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How to Start a Dropshipping Business in 2022

10 minute read

If you find yourself wondering whether it’s really that difficult to start a business from scratch, then maybe it’s time to legitimately consider your options.

Did you know that you could market your very own brand and sell products to customers online with only a small amount of money and modest technical skills? The dropshipping model allows you to sell online from the comfort of your home without holding any inventory. As a dropshipper, you are simply the link between the retailer and the customers.

Singapore’s eCommerce market was projected to reach S$4.3 million in revenue in 2021, and with an annual growth of 10.6%, that can soar to S$6.5 million by 2025.

If you want in on the booming eCommerce industry, dropshipping in Singapore offers one of the best starts. There’s no better time than now to start an online business. We can show you the right direction with this dropshipping Singapore guide – but it’s up to you whether you’re ready to take the leap.

Overview

 

What is dropshipping, and is it different from eCommerce?

Dropshipping is a method of fulfilling eCommerce orders without holding inventory. In the dropship business model, products are merely displayed on your online store. When someone buys a product on your website, the item is bought from a third-party supplier who packages and ships the item directly to the customer.

That means you don’t need to hold products or even deal with the logistics of shipping them! All you need to focus on is how to consistently sell products and build a customer base for your brand.

You can tell the difference between dropshipping and the traditional eCommerce model by who holds the inventory and how orders are fulfilled.

Under the eCommerce model, you purchase inventory in wholesale quantities, sell it online, pick and pack boxes, and ship them, all in-house. The cost associated with this model comes from having to outrightly purchase, store and ship all products. An eCommerce business could easily experience heavy losses due to bad product quality or low awareness.

With a dropshipping online business, on the other hand, this risk doesn’t exist. You may want to purchase product samples to take your own marketing photos, but even that is not strictly necessary. Most of your costs would come from setting up a website and running ads; other than that, all you need to do is make sure orders are fulfilled diligently and with excellent customer support.

 

Ready to start a dropshipping business in Singapore?

After all your research, you might be ready to start your very own dropshipping business in Singapore. So how do you begin? What are the steps involved in registering your dropshipping business?

Don’t worry, we’ll prepare you for starting this business venture confidently and with the right tools. Let’s get started with your new dropshipping guide so you can learn all of the little tips and tricks for anyone who wants to get into the dropshipping business.

1. Consider the business model’s pros and cons

As tempting as it might be to jump on the dropshipping business model immediately, there are numerous factors you want to consider. Running a successful dropshipping business takes hard work and grit.

It’s important to understand how to incorporate your business, build a store on an online platform, as well as manage costs. This is a prerequisite that you have to answer if you want to know how to do dropshipping in Singapore.

As long as you’re willing to do your research thoroughly and understand the processes and finer details involved, you’ve got a lucrative business idea in your hands.

2. Conduct competitor analysis and market research

What you sell matters. Therefore, you should take your time to hone in on the best dropship product that has high growth potential and a ready market.

Avoid trending products that sell for a short time and if possible, try to predict future trends. Also, consider your pricing, as healthy margins are important in ensuring your business can be profitable. As you continue your research, be sure to steer clear of these items that you might not know are illegal.

Next, stay one step ahead by analyzing your competitors. This will help you come up with a pricing strategy that can compete in this saturated market.

Look at how they are providing customer service and whether their methods work. Find out what successful businesses are doing differently from others, how they drive traffic to their business, and if they run offers to provide incentives to potential customers.

3. Identify your Singapore dropshipping suppliers

Your dropshipping suppliers are integral to success in the dropshipping business model. It’s important to select trustworthy suppliers after careful consideration of all your potential suppliers, and always have alternatives in case one fails you. But if you find reliable suppliers, you shouldn’t have this issue.

If you can get some advantage from your supplier, it will play an important role in your company. When evaluating potential dropshipping suppliers, check that their products are high quality, and explore the available shipping options and how long it takes them to ship and process orders. Some well-known supplier platforms are Alibaba, AliExpress, Taobao, and Shopee.

4. Incorporate your dropshipping business

Once you have settled on your business model and dropshipping suppliers, the next thing to do is register your dropshipping store. This is an important step that you have to take if you want to know how to do dropshipping in Singapore.

This includes naming your company, solidifying your shareholders and directors, as well as deciding on the official business address, among other tasks.

It’s a bit trickier if you’re not a citizen, permanent resident, or EntrePass Visa holder, but foreigners can still make use of Singapore’s tax framework and free trade agreements via nominee directors, virtual mailrooms, and local corporate secretaries.

Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, Sleek has been there, done that, and lived to share the resources. Let us know if you need help incorporating your business and we can help you through every step of the way.

5. Appoint a company secretary

Why should your small business have a corporate secretary/company secretary? Simply put, the Singapore Companies Act states that each business has to have one, even those in the eCommerce market.

Secretaries are expected to help with regulatory compliance, making sure your business upholds each government-mandated duty. They assist the directors to prepare and file all the necessary documents.

Annual general meetings, annual returns, financial statements, and corporate taxes will all be handled by the secretary. You can learn more about the integral role of company secretary here.

6. Acquire relevant trading licenses

Once your business has been registered, you can apply for relevant trading licenses and permits. The licenses will also vary, depending on the sector your business falls under.

If you fail to comply with permit and licensing regulations, you are liable to serious fines and you risk your business’s growth. Here’s a guide to permits and licenses in Singapore if you’re not sure which ones you need.

7. Build, launch, and market your dropshipping store

When you have a name for your business, you can get a matching domain name to build your website with brand credibility and awareness in mind. You can find numerous high-quality domain names online for sale (e.g. on domain.com).

Next would be to build a brand identity that will go with your business name. This would include brand collaterals such as your logo, brand color, and fonts. Establishing a brand identity can be of real help because it will make the process of finding loyal customers much easier.

As soon as you’ve solidified your brand identity, start marketing and building hype around your products. You can do this even before your store is launched by interacting on forums like Reddit and Quora and putting up advertisements on Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram.

Use web analytics tools such as Clickmeter, Similarweb, and Google Analytics to examine how well your website is doing and test new methods to bring in sales.

8. Manage your finances

The key to growing your business lies in proper financial management, no matter the scale of operation. If this is your first dropshipping company in Singapore, then it is of utmost importance to get your business finance basics right.

You can get started with our 10 tips for excellent financial management. You need to understand your income stream, your sales volume, and what the two figures mean so you can make business adjustments when and where necessary.

Only by understanding the direction of your cash will you be able to determine the profitability of your business. We recommend using accounting services that integrate with your eCommerce software.

Why not try Sleek’s accounting platform, which can link to Shopify and Amazon, among others? Our all-in-one digital platform comes with easy bookkeeping, free business account setup, and an all-star accounting team to help you, too.

9. Keep growing

Once you’ve sold some items and gotten comfortable with your dropshipping routine, you can start focusing on scaling up. How can you scale your business?

  • Find ways to consistently increase your customer base and expand your offering.
  • Advertise your products to various customer segments and on various platforms.
  • Monitor which products are working and which demographics are buying.
  • You can then get a bigger share of the market by targeting those audience segments with content that may interest them.
  • Review your supplier’s delivery time and carrier options to increase business while keeping costs down.

Better anticipation of trends will guide your future decisions and this is key for scaling your dropshipping company in Singapore.

 

Shopee, eBay, or Amazon for your dropshipping business?

Ready to start your dropshipping business?

Here’s a summary table with some available eCommerce platforms you can consider:

ShopeeeBayAmazon
Available to anyone looking to dropship products.Available to anyone looking to dropship products.Businesses and individuals looking for a marketplace to buy or sell things can access this platform.
MarketplaceeCommerce only

eCommerce

Marketplace

Online support is available.Online support is available.Support is available during business hours (online).
No free version/ no free trialNo free version/ no free trialNo free version/ no free trial
No training available (access to documentation is granted)Access to documentation is granted. Live online training is available.Documentation access is granted. Live online training is available along with an in-person training option.

Shopee

Shopee, as one of the major e-commerce platforms, has partnered with logistics businesses to make shipping more accessible and economical for both sellers and buyers.

For instance, in Singapore, Shopee has partnered with delivery services such as Speedpost Economy, Ninja Van, J&T Express, and UrbanFox, among others.

With millions of daily visitors, a user-friendly mobile app and website, and campaign promos, Shopee provides a solid online presence that is difficult to replicate if you are just getting started.

eBay

eBay Dropshipping in Singapore is a great option for selling products. It is a fantastic way to generate money online because there is no initial investment required to begin selling things. You only need a quality product and an efficient sales technique.

