By: Tomas Šlimas August 18, 2017 Topic: Case Studies

Recently, a member of our Ask.Oberlo community, @KerrieWilson asked, “When starting out, should I only market to the USA instead of targeting other smaller markets?”  When writing my response, at first I decided that dropshipping in the USA was the right choice, but then I started to have my doubts. Is it really the best market for dropshipping? For most dropshippers, the USA is viewed as a viable market simply because they don’t feel like their store is ready for global expansion through international dropshipping. After digging deeper, I’ve decided to write an article about what I found.

In the form of a case study about dropshipping in the USA based on one of our own Oberlo users, we’ll be answering Kerrie’s question mainly by telling you why you should opt for international dropshipping despite any knee-jerk reactions you might have to confine yourself to solely dropshipping in the USA. But first, to fully convince you of this, we’ll explore the reasons why people are inclined to dropship in the USA, and then counter those by exploring the disadvantages of dropshipping in the USA in more detail.

While dropshipping in the USA might seem like a good idea at glance, as we delve deeper you will find that it isn’t sustainable for a variety of reasons, particularly when there are many other lucrative markets to focus on instead. Thus, US dropshippers are limiting themselves by not trying to target markets outside of the United States. Aside from convincing you to go international with your dropshipping business, we’ll also cover how doing so with Oberlo Supply products can help you to better reach a global audience.

Whether you already dropship in the USA and are looking to branch out, or are just getting started with your dropshipping business, this article will prove useful for deciding which markets are most suited for your business and the products you are selling.


Dropshipping USA: the Plus Side

Before we delve into why there are better options than dropshipping in the USA, it’s worth shedding light on some of the other reasons why people might choose to do this in the first place. For those that insist on dropshipping in the USA exclusively, their stores are usually entirely in English, and they can only provide English customer support. If you are a native English speaker, this can admittedly give you a leg up on competition with other stores in one of the most bustling commercial markets in the world. What’s more is that for US dropshippers, the fact that shipping to locations outside the USA often takes more than 30 business days while getting parcels delivered to American addresses using ePacket only takes 14 might seem like a major draw. That said, the USA dropshipping market isn’t ideal for the following reasons.

Important Precautions for Dropshipping in the USA

For US dropshippers, the natural inclination might be to stick to what you know and sell to other people around the country, but the structure of Oberlo Supply makes it too easy to earn greater profits elsewhere! In fact, one of the beauties of dropshipping is that your own country of residence is essentially irrelevant to the order fulfillment process itself because products are shipped to customers directly from suppliers. The majority of suppliers involved in dropshipping are located in China, and only a small handful operate out of the US anyway. With dropshipping, you can sell anywhere and everywhere, meaning the path is already laid out for you to sell all around the world rather than only dropshipping in the USA. A lot of suppliers ship to dozens of different countries or more, from G8 members to tiny countries like Kiribati (a country in Oceania). Meanwhile, dropshipping USA products wouldn’t allow you to take advantage of the global market as easily due to lower margins. For dropshippers not from the USA, you can use your unique perspective to your advantage by thinking outside the box and exploring different countries for marketing your products.

The Disadvantages of Dropshipping in the USA

Now that it’s clear dropshipping in the USA isn’t really necessary, let’s delve into some of the distinct disadvantages for doing so.  The following is a list of the downsides to dropshipping in the USA. These include high competition in a saturated market that usually requires higher advertising costs. Furthermore, I have found that the disadvantages associated with dropshipping in the USA are deeply interrelated and warrant closer, more detailed examination.

Extremely Competitive Markets

Being the largest economy on earth, the USA is home to a lot of strong ecommerce giants with websites people can visit to buy anything they want. There’s Amazon, Walmart, Jet.com, and many more cropping up all the time. The presence of these companies alone can make dropshipping in the USA pretty challenging. 

Not to mention, large, developed markets have tons of smaller merchants. Shopify powered 500K stores in 2017, and 70% them were based in the USA. These numbers only continue to rise. While both the giants and the smaller merchants don’t necessarily dropship in the USA exclusively, these examples give a clear image of the level of competition you’ll be up against as a dropshipper in the USA.

Customers are Demanding

This probably doesn’t come as such a big surprise, but Americans are the most demanding consumers I’ve ever worked with. Considering the fact that USA dropshipping companies like Amazon, which offers features like 2-day shipping, Americans have come to view this as standard. For a beginner, it’s often simply impossible to keep up with the the existing market conditions for dropshipping in the USA for this reason.

Advertising Costs are High

If you cater to the USA dropshipping market, you’ll find that you will need to spend more on ads in order to stand out from so many competitors. According to Ad Espresso, the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for Facebook ads in the US was $7.19 in Q3 of 2016. Meanwhile, for Google Adwords in 2016, it was $24.74 based on a report published by Statista

How many of those 1,000 impressions convert into customers depends on your product, your store, and a number of other factors, but if these things are done correctly, you could reap double the profits just by switching to another market rather than attempting to dropship in the USA. For example, you may consider switching over to smaller developed markets like Norway or Finland where there is less competition. While we’re on the subject, let’s explore the nuances of dropshipping beyond the USA in more depth.

