How To Start A Dropshipping Business With No Money In 2024?

Sukanya Mukherjee
By Sukanya Mukherjee 37 Min Read

You’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, but your pockets are a little light? Well, what if we told you that you could start a dropshipping business without any initial capital? 

Yes, you read that right!

Welcome to the world of dropshipping, a unique business model that’s not only profitable but also incredibly affordable.

Dropshipping is like being a middleman with a twist. You sell products directly to consumers, but here’s the catch – you don’t have to stock any inventory!

When a customer makes a purchase from your online store, you simply forward the order to your supplier, who then ships the product directly to the customer. It’s a fantastic way to dive into the e-commerce world without the need for substantial startup costs.

You might be wondering, how do I get started, especially with no money in hand? That’s where we come in.

This is a comprehensive guide on how to start a dropshipping business with no money. We’re here to provide you with practical advice and step-by-step guidance to help you navigate this exciting journey.

So, are you ready to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality? Let’s get started!

Demystifying Dropshipping

You’ve probably heard the term “dropshipping” thrown around a lot lately, but what exactly does it mean? 

Let’s break it down in simple terms:

Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model where you, the retailer, don’t keep products in stock. Instead, when a customer buys a product from your online store, the order is sent to a third-party supplier who then ships the product directly to the customer. 

start a dropshipping business with no money

In essence, you’re acting as a go-between, connecting the customer and the supplier.

Sounds straightforward, right? But like any business model, dropshipping comes with its fair share of misconceptions. Let’s debunk a few:

Misconception 1: Dropshipping is a get-rich-quick scheme.

The Truth: While it’s true that dropshipping has low startup costs, it’s not an easy road to instant wealth. Like any business, it requires hard work, smart strategies, and a bit of time to turn a profit.

Misconception 2: You can start a dropshipping business without any money.

The Truth: The phrase “how to start a dropshipping business with no money” should be taken with a grain of salt. 

While it’s cheaper compared to traditional retail, you’ll still need some budget for things like website setup, marketing, and buying samples.

Misconception 3: Dropshipping is easy.

The Truth: Dropshipping involves various tasks such as market research, supplier vetting, and customer service. It can be simplified with the right tools and strategies, but it’s not necessarily ‘easy’.

Now that we’re clear on what dropshipping is and isn’t let’s look at a few individuals who’ve made it big in dropshipping.

  • Success story 1: Irwin Dominguez. Within just 8 months of starting his dropshipping business, Dominguez was able to earn $1 million in sales. He started with no background in e-commerce and learned everything through online courses.
  • Success story 2: Tim Kock. Tim created a dropshipping store and made nearly $7000 in sales in just 8 weeks. He achieved this by focusing on a unique niche and investing in targeted Facebook ads.
  • Success story 3: Aloysius Chay and Galvin Bay. These two entrepreneurs earned over $2 million in sales in just one year by focusing on trendy products and building a brand around them.

These stories show that with the right approach, dedication, and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, you can indeed learn how to start a dropshipping business with no money and make it a success.

So, are you ready to carve your own path in the dropshipping world? Stick with us as we guide you through each step of the journey.

How to Start A Dropshipping Business With No Money?

start a dropshipping business with no money

When it comes to starting a dropshipping business with no money, the key lies in finding creative solutions and utilizing free resources. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started:

Niche Selection – Finding Your Profitable Market

Choosing a profitable niche is paramount in dropshipping. It’s the foundation upon which your business will stand. 


Because a well-chosen niche can attract a focused audience, solve specific problems, and most importantly, remain profitable. 

It’s like finding a goldmine in an expansive terrain. Let’s delve into how you can strike this gold.

So, how do you find a profitable niche? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Cast Your Net Wide

The first step in finding your profitable niche is to brainstorm a list of ideas. Don’t limit yourself at this stage; the aim is to generate as many ideas as possible.

Consider your interests, hobbies, or areas of expertise. 

What are you passionate about? What do you have knowledge of? Is there something you could see yourself selling?

