If you’re considering starting your own online business but need help, we’ve got you. Welcome to dropshipping — a fantastic way to sell online without the hassle of stocking inventory. If you’re new to this, feeling a bit overwhelmed is normal. That’s why we crafted this dropshipping checklist: We’ve been there and are here to make things easier for you.

At AutoDS, we get how starting this journey can be exciting but tricky. We’ve created this guide to guide you step by step. Whether you dream of your own business or want to make extra cash, this dropshipping checklist will be your go-to. We’ll break down the basics for you and give you some really useful tools and resources. Let’s turn your dreams into an actual online store! Ready? Let’s go!

Download the AutoDS Dropshipping Checklist material

Key Takeaways

Start your dropshipping journey confidently by understanding its basics, legality, and profitability, ensuring an ethical and lucrative venture.

Face challenges with the right financial strategies such as budgeting for various platform-specific costs and additional fees.

Pave your way to success by considering product research for top sellers, reliable suppliers, selling channels, automation tools, marketing strategies, and customer service.

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Dropshipping Checklist To Start A Successful Business In 2024

Starting an online business in 2024 can be your ticket to financial freedom in this dynamic digital era. So how to become a dropshipper? First things first: We’ll start this dropshipping checklist by checking out some important things to ensure your business starts excellently in the always-changing online shopping world.

Think of this checklist like a roadmap tailored for 2024, giving you clear directions and helpful tips that match what’s happening in online shopping right now. Our goal is to provide you with the newest tools and trends so you can start this adventure feeling confident and ready to shine in the online world of tomorrow!

Learn The Basics About The Dropshipping Business Model

What Is Dropshipping?

Let’s start simple: If you’re here, you’re probably starting your dropshipping journey and we get it. So, let’s get on the same page. First, we all must know that dropshipping is a low-risk way of doing business. In it, store owners sell products without making or storing them–they buy the products from a supplier who then sends them straight to the customer. Easy, right?

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Dropshipping

From low starting investment to financial freedom, the dropshipping business model has its own set of pros and cons. Make sure to keep them in mind before diving into it!

Is Dropshipping Legal?

Thankfully, yes, dropshipping is legal and completely okay. It’s a legitimate way to run an online business without doing anything illegal. You’re simply selling products from suppliers to customers without handling the items yourself.

Is Dropshipping Profitable?

Profit margins in dropshipping can range from 15% to 60%, so we’ll say yes, it is pretty profitable. Of course, there are hundreds of tips and strategies to keep this business model successful. That’s one of the reasons we’re so passionate about it!

Most Common Dropshipping Challenges

Like in life itself, challenges are just part of the game. But fear not! We’ve got your back. Let’s explore some everyday situations that many of us face in the exciting world of dropshipping. By shining a light on these challenges, we’ll come up with strategies and solutions, making our path to success smoother. So, join us as we dig into these challenges and figure out how to conquer them as a team!

Set A Starting Budget

budget setting for dropshipping

As with any business, we require intelligent financial planning to start dropshipping. Before taking the plunge, understanding our initial budget is crucial. Let’s see how to use money smartly on different platforms and consider extra fees besides the initial setup costs.

  • Facebook Marketplace Budget: $0 – $200
    This platform offers a pocket-friendly entry, letting us start without any upfront investment.
  • Shopify Budget: $500 – $1000
    Venturing into Shopify demands a more substantial starting budget, averaging between $500 – $1000.
  • eBay Budget: $50 – $100
    This platform lets us start with $0, but there might be additional expenses. Even though joining eBay is free, having money aside for our first orders is essential.
  • Amazon Budget: $100 – $2000
    Entering the Amazon marketplace requires a flexible budget, depending on the scale of operations. While it’s possible to start with a modest investment, allocating more funds allows for better product selection, advertising, and inventory management.
  • Etsy Budget: $0 – $300
    Starting a store on Etsy can be quite affordable, with initial expenses ranging from $0 to $300. However, it’s essential to set aside funds for listing fees, transaction fees, and marketing efforts to ensure visibility and sales growth on the platform.

However, apart from these platform-specific costs, there are other relevant fees to set a budget:

  • International fees: Factor in charges related to shipping and handling for international orders.
  • Payment provider fees: Payments processed through providers may incur transaction fees.
  • Taxes & customs: Account for potential taxes and customs duties levied on cross-border transactions.
  • Marketing costs: Beyond initial advertising expenses, include ongoing marketing costs for sustained growth and visibility.

Setting a budget for dropshipping isn’t as complicated as one might think. It’s about understanding the financial requirements of each platform and allocating resources accordingly. By breaking down the potential costs associated with eCommerce platforms, we can make informed decisions about where to invest our resources. Here’s a list of our more relevant articles on this topic so we all get on the same page:

Product Research – Finding Best Sellers

product research for dropshipping

Let’s break down something super important: product research. It’s like the secret ingredient to our dropshipping success. Why is it such a big deal, you ask? Well, doing good research helps us find what’s hot in the market, what people are really into, and what they’re dying to get their hands on.