International Dropshipping: What You Should Consider Before Choosing Another Market

Whether you are a US dropshipper or a dropshipper located in another country, below we will cover three things you should consider before testing another market. Thinking about whether the country has a large English speaking population, substantial purchasing power, and sufficient delivery infrastructure will not only save you issues down the line. It will also impact the profitability of a given market because, as we will see, sometimes focusing on smaller markets can actually generate more income than confining your efforts to the world’s largest economy.

Choose a Country with an English Speaking Population

Assuming you don’t plan to invest your money and time translating your entire store into another language, you should consider the English speaking population of your selected audience. For instance, only 5% of Brazilians speak English, while in Denmark, the English speaking population is 86%.

Fortunately, the conventional ecommerce design makes buy from an online store very inuitive no matter the customer’s language. When I was running a store, I received many orders from non-English speakers from around the world. Still favoring markets where English is widely spoken is something you should keep in mind.

Handy Tip: there are many translation apps in the Shopify Apps Marketplace, which can help you get decent translations without the manual work. Click here to browse the latest options.

Consider Purchasing Power when Dropshipping Internationally 

Because the cost of living is already quite high there, it seems that many Norwegians are actually okay with spending $30 on a T-Shirt. For someone in a large and attractive market like Mexico, however, $30 might be a price reserved for a high-end clothing item. Pay a lot of attention to these differences from country to country because they might significantly reduce your conversion rate.

Research Delivery Infrastructure First 

Note also that some remote countries don’t have the postal infrastructure that’s taken for granted in Europe and the United States. For instance, many suppliers will say you can’t track orders shipped to South Africa or Brazil, which could lead to issues down the line.

This is true especially when combined with the fact that in remote countries, a lot of deliveries never reach the recipient. These developing markets tend to have extremely strict customs policies or flawed postal services where packages are often “lost” somewhere en route. Suppliers might also inform you that there’s an extra delivery fee for shipping to such places, even though the delivery was advertised as free.

Though you should be careful with developing markets, I strongly recommend testing them yourself before simply casting them aside. You might just hit the jackpot you failed to find in your home country.

Dropshipping Country Case Study

One of our Oberlo merchants who is also a US dropshipper agreed to share his Google Analytics stats with us for this case study on dropshipping in the USA. This information will offer some insight to help guide your decisions about which  countries are worth testing. We aren’t able to disclose the personal information about the merchant including his store’s name, but we can say that he is selling a wide range of women’s and men’s clothing and accessories.

A few other important background details include:

  • All of his products come from China and are dropshipped using Oberlo
  • The store offers standard delivery options: 14-day delivery to the USA (with ePacket) and 30+ days delivery to other countries (China Post).
  • His website is in English and has never been translated into other languages.
  • The website support is also offered in English only.
  • The majority of traffic comes from Facebook Advertising.

Top Countries by Conversion Rate

Quick note: a conversion rate is the % of visitors to your site who make a purchase. For the purpose of this dropshipping USA case study, you can calculate it by dividing the number of sales by the number of visitors.

The chart represents the statistics of more than 2,500,000 visitors to his site and includes only countries with 100+ orders.

The top 20 countries were:

dropshippers USA

The Top 20 Countries by eCommerce Conversion Rate

Even though the United States is the biggest traffic source on this site, its conversion rate is 1.5 times smaller than Australia. Scandinavia (Norway, Finland, Denmark) take three of the top 10 slots, which suggest that it is a must-try region.

Other countries you might want to try include Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom. All of these have good conversion rates, are less competitive,  and easily scalable. (Your ads can quickly reach every person in Belgium, but your budget would have to be insanely high to reach everyone in the UK.)

Dropshipping  USA vs. International: Top Countries by Average Order Value

In this specific dropshipping USA case study, the US is not even in the top 20 countries for average order value. In fact, the average order value in the US is only US$39.29. This matters because just as cutting your advertising costs in half might double your profits, you can also earn more by selling extra to one customer.

dropshippers USA

Top Countries by Average Order Value

In this store’s case, 8 out of 10 countries on the list are in Europe, and the majority of those are Scandinavian. Norway also proves to be a top choice as it appears in second and fourth places on the charts. While Argentina looks great, I’d recommend eliminating it from your testing list since the conversion rate is only 0.46%.

These two simple graphs allow us to create a sample scenario:

Out of 100 visitors from Norway, you would receive 3.54 orders of $51.25 in value each. In other words, 100 visitors = $181.43 in sales. Out of 100 visitors from the US, you’d only receive 3 orders of $39.29 value so that 100 visitors= $117.87.

