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Is Dropshipping Dead In 2021?

By Olga L.

Is dropshipping dead? Myths and reality.

Is dropshipping dead? Does dropshipping work? Is dropshipping worth it? The answers to these questions are obvious – still, for some reason, they continue to bug thousands of people all over the globe.

When you are standing at the doorstep of your first dropshipping journey ever, most likely, you don’t know much about this type of business and its prospects.

This is why you go online in hopes to see dropshipping explanation for beginners, or a checklist of must-have things at the beginning, or the advantages of the dropshipping business model, or the opportunities for your future growth, or something like this, encouraging and helpful.

Instead, on your search results page, you see some terrifying things:

'Is dropshipping dead?' search in Google


Surfing the Web side by side with 90+ colleagues who develop, test and improve this business-related solution, I personally giggle at all the hysteric Internet posts that pronounce dropshipping dead and claim it has no future.

And you know what? I strongly advise you to do the same and not to take any of these statements seriously.

Dropshipping will outlive us all, and here is why.

Why the answer to the ‘Is dropshipping dead?’ question is NO

Surely, there’s nothing funny about actual people’s worries and concerns: it’s natural to be anxious about the things you don’t fully understand or know yet.

People go online to learn more about the business they’re planning to launch, and obviously, they look for the advice of more experienced entrepreneurs.

This is why Quora and Reddit, the forums aimed on solving the most pressing everyday issues, are filled with questions like these:

is dropshipping worth it is dropshipping worth it

There is absolutely nothing wrong with these questions: they simply show that dropshippers-to-be are genuinely interested in the financial prospects of this business, and (unfortunately) lack information on the topic.

The sad part, however, is that the yellow press takes advantage of this public interest and speculates on it in the most misleading way possible.

So, let’s go through the most common arguments these ‘experts’ use while talking about the future of dropshipping.

‘Dropshipping is dead because its hype years are gone’

Oh, I beg your pardon.

Here’s a Google Trends graph showing the frequency of searching for the ‘dropshipping’ term in the last 5 years.

The 'dropshipping' search results in Google Trends

Can anyone seriously insist that the ‘golden era’ of dropshipping has already ended?

Is it even logical and sensible to say that ‘dropshipping was hot in the 2010s, but it’s all over now’?

This graph clearly demonstrates that the number of business persons interested in the dropshipping model is growing steadily no matter what. No political turmoils, wars, economic crises, etc. can stop people from pursuing their dream.

Plus, a considerable surge in public interest towards dropshipping started less than five years ago. It lets us assume that this whole business scheme is currently in its early growth stage, and the best is yet to come.

These assumptions are proven statistically. According to Statista, in 2020, the whole e-commerce industry accounted for only 18% of all retail sales worldwide.

It’s only 18%! And for dropshipping business in particular, the number is even lower because clearly, not all of the e-commerce transactions can be classified as dropshipping-related actions (and we will talk about it further).

To sum up, dropshipping business has incredible room for growth. On the global scale, its operations now account for a small yet promising percentage of all the acts of purchase and sale.

Interestingly, as this industry develops at the speed of light, some observers think that its newest ‘branches’ have a better potential – and can eventually outperform dropshipping itself. And here’s what they think…

‘Dropshipping will be dead after dropsurfing replaces it’

About dropshipping and dropsurfing

I don’t even know how to comment on this because technically, there isn’t such thing as dropsurfing.

The authors of the ‘dropsurfing’ term explain that it basically means sourcing best-priced products to fulfill the incoming clients’ orders.

But wait… isn’t that what we’re all doing already?

Whether you realize it or not, you are ‘dropsurfing’ when you are looking through AliExpress products to find the items with the best value for money. You’re ‘dropsurfing’ when you’re using AliDropship Google Chrome Extension to compare the product options offered by multiple sellers.

AliDropship Google Chrome Extension to find products on AliExpress

So, there isn’t much practical sense behind the ‘dropsurfing’ term. It’s not an alternative way to import products to your store. And definitely, it’s not a revolutionary strategy of generating and processing orders. It’s just a fancy way of describing one small component of your dropshipping business, and there’s nothing groundbreaking about it.

What myth to cover next?

‘Dropshipping is dead because of extreme competition’

About competition in dropshipping

This is quite a common business fear: if something gets insanely popular in a short time period, all the related spheres instantly get overly saturated with entrepreneurs making profit from it.

In other words, the more demanded something becomes, the more intense the competition gets. So, if you’re not already in, you won’t have a chance to succeed.

Sounds slightly reasonable, but let’s take a quick look at the industry statistics.

As Statista researchers report, only in the United States, there will be 278.33 million digital shoppers by 2024.

Can you imagine the number of enterprises that is necessary to satisfy the needs of all these shoppers?

And don’t forget: it’s only the data for the United States! Take a look at other geographic markets, and you’ll see that it’s nearly impossible to create an ‘excessive’ online store. With due marketing efforts, there will be enough buyers for everyone. Southeast Asia’s Internet economy, for example, is predicted to reach $309 billion by 2025.

So, it’s possible for a dropshipping store owner to successfully target any geographic market and reap the rewards of the business flexibility: its specific mechanism makes it easy for everyone to dropship from any country on the globe.

Still, the availability and affordability of launching a self-owned dropshipping store leads to the mass creation of the following myth…

‘Dropshipping is dead because you can make no money of it’

Can you make money with dropshipping?

This is my favorite part.

Dropshipping opponents dare to say that a business that is so quick to start and so easy to run can’t bring the owner any considerable returns.

