How Much Does It Cost to Start Dropshipping in 2024?

How Much Does it Cost to Start Dropshipping

If you’re wondering how much it costs to start a dropshipping business, you might be surprised to learn it’s not as expensive as you think.

Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that doesn’t require the seller to keep inventory in stock.

Here’s how it typically works:

A customer buys a physical product from an online store. But the store doesn’t fulfill the order. Instead, dropshipping suppliers prepare and ship the product directly to the customer.

Startup costs for dropshipping are pretty affordable compared to other types of Ecommerce, and other businesses in general. 

In fact, what if we told you that you could get started for under $500? 

Crazy, right? But …

It’s absolutely possible to build a long-term, scalable company without pouring in a ton of initial cash. However, remember this isn’t a “get rich quick” solution. Starting your own business requires hard work and dedicated effort. 

In this article, we’ll break down the cost into the seven steps we recommend spending money on as you launch a high ticket dropshipping business. We’ll give you some tips to help you avoid overspending in each area, and discuss some optional upgrades you might consider if you have a little extra money when you launch.

Watch it on YouTube or Listen to the Podcast

Step 1: Get Your Own Domain Name

Your website is the foundation of your dropshipping business, and the first thing you’ll need is a domain name so folks can find you on the web. 

Here’s why having your own memorable domain name is important:

  • Brand identity: Your own URL establishes a unique name and image for your store.
  • Credibility: A custom domain makes you seem professional and trustworthy.
  • SEO benefits: Ranking on search engines and attracting organic traffic with a unique URL is easier.
  • Customer retention: A simple domain name is easier to remember, which could lead to repeat business.
  • Control: Using your own URL gives you full control over the customer experience and site design.
  • Competitive edge: A memorable domain sets you apart from competitors using generic site names.
  • Portability: It’s easy to switch platforms or hosts (if you need to) without changing your URL.
  • Analytics: You get simple tracking and reporting specific to your site.


No matter what, make sure your name is memorable!

  • [Niche] outlet
  • [Niche] direct
  • [Niche] nation
  • [Niche] surplus


All of the above have one thing in common – they’re not memorable. They do nothing to differentiate you from the competition!

Word of mouth is the biggest marketing channel on the planet, and you want someone to remember your name when they recommend you to a friend.

The good news is that purchasing a domain name is relatively cheap. We’re big fans of Namecheap because it’s one of the easiest platforms for domain registration. You can buy domains there for around $14.

Just search Namecheap discount codes or special promotions that could save you a couple of extra bucks.

How to Find Valuable Domains Using LeanDomainSearch

Finding a domain name that’s memorable and valuable can be challenging. 

LeanDomainSearch simplifies this process by generating hundreds of domain name suggestions based on keywords you specify.

Start by visiting their website and entering a keyword related to your niche. After hitting “Search,” you’ll see a list of available domain names based on your keyword. 

You can sort the results alphabetically, by popularity, or by length. Use these options to narrow down the list and choose a few finalists that are easy to remember, write, and share.

LeanDomainSearch will typically only show you domain names that are available for purchase. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check, which you can often do directly from the platform. You’ll also want to make sure the socials are available, too!

Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you can head to Namecheap to make your purchase.

Pro Tip: Think About Buying an Expired Domain

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to market your dropshipping store, but it takes time to start getting traffic to a brand new site. Purchasing an expired domain can be a strategic move to speed up the process.

Platforms like Odys.Global are marketplaces for expired domains that may already have established backlinks, domain authority, and some organic traffic. Buying one of these domains could give your dropshipping business a competitive edge right from the start, because you’ll get a jump-start on your SEO efforts.

However, proceed with caution: It’s crucial to research the site’s history to ensure the search engines haven’t penalized the URL, and that the domain hasn’t been associated with any problematic content. 

Acquiring an expired domain can potentially be a game changer for your online presence, but don’t skip your due diligence.

Step 2: Secure a Place to Host Your Store

After you’ve sorted out your domain name, the next step is finding the right hosting platform for your dropshipping store. Our top recommendation is Shopify.

Shopify is arguably the best Ecommerce platform on the market today. It offers robust security and uptime, and has an intuitive interface that is easy for beginners to navigate. There are a few other Ecommerce hosting platforms on the market, but in general, they tend to be confusing and not as user-friendly.

The great thing is that Shopify is an all-in-one solution that handles everything from setting up product pages to processing payments.

When you have a Shopify account, you’ll also get access to their extensive app marketplace, which includes tools for SEO, social media integration, customer reviews, and many more. You can easily integrate these features without needing to learn how to code.

You can also get a free 14-day trial of Shopify, so you can test the platform and ensure it’s a good fit.

Once the trial period is over, their basic plan starts at just $39/month, which is really reasonable for all the features you get.

If you’re looking for a hosting solution that gives you reliability, scalability, and ease of use, Shopify is an excellent choice.