The difference is $63.56. If you have 1,000 visitors per day, you’re leaving almost $650 on the table each and every day.

Dropshipping USA vs. International: Conclusion

The goal of sharing this dropshipping USA case study is to demonstrate that the US may very well not be your go-to option. Thus, you must test other countries even if you don’t speak the language or your site is only in English. This especially applies when your budget is on the smaller side. As we’ve seen from the above examples, smaller and cheaper markets don’t always mean smaller profits.

While the stats will definitely differ for your store, use the above graphs and insights to create your countries-to-test list. Try them and track the results. Then, revise your marketing strategy. This case study also serves to show you how important it is to do the research and analysis at every step of your dropshipping journey in order to make more informed, data driven decisions to the benefit of your business.

For these tasks, we’ve laid out plenty of advice and instruction on our blog for marketing to various audiences across a number of different channels and platforms. There are also plenty of free tools and apps available to maximize the efficiency of your dropshipping processes so you can focus more on testing markets and coming up with the right strategies to grow your business.

Want to learn more?

What have you found most useful from this dropshipping USA case study? Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Ricky Figueroa

    Great article!! Also, how do you promote all your products to all these countries?

  • Ricky Figueroa

    What is your best advice on that and have at least a chunk of those sales in your case study store.

  • Or Ray Sol

    Thank you for this great article! My biggest concern is about shipping tracking. As far as I know, regular China post tracking number is not trackable, which can lead to many customer complains and disputes. Is there any idea how to solve this problem?

  • Kerrie

    Hi Tomas – thanks for this. Having the examples of other countries we should test is really useful.

  • Matt

    Wow, this is probably one of the best gold nuggets I’ve come across in recent times in regards to marketing my online store. It’s all well and good to learn marketing how-to’s and tactics but all of that is hardly valuable in the wrong context (or country in this case!). Awesome article, thanks Tomas!

  • Thanks so much Matt!

  • Exactly, every country needs a test and you shouldn’t take these GA charts for granted. But only by testing, you can find your high-converting traffic source 🙂

  • Hi @orraysol:disqus, China Post is trackable. I don’t have an example on hand but we run another Shopify app called TrackR and a lot of people use China Post. I’ve heard that in some cases there’s no tracking information in the destination country, but I can’t confirm it.

  • As mentioned in the article, the main source of the traffic in GA charts was Facebook. Not sure about your experience, but if you’re just starting out, this article should help: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-facebook-advertising/ 😉

  • Or Ray Sol

    Exactly, if the order is only trackable in China, then after it leaves China the customer have no info about his order and many times he starts to get worried which again leads to complains and disputes. This is the weak spot… And the reason why I have marketed to Canada before and then stopped.

  • Could you send me an example tracking code to tomas@oberlo.com? There are other delivery options available, and you might try China EMS which is trackable from door to door.

    You can reduce the # of complaints by clearly communicating the policies and follow-up’ing with your customers.

  • Or Ray Sol

    Just sent you an email. Thanks!

  • super insights

  • PeppyBox Retail

    Great insights. I was pondering over selling only in my native country India or in other countries too. This post really got me thinking. Thanks for posting.

  • Saajan Bakshi

    In your experience do people have any objections to waiting 30 days for their item to be recieved. Do you mention that under shipping that it will take that long if I ship to europe since there isn’t any epack

  • Yes, it’s important to set the right expectations. I’m sure some people leave your website because of that – but in my experience, it doesn’t mean there’s no business.

  • That is amazing. Thank you Tomas.

  • Sean

    Tomas – this is amazing info man. Thank you so much.

    Quick question – so when using oberlo, I should filter by products that ship via epacket and China post so I can sell to both US and international? Also- is the sales process for international any different as far as collecting sales tax and customs fees?

  • Thanks @disqus_JFzV4DMuAR:disqus! — most of the products can be shipped to the US or outside of the US. ePacket is just one of the available delivery options and it’s the fastest often free delivery option to the US. I haven’t had any problems or heard any reports of issues with sales taxes and customs fees. It’s a bit easier as a product never reaches your destination — but you should def consult with your accountant.

  • Great insight Tomas.

  • Thanks, @kymeshia_morris:disqus !

  • Sam

    Hello tomas,what do you think about Smart vacuum cleaner?

  • Sergio Adam

    Hi Thomas,

    What about the Netherlands, you think I should give it a try..(Everybody is speaking English,only population of 16.000.000 people) ?

  • Yes, why not? If it goes well, the only problem is the scalability – you might hit a wall when trying to find a new audience that could buy your product, but with dropshipping, you can try it and then move on to other countries.

  • tom jones

    Hi Tomas,
    Scandinavia is a gold mine…and they wont vine about 30 days delivery either…they are calm and less demanding clients compared to Usa.

  • Charlie Dee

    When someone orders, if there’s tracking available, does that tracking code automatically get sent to the customer/ can you set it up so that info get’s automatically sent?

  • Hi @disqus_IptVyjresA:disqus ,

    It’s not fully automated (we don’t have access to your AliExpress page), but you can do that in bulk, for multiple orders in one click.

    Just go to your AliExpress orders page and click Sync All Orders button (screenshot: http://take.ms/WfATx). Oberlo will then import all of your orders (on that page) tracking information to Shopify.

  • Mary Byker

    Hello Thomas, I’m thinking of starting an ecommerce site, I’m currently doing some intensive research.My main question involves tax issues. I live in Brazil but still pay tax in the UK. Could I set up a drop shipping business in the US without a US Tax ID or bank account how does that work? could you shed some light on this for me? Or as a UK tax payer would it be sensible to stick to the UK (Europe is now another issue with the Brexit vote)

  • Little Tot Trends

    Thanks for this article. I have a lot of product already on my site and I want to start shipping to new countries. I know that not every item ships to every location. Is there an easy way to check this before I begin experimenting?

  • Hi @marybyker:disqus, I’d love to help you, but I’ve never opened a company outside Lithuania (a country in Europe). I suggest you submit your question here: http://ask.oberlo.com/ I’m sure other Oberlo users will help you.

  • You should pick a product you want to advertise to other countries and then check its delivery options on AliExpress manually. From my experience, almost all sellers ship to all countries in Europe + AU, CA, US and most often without any additional charge.

  • Mary Byker

    Thanks for the reply

  • Gerardo Linares

    I would like to know when placing ads for FB in other countries as explained above. Do we just select the country; example “Denmark” and FB will take care of the rest? Or do we need to select the cities within Denmark. According to what you have heard from other successors. Thanks

  • @disqus_S5baWB2ul0:disqus, in most cases you should select countries. Individual cities are too small for targeting + there are probably no significant differences between cities in small countries.

  • abby

    Once my clients order something on my site, I have manually go into AliExpress to make orders which is fine. But how do they handle shipping? For example, my client ordered 6 items from my sites, and I go ahead to AliExpress to order them from 6 different suppliers which said that they will be ship out in 6 different package? – Assume my customer ordered all of them from my site, so they will only expect one package and expect to receive them all at once?

  • You as a store owner set the expectations. If you write on your shipping information page that some of the orders are delivered in separate packages to reduce shipping times, everyone will understand you.

  • Isabelle Mader

    Hi Tomas, Do we need to get a municipal, provincial (state) ecommerce license or inc papers before setting up a dropship page on Shopify or other? I am thinking about the taxes that would need to be charged if selling in or out of your own state/province. And what kind of a markup do you recommend for Ali Express products? Lastly, do you not recommend VISA / MC payments? I am guessing that not all clients would feel comfortable using Paypall. Thank you!

  • Isabelle Mader

    If we order products from Ali express, wont they take a month to arrive? And wont the package have to be cleared by customs? And wont the client have to pay customs fees at the post office to receive their package?

  • No. In fact, if you’re using ePacket it will takes around two weeks to get your order to the US. And there’re rarely any customs fees as the packages are often low value or/and marked as gifts.

  • Hey Isabelle,

    It’s enough to have the EIN, but I’d recommend starting your store first. Given the fact that 50% of eCommerce store owners (beginners) never receive a sale, you might not need one.

    I don’t want to sound demotivating, but I would start doing it right now and care about legal things later when I know I will be doing this seriously.

    Oberlo users on average just double the AliExpress price – and from my experience most of the customers are OK with using PayPal.

  • Good article thomas! One thing to note also is the payments systems in these countries. Some countries are used to cash on delivery and users don’t use their credit cards to shop online. This is especially true in the smaller countries.

  • Thanks, George! Yes, I’ve read that in Romania and other Balkan countries 70% of people prefer COD instead of CC or PayPal. That’s def something people should consider.

  • Will

    Realistically how much should one expect to spend in Facebook Ads to get sufficient traffic to generate healthy sales?

  • Hey Will,

    Looks at it this way:

    a click costs around $0.25 and the average conversion rate is around 2% — that means out of 100 visitors to your store, 2 persons will place an order and you need to attract 50 visitors to your store to receive an order.

    50 visitors x $0.25 cost per click = $12,5 // Which means that on average you need to spend $12,5 to get one order.

    That might sound a lot, but if your markup is $20, you earn $7,50 with every order you receive and you can spend $100 or $1,000 a day, it doesn’t actually matter – you just keep earning.

    Of course, it’s not that easy – it takes time to find an audience that clicks on your ads and converts.

  • WebGeek

    It looks so easy to start earning money using oberlo and dropshopping that after reading your articles you automatically want go buy your service and start counting money. But don’t be stupid, most of those articles is just for seo purposes and ads to atract more users to oberlo.