We must dive into different niches, peek at trends, and check out what’s buzzing. Remember, it’s not just about finding any product. It’s about discovering the ones that fit our store’s vibe and customers’ needs. So, let’s put on our detective hats and start hunting for those incredible products to make our dropshipping journey a roaring success!

Ok, but what happens if we skip doing proper product research? Picture this: we randomly choose items without checking if people actually want them. Well, we might end up with products gathering virtual dust in our online store. Customers won’t be interested, and sales will be slow. That’s definitely different from what we want, right? Without research, we may miss out on those fantastic products that bring us a stream of happy customers.

Conducting Product Research

Actually, conducting product research without pulling our hair out is pretty easy. We can start by:

  • Browsing Online Marketplaces: Check out Amazon, eBay, or even social media platforms to spot trending items.
  • Using Google Trends: See what people are searching for and the popularity of different products.
  • Reading Customer Reviews: Review reviews to understand what customers love or dislike about specific products.
  • Monitoring Social Media: Look at social media groups, forums, or influencers’ posts to catch the buzz around particular products.

We must remember that proper product research helps us make informed decisions and stock our stores with items our customers can’t wait to buy!

Bonus: Discover more best-seller articles in our Product-Finding Blog Section and Sell These Now Youtube Playlist

Select A Dropshipping Supplier

Dropshipping suppliers

Another crucial step on our dropshipping checklist is selecting a supplier. Think of suppliers as our business partners—they’re the ones who provide the products we sell. Picking reliable suppliers is like finding trustworthy allies in our dropshipping journey.

So, why is it super important to choose the right supplier, we may ask? Well, picture this: our customers place orders, expecting top-quality products delivered on time. A reliable supplier always makes sure to meet these expectations. They’re like the backstage crew, making sure everything runs smoothly. We might face late deliveries, poor-quality items, or stock shortages without reliable suppliers. And hey, that’s not something we want our customers to experience, right?

In summary: reliable suppliers aren’t just about selling us products. They’re our partners in delivering top-notch service to our customers. So, let’s choose our suppliers wisely and build a strong foundation for our dropshipping venture!

Choose A Selling Channel

When it comes to picking the right platform for our dropshipping business, we’re spoilt for choice! Various selling channels are available, each with its unique perks and audience. Let’s take a quick tour through some of the most popular ones:

  1. eBay: A well-established platform, eBay remains a favorite among dropshippers due to its vast user base and auction-style selling.
    Everything You Need To Start Dropshipping On eBay In 2024
  2. Shopify: Known for its user-friendly interface, Shopify is a go-to choice for many dropshippers. It offers customizable storefronts and a range of apps to enhance the selling experience.
    How To Sell On Shopify: Step-By-Step Beginner’s Dropshipping Tutorial
  3. Amazon: A giant in the e-commerce realm, Amazon provides massive visibility to products, attracting droves of customers globally.
    How To Dropship from AliExpress to Amazon: A Beginner Guide
  4. Etsy: Particularly popular for handmade and vintage items, Etsy attracts a niche audience looking for unique products.
    How To Start Dropshipping On Etsy: A Guide To Starting A Unique Online Business
  5. Facebook Marketplace: Leveraging the power of social media, Facebook Marketplace offers a platform for selling items locally, targeting users in specific geographic areas.
    Facebook Marketplace Dropshipping – (YouTube List)
  6. WooCommerce: Known for its integration with WordPress, WooCommerce offers flexibility and customization options, making it a favored choice for WordPress users.
    WooCommerce Vs. Shopify Dropshipping: Which One Is Best For Your Business?
  7. Wix: Renowned for its drag-and-drop website-building capabilities, Wix provides an easy-to-use platform for setting up online stores.
    How To Start Dropshipping On Wix [COMPLETE Guide For Beginners] – (YouTube Video)

Each of these platforms comes with its own set of features, user demographics, and selling strategies. As dropshippers, we must consider our target audience, the nature of our products, and the functionalities offered by these channels to make an informed decision. Learn more about selling channels in our blog.

Connect With An Automation Tool

AutoDS landing page

Now, let’s dive into the real game-changer: connecting with an automation tool like AutoDS. Picture this tool as our trusty sidekick, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make our dropshipping adventure smoother, easier, and way more efficient.

So, what’s the big deal about automation tools? Well, let’s break it down. Managing a dropshipping business involves juggling multiple tasks—product monitoring, price adjustments, order processing, and more. Here’s where an automation tool swoops in to save the day. AutoDS, for example, automates various processes, taking the weight off our shoulders.

