Dropshipping in 2020: Can You Still Make Money?

I’ve just finished scraping all of my previous dropshipping guides and I’ve decided to create for you one mega, tell-all guide giving you all you need to know to do dropshipping in 2020.

As I am sure many of you reading this are wondering;

Can you still make money with dropshipping in 2020?

The short and quick answer to that is; yes and the reason for that is what I will be talking about in this guide I have here for you here.

Here’s what you’ll be learning:

  • How to get started with dropshipping.
  • What you need to do to make it a successful venture
  • How to start your Shopify store
  • How to find hot-selling products for 2020?
  • Best (unknown) advanced tips for success with dropshipping.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a drop shipping business in 2020, then this is the guide for you.

Right below I’ll also share with you some training courses (both paid and free) that you can use to make 2020 the year you finally crack the drop shipping code (and make some money).

✋Want To Learn Dropshipping?
One of the best training course I’ve found that shows you how to make money with dropshipping is Franklin Hatchett’s Ecom Elites course.

You can click here to read my official review >>

Getting Started: Things You Need To Know About Dropshipping

start dropshipping with shopify

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let me just share with you some hard-truths about dropshipping that you may or may not already know:

01: Dropshipping is not easy:

Even though the gurus make it look as such, the dropshipping business is not easy.

No online business is easy for that matter; they require work, patience, testing, failing, adjusting and a strong will to make it happen.

If you think you’re just going to whip up a store and suddenly get rich, you’ve got another thing coming.

02: You need to learn dropshipping:

Common sense right?

Well surprisingly – not in the online world.

For some reason, people looking to start an online business (whether that may be dropshipping or else) they think they can just skip the learning part and try to go straight to making money.

Continuing on from point #1; you need to make an effort to learn how to do dropshipping.

03: Don’t believe the hype:

If you’ve been looking into dropshipping for a while, you may have seen 15-year-olds on YouTube flashing screenshots of $10,000 days.

While that may be true for some; this is a rare example and not the norm with a dropshipping business (although still possible).

Spending $15,000 in ads to make $10,000 is not how you make money dropshipping.

Also, keep in mind that these screenshots can be easily faked – just take a look at this genius below:

dropshipping in 2019
Beware: There are a lot of fake income screenshots out there!

04: Dropshipping can still be profitable in 2020 (no it’s not saturated).

Yes, the best time to get into dropshipping was 3 years ago but it is still possible to start today and make a significant profit doing it.

As you will see from this guide, the possibilities with dropshipping are still there – in fact; this industry (e-commerce) is just getting started.

A quick fact to further drive this point further is that Amazon is still in the lower single-digit percentage of all retail spending in the US!

How To Start Dropshipping (in 2020)

Right; let’s get into the good stuff now.

How can you – currently sitting here reading this – go on to build a thriving dropshipping business after finishing this guide.

You need 4 things:

  • You need a niche
  • You need a Shopify store
  • You need a budget
  • You need to know what you are doing (unless you want to fail)

These are the 4 main things you need to get started. Without them; there’s no way you can make this a successful venture.

Now since all of these are the must-haves, let’s dive deeper and see how to achieve them all.

Picking your dropshipping niche:

In any online business you attempt, you are going to want to have a niche.

But what is a niche?

Simply put, a niche is a group of people looking for something specific.

Now there is a theory that you don’t need a niche with dropshipping.

In fact; it’s often recommended you go “general” with your store (meaning you list items from a variety of different niches and categories).

A perfect example of this – even though it’s not a dropshipping store – would be Amazon.com.

amazon is a general store example

Amazon.com is not a niche-specific store; it carries everything from bottled water to Hublot watches, this is what we call a “general store”.

The opposite of that would be a niche specific store.

A niche-store caters only to one audience and a perfect example of this would be DollarShaveClub:

dollar shave club is a niche example

(This is not a dropshipping store either – just using it as an example).

DSC is a niche-specific store targetting mainly men with beards. That is all.

General vs Niche Store (Pros & Cons)

The main reason it’s often recommended to go “general” with your first store is that when you’re starting out, you do not know what is going to sell.

A general store allows you to test multiple products on the same store.