Step 3: Choose a Shopify Theme

Once you get set up with hosting, you’ll need a theme for your Shopify store.

A theme is like the canvas for a painting. It sets up the foundation of your website so that all you have to do is paint your picture by adding some minor design details.

When you’re entering the high ticket dropshipping market, where products are more expensive, you’ll need a very specific marketing approach, and picking the right theme is a big part of that. It’s not just about the aesthetics (like fonts and color schemes). You’ll also need to consider features that give your customers a better experience and drive sales.

Some free Shopify themes are on the market, and paid themes are available at mid-tier and high-tier price tags.

A paid theme might run you anywhere between $180 and $300 as a one-time fee.

Paid themes have more functionality and look better overall, but they aren’t essential to get up and running.

You can start with a free theme and add more functionality and features as you grow. Ben started with a free one for his first dropshipping store, then moved to a paid theme once sales started coming in and his profits could cover the cost.

Here are key features to look for when choosing a theme:

  • Breadcrumbs: This navigation feature enables customers to easily retrace their steps on your website. Breadcrumbs provide a great user experience and play a role in SEO.
  • Color swatches: This feature provides an icon or thumbnail that represents different colors or patterns for your products, which can add a layer of personalization for the customer. They’ll be able to see available colors (or which products are sold out) without needing to scroll through a dropdown menu.
  • Sticky header: A sticky header remains visible as the customer scrolls down the page. With a header like this, the customer has consistent, easy access to key areas like product collections, shipping policies, and their cart. This improves your site’s usability and can increase the time customers spend shopping in your store.
  • Mega menus: Clear and intuitive navigation is pivotal in any Ecommerce store. A mega menu (an expanded type of dropdown menu that displays a wide range of options in a large, two-dimensional layout) helps you organize your product offerings clearly and guide customers toward making a purchase. You can also dress up mega menus with custom promotions or media, which are great for marketing, too.


Our Dropship Breakthru course has videos that teach you how to modify your theme to make it even more SEO-friendly. You can’t find this content anywhere else online! 

We also give you a copy of the Superstore Theme from Out of the Sandbox when you join our Dropship Breakthru course. (It’s the theme we teach everything on!)

The Best Themes for High Ticket Dropshipping

We highly recommend the Superstore theme from Out of the Sandbox. It’s the best Shopify theme on the market for high ticket dropshipping. 

Here’s a quick preview of the Superstore theme: 

Superstore theme

We also like the Empire theme by Pixel Union. Here’s what that theme looks like:

Empire website

Step 4: Get a Professional Email Address for Your Business

As you’re setting up your high ticket dropshipping business, don’t overlook the importance of having a business email address.

An email address that ends in (or Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) makes you look unprofessional. Customers might think you’re using a personal email address, or that you’re not running a serious business they can trust with a big purchase.

This can be particularly problematic when you’re running ad campaigns, like Google Ads, where a lack of professional branding can affect credibility and platform policy compliance.

Fortunately, setting up a professional email with the domain you purchased is straightforward and affordable. Services like Google Workspace allow you to create a customized email address for only $6 to $12 a month.

For example, you could use something like:

Having a domain-specific email address adds a layer of credibility to your business, and ensures consistency across all your communications. With just a small monthly investment, you can elevate your brand’s professionalism and help your customers trust you.

Step 5: Snag a Toll-Free Phone Number

In addition to your business email, you’ll want to set up a business phone number.

A phone number isn’t just a way for customers to reach you. It also says a lot about your business. 

A local number can work, and there are many free options for setting one up. But a 1-800 number makes a better impression. A toll-free phone number creates the image of an established, credible company (even if you’re just starting out!).

A business number can also make customers feel more comfortable. They may be more likely to call a toll-free number than a personal one. This can lead to more sales and better customer relationships.

We suggest using a service like Grasshopper to set up your 1-800 number. It helps you keep your business calls separate from your personal ones. With a separate number, you can stay organized and make sure you always use a professional tone when answering calls from your dropshipping customers. The cost is around $30 per month.

You can also use Sinch or Skype to set up your number.

With all of these platforms, there are usually options to route incoming calls to specific locations or numbers, set business hours, and even include a voice menu or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The exact features may vary, so read the fine print or consult with customer service for the platform you choose.

Step 6: Add Branding Elements to Your Store

Branding is a big deal for your dropshipping business. 

It’s how people recognize you, and branding influences how visitors feel about your company. You need more than just a name for your store. You need a look and feel that makes you stand out. This includes things like a logo, specific colors, and even the style of images you use.

You have two main options for getting your branding done: doing it yourself or hiring an expert. If you do it yourself, it might take a lot of time, especially if you’re not a design pro. You’ll have to learn some new skills and spend time making everything look just right. But it will save you money.

On the other hand, you can hire a design expert. Websites like Fiverr give you access to many freelancers and contractors who can make a great logo, pick the best colors, and more. Yes, it costs money, but you’ll save time and likely end up with a more polished look.

