on the Publish and Save button to publish the site online.
After this go to the “Design” tab on the left menu and read through it. Product page tweaks can be done from here.
You also need to set up your payment gateway before you can start to accept payments. For that just go to “Payments” and choose any gateway from the options shown.
Disable the Pay by Cash button if it’s already enabled.
Even though your shipping is handled by a supplier, you will need to set up shipping so that your customers can checkout.
For that go to the “Shipping and Pickup” tab. Then click on “Add Shipping”. Click on Other Carriers, add a name something like “Express Shipping”. Then click on next. Choose a Shipping fee. I recommend making this free. Then finally, click on “Save & Finish”.
Next, go to “Settings”. There will be a lot of submenus under it. Complete them one by one.
If you are having problems setting up the legal pages, just generate them using a site called Termly.
That’s about it!
Note:- You can’t use a custom domain on your site. You can only do it once you upgrade your Ecwid plan.
2 Choosing Your Supplier
The next thing to do is to find a reliable supplier. If you are completely new, I would suggest you start with Aliexpress. There are millions of products and you would actually get anything from there.
However, most products on Aliexpress are from China and may take a lot of time to arrive in other countries. If that’s a problem, you could use other suppliers like Syncee or Spocket.
Related article – Is Ecommerce Profitable?
3. Adding Your Products to the Store
Products are the most important part of any dropshipping business. I hope you have a solid strategy to find some winning dropshipping products.
Once you find some winning products, you will need to check if it is available with your supplier. If it is, go to Catalog -> Products from your Ecwid dashboard and click on “Add New Product”.
Download the images from your supplier and then add them here. Also, complete the other details required by Ecwid. Click on “Save” once you finish filling in the details.
4. Generating Traffic
This is one of the most challenging things that you would face when running the store. Since you have no money to invest, you cannot advertise on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. You will have to stick with some free traffic strategies.
Here are some of the strategies that I highly recommend that you start. The way you market the product is different on all 4 of these platforms.
Instagram and Tiktok
Instagram and TikTok are great places to start.
Create a page for your store on both these platforms. Whether your store is for one product or has a lot of products, Focus on one good product that you think would definitely catch the eye of people.
Then create a 30-sec video. Make it like a normal video and not like an ad. I know a lot of people won’t do this but this is extremely important if you want to succeed without spending any money. Here’s a video of how a drop shipper used the power of Tiktok to make sales. You can watch the full video or just the video that he created for Tiktok (from 6:17).
As you can see, these videos have a huge potential and if done right, they can go viral. If you still can’t shoot such videos, ask a friend to do it for you or even you could hire a freelancer on Fiverr.
Keep creating good content on both these platforms. Slowly and steadily you will start seeing some sales come in.
Related Article – Is Shopify Worth It? (6 Reasons to Love Shopify)
Quora is one of the biggest forums on the internet.
You can actually make a lot of sales if done right. Especially if your product solves a problem.
Let’s say your product is a Blackheads remover (extremely saturated product). This is actually something that helps people remove blackheads and dirt from the face.
If you can find questions related to this and give it a very good answer, you do have the chance of making some sales.
The method is actually different because we need to answer questions on Quora which actually comes on the first page of Google search.
That way you wouldn’t need to waste your time answering questions that people don’t usually see.
Here’s an example:
With a bit of Google search, I found out that this search/keyword – “how to remove dirt from face” had a Quora question on the first page of Google.
It also had only 13 answers and the answer at the top was just a few words.
If you write a 200-300 word passage explaining how to do it, I can almost guarantee you that you would bag the first spot for that answer. And when answering, you center it around your product. That way you will surely get some sales.
Now, some of you might be wondering, how I got the keyword and How do I know if that keyword does get enough traffic. right?
To get different keywords, you could use a tool called Answerthepublic.com. Here, input 1 or 2 keywords related to your product. They will then give you some top search queries that are often typed on Google.
If you want to know the search volume for that particular query, just use Google keyword planner. It’s completely free.
Note:- When you answer the question on Quora, make sure that it’s quite detailed without any grammatical errors. Also, ensure that you do not spam your product link everywhere on that answer. Just add one or two links per answer.
Youtube is yet another platform where you can market your product. Here you can market it in two ways; One, make good content videos related to your product that actually solves a problem. Secondly, by leveraging the power of Youtube Shorts.
Youtube shorts are something like Tiktok and Instagram reels. They were recently introduced to the platform and have been beneficial for many content creators on the platform.
When you create content for Youtube shorts, make sure that it’s catchy and looks something like the video I shared above.
4. Managing Your Store
Managing your store isn’t easy especially since your orders aren’t connected with the supplier. So, you will have to manually order the items from your supplier.
This is easy but when you receive a huge number of orders, it will be harder to manage.
When you order manually, always make sure that you order the right product and ships it to the correct person. It can get messy sometimes.
Related Article – What Is The Future Of Dropshipping?
Future Improvements to Make
There are a lot of limitations to starting a dropshipping business without any money. You will start to feel it once you start getting some sales.
So, the thing is, As soon as you start making some money, I would highly suggest you upgrade your Ecwid plan. That way, you will be able to connect to a custom domain, and also you could integrate your supplier with your store.
Moreover, there are a lot of apps that could potentially help you get more sales. Some apps include email marketing, an affiliate program for your products, etc.
So, that’s it. A lot of people reading this article will not take action. If you are reading this and if you ever wanted to start a dropshipping business, just try it. You are not losing anything here.
I hope this article was a bit of help to you. All the best!