Complete Guide to Dropshipping in Australia

Are you considering a dropshipping business in Australia? If so, I’ve written this article to help you decide whether dropshipping in Australia is viable in 2022 and which steps you’ll need to take if you decide if it’s for you.

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a subsection of eCommerce in which you run an online store but never physically stocks any of the products. Instead, you partner with suppliers who stock the products and you advertise the products on your online store. Once a purchase is made, you purchase the product from your supplier at wholesale rates and the supplier ships the product directly to the customer and you keep the difference.

Is Dropshipping in Australia Worth it?

Being a smaller population of only 25 million poses the question is dropshipping in Australia profitable?

Dropshipping in Australia is very profitable due to its large disposable income, stable economy and continuing boom in online sales. Sourcing quality products from reliable suppliers is the key to dropshipping success in Australia. The smaller population makes finding gaps in the market easier.

The average consumer in Australia spends $1764 a year online and the numbers are expected to grow. The smaller population obviously means that there are fewer potential customers to buy your products. However, this also means that there is generally less competition. Having fewer competitors makes advertising costs considerably cheaper and ranking on that front page of Google much easier.

As expected, the increase in eCommerce has also made for an increase in dropshipping interest in Australia. The interest is a bad thing in terms of competition, but also a good thing as it means there’s obviously money to be made. It doesn’t really matter how much competition there is, if you get good enough at something, you will see success.

Dropshipping in Australia search term

Shipping in Australia

Shipping in Australia is something to be aware of before deciding on the products you want to dropship. Being so isolated from the rest of the world and having some remote areas can cause potential issues.

Most Aussies however, either live in major cities or easily accessible areas. But be aware if you’re shipping to rural areas, most shipping companies in Australia can charge exorbitant amounts of money to these areas and even more if the product is large or heavy. Make sure you either know the pricing in advance, notify the customer of the extra shipping prices beforehand or inform them you can only ship to certain areas.

You have a few options when it comes to shipping carriers in Australia:

As a beginner to dropshipping I’d recommend using Sendle as they have simplified the whole process making it a great option initially. They do have size limits and if you’re dropshipping larger items you are better off with Toll or Allied Express.

Dropshipping to Australia from China

If you’re dropshipping from China to Australia, be prepared for potentially long shipping times. Be as transparent as possible with your customers about the shipping times before they make the purchase.

To make AliExpress dropshipping a realistic business model in Australia, you need to use either ePacket or AliExpress standard shipping if ePacket isn’t available. They both have reasonable shipping times and low prices. The other affordable options have long shipping times and the fastest options charge high prices making it an unrealistic choice.

Below is the shipping information for carriers from China to Australia. The prices of each will vary depending on the supplier and the types of products being shipped.

Shipping CompanyEstimated Shipping TimesTracking
ePacket13 – 20 DaysYes
AliExpress Standard Shipping20 DaysYes
Cainiao Super Economy Global30 – 50 daysNo
China Post Registered Air Mail24 – 49 DaysNo
EMS11 – 19 DaysYes
DHL8 – 16 DaysYes
China Post Small Packet Plus23 – 47 DaysNo
Singapore Plus26 – 51 DaysNo
AliExpress estimated shipping times from China to Australia

I’d recommend if you find a profitable product to dropship from China, you switch to purchasing in bulk from Alibaba. This way you can have it sent to a fulfillment warehouse in Australia and they can ship the products to your customers much faster. Fulfilio or NextSmartShip are great options if you go down this route.

Is Dropshipping Legal in Australia?

Yes, dropshipping in Australia is legal. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method that enables the retailer to sell products without holding inventory, making it perfectly legal. You will however have to make sure anything you sell is legal in Australia. This also includes products that may not meet the Australian mandatory standards.

For information on Australia’s Trademark search click here.

To see which products are illegal to import to Australia click here.

Do you need to pay tax on your dropshipping business in Australia?

Sorry, there’s no getting away from the taxman. Just like any other business, you will need to pay tax on your income. Be sure to head to asic to register your business and they’ll provide all the relevant information regarding tax.

For more information on paying tax on your dropshipping business, check the ATO website.

eBay Dropshipping in Australia?

