Dropshipping Stores in South Africa: How to Start


This article aims to provide information about dropshipping in South Africa. It's important to note that while an online dropshipping store in South Africa can be profitable, there are some challenges that come with it.In this guide, we'll discuss the potential profitability of dropshipping in South Africa, the challenges you may face, and some great options to overcome them.


What is Dropshipping?


Dropshipping is a powerful form of e-commerce where you can sell physical products online without the burden of keeping stock. Instead, you can focus on setting up a website that sells products from third-party suppliers. You simply handle the transaction and pass the order on to the supplier, who then fulfils and delivers the order.

The greatest benefit of dropshipping is that you can offer a wide range of products in your store without the need to invest in stock or pay for warehousing and delivery logistics.


Dropshipping model in South Africa


Dropshipping in South Africa: Advantages and Disadvantages


Dropshipping in South Africa is definitely a viable option, as long as you approach it correctly. While it may not be as simple to set up as it is for our international counterparts who have an abundance of dropshipping suppliers to choose from, the good news is that if you focus on high-selling products that are available for dropshipping within South Africa, you can expect to see some real profits.




  • There is no need to keep stock.

  • This approach is cost-effective when compared to producing products yourself or investing in stock upfront.

  • It is easier to sell as you do not have to maintain inventory or handle logistics, such as delivery.




  • Finding South African dropshipping suppliers can be a challenging task, but not impossible.

  • The product selection may be limited, as well as the number of brands available.

  • Although rare, some suppliers may have an outdated application process that can be a bit tedious, unlike overseas suppliers.

  • It is important to prioritise the products that are available for your store rather than solely relying on your personal preferences and passions.


Can Your Idea Be Implemented?


To determine the implementation of a business idea in South Africa, it's imperative to examine the data.South African consumers predominantly shop online for clothing (53%), entertainment and education (51%), and event tickets (51%). Additionally, electronics and media, alongside furniture and appliances, are also popular categories.


Getting Started with an Online Dropshipping Store in South Africa


To start any online venture in South Africa, the first step is to identify available products and conduct research around the target audience for those products. Thoroughly researching your niche comes as a secondary step.

The next step is to define how these products would tie into your website. For instance, you could set up a website that revolves around the products or integrate them into your current offerings. In South Africa, it is more challenging to start a dropshipping store based on a passion or target audience than a store built for profit exclusively.


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Despite the challenges, there are still great options available to make dropshipping a success in South Africa. Here are a few steps you can take:


  1. Niche Selection: Focus on niche products that might be less affected by limited local suppliers. Targeting specific customer interests can help you stand out in the market.

  2. Research International Suppliers: Look for international suppliers who are willing to ship products to South Africa. This expands your options and allows you to offer a wider range of products to your customers.

  3. Build Strong Supplier Relationships: Develop strong partnerships with the suppliers you do find in South Africa. This can help you negotiate better deals and ensure reliable fulfilment of orders.

  4. Streamline Operations: Take advantage of technology and automation tools to streamline your order management process. This can help you handle a larger volume of orders more efficiently.

  5. Focus on Marketing: Invest in effective marketing strategies to increase traffic and sales. By leveraging digital marketing channels and targeting the right audience, you can attract customers and generate revenue.


Find dropshipping products


To locate products, the most effective method is to research South African suppliers. Below is a comprehensive list of the top suppliers in the country, complete with a quick breakdown of their product categories.

Gadgetgyz.com: connected home and CCTV, smartwatches, cellphones, computers and accessories, Xiaomi appliances.

Neatfreak.co.za: organisation for home, office, and storage.

Thescents.co.za: men and women fragrances.

Cosmicpets.co.za: pet products.

Mensrepublic.co.za: gadgets and gifts for men.

Calasca.com: homeware and garden, outdoor, lighting, sports, pets, baby, luggage and travel, electronics, jewellery, novelty.

Planet54.com: mens and ladies fashion, lifestyle, stationery, tech.

Marijuanasa.co.za: marijuana and growing products.

BrandsGateway: designer clothing.

Mantality.co.za: products for men, such as shaving accessories, t-shirts, keyrings, multi-tools, gadgets, grooming, shavers, razors, games, cufflinks, wallets, socks, belts, watches, bags, backpacks, and gifts.


Set up your online presence


There are two options for setting up your online store:

Assuming you are not familiar with building websites, it is recommended that you begin with an e-commerce platform such as UniSiter because there is no learning curve and the store can be launched quickly. 

UniSiter South Africa Main Page



Dropshipping in South Africa offers a promising opportunity, but it comes with its own unique considerations. By understanding the challenges and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can position yourself for success in the South African market. Remember to focus on niche selection, establish strong supplier relationships, streamline operations, and invest in marketing to drive traffic and sales to your online store. With perseverance and the right strategies, you can overcome the challenges and create a profitable dropshipping business in South Africa.