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How To Start Shopify Dropshipping With No Money in 12 Steps

How to start Shopify dropshipping with no money?

Many aspiring business owners eager to enter the e-commerce market have also wondered the same thing.

Despite the seemingly difficult challenge, starting your own dropshipping business without spending money may be enjoyable with the appropriate approach, determination, and innovation.

In this article, this guide provides strategies to achieve financial independence through dropshipping on Shopify, despite limited budgets. It covers dropshipping basics, sourcing products without upfront costs, and guiding initial store setup steps.

By the end, you’ll be prepared and self-assured to start your Shopify dropshipping business with no money down, opening the door to future e-commerce success.

Table of Contents

What is Shopify dropshipping?

Unlike the traditional commerce methodology, Shopify dropshipping enables business owners to run their own online stores without keeping goods by collaborating with suppliers or wholesalers to handle the fulfillment process.

What is Shopify dropshipping?

The usual operation of the Shopify dropshipping method is as follows:

  • Create an online shop. The company owner creates an online store on the Shopify platform. Shopify provides a variety of editable templates and administrative tools to create e-commerce websites.
  • Source products. Dropshippers look for suppliers or wholesalers that are willing to dropship their products rather than buying and keeping the things themselves. These vendors could have domestic or foreign headquarters.
  • Import products. The dropshipper imports product listings into their Shopify store from the providers they’ve selected. This provides the names, pictures, and costs of the products.
  • Market and sell. To draw potential buyers to their online store, dropshippers can sell their products through digital marketing, social media advertising, and SEO strategies.
  • Customer orders. The order information is automatically sent to the supplier or distributor when a customer puts an order and pays for it on the dropshipper’s Shopify store.
  • Supplier fulfillment. The product is picked, packaged, and shipped straight to the customer by the supplier or wholesaler. The financial aspects of the actual item or transport are not handled by the dropshipper.
  • Customer service. The dropshipper is still responsible for providing customer service, handling returns, and addressing any issues or inquiries from customers.
  • Profit. By raising the cost of the goods they sell, the dropshipper makes money. Their profit margin is the sum of the price they charge for the products and the cost they pay to the supplier.

In general, dropshipping companies succeed in the fierce industry of e-commerce by offering outstanding service to customers, product selection, and marketing. Some companies change to holding stock as they expand to boost profitability.

Why should we consider dropshipping on Shopify?

Dropshipping on Shopify can be a desirable business model for various reasons, but it’s important to recognize that it’s not without its challenges.

Why should we consider dropshipping on Shopify?

Here are some reasons why people consider dropshipping on Shopify:

  • Low startup costs. Dropshipping demands a smaller initial spending than traditional retail strategies. The financial risk is decreased because you don’t need to buy products in advance.
  • Ease of setup. With a lot of integrated functionality, Shopify is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform and a wide range of apps and plugins to help you set up your store quickly and efficiently.
  • Wide product selection. You can sell a variety of products using dropshipping without stocking them yourself. This flexibility allows you to test different products and niches to find what works best for your business.
  • Location independence. Dropshipping is a location-independent business, meaning you can run it anywhere with an internet connection. This provides flexibility and the potential for a remote or nomadic lifestyle.
  • Ease of use. You can easily scale up as your company expands by adding more products, optimizing marketing strategies, and expanding your customer base without the logistical challenges of holding inventory.
  • Reduced risk. Since you only purchase products when you make a sale, you’re not restricted by unsold stock. This can help reduce the financial risk associated with traditional retail.
  • Access to suppliers. Many dropshipping platforms, including Shopify, offer integrations with various dropshipping suppliers. This makes it easier to find and partner with reliable suppliers.

In conclusion, dropshipping on Shopify offers low-risk e-commerce entry with the potential for profitability and scalability. So, success requires careful product selection, marketing expertise, and excellent customer service, requiring thorough research and business strategy planning.

Read more: Is Shopify Good For Dropshipping? 

How to start Shopify dropshipping with no money?

Step 1: Conduct market research

Starting a dropshipping business on Shopify without initial cash payments is achievable with proper market research. This helps identify profitable niches and products, minimizes risks, and increases the chances of success.