On the contrary, if you have a niche-specific store and that niche is simply not working for you, you are either going to have to give up on dropshipping altogether or have to start a new store each and every time you want to test a new product.

Of course; in that case; a general store would come in handy.

This is a tricky situation as there are pros and cons whichever way you go.

For longevity, if you do have a niche in mind already, then I suggest you go with a niche specific-store from the get-go.

You might fail and have to start all over again but in the long-run, niche stores tend to perform better, thus giving you a better chance at success.

If you don’t have a niche in mind, start a general store and waste no more time thinking about this.

If you’re going to go “generic”, once you find a winning product – i.e. a product that sells well and is making you money – quickly create a new store niche-focused around that product and re-start your campaigns that way.

This allows you to test a variety of products and niches and gives you an exit plan on what to do once you have found a proven profitable product.

But why not stay with a general store?

Dropshipping in 2020 is going to be harder than ever and there’s a lot of competition that you need to deal with.

To overcome this, having a branded niche store that caters to a specific audience drastically improves your chances of becoming (and staying) profitable.

Do you really want to be out there competing with Amazon and other big-budget retailers when you can secure a brand following with a niche-focused store?

As I will reveal below, your dropshipping business has to be better than the rest to give you a fighting chance at making money and building a specific brand-store for a specific audience gives you an upper hand above all other dropshippers doing the tired generic-play.

If you’re getting confused with all of this, I understand.

For a beginner picking where and what to sell (and to who) may be a daunting task already but don’t worry, all will make sense soon.

To give you a better understanding of how to make your pick, take a look at some of these YouTube videos by some of my favourite dropshipping gurus:

Setting Up Your Shopify Store

Next up you are going to need to build up your Shopify store.

Why Shopify?

Well – there are other platforms you can use, but when it comes to dropshipping, the industry standard is Shopify as it gives you the best way to set up a dropshipping store thanks to their Oberlo plugin (which we’ll talk about soon).

How To Create A Shopify Store

build your drop shipping store with shopify

Once you have your niche, you first need to pick your own domain name for your new store.

This I will leave it up to you, but it’s crucial that you get a domain name that is related to your niche (unless you want to go with the general store in which case you need a “general” name).

A “good domain” is incredibly hard to find these days. I’ll tell you right now; the one you have in mind is probably taken already.

However, Shopify has a nifty tool that you can use which will allow you to insert your industry/niche and it gives you some ideas of domains that are available.

You can access that tool here but here’s a screenshot example using the “camper trucks” niche as an example:

the shopify domain name generator
Find your domain name here.

Once you have your own domain – which you do not need to register just yet – you need to set up your Shopify account.

When signing up, you will be asked to create a .myshopify domain – this is the free version that you will be using to set up your site but to go live, you are going to need to buy a domain.

You can buy domains from anywhere but you can also get it from Shopify directly.

This will save you having to create a new account with third-party domain registrars + the integration and setup process is entirely automated by Shopify.

buying a domain from shopify

Congratulations, you now have your own Shopify store – although keep in mind it is not live yet.

Shopify gives you a 14-day trial which you can use to build up your story to your liking.

You can get a free Shopify theme from the many offered with a Shopify plan or you can even buy a premium theme which – they look good, they can get pretty expensive.

You really do not need to spend that much money yet (maybe later once you have become profitable).

All is left to do now is to populate the store with products from your niche – I will tell you how to do this with the Oberlo plugin down-below.

Before we do that though, let me just give tell you about something else you are definitely going to need;

You Need A Budget (For Facebook Ads)

facebook ads

So far you have only spent ~$15 for a domain and you might’ve already purchased a Shopify membership plan that will allow you to go live with your store.

However, that isn’t the only expenses you need to plan for.

With dropshipping – the primary way you will be driving traffic is through paid traffic.

Facebook Ads is what is recommended (you can also advertise on Instagram) through this platform.

This is where most of your money will be spent, and you are going to need at least $1,000 to really make an impact.

You need this $1000 to give you enough of a budget to work with.

In the dropshipping + Facebook Ads game, it all comes down to testing out different ads and different audiences.

When you first launch your campaign, you are not going to know what works and what doesn’t – this is why you need a comfy budget that you can work it.

