Disclaimer: I am not endorsing or am I being paid for this information. I simply went to each website and gathered the information directly from each of the sites. All information is as of 09/06/2021. I tried to shorten up a bit, but I recommend if you like one, to go to their site and review for yourself. All logos belong to the corresponding companies and are used simply to illustrate the business.
After some research I discovered that there are a whole lot of companies out there that offer drop shipping sites; for example here are a few, Shopify, AliDropShip, JumpSeller, Ecwid, Big Commerce, SquareSpace, Wix, WooCommerce, and of course a lot of smaller companies ready to help you set up a dropshipping site for a nominal fee that could range from $27 to $6000 – it is mind-boggling.
There is also a lot of App or plugins that allow you to make your store a lot more proficient, which I will cover in a later post. Now, I only did WooCommerce, JumpSeller, Shopify, and AliDropship. There is a lot of details for each one, but I will try and summarize the options or services that are offered for each type of plan for each company – so bear with me. I will also link to each business as well. I do recommend that you do the research yourself as well.
Let’s start with Word Press and its eCommerce plan. If you pay monthly the cost is $59 a month, if you pay annually, it will be $45 a month. Provides everything to get started, payment processing product management, and other features but it does not offer Products for say, but instead, there are multiple Plug-Ins you can use that will help you import products from different vendors and of course other features you can read about.
It seems that WooCommerce is now part of WordPress. Woo Commerce is a flexible, open-source eCommerce platform, built on WordPress (WooComerce). Here you set up your store, offer flexible and secure payments, and manage orders. The plug-in is called WooCommerce offers additional features to manage your online store and it is free as far as I can see.
Next is JumpSeller offer an online store, Facebook Commerce, Google Commerce, and Instagram, but it does not offer Products for say, but instead, there are Plug-Ins you can use that will help you import products from different vendors. I will discuss only the online store: They offer the following services with their Plus-level online store:
- No Transaction Fees (they don’t take a fee)
- Payment processing fee of 2.59%
- Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
- Unlimited Products
- SSL in Store Frontend
- Sales Channels
- Free Domain
- Manual cross-selling products
- Theme customization
- Digital products
The Pro level offers everything in their plus-level store in addition to Promotion/Discount Codes, Customer Login, and Abandoned Cart Recovery. The Premium-level offer everything in the Plus and Pro-level in addition to Product filtering, your domain on store emails, and customer administrator accounts. The cost of the three levels are as follows:
- Plus-level is $21 a month or $19 a month if paid annually
- Pro-level is $42 a month or $38 a month if paid annually
- Premium-level is $84 a month or $76 a month if paid annually
The next one is Shopify, which offers an online store which according to their site it is best for new eCommerce businesses with occasional in-person sales. The Basic Shopify plan offers the following:
- 14-day free trial
- Online Store: Includes eCommerce website and blog.
- Unlimited products
- Staff accounts: Staff members with access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS.
- 24/7 support
- Sales channels: Sell on online marketplaces and social media. Channel availability varies by country.
- Inventory locations: Assign inventory to retail stores, warehouses, pop-ups, or wherever you store products.
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards
- Shipping discount
- Competitive shipping rates from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.
- Shipping labels: Print shipping labels for orders using a standard printer—no special equipment required.
- Fraud analysis
- Online credit card rates: 2.9% + 30¢ USD, (Shopify Plan 2.6% + 30¢ USD), (Advance Shopify 2.4% + 30¢ USD)
- Transaction fee if not using Shopify Payments: 2.0%, (Shopify Plan 1.0%), and (Advance Shopify 0.5%)
- Sell in 133 currencies
- Use price rounding to create consistency in your prices after conversion.
- Sell in multiple languages
The Shopify Plan offers everything the Basic Shopify has in addition to better shipping prices and international pricing. The last one is the Advance Shopify plan which offers everything the Basic and Shopify plan offers, in addition to better shipping prices and international pricing (per variant pricing). The cost for each plan is as follows:
- Basic Shopify Plan is $29 a month or $348 a year
- Shopify Plan is $79 a month or $948 a year
- Advance Shopify Plan is $299 a month or $3,588 a year
My opinion on this one is to keep with the Basic Plan, until you grow because the extra cost for better shipping pricing and international pricing is not needed when you first start, my opinion. Now Shopify offers Oberlo which helps you find the right products to sell, and it connects with your Shopify store, which is a nice feature.