Conduct market research

Here’s how it works:

  • Market research helps identify high-demand niches or low-competition products, enabling the selection of sales-generating options without significant spending.
  • Customizing strategies to your target audience’s preferences can increase conversion rates and sales.
  • Understanding competitors helps learn from their successes and failures, provide insights into effective pricing strategies, and enhance market strategic entry.
  • Market research helps identify cost-effective strategies for reaching potential customers.
  • Understanding your target market enables you to build a brand that connects with your audience, encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty.
  • Monitoring market trends and customer feedback helps refine product offerings.
  • You can save money by conducting extensive research and reducing the risk of selecting products that won’t sell.

So, conducting thorough market research is important for a successful Shopify dropshipping journey, supporting informed decision-making, targeting the right audience, and optimizing resources for maximum profitability.

Step 2: Create a business plan

Starting a Shopify dropshipping business with no money requires strategic execution and a well-crafted business plan, which serves as a roadmap, and attracts partners, and investors. 

Create a business plan

This is how it benefits you:

  • A business plan helps define the goals, niche, and target audience of a drop shipping business, ensuring its success.
  • A business plan assists you in identifying prospective costs and income, opening up innovative funding options for companies lacking in personal resources.
  • Creating a strategy for reinvesting profits can sustain business growth, and establish clear milestones to monitor progress.
  • A business plan provides direction and motivation, helping you stay committed to your dropshipping venture as it evolves and grows.

While starting a Shopify dropshipping business with no money can be challenging, a well-thought-out business plan can guide you toward success by effectively using your time, effort, and available resources.

Step 3: Use Shopify free trial

One common business concept employed by enterprises is dropshipping due to low entry barriers and profit potential. However, beginners frequently lack money for facilities and goods. Therefore, Shopify provides a solution for those without money.

Use Shopify free trial

What it can do for you is as follows:

  • The free trial allows you to start your online store without any paid-first costs, enabling you to start your dropshipping business without needing money to host a website.
  • The trial period allows you to evaluate the viability of your dropshipping concept, explore various product niches, and evaluate the potential success of your marketing strategies.
  • The free trial allows you to familiarize yourself with the Shopify platform, its features, and store management, which is essential for efficient operations after starting sales.
  • The trial can be utilized to enhance the aesthetics of your store, establish a compelling brand identity, and introduce new products, thereby enhancing your professional image.
  • During the trial, focus on securing funding through savings, loans, or investors can prepare for the full launch of your dropshipping business.

Remember that the free trial has a limited timeframe. Use it wisely to set a solid foundation for your Shopify dropshipping business and be ready to transition into a paid plan once you’re confident in your strategy and have the necessary resources.

Step 4: Manage the product sourcing

How to start Shopify dropshipping with no money? Managing product sourcing effectively can be a crucial strategy to help you do so.

Manage the product sourcing

Here’s how it can support you:

  • Dropshipping services enable businesses to reduce initial investment and financial barriers by eliminating the need for upfront inventory purchase and storage.
  • Selecting reliable suppliers allows for a diverse product range, reducing inventory burden, identifying profitable niches, and reaching a wider audience.
  • Product sourcing is important for maintaining healthy profit margins and market competitiveness by negotiating better pricing with suppliers.
  • Expanding your business allows for easy scaling up operations by adding new products or suppliers.
  • Businesses can focus on marketing strategies and exceptional customer service by reducing goods management time and financial issues.
  • Minimizing inventory investment can reduce the risk of unsold products, allowing for quick product testing with several options.

In summary, starting a Shopify dropshipping business with limited money requires effective product sourcing to offer a variety, maintain low costs, and focus on marketing and customer satisfaction.

Step 5: Create your Shopify store

Create your Shopify store

Creating your own Shopify store is one of the most effective ways to start Shopify dropshipping without any payment. In particular, it can help you in the following ways:

  • Shopify provides a 14-day free trial, allowing users to establish their shop and begin selling without any upfront costs, allowing them to test their dropshipping business model.
  • Dropshipping eliminates the need for inventory management by ordering products only from suppliers after a sale, thus reducing financial risk.
  • Shopify integrates with dropshipping apps, simplifying product selection and addition from dropshipping suppliers, and automating order fulfillment.
  • Customizing your store’s design can match your niche and branding using free or low-cost themes and design tools for a professional-looking website.
  • Shopify offers various marketing tools, allowing businesses to start marketing their products without significant advertising budgets.
  • As your dropshipping business expands, you can reinvest profits into improving your store, increasing your product range, and enhancing your marketing strategies.