Now thankfully, Facebook is smart enough that given enough time and data (i.e. enough ad budget spent) they can themselves figure out what is working and what is not so in time, you will be making more sales with even less ad spend.

This is why you need to let Facebook do its thing for a few days.

Even though it looks like it’s pissing away money, what it really is doing is finding you the best audience for your product.

Getting scared and freaking out over the amount of money you are spending and cutting them out early is a bad way to go and even though it’s understandably hard to do; you need to give the platform enough time to optimise for best conversions.

How much money should you spend on ads?

Ideally, you should start with a $5 per day budget per ad (and run it for 4-7 days before you pull it).

Some might say it’s best to go with $10 a day and it’s true; you’re better off with $10 – but $5 is doable as well.

Keeping with the $5 per day budget, you are going to need to spend approximately $35 a week to figure out if the ad is worthwhile running or not.

Of course, you can run three ads per day, and that would bring you to a total of $105 per week. This will speed up time allowing you to test more quickly and hopefully find a winner sooner but of course; you will be spending more of your budget.

However; with $1000 you should have enough of a cushion to wait it out and actually try multiple products (you never know which one may hit).

I’m not going to get into a whole Facebook Ads guide here as that is a beast of a topic in itself, but I will leave you with some YouTube videos you can watch later to gain a better understanding of what you need to do.

You Need Training (To Make The Most of Your Budget)

Now all this may sound exciting – or scary (depending on your risk appetite) but I have to warn you:

Going into this blind is a sure-fire way to blow your budget and see no return on investment – $0.

This is why you absolutely need to know what you are doing.

From picking products to creating ads, to how to optimise your campaigns – you need to have at least a basic idea of all of that to give you the best chance at success with dropshipping in 2020.

I have two dropshipping / e-commerce guides for you below that will give you a clear pathway, one is 100% free, and the other is a paid course.

These are:

I would suggest the eCom Elites as it’s more up to date and it gives you a better structure to follow but I know you’d prefer the free one for now so just go sign up with the Shopify Masterclass course and get started from there.

Whatever you do – just do not skip the learning part.

I’ve included a free option to make sure you do get some training – I don’t want to see you blow through your last $1000 trying to chase something that is just never going to work.

How To Start Dropshipping Products From China

Now, just in case you did not know this by now, dropshipping is the process of drop-shipping products from China to your customers worldwide.

(Nowadays you can even dropship from the US but we’ll talk about that later).

The model goes as such:

  • Your customer buys an item from your store
  • You capture the payment
  • An order goes to your supplier in China
  • The supplier sends the product to your customer.
  • You pocket the profit

It may sound complicated – but trust me it isn’t. Everything is automated through an app which I am sure you’ve heard of already; Oberlo!

What Is Oberlo?

oberlo shopify app

Oberlo is a free app (free up to your first 50 orders) that automate the entire process explained above.

  • You “import” products to your store via the Oberlo app from AliExpress.
  • The item gets listed on the store
  • Once a product gets purchased
  • Oberlo semi-automates the process of buying it from your supplier
  • (All you have to do is confirm the details).

Yes – Oberlo can pick up all of the customer details and send them to AliExpress and also picks out the product, product size, customer name, shipping address, etc. – all on its own.

Incredible plugin and highly useful – I believe Oberlo is the reason why drop shipping suddenly became so popular all of a sudden – it has eliminated all the headaches of dropshipping.

Good news is; up until a few months ago, Oberlo was a standalone app, but it has since been acquired by Shopify.

All you need to do to set it up is to install the Oberlo app on your Shopify, and you’re good to go.

Just to give you an idea of how this app works, here’s a detailed guide on YouTube:

UPDATE: Checkout Spocket (An Oberlo Alternative)

I’ve recently started testing out a new way to automate fulfillment and that is through the Spocket App, which is an Oberlo alternative.

Not only does Spocket work with a Shopify store, but unlike Oberlo, you can also install it on a WordPress website – which is huge.

I often get asked if Shopify is the only way to go, and it was; but now that we have Spocket, you can start dropshipping with WordPress as well (although you would need the WooCommerce plugin installed as well).

One other major benefit Spocket has over Oberlo is the fact that you can dropship products from the United States and/or Europe.

