Dropshipping For Students – Starting a Business from College

In 2020, the estimated market value of dropshipping e-commerce was $128.6 billion globally. And by 2026, a period of six years, the market size forecast was to hit $476.1 billion globally. 

These figures indicate that dropshipping is not going anywhere soon. Thus, the sector will keep booming, making it a perfect business model for anyone looking to venture into business.  

If you are a student looking for a business to start while still in college, dropshipping is the perfect model to try. With this business, you don’t need much capital to start or run a physical store, as the suppliers or wholesalers handle the inventory.

In this article, we will explore dropshipping for students. We will discuss what dropshipping is, its benefits for college students, a step-by-step guide to starting it, tips for college students who want to venture into it, and finally, the best products for college students. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a type of business where business owners don’t manage or distribute inventory directly. Instead, one needs to share information like the delivery address, the date of the order, and the number of orders with the supplier who packs and delivers the order directly to the customer. 

This type of business can be something other than a brick-and-mortar store. It is easy to start, manage, and scale, especially for college students. 

Here is a simple formula for how dropshipping works;

  • A customer places an order with a drop shipper
  • The drop shipper receives the order and sends it to the supplier
  • The supplier gets the order from the drop shipper
  • Then, the supplier ships the order to the customer
  • And finally, the customer receives the product

Benefits of Starting a Dropshipping Business for Students

Dropshipping is a business model that allows owners to run a store without stocking products. This business is convenient as no risk or high capital is required to start and run it from anywhere. It is a perfect business for college students who need extra income to start and run during their free time. Here are some significant benefits of starting a dropshipping business as a student. 

No risk

Most people fear venturing into business because they fear failing. Everyone loves to be their boss and become independent. However, no one wants to risk investing in a company they are not sure will succeed or fail. Starting a business requires tremendous capital; even if you have the capital, there is no guarantee the company will bear fruits. 

Dropshipping For Students

However, dropshipping is different. Dropshipping has no risk as it requires little investment to launch your business. It is one of the significant benefits of dropshipping. You don’t need billions to start or manufacture the products you will sell. You only have to purchase a product when you receive an order in dropshipping. This venture is perfect for college students as you can start and run without risks. 

Turn a Hobby into an Income Source

Nothing feels great like earning money from your hobby, especially as a college student. With dropshipping, you can turn your hobby into a source of income. If you are passionate about sewing, painting, drawing, graphic design, or pet training, you can start a dropshipping store focusing on those hobbies. 

Working on something that interests you motivates you to keep going until you succeed. Additionally, you know the niche, thus making it easy for you to choose the trending products. Lastly, you know your target audience better, so you don’t have to research to understand their behavior or what they want. 


Studying and focusing on a business can be challenging, requiring much time and commitment. If you decide to focus on both simultaneously, you might lose your business, or your grades start dropping. This mostly happens if your business is a brick-and-mortar that requires total concentration.

With drop shipping, you can focus on your business and studies simultaneously. The business model is flexible, allowing you to run your store from anywhere in the world. Using the internet, your buyer can contact your suppliers for assistance in your absence. 

Learn Valuable Skills

After finishing college, life can be challenging as you need a job that can cater to your needs. But, if you did dropshipping in college, you will have valuable skills that you can utilize to earn some cash while hunting for a job.  Dropshipping gives you valuable things like experience and knowledge.

You will gain valuable skills when dropshipping, as running a business entails different skills. You will learn about digital marketing, website performance analytics, social media management, and customer relations management, among other things. With these skills, you will have a competitive edge even when hunting for a 9-5 job. 

A Step-By-Step Guide on Starting Dropshipping for Students

Starting dropshipping as a student can be challenging, especially if you need help figuring out where to start. But nowadays, most students learn many skills in college, including drop shipping. As a college student, this is a perfect business opportunity you can start without manufacturing or stocking. 

Dropshipping requires extensive research, which is time-consuming and effort-consuming. Therefore, you need assistance researching what you need to start and run a successful dropshipping business. But don’t worry—we have done the hard work for you. Here is a step-by-step guide on starting a dropshipping business as a college student. 

Choose a Niche

The first step when venturing into dropshipping is selecting a niche. Choosing a niche makes it easy to build an audience and market, thus generating different products that suit your target market. 

The dropshipping market is saturated with different niche ideas, such as fashion, pets, home and décor, electronics, or appliances. Therefore, choosing a niche for your dropshipping store can be challenging. 

A good strategy for choosing a niche is to start with things you are passionate about. Secondly, you can utilize different tools to help ease the process. These tools include Meta Audience, Google Trends, online marketplaces, Google Trends, and Google Keyword Planner. As a student, you can also focus on niches that your college mates love, thus making it easy for them to purchase from you. 

Choose Products

Now that you have settled on a niche, you can only sell some things. You have to narrow it down and reduce the competition. To make the dropshipping business successful, you must focus on quality products people will likely purchase. 