For instance, if you’re a fitness enthusiast, could you drop ship fitness gear or supplements? Or, if you’re an avid cook, could you sell innovative kitchen gadgets? 

Remember, a niche that aligns with your passion can make the journey a lot more enjoyable and sustainable.

However, keep in mind that personal interest is just one piece of the puzzle. The key is to find a balance between your interests and what’s profitable. 

A niche that you’re passionate about but has no market demand or is overly saturated might not be the best choice.

Step 2: Dive Deeper with Market Research

Once you’ve got a list of potential niches, it’s time to conduct some market research. This is your compass in the vast sea of possibilities. 

It helps you identify what’s trending, what customers are interested in, and where the market might be heading.

First, let’s talk about Google Trends; this tool is like a crystal ball that shows you how your potential niche has been performing over time. 

Is interest in your chosen product rising, falling, or remaining steady? Are there any seasonal fluctuations you should be aware of? 

Google Trends can answer these questions, helping you steer clear of fads and focus on niches with lasting appeal.

Next up, we have Keyword Research; what are they searching for? How often?

Keyword research shows you how many people are searching for your product or related terms. More searches mean more potential customers, right?

Lastly, let’s not forget about social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. They’re like the pulse of consumer interest, giving you real-time insights into what’s hot and what’s not. 

Browse relevant hashtags, check out influencer posts, and pay attention to what’s being shared and commented on. Social media can provide invaluable insights into consumer preferences and upcoming trends.

Your goal is to find a niche that has a steady demand over time. Seasonal products can be profitable, but they can also be risky as demand can plummet just as fast as it spikes.

Step 3: Assess the Potential for Profit

Now, let’s talk about money because, at the end of the day, you’re in this to make a profit, right?

So, once you have some potential niches that have passed the market research test, it’s time to dig deeper and assess their profitability. This is where things start to get real, my friend!

Profitability is like the pulse of your dropshipping business. It can tell you whether your business is healthy or whether it needs some urgent care. And just like checking a pulse, assessing profitability involves looking at several factors.

First off, consider the cost of the product. Can you source the product at a price that leaves room for a healthy profit margin? 

Remember, in drop shipping, you’re not manufacturing the product, so your control over production costs is limited. You’ll need to negotiate with suppliers to get the best possible price without compromising on quality.

Next, think about the potential retail price. How much are consumers willing to pay for your product? This requires a good understanding of your target market and your competition. 

Check out how much similar products are selling for, and think about where your product fits into that range. Is it a premium product that could command a higher price, or is it a budget-friendly option?

Don’t forget about shipping costs! These can quickly eat into your profits if you’re not careful. 

Look for suppliers who offer reasonable shipping rates, or consider incorporating shipping costs into your product price if it makes sense for your market.

And then there’s the competition. A highly competitive market can drive prices down and make it harder for you to maintain a healthy profit margin. 

On the other hand, a niche with little competition could indicate a lack of demand.

The sweet spot is a niche with moderate competition – enough to show that there’s demand, but not so much that it’s impossible to carve out your own space.

Put on your detective hat and start digging into the numbers!

Step 4: Test the Waters

Before you dive headfirst, dip your toes in. This could involve setting up small marketing campaigns, creating sample listings, or conducting surveys among your target audience.

This step can help you gauge the response to your product, refine your marketing strategy, and even identify potential challenges before you fully commit. 

It’s an opportunity to gather invaluable insights and make sure you’re making the right choice.

Looking for inspiration? Here are some of the most profitable dropshipping niches in 2023:

  • Eco-friendly products: With the rising environmental consciousness, eco-friendly products are in high demand.
  • Health and wellness items: As people prioritize their health, this niche offers vast opportunities.
  • Home decor: With more people working from home, the focus on creating comfortable and aesthetic spaces has increased.
  • Tech gadgets: Technology is ever-evolving, and the thirst for the latest gadgets is unquenchable.
  • Pet supplies: Pet owners spare no expense in caring for their furry friends, making this a profitable niche.