To sum up, the low entry barrier of Shopify and the dropshipping model make it possible to start a dropshipping business with little to no money paid first. With dedication and smart strategies, you can grow your store over time.

Step 6: Focus on content creation

Starting a Shopify dropshipping business with minimal funds can be achieved through content creation, which attracts and engages your target audience, driving long-term sales and revenue. 

Focus on content creation

Here’s how:

  • Creating a niche-specific blog and generating valuable, SEO-optimized content can boost organic Shopify store traffic and decrease the need for paid advertising.
  • Using free social media platforms to share engaging content, build a following, and drive store traffic can generate sales without ad spend.
  • Creating an email list by providing valuable can be applied to nurture contacts and assist them in becoming customers.
  • Establishing engaging and informative videos about your products can effectively reach potential customers.
  • Persuading customers to share their impressions of your products on your site and social media enhances the authenticity of your brand.
  • You can collaborate with niche influencers or bloggers who may be willing to review your products in exchange for free samples.
  • Gaining expertise in product photography creates visually appealing store and marketing materials without professional services.

By dedicating time and effort to content creation, you can build a solid website and start making revenue without making big initial expenses in advertising or stock. As your company expands, you can reinvest earnings to develop your dropshipping business.

Step 7: Implement social media and content marketing

To answer the question of how to start Shopify dropshipping with no money, you have to own the right strategies, including leveraging social media and content marketing for cost-effective and impactful start-ups.

Implement social media and content marketing

Here’s how it can assist you:

  • Creating free social media profiles for your dropshipping store on popular platforms can help you reach a wide audience.
  • Posting engaging content in your niche, using relevant hashtags, and engaging with your audience assists you in building an organic following.
  • Encouraging customers to share product reviews on social media and reposting these on your profile can showcase real-experience product use and build trust.
  • Establishing a niche-specific blog can boost organic Shopify store traffic.
  • Collaboration with niche influencers can help you promote your products in exchange for commission or free products.
  • Shopify offers dropshipping apps and extensions for easy product import, order automation, and inventory management, some of which provide free trials or plans.

By concentrating on these tactics, you can efficiently start a Shopify dropshipping business with minimal first payment, gradually growing your store as you generate profits and gain experience in the e-commerce industry.

Step 8: Optimize search engines

Optimize search engines

One important element that you shouldn’t miss when launching a successful dropshipping business is to optimize your search engine strategies. You can benefit from it in the following ways:

  • SEO strategies increase website visibility on search engines, enabling more people to find your Shopify store organically without the need for paid advertising.
  • SEO-driven traffic is a cost-saving method for attracting new customers by giving your website a boost with the right keywords.
  • SEO can help businesses stand out from competitors by ensuring a well-optimized website appears ahead in search results, attracting potential customers.
  • SEO involves crafting high-quality content that caters to your audience’s needs and interests, serving as a marketing tool without requiring a substantial budget.
  • SEO offers long-lasting benefits, allowing for organic traffic attraction without ongoing ad spend once high rankings are achieved for relevant keywords.
  • As your brand’s authority and credibility increase in search engine rankings, you can establish a strong reputation even with no financial resources.

Optimizing your Shopify dropshipping store for search engines can boost traffic, build the brand, and start your business with minimal upfront costs. Nevertheless, it requires a lot of time, effort, and SEO expertise.

Step 9: Send email marketing

Send email marketing

Campaigns for email marketing may be an affordable option to launch your Shopify dropshipping business without requiring right-away money. By creating and maintaining an email database of potential customers, you can:

  • Email marketing allows you to connect with people who have expressed interest in your niche or products, increasing the chances of conversion.
  • Emails are more affordable than traditional advertising, making them a potential option for those with limited spending.
  • Consistent and valuable email communication can help build trust with your audience, turning them into loyal customers over time.
  • Email marketing platforms provide analytics tools that enable campaign performance tracking, enabling strategy refinement and maximization of ROI.

As a result, email marketing as part of your Shopify dropshipping strategy can provide an affordable way to attract customers, promote your products, and grow your business, even if you’re starting with limited funds.

Step 10: Bootstrap

By combining a number of tactics and resources, bootstrapping can assist you in starting Shopify dropshipping without spending any money.


