Dropshipping in Australia is similar to selling anywhere else. However, there are a few differences, like registering for an Australian Business Number (ABN), paying certain taxes, considering customs fees, and checking for product restrictions.
We also need to look for products with demand and find a supplier that can ship to Australia.
We’ve successfully sold products all over the world. By doing so, we’ve learned tons about finding winning products and dropshipping in Australia.
In this article, we’ll show you how to start a dropshipping business in Australia and give you actionable steps to help you get started.
Let’s get into it.
- Use a product research tool that allows you to filter your products by AUD as the currency or .com.au. This will enable you to find winning products for the Australian market.
- You can start dropshipping in Australia for almost nothing, using a free product research tool trial and the $1 per month Shopify promotion.
- To dropship in Australia, you might need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and pay income tax and sales tax (GST).
How to Start a Dropshipping Business in Australia Step-by-Step
Starting a dropshipping business in Australia is similar to in other countries. However, there are a few tips and tricks to ensure your business is successful in Australia.
In this section, we’ll include both free and paid ways so you can get started today.
1. Product Research for Australia
To start dropshipping successfully in Australia, you need to find a winning product.
Products that are winners in Australia might not be winners in other countries.
For example, we can look at Amazon Australia’s best-sellers and see that the third best seller is a cockroach bait trap. While this is clearly a product in high demand in Australia, the same product wouldn’t make any sales in the UK or some parts of the US. This is because there are far fewer species of cockroaches in these places compared to Australia.
This shows that you need to ensure the products you launch are right for the market you’re launching them in.
We’ve found a few methods to help us find products that are winners in Australia.
But before we start searching for products, we need to know what we’re looking for. We look for the following things to help us choose winning products:
- Profit - How much does the product sell for, and how much does the product cost to buy, ship, and advertise? Will you make a profit for each sale?
- Demand - Do people want to buy your product? How many pieces do you expect to sell?
- Competition - Is there anyone else selling the same product? Can you compete with the existing sellers? What would set your product apart from the competition?
You might also need to consider the product’s availability and any advertising restrictions. We have an entire article that goes into depth on How to Do Product Research with lots of methods and everything you might need to consider.
Free Product Research Tool Trial - Best Free Product Research Method
There are lots of paid product research tools that offer a free trial.
So, you can sign up, find winning products for Australia, and cancel your plan before the end of the trial. So, essentially, you can do all of your research for free using an expert tool.
The Product Database tool lets you spy on products other Shopify stores sell. You can search through the products and use the filters to find ones that meet your criteria. It shows how much revenue and how many sales each product makes, as well as tons more data, so you can analyze it and make informed decisions.
To find winning products to sell in Australia using the Product Database tool, follow these steps:
- Click the link above and create your trial. You will need to enter your name and email and create a password or sign up with your Google, Facebook, or Apple.
- Select Product Database from the dashboard.
- Click Advanced Filters and unselect all of the currencies except AUD.
This will only show products that are sold in AUD and, therefore, bought by Australian customers.
You can also adjust the other filters to find winning products. If you need help setting your filters, start by adjusting the Sales filter. Enter the minimum number of monthly sales you want to make into the Minimum Sales box. For example, if you want to make 20 sales per day per product, enter 600 into the Minimum Sales box.
You can also enter the price the product sells for. For example, we ideally like to sell products priced between $20 and $35. So, we would enter 20 into the Minimum Price box and 35 in the Maximum Price box.
You can also adjust the revenue, number of product listings in a store, images, variants, categories, and more.
- Click Search.
- Scroll through the products to find ones that meet your winning criteria.
You can sort the products by price, sales, revenue, etc., by clicking on the arrows next to the heading.
- Click on the products that interest you and analyze them in-depth. You can also add them to your Sales Tracker to save and review your product during the 7-day trial.
Search Australian-Specific Marketplaces
To find winning products for Australian customers, we always look at Australia's marketplaces and e-commerce sites.
Amazon, Kmart, and eBay are the top three most purchased from online retailers and marketplaces in Australia .
We can use Amazon, Kmart, and eBay to find winning products in several ways. These are some of our favorites.
Kmart Product Research Methods
- Community Photos - Kmart has a section that shows the products customers have purchased and are promoting on their own pages. These photos can provide inspiration for your own store. You can also open the photos to see the engagement and whether the product could be a winner.
- Everyone Looking For - On the main screen, Kmart has a section of the most searched terms. This is a good way to find products that are in demand. You can then explore each term in-depth to see if they’ll be profitable and how competitive they are.
Amazon Product Research Methods
- Best Sellers List - Amazon shows all its best-selling products in each category. Knowing that these products are best-sellers shows that they all have customer demand and are selling well. You can search through the categories to find products that could be winners.
