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26 March 2022

Quick MVP of dropshipping webstore

by Rachel Shu

Status: not original, just a quick writeup
Meaningfulness: representative of this blog


Summary

I strung together a MVP of a dropshipping webstore for a currently-undisclosed client selling branded merchandise. Our mutual goal was to create something that would be easy to set up and fairly maintenance-free. So having off-the-shelf web components and inventory-free sales worked well, and is a very common solution. At the same time, it was nice to have a lot of control over each component separately.

The stack looks like this:

This isn’t a huge accomplishment, but it was very fun to do, and a good way to teach myself a bunch of stuff building on existing knowledge.

Steps

  1. Created Google Workspace (hub, gets email)
  2. Purchased domain through Google Domains while setting up
  3. Created tracking spreadsheet and task management doc (also made writing this blog post easier)
  4. Created Shopify account and connected it to Google Domains
  5. Created Printful Account and connected it to Shopify
  6. Created PayPal Account and connected it to Shopify
  7. Created a simple T-Shirt design
  8. Published shirt design to website
  9. Published website to internet
  10. Sucessfully bought one of our own shirts

Observations

  1. Much easier than expected! The workflow was composed through integrations that are already built in. Everything described above took just over two hours. This writeup took another half hour.
  2. On the other hand, substantially more complicated than just setting up a Redbubble storefront, but more flexible in the long run. It was also good practice.
  3. This stack costs about 50 USD per month to operate. The upfront cost is just filing for incorporation, which is about 300 USD. For the merchandise, Printful’s base price per tee is 13 USD, domestic shipping is 5 USD, and PayPal grabs a bit more. So really, if your customer pays 25 USD your take-home is 5 USD per unit minus operating costs.
  4. Getting this much set up is easy. Actually getting paid takes a bit of work. Printful prevents you from accessing your revenue until you have an EIN, and of course to have an EIN, you have to incorporate and do all sorts of stuff.
  5. Thankfully all the paid services have a 2 week free trial; long enough to get the legal side together etc.
tags: business

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