    As the oberlo always say facebook is a fantastic and cheep place to advertise, just go create some good ads and you looking how people start buying. I agree, its very good place with lost of options, but its extremely expensive, expect in India, Africa and ect.

    So according to that, 80 percent of your statistics is just from wonderland.

    For example: “Out of 100 visitors from Norway, you would receive 3.54 orders of $51.25 value. Or in other words 100 visitors = $181.43 in sales.”

    I go and checked how much one click on average costs in Norvegia on facebook ads. And the price for one click is from 2.5 doll to 5 doll. So lets take 3 doll and count how much will cost 100 Norvegian visitors for you: 3×100= 300 doll. And now count profits:

    181.43 – 300 = – 118,57 doll.

    So you see that it’s not so easy as those orbelo team articles might say to you. I’m not saying Oberlo is not interesting thing, actually its done pretty nice, to make some real money from it is not so easy as they might say. The main problem is marketing. 5 years ago facebook was excelent for this, because it you could get rates for CPC 0,03-0,06 doll now the rates are almost the same as in adwords and thanks to super big companys with lots of money on the plate. So please stop writing in your articles that facebook is amazing and cheep place to advetise, except if your article about India, Africa or Madagascar.

  • WebGeek

    Really? 0.25 for CPC? When the last time you checked ads prices on facebook? Talking bulshit

  • Great write up. Really got me considering other markets. Deciding factor for me though to stick with US is Epacket. It really is a must if using ALiexpress cause shipping times are too long without it. Epacket to anywhere outside US is a lot more expensive. To US is generally around $2 while Epacket everywhere else is like $6 so that would def eat into your profits.

  • It depends on the targeted country, placement, offer, target audience and many other factors. The link on desktop newsfeed might cost twice as much than on mobile carousel or video ad. I agree that $0.25 in the US for a regular product direct response ad is a bit too optimistic though.

  • WebGeek

    Do you read what I write? The cheapest CPC for your mentioned Norway is 2doll, and you can try different target options the price will not go bellow 2 doll. The only way to get CPC in Norway up to 0.50 doll is to let ads only on Instagram, but its useless.

  • It’s not all black and white. You can review the latest CPC/CPM benchmarks here: https://goo.gl/T9QR14.

  • Dropshipping is just like any other business – it takes a lot of time and efforts. And as for the marketing, here’s my most frequently used email saved reply:

    “Honestly, I suggest you don’t rush into opening an online store.

    Take some time to plan how you’ll attract customers to your store and learn how Facebook or Instagram Ads work.

    Marketing is the tricky part. Launching a store is the easy part.”

    And it’s true. Marketing is the tricky part and it takes a lot of time to find a working channel and a target audience or a combination of channel, target audience and a product.

    These articles are based on the information shared by our customers. I can guarantee you that these stats are not fake, but it doesn’t mean that if you do the same you’ll have the same results – it’s just someone’s experience to consider.

  • WebGeek

    Again, you give me another article with statistics, but in real in most cases it doesnt work. I work with google ads for about 6 years and I said I tried to open ads for Norway in many different targeting options and there is no such low numbers as you say… its starts 1, 2 doll CPC… Have you ever tried to create a campaign on google ads? If you want to prove I m wrong, go and create campaign in Norway and make a screenshot of suggested bids internal for clicks to webpage. The interval will be between 2-6 doll. People like you I call theoretics but not practitioner, because you rely on articles instead of going and checking by your self.

  • WebGeek

    By the way, did you look at those statistics you shared? Its clearly says the regions on what the average prices are calculated:

    “To ensure statistical signi cance, country spend, clicks, and impression data is grouped into geographic regions—1) The Americas; 2) Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and 3) Asia-Paci c (APAC). ”

    They calculating the whole continent instead of country. For example, 1) The Americas (its included North and South Americas) 2) Europe, Middle East, and Africa…

    Now you understand why they say the global average CPC for The Americas is 0,57 doll…? so you really believe the in the USA you will be able to advertise so cheap?LOL, the minimum CPC will be 4 doll. But they calculate Global with South America and in South America you can advertise cheap, so this factor make the average so small… The same is with Europe. They do not calculate Europe only, they mix with Middle East and Africa where rates is very small, so the average is small.

    Wanna play smart? Give me the statistics where is said that in your mentioned Norway the average CPC is at least 0,57 doll. Can you do this?

  • Here are the stats I have on my Facebook account: http://take.ms/9IKyS They are almost a year old, and the CPC for Norway is a little bit higher, but the cost per purchase is less than $12,5 (because more qualified leads have better conversion rates).

    I’m not trying to prove you’re wrong, I’m just saying that these stats vary a lot between different target audiences, product categories, placements, etc.

  • WebGeek


    Here is basic configuration, of course its not optimized and the minimum bid on CPC is 3.5 doll, it means your ad wont show up if you bid less and it might show up only in midnight when other bidders dont want their ad to show up and ect. Yes its possible to optimize your CPC to 1,5 2 doll if you will choose your targeting options very narrow but still there is no guarantee if your product is not unique in that market.