- Frequently Repurchased Section - Amazon Australia has a frequently repurchased section. There are sections for grocery, beauty, and personal care. You can search through these sections to find products that meet your criteria.
Products that are repurchased are great for dropshipping. This is because it’s easier to generate sales from existing customers rather than converting new ones, and these products are likely to keep your customers coming back.
eBay Product Research Methods
- Autofill Search Bar - You can use the search bar to find popular terms that are searched by customers. For example, if you type Cat into the search bar, it provides ten keyword suggestions.
You can then enter one of these and look at what else is suggested. So, for this example, let’s enter Cat Toys. eBay then suggests another ten product ideas.
You can then look at each of these suggestions in-depth.
Look at Australian Social Media Posts and Groups
Social media can provide an insight into your buyers lives. And knowing your buyer can help you find and create products that they’ll buy.
We commonly search Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for product inspiration, and these are our favorite methods:
Facebook Product Research Method
- Australian Facebook Groups - Facebook allows you to search for groups by location. You can enter a niche or keyword and then select different areas in Australia to find relevant Facebook groups.
These groups can give you product ideas as you can look at conversations within the groups.
Once you find a product you think could be a winner, you can ask the group questions and gain feedback on your idea.
Instagram Product Research Method
- Influencers - Search Instagram to find Aussie Instagram influencers. You can then see which products they're promoting and which posts are getting high engagement. Products that are being promoted and getting high engagement might suggest they are in demand and could be worth investigating further.
- Location Search - Instagram users can tag their images with the location of the photos. Looking at location tags can help you find region-specific products.
We also recommend looking at local businesses' Instagram accounts and seeing which products are popular.
TikTok Product Research Method
- Hashtags - Search TikTok for hashtags like AustraliaAmazonFinds. These videos get a high number of views and often show products that are perfect for dropshipping.
You can look at the comments and engagement to find products that might be popular or trending.
Use a Paid Tool
We’ve looked at several free ways to search for winning products to sell in Australia. But if you’re looking for a paid tool, there are lots of options.
Each tool will offer something slightly different. This could be the platform they analyze or the data they have access to.
The following are a few of the tools we like and the data they can analyze:
- Dropship - We’ve already seen that Dropship analyzes Shopify stores and lets you spy on sales and revenue. As well as this, you can also spy on the ads a store is running, when a product was added, and much more. Dropship also has an easy import feature, supplier finder, and lots of other tools to help you find winning products.
- Jungle Scout - If it’s Amazon sellers you want to spy on, Jungle Scout is our favorite tool to do so. It uncovers Amazon seller's sales and revenue. There are also keyword research tools and tools to help manage Amazon inventory, listings, and advertising.
- Dropship Spy - Instead of spying on your competitor's sales, Dropship Spy provides a list of products that they think could be winners. Each product has tons of data that you can analyze to choose and launch a winning product.
- Wish Inspector - Get data for products sold on Wish.com to help you identify successful ones. You can then import the products into your Shopify and WooCommerce store.
Hopefully, these methods have helped you find some winning products for Australia. However, if you haven’t found a winning product yet, we have a few articles that go into depth on product research methods and tools. These are How to Find Winning Products and the Best Dropshipping Research Tools.
2. Find a Supplier to Fulfill Orders in Australia
You’ve done the difficult bit of finding a winning product. It’s now time to find a supplier to source your product from.
We mostly find our suppliers through AliExpress. AliExpress is a retail service based in China. It allows small businesses to list their products. These small businesses will often let you dropship their products through your own website.
You can source almost anything from AliExpress, and there are usually several sellers with the same product, giving you lots of choice. The suppliers will usually offer different terms, shipping methods, and prices. So, it’s a good place to compare suppliers and find one that’s right for you.
Before you start searching AliExpress, make sure to set your shipping location to Australia and currency to AUD. This will then only show suppliers that can ship products to your customers.
Once you’ve set your shipping location, you can use the search bar to search for the product you want to source.
We always contact several suppliers and request samples.
When contacting a supplier, we recommend asking the following questions:
- How much is the product?
- Do you offer shipping?
- Which shipping provider do you use?
- How long does it take for an order to be processed, packed, and shipped?
- Do you offer a return, refund, or warranty on the products?
- Do you facilitate dropshipping? (e.g., can the product branding be removed, do you integrate with automation tools, can invoices be removed from the orders, etc.)
You can then compare their answers and the products to find the right supplier for your store.
If you want to start dropshipping for the lowest cost, you can avoid ordering samples and ask for images and videos of the products to compare them. The terms, price, and other information can also help you decide.