While these niches are generally profitable, they also come with competition. 

The trick? 

Offer unique products or find a sub-niche within these broader categories. Feel free to offer unique products that align with your passion and market demand.

Read: 300+ Best Dropshipping Products That Will Skyrocket Your Sales

Finally, let’s talk about balancing passion and profitability. It’s tempting to choose a niche purely based on profit potential. 

However, your understanding of the product, market, and customers can be greatly enhanced if you’re passionate about your niche.

This passion can fuel your creativity, resilience, and drive, especially during challenging times. So, when choosing your niche, find the sweet spot between passion and profitability.

Now that you understand the importance of finding a profitable niche and how to do so, you’re one step closer to learning how to start a dropshipping business with no money.

Building Trust – How to Find Reliable Suppliers

In the world of dropshipping, a reliable supplier is like a trusted co-pilot. They play a crucial role in your business’s journey, especially when you’re figuring out how to start a dropshipping business with no money. 

Let’s delve into why suppliers are so important and how to find the best ones for your business.

Suppliers are the backbone of any dropshipping business. They handle the inventory and shipping logistics, allowing you to focus on marketing and customer service. 

As such, your success relies heavily on your reliability and efficiency.

So, how do you find these dependable suppliers? Here are some tips:

Step 1: Research and Source Potential Suppliers

Starting your quest for dependable suppliers may seem like looking for a needle in a haystack, but don’t fret! 

Step into the world of supplier sourcing with platforms like AliExpress, DSers, or even Google. These platforms can serve as your treasure trove of potential suppliers.

Look for those who specialize in your chosen niche. Why? Because specialization often equates to expertise, quality, and reliability. 

They know their products inside out and are likely to offer a wider range of options, giving you the flexibility to cater to different customer needs.

Next, check their reviews. Remember, these reviews are like your secret window into other businesses’ experiences with the supplier. 

Are they mostly positive? Do they praise the supplier’s reliability, quality, and service? A strong review profile can be a good indicator of a dependable supplier.

Also, ensure that they offer dropshipping services. Not all suppliers do, and the last thing you want is to find the perfect supplier only to realize they don’t dropship.

Step 2: Vet Your Suppliers

Once you have a list of potential suppliers, it’s time to put on your detective hat and start vetting them. This is your due diligence phase, where you verify the supplier’s claims and assess their suitability for your business.

Start by checking their delivery times. 

Are they consistent? Can they deliver within your promised time frame? Remember, late deliveries can lead to unhappy customers and damage your reputation.

Next, assess their product quality. Consider ordering sample products to see firsthand what your customers would receive. Is the quality up to your standards? How about the packaging?

Lastly, evaluate their customer service. Are they responsive and helpful? Do they resolve issues promptly? 

A supplier with excellent customer service can be a valuable partner in managing customer expectations and resolving issues.

Step 3: Negotiate Terms

After vetting your suppliers, it’s time to talk business. This is where you negotiate the terms of your partnership.

Start with pricing. Remember, your profit margin depends on how much you pay for products. Can the supplier offer a price that leaves room for a healthy profit margin?

Next, discuss delivery times. Can they deliver within the timeframe that aligns with your customer expectations?

Talk about return policies. Returns are an inevitable part of e-commerce, so you’ll want a clear and fair policy in place.

Also, inquire about minimum order quantities. As a drop shipper, you’ll likely be ordering one product at a time, so you’ll want a supplier who can accommodate this.

Step 4: Build a Relationship

You’ve found a dependable supplier and negotiated favorable terms. Congratulations! But your work doesn’t stop here. Now, it’s time to build a strong relationship with your supplier.

Regular communication is key. Keep them updated on any changes in your business that might affect them, and vice versa.

Treat them with respect. Remember, they’re not just a supplier; they’re a vital part of your business. A good relationship can lead to better service, faster problem-solving, and potentially even better terms.

Last but not least, pay them promptly. Nothing sours a business relationship faster than late payments. By paying on time, you show that you value and respect their service.