    And another thing, your example are with very big advertisement numbers, so when you spending so much on you campaign its possible to gain lower CPC in long term, but usually people who start their business their budget is not more that 500 doll per month on ads.

  • I’m happy we’re heading towards an agreement.

    You’re right – here are the results from our recent Oberlo campaign. CPC is more than 4 EUR: http://take.ms/NCicm It’s insane!

    But I believe you just can’t say it’s always $4 or $1 or $0.20. You should be always looking for the best performing campaigns, e.g. http://take.ms/k0b4L

  • WebGeek

    Yes, you right, need to find best one performing but you will find that one only when you spent lots of money. You can expect to find that one if you going to spend 1k or 2, so thats a very big problem for the starters with tight budgets… Even if you are lucky and found that targeting options with best CPC there is no guarantee that tomorrow you will get the same as might be you there lucky to find that short period time gap when other bidders was just getting ready their new campaigns and when they start with more money than you have, the prices goes up very fast…

  • grigore guzun

    Tomas Please Please advice, what course should i buy as a Intermediate ?

  • I’d love to help you, but I’m not following any courses right now. And I was always of the opinion, that there’s a lot of free information around the web and you don’t have to pay for it 🙂

  • Leo

    Hi Tomas, thanks for the insights. Any tips on which ad format and channel (Instagram or facebook) was working for you?

  • Leo

    @tomasslimas:disqus Hi Tomas, thanks for the insights. Any tips on which ad format and channel (Instagram or facebook) was working for you?

  • I always recommend starting with Facebook Desktop Newsfeed ads, and try other placements only as a test.

  • Devin Beverage

    How much (if any) consideration should be given to the fact that these ad conversion stats are based on a clothing store?
    (maybe ads for clothing may have a lower conversion rate in some places)

  • Hi Devin,

    I’m sure that these conversion rates might differ for different products, different websites, and different audiences. I would just use them as a reference point and an argument to try out new markets outside the US.

  • Devin Beverage

    That makes sense – don’t overanalyze it, just use it as a reference point. I really appreciate this content, very helpful. I’ve been doing a lot of reading all over for my preliminary research on markets and products, and overall Oberlo gives real value. Thank you.

  • Thanks so much!

  • DSM Tool

    Finding the top products to listing the products on Ebay from different websites.
    dropshipping marketing

  • Lefties Guitars

    Wow Tomas, I need to rethink my whole approach to e-commerce.
    Thanks for this article.

  • Bespi

    Hi Tomas! Would you advise then we ship the purchased product to the US FIRST and then out to your international customers or leverage the international shipping options provided by your supplier and ship directly to your customer? Thanks in advance!

  • Jack Allman

    If you are selling on eBay, a great auto ordering software to use is http://www.arbiship.com

  • DSM Tool

    “The dropshipping business outside of USA, specially in the developing countries is very lowely practised due to unreliable and untrustworthy nature of the retailers. The dropshipping marketing in these countries is also very difficult and the finalized profit is low.
    dropshipping marketing

  • Amr Abd El Rhman

    it is amazing info Tomas ,but how i can test and detect countries for traffic and conversion and purchase per customer??only by ads and trials, or there is any analytic tools i can forecast with before launching a campaign in order to save money and time,
    Thanks Again

  • Demsy

    this is such amazing info. answering my question right away since i’m thinking to target non-US customers

  • Laurence Mifsud

    @tomasslimas:disqus I was wondering when placing products from AliExpress on your buisness page to sell, through Oberlo (which is amazing by the way!), how do you recommend setting up shipping? Make the customers pay for it, instead of free, as pricing varies? If so, does the customer see the varied priced? How does this work with the oberlo import of products?

  • Izuddin

    This is a great article. But Tomas, if you’re referring to AliExpress, and since this article is from Oberlo, I’m assuming you’re advising us to use Oberlo, correct me if i’m wrong.

    However, from what I understand from Oberlo’s FAQ (unless theres a policy change that I’m not aware of), Oberlo only allows us to ship items to the US. Well, we can ship to other countries, but the items firstly has to arrive to the US, then from there we could ship it to the customers’ respective countries. Which takes a longer time for the item to arrive to the customer. Not sure if this is gonna make customers happy.

    By the way, thank you again for your insights.

  • Gloria Cruceru

    Inspiring article. We just didn’t know where to target, it’s seems so difficult to target the US, especially when you are out of the US and you don’t have the option to target through online behavior (which is a minus) . I think will gonna give it a try to Europe

  • Sunny Kumar Ujjawal

    Hi Tomas,

    It’s fine 86% people speak English there but Is it good to target USD currency in Denmark .