However, we always order samples as it allows us to review the products ourselves before selling them to customers.
If you want more help finding and choosing dropshipping suppliers, check out our articles How to Find Dropshipping Suppliers and What to Consider When Choosing a Dropshipping Supplier. The articles can help you select the best supplier for your dropshipping products.
3. Create a Store for Australian Buyers
Your store is where customers will buy your products from.
There are several platforms that allow you to build a dropshipping store. These include WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and our favorite option, Shopify.
We find Shopify the easiest platform to use, and they’ve got a great promotion for new sellers.
You can sign up to Shopify for $1 per month for the first three months. This is a great way to test the platform and start making sales before paying for a regular subscription.
If you want some guidance on creating and setting up a Shopify store, check out Nawras’s YouTube tutorial. It includes everything you need to know about starting a dropshipping store on Shopify.
We also like Shopify for selling in Australia, as it makes accepting payments easy. Shopify Payments allows you to accept payment from Australian customers via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and UnionPay.
Afterpay is also a popular ‘buy now, pay later’ payment method in Australia. Shopify integrates with Afterpay, so you can also offer this option to customers .
4. Market the Products
Your store’s up and running.
It’s now time to find some customers to buy your products.
If you don’t have an existing social media following, our favorite way to generate traffic and sales is by running ads.
If you need inspiration for your ads, Dropship has a Facebook ad collector tool built into its Chrome extension. It gathers ads as you browse. You can then analyze these ads and replicate aspects that work for your own store.
From the ad collector tool, you can click on the Facebook icon. This will open the Facebook ad library. From here, you can find so much information about all of the ads a brand is running.
If you want more information on the Facebook ad collector, we have an article with all the details.
There are lots of other ways to get your products in front of potential customers. These are a few alternative free ways to promote your products and generate sales:
- Influencer Marketing - Look for influencers in your niche who might be interested in receiving your product for free in exchange for promotion on their social media pages. This method isn’t technically free, as you need to buy the products from the supplier to send to the influencers. But the promotion is free.
- Your Own Pages - If you have an existing following, you could promote your products on your social media to generate interest in your products.
- Email Marketing - If you have an existing email list, create an email sequence to encourage sales.
5. Analyze and Optimize
You’ve made your first few sales. It’s time to analyze your business and hopefully increase your traffic and conversion rate.
We recommend looking at every part of your dropshipping business to see if it can be improved. This includes the following:
- Product - Look at your return rate and any feedback you’re getting from customers.
If you’re getting a lot of return or refund requests, look at why and try to fix the issue. If it has to do with quality, contact your supplier or look for a new supplier. You might also need to update your product pages. The more information you provide on your product pages, the less surprises customers will get. This should reduce the rate of returns and refunds.
The feedback you get from customers can also be super helpful. It can highlight features you might want to add to your listing. It can also show any potential issues or other uses for the product.
For example, we created a product that was designed for one purpose but then received a review that it worked for something totally different. We then created ads and changed our listing so that it appealed to a whole new market.
- Ads - Are your ads generating traffic to your site? Can you change any ads to generate more traffic? Or run your ads on other platforms?
Dropship has free calculators that anyone can use. The calculators help you check your numbers and ensure your campaigns are profitable.
- Store - So you’ve got traffic to your site, but are they staying and buying your products? If they’re not, look at why. Are there any issues with the checkout, payment options, price, product page, page load time, or anything else? You can test different things on your site and see if your conversions increase.
You can continue to analyze your product, ads, and store and make updates to see what generates the most sales.
Is Dropshipping in Australia Legal?
Yes, it’s legal to dropship to and from Australia.
But you need to ensure your business operates legally and adheres to the government rules. You might need to register your business, pay specific taxes and customs fees, and check that the products you’re selling are legal.
We’re not professionals, so any advice we give is based solely on our experience and research.
To confirm your dropshipping business is operating legally in Australia, we recommend consulting a professional.
If you want more information on the legalities of dropshipping, check out the article.
Legal, Business, and Tax Obligations for Australia
As we’ve said, we’ve sold products in Australia before, but we’re not qualified to provide expert advice.
These are a few things to consider before you start dropshipping in Australia.
Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
While we don’t think it’s a requirement to register for an ABN to sell in Australia, it does have some benefits.
These include making your business identifiable, for tax reasons, and registering for a .com.au domain. A .com.au domain can help customers know that you’re an Australian business, which can build trust.
If your business makes sales, you will need to pay taxes.
This could include GST (goods and service tax) if you generate $75,000 or more and income tax.
Products that are imported to Australia might be subject to customs fees.