Here’s a brief overview of it:

  • Shopify enables the creation of an online store without inventory, allowing customers to purchase products only after a sale, thereby reducing upfront costs.
  • A 14-day free trial is available on Shopify, which enables users to build and customize their store without any initial cost.
  • Engaging in online communities related to dropshipping and e-commerce can help you gain valuable insights, seek advice, and potentially collaborate with others.
  • Partnering with reliable dropshipping suppliers seamlessly integrating with Shopify can establish a successful business partnership.
  • As you start making sales, reinvesting the profits into marketing can scale your product catalog, and improve your store’s infrastructure.

Dropshipping can start with a little money, but long-term success may require investment in paid advertising, tools, and store quality improvement. However, the initial bootstrap approach can generate revenue for your business.

Step 11: Improve customer service

Starting a Shopify dropshipping business with limited spending can be challenging, but provding exceptional customer service can be a creative step to help you make your dreams come true.

Improve customer service

Here’s how it can benefit you:

  • Providing excellent customer service builds trust and reputation and increases the likelihood of happy customers recommending your store to others.
  • Satisfied customers are more likely to return and make additional purchases, increasing revenue without requiring a significant initial investment.
  • Positive word-of-mouth can be a powerful promotional tool, driving organic traffic to your store at no cost.
  • Good customer service can help prevent bad reviews and costly returns, preserving your limited resources.
  • Engaging with customers offers valuable insights for improving marketing strategies, and enabling informed decisions without extensive market research.
  • Customer service interactions can be used as promotional social media content, generating free marketing material.
  • Building a reputation for excellent customer service early on can set the foundation for long-term success, even with limited funds.

Therefore, focusing on outstanding customer service can effectively grow your Shopify dropshipping business without spending too much. Also, making use of customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth to make up for a lack of starting financing.

Step 12: Scale gradually

Scaling gradually is a strategic approach for your answer on how to start Shopify dropshipping with no money. Instead of spending much money beforehand, you begin small and incrementally grow your business.

Scale gradually

Here’s how it can help:

  • Starting small reduces financial risk by allowing for testing products and strategies with minimal investment, thereby reducing significant losses.
  • Scaling your dropshipping business can help you learn the complexity of product selection, marketing, and customer service without overwhelming yourself.
  • Gradual scaling enables business growth by reinvesting profits back into the business, allowing for organic growth and further expansion without relying on external spending.
  • Allocating a portion of profits to marketing can increase sales, allowing for more resources to invest in advertising and reach a wider audience.
  • Consistently ordering and paying on time with suppliers can foster strong relationships, leading to better pricing and priority access to new products.

To conclude, by scaling gradually, you can build a sustainable dropshipping business that grows organically over time, lessening financial pressure and raising your chances of lasting achievement.

Read more: Shopify Dropshipping for Beginners: 15 Essential Steps to Start

Create a Shopify dropshipping store now

As a popular e-commerce firm, Mageplaza is known for its expertise in creating and enhancing Shopify stores. As a part of Avada Group, it offers numerous support apps for entrepreneurs looking to transform their dropshipping store into a successful online business.


Here’s how Mageplaza can help you create and grow your Shopify store for dropshipping:

  • Easy-to-use store setup. Mageplaza simplifies Shopify store setup with our intuitive interface, providing step-by-step tutorials for those with limited technical knowledge to create a professional-looking store.
  • Essential apps. Avada Commerce, through Mageplaza, can assist you and your business with a range of essential Shopify apps designed to simplify the dropshipping company’s operations.
  • Secure payment integration. Mageplaza is an excellent e-commerce platform that enhances security by consistently integrating dropshipping stores with secure payment gateways.
  • Marketing and growth strategies. Mageplaza can help you devise effective marketing and growth strategies. Whether it’s email marketing, social media campaigns, or content creation, our expertise will enable you to expand your reach and increase sales.
  • Responsive customer support. Mageplaza provides comprehensive support for businesses, ensuring smooth operations and resolution of any issues or queries that may arise in their dropshipping store.

Let’s unlock the potential of your business and start a profitable dropshipping journey with Mageplaza on Shopify today!


The bottom line

So, how to start Shopify dropshipping with no money? The answer to this question is challenging, but not impossible. You can take those important steps toward establishing an effective dropshipping business using your imagination, creative thinking, and commitment.

Throughout the article, we’ve explored strategies for starting a successful dropshipping business with little to no spending. All you need to do is stay patient, stay persistent, and with time and effort, you’ll see your no-money startup transform into a profitable business.

So, take the leap and turn your Shopify dropshipping dream into a reality, regardless of your starting budget!

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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