Have you been thinking about starting an online beauty business but don’t want to spend a lot of money on startup costs?
I know a pretty lucrative one, how about starting a beauty dropshipping store? A dropshipping store is a very profitable way to run an eCommerce store without having any physical inventory and it’s one of the easiest online businesses to start for under $100.
I started a Shopify dropshipping store selling beauty products last year and now make around $500 a month comfortably and semi-passively. I had absolutely no experience at first but I quickly got comfortable with how it works and learned how to make a nice extra income dropshipping. (Most of the ways either really cheap or free. More on that later!).
So how exactly do you start a dropshipping store and start making an extra part-time or full-time income? Here’s how!
What is dropshipping?
First, If you don’t know what dropshipping is, let me give you an overview.
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment where the merchant doesn’t store or ship any of their own products. Instead, dropshipping suppliers, wholesalers, and manufacturers physically store the products, pack, and ship them to the customer for the store owner.
When the store owner receives a new order on their website, they then purchase the product from the supplier and either:
a.) The supplier ships the product directly to the customer -> the store owner collects profit after product costs (very little customization, saves all upfront product costs). The store owner never touches the product.
b.) The supplier ships the product(s) directly to the store owner (1-2 day) -> the store owner ships to the customer (very customizable, saves nearly all upfront product costs) -> the store owner collects profit after product and shipping costs.
Option A is the most common amongst drop shippers but option B is the better and more sustainable option for your brand overall when dropshipping.
There are 100 ways to make dropshipping successful, easily making you a few hundred dollars a week or more. Since you can start with under $100 it makes it an ideal starter store if you’re new to eCommerce or just want another source of income.
The Pro’s associated with running a dropshipping store are:
- You don’t have to store your own inventory
- Start-up costs are under $100
- You only pay for what you sell, so there’s “no risk”
- Thanks to Shopify and dropshipping apps that let you plug products straight from suppliers to your store you can start with really no experience.
Some of the cons are:
- Dropshipping is competitive
- If you source products from oversaturated vendors, the margins will be low
- Building a brand around your store is long term or you’ll have to pay a lot of money upfront in advertising
My most profitable dropshipping stores are in the beauty niche because the beauty niche is super lucrative (I have two!). It’s a great starter dropshipping niche because of its high profitability but there are a couple of other profitable niches you could try too like fashion and home decor.
The best dropshipping niches have products that are already popular and are low risk.
With beauty (cosmetics, hair, skincare, etc.) having a brand and brand story is everything to your store’s success. This is key to getting people to trust buying a product that they’ve never seen or heard before, but honestly building a brand can take years and trying to rush the process can get expensive!
So how do you make money with a new beauty dropshipping store, no time to build a brand, and a small or no budget for ads?
01. Start Shopping Suppliers and Products
First, decide what type of products to sell, where and who it will ship from, and how much the product and shipping will cost.
If you want a beauty dropshipping store for example, as a beginner I wouldn’t start selling cosmetics or skincare because there’s more liability. Women don’t trust all cosmetics and skincare, and mostly they need more brand longevity for buyers’ trust. I would start with something like makeup bags, makeup brushes, eyelashes, etc. with much lower risk.
A platform like Aliexpress has a wide collection of suppliers based in China with products priced very low either per piece or wholesale.
The price point of these products is low enough so you can make a good profit when pricing them on your store, but cheaper products also mean you won’t get the best quality or the fastest shipping.
You should definitely explore your options when shopping for suppliers and wholesalers. If you prefer faster shipping times and better quality products start looking for suppliers in the US, don’t limit yourself.
Try Googling “Cosmetic Dropshippers US” and reach out to companies that have what you want to sell.
Some US cosmetic companies that drop ship are:
You can even dropship from popular online wholesalers and markets like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
02. Profit Margins
Knowing your profit margins is essential when dropshipping. This is the amount of profit you make after all expenses. Dropshipping profit margins can be great for cheap products with high perceived value where you can upcharge and make a good profit.
In one of my stores, I sold eyelashes for $25 that cost me $5 total, product cost, and shipping. That netted me a $20 profit per sale which is average for that item.
If you price your products too low people might think it’s bad quality and shop somewhere else (high perceived value!) so don’t be afraid to upcharge for more profit. In the same breath, also pay attention to what your competitors are charging so you don’t price your items too high.
One of the perks of dropshipping is that even though you don’t physically handle the products before it’s shipped, if you want customization some suppliers will ship the product for you with custom packaging you choose and include it in your shipping costs.
If you want to personally handle your products though, it might cost a little more to have the supplier ship the item to you first and then to ship the item to the customer yourself, but that most definitely helps with the high perceived and brand value.
How to price your products
Once you’ve found your supplier, make a spreadsheet of the products you source from them and always try to choose the ones with the better product cost/ shipping cost/ profit ratio.
A product costs you $6
The supplier charges $6 for shipping
This item typically sells for $40 (in other stores in your niche) so you charge $36
That would be a great product cost/ shipping cost/ profit ratio with an est. of $24 profit each sale.
Also, include your expenses when you decide your product costs so you know how much sales you need to cover them and still make a profit.
03. Build Your Shopify Store
Now it’s time to build your Shopify store. If you don’t know how to build your own Shopify store, you’re not alone. I didn’t know what I was doing at first either but Shopify has a very easy dashboard and site templates that make customization simple.
Shopify has a 14-day free trial, then is $30/a month for the basic plan so you have a little bit of time to create an account and get familiar with your new store first.