You can research the best-selling products using tools like Niche Scraper, AliShark, or Sell The Trend. Furthermore, you can use algorithms to analyze different products from different marketplaces and platforms, offering valuable data on consumer demand. But don’t worry—we will list the best dropshipping products for college students. Keep reading. 

Study your Target Audience

One killer mistake students can make when venturing into dropshipping is not analyzing their target audience. To improve their marketing campaigns and store, analyze their behavior. 

Your target audience is a specific group of people you target when marketing your products or brand. These people can have similar hobbies, interests, genders, or ages to those who need to buy your product. Your target audience always has a particular influence on how your marketing campaigns will perform. 

You can create a buyer persona to help you find your dropshipping audience. The method enables you to understand who your typical buyer is. It includes gender, age, interests, hobbies, location, education, and income. In simple terms, a buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer. 

Analyze your Competitors

As a drop shipper, your competitors are other people in the industry with stores that offer the same product or are in the same niche. You should focus on three main types of competitors. 

The first competitor is the direct competitor; they sell similar or the same products as you. Indirect competitors are people who focus on the same niche as you but sell different products from you. Lastly, the replacement competitors. This category focuses on products that can be your alternative. 

Conducting competitor research can help you strengthen your store’s performance. You can identify the gap in your market and evaluate whether the niche is good for you. Regarding competition, you can weigh how their marketing campaigns are performing and work on improving yours for better results. 

Find a Supplier

A supplier plays a crucial part in the success of your dropshipping store. As a student, you will have less time to focus on your store as you still need to work on your grades. Thus, finding a reliable supplier who can offer quality products at reasonable prices is essential. 

Before settling on a particular supplier, consider and evaluate several factors. The first is the quality of the products. You need to order product samples from the supplier to check the quality before selling them to your customers. A quality product should not have dents, serve its purpose, and be well-packaged. 

Secondly, evaluate the shipping standards. Some suppliers might take forever to deliver products to your customers. 

Once a product is late on the official delivery date, you will likely get negative reviews on your store. Ensure your chosen supplier has a reasonable shipping time frame and always delivers on time. 

Thirdly, the return policy and the number of minimum orders. Before you agree to work with a particular supplier, understand the return policy to ensure in circumstances where a product is broken or ships the wrong item. Furthermore, a product can be recovered when shipped or go to the correct address. You will be responsible for this if your supplier doesn’t give refunds or accept returns.

Build a Brand

A professional brand helps gain visitors’ trust, thus turning them into customers. You will have a competitive edge if you build good branding for your dropshipping store. It would help to create a brand that gives your customers a certain feeling. It will be easy to make your reputation and attract attention. 

A good brand should have a business name, brand color, logo, and overall brand beauty that needs to be in all your channels, like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or WhatsApp. Your brand needs to have a store name that can tell what your store sells and reflect the soul and heart of your company. Come up with a name that is simple and easy to remember. You are still a student; be creative and unique. 

A business logo represents your brand, shows its value and personality, and thus triggers emotions via visuals. A quality logo should be relevant; let it convey what you do. Create a quality logo that makes it easy for customers to trust you. You can ask for assistance from your college mates in graphic design courses. 

Choose an E-commerce Platform

Now you have a niche, products you know, your target audience, and competitors. You have a supplier, your business name is ready, and the logo and brand color are ready, so what next? 

As a student, you will need an online store for your dropshipping business.

There are many different platforms that you can use for your dropshipping business. However, it is essential to do research first. Before selecting a platform, you must consider factors like setup time, seamless integrations, ease of use, customization features, pricing, and customer support.

Here are some common dropshipping platforms you can select for your dropshipping store as a student. 

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • BigCommerce
  • Square Online
  • Big Cartel
  • Squarespace

Market your Dropshipping Store

Congratulations on launching your dropshipping store as a college student! Now that the work has just begun, it’s time for the world to see your store, and you can only do this by marketing the store online. Pay ads or organic SEO are two common ways to market your online store. 

The organic way will need you to create a blog to educate your target audience about your products. Additionally, you can work with influencers to help in marketing the products. You can use social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or TikTok. 

Marketing your products entails a lot; you must create quality ads for your marketing campaigns. With the boom in the AI sector, you can utilize the power of AI in chatbots like Ecommercebot. The bot helps you generate and optimize ads for your marketing campaigns. Additionally, it tracks the performance of the ads, boosting the ones performing well and shutting down the non-performers. 

Even with this step-by-step guide, you might encounter many dropshipping challenges, like being scammed, falling into the wrong hands of suppliers, and stiff competition. However, every business has its obstacles. You should not give up on your store; instead, you should work out how you can improve the overall store performance. 