By connecting with an automation tool, we’re making our lives easier and enhancing our customer’s experience. Timely updates, accurate information, and efficient order processing contribute to happy customers who keep coming back for more. Here are some of AutoDS’ main features to make this journey smoother:

Import Products To Your Store

Of course, adding products to our online stores to start selling is a key point. It is very easy, and we can do it in a few different ways:

  • Manually: This is the classic way, where we do it by hand. On average, it takes between 3 to 5 minutes to manually enter all the product details and photos. It works well for a handful of items but can be time-consuming for a larger number of products.
  • With AutoDS Product Importer: AutoDS makes it super easy! We can add products one by one or in big batches quickly. It helps us save time so that we can concentrate on other important stuff.
  • With AutoDS Marketplace: We’re talking about a marketplace full of great products and a Winning Products Importer that is really helpful in finding and adding top-selling stuff to online stores. It’s like finding hidden treasure!

By using these easy ways to add products, we’ll build up our store fast and have awesome stuff that customers will love!

Market Your Products

marketing strategy for dropshipping

No secrets here: Marketing has to be our ally. Let’s face it, having fantastic products is just the beginning. We need to let people know they exist!

Effective marketing strategies help us grab attention in a crowded digital world. Choosing the right marketing strategies—whether it’s running ads on social media, using search engine optimization (SEO) tricks, collaborating with influencers, or sending out catchy newsletters—helps spread the word about our products. These strategies are like magic spells attracting interested folks to our stores.

We must remember that even the most fantastic products need a spotlight. So, here are a few sources of inspiration for exploring the right strategies, getting creative, and watching our awesome products soar high:

If you need a little more on this topic, we have an exclusive marketing-related section on our website. Check it out and let it inspire you!

Fulfill Your Dropshipping Orders

When the time comes to fulfill orders in a dropshipping business, there are also a few ways of doing it. Let’s break them down:

  1. Manual Order Processing: The traditional way, where we handle each order manually. It’s cool for a few orders, but it can take lots of time if we’re dealing with a bunch of them.
  2. Fulfilled by AutoDS: Here’s where the magic happens! Fulfilled by AutoDS automatically handles customer orders using AutoDS buyer accounts when sourcing products. It supports tons of suppliers like eBay, Amazon, CJDropshipping, AliExpress, Walmart, and more. This is the best way to handle orders smoothly and efficiently.
  3. Automatic Orders: Want to save time and grow a business faster? Automatic order processing is definitely the way to go! This method processes orders and tracking info from suppliers and updates automatically. It’s like having a super-fast assistant who takes care of everything for us.

We can choose what works best for us, save time, and ensure our customers get their products on time. For more fulfillment info, check this material:

Provide Excellent Customer Service

customer service representative for dropshipping

Last but not least, it is crucial to remember that great customer service is the secret sauce for happy and returning customers in the world of dropshipping. 

Here are three essential practices to master it:

  • Stay In Touch – Send Promotions and Offers: Communication is key! Whether it’s through email marketing or sharing special offers, staying connected with our customers keeps our brands on their radar.
  • Check Customer Messages Daily: Timely responses matter! We must make it a habit to check customer messages every day. Whether it’s inquiries, feedback, or concerns, being prompt in addressing them shows that we’re attentive and care about their experience.
  • Respond To Requests, Quotes, and Returns: Don’t leave them hanging! Being quick and responsive when handling customer requests, providing quotes, or managing returns is a must. Our efficiency in handling these matters reflects our commitment to customer satisfaction.

Remember, exceptional customer service isn’t just a task—it’s an ongoing commitment that builds trust and loyalty. It’s the secret to turning one-time buyers into loyal fans of our brand!

More Useful Material For Your Dropshipping Checklist

Dropshipping checklist

This dropshipping checklist could be never-ending if we wanted to. The truth is, there’s always something new to learn. So, for those of us who enjoy getting to the bottom of things and learning non-stop, we’ve got you covered: here’s a list of really helpful material for this dropshipping journey.

Save it, share it, enjoy it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Having A ‘Dropshipping Checklist’ A Good Idea?

A dropshipping checklist is essential for beginners to ensure we cover all crucial steps to start and run a successful business. It helps organize tasks and prevents missing essential details.

Is Dropshipping A Profitable Business Model?

Yes! Dropshipping can be profitable. As in all fields, success depends on various factors. Product selection, marketing strategies, and customer service quality are the most important ones here. With the right approach, it can be a very lucrative venture.

Download this Dropshipping Checklist for beginners


Congrats on getting to the end of this dropshipping checklist. Today, we’ve learned about starting an online business, from the basics to a few advanced tricks. We covered lots: the lowdown on dropshipping, challenges we might face, and choosing the best tools and platforms.

Remember, picking great products, finding reliable suppliers, and using tools like AutoDS will make your life easier on this dropshipping journey.

This checklist isn’t just a list – it’s your secret guide to starting strong. Think of it as an ally that will help you kickstart your dream business and make 2024 your year in the online world! So, use what you’ve learned, whether you’re starting small or aiming high. Stay curious, keep learning, and take action.

If you feel like learning a bit more and diving deeper into this world in 2024, here are a few great articles to jump to from here: