Aug 18, 2023

TikTok Dropshipping: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners (2024)


ikTok dropshipping is the ultimate game-changer in e-commerce. Picture this: tapping into a highly visual platform with a colossal user base, skyrocketing engagement, and tons of sales potential. Sounds too good to be true? Well, think again.

With TikTok's shop tab and explosive organic algorithm, entrepreneurs can effortlessly supercharge their e-commerce business and reach millions of potential customers.

Forget about inventory headaches or shipping nightmares. Dropshipping on TikTok offers a hassle-free way to sell products without lifting a finger. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus on what really matters: scaling your business and raking in those sweet sales.

But here's the kicker: TikTok's viral nature makes it an absolute goldmine for aspiring dropshippers. With just one irresistible video, your brand could explode overnight, attracting hordes of eager customers.

Ready to dive into the world of TikTok dropshipping? Let's roll up our sleeves and discover how this revolutionary method can transform your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Quick Recap: What Is Dropshipping?

In case you're new to the space, dropshipping is an e-commerce business fulfillment model that allows you to sell products that you don't actually own.

Here's how it works:

  • First, you do a bit of product research and figure out what you want to sell.
  • Second, you find a supplier, which is a business that has the products you want to sell. You usually want to have some sort of agreement with them, but you can use a platform like DropCommerce to skip that step.
  • Third, you throw together some sort of an online store (usually on Shopify), and you begin marketing the products online.
  • Lastly, when you sell a product,  you have the supplier ship the order to your customer, and you pocket the difference between what you charged your supplier and what your supplier charged you.

It's a completely legal business model that allows you to start an online business without investing in inventory, warehousing, or even staff.

Many people have built million-dollar businesses using this model while sitting at the kitchen table. As you scale, you'll want to invest in branding, building a team, and putting other systems in place, but that's not what we're going to be talking about today. We've already written a complete guide on how dropshipping works.

Today, we're going to be talking about how you can leverage TikTok to build a successful dropshipping business.

Note: There are a lot of ways to sell products online, obviously. The strategy we're going to be recommending is one we see working well, but you can adapt it as much as you like.

Quick Recap: Why Use TikTok?

Now that we've covered why dropshipping is a great strategy for starting an e-commerce business, let's discuss why TikTok is a great social media platform for getting traffic.

As of 2023, TikTok has about 50 Million daily active users in the United States (source). This estimate is on the low end, and the platform is expected to hit 100 Million monthly active users by the end of the year.

About 25% of TikTok's users are younger than 20, and nearly 50% of users are under the age of 30. 60% of the American user base is female, and 40% are male.

Overall, all of this is to say that TikTok is a huge and growing platform with a young user base. The platform isn't exactly awesome for monetization, but if you make the right kind of content, you can definitely funnel traffic to a dropshipping store and start a 6 or 7-figure business.

Finding Winning Dropshipping Products on TikTok

One of the most important parts of TikTok dropshipping is finding winning products.

Discovering winning products requires careful analysis of market trends, consumer demand, and competition on TikTok. Having a winning product can make all the difference in the world. It's the equivalent of swimming with the river's current, versus against it.

In the world of dropshipping, your success will largely hinge on your ability to find a winning product that is not yet saturated and to create great content around it.

With that in mind, here are some effective strategies for finding your first winning product.

Start Browsing TikTok, You Boomer

Look, the easiest way to find a winning product is to find a product that is already winning. Sure, you can browse the millions of products on Aliexpress, but this is likely to overwhelm and intimidate you.

The best way to find products that are working on TikTok, is by browsing TikTok yourself. And, I know — if you're not Gen Z then spending time on TikTok can make you feel like a Boomer. But if you want to sell products on TikTok, you're going to need to spend some time on the platform to figure out how it works.

So, here's what you need to do. Swipe around, click on products, read comments, and let the algorithm know you want to see similar content.

Finding Winning Products Through Hashtags

Note: This strategy works best if you create a new TikTok account so that you can optimize the algorithm to show you products instead of cat videos or whatever you were watching before.

Hashtags are one of the best ways to find products on TikTok. There are hashtags like #tiktokmademebuyit, #mywifesboyfriend, and #viralproducts that all showcase cool products.

You want to make a list of products that you think could do well. Like, comment, and bookmark posts so that the algorithm understands you want to see more of that content. The idea is to make a shortlist of products that you think could be winners, and then filter the list down to ideas that aren't very saturated.

Look Out for Unique or Innovative Items

TikTok thrives on novelty and creativity. Keep an eye out for unique or innovative items that have the potential to go viral due to their novelty factor. These could be quirky gadgets, trendy fashion accessories, or innovative home decor items that catch the attention of TikTok users looking for something new and exciting.

