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1. What Is Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a business model that allows you to sell and ship products you don’t produce and don’t stock.

It is simply a retail fulfillment method, where the seller does not stock produce or ship any of the products. Instead he acts as a middle man and simply makes the sales (retail price), and then has all other operations handled by a third party provider at (wholesale price)

Making a profit without the added stress.

For Example you want to setup a clothing brand and sell custom clothing but do not want to spend the time and frustration that go into producing the final product.

So you get a free store through TeePrint or integrate your existing site with us, then when you sell your custom garment on your site under your brand, TeePrint handles the rest making sure your customer receives that beautiful garment. You make money on the price difference without having to produce the product yourself. 

2. Is Dropshipping Profitable in South Africa?

South Africa is the 35th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$3 billion in 2019, placing it ahead of New Zealand and behind Nigeria. With an increase of 14%, the South African eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 13% in 2019 (pulled from statista.com).

While still remaining less competitive than more established countries.

Why Start a Dropshipping Business?

  •  It has a very low barrier to entry. You can get up and running with minimal time and cost.
  •  It is easy to set up and run and is mostly automated allowing large returns for minimal time.
  • You do not have to worry about overheads, stock, equipment, production, shipping, handling, and so on like a normal retail business where you have tons of money tied up before you can even start selling your product. This allows you to test products quickly and easily with no cost to you.

Disadvantages

  • the look – apart from print on demand ( more on this below) which is totally customizable. You normally have little or no control of the look or branding of the product that the supplier offers and if they do accommodate your needs this usually requires a minimum order quantity.
  • Competition – if you are selling the exact same product as the next person what will differentiate your store and you may end up competing on price which is not a position you want to be in.
  •  work – ( It can become pretty automated, however) It is just like any other business if you treat it as such and put in the work it will pay you dividends. It is not a set and forget and make money business.

Cost ( setup)

A. Selling with Tee Print 

 100% Free! This website allows you to dropship custom merchandise such as t-shirts hoodies etc ( also known as print on demand) by supplying you with a website or integrating with yours.
 

B. WordPress website – 

  • Hosting $2.88 a month with Namecheap. Hosting is the servers where your site can be accessed, similar to the building you would rent in conventional business for you to run your shop out of. 
  • Woocommerce Dropship plugin $49 (Free With Tee Print) more on this below. Allows you to set up your own dropshipers
  • Payfast – ranges from 3.5% plus R 2.00 to 4.5% plus R 5.00 per transaction. This is the payment gateway used by most South African companies it allows you to receive payment over the internet.
  • Domain name a .co.za – Afrihost R 197  This is the name of your website as well as it’s location on the web much like a physical store with a name and street address. 
  • Then any additional themes and plugins can cost extra if you choose to add functionality. This is all dependent on your individual requirements as there are many free as well as paid plugins. You can get away without spending any extra though. Same as Shopify. 
  • Marketing is all dependent on how you market and the model you use, organic traffic ( where you reach people through blogging, podcasting, making YouTube videos, Instagram, etc. is free but costs you on time unless you already have an audience. Paid marketing ( e.g., Facebook ads Google ads, etc.) this varies depending on what platform you are using the niche audience you are going after your how well your ad performs and so on so would be hard to put a specific number
  •  

C. Shopify

  •  Starts at $29 dollars a month and can integrate nativity with 3rd party suppliers of your choosing, more on this below. This is an alternative eCommerce platform for building your site on
  • Same as above for WordPress
  • Payfast – ranges from 3.5% plus R 2.00 to 4.5% plus R 5.00 per transaction. This is the payment gateway used by most South African companies it allows you to receive payment over the internet.
  • Domain name .co.za – Afrihost R 197  – This is the name of your website as well as it’s location on the web much like a physical store with a name and street address.  

Flexibility 

Location freedom you can run your business single-handed or with help from freelancers or virtual assistants from a laptop from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It also gives you the advantage of still selling a physical product, by which you are selling a product where people understand the tangible value opposed to trying to sell perceived value as you have to do with digital products. 

3. Dropship suppliers -Finding/Creating Suppliers In South Africa 

This can be tricky as there is not a large variety of Dropshippers in South Africa although this is growing. Below I explain how you can set up your shop to be able to use and automate any supplier for Dropshipping as long as they can fulfill orders directly and can allow ordering through email. Regardless if they have an eCommerce integration or not. “Give a man Dropshiper he will sell few products teach a man to Dropship he will sell for a lifetime”.Or something to that effect.

