Dropshipping has taken the world by storm and continues to grow every year. However, many still need help understanding what it is. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a complete guide for dropshipping for dummies?

Now, think of dropshipping as an online business that doesn’t require an office and has little to no initial investment. With that said, once we grasp dropshipping, we’ll understand why it’s an easy, fun, and flexible way for people to earn a living or add a stream of income.

That’s why we’re presenting the ultimate dropshipping crash course for dummies. After reading it, we’ll understand what dropshipping is, how it works, and, most importantly, how to start our own profitable dropshipping business.

What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping For Dummies

Since this is a guide for dropshipping for dummies, we should first define what it is. Essentially, dropshipping is an online eCommerce business model that does not require us to own, hold or ship inventory.

As a start, our web store offers products for sale. Then, a customer visits our store and makes a purchase. After receiving payment, we order the item from a supplier at a lower price and have it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the price difference is our profit.

For example, a customer buys a pair of sunglasses in our store for $40. In turn, we order it from the supplier for $25 and instruct it to send the item directly to the customer. Finally, the customer received a brand-new pair of sunglasses, and we just made $15.

is dropshipping legal

Since this is a guide for dropshipping for dummies, we should first define what it is. Essentially, dropshipping is an online eCommerce business model that does not require us to own, hold or ship inventory.

As a start, our web store offers products for sale. Then, a customer visits our store and makes a purchase. After receiving payment, we order the item from a supplier at a lower price and have it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the price difference is our profit.

For example, a customer buys a pair of sunglasses in our store for $40. In turn, we order it from the supplier for $25 and instruct it to send the item directly to the customer. Finally, the customer received a brand-new pair of sunglasses, and we just made $15.

Is Dropshipping Profitable?

profitable dropshipping for dummies

Generally, there are two main benefits of dropshipping that make it one of the most profitable businesses to run. First, there is an ever-growing demand for online products. Second, the super low investment and expenses of the businesses keep the margins high.

In fact, the global annual retail dropshipping revenue is expected to reach 476.1 billion USD come 2026. Indeed, dropshipping is the best way to capitalize on the growing demand for online products. Furthermore, this business model requires little to no investment, making it an accessible venture to everyone.

What Are The Benefits Of Dropshipping?

Remarkably, dropshipping for beginners is a profitable and easy business to start. Not only that, it comes with a host of benefits and perks that almost no other job or business can offer:

The Benefits Of Dropshipping

Primarily, venturing into dropshipping requires low startup investment and no physical stock. With this low-risk business model, we won’t have to worry much about losses. Plus, its low entry barrier and scalability allow us to reach diverse markets all over the globe.

Moreover, dropshipping enables us to easily replace and test products, leading us to our winning product listings. Besides that, we are confident in delivering customer orders promptly due to its easy order fulfillment process. Finally, this venture gives us complete freedom, as we can run our online stores in the comforts of our homes 24/7.

Dropshipping For Dummies: 7 Steps To Success

Now that we know how ideal this business model is, it’s time to uncover everything you need to know about dropshipping. Thus, here is our practical step-by-step tutorial for dropshipping for dummies:

  1. Find Best Selling Dropshipping Products
  2. Select A Reliable Dropshipping Supplier
  3. Choose A Selling Channel
  4. Import Dropshipping Products To Your Store
  5. Advertise Your Dropshipping Business
  6. Satisfy Your Customers With Quick Order Fulfillment
  7. Keep In Touch: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Let’s explore how each step leads us to dropshipping success.

1. Find Best Selling Dropshipping Products

AutoDS Product Research Marketplace

Since millions of products are on the market, we’ll need a way to sort through the options. The goal is to locate the products that customers are most likely to buy. This is called product research.

