Do you want to learn how to start a dropshipping business in the UK? After the phenomenal results across the US, dropshippers everywhere are looking for new markets where they can replicate their success. It is now becoming clear that the UK is the perfect place to start as a region with low competition and high demand.
With the help of the right tools, we, too, can capitalize on the great opportunity the UK eCommerce scene has to offer. As long as we have top-notch products, reliable suppliers, and accessible selling channels, we’ll achieve high profits in no time.
Therefore, this article will serve as the ultimate dropshipping in the UK guide. We’ll learn the basics of dropshipping in the region. Specifically, we’ll discuss its legality, profitability, automation, and much more. Let’s jump right in!
What Is Dropshipping And How Does It Work In The UK?
Before proceeding to the specifics of a dropshipping UK business, let us first understand the basic concepts of this venture. Primarily, dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that doesn’t require us to maintain a physical inventory or manage the delivery of products. Instead, we can outsource these tasks to third-party suppliers.
To illustrate, suppose our dropshipping UK store has cell phone cases for sale. Then, one of our UK customers visits our website and purchases an item for £20. Once the purchase is complete, we head over to our supplier’s website, purchase the item for £15 and have it shipped directly to the customer.
The result? Our customers receive their brand new phone case, while we walk away with an easy profit of £5. Essentially, the uniqueness of this model offers a significant benefit because we purchase the item only after getting paid. Thus, dropshipping in the UK is a low-risk business model requiring little working capital to start.
Is Dropshipping Legal In The UK?
Yes, establishing a dropshipping UK business is legal. However, we must refrain from selling products on the eBay VeRO Database as they are Intellectual Property protected products. Additionally, we should not sell hazardous, toxic, age-restricted, or similar products in our dropshipping UK stores.
Moreover, we must abide by the UK’s special consumer laws. Then, we must keep up with our tax obligations while running our dropshipping UK business.
All in all, the UK’s laws of dropshipping aren’t too complicated to follow because our suppliers and selling channels often take care of them for us. Additionally, with plenty of suppliers and millions of products on the market, we need not worry about finding legal dropshipping UK products to sell.
Tax & Business Obligations For UK Dropshipping
As dropshippers in the UK, we must bear in mind to pay appropriate taxes for our online business. While it’s best to speak with a local accountant to understand what and how we will pay these taxes, in general, there are three types of dropshipping UK taxes:
- Income Tax
- Customs Duty
Another factor to consider when dropshipping in the UK is understanding whether we need to register a company in the region. One of the primary considerations when beginning a UK company is whether you live there or not. Most often, we need to register a company when we live and operate a dropshipping business in the UK.
So what about dropshippers who live outside the UK? In that case, you should consult with an accountant about whether it is advisable to register a company in the UK or not. You must also speak with your accountant about the process of paying taxes/VAT.
Now, after deciding to register a company in the UK, the next thing to accomplish is the VAT Registration of your business. When you are UK-based, you must register for VAT with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when your VAT taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 in the past 12 months. However, if you are not in the UK but are selling to the UK market, you need to register for VAT when you ship your first parcel to the region, with no minimum purchase.
Is Dropshipping In The UK Profitable?
Now that we know the legality of UK dropshipping, let’s take a closer look at why it is such a profitable and worthwhile investment. So, a dropshipping UK business is profitable for the following reasons:
- High consumer demand
- Low dropshipping competition
- Many local suppliers
According to Statista, the demand for online products in the UK is constantly increasing. In fact, eCommerce in the UK achieved total revenue of 129 billion British pounds in 2021. Thus, making the region a frontrunner in online business in Europe.
Besides high consumer demand, there is also low competition in the UK dropshipping industry compared to the US. Like in any business, high demand and low competition significantly increase the opportunity for massive profits.
Additionally, a dropshipping UK business supports a vast selection of local suppliers that fulfill domestic orders. So, customers can receive their parcels on time if we can deliver items quickly. As a result, we can attain better customer satisfaction and higher profits.
How To Start A Dropshipping Business In The UK
At this point, let us discuss the step-by-step guide on how to start a dropshipping business UK. Here are the processes we need to undertake:
- Step 1: Conduct product research
- Step 2: Select A Dropshipping UK Supplier
- Step 3: Choose A UK Selling Channel
- Step 4: Import Products To Your UK Store
- Step 5: Market Your UK Dropshipping Store
- Step 6: Fulfill UK Customer Orders
- Step 7: Provide Customer Service
Let’s begin exploring each step, starting from the beginning.