To clear these doubts and get a full picture of what’s happening, again, let’s consider the global e-commerce trend.

Judging by the Statista data, the expected volume of retail e-commerce sales in 2022 is due to be around $5.4 trillion.

As for the dropshipping market, it was valued at $162.44 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $591.77 billion by 2027.

Aren’t these numbers impressive enough?

Don’t they showcase a thrilling opportunity to get a fair share of this jaw-dropping amount of money?

Surely, you might say – ‘Nah, it’s all about large-scale businesses, it has nothing to do with me, a mere mortal”.

But how, in your opinion, have all these multibillion-dollar empires started?

The incredibly inspiring example of Zappos shows that it only takes the first step to embark on this breathtaking journey.

Zappos, in the same manner as Amazon, has started from humble beginnings – but look what both of them managed to achieve in the course of time.

Each and every person proudly sharing their first dropshipping achievements, whether it be $600 revenue in the first two months or $3,000+ in sales daily, has the chance to build a mind-blowing e-commerce venture – and you can do the same, too.

On a $162 billion market, there’s a place for everyone!

Why are some stores thriving while others are not?

If everything looks so great, then why do so many dropshipping entrepreneurs fail?

There are plenty of possible reasons why one person succeeds where another one fails. If we talk about dropshipping, here are some of the most common reasons.

  • Picking the wrong niche

Experts often recommend launching an ecommerce business in a niche you really like and know very well. But what if the niche you like is very small, so the competition there is too strong and the audience is too small?

Another option is to pick a niche with high potential. But if you know little about it or if you hate it, sooner or later you’ll start making mistakes.

One must find a balance between what he likes and what can bring profit. Unfortunately, people often realize it when it’s too late.

  • Giving up too soon

Many beginner entrepreneurs think they’ll start making money with dropshipping in just a few days. But in reality, dropshipping won’t make you rich quickly. It takes weeks and months to set up your store properly, find and test products to sell, define your audience, learn how to create converting ads, etc.

Yes, there are ways to accelerate this process. For example, you can buy a ready-made store with pre-tested goods and professional design. But even in this case, one will have to learn how to run a dropshipping store properly before it starts making money.

  • Not enough investments

Launching a dropshipping store isn’t expensive. Same goes for the inventory: you don’t have to buy products beforehand. Nevertheless, one needs money for advertising, and I’m not talking about a few bucks. Depending on how fast you want to attract customers and how good you were in your analysis, you may need from a few hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars.

Some entrepreneurs don’t expect that much or aren’t ready to pay such sums of money.

  • Poor customer support

Today your relationships with customers are as important as your prices, shipping time, and the quality of your goods. One has to stay in touch with a client even after the purchase. Those who don’t understand it or just can’t figure out how to communicate with the audience eventually fail.

  • Poor website design

It’s especially common for people who decided to build a website themselves. The problem is even if your ads are great, they’re useless unless you have a good-looking website. Low-quality images, descriptions that explain nothing or contain grammar mistakes, broken links, colors that make your eyes bleed – such things scare away potential buyers.

These are just several reasons why a dropshipping business owner may fail. But those, who have patience, keep learning and getting better at each aspect of this business. Their first wins are small, but they grow every day. And today such entrepreneurs make thousands of dollars with dropshipping.

Maybe, the next dropshipping success story will be written by you?…

By Olga L.
Olga is a Copywriting Director at AliDropship. Having graduated from the Faculty of International Business’ as an Advertising specialist, she puts years of her copywriting experience into making clear and informative guides, tutorials, and other educational materials for dropshipping newcomers worldwide.
Mark 6 years ago

The simple fact is … there is always more people buying stuff than there are people selling stuff. As long as that trend continues … dropshipping or any kind of retail business will work, to varying degrees.

Dickson Sarpong 6 years ago

I always enjoy reading your articles.

I must add to your facts that DROPSHIPPING have taken over the Blogosphere and AFFILIATE MARKETING.

Google trends shows.

So does Thomas’s should keep on doubting as the greenbacks keeps raining.

I’m dying to own my own DROPSHIPPING store but l live in a PayPal blacklisted country Ghana to be specific.

I have a payoneer Master Card can it be used for the DROPSHIPPING store?

With my limited resources how can l tap into this new golden opportunity.

Please l edge you to find ways to add payoneer card to the payment gateways. Not all of us can afford the other monthly payment gateway systems

DROPSHIPPING is the new era of Digital marketing. So let’s all get involved.

Blake C W 6 years ago

This article is awesome and I love Olga’s writing style, she is HILARIOUS. 😀 Yay dropshipping! 😀 I’m going to be a billionaire! 😀 All I have to do is be in the top 1% of dropshippers! 😀

Lars K 6 years ago

We’re currently in a niche, where we have pretty hard competition from Wish.
Any thoughts?

Angelo 4 years ago

Hola Olga. Seria posible que los videos se expresen en Español ?

Olga L. 4 years ago

¡Hola querido suscriptor! Tenemos un canal oficial de YouTube de AliDropship Español, aquí lo tiene

Bonn Tumanda 6 years ago

I enjoy this a lot! You have answered all my hesitations. This made me reconsider my plan on embarking on this journey once and for all.

Derrick Kofi Afrifa 5 years ago


Even network marketing is not dead. 50 years ago we thought every single person on earth will become a network marketer if two tell two, and those two tell two… blah blah blah….


Mani 3 years ago

Dropshipping will never dead. It will live as the businesses exist.

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