You can get a Fiverr worker to create a logo for you for around $20. You might also want to have some banner images and additional collateral created for your website.

So, you have to decide what’s more important to you: time or money. Either way, don’t skip this step. Great branding can make your company memorable and help you grow faster.

How to Choose the Right Freelancer for Your Branding Elements

There are a lot of talented folks on the Fiverr platform, and choosing the right one for your project might feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to pick the right person for your branding needs:

  • Check the portfolio: Always start by examining the portfolio of potential freelancers. Do they have a style that lines up with your vision for your brand?
  • Read reviews: Customer reviews can provide valuable information about a freelancer’s professionalism, quality of work, and reliability. Look for freelancers with high ratings and positive reviews.
  • Assess communication: How quickly does the freelancer respond to your initial inquiry? Timely and clear communication is crucial, especially when you’re trying to build your brand.
  • Ask for samples: Don’t hesitate to ask for sample work or a quick mock-up to gauge their understanding of your brand and needs. You should offer payment for this work. Don’t ask the freelancer to do it for free.
  • Check turnaround time: Ensure that the freelancer’s turnaround time fits your schedule. If you need things expedited, check whether they offer a “rush” service and at what cost.
  • Compare prices: Prices on Fiverr can range from as low as $5 to several hundred dollars, depending on scope and quality. Find someone who fits your budget, but don’t compromise on quality.
  • Be clear about revisions: Before you place an order, make sure you understand their revision policy. Will they charge for revisions? How many revisions are included in the initial price?

Remember, the branding of your dropshipping business is a critical element that can really contribute to your success, so choose wisely!

Step 7: Get Initial Traffic Using Ads

For the early stages of your business, ads will be your best friend for driving traffic and sales. 

We’re not talking about expensive, low-ROI social media ads, either. You’ll want to focus on people who are already searching for your products online. That means you’ll need to run Google Ads, with Microsoft Ads as a secondary option.

Both Google and Microsoft have special deals for new advertisers. Google often offers deals. Hold out for the “spend $500 get $500” offer from Google! Microsoft Ads often has similar promotions. These deals can give you a much-needed boost when you’re starting out, so you can reach more people without spending a lot of money out of pocket.

Given that these ads will be your main sales driver at the beginning, use these offers wisely. Set aside a budget specifically for Google Ads to start. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start Google Ads?

When you take advantage of promotional offers, an initial budget of around $200 to $300 could be enough to kickstart your advertising efforts – we recommend $30 a day. You’ll be able to test different ad formats and targeting options to see what works best for your high ticket items.

Remember, the goal is to make your advertising dollars stretch as far as possible while still pulling in sales. Take advantage of promotional credits, set a sensible budget, and keep a close eye on how your ads are performing so you can adjust as needed.

Ideally, you’ll be able to attract some sales from your first few advertising campaigns, and then you can use your profits to fund your next ad buys. Then you’ll be off and running with dropshipping.

However, be cautious. One common mistake new dropshippers make is burning through their ad budget too quickly. We’ve seen people spend their entire initial monthly budget in just two days and then get zero sales. 

Remember, it’s not about speed. You don’t need to turn a profit as soon as possible. Managing ads is all about efficiency and constant adjustment. Focus on your long-term goal of building a consistent, reliable business.

Crunching the Numbers of Your Dropshipping Startup Costs

So, how much does it cost to start dropshipping?

If you take these recommendations and run with them, $500 is all you really need to start a high ticket dropshipping business with enormous upside potential. 

Let’s run the numbers for your first month:

Startup cost Price
Domain name at $14
Shopify hosting (per month) $39
Shopify theme $200-$500
Business email (per month) $12
Professional phone number (per month) $30
Branding elements +/-$20
TOTAL $315

You can do it all for under $500. 

Yeah, you read that right. You can start your own Ecommerce business for less than $500!

If you have more money to invest upfront, there are two areas we recommend splurging on as ancillary options:

  • Pay someone to set up your website 
  • Hire someone to upload products to your website

If this is your first go-around, we recommend doing the work yourself (with the exception of the branding elements). Calling suppliers, setting up your shop, uploading your products, and managing your ads will help you grow and learn parts of the business that are new to you.

Put in the sweat equity this first time, then consider paying someone as you grow or build more businesses. 

If you want to get started for under $500 (and get your first dropshipping business launched in under 30 days), sign up for our free training today.

how to start a high ticket dropshipping business.

Want to start your own high ticket dropshipping business?

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Ben Knegendorf about me

Article by Ben Knegendorf

Ben Knegendorf realized at 29 he needed to find another career path. Since then, he’s:

  • Successfully exited a high-ticket drop shipping business that he helped take from $1 to $11M annual revenue in just 2.5 years
  • Eliminated $40,000+ of personal debt
  • Joined Dropship Breakthru as co-owner in 2021

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