For dropshipping for dummies, product research is one of the most important tasks. This process can make the difference between dropshipping success and failure. To find winning products, we can take one of these approaches:

  • Search Supplier’s Best-Seller Sections
  • Spy On The Competition
  • Google Trends
  • Analyze Social Media Trends, Hashtags & Ads
  • AutoDS Product Research Tool
  • AutoDS Blog & YouTube Playlist

One of the most effective product-finding methods is using the AutoDS Product Research Tool. Using this marketplace, we can search for millions of in-demand items, including their costs, retail prices, delivery times, and other sales metrics. Plus, this tool allows us to narrow down our searches through filters, such as suppliers, customer reviews, warehouses, and more.

Once we have a list of product choices, we can collect them in the AutoDS product research spreadsheet. Then, we can compare and select which items are optimal for our success. Ultimately, we can succeed by testing different product offerings in our stores. 

2. Select A Reliable Dropshipping Supplier

Select A Reliable Dropshipping Supplier

Once we have best-selling products to offer, we must choose suppliers from whom we can source these items. When selecting our suppliers, we have to ensure that they’re reliable. To do this, here are the factors that we must be on the lookout for:

  • Practical shipping, return & payment policies
  • Domestic warehouses
  • Wide product range
  • High-quality products
  • Positive reviews
  • Excellent customer service

Among the diverse choices of suppliers in the market, here are the top three platforms we need to start working with:

  • Walmart
  • AliExpress
  • CJDropshipping


Walmart Dropshipping For Dummies Supplier

For dropshipping for dummies, Walmart is definitely one of the suppliers we want to try out. As the world’s largest retail chain, Walmart works with popular brands and offers extensive dropshipping perks. Here are more reasons to source best-selling products from this supplier:

  • A wide array of products
  • Practical delivery options
  • Price match guarantee

With over 160 million products online, we can surely find our next winning items from Walmart. Additionally, the platform offers a next-day delivery option for most products. On top of that, customers can enjoy free shipping for orders $35 and above.

Furthermore, Walmart has a price match guarantee for online purchases. Particularly, this supplier matches the price of similar products we can find on other platforms at lower selling costs. Hence, we can ensure fair prices to extend to our customers.


AliExpress Dropshipping For Beginners Supplier

Our next excellent supplier for dropshipping for beginners is AliExpress. Essentially, AliExpress is an online retail marketplace that connects us to many manufacturers and suppliers. Besides that, this platform has the following key features:

  • Diverse product catalog
  • Low-cost items
  • AliExpress dropship center

As one of the biggest eCommerce suppliers, AliExpress provides a diverse product catalog. In fact, we can find endless niches and product ideas from this supplier. Plus, these items come with lower costs, allowing us to assign higher profit margins.

Aside from that, the platform has a dedicated AliExpress dropship center for our product-finding needs. Here, we can filter products by price range, the volume of times sold, customer reviews, and more. So, we’re confident that we can find best-selling products to dropship.


CJDropshipping Supplier For Dummies

Another reliable supplier we need to work with is CJDropshipping. Established by a team of dropshippers, CJDropshipping offers almost everything we need for our online business. Let’s discover the benefits of dropshipping from this supplier:

  • Product sourcing feature
  • Print-on-demand service
  • White-label branding

Interestingly, CJDropshipping’s product sourcing feature enables us to request items we can’t find on its website. This feature helps us establish a specially-made product listing, which is not readily available in the market. Thus, giving us a competitive advantage.

Besides that, this supplier has a print-on-demand service, an order fulfillment process that allows us to offer customized products. In addition, CJDropshipping’s white-label service lets us package our items under our branding. With these features, we can establish a distinct reputation in the market and build brand awareness among clients.

All in all, the most successful dropshippers run versatile stores by working with multiple suppliers. Doing so allows them to diversify product offerings and increase sales. 

To help us achieve this, we can work with over twenty-five dropshipping suppliers. So, regardless of niche or target audience, there is something out there for us. 

3. Choose A Selling Channel

Dropshipping For Dummies Selling Channels

Next up, we need a selling channel where customers can see and buy our products. Generally, selling channels can either be customizable websites or marketplaces.