Read Also: Shopify Conversion Rates: A Beginner’s Guide

Best Dropshipping Products for College Students

You can choose from a wide range of products for your dropshipping business. However, most people pick the wrong products, making it hard for them to succeed in this sector. Choosing the right products makes setting your store apart from your competitors easy. 

We have researched the best products that you can start selling in your dropshipping store as a college student. The list of these products most people love gives you a competitive edge. Here is a list of the common trending dropshipping niches that can work well for you as a student. 

Fashion Accessories

Fashion accessories are a lucrative niche that college students can venture into. Many students love fashion in college, thus getting customers even from your college mates. This sector includes everything from scarves, belts, watches, sunglasses, Jewelry, bags, and eyewear. The market is constantly evolving from fashion tastes, the purchasing power is high, and there are new trends each season. 

Fashion accessories offer a broad customer base and endless opportunities to choose from. As a college student, this is a perfect niche for your dropshipping store.

  • Bandanas 
  • Bucket hats
  • Baseball caps
  • Jewelry
  • Tote bags
  • Trucker hats
  • Umbrellas belts
  • Scarves
  • Wallets
  • Handbags
  • Duffle bags
  • Snapbacks 
  • Hair accessories
  • Patches

Apparel and Footwear

College students always love having the latest trends, especially regarding clothes or footwear. There is no better dropshipping niche than the apparel and footwear niche.  The market is projected to keep increasing with no signs of slowing anytime soon. 

Hoodies and t-shirts are among the top products in this niche. With the rise of print-on-demand business models, you can offer personalized and unique designs to your customers. 

Some of the best products you can list on your dropshipping store include;

  • Pants
  • Hoodies
  • Tank tops
  • Jackets
  • T-shirts
  • Yoga pants
  • Sweatshirts
  • Skirt 
  • Shorts
  • Vests
  • Dresses
  • Swim trunks
  • Golf polos
  • Socks 
  • Crop tops
  • Long-sleeve shirts

Home and Living

Another lucrative product category you can choose for your dropshipping store is home and living. This category is increasing as people hunt for household goods every day. It makes it easy for your products to reach a vast audience, and they are easy to ship since they are lightweight. 

The most common products in home and living include;

  • Towels
  • Mugs
  • Aprons
  • Tumblers
  • Glassware
  • Puzzles
  • Candles
  • Coasters
  • Placemats
  • Table runners
  • Bottles
  • Candle holders
  • Tea cozies
  • Reusable straws
  • Tablecloths

Car and Phone Accessories 

With the rise in technology, the demand for phone and car accessories is increasing daily. Everyone loves a stylish phone case, even a custom case with someone’s picture or something they adore. In the ever-evolving tech world, new designs are always on the rise, making it easy for retailers to have different items to update their stores constantly.

  • Custom phone cases
  • Phone mounts
  • Waterproof phone cases
  • Phone grips
  • Screen protectors
  • Car chargers
  • Selfie sticks
  • Custom earphones
  • Window shades
  • Floor mats
  • Trash cans
  • Cleaning gels
  • Steering wheel covers
  • Cleaning clothes

Final Thoughts

As a student, you can venture into dropshipping with little money and take no risks, as you don’t have to manufacture or manage inventory.

You don’t need a physical store to run your business; create an online store on e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce.

Now that you have everything you might need to start a dropshipping business while still in college, it is high time to take the first step on your dropshipping journey. 

To have a competitive edge, ensure you offer exceptional customer experience to make the buying process smooth for your customers.

You can try Ecommercebot for free; no credit card is required. You agree to turn your E-commerce business into a success story by clicking the image below. 

Ecommercebot Free trial

One thing that can make this possible is an Ecommerce Bot. The bot will automate all the customer and marketing activities, making it easy to manage your dropshipping store even in your absence. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is dropshipping still a good idea?

Yes, dropshipping is a perfect option for college students and e-commerce beginners. Its low investment capital and risks make it accessible to everyone who wants to venture into the business sector. 

Can you start dropshipping with no money as a student?

Dropshipping is a business model for students who want to venture into entrepreneurship without capital. The business doesn’t need you to hold any inventory; your supplier will be responsible for it and ship products to customers directly once they purchase them. 

How hard is it to be successful in dropshipping? 

The average success rate in dropshipping is between 10% and 20%. Dropshipping can be a success or a failure, but the owner determines this. 

How long does it take to be successful in dropshipping as a student?

To be successful in dropshipping, you need to invest a lot of time, as the business is not a get-rich scheme. Although your dropshipping can start making sales in the first month, sales might drop if you don’t work on your strategies. 

What are the three types of dropshipping competitors?

The three main types of dropshipping competitors are direct, indirect, and relevant. 

What are the benefits of dropshipping as a student? 

As a student, you can significantly benefit from dropshipping by having flexibility, no risk, learning valuable skills, and turning a hobby into a source of income.

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