1. Conduct Product Research
Finding the right products to sell is the first and most crucial step when jumpstarting a dropshipping UK business. We must ensure that the items we sell are according to the market’s preferences and needs. Remember that no matter how attractive our products appear, offering the wrong items will not translate into sales and profits.
Notably, here are the primary means of conducting product research:
- Search Supplier’s Websites For Best-Sellers
- Spy On The Competition
- AutoDS Product Research Tool
- Google Trends UK
- Dropshipping Ads & Social Media Trends Analysis
To identify the top-caliber items, we can search for product trends in the UK. By doing so, we can find the best-selling items that customers usually purchase. In turn, we can offer these items in our dropshipping stores and start gaining significant sales.
Additionally, we can bolster our stores’ sales by offering trending products. Thus, we can utilize the AutoDS Product Research Tool to discover best-selling items according to costs, categories, and more. Plus, this tool allows us to import products in one click, allowing us to establish substantial product listings. With AutoDS as a reliable dropshipping tool, we won’t worry about finding the most profitable products to sell.
2. Select A Dropshipping UK Supplier
After finding the best products to dropship, the next step is to find the most reliable dropshipping UK suppliers to source items for our online stores. Hence, here are the factors we need to check before working with a dropshipping supplier:
- Domestic UK Warehouse
- Diverse Product Range
- Affordable & Quality Products
- Practical Return, Shipping & Payment Policies
- Excellent Customer Service
- Positive Reviews
For best results, experienced dropshippers advise working with multiple suppliers. It allows us to offer a greater variety of products and the peace of mind of having a backup plan when something goes wrong.
With that said, AutoDS provides a list of the most reliable dropshipping UK suppliers to work with. There are also many wholesale UK dropshipping suppliers which we can use to source products. While working with these suppliers, we can enjoy an endless selection of trending products and efficient business processes.
3. Choose A UK Selling Channel
When running a dropshipping store, it’s important to work with a reliable supplier. Besides that, we must be able to sell our products on a thriving channel.
Essentially, a selling channel is an avenue to offer our products to the market. In the dropshipping UK arena, AutoDS offers comprehensive support and automation for dropshipping on the following selling channels:
- eBay UK
- Shopify UK
- Wix UK
On eBay UK, the existing massive organic traffic helps us pull a greater audience into our dropshipping stores. Conversely, Shopify UK allows us to customize our online stores fully and has no selling limits. Moreover, Wix UK is a website builder that lets us build our brands from scratch.
With these optimal selling platforms, we can extend our market reach to more UK audiences. Therefore, we can maximize sales while dropshipping on these excellent selling channels.
4. Import Products To Your UK Store
Before marketing the products to shoppers, we must import them from our supplier pages to our selling platforms. Generally, we can either import our products manually or automatically.
On the one hand, manually listing dropshipping items requires detailed data entry work, which consumes lots of time. To spare ourselves from this tiresome work, we can automate the import process with the help of automation software. In this way, we can spend more time expanding our dropshipping UK career instead.
Import automation is one of AutoDS’ most powerful features. This automation software allows us to list products in just a few clicks using the following methods:
- One-Click Importer
- Single Product Uploader
- Multiple Product IDs/URLs
- Bulk Importer
Let’s illustrate how to start dropshipping UK products by individually importing them with the Single Product Uploader.
Single Product Uploader
Notably, the single product uploader allows us to add one product in just a few seconds. To begin, let’s find a trending product that we want to add from our dropshipping UK supplier’s website. Then, enter the product page and copy the item’s product URL or ID.
Next, proceed to the AutoDS platform and click ‘Add Products’ on the left sidebar. After doing so, select the ‘Single Product’ button. In the dialog box that appears, paste the product URL/ID and click the ‘Edit Now (Quick)’ button.
Afterward, AutoDS will copy the product details from the UK supplier’s website. When the system completes the transfer of the product information, the item will be available as a draft.
When the product is in the drafts section, we can start the optimization process. In particular, optimizing the product allows us to set search-engine-optimized (SEO) titles, descriptions, tags, images, and more. By doing so, our product will appear professional in our stores and help the item rank higher in customer searches.
Once done, click the ‘Save’ button to update the settings. When all information is complete, we can import the product by clicking the ‘Save and Import’ button.
At this time, the item will transfer to the ‘Products’ page, signifying that our product is live in our dropshipping UK store. Now, customers can start purchasing our item, and we’ll begin getting profits.