So, if your supplier is based overseas, like in China, you will likely need to pay a customs charge.
We recommend checking the costs with the border force and factoring these into your product costs.
Before choosing to sell a product, make sure it’s legal, has no restrictions, and doesn’t require specific licenses to sell.
Certain products have restrictions, such as certain cultural items, weapons, food products, and much more.
There might also be restrictions on the way the products are advertised.
Intellectual property includes trademarks, patents, and designs.
They protect the ideas, inventions, products, and appearances.
This means that if someone creates something, they can legally protect it from being copied. And if it is copied, then they can take legal action against the person that copied it.
So, let’s say you find that Anyway Up Cups don’t have much competition, have a good profit margin, and a high demand. You’ve found a winner, right? Sadly, the design is patented and, therefore, can’t be sold .
You can check if a product is protected using Australia’s IP government website, Google patents, and the international IP register.
Should You Dropship in Australia?
Yes, Australia has seen an increase in online sales, which suggests you could create a successful dropshipping store in Australia.
If you’re trying to decide if it’s the right market for your dropshipping business, we’ve made a list of the pros and cons of dropshipping in Australia.
Pros of Dropshipping in Australia
- Less Competition than the US and UK - Australia’s online market doesn’t appear as saturated as the US and UK, which can make it easier to stand out, make sales, and establish your business.
- Easy to Expand Worldwide - Once you set your store up in Australia, it can be easy to expand your store to sell in other marketplaces and make more sales.
- E-Commerce Market - The e-commerce market in Australia is expected to grow significantly . This increase in online shopping suggests that it could be a good time to start an e-commerce dropshipping store in Australia.
Cons of Dropshipping in Australia
- Population - Australia has a population of 25 million. This is considerably smaller than the population of the UK and US. The UK has a population of around 66 million, and the US has 333 million. This gives you a smaller number of customers to target your products at.
- E-Commerce Market Size - The growing e-commerce market is a pro - as we just saw in the pro section. However, Australia does lag behind a lot of countries in terms of spending and online shopping frequency. Only around 25.3% of Australians are online shopping at least weekly. Compared to countries like South Korea, with a rate of 53% .
- Country Size - The vast size of Australia can make fast shipping challenging. Depending on where your customers are, you might have longer shipping times. This could be off-putting compared to companies like Amazon, which offer fast delivery.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Dropshipping in Australia?
You can start dropshipping with as little as $10.
However, it’s not what we recommend. Ideally, we’d recommend at least $200 to start. This should give you enough to order samples and test different ads.
If you did want to start dropshipping for as little as possible, these are how we would recommend doing so:
- Use one of our free product research methods, such as a Dropship trial and canceling before you have to pay for the subscription.
- Don’t order samples from your supplier; instead, ask for multiple pictures and videos of the product. We also recommend scheduling a call with your supplier to ask more in-depth questions and get a feel for who you’ll be sourcing your products from.
- Create a store using Shopify’s $1 for three months offer.
- Market your products using your own social media pages or offering your products in exchange for free promotion.
- Don’t use paid automation software. Instead, try a free trial until you make enough sales to pay for the software, or manually send your orders to your supplier and manage the returns and order tracking.
This only covers the actual dropshipping part. It doesn’t include getting professional advice for your actual business.
We have an article that details How to Dropship for Free. It has tips and tricks to help you start a dropshipping business for next to nothing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dropshipping Legal in Australia?
Yes. It is legal to dropship in Australia, but you do need to adhere to any rules and regulations set by the Australian government.
Is Dropshipping Still Profitable in Australia?
Yes! It’s more about the products you dropship rather than the country you’re selling in.
We recommend checking that the products you want to sell are in demand in Australia before you advertise them.
Can I Dropship from Australia?
Yes, it’s legal to create a dropshipping business and sell from Australia.
Can I Dropship to Australia?
Yes, as long as the products you want to sell are legal to import. You might also need to consider if there are any customs fees when you send your products to Australia.
Can I Dropship on Amazon in Australia?
Yes, but Amazon has some strict policies around dropshipping. Make sure you read through the policies, as Amazon is quick to shut down accounts that don’t meet them.
Amazon also pushes its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. The FBA program requires you to order and store your stock in one of the fulfillment centers, and as a dropshipper, it can be tricky to compete with.
We would always recommend dropshipping from your own site rather than through Amazon.
Can I Use AliExpress to Dropship to Australia?
Yes, AliExpress has tons of suppliers based in Australia, as well as suppliers based in other parts of the world that will dropship to Australia.
Use the AliExpress filters to find suppliers that ship to Australia.
We hope that our step-by-step method has helped you start a profitable dropshipping business in Australia.