Finding a good supplier is half the battle won in learning how to start a dropshipping business with no money. But where can you find these suppliers?

start a dropshipping business with no money

One popular platform is AliExpress, known for its vast product range and user-friendly interface. It’s a great starting point for new drop shippers, with no upfront costs or minimum order requirements.

Another excellent platform is DSers, an official AliExpress partner that offers features like bulk ordering and automated tracking. It’s designed to make dropshipping more efficient, saving you time and effort.

Read: 16 Best Dropshipping Suppliers For Your Online Store

But finding a supplier isn’t the end—it’s just the beginning. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your supplier is vital for long-term business success. Regular communication, timely payments, and constructive feedback can help foster this relationship. Remember, a good supplier relationship is a two-way street.

Your suppliers are your partners in this journey. Choose them wisely, treat them well, and together, you can build a successful dropshipping business.

Establishing Your Online Store

You’ve decided on your niche, found reliable suppliers, and now you’re ready to take the next step in learning how to start a dropshipping business with no money – establishing your online store. 

This is where your customers will interact with your brand, browse products, and make purchases. It’s your digital storefront, and it needs to be both functional and appealing.

So, where do you begin? Let’s start by discussing various e-commerce platforms suitable for dropshipping.

Choosing an E-commerce Platform

Several e-commerce platforms are suitable for dropshipping, including Shopify and WooCommerce.

  • Shopify: Undoubtedly one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms, Shopify hosts around 500,000 stores. It’s user-friendly, offers a variety of built-in features and apps, and provides a free trial, making it a great choice for beginners.
  • WooCommerce: If you’re looking for fundamental functionality and ease of use, WooCommerce is another popular choice. It’s a WordPress plugin, meaning you’ll need a WordPress website to use it.
start a dropshipping business with no money

Setting Up Your Store

Now, let’s dive into setting up your online store:

Step One: Sign Up

First things first, you need to sign up for an e-commerce platform. This is like choosing the location for your brick-and-mortar store. It needs to be reliable, user-friendly, and offer all the features you need to run your business smoothly.

Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are popular choices among drop shippers. Both offer free trials, allowing you to explore their features before committing. 

So, why not take them for a spin? You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Step Two: Choose a Theme

Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s time to pick a theme for your store. Think of this as designing the interior of your physical shop. 

It needs to reflect your brand, be aesthetically pleasing, and above all, provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Look for a responsive theme that’s mobile-friendly. With more and more people shopping on their phones, you want your store to look just as good on a small screen as it does on a desktop.

The layout should be clean and easy to navigate. You don’t want your customers to get lost or frustrated trying to find what they need. 

And remember, your theme should also align with the vibe of your brand. Is your brand modern and minimalist, or quirky and colorful? 

Choose a theme that brings your brand to life.

Step Three: Add Products

Now comes the exciting part – adding your products. This is where your store starts to feel real. Each product page is like a salesperson on your team. 

It needs to showcase the product in the best possible light and convince visitors to click that ‘buy now’ button.

Start with high-quality images. They should be clear, well-lit, and show the product from various angles. Include a zoom feature so customers can see the product in detail.

Next, write detailed descriptions. Highlight the features and benefits of the product. 

Why should someone buy it? How will it make their life better? And don’t forget to include practical information like sizes, materials, and care instructions.

Finally, add pricing information. Make sure it’s clear and easy to find. No one likes nasty surprises at checkout!

Step Four: Set Up Payment and Shipping Methods

Last but not least, set up your payment gateways and shipping methods. This is like setting up your cash register and delivery service. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay and receive their products.

Offer several payment options – credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc. The more options you provide, the more likely customers are to find a method that suits them.

As for shipping, decide whether you’ll offer free shipping, flat-rate shipping, or variable rates based on location. Remember, high shipping costs are a common reason for cart abandonment, so keep them reasonable.

You’re now ready to set up your online store. It might seem like a lot of work, but remember, every step brings you closer to your dream of running a successful dropshipping business.