Oberlo connects with AliExpress.com so – even though there are exceptions – your products will be coming from China.

The problem with that is the long shipping times, which trust me when I say; it will cause you a headache with customer support (speaking from experience here).

If you’re brand new to dropshipping, you may want to check out Spocket as an alternative to Oberlo.

Moving on…

How To Find Hot-Selling Products For Dropshipping in 2020

One last thing I want to talk about is;

How to find hot-selling dropshipping products to sell?

Well, there are many ways of doing so but ultimately – I do believe that just about “any” product can sell.

If you have the right product, at the right time, at the right price and presented to the right audience, there’s no stopping you.

Of course there are some bad products which you want to avoid, but truth be told there really is no telling which is a winner and which is a dud until you test them out.

Below I have another video guide that will show you how to find winning products but personally; I would stay away from these “flash in the pan” type products.

Sure they might sell for a while- if you are lucky to get in on the trend early – but these are very hard to time (especially when you’re just getting started).

Alternatively, you want to find a passionate niche that holds an interest in a specific range of products.

If you can do that, you are guaranteed to have a long-lasting successful business with dropshipping – even in the cut-throat 2020.

3 Bonus Tips To Make Dropshipping in 202o As Successful As Possible

Last but not least, I want to give you some dropshipping tips that you might not have heard of before – but I believe they are crucial to doing dropshipping well in the coming years.

I’m not going to lie – even though the opportunities are still there; dropshipping is definitely getting harder and harder, which means you are going to need that little bit of oomph to put you above the rest.

Here are some great tips I have picked up from other successful dropshippers who are way smarter than me.

Learn Copywriting:

Copywriting is the art of selling through the written word.

No longer can you just plaster up and ad and a product and make money.

That used to work ion the past, but as I said; today you need that special something.

Learning copywriting and understanding what words to use to make a customer want to buy will be highly HIGHLY beneficial to you.

If you’re just getting into this space, I suggest you check out the infamous Cashvertising book too.

That would b enough to give you an understanding of what you need to know (and write) to convert more of your store-visitors.

Remember, even managing to increase your conversion rate by 0.5% can be a significant figure in the long-run.

Go Above and Beyond

Another tip I will share with you is to bring your A-game with your dropshipping store.

Do not half-ass it.

  • Add a contact page
  • Respond to buyer queries
  • Be honest and ethical
  • Get a logo that shows you are a trustworthy place to shop
  • Have a privacy policy
  • Have a FAQs page
  • etc…

People love buying from brands and while you do not have to be “Amazon-type-big”, you do need to make an effort.

This goes for any online business you want to start by the way, not just dropshipping.

Look for “Shipped from US” Products

Remember I told you that you can now dropship products directly from the United States?

This is a god-sent to all dropshippers as this now cuts the shipping times drastically thus allowing you to make more sales and have happier customers.

Many Chinese suppliers are now storing goods in the US so when you buy from them you still do so from AliExpress, but instead of the products being shipped from China taking around 20 days to arrive, you can now ship in 4-7 days.

NB: You won’t find many suppliers that do this yet, but I suspect this will continue to grow with time.

(As I said above, you can also look at Spocket as an alternative)

To find products that ship from the US, use the filter when looking for products to on AliExpress:

ships from the us - dropshipping

Getting Started With Dropshipping

Ready to get started?

Cool – let’s do a quick recap here.

One last thing I would like to mention again here is that this is not a get-rich-quick business.

You may get lucky with your first ad and your first product and make some sales instantly, but this is highly unlikely.

Testing is where the game is and given how dropshipping in 2020 is going to be even more competitive, you really need to bring your A-game and make sure you present an offer that people would be interested in.

Again I suggest you learn a thing or two about copywriting before you attempt this.

In Closing

That is all for me – I hope you’ve found my guide useful and I wish you luck on your dropshipping adventures.

Can you still make money dropshipping in 2020?

Most definitely yes!

I plan on making 2020 my biggest year ever with e-commerce, and I am sure I will do it.

If you’re interested in finding out what I am up to with my store, you can follow me on twitter or (better yet) you can sign up to my email list.

I’ll leave you to it – let me know if you have any questions.

