Is Dropshipping a Side Hustle?


One of the most lucrative side hustles in the world must be dropshipping. But only if it’s constructed and scaled correctly. If you’re wanting to get into the dropshipping world, it’s most definitely worth the time and effort. Even if this side hustle doesn’t become a full-time job, it can still be a steady “passive” income.

Dropshipping is one of the all-time favorite side hustles. You’re able to sell a product and ship it directly to the customer from the supplier, without holding any inventory at all. People have loved this business model for years because of its exceptionally low startup cost and minimal risk, due to not having to bulk buy inventory in advance.

You’re now aware dropshipping can be considered a side hustle, and a very good one if done correctly. There’s a wide array of skills that are required to create a successful dropshipping store, and we’re going to discuss them here!

What is a Side Hustle?


Let’s clear this up first, as some people get full and part-time employment mixed up with the word “side hustle”. A side hustle is generally some type of work that an individual is passionate about and is making them additional money on top of their employed income.

Side hustles are typically incomes from freelancing, self-employment, or something that requires someone to search and complete jobs themselves. This is not to be mixed up with part-time employment as you’ll still be under some sort of management and you wouldn’t be considered “free”.

Side hustles will always be here. With most employers enormously underpaying their staff, the only way to make that additional income is by providing it yourself during your spare time. It can also be an opportunity out of the “rat race” if you’re able to scale your side hustle into a full-time income.

How to Successfully Create a Dropshipping Side Hustle


A question we all need the answer to. You could read a 300-page book on how to create a successful dropshipping business and still fail. Due to its low-barrier entry-level, there’s a tone of competition. You’ll have to outperform your competitors by providing a flawless service from start to finish. You should also consider each of the below:

  • Select the right niche- Selecting a niche can be difficult because there are so many of them. If you’re first starting out, I suggest you select a niche that you’re already passionate about. Doing this will make the product selection much more meaningful and easier as you’ll know exactly what your target audience is, what they want and why they want it.


  1. Profit – Make sure your niche is going to be profitable. You should always try to aim for around a 40+% margin on each product. The price should also still be within the market’s mins and maxes.


  1. Shipping – Try to keep shipping costs low. Aim to ship lighter items and never start a dropshipping store that is required to send fragile items, such as mirrors.


  1. Impulsive – For a dropshipping store to be profitable, it’ll have to appeal to impulsive buyers that have disposable income. Having products that aren’t easily accessible in high street shops or supermarkets will certainly help with this. 


  1. Popularity – Using tools such as Google’s keyword planner, trends, or any other search-related tools. Will be able to provide you with how many times a certain keyword or phrase is searched about your product. Selecting products that are already popular gives you a huge head start.


  1. Branding – Creating a general store may seem appealing due to about of products you can sell on it. However, branding will most unquestionably 3x a product’s price and will give you a better long-term advantage.

Understand your competitors.


When performing product research, you should always note down key competitors within the niche. Doing this will help create a better understanding of what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong.

I’ll use the word “copying” here vaguely, but I suggest you observe what they’re doing correctly, and just implement them better. You should also observe the mistakes you notice them making, and work to avoid them in your own store.

You also want to size up your competitors. For instance, you don’t want to compete against retail giants such as Amazon. The likelihood of you winning SERPs results or the trust of customers is very low.

Find a reliable supplier.


Without a reliable supplier, your dropshipping store will fail. If you’re thinking about selling to major countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, it’s a great idea to find suppliers located in these areas. As these are all English-speaking countries, it makes communication a lot easier and it’ll also dramatically reduce shipping times.

However, if you’re opting for the AliExpress or Alibaba route, you should ask your potential supplier plenty of questions, as miscommunications are common here. Not all, but some suppliers found on these websites are surprisingly helpful, and will answer any questions asked.

Build an easily navigable store.


Most website builders have made it extremely easy for us ordinary folk to create a professional-looking online store. With eCommerce platforms like Shopify, you’re able to get set up within a day or so. It’s really that simple, just plug-and-play.

Make something simple and effortless to navigate, people much prefer this than being bombarded with heaps of useless menus or information.

Have a marketing plan.


Plan how you’re going to drive traffic to your website. Are you going to use an advertising platform such as Google or Facebook? Or are you going to go down the longer-term route and gain traffic through search engine optimization (SEO)?

Once you’ve planned out which marketing technique you’re going to use, you then want to lay-out a marketing budget. Understanding how much you can spend on marketing can give you a clearer perspective of what you can achieve.

Facebook and organic SEO both hold their own benefits. Facebook can help you find your target audience much quicker as you’ll be paying for your ads to appear in front of them. As for SEO, you don’t have to pay for this. It has a better long-term result, but it just takes a lot longer to gain the data you need.

Test, test, test.


Testing everything that is conversion-related such as your ads, landing, product and checkout pages can genuinely make the difference between a non-profitable and profitable store. As a matter of fact, even if you believe you’ve made the most perfect ad and website, the possibility that others think that is very unlikely.

Remember, always go for data, not your initial thoughts. By testing all of these suggestions, you’ll slowly start to understand when the customer is aborting the order. When you find this, testing is a must! You’ll certainly be surprised at some things that turn customers away. Elements such as the color of a “buy it now” button is sometimes enough to steer someone away. 

Is Dropshipping a Side Hustle?


Dropshipping can be one of the most excited side hustles, but it’s not without risk.

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