Once you’ve decided on what you want to sell, buy a domain name for your store at Namecheap.com for less than $10 for the year, and connect your domain name to your Shopify store.
Once you’re ready to start designing your store you’ll find a variety of free templates you can use to get started.
Building your store is the fun part and most companies who drop ship have apps that you can add to your Shopify to easily integrate products from them directly to your store.
For example, if you were dropshipping products from Aliexpress, in your store you would add the Oberlo app in the Apps section of your Shopify dashboard. The Oberlo app specifically makes it super easy to import any product on Aliexpress directly to your store.
The only thing left to do would be to price your products, edit, and customize the product descriptions.
04. Build Your Brand/Socials
Once you have a store set up you’ll need to start driving traffic to it for sales. On virtually every social media platform it would take some time to build your following, your presence and convert that to sales, except one. Pinterest!
You’ll definitely promote your store on other socials like Instagram and Facebook too but to start Pinterest has some of the quickest results.
- Pinterest generates more traffic wanting to purchase than Facebook (33% more), Snapchat (71% more), and Twitter (200% more)
- 80% of millennials say Pinterest helps them find products they want to buy, while 71% uses the platform for recommendations on what to buy
- 77% percent of users has discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest
Start by creating a free Pinterest business account on Pinterest.com. Pinterest business accounts are a must for any business owner because it allows you to track essential analytics and data about your traffic such as:
- Engagements/Link Clicks/Saves
- % of Engaged Audience
This is exactly how I’d build my Pinterest profile! Make sure you add all relevant keywords related to your store in your bio description to make users able to find you. You could also entice new visitors to your store by adding a purchase incentive.
Finish your profile by creating boards related to every product category you sell in your store so you have a specific board to pin each item, this will make visitors shopping your store through your profile able to find your selections easier.
If you sell cosmetics, for example, you’d have a board for eyeshadow, a board for foundation, a board for blush, etc.
A. Drive Traffic from Pinterest
Typically for branding, not having physical pictures of your products to promote would be a disadvantage but with Pinterest that isn’t really an issue. Standard pictures of products work better on Pinterest than any other social media and this is perfect for dropshippers. You can use pictures directly from your supplier of your item and pin them to your boards.
To save your products from Shopify to Pinterest you could do it manually by pinning your product directly from the product page or with a scheduler.
Manually, on most themes on Shopify you can turn on the setting to be able to share your product to social media, once this is on you can simply select “Pin It” and save it to its designated board.
But you can’t just pin every item in your store to its board manually once and expect a lot of traffic because that definitely won’t happen, you’d have to manually pin every product to its board daily.
To save time doing that and send traffic from Pinterest to my store faster I love using Tailwind. A scheduler like Tailwind is the second and honestly best way to save your products from Shopify to Pinterest. By using Tailwind I spend a couple of hours a month scheduling Tailwind to pin every product from my store to its specific board all through the month, each time scheduling a different image of the product to pin.
This increases my store traffic and sales quickly! Sometimes I completely forget about the store and still make sales because Pinterest is sending me traffic regularly.
Without Pinterest and Tailwind promoting your store on socials like Instagram or Facebook could take a couple of months to start sending you organic traffic and sales. You can either wait for that traffic to roll in or pay for ads to speed things up. If you have a bigger budget there’s nothing wrong with paying for ads to get quick traffic but personally, I was new to dropshipping so I wanted to keep all my startup costs low until I knew I liked it and it was profitable.
I use Tailwind to drive consistent traffic to my beauty blog so I felt confident I could use it to get my first few sales. Not only did Pinterest send buyers to my store in the first two weeks but I also got 15 email subscribers to send future newsletters to using only Tailwind. (Which is less than $20/month!). Pinterest really is an essential traffic source for your new dropshipping store. Try your first free month of Tailwind here .
B. Drive Traffic From Your Blog
Another one of my favorite ways to drive traffic to my dropshipping store is directly from my blog. Having a dropshipping store directly tied to the niche of your blog is a great way to monetize your blog from day one and create a steady flow of store sales.
You can drive traffic to your store from a separate blog (like your self-hosted WordPress blog) or you can even start a blog right on your Shopify store. You can then promote your products in your blog posts and create pins for these posts and drive traffic from Pinterest!
For example, I created a blog post of the top 5 vanity mirrors in my beauty dropshipping store. I wrote in-depth guides for each type to be sure that the reader got to know the quality, the benefits, and which one was tailored to their specific needs. This post made 5 extra sales that month from a combination of traffic from the blog post, Pinterest, and Google. This an absolutely great and free way to make sales from your store.
05. Promote Your Store
Lastly, promote your store any and everywhere. Now’s the time to start building an audience around your new store on other socials too. The more traffic the better and more opportunity to get eyes and clicks on your products!
There are plenty of other free traffic sources to drive to your store too. You can drive traffic to your store from a Facebook page, Youtube channel, or beauty forums.
So you’ve decided what products you want to sell and you found your vendor either from overseas or the US. You’ve decided on what sourcing your product is gonna cost you and how much to price your items so you make a profit. You also decided on a store name, purchased the domain from Namecheap.com, and created your Shopify store.
Once you got your Pinterest driving traffic to your store and your other social media accounts ready, you now have a dropshipping store that can bring you $500/a month or more without spending more than $100 a month.
This is just one of the ways to start a beauty dropshipping store and make a nice side income. (And personally one of my favorite online businesses.) If you’re interested in other online beauty businesses that cost under $100 to start, read here.
Do you plan on starting a beauty dropshipping store? Share this post please and leave us a comment!