5. Market Your UK Dropshipping Store
Through effective marketing, customers can easily access our dropshipping UK stores. In addition, promoting our online business helps us create a substantial audience base. With that said, here are the popular marketing tools that we can utilize according to various selling channels:
- PPC Ads
- Influencer Marketing
- Content Creation On Social Media (Viral Posts That Bring Traffic!)
- Blog Articles
- Email Marketing
- Promoted Listings Advanced
- Promoted Listings Standard
- Sales Events
- Volume Discounts
Remember that the more customers we can entice to our stores, the greater our potential sales conversions become. On top of that, superb marketing techniques help us establish our brands in the market. Hence, distinct branding enables our dropshipping UK business to stay ahead of the competition.
6. Fulfill UK Customer Orders
Now that our products are live in our UK dropshipping stores, we should prepare to fulfill customer orders promptly and efficiently.
Each time a customer buys a product from our store, we enter their order and shipping details on our supplier’s website. If orders begin to pile up, we can hire a virtual assistant to help ease the workload by fulfilling orders for us.
Better yet, we can add automatic order fulfillment to fulfill our orders automatically as soon as they come in. Not only that but tracking information will also update automatically. This way, our UK customers will get their packages at a blazing fast speed and we’ll save time that we can invest in growing our UK business.
7. Provide Customer Service
One of the essential factors in gaining customers’ loyalty to our dropshipping UK stores is outstanding customer service. Remarkably, extending excellent customer support to shoppers can help establish a good reputation in the e-business industry. Plus, satisfied customers are more likely to repurchase from our stores and recommend our stores to other people.
So, how can we extend support to our customers? Well, here are effective means to provide excellent customer service:
- Ticket submission
- Phone number
- Live chat
- FAQ page
- Customer Service Management (CSM) tool
With these customer service features, we can address customer concerns more efficiently. As a result, we can win customers’ confidence in our dropshipping UK business.
The Best UK Dropshipping Suppliers
Working with the most reliable suppliers is essential if we want our dropshipping business to thrive. Therefore, we’ll want to pick only the best platforms to source products for our store.
Primarily, the best dropshipping UK suppliers offer vast selections of trending products. In general, items on these platforms usually have competitive prices. Moreover, these suppliers provide fast and convenient domestic shipping arrangements for many available products.
To enjoy these valuable benefits, here is the complete list of the best dropshipping UK suppliers that we should consider:
- AliExpress UK
- Banggood UK
- Wayfair UK
- Costway UK
- VidaXL UK
- eBay UK
- Go Dropship
- Amazon UK
Explore more on what the top dropshipping UK suppliers can offer, and start working with them.
How To Improve Shipping Times From Outside The UK
Since not all dropshipping UK suppliers ship from domestic warehouses, we sometimes rely on international shipping. As a result, our delivery process significantly slows down. Therefore, it behooves us to work diligently and find ways to speed up the international shipping process.
One way to get faster shipping from international suppliers is to choose items from closer geographical locations, such as the EU or Russia, instead of China or the US. It goes without saying that the closer a package is, the faster our suppliers will ship it to our UK clients.
Here is an example of a trending item from the AliExpress dropshipping center that ships from the Czech Republic to the UK in just 4-10 days:
All in all, timely shipping helps in attaining customer satisfaction. Hence, we must ensure to work with suppliers who can deliver customer packages in the most reasonable time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dropshipping UK Worth It?
Yes, starting a dropshipping UK business is worth it. In fact, the eCommerce industry revenue in the UK was worth 129 billion British pounds in 2021. With this profitable venture, you can achieve considerable success in the dropshipping UK industry.
How Do I Become A Dropshipper In The UK?
Notably, starting dropshipping in the UK is straightforward. To begin, you must search for best-selling products to sell and work with reliable dropshipping platforms. Then, you can expand by utilizing effective marketing techniques and extending excellent customer service.
Which Platform Is Best For Dropshipping In The UK?
When starting a dropshipping UK business, we can establish our stores on eBay UK, Shopify UK, or Wix UK. These selling channels offer the best services to help us attain broad market reach and maximum profits.
We are now familiar with how to start a dropshipping business in the UK. From creating an e-commerce business to fulfilling our customers’ orders, we are ready to begin our dropshipping UK venture.
Remember that dropshipping in the UK is convenient and easy as long as we adhere to the rules and understand how the processes work. Then, the next step that we need to take is to start finding the best items to list in our online stores and gain profits in no time.
To become an expert in dropshipping, we must master its basics and identify trending products. So, become a pro dropshipper in no time with the help of these articles: