Are you a non-US citizen looking to start a dropshipping business in the land of endless opportunities? As such, you’re not sure how to navigate the legalities and set up your business. Well, you’ve picked the right article.
Read on for all the essential steps you need to take to kickstart your dropshipping journey on American soil, even if you’re not a US citizen!
Table of Contents
First of all, why start dropshipping in the USA?
Now, why should non-US citizens consider dropshipping in the USA? Three words: market size, consumer demand, and trust. With its massive population and a culture of online shopping, the USA offers an unparalleled customer base for your dropshipping business.
So, how do we know dropshipping is still worth it in the USA? Well, the USA e-commerce market is booming, with projected sales skyrocketing from $348 billion in 2018 to over 1.3 trillion dollars by 2028.
Even Google Trends confirms it – the interest in dropshipping is booming, as you can see below.
Now, let’s start by addressing the first crucial question on your mind. What about the legal side and tax requirements?
Do you need to incorporate your company?
Well, before you can begin selling in the USA, it’s actually crucial to incorporate your company. Why, you ask? Well, there are three main reasons:
1. To get paid by your customers. That means you need to work with payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Adyen, Square, or others. Well, to be able to work with them you need an incorporated company. It adds credibility and trust to your business.
2. To work with top suppliers. If you want to partner with the best suppliers in the USA that offer high-quality products and substantial discounts, you need a Company and a Sales License, a Tax ID or an EIN. Most wholesale and dropshipping suppliers won’t work with random individuals.
3. To build a sustainable and scalable business. You need to register your company and pay taxes, and ensure you’re on the right side of the law, setting yourself up for long-term success.
To learn more about each step you need to take to incorporate a company in the USA as a non-US citizen, check out this guide on how to incorporate your company in the USA.
Step-by-step guide to start dropshipping in the USA
Once you’ve incorporated your company, it’s time to build your dropshipping business in the USA.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
Start by choosing a company name, domain name, logo, and a business email address
First things first – you need to pick a catchy name for your online store, and then buy a domain for it. How to find a great name? Well, you can start with Google Search to find a name that aligns with your niche and also make sure your domain name is available. Websites like GoDaddy and Namecheap can help you secure your domain.
Now, after you do all these, you can start working on a professional logo that represents your brand. You can find freelancers on platforms like Fiverr to design a logo quickly and not too costly.
For a detailed tutorial on creating a Google Business email, be sure to check out this tutorial video.
Start building your online store
Now, building an amazing, user-friendly, and secure e-commerce store is essential. Not sure about which platform to choose? We recommend ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix or BigCommerce.
We recommend Shopify or WooCommerce as both will give you all the necessary tools to create an awesome ecommerce store – from great themes to tools for customizing your design, adding your domain, managing inventory, taking and shipping orders, receiving payment, and more.
Choose the right payment methods
Now, the next step is to choose the right payment method. Start with researching the most popular payment methods used by customers in the USA.
According to Statista, 55% use a credit and 47% a debit card, while 43% of customers use online payment services like PayPal or Amazon Pay to make payments.
And among the most popular payment gateways in the USA are
Choose the right sales channels
Once you set up your online store and choose the payment methods to use, it’s time to select the appropriate sales channels to showcase and sell your products. In case you don’t know, a selling channel is the platform you use to sell your products.
Consider platforms like Google Shopping, Facebook, or Custom Channels, depending on your target audience and marketing goals.
Pick the best products for dropshipping
Now, this is probably one of the most important steps – choosing the right products for dropshipping in the USA.
This can actually transform your online store into a successful one. That’s why you need to pay attention to this step even more than you did to the others.
Here are some tips that could help you pick the right product and niche:
- Look for unique, high-quality products that also have the “wow” factor.
- Choose hard-to-find products that can’t be found in a retail store or your area.
- Find products with a profit margin high enough to cover the cost of goods and advertising.
- Choose a product that solves a problem.
- Pick one with no advertising restrictions, so that you can market it on Google and Facebook.
For more tips on selecting the best products, check out this short guide on how to find a winning dropshipping product.
Source your products for dropshipping
So, now that you’ve found your niche and selected the winning products for your dropshipping store, it’s time to dive into the world of product sourcing. Where do you start?
Well, when it comes to sourcing products for dropshipping, you’ve got marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, or you can explore dedicated dropshipping platforms like AppScenic.
But here’s the thing: choosing the right platform is just as essential as selecting the perfect product. After all, your supplier can make or break your dropshipping store.
The secret? Quality over everything. Look for suppliers who offer high-quality products, fast delivery and excellent customer service. You want a supplier who’s not only reliable but also reachable whenever you need them.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. Many marketplaces and platforms have lots of suppliers, but not all of them are reliable. In fact, navigating platforms like Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay can feel full of unreliable suppliers and uncertainty.
That’s where our platform comes in handy. AppScenic is an all-in-one platform, offering a huge range of unique and high-quality products from top suppliers. And the best part? AppScenic takes the hassle out of dropshipping with its automated features, ensuring seamless order processing and real-time stock and price updates.
It’s time to market your products
Once you choose a dropshipping platform and have imported some products to your store, it’s time to start advertising them and get them in front of your audience.
There are many strategies you can take to market your products, but if you’re just starting, we recommend Google Ads (specifically Google Shopping Ads), Facebook Ads, TikTok, and Pinterest. Of course, it all depends on the niche and type of products, and also your region, marketing approach and the budget you have.
For instance, if you only sell low-ticket items in the $10-100 range, Facebook can be your best bet. Oon the other hand, if you’re selling high-ticket items above $100, Google Ads can work best.
Now, there is also TikTok. With its huge growth and unparalleled reach among Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is quickly becoming the fastest-growing advertising platform for the dropshipping business model.
How much does it cost to set up a dropshipping business and start selling?
As you can imagine if you got to this point in our article, even if there is no need to pay upfront for any products you sell in your store, you still need to invest some money to start dropshipping in the USA.
Most of your startup money will go to the following when starting a dropshipping business:
1. Building up an online store
2. Supplier fees
3. Return costs
4. Marketing costs
5. Other business expenses, such as obtaining a tax ID or local business licenses
If you want to find out more about each of these costs, check out this article: The True Cost Of Dropshipping – What Nobody Tells You
And there you have it, the beginner’s guide to dropshipping in the USA as a non-US citizen.
So, let’s sum up. You start by choosing your store name, and domain name, then create the logo and a business email address. You then proceed to build your online store on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Next, you have to choose the best payment methods and the right sales channels. And finish with picking those winning products and marketing them.
And don’t forget, that incorporating your company, setting up your online store, and selecting the right products are crucial steps for success in the USA.