Customizable eCommerce Websites

Here are the best customizable eCommerce websites in the market:

On the one hand, customizable websites allow us to build our stores from scratch. Although these platforms don’t normally have organic traffic, we can utilize strategies to make our brands known in the market. Overall, customizable websites give us the freedom to design our business according to our branding and goals.


Let’s explore the most reliable marketplaces for dropshipping:

Meanwhile, marketplaces are existing platforms where we can build storefronts and add products. In particular, these platforms welcome organic traffic but have high competition. Therefore, we need to offer distinct product listings and incorporate effective methods to stay ahead of the competition.

When we start advancing in dropshipping, we’ll be able to sell on multiple channels simultaneously. As a result, we can reach more audiences and optimize our dropshipping profits.

4. Import Dropshipping Products To Your Store

After building our online stores, we need to start importing trending products. For product imports, we can manually or automatically add items to our stores.

When manually adding products, we must copy all item information from our supplier’s website. Then, we must paste these details into our selling channel. Unfortunately, this process becomes tedious and prone to error when we’re dealing with many products.

So, here comes the automatic importing method to save us from this laborious task. With that said, dropshipping software takes care of all product imports on our behalf. Not only does this quicken the process, but this process also enables us to add numerous products at once.

To enjoy the full benefits of dropshipping, here are efficient automatic importing methods by AutoDS:

  • One-click Importer
  • Single Product Uploader
  • Multiple Product IDs/URLs
  • Bulk Importer

Now, let’s go through adding multiple products using the bulk importer.

Bulk Importer

With the bulk importer, we can add several items simultaneously using a CSV file. But first, we need to install the AutoDS Dropshipping Helper extension.

Let’s begin by heading over to the supplier’s website and finding the products we want to sell. Next, click the AutoDS extension icon on the lower-right corner of the screen.

Add Dropshipping Products Using AutoDS Bulk Importer

Then, click the ‘Extract’ button, copying all product IDs into the dialog box. After doing so, click the ‘Export as CSV’ button to automatically save the file containing all product details to our computer.

At this point, we can proceed to the AutoDS platform and click ‘Add Products’ on the left sidebar. Next, choose the ‘Multiple Products/Stores’ option.

In the dialog box, click ‘Upload CSV’ and choose the CSV file from the computer. Alternatively, we can drag and drop the CSV file into the dialog box.

To transfer all product details from the CSV file to the ‘Drafts’ page, click the ‘Add As Draft’ button. Once the products become drafts, we can start optimizing them.

Optimize Dropshipping Products

In general, product optimization enables us to assign search-engine-optimized (SEO) titles, descriptions, images, and more. As such, optimized products appear more organized and professional in our stores. Additionally, our products can rank higher in customer web searches using relevant keywords.

With that said, we can utilize the AutoDS title builder to help us form converting titles for our products. Using this tool, we can generate SEO keywords that will make our product titles distinct and relevant.

After the optimization process, click the ‘Save’ button to apply the changes. When items are all set, click the ‘Import’ button to transfer them to our selling channels.

Now, the items will move to the ‘Products’ page, signifying that our products are available in our dropshipping stores. Thus, we can start gaining profits from our product sales.

Advertise Your Dropshipping Business

Remember that even after getting sales, we must continuously promote our business. Especially for dropshipping for beginners, marketing is a crucial process to keep our business on top of the competition. In essence, marketing lets us reach more audiences and helps us build a distinct brand in the market. 

With that said, here are different selling channels with the best marketing strategies fit for them:




  • Buy & Sell Groups
  • Promotions

Ultimately, the proper advertising techniques can pave the way to more significant sales and dropshipping success.

6. Satisfy Your Customers With Quick Order Fulfillment

AutoDS Order Fulfillment Dashboard

Once we’ve mastered the basics of dropshipping for beginners, our stores will start seeing sales. By this time, we’ll need to fulfill orders quickly. As such, fulfilling orders simply means going to our supplier’s website and placing orders for customers.

