Shopee is undoubtedly the most popular and fastest-growing online marketplace in Southeast Asia. Since its establishment in Singapore 7 years ago, it has grown and gained a foothold in many other countries and is expected to keep expanding its presence in the region and beyond.
Selling or dropshipping products on Shopee would, therefore, grant you access to a huge market segment in Southeast Asia and possibly help you make exponential sales.
In this article, we guide you through every step of how to start dropshipping on Shopee and share insights on how to excel at it. Read on.
Table of Contents
1.Identify a Market and Choose a Niche
A market refers to a population of consumers that you can sell your products to. However, not all consumers in your market may be interested in what you have to sell. It is, therefore, wiser to identify a particular segment of customers and a niche of products that they need or like then begin selling those products to them.
This is an important move, especially for a beginner, because it helps you focus on dropshipping products that customers would actually be willing to buy. It also gives your business an identity as customers would begin to relate your shop with a certain niche of products.
That said, as you think of what niche to venture into, consider:
● Product or Sectors That Interest You
Are you passionate about cosmetics, fitness, haircare, skincare, fashion, or something else? Then consider setting up a dropshipping store within that niche.
It is much easier to research, source, and sell products that you are passionate about as opposed to products that do not interest you at all. Moreover, your enthusiasm would likely appeal to customers, and your knowledge of the products may enrich their shopping experience and keep them coming back.
● Social Media Engagement
Social media is a fundamental dropshipping marketing tool. As such, take some time to visualize whether you would be able to create buzz around the products you are considering. If not, you may have a hard time driving sales and may need to consider a different kind of product.
● Competition Research
Take time to research your competitors in any niche before you go into it. Find out what type and quality of products they specialize in and try to figure out if you can do better. More importantly, evaluate the number of competitors to avoid getting into saturated product niches. They can be hard to thrive in and their profit margins are often meager.
● Evaluate Profitability
First, take a look at the average prices that competitors in your prospective niche are charging. You will likely have to sell your products at the same price range. Their prices would thus be a good indicator of the profit margins you will be earning.
Alternatively, explore the possibility of adding value to products in that niche before selling them. For instance, instead of selling plain t-shirts, you could offer print-on-demand options. This may enable you to sell at a higher price and make better margins.
2. Set Up Your Shopee Store
You can set your Shopee store by signing up on the Shopee website or the Shopee app.
The steps go as follows:
- Click on the signup button
- Fill in your email address, phone number, or Facebook details, depending on which of them you would like to use to set up your account
- Fill the rest of the fields with the required details and verify your account when prompted to
- Log in to your account and click on ‘Seller Centre’ at the top of the homepage
When entering shipping information, you will be prompted to choose between ‘Non-Shopee Supported Logistics’ and ‘Shopee Supported Logistics’ as your preferred way to ship packages. Keep in mind that Shopee operational structures are optimized to support dropshipping. So, choose ‘Non-Shopee Supported Logistics’ so that you are able to make better arrangements to ensure your customers’ orders get fulfilled.
3. Find a Dropship Supplier
A dropshipping supplier is a wholesale vendor that sells you the products listed in your Shopee store at a wholesale rate and also helps you fulfill the order by shipping the products directly to your customers.
They certainly will be a crucial pillar for your business and thus it is important that you strive to find a reliable partner that offers quality products at good prices.
Here are some of the avenues you can explore to find a dropship supplier.
Alibaba is a world-renowned eCommerce platform that lists thousands of Chinese suppliers. Most of them are very conversant with how dropshipping works and would be willing to work with you to make sure your customers get what they want.
Nevertheless, Alibaba is primarily a bulk-selling platform and may only be ideal if you would like to cater to bulk buyers. The wholesale prices are very friendly and can even be negotiated lower depending on the number of products that are ordered. In contrast, ordering single units may still be affordable but the price will be higher than the wholesale price.
AliExpress can best be described as Alibaba’s twin as it is also an online marketplace from China. The two are even owned by the same group of companies.
The only difference is that AliExpress sells affordable goods in retail mode. You do not have to buy in bulk to enjoy price advantages. Sellers on this platform are equally dropshipping savvy and can help you fulfill orders.
You will find lots of dropship supplier options on both AliExpress and Alibaba. Try to narrow down your list based on key factors like pricing, seller ratings, shipping options, and how responsive they are during your correspondence.
● Use a Professional Dropshipping Agent
A dropshipping agent is an alternative to a typical dropshipping supplier. They do not sell goods. Instead, they source the goods you would like to sell from manufacturers according to your specifications. If you approve of the goods they find, they would proceed to order them in bulk, collect the order, and store them in their warehouse.
Anytime a customer orders a product from your dropshipping store on Shopee, you can share the order details with your dropshipping agent and they will pack the item and ship it directly to the customer.
Notably, Shopee does not encourage or have any structures to support dropshipping. Working with a reputable agent, like Bestfulfill, Komuten, or CJ Dropshipping, may thus be the only way to successfully run a dropshipping store on Shopee.