TikTok is a very visual platform. So, if you want to sell products on it, you'll get the best results if your products have strong visuals as well. No one will buy something they don't understand.

Also, if you find 15-20 accounts that are already selling the product, it's probably too saturated. You want to find a product that 1-5 accounts are selling so that there's some space in the market.

Testing Products For TikTok Dropshipping

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to TikTok dropshipping. The first is to set up a niche store that you then send traffic to. You'll see a lot of stores on TikTok doing this with gadgets. They will create videos for product after product to see how it converts. The other option is to create one-product brands, which you can then choose to build from.

Multi-Product Vs Single-Product TikTok Dropshipping Stores

Starting a multi-product store can be beneficial for a few reasons.

  • You can build off a single TikTok account, allowing you to reuse your audience on different products.
  • You likely only have to set up one online store.
  • You can shift your focus between products at a moment's notice.

However, there are a few important downsides to a multi-product store as well.

  • There's a strong lack of focus. Your audience knows you aren't specialized in any one product.
  • These stores are much less brandable. You'll likely have to choose a pretty generic name.
  • Your customers are more likely to price-shop, which can destroy your margin.
  • Sourcing is much harder since you have more suppliers to contact when things are going wrong.

The benefits of starting single-product stores are almost the opposite, and we'll recap them for your convenience:

  • Single products are more brandable. You can create a brand name directly tied to your flagship product, which provides clarity.
  • Branding a product allows you to sell items at a higher price point.
  • Sourcing becomes much easier. You likely only need a single supplier, which means fewer things can go wrong.
  • You can add supporting products and create bundles, both of which can improve your average order value (AOV).

However, starting a single-product store has its downsides as well.

  • Single-product stores are much less flexible. If a product isn't selling, you're likely better off closing the store and starting a different brand.
  • You need to have a different TikTok account for each product, and you can't put a link in your bio until you have 10,000 followers. This gives you a hurdle to jump for every account.
  • Single-product stores are more likely to burn out. Unless your product has some sort of repeat-purchase mechanism, people will likely only place a single order — which isn't ideal.

Realistically, choosing what type of store to start will come down to a personal preference. But, our recommendation would be to start a one-product store. Or, at least focus on a very small product line of 1-3 related products. Branding is super important because it makes your product seem more unique (meaning customers are less likely to shop for a lower price), and gives you focus.

If you really want to start a multi-product store, then at least focus on a semi-related section (e.g. gadgets, skincare, toys) and keep an eye out for winners that deserve to be spun out into their own stores.

It's worth noting that digital dropshipping products are also worth testing, since they have higher profit margins and less issues to deal with.

Advertising Strategies For TikTok Dropshipping

There are two main advertising methods for TikTok dropshipping. It's your decision on which method you want to use, or if you want to do a mix.

Strategy #1: Organic Content

The first TikTok dropshipping marketing strategy is to use organic content. In marketing jargon, this means to edit your own videos and upload them to TikTok as posts. This method relies on TikTok's algorithm to circulate your videos, with the aim of making them go viral.

Leveraging organic content is a great strategy because it's free — at least in theory. You aren't paying to get people to watch or engage with your videos, meaning you can reach millions of people for only the cost of producing the video. Whether you reach millions of people or a single person, your video was only uploaded once.

If your video goes viral, you should be able to convert some of those viewers into store visitors, and some of those visitors into purchasers. Also, since you're not spending money acquiring individual sales, you're likely to have a much higher profit margin. The hard part is to crack the TikTok algorithm, but we'll go over some strategies on how to do that later on.

We've got a complete guide on TikTok organic dropshipping if that's what you're looking for.

Strategy #2: Paid Ads

The other marketing strategy is to launch paid ads. Paid ads are videos that you upload to TikTok's marketing platform, and TikTok will circulate those videos for a fee. Similar to Facebook or Google ads you can narrow down who you want to see those videos, but TikTok ads need to be video-first.

While ads are a good option for scaling, they still require you to have strong content. The fewer people like your ads, the more TikTok is going to charge you to display them, the fewer people will click on them, and the less likely you are to convert.

If you're just starting out with TikTok dropshipping, we would recommend you steer clear of TikTok ads for now. This strategy is better saved for when you have winning creatives you can use, or an audience you can retarget. Focus on learning about what makes content go viral, and you'll be able to get much further ahead than if you focus on advertising ineffective creatives.

Creating Viral Content For TikTok Dropshipping

TikTok's algorithm is primarily designed to circulate content that gets people hooked. This means that you need to be able to keep a viewer watching your content until it finishes, preferably multiple times. Let's say a viewer watches your video twice on average — your video is much more likely to be shown than a video that people only watch 10% of.

The algorithm wants to see a few things.