Even with all the newcomers to the eCommerce world, eBay remains the dominant marketplace for Aussie shoppers with more than 11 million visitors each month.

eBay in Australia allows Dropshipping on their platform, however, they do have policies you need to be aware of if you plan on going down this route. Their policy states that if you list an item on eBay and then purchase the item from another retailer or marketplace then sends it directly to your customer is not allowed. This means you can’t dropship from sites like Amazon or Aliexpress or your account can be suspended.

Click here for eBay’s dropshipping policy in Australia.

Amazon Dropshipping in Australia?

Amazon has only been in Australia since the end of 2017 and doesn’t yet have the same dominance it has in the US yet. It is however growing at a fast rate especially since Amazon FBA entered Australia to solve many of the logistical issues.

As with eBay, Amazon in Australia has similar policies regarding Dropshipping. They state that Dropshippers are not permitted to purchase products from another online retailer and have that retailer ship directly to customers. You must dropship direct from suppliers or manufacturers.

Click here for Amazon’s dropshipping policy.

Deciding on a niche will be the biggest factor in determining the success of your dropshipping business. This can make most people panic and feel as though they can’t get their niche selection wrong or their business is a failure. This really isn’t true.

The beauty of dropshipping is, with its low barrier of entry if you choose a niche and it isn’t successful, try again with a different niche. However, you really have to make sure you master the other steps in order to know if your business isn’t succeeding due to your niche selection or because of a separate aspect of your business.

Try not to waste too much time deciding on a niche to focus on. Most people spend too much time and become very indecisive when it comes to finding a profitable niche and never actually pull the trigger and make a decision. At the same time, rushing in and picking the first niche you believe will make you a fortune can cause problems.

Always do your research before jumping in and assuming you know which products will be profitable without doing your due diligence.

When deciding on a niche to dropship in Australia, there are many factors to consider to give you the best chance of finding a winning product.

Trending

Google trends will allow you to track the search volume of any niche or product in any region over a long period of time.

Evergreen

As well as current demand, you want to make sure your product will be profitable for years to come. Evergreen products are products that people will purchase for years to come and are not just short trending.

Passion/Problem Solver

I generally recommend that you try to find products that people are either passionate about or that solves a problem. Passion can be sports, hobbies and interests. Any product that solves a problem is a much easier sell.

Price Point

Do you want to sell high ticket items or lower priced products? Do you want to sell products from AliExpress or would you rather find domestic suppliers with higher quality products?

Profit

Depending on the price point you are wanting to sell, you need to make sure your profit margins will be adequate after shipping has been factored in. How much you mark up the price will vary depending on the price point you’re selling at and what your competition is selling it at.

Shipping

Shipping prices vary greatly in Australia depending on which area your products are being shipped to. This can dictate whether it’s feasible to dropship larger items and if you want to ship Australia wide. Shipping to remote areas can be very expensive and can have you running at a loss. Shop around for the best shipping rates.

Accessibility

Try to find products that you can’t find at your local shopping center. You can’t compete with your traditional retail stores that purchase in bulk at low prices. If your product is found at your local shopping center, make sure you have a much larger selection with all possible variants that your local retail store doesn’t stock.

Product Simplicity

Complex products with multiple moving parts or certain electronics can be more difficult to dropship. You’ll have more people breaking them and wanting returns and more questions which will result in more customer service.  Items with moving parts are also more likely to break during shipping which is difficult to deal with when shipping will be out of your hands.

Although not all of these factors are essential in looking for a successful product to dropship, they are all worth considering before jumping in. There are no exact criteria for the perfect dropshipping product but being aware of the potential pitfalls with certain products will give you your best chance of finding your winning product.

Always take into consideration which products are more likely to be profitable in a country like Australia.

  • Think about what Australians are currently interested in?
  • What is the current financial status of Australia, this may determine what product price point you choose to focus on.
  • Consider Australia’s warmer climate when determining which products will be profitable long term (you may starve to death if you open a niche snowboarding store in Australia).
  • Popular Australian TV shows can make certain niches far more popular. Think of the extra boom in sales due to the popularity of reality cooking and renovation shows.

Australian Market Research

This step ties into choosing your niche. Market research should be something you do when deciding on a niche. Most people find a product, build their store, then try to find people who want to buy their product. Researching and making sure you have a large enough market before building your store is essential.

Market research involves finding out how much demand there is for your niche, spying on your competitors and having a target audience in mind for your product.