32 thoughts on “Dropshipping in 2020: Can You Still Make Money?”

  1. Hey brother, can I create Youtube videos from your blog posts with a source of your blog address at the end of the videos ?

  2. I definitely want to recommend you Chris for this high-quality post and block. This is the kind of service including e-books and I believe that people are looking for what I have had my experience in drop shipping, though not like this, I do plan and intend on giving the same type of value in what encourage anyone to go ahead and give it a good shot to this business model thanks!

  3. How do you find the shipping times? This is the issue I have with AliExpress (and Alibaba). I find them way too long and way too unreliable. It can even get worse when a product arrives damaged. Your customer will have to wait again!

    What are your thoughts with this?

    Thanks for the tip about automating; I had no idea about this. This is something I definitely need to look into.

    I’m going to bookmark this page. 🙂

    • You need to pick products that have “e-packet” listed as a shipping method, which means they ship from the US.

      Not all products have e-packet, but from a catalog of millions of products on AliExpress, you will have more than enough to choose from.

      E-packet takes around 12 to 20 days to arrive to your customer. 

      Hope this helps 🙂 

  4. Hello

    This is a really great page and I love what you have done with it
    The information is so well laid out and it makes me want to become involved and if I had time I certainly would!
    The layout is great and the pictures excellent
    I can see that you love what you do as it comes across in every way
    Very well done with this page



  5. I never knew THIS is what drop shipping was and I didn’t know it was this simple!! You have a natural ability to explain things very easily and thoroughly. I have heard this pitch many other times but never called drop shipping. Just reading this post has me signing up for your free course right now!!

  6. Hi Chris, thanks for the in depth tutorial on drop shipping. There really are so many ways out there to make money online that it is staggering. This, however seems like one of the better ways. I like the fact you can set your own price, and I am sure this could prove very lucrative when you start driving traffic to your site. I guess it’s like with most things in life, you get out what you put in and any effort put in at the start will pay off later. I will definitely think about trying this to see if it works better than my normal route of affiliate selling.

  7. I started investigating this type of business model 3 days ago and have been all over the place trying to fill the gaps. I’m still not sure about the logistics.

    If you can help, I would very much appreciate it. Here are my questions:

    1) I’m planning to operate a website and do this outside of Amazon. Are there issues with shipping to the rest of the world? I ask because I often see businesses restrict shipments to approved countries. Is it the quality of postal services in those countries that is an issue?

    2) If the asnwer is yes to the above, how do you deal with import tariffs? Is there a guide on that? Should we just assume that the customer is responsible?

    3) How do you deal with returned items? I am in country A, manufacturer is in country B and customer is in country C. I agree with the manufacturer that the customer only sees my business address in country A along with the return address. Unfortunately, where I live there is an import tariff; so I have to absorb the cost of that returned item and somehow get a refund from the manufacturer in country C. Am I reading this correctly? Is there a better way to do this where returns are also handled by the manufacturer?

    4) Also, I don’t want a situation where the end customer gets the wrong invoice. I’m guessing that these guys at Aliexpress are reliable to keep your brand intact with your own letterhead. What’s your experience there? Are there reviews to these counter parties?

    5) Finally, how many months do you estimate it takes to set up something new if you from an operational aspect, without taking into account the marketing required to make the sales? I can dedicate 40 hours a week for it, and I’m pretty tech savvy and can pick up the development part very quickly?

    Sorry for asking so much. These are things I’m still not sure about.

    • Hi there Said. Apologies for the late reply, but here are my answers to your questions:

      #1: Make sure you use the e-packet shipping method on AliExpress, this means that it ships directly from the US and would only take 7-12 days to arrive to your customer.

      #2: As for import tariffs, yes the customer is liable for that – as is the case when buying from Amazon and any other place online. 

      #3: I absorb all returns that happen – which are not that common to begin with – maybe I’ve refunded 5 or 6 in 2 years of dropshipping so its not a big deal. Also the profit margins will allow you to do some comfortably. 

      #4: Yes, when you place the order, Oberlo will send a message to the supplier telling them this item is being drop shipped and not to include any promotional material form their end. 

      #5: If you’re tech savvy, there’s no reason why you can’t set up your Shopify store in as little as one day. Obviously building out the audience, maturing your FB pixel will take some time. 