  • High average view time
  • Comments (the more, the better — even if they are negative)
  • Bookmarks

In general, the algorithm wants to see viewership and engagement.

In the next few sections, we'll talk about how you can game both of these.

You Can't Catch Fish Without A Hook

If you've ever gone fishing, you'll know how much having the right bait can help. If you have the wrong bait (or no bait), you might catch a fish here and there but it's unpredictable. If you have the right bait, on the other hand, you can catch fish after fish without issue. They'll practically jump into your boat.

TikTok is no different. You need a hook in order to get viewers to give your video a chance. You could have the most interesting video in the world, but if viewers only see 1.2 seconds of it before scrolling onwards, it won't matter. The video won't go viral.

Your hook is what convinces viewers to stick around and finish the video. It's usually something you say or show in the first one second. Here are some examples that you could use for a video about a skincare product:

  • Have you ever wondered why celebrities all have perfect skin? Well, it turns out...
  • My friends always ask me why I have such nice skin, and here's my secret skincare routine.
  • Why do people buy our products when they're more expensive than the other brands? Well, ....

The idea is to give them a reason to stick around. Make them curious. Tell them you'll teach them something. Create suspense.

Or, just show a weird scene visual scene — like someone cutting into a computer that turns out to be a cake.If it works, it works.

Retention, Retention, Retention

TikTok dropshipping is done best with organic content. Study what works, and try it for yourself!

While your hook is the most important element of your video, retention is also important. You want your user to stick around and watch the video until the end — or multiple times, preferably. The way you do this is by adding in elements that keep people engaged.

In general, you want your videos to be somewhat fast-paced. Slow videos will lose people's attention, which generally only lasts a few seconds on TikTok. But, if you mix in interesting elements throughout your video, you're likely to see viewers watching more and more of the content.

I know you want some examples, so here they are:

  • Mixing in a weird element without addressing it.
  • Example: You show yourself opening a drawer in the video and there are 200 condoms and a screwdriver. You grab the screwdriver.
  • Example: You're walking on the street in the video and there's a guy in a Wookie costume walking the other way. You don't address it at all.
  • Using music to create emotion. If you're watching something suspenseful, add suspenseful music to let your viewer know that the climax is coming. They'll stick around to see it.
  • Conflict. People love conflict and struggle. Show the struggle, and they're likely to stick around to see it resolved.
  • Show yourself building up to something crazy, but then save the crazy part for Part 2.
  • Example, you pour 20 litres of diet coke into an exercise ball and show yourself organizing 100 packs of mentos. The viewer will want to see what happens. Then, right before you mix them, you end the video and save the crazy part for part 2.

These are just some examples, and you'll see many more strategies being used on the platform. Scroll around and find your own ideas!

Controversy Can Create Engagement

TikTok's algorithm loves engagement like comments and bookmarks, and the algorithm doesn't discern much between positive and negative engagement. I'm not saying you should do some crazy or offensive stuff hoping to get comments, but a bit of subtle controversy can go a long way.

Everyone loves examples, so here are a few that come to mind:

  • Get a fact wrong. Say that the capital of the USA is New York City. Mention that the CEO of Apple is Elon Musk. Say something that is obviously wrong, and you'll have 100 people correcting you in the comments. They might think you're ignorant, but in reality it's part of your plan.
  • Pretend to address a question, but then just talk about your product.
  • You can take a question from your TikTok comments and say you'll address it, but then don't. Just talk about your products. People will comment "hey but what about X — we need to know!" which creates engagement.
  • Show the build-up, but not the release.
  • People hate getting teased. This happens to me all the time on TikTok. I watch someone about to do something weird or crazy, and then right before it happens the video ends and we're left to find part 2.

There are a ton of other strategies you can use, but those are a few of the ones that we see working.

Creating And Sourcing Content

Whether you choose to use organic or paid ads for your marketing strategy, you'll need video content that you can edit into posts. There are a few options for how to get this content, and we're going to go over all of them right here.

Stealing Content

When people publish videos, they're basically putting them out into the world. And, while this content is technically copyright (meaning you can't legally use it), many people reuse it anyways. We definitely aren't advising you to do it, buttttt if you wanted to, here's how you would do it.

  • You find clips using the product you're thinking of selling.
  • You download the clips (without the TikTok watermark, of course).
  • You edit them (don't just reuse them) into your own compilation of clips.

As we said, this isn't something we can recommend due to its risk-level, but famous dropshippers like Biaheza have implemented this strategy in Youtube videos with good results. Once you start getting sales, you'll want to get your own clips and phase out the stolen clips. If you get a cease & desist, then stop using them immediately.

Creating Your Own TikTok Dropshipping Content

You don't need an elaborate set up to film content for TikTok. You can do it all on your smartphone!