4. Dropshipping Clothing/custom merchandise

Dropshipping custom clothing aka ‘Print On Demand’. What is Print On Demand” This term in South Africa is normally associated with books but overseas it is commonly associated with custom clothing. What is it? It is basically Dropshipping of custom-designed merchandise, it is where you sell a t-shirt, hoodie, etc. with your design on it and then the 3rd party company produces the product for you and sends it to your customer under your brand. 

You can get yours set up today with TeePrint

E.g Influencer – you have a large Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube following, etc. you tell your customers checkout my new t-shirt with a design unique to your brand, then when your followers go buy the product, it is automatically made and sent to your customer under your brand. You make money on the price difference, buying for less than you sell.

Designer – Another easy way to sell your designs.

Marketer- Easy to set up and test your own niche eCommerce store.

Why print on demand instead of conventional dropshipping

The fact that you are able to create your own custom product serves you in multiple ways. 

  • competition.- You are no longer competing directly against the next guy like in conventional dropshipping where you are selling the exact same product. you can create products totally unique to you and your niche.
  • price war – you are not competing on price eg if I am selling a toaster what stops the customer from shopping around and finding that same toaster cheaper on another site? Nothing so you end up competing on price
  • Branding – if you are dropshipping a toaster from company Xyz normally you have no branding options to put your brand on instead it will be from company Xyz pod offers to customize the product entirely to your brand as if your company made it themselves. 

5. Dropshipping With Shopify

Adding your own dropshippers on Shopify

Dropshipping can easily be set up natively on the Shopify platform for third party fulfillment.

Some people automatically integrate with Shopify otherwise you may follow the steps below to add any supplier of your choosing.

1. First, log into your Shopify Account.

2. Then select settings in the bottom left corner of your screen, then click on shipping which you will find between checkout and taxes.

3. Click “Add Dropshipping Service”. 

4. In the shipping details screen, scroll down till you find “Dropshipping and Fulfilment Services”, then click “Add Dropshipping Service”. If you have already done this and wish to add more, click the “Manage Services” button instead. 

5. In the “Fulfillment and Dropshipping” screen, when scrolling down to the bottom of the page, you will see the “Custom Order Fulfillment” section. Click on the “Add Custom Fulfillment Service” which is on the left side of the screen.

6. Then follow the steps provided. Once you have added a fulfillment partner you can now start Dropshipping with Shopify. When sales are made the third party will handle fulfillment.

6. Dropshipping With WordPress

After you have set up your domain and hosting and installed WordPress and Woocommerce. I am going to explain how you can Integrate Dropshippers with your site.

 Some people offer an automatic integration via a plugin, alternatively, you may set up your own plugin to integrate with whoever you choose.

For Woocommerce the plugin I recommend is  ‘Woocommerce Dropshipping’, which allows you to add your own 3rd party fulfillment, you can assign specific products to the supplier. It will automatically send all the product details via email to your supplier once confirming an order, it also gives the supplier an admin area where they are able to go in and update order status, get details, etc.

Here at Tee Print, this is how we offer fulfillment. We give you this plugin for FREE so when merch is sold on your site, we can automatically fulfill it for you. We also offer instructions on how to set it all up

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13 thoughts on “Dropshipping South Africa”

  • ปั้มไลค์

    Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

    • Byron Meyer

      I am glad I truly believe there is so much untapped potential in South Africa.

  • Pam Bjornstad

    This has been super helpful thank you! Looking forward to setting up our store with you!

    • Byron Meyer

      That’s Great news glad it helped.

    • Byron Meyer

      Look forward to having you glad it was able to help.

      • Londi

        Good day i would like to star a drop shipping with your company selling christain tShirts can i also send my own designs sometimes ?

        • Byron Meyer

          Yes, that is not a problem. I am not too sure what you mean please could you email us at [email protected]

  • helpful hints

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    • Byron Meyer

      Thank you.

  • Justin

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a
    little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I found
    it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk
    about this subject here on your site.

    • Byron Meyer

      Not a problem Glad I was able to help.

  • Pierre

    Love it! This is EXACTLY what I needed to know. Thanks you!

  • Weird & Liberated

    This article has helped me batter understand how all this works as I’m looking for a way to monetize my site through merch.