The Role of SEO

Let’s discuss the role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your online store. SEO helps improve your store’s visibility on search engines, attracting more visitors and potential customers. 

It involves optimizing your product titles and descriptions with relevant keywords, improving your website’s loading speed, and ensuring mobile-friendliness.

Establishing your online store is a critical step in learning how to start a dropshipping business with no money. 

It may seem daunting, but with the right e-commerce platform and a focus on user-friendly design and SEO, you’re well on your way to building a successful online business.

Marketing Your Business – Strategies That Don’t Break the Bank

Mastering the art of marketing is like finding the secret sauce to your dropshipping success. It’s how you attract customers, generate sales, and build a loyal customer base. 

But what if you’re wondering how to start a dropshipping business with no money? 

Fear not! There are budget-friendly yet effective marketing strategies that you can implement.

Let’s explore some of these strategies:

Social Media Marketing: Social media is a powerful tool for reaching potential customers. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest allow you to showcase your products and engage directly with your audience. 

For example, you could run a contest on Instagram where followers tag their friends to win a free product. This not only increases engagement but also exposes your brand to a wider audience.

Content Marketing: By creating valuable, relevant content, you can attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Start a blog, create how-to guides, or even post customer testimonials. 

Consider writing a detailed guide on how to use one of your products, then share this on your website and social media channels. 

For instance, if you’re selling fitness products, you could create a blog post on “Top 10 Exercises You Can Do at Home with Our Fitness Bands.”

Email Marketing: Despite being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing remains highly effective. Building an email list allows you to maintain direct contact with your customers. 

Send out newsletters, exclusive offers, or updates about new products. For instance, you could offer a discount code in exchange for signing up for your newsletter, encouraging both sign-ups and purchases.

While implementing these strategies, it’s important to remember that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience and persistence are key. 

You may not see immediate results but don’t get discouraged. Keep refining your strategies, testing new ideas, and learning from your experiences.

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of your dropshipping business. By leveraging budget-friendly strategies like social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing, you can attract customers and drive sales. 

The journey of learning how to start a dropshipping business with no money is all about being resourceful, persistent, and patient.

What Skills Do You Need To Start A Dropshipping Business With No Money?

The success of your dropshipping venture relies heavily on certain skills. Let’s explore them, shall we?

1. Strong Branding Skills

First things first, your brand is your identity. It’s what sets you apart from the rest of the dropshipping crowd.

But what does strong branding mean? It’s not just about designing a snazzy logo or coming up with a catchy name.

It’s about consistently communicating your brand’s values and personality across all customer touchpoints. It’s about creating a brand experience that resonates with your target audience and keeps them returning for more.

2. Customer Relationship Management

Next up, let’s talk about customers. They’re the lifeblood of any business, and dropshipping is no exception. Building and maintaining strong relationships with your customers is non-negotiable.

This involves efficiently handling customer queries, providing top-notch customer service, and developing strategies to retain customers and encourage repeat purchases. Remember, happy customers are returning customers!

3. Copywriting Skills

Now, let’s move on to copywriting.

Believe it or not, the way you craft your words can make a significant difference in attracting and converting potential customers.

Whether it’s product descriptions, ad copies, or email marketing campaigns, your ability to write compelling copy can directly impact your sales.

So, brush up on those writing skills and watch your conversion rates soar!

4. Web Design Skills

In the dropshipping business, your website is your storefront. It’s the first impression potential customers have of your business. Hence, having basic web design skills is essential.

This doesn’t mean you need to be a coding whiz. Today’s e-commerce platforms are user-friendly and require little to no coding skills.

However, understanding the basics of website navigation, aesthetics, and SEO can go a long way in creating a website that not only looks good but performs well too.

5. Product Research Skills

Last but certainly not least, product research. With dropshipping’s structure, upfront inventory investment isn’t necessary. However, choosing the right products to sell is crucial.

You need to identify products that are not only in demand but also have good profit margins. This requires a good understanding of market trends, customer preferences, and competitive analysis.