  • Hasaan Ali

    There is no need to first send package to US and then to the destination country. You can directly send package from AliExpres(CHina) to the destination country.
    Also, as far as I know, Oberlo doesn’t stop you from selling outside US. Sell where ever you wish to 🙂

  • Jip

    I don’t want to spoil the fun but…..there are strict import rules in the EU. An individual, living in one of the EU countries is only allowed to import for a max. of approx. 22 euro (approx. $24) without paying tax. This $24 includes the shipping fee! Denmark is a member of the EU, as is Sweden (both are Scandinavian countries).

  • Anna Nagekina

    Actually, I made 2,000€ in 15 days so yeah

  • Zaini Haris

    Hi, based on your advice and key point of case study, show interesting with fact. Some question, how about currency converting, tax, and payment gateway? Is it different for each country ?

  • Mh

    Bro, where do you get those ridiculous high CPC from. You can still get 0.06 cent clicks from Denmark or other top tier EU countries. You need to master FB ads (create good engagement and advertise things people actually like). If your ads/products are shitty than yeah you will pay high CPC…

  • Michael Onagoruwa

    I have the same issue. None of my visitors want to checkout in USD. So I have 0 conversions

  • Michael Onagoruwa

    Hello Tomas, are there any articles informing about the payment gateway to consider if you are drop shipping internationally, I find that all of my visitors are abandoning there checkout and I haven’t received a single sale. I think it is because they don’t want to pay in any other currency. Shopify only allows your customers to checkout in your stores base currency. This is a big issue for me right now.

  • Tom Barrett

    Hi Tomas, very useful information you have here keep it up!

    How would you suggest I manage shipping and fulfillment logistics and setting up arrangements for FTL and FCL drop-shipping with Alibaba?

  • Hi there Tom,

    Glad you found it useful!

    When dropshipping, you’re not holding inventory yourself. Therefore, you shouldn’t be worried with managing FTL and FCL. It is your supplier who is responsible for product delivery to your customer.

    P.S. Using Oberlo, you can only import products from AliExpress or Oberlo Supply Marketplace (not Alibaba).

    Hope this helps!

  • Hey Michael,

    This depends on the country that you’re based in. Did you have a chance to check our Community forum: http://ask.oberlo.com/?

    I’m sure other dropshippers who are from the same country as you will share their experience on this!

  • Hi there,

    Regarding the currency: you can adjust your multipliers to your preferred currency rates and change the store currency in Shopify. Here’s a detailed tutorial: http://support.oberlo.com/article/82-how-to-change-currency

    About taxes: there’s no specific answer here, as the laws vary greatly among countries. I’d suggest to reach out to your local authorities regarding this.

    You can also check our Community forum and seek advice from fellow dropshippers, who are based in your country: http://ask.oberlo.com/. I’m sure they’ll be happy to share their experience!

    As for the payment gateways: you can check which payment gateways are available in your country here: https://www.shopify.com/payment-gateways

    Hope this helps!

  • lexnunez

    My company provides drop shipping services and one challenge we’ve had with shipping internationally is around customs invoices and the requirement to put the product value on the invoice. The issue is that I don’t know what the end customer paid, I only know the wholesale price I charge my partner. If I put the wholesale price on the invoice, I am letting the end customer know of my partner’s margin. How are others dealing with this?

  • Hey!

    There’s no way to find out what your partner will charge their end customer, unless they provide you with a price list. That’s not necessary, though.

    The merchant (your partner) shouldn’t mind that the wholesale price appears on the package. The low value is put on the invoice to avoid custom taxes. And in case the end customer complains about the price discrepancy, the merchant will be responsible for informing their customers that this is done to evade the custom charges.

    Hope this makes sense 🙂

  • Arsenal_HD

    Really informative article. I am from South Africa and quite interested in drop shipping as I believe there is huge potential. The only problem is that shipping to SA takes between 30-60 days, this will surely scare users away. Any way around this problem??

  • Mohammed Sameeruddin

    Thank you for the information. Is there any way to sell the products to only selected countries. I would like to send my products as free shipping through epacket only. So is there any provision in oberlo or shopify where we can set it in settings.
    Thank you

  • Stui

    Great article.

    But do you or anyone have tips on how to work out free shipping worldwide? Is there a way to customize my stores shipping to notify countries like Brazil for example, that their shipping is free but will take longer or give them the option to pay a bit and then get quicker delivery time?

  • Hey!

    Your customers won’t be complaining about the delivery time as long as you set clear expectations. You should let your users know about the delivery times in your Shipping Policy page on your store. You’ll be surprised by how many don’t mind waiting an extra couple of days for their packages to arrive.

    Good luck!

  • Hi there,

    You can only sell to those countries that have ePacket available. You can set your preferences by going to the Shopify Admin panel > Settings > Shipping > Zones and Rates tab.

    Hope that helps!