Private label selling is also another great option offered by eBay. This means that you are the product’s maker and are selling it under your own brand name.

Amazon

Most people, when they think about online shopping, they instantly think about Amazon.

These are the reasons to strongly consider Amazon as your dropshipping platform of choice:

  • With over 300 million active accounts and almost 2 million selling partners, Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. Despite being just 25 years old, it has revolutionized the way people worldwide purchase every day.
  • As a marketplace platform, Amazon allows you to purchase virtually anything, with vendors from across the world quickly connected to global customers.
  • Amazon has far more regular users than any of its competitors combined. But what’s likely more crucial is that buyers have faith in Amazon.
 

The benefits of starting a dropshipping business

You may be wondering why you should start a drop shipping business over choosing some other business model. You’ll be happy to know that there are some exclusive benefits that only apply to drop shippers who directly ship quality products to their customers.

You can’t lose your revenue

Selling products through dropshipping is one of the smartest ways you can make money online, without the fear of selling and holding inventory. Unlike other businesses, you won’t have to worry about the loss of profit when you have extra inventory lying around.

Upselling is easy

Most drop shippers use the wholesale price as their selling price. Therefore, selling more than one item to your customers is easy because customers pay less than they would in an eCommerce store. And most suppliers will be able to handle the increased volume of sales effortlessly, so you will have more money with less work.

No need to work in an office

You can become a dropshipper, find suppliers, work on customer experience, take custom orders, and even make your own website, all from the comfort of your home. You can even work with international suppliers from anywhere in the world.

You don’t need a lot of money to get started

While most businesses need a lot of startup capital, that isn’t the case for dropshipping businesses. You only need a small seed amount. Once customer orders start coming in, you will earn back your investment in no time.

It’s perfect for beginners

Shipping products is the ideal business venture for beginner entrepreneurs because it doesn’t require a lot of work and can bring amazing profit margins. As long as you follow a few pointers, know how to find potential suppliers, and learn the basics of social media marketing, you will have a business.

Great side hustle

Finally, dropshipping is perfect for you if you already have a full-time job. People usually do this as a side hustle or additional revenue stream, which takes some pressure off your shoulders.

Worried about how to establish international relationships? You can first work with some local retailers and get some experience before expanding your offer. Even though it will be challenging in the beginning, you’ll get more customers over time.

 

FAQ

Let’s answer frequently asked questions about dropshipping in Singapore.

Is a dropshipping business taxable in Singapore?

If you reside in Singapore, it should come as no surprise that you will be required to pay taxes on any dropshipping revenue you receive.

Ensure that you fully understand the criteria for registering your business and revenue, filing tax returns, paying your expenses, and doing everything on time to avoid problems.

What are some of the lists of dropshipping companies in Singapore?

There are numerous internet directories for dropshipping vendors; however, the following are among the best:

  1. The best option for Shopify drop shippers is Oberlo.
  2. AliExpress offers the largest selection of items.
  3. Shopee is ideal for drop shippers and clients in Singapore.
  4. Worldwide Brands is ideal for dropshipping overseas products.
  5. ChinaBrands is a great source of a variety of high-quality products.

Can I dropship from China to Singapore?

If you reside in China and you’re wondering if dropshipping is legal in Singapore, you’ll be happy to know that it’s perfectly legal and possible.

Do I need a license to dropship in Singapore?

Dropshipping is lawful in Singapore so long as you set up your company legally and engage with reliable Singapore dropshipping suppliers.

How can a beginner start dropshipping?

Dropshipping may appear like an easy method to make money online and get a healthy profit margin, but you’re actually launching a full-fledged business. It’s not something you should take lightly as the amount of work you put in will determine whether or not you find success.

You must ensure that you have covered the fundamentals and have a minimum comprehension of all dropshipping principles. That’s enough for a start, but you have to continually educate yourself if you want to succeed as a drop shipper.

Wrap up

Dropshipping is a great business opportunity if you’re looking to build an income from the comfort of your home. Even though this is a viable high-growth business model, you still need to be determined and consistent in your efforts to succeed.

If you are ready to turn your business idea into a reality, our expert team is available to incorporate your business and answer any questions you may have on how to start and manage your dropshipping business. So don’t wait around for success to fall into your lap, take charge and become a drop shipper today.

 

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