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How to dropship on Shopify and grow your business

Set up dropshipping on Shopify and you can sell without manufacturing, storing or even organising shipping yourself. We explain how

Ready to build your own online shopping empire, but not quite sure where to start? Dropshipping is an excellent way to get started. It requires little investment; you don’t need storage space for the products you wish to sell – in fact, you don’t even need to manufacture a product, because you’re effectively reselling those of a third party, which will ship directly to customers on your behalf.

Choose the products you want to sell from your chosen supplier, add them to your online store at a small markup so you make a profit, and leave the hard work to them. All you need to do is concentrate on marketing and promotion to make the online masses aware of your existence.

Below, we explain the different types of dropshipping available, how to pick a supplier and product to sell, and how to use Shopify to set up a new store.

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Types of dropshipping

There are a few popular types of products and services that work well for dropshipping. Here we take a look at what they are and how they work.

Product reselling is a common and popular type of dropshipping as it allows you to choose pretty much any type of product you want to sell. This is an ideal choice for someone who has knowledge of a specific industry or demographic, or both.

An extension of product reselling is product creation, which is effectively combining existing products to create another product or bundle that makes it easier to purchase. For example, you could combine rollers, paintbrushes, brush cleaner and dust sheets to create a DIY painting kit.

Print-on-demand is another popular type of dropshipping. This is ideal for creating custom t-shirts, tea towels, mugs, towels and many other products. All you need is some graphic design knowledge to create an image to print.

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Find suppliers and products to sell

The first step is to choose the type of product you want to sell. Research the product areas you’re thinking about selling, considering information such as how crowded the space is in which you want to sell, what the competition is doing and the type of products people are actually looking for. Try using Google Trends to see what’s trending in various categories, and parts of the world, to help create your own niche within the market in which you wish to sell.

Once you’ve decided on the products you want to sell, you need to look for suppliers and products in order to set up your store. You can do this from within Shopify. From the Shopify dashboard, select Products and hit the Find Products to Sell button. This will bring up a whole bunch of apps across Dropshipping, Print on Demand, Buying Wholesale and Finding Suppliers.

Select Finding Suppliers to choose a supplier that will provide the product or service you want and will ship. Note some apps such as Printful: Print on Demand are free to install, while others will involve you having to sign up to a plan to use their services. You can browse the Shopify app store to find dropshipping apps that will be compatible with Shopify.

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How to set up dropshipping on Shopify

The first step when setting up a store is to add products. Below, you’ll find a quick demonstration of how to set up Printful: Print On Demand. Note that the process for other services might differ, but this is a good introduction to how dropshipping operates.

Head to the Shopify app store, get the Printful app and add it to your store. To add a product, select the red Add Product button; make your selection and add your design. Typically, this will be a high-res PNG or JPEG image. Next you can choose a mockup in which to display your product, then you need to add any details and descriptions before setting a price. Printful will display its price and then you choose a profit margin – say, 10% – to determine the display price. To finish, hit the Submit to Store button.

Once the product has been added, the Printful dashboard will display a View in Shopify link to allow you to view how your chosen product will look in your Shopify store. You can continue adding products and come back to check any orders.

With products added to your store, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy to let customers and potential buyers know what you have to offer. Check the Shopify help centre for tips on marketing & promotions.

There are a lot of dropshipping services to choose from and not all are easy to find. Below are a few options to consider.


Available via the Shopify app store, Avasam offers a wide variety of products including computer and electronics, fashion and lifestyle, health and beauty, food and drink, and more.


Free to install and available on the Shopify app store, this service has more than 2,000 products to choose from across a host of popular everyday categories.


Offers thousands of suppliers from the US, Europe and the UK, offering quality products and decent profit margins. Available on the Shopify app store.


If personalised clothing delivered quickly is what you want then this service should be high on your list. It offers thousands of products that can be printed or embroidered with your logo or image.

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