- Niche research
- Domain name (.com)
- Unique mobile-friendly design
- AliDropship plugin
- Choice of products
- Number of products ready to sell: 50
- 1-3 business days US shipping (With Selviia™ $39/Mon)
- Hi-end product pages (With Selviia™ $39/Mon)
- Shipment from US warehouse (With Selviia™ $39/Mon)
- Monthly orders Unlimited
- Professional analytics
- Payment gateways: PayPal, Credit cards
- Store creation time: 10-25 business days* 5-2 business days with Sellvia™
- AliDropship store theme
- On-site SEO: Metadata, Google indexing
- A social page for Facebook
Level-Two includes everything above, but you can sell 100 products, plus includes metadata, Google indexing, and a social page for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Finally, Level-Three includes everything above, but you can sell 200 products, plus metadata, Google indexing, home page SEO article and a social page for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, plus Promo video and social media promo tool. The pricing is as follows
- Level-one is a one-time payment of $299
- Level-two is a one-time payment of $499
- Level-three is a one-time payment of $899
AliDropship also offers the “Get an exact copy of a successful store” which they call Premium store, they offer multiple ready stores such as Car Accessories, Mom and Baby Essentials, Classic, Gaming, Gardening, Sports and Outdoors, and several others. They indicate that these stores make a certain amount of monthly revenue, for example, the Auto Accessories store is said to generate $523,000 in revenue per month, the Mom and Baby Essentials store generates $49,000 per month, the Classic Store generates $40,000 a month in revenue, and of course, you can see the others – sounds good right. Now to get an exact copy for any of these stores is a $300 one-time payment – sounds even better right. Imagine getting a store that is generating $523,000 in revenue a month for only $300 – sign me up (a little sarcasm). I am not saying saying that it is impossible, don’t get me wrong. Now they do offer a few additional options that will help you get started, so in addition to the one-time fee of $300 you can choose the following options for a nominal fee:
Installation Package for $200 includes the following:
- Three variants of a domain name offered by us: you will choose the one you like best. The chosen domain will be prepaid for one year and will cost no more than $12 per 1 year
- Stable hosting prepaid for one year and optimized for dropshipping stores + hosting setup
- Uploading the website onto the hosting server by our team
- Store logo editing
- Our assistance in setting up a payment gateway
Marketing Package for $200 includes the following:
- Marketing Guide on how to set up and run your campaigns with our materials
- Banners and videos used for the original campaigns
- Ad texts used for the original campaigns
- Descriptions of the recommended target audiences
Sellvia™ for an additional $39 per month includes the following:
- 1-3 business days US shipping
- Hot products with peak profit margins
- Best prices (lower than on AliExpress)
- High-converting product pages
- Marketing materials for all products
The last thing that AliDropShip offers is a “Build a Store by Your Self” which is a plug-in compatible with Woo Commerce for a one-time fee of $89.
After looking at all these I like AliDropshiping, specifically the “Create a Store for You” option. Now we need to consider there will be a hosting fee, domain fee, and of course shipping charges, payment processing charges. If you decide to add any plug-ins, which from reading articles, it is recommended to do so, they will also come at a cost. There are a few I thought would be vital for the online store. I will discuss those in another post because I don’t want this post to get too long, which it has already.
Now, there is a lot of information out there, videos, articles, and of course other online store owners that share their experience and provide you and me with additional information to make a good decision. One other item I wanted to quickly discuss is possible profit, now AliDropShip provides a profit estimator and according to that here is a quick look at the possible profit. Buy an item at $10 wholesale, mark it up 120% which is $12. Sell it for $22 with 750 sales in one month equals $9600 in profits. 1500 sales would be $19,200 profit and 2250 sales would be $28,800 profits – numbers are interesting, but I am not sure how it calculates the profits. I am assuming it takes into consideration, processing fees, shipping fees, etc. now they mentioned a 8% Plus AliExpress cashback into the calculation.
Now, one thing I have been looking into is if a Business License is required to run a drop shipping online-store and I have seen mixed reviews and articles about this, but gathering the information I believe I came down to a conclusion, but please confirm on your own just in case. As for requiring a business license to run a drop shipping online store – just exactly as you read this – as far as I can see, you are not required to have a Business License – unless of course, you have a Brick-and-Mortar store. I am not a professional accountant and I highly recommend confirming this on your own. As far as I can read and understand is that you are simply the person connecting a buyer with a seller, you promote a product or service, but actually, never handle the product or service. Now, if you want the tax benefits from owning a business a license may be a good idea because if you think about it, taxes at the end of the year will probably be substantial. Imagine making $200,000 in sales, you would hate to get taxed on all that; you want to deduct the cost of marketing and other expenses – I am not an accountant. So, it seems that a business license is not necessarily required, but it is recommended.
I am still reviewing and looking through the internet and so far it seems it might be between AliDropship and Shopify, but I am still trying to determine, which one or if either one is the right fit. I mean you could build one yourself, do all the product research and build the marketing campaign, or have most of it ready for you to run with. It is a tough decision, but I will continue researching and of course, I will post next about the different Plug-Ins, Apps, or services out there that will help increase the odds of success. Keep in mind that there are several things to consider when starting an online store, such as customer interaction, returns, refunds, complaints, vendor issues, product issues, shipping and handling, taxes, marketing, payment processing, and I am sure there is more to worry about.
Once again thanks for reading and I leave you with this thought, “research, review, make a list of what you will need to be successful, and then take the plunge once you are truly ready”.