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A 2021 A-Z Guide for Dropshipping Beginners: Start & Scale Your Business from scratch

A 2021 A-Z Guide for Dropshipping Beginners: Start & Scale Your Business from scratch
CJ2021-03-30 16:30:251139

This is an A-Z guide for beginners who want to start a dropshipping business in 2021.

Note: there is a detailed guidebook for your download at the end of the article, please don't miss it.




Note: we offer a detailed guidebook for your download, don't miss out on it.



What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model where a retailer never fulfills orders manually and instead tasks a supplier to ship products on their behalf. Essentially the retailer acts as a "middle man", often listing items on their website at a profitable margin while purchasing said items from a supplier at a cheaper rate. Dropshipper will build an eCommerce site and list all the products to which they have access. Then when they receive a purchase, they would buy the product and list their customers' credentials as a shipping address. When the customers receive their orders, they would be reimbursed by the Payment Gateway they've installed on their website.



In other words, it is a newer form of albatross marketing. All requests are satisfied and transported directly from a wholesaler, such as CJ Dropshipping. This enables the dropshipper to focus more on building your brand, advertising, and driving sales.


Thus, dropshipping provides you a way to easily start a business at a relatively low cost. You do not have to pull a loan and go into debt buying inventory. You don't have to deal with the cost of renting, management, and maintaining warehouses, either. The only question you should be asking yourself is "how soon can you feasibly start your own business?"




Start your business with CJdropshipping


All-in-one dropshipping solution provider: product supplies, global logistics, free sourcing, POD, video shooting, and other dropshipping-related services.




Is dropshipping still profitable in 2021?

Dropshipping is still profitable in 2021 because of the number of eCommerce activities taking place around the world. It is not only profitable but thriving!



Search the term "dropshipping" on google trends, the result shows that over the past 5 years, the searching trend of dropshipping went through an upward spiral, it reached a new peak at the start of 2021.


The global market size of dropshipping expected to rise from $122.3 billion in 2019 to $149.4 billion by the end of 2020, while the space for dropshipping is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 28.8% from 2019 to 2025, reaching USD 557.9 billion by 2025. The potential market is huge.

Read More: Is Dropshipping Dead in 2021? Is It Still Profitable?



Step by step on how to do dropshipping

This part is a detailed guide of how to set up a dropshipping business, step by step, easy to follow. Stay tuned if you are interested in dropshipping.



Step 1: Choose a Platform to Create Your Store

To run a dropshipping business, you don't need to rent a storefront to display and stock your goods. Instead, you need a platform to build up your online store, and import products from suppliers.


Types of platforms

Commonly speaking, there are 2 types of platforms to create your store: one is independent store platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce; the other is online marketplace platforms like Amazon and eBay. Since Amazon has a new policy that restricts dropshipping model from the beginning of 2021, CJ Dropshipping stopped integrating with Amazon.


More to read: Amazon Restricts Sellers from Dropshipping, How Can Dropshippers Find a Way Out?


Apart from these two major types of platforms, there is a new emerging platform known as a social eCommerce platform like WED2C, with which you don't have to build a store, you don't need to create pages, you even don't need to handle the customer service. Just share the product link to your friends or followers, once they buy through the link, you gain the commission.


Learn more about how WED2C works: WED2C: A Social E-Commerce Platform for Everyone




Platforms comparison

Pros & Cons

Independent stores

Online marketplaces

Social eCommerce


You own the website

The website owns flow

No start-up cost

You are able to access the customer list

Top search result by Google

Need not marketing strategy

Higher profit compares to eBay/ Amazon

Low start-up cost

Easy to start, you don't need to build a store  


Relatively substantial income at the beginning stage

Less competition


High start-up cost to build a website

Strict shipping time frame

Hard to scale

Require Marketing Strategy

Can't direct contact with customers

Limited product listings

Need to have a fulfillment supply chain

High competitive for hot selling products


Read More: Which E-commerce Platform is Better? Shopify / Woocommerce VS Amazon / eBay



Top eCommerce platforms (★=recommendable)




Independent Sites



Top e-commerce platform that enables individuals and businesses to create online stores


A popular WordPress plugin that enables site owners to create and run online stores. It is an open-source system with many templates available to help get you started.


An open-source platform created in 2007 developed especially for running and building online stores.


A web platform for building websites of all kinds, including online stores. There are many attractive templates to start with, and each is highly customizable.


 a popular closed platform for creating all types of websites, online stores among one of them. Building a Wix-based online store is easy, anyone who enjoys learning different interfaces can use it.


A statistics lovers' dream and considered by many as the best-closed platform for online stores. With BigCommerce, you can relish in the nitty-gritty of every component of your e-Commerce store. 


Shoplazza is a "software as a service" (SaaS) cross-border e-commerce site-building ecosystem from China; they provide cross-border eCommerce brands with ERP services and increase their revenues through FB/Google ad delivery and a plethora of marketing features.

Online marketplaces


The biggest online retail platform, not dropshipping friendly


Items may be bought for a fixed price, or sold to the buyer who offers the highest price


An American e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies


Popular in Southeast Asia 


Popular in Southeast Asia 

Social eCommerce


Start e-commerce with 0 costs: if you are a new dropshipper or you do not have a website or do not want to cost too much on building a dropshipping store you can choose WED2C to start your dropshipping business for free.