Read: 19 Best High Income Skills That Can Boost Your Income

Starting a dropshipping business with no money might seem like a tall order, but with these skills in your arsenal, you’re well on your way to building a successful dropshipping empire.

Overcoming Challenges in Dropshipping

Dropshipping can be a lucrative business model, but like any venture, it comes with its own set of challenges. Don’t let this deter you though! 

With the right mindset and strategies, these challenges can become stepping stones to your success.

Let’s delve into some common challenges faced by drop shippers:

1. Supplier Reliability

A recurring challenge in the dropshipping world is finding reliable suppliers. Unreliable suppliers can lead to product shortages, quality issues, or shipping delays, harming your reputation.

Solution: Do thorough research before choosing your suppliers. Order samples to assess product quality and packaging, and always have a backup supplier in case of unforeseen issues.

2. Customer Service Issues

As a drop shipper, you don’t control the entire supply chain, which can sometimes lead to customer service challenges.

Solution: Establish clear communication channels with your suppliers and stay proactive in addressing customer queries and complaints. Providing exceptional customer service can turn a potential setback into a trust-building opportunity.

3. Maintaining Profit Margins

With high competition and low entry barriers, maintaining healthy profit margins can be tough.

Solution: Focus on niche products with less competition and higher profit margins. Additionally, effective marketing and providing excellent customer service can justify higher prices.

4. Building a Brand

When you’re selling third-party products, building a unique brand identity can be challenging.

Solution: Develop a strong online presence through a well-designed website, engaging social media content, and personalized customer interactions. Remember, a strong brand is about more than just products—it’s about the overall customer experience.

5. Discovering New Products

In the fast-paced world of drop shipping, staying ahead of trends and constantly discovering new products can be a daunting task.

Solution: Stay updated with market trends and customer preferences. Use tools like Google Trends or social media platforms to keep a pulse on what’s hot and what’s not.

Let’s look at some real-life examples:

  • Zappos started as a dropshipping business. They faced customer service challenges due to relying on suppliers for inventory. They overcame this by taking control of their inventory, thus improving customer satisfaction.
  • Wayfair, a successful dropshipping business, maintains healthy profit margins by offering a wide variety of unique home goods. Their extensive product range appeals to a broad audience, driving more sales.

Every challenge is a learning opportunity. When you’re figuring out how to start a dropshipping business with no money, it’s normal to face hurdles. But with persistence, creativity, and a problem-solving mindset, you can turn these challenges into growth opportunities.

So, are you ready to rise above these challenges and build a successful dropshipping business?


Starting a dropshipping business with no money might seem daunting, but as we’ve explored, it’s absolutely possible. 

Remember, the key is choosing the right e-commerce platform, creating an appealing and user-friendly online store, implementing effective and budget-friendly marketing strategies, and overcoming challenges with a positive attitude.

So, what’s stopping you? Why not take that first step on your entrepreneurial journey today? And remember, every great venture begins with a single step. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

We’d love to hear your thoughts or any questions you may have. Feel free to drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can you really start dropshipping with no money?

Yes, it’s possible to start dropshipping with no money. However, certain aspects like website setup and marketing may require some funds.

2. Can I make $1000 a month with dropshipping?

Absolutely! With strategic planning, high-quality products, and effective marketing, you can potentially earn $1000 or more per month in dropshipping.

3. How much money do I need to start dropshipping?

While you can technically start dropshipping without money, having a small budget for tasks like website design, product research, and marketing can be beneficial.

4. Do you need a tax ID to dropship?

Typically, yes. Most wholesalers will require a tax ID or EIN (Employer Identification Number) to do business with you.

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Sukanya is The Hustle Story’s senior editor and writer specializing in B2B marketing tips, SaaS, and digital marketing strategies. She has an extensive background working closely with B2B and SaaS organizations as a project manager, overseeing the development and delivery of hundreds of projects by creating informative and engaging content that turns viewers into consumers. She frequently spends her free time hiking with her dogs when she is not working.
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