Using a powerful keyword tool will be the best way of finding what the demand is for your product. Google keyword , tool Ubersuggest and Keywords Everywhere, which is a Chrome extension, are all great free keyword research tools.

Checking the monthly search results for your specific keyword in your niche will give you a good idea of how large your potential audience will be. Remember to filter your search results for Australia only if you’re only planning to dropship in Australia to get an accurate result.

It can be tough to give you exact numbers on the monthly searches you should be looking for. This will vary depending on the price of the product you plan to dropship and the amount of competition. If you plan on dropshipping $30 items you may need 15,000 monthly searchers, if your selling $2,000 items you may only need 400 searches a month to be profitable. You may need to do your own research to work out the monthly search results required.

Spying on your competition will give you a good idea of what you’re up against and how you can set yourself apart. Google your niche and check out all the Australian online stores on the front page. Make sure you only check out the online only stores as these will be your main competition. Check out their products, their brands, their prices, their website structure, their social media accounts and how they’re doing the bulk of their advertising.

Knowing who your target audience is will make advertising much easier. By using Facebook audience insights, you can get a good idea of how big an audience is for the product you’re wanting to sell. You’re able to filter the exact category, location and audience age to give you fairly accurate results to the demand of your product and who to target for advertising.

Australian Dropshipping Suppliers

Salehoo

One of the most popular directories in the world for finding suppliers. A huge amount of suppliers and products to choose from. Very clean and easy to navigate platform which makes it great for beginners. All suppliers are vetted to avoid dodgy suppliers which can be an issue at times. They have many resources to assist dropshippers including Salehoo labs which will help find trending products. Salehoo pricing for their entire directory is $67 a year or $127 for lifetime access. For my full review click here.

Wholesale2b

With over a million products to choose from they have just about every niche you can think of covered. They focus mainly on dropshipping with plenty of automation solutions to make your job much easier. Pricing plans start from free to join up to $49.99 a month depending on your particular needs.

Dropship Australia

Australian based online directory of dropship suppliers, wholesale suppliers and business service providers. They have resources and tools to help educate resellers. Pricing is $97 a year.

Dropship Zone

Australian run business providing both wholesale and dropshipping services. ABN and business name required to use their services. You will find just the products to dropship and is for connecting you with suppliers. Their site is modern and easy to navigate. Pricing is free to join.

Factory Fast

An Australian owned and operated company that supplies a large variety of products. Anyone is able to join without an ABN or business name. Pricing is free to join.

Simply Wholesale

Australian owned company founded in 2011. They have over 100,000 products and a huge variety of different niches. They offer free shipping Australia wide and a 14 day money back return policy. Free to join.

Idropship

Australian owned and operated company. They have over 10,000 products in a variety of niches. They integrate with all the major platforms including Shopify. Free to join.

Searching for companies to dropship in Australia is made much easier with the wholesale directories listed above.

If you’d rather find domestic suppliers yourself, Google is your best option. In Google try your niche followed by keywords such as supplier, wholesaler, distributor and manufacturer.

For example, wholesale baby products Australia, pet supplies wholesale Australia, Clothing Fashion manufacturers Australia. Try every combination and search through multiple pages because wholesale companies are generally bad at SEO and your perfect supplier could be hiding on page 15 on Google.

Contacting Australian suppliers by phone will give you your best chance of securing a top-tier supplier. I don’t generally recommend contacting suppliers via email as many suppliers will ignore the email.

For more info on Aussie suppliers, check out my article 100+ dropshipping suppliers in Australia.

Building your Australian Dropshipping Store

Deciding on a platform to use and building your very own dropshipping store can seem intimidating to some people. But it’s actually one of the easiest steps in the whole process. Most platforms allow you to simply pick a theme and adjust it to your liking. Even without any tech experience, you could have a dropshipping store live and ready to start making money in a day.

If you live in Australia and you’re after some assistance in creating your eCommerce store or with SEO and marketing, I suggest you check out Geek Media Web Design in NSW. They’ve helped me out with a number of my sites.

Below are some of the easiest to use and most popular website building platforms to use in Australia.

Best Ecommerce Platform in Australia.

Shopify

The most popular eCommerce platform for successful entrepreneurs in the world and in Australia for good reason. Integrates with Oberlo and Salehoo to help automate your eCommerce store. Easy to use even for beginners. However, if you need a larger plan the pricing jumps are high.