At Bestfulfill, we offer comprehensive dropshipping services and have established partnerships with top-rated suppliers in different niches. As a result, we can source an unbeatable variety of products as well as unique product options that could make you stand out from your competitors.
First, our professional agents make time to consult with you and understand your needs and business goals. We then source the best goods at your budget and negotiate the best possible prices too. Further, while we only work with carefully vetted suppliers, we also go the extra mile and perform rigorous quality inspections to ensure that your customers receive the best quality of products.
Our dedicated customer service team is always available to answer any questions you may have or help you navigate any dropshipping challenges you may be experiencing.
● Subscribe to a Dropshipping Directory
A dropshipping directory is a subscription service where you pay a set fee to gain access to a list of dropship suppliers of different types of products. Examples of such directories include Wholesale2B, Sunrise Wholesale, or SaleHoo.
Each directory has its own set of rules and subscriptions rates. Some directories are also better curated than others. Nevertheless, if you choose to go this route, sign up for free trials if possible and see what the platform has to offer before you commit. Alternatively, sign up for a basic plan then upgrade later on if you find the service to be worth the fees.
● Use Products Keywords to Find Suppliers on Google
Google is a gold mine of information and can give you great leads on dropship suppliers. You only need to know how to optimize your searches to get better quality and relevant search results.
How? It’s simple: use relevant keywords in your searches. For example, if you are looking for a clothing supplier, your search query could be ‘dropshipping clothing supplier’. It is specific and mentions exactly what kind of supplier you need and so the search results you get will be more sensible.
● Contact Manufacturers
Wholesale suppliers source products from manufacturers and sell them at a mark-up. You can, however, cut out the middleman and directly reach out to manufacturers. Most of them are now more open to dropshipping and may be willing to work with you to fulfill orders. Plus, manufacturers usually offer very affordable factory-rate prices which would allow you to make healthy profit margins.
4. Fulfill the Order and Update Its Tracking Number
After finding a suitable supplier, work to create a product list for your Shopee store. You can do this by simply syncing your Shopee store to your supplier’s platform or you can copy, paste, and edit product descriptions from their platform. Remember to edit the price too from the supplier’s wholesale rate to your own marked-up price.
When customers place orders, share with your supplier or your dropshipping agent and follow up until the order is dispatched. The dropship supplier or agent should provide a tracking number which you can then share with your dropship customer in your Shopee store.
FAQs About Selling and Dropshipping on Shopee
1.Is It Free to Sell on Shopee?
Yes, it is. There are no subscription fees for sellers on the Shopee platform.
You would only be charged a fee if you would like your store to be listed in the Shopee Mall. The fee is about USD 315 and is used to pay for the registration of your Shopee business at the Accounting and Regulating Authority in Singapore(ACRA).
2. In Which Countries is Shopee Available?
Shopee is available in:
- Singapore (Shopee.sg)
- Malaysia (Shopee.com.my)
- Thailand (Shopee.co.th)
- Vietnam (Shopee.vn)
- Indonesia (Shopee.co.id)
- Philippines (Shopee.ph)
- Taiwan (Shopee.tw)
- Korea (shopee.kr)
3. How Can I Get Paid on Shopee?
Shopee payment options differ between countries.
For example, buyers in Singapore and Thailand can only pay using debit cards, credit cards, or through a bank transfer.
On the other hand, buyers in the Philippines and Taiwan can choose to pay via one of the following options:
- Online banking transfer
- ATM transfer
- Credit card payment
- Debit card payment
- Over-the-counter payments
- Cash on Delivery (COD)
Make an effort to read through the payment options that are allowed for your country and choose those that you find convenient.
4. What Are Prohibited Products on Shopee?
Prohibited products are banned from being sold on the Shopee platform and not just in Singapore but all countries that Shopee operates in. Such products include:
- Animal and wildlife products (including, without limitation, wild animals)
- Artifacts and antiquities
- Used cosmetics
- Counterfeit currency and stamps
- Credit and debit cards
- Currency or credits including, without limitation, digital currency or credits, and stored value cards
- Drugs, medicines (prescribed or non-prescribed), and drug-like substances
- Embargoed goods
- Firearms, weapons, replicas, and stun guns, and more
- Alcohol [Valid license to be submitted and approved by Shopee]
For a long time, the eCommerce market in Southeast Asia remained under-tapped and under-served. Thankfully Shopee now offers a reliable way for sellers to access this huge market and for buyers to find what they need right on their mobile devices.
Suffice to say, selling and dropshipping can be a lucrative venture if you do it the right way. The steps in this guide would be a good place to start and we, at Bestfulfill, can provide all the dropshipping support you require to run your Shopee dropship store with ease.
Have you found a niche that piques your interest? Do send us a list of your product requirements and request a quick quote. Our team will promptly get back to you with all the details you require.