This is the primary way you should be getting your content. Filming your own videos can be a bit challenging if you're new to it, but the nice part about TikTok is that amateur content often performs just as well, if not better, than highly produced content.

In order to film your own content, you should order the product yourself. You can film the unboxing, you can film yourself using the product, you can take shots of it on your desk or in your house. If you're selling a product that you found on TikTok, someone has likely already made a video that has gotten some traction. Unlike stealing their content directly, you can steal the video format without feeling bad.

Sourcing UGC From Content Creators

UGC, which stands for user-generated content, is content that is created by regular people using your product. It's much less produced than branded content and is often just someone talking to their iPhone or filming themselves at home. UGC is great because it appears very native to the platform, and people often won't realize that it's an ad until later in the video.

UGC doesn't need to be created by an influencer. It can be created by anybody. Though, it would help if it was created by someone who matches the characteristics of your target audience. For example, if you're selling skincare products to 20-year old girls, try to find some 20-year old girls to film the content.

You can get people you know to film the UGC, or you can hire someone on freelancing platforms like Fiverr. You will need to send them the product, and it's customary to let them keep it afterwards. Some people might do it for the free product (if it is high-value) while others will want to be paid as well.

Sourcing UGC is a great strategy for scaling your TikTok dropshipping store, but you should use the other two strategies to get the ball rolling. This strategy takes more time (finding a creator, shipping them the product, waiting for them to film, editing, etc.), so it's better to leverage the other two strategies during your initial testing and launch.

TikTok Dropshipping — Wrapping Up

In conclusion, TikTok dropshipping holds immense potential for entrepreneurs looking to tap into the power of this popular social media platform. By understanding your target audience and finding winning products, you can create a successful dropshipping business on TikTok.

The best way to get traffic is likely by creating awesome organic content. Then, once you have some creatives that work, you can scale your store by cross-posting your best videos on Youtube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and by using them for TikTok ads.

TikTok ads can be effective, but the creatives burn out much faster than on Facebook, Pinterest, or other ad platforms. Take it from me, I used to work at a leading performance marketing agency in Canada. The kind of content that performs well on TikTok is different than what performs well on Facebook or Youtube. Also, if users aren't responding well to your ads, the platform will stop showing them. In general, it's usually better to focus on organic content if you're planning on mastering one of them. With the right targeting and creative approach, you can reach a wider audience and generate sales.

Leveraging TikTok influencers & content creators can also be highly beneficial for advertising your products. You'll want to make sure you have a winning product beforehand, but getting other people to create content for your brand can be a highly effective way to scale up your store.

If you're looking to source products, definitely check out DropCommerce. You won't be able to find everything you like, but you'll be able to browse through tens of thousands of products — all of which ship quickly from the USA or Canada.

In summary, dropshipping on TikTok is one of the most exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs right now. If you're looking to break into e-commerce in a safe, cost-effective way, then this is probably the best way to do it. By implementing these dropshipping marketing strategies effectively while keeping up with trends on the platform, you can leverage its vast user base to start or grow your business significantly.


Can I start dropshipping with TikTok without any prior experience?

Yes! While having some knowledge of e-commerce or marketing may be helpful, starting a dropshipping business on TikTok doesn't require extensive experience. With proper research and guidance from resources like this one, you can begin your journey successfully.

How much time does it take to see results with TikTok dropshipping?

The time it takes to see results can vary depending on various factors such as product selection, marketing strategies, and audience engagement. You'll need over 10,000 followers before you can put a link in your bio, but this gives you a clear north star to follow. From the time you get the product delivered to you (for shooting organic content), you could likely get the necessary followers and build a store out in the first week, with sales coming shortly after.

Do I need a large budget for advertising on TikTok?

No, you don't necessarily need a large budget to advertise on TikTok. The platform offers various advertising options that cater to different budgets. You can start with smaller campaigns and gradually increase your investment as you see positive results. If you follow our recommended organic content strategy, you only need to pay for the product.

Can I use TikTok dropshipping alongside other e-commerce platforms?

Yes! TikTok dropshipping can be integrated with other e-commerce platforms or used as a standalone business model. Many entrepreneurs combine their TikTok efforts with websites or marketplaces like Shopify or Amazon for increased reach and flexibility.

Are there any specific niches that perform well on TikTok for dropshipping?

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, certain niches tend to perform well on TikTok due to the platform's demographics and trends. Beauty, fashion, home decor, gadgets, and pet products are some examples of popular categories that have seen success in the TikTok dropshipping space.

Profile Picture Author
Written By:
Zennen Leggett

Zennen Leggett has been working with DropCommerce for years, and has generated over millions of impressions through his articles. When he isn’t writing about dropshipping, he is likely building Facebook ad campaigns for DTC brands while sipping an ice latte. You can learn more about him on

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