  • Hello,

    I’d recommend doing free shipping. Simply define your shipping policy, and display it in the relevant places in your store. Having free shipping option available, your customers will be less sensitive to a longer delivery time.

    Best of luck! 🙂

  • Stui


    I think you’re right, I have decided to ship worldwide and drawn up my shipping policy to advise on the different times etc. Let’s see how it goes.

    Cheers for the reply and great article.

  • mo

    Hi Thomas,
    With facebook ad, do you create one ad with all the countries you want to sell to listed; or create separate ads for each country?

  • Hi there,

    You can try this website: https://exchange.shopify.com/

    But why don’t you launch a store of your own? It’s fairly easy. Let me know if you need help with that!

  • Hey!

    There are two ways:

    First one: create separate ad sets for every country. Every market is different, so auction for them is also different, that’s why you need to do it separately.

    Second one: group similar countries, this way you will have to make less ad sets. You have to group countries based on their market and auction similarities. So US will be always alone. You can group Canada with United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and other big markets. You can group all Scandinavian or Baltic counties together.

    Hope that helps!

  • BKG

    Your write up on drop shipping has finally convinced me to go into eCommerce. Thank you bro. You really inspire me. Chao

  • Tulio Arguijo

    It’s a shame that Norway isn’t listed in the countries availables for epacket shipping.

  • Wow, I’m thrilled to hear that! Best of luck with your ecommerce venture, buddy!

  • Hey there,

    I just checked and I see that ePacket is available in Norway. You should double-check!

  • TheFitAdventurer

    Will dropshipping work in Singapore – a country where people can buy many things cheap online through online websites such as Taobao, qoo10 and Lazada?

  • Judy Yao

    Soooooo helpful. Thanks a lot Tomas!

  • Hey,

    I’m not very familiar with the market in Singapore, so I can’t really tell. Did you consider selling in several markets? Why limit yourself to only one?

  • Thanks, Judy! Glad you found it useful!

  • L.cooper4

    Tomas, Thank youuu! You’ve just changed my entire game plan, I’m ecstatic about this revelation. Back to the drawing board! I go 🙂

  • L.cooper4


  • So happy to hear that! 🙂 Best of luck!

  • Vitor Hugo

    Any advise on how to find good suppliers in Europe?

  • Hey there,

    It’s easier thank you think. Using Oberlo you can import and sell items from AliExpress or Oberlo Supply marketplace.

    Aliexpress suppliers are based in China, whereas Oberlo Supply has several suppliers from Europe. You can check which ones by going to: https://app.oberlo.com/suppliers.

    Let me know if you need a hand!

  • Mindaugas

    @tomasslimas:disqus seems like valuable, insightful case study here, thanks a lot! I was just wondering, if all those shoppers in Europe are really OK with the additional local VAT and customs due they have to pay when receiving the goods? E.g. in Norway the threshold is NOK 350 (~$44)… Or are there any workarounds on declaring the value of the items being used? 🙂

  • Hey,

    Suppliers often mark the shipping label with a price that is lower than the original cost to protect your customers from additional taxation from customs. Lower price tags reduce the chance of packages being flagged whilst they’re processed at customs. That’s the workaround 🙂

  • Rokas Golcas

    Great advice!

  • Duvall Stix Francis

    I’m new to the idea of eCommerce and drop shipping. I like the concept of drop shipping internationally, but my question in all this is do I need to have my business incorporated to use US drop shipping suppliers? Can I have my domain hosted internationally and use the Us supplier option?

  • Hey, Duvall!

    You need to incorporate your business pay taxes to your government just like any other business entity. Every country has different laws and you should just reach out to a government’s representative for more details.

    You can buy a domain from the third-party websites or directly on the Shopify platform by navigating to Online Store > Domains and clicking “Buy new domain”. You can find more information on domains here: https://help.shopify.com/manual/domains/buying-domains

    With the Oberlo app, you will be able to import whatever products you like and find on our Marketplace. The majority of suppliers are from China, however, you can find some products, which can be shipped from the USA too.

    If you have more questions, drop us a line at hello@oberlo.com!

  • ikay hargley

    how about customs and duty if doing international drop shipping. ?

  • Hey, Ikay!

    You should add some information to your Shipping policy that customers are responsible to pay custom fees / taxes if they apply.

  • Tomas, I’m starting a store and based on another article from Oberlo, the UK and China are good markets for what I’d like to start testing sales with. I want my first store to target the UK. Do I need a regional domain or is using my .com okay? I’m also looking for your article(s) on how to do regional targeting (marketing) and promotion and I need to know how to skip the US market and target internationally. Given the global powerhouse that China has become, would you say the population is using enough English that I could target them with English only store or do I need a translation app for a Chinese-language store? Lastly, this use case example article does not discuss the impact of not having a regional site offering local currency purchases as I’ve read in other of your articles. What would you recommend with the understanding that I’m starting with one site first and targeting an international region (preferably the UK first). Thanks!