      Hope this answer helps you Said – let me know if you have any further questions. 

  8. This seems like a lucrative business idea but I am a bit scared to start since I do not have any baseline audience to start off with. I was reading your previous post about how to start with Oberlo and FB ads etc, etc. and that made me feel a bit better. I am going to come up with a few ideas of what I want to sell then start the free 14 day trial of shopify.
    Thanks for all information thus far. I will be looking forward to your updates. Subscribing to the email list now.

    • Awesome – glad to hear and well done on taking the leap of faith – its exactly what I did and I never looked back! 🙂 

      Let me know if I can help in any way!

  9. Hey man,

    very interesting article! I heard about that once but totally forgot about it again. It really seems like the better way of affiliate marketing.

    I do have one concern though: What to do if someone is unhappy with his product and want to send it back?

    Also, does the package my customer get not say aliexpress all over it?

    Thanks for your help, I am really interested

    • Hi there Manny.

      If the customer doesn’t like it, I usually send them a full refund no questions asked – with high profit margins it really is not a problem and it rarely ever happens. From about 200 orders, you’ll get 1 or none with a problem so it’s not as bad as one may imagine.

      As for packaging, it will not show its coming from AliExpress. You can also set Oberlo to send a message to the supplier telling him not to include any promotional material.

      I understand your concerns and although they are there, it’s not as bad as one may think.  

  10. I’ve been interested in drop shipping but I’m not sure I understand this. What is the difference between drop shipping and FBA?

    Also, I thought you had to buy in bulk from AliExpress so how do you get them to only send 1 item to your customer when they order it?

    Last question, lol, how do you do your research to find good niches and products that sell? And to my understanding, you’re NOT doing this on Amazon?

    Thanks for sharing,

    • With Amazon FBA you have to ship in bulk to the Amazon warehouse and they fulfill the orders for you. While it’s amazing to be listed on Amazon, it’s extremely hard to get going.

      With AliExpress drop shipping, you can ship one item at a time – the one you are thinking of that ships in bulk is AliBaba – Ali Express’s parent company. 🙂 

  11. Wow, The possibilities are just running wild through my head. I’ve heard about dropshipping, just never explained in a way I fully understood. Thanks for helping me understand. If i wanted to try this without shopify, maybe just use my own website, do you think it would lower my chances of success.

    • Shopify makes it all possible and so much easier. You can try it witout Shopify but it would be much harder and much slower to make it happen.

      I suggest you stick with Shopify 🙂 

  12. I plan on starting a drop shipping business sometime soon to supplement my current online business. Glad I found your site. I actually thought that drop shipping earned through affiliate marketing. Now I know…
    Have a question though, can you run a drop shipping site through Woocommerce? What about Wix?
    I have a Wix account that I use for a client, and through Wix, I have the option to create online stores. You mentioned Shopify, so I wanted to make sure if Shopify is the best route or if I can use the other options I mentioned.

    • Yes you can, but you would have to do it manually unless there is some tool you can use which I am not aware of just yet.

      With Shopify, you get Oberlo, which in my opinion is the best dropshipping tool you can use. It fulfills all your orders automatically.

      Let me know if I can help in any way! 

  13. before reading this post i was not sure what drop shipping really was but after reading your article it all makes sense. I am currently doing affiliate marketing but drop shipping will be my next step once i start seeing results from affiliate marketing.

    You mentioned in your blog that seo is one of the ways you can get traffic, but that would be very difficult. I am under the impression that a drop shipping site will have very little content. it would basically be a product store.

    can you shed some light on this?

    • Yes SEO is hard on e-commerce stores such as what I am discussing in this article – however, it is not impossible and if you deploy some basic SEO strategies, you are good to go,

      I don’t put too much focus on it (just yet) because I mainly use Facebook Ads, however; I do have plan to focus on SEO in 2018 more. 

  14. First I very much enjoyed reading this page. I Thank you, for taking the time and putting up something that most people would pay for. I broke my back not to long ago, and no longer should be doing the work I was doing. I’m looking for other ways to make money, this looks like a significant way to make money. I’m going to give it my best shot.

    Thank you, Michael


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