WooCommerce

Integrates with Australia Post to automatically calculate shipping times and pricing. As WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, if you’ve had experience with WordPress this should be easy to use. However, if you haven’t it can be a little more difficult to learn compared to other website builders.

BigCommerce

One of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world. It has a number of apps available to connect to your store including Aliexpress, Spocket and Printful. One big advantage is Big Commerce doesn’t charge a transaction fee for any of your sales on any plan.

Wix

Very easy to use drag and drop platform interface that requires no knowledge of coding. Ideal if you want to do a lot of blogging on your site. Prices vary from $18 to $38 a month depending on the type of play you require.

As a person who has used all these platforms at one time or another, Shopify would be my recommended platform. As long as you can afford the $29 a month. It’s packed full of features, its themes are beautiful, it’s easy to navigate and has hundreds of apps to use.

If money is an issue, then Wix is good value at $18 a month and WooCommerce is free but you will have to pay for hosting.

Drive Traffic to your Dropshipping store

There’s a feeling of accomplishment once you have created your very own dropshipping store, full of products and live for the world to see. There’s one big problem, nobody’s going to see it initially. When you consider there are 1.7 billion other websites you can’t expect Google to prioritize your website and drive traffic to your website as soon as it’s live.

There are various ways to drive traffic to your website. Paid advertising will be your best option when starting out.

Facebook Ads

If your are dropshipping lower priced products, Facebook advertising is the way to go. You’re able to advertise products to a target audience who is interested in that niche. This makes for much higher sales conversions. Although Facebook advertising costs are increasing, they’re still the best advertising platform for dropshippers.

Google ads are a better option if you’re dropshipping high ticket products. The ads can be more expensive depending on the product you are selling. These ads however are high converting due to the fact that people are actually looking for this product if they’re Googling it. You can advertise on Google Ads which are the text ads at the top of Google or advertise on Google Product Listing Ads which are the shopping images of products that appear at the top of your screen.

Influencer Marketing

This can be a profitable and affordable option for beginners. Using influencers can be a great way to attract targeted traffic to your store. The reason is people trust influencers they follow more than they trust general ads placed in front of them. tribegroup.co is a great website that helps connect influencers to online retailers.

SEO

Free traffic will always be the best traffic. SEO (search engine optimization) is organic traffic that will help you land on the front page of Google. Ranking in Google can take a lot of work and time but can be extremely profitable. Initially focusing on long tail keywords will be your best chance to attract free traffic to your store initially. Using the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension will give you a variety of related keywords and long tail keywords.

Having a dropshipping store that sells exclusively to Australia will make ranking in Google easier than if you are trying to rank in a larger country like the US. The obvious downside is you’ll have fewer potential customers.

Optimizing and Scaling

Once your website has been live and making sales for some time, you’ll need to take a good look at the analytics to see how you can optimize your site for maximum profit.

Shopify Analytics

This data will provide information such as what your best selling products are, profit margins on each product, conversion rates for desktop and mobile devices and monthly profit margins. This information will help you decide where more of your advertising dollars should be spent.

Advertising

Facebook Pixel will enable you to track your customer’s path which led to the sale so you can optimize your store and your advertising for maximum conversions. Google Analytics will provide a great deal of information including how your customers are interacting on your website and traffic numbers.

Summary – Is Dropshipping in Australia Worth It?

Dropshipping in Australia is definitely worthwhile. You could say Australia is still slightly behind the times when it comes to dropshipping compared to some countries. Many suppliers in Australia still deal with conventional brick and mortar retail stores only. 

This gives many dropshippers the opportunity to show these suppliers a new way of thinking and the potential extra income they could be earning. Having these suppliers agree to dropshipping gives you the opportunity to sell specific products not everyone else is selling.

Since the pandemic has hit, eCommerce sales have boomed. Add to that Australia has been one of the least affected countries in the world which in turn means our economy hasn’t been hit as hard as other countries. This makes Australia one of the best countries in the world to start dropshipping. If you’re on the fence, stop procrastinating and take action.

Thomas Sleeth

I'm the owner of Dropshipping Hustle. I have over 5 years of experience and have created multiple successful dropshipping stores. This website is a free resource guide on everything I have learned over the years.

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