Specifically, here are popular methods of order fulfillment:

  • Manual Order Fulfillment
  • Automatic Orders
  • Fulfilled by AutoDS

Primarily, manual fulfillment requires that we go to the supplier’s website for each order. Then, we fill in customer details, review the information carefully, and place the order.

Conversely, automatic fulfillment saves us the time and headache of placing individual orders. For instance, AutoDS’ Automatic Orders feature allows us to utilize our buyer accounts to fulfill orders. Then, this tool automatically enables us to track customer packages’ whereabouts automatically.

Meanwhile, the Fulfilled by AutoDS (FBA) service takes care of order fulfillment from A-Z without human intervention. Here, the system uses auto-credits, so we won’t have to worry about order limits anymore. Plus, we can enjoy managed discounts from most suppliers when using the FBA service.

7. Keep In Touch: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Undoubtedly, the golden rule for any flourishing business is customer satisfaction. To offer the best customer support, here are effective methods we can adopt:

  • Email support
  • FAQs 
  • Live chat
  • Phone number
  • Ticket submission

When dropshipping, we’ll need to keep tabs on orders, ensuring they are placed accurately and delivered on time. Additionally, customer service entails answering customer questions and processing returns when they are requested.

Remember that communication with our customers is essential when running an online business. Likewise, our profits and growth directly correlate to the level of customer service we provide.

How To Take Your Dropshipping Business To The Next Level

Scale Your Dropshipping Business To The Next Level

An important step when dropshipping is finding automation software to help run our stores. For one, manually running our stores takes time, energy, and careful attention to detail. But, don’t worry! We have the power to turn a dropshipping business into a primary source of passive income.

To achieve this, we’ll need a way to speed up the operation, streamline the steps and minimize mistakes. Previously, we’ve seen some beneficial tools we can use to automate our business. However, there is more we can utilize and benefit from to scale.

As an all-in-one dropshipping for beginners solution, AutoDS provides these worthwhile automation features for our business:

  • Price/stock monitoring
  • Quick product imports
  • Automatic price optimization
  • Complete order fulfillment
  • Easy inventory management
  • Automatic tracking updates
  • Advanced image editor

On top of all that, AutoDS allows us access to the following insightful resources:

  • Business policy templates
  • eBooks & dropshipping guides
  • and so much more!

Therefore, the most successful dropshipping stores use automation software to help run their businesses. Platforms like AutoDS can automate every step of the dropshipping process, from listing products to processing orders. Instead of hours, you get tasks done in seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can A Beginner Start Dropshipping?

Dropshipping for beginners is simple and easy. To begin, you can search for trending products to dropship and choose the best platforms to work with. With effective marketing techniques, reliable customer service, and business automation, you can easily bring your venture to the next level.

Is Dropshipping Really Worth It? 

Yes, dropshipping is worth it. In fact, it is one of the most profitable business models in the eCommerce industry. For instance, dropshipping is expected to reach 476.1 billion USD in global sales by 2026. 

How Much Money Do I Need To Start A Dropshipping Business?

Dropshipping requires low startup investment. The money you need to start dropshipping depends on the nature of the products you want to sell. For example, you can buy a t-shirt costing $10 and sell it for $25, gaining you a $15 profit. 


There is a famous saying: money is constantly falling; you just need to find out where. Hence, dropshipping is one of those places. And as you now know, dropshipping for dummies isn’t that complicated.

If you like the idea of quitting the 9-5 grind or just looking for an additional income source, dropshipping is for you. With the help of business automation, we can further scale our ventures to greater heights. Thus, maximizing our profits and leading us to dropshipping success.

As long as we have the will to succeed and put in the effort, we, too, can build a dropshipping empire. Since dropshipping is for everyone, here are guides for every individual: