Business is booming.

The new way to make money that has people on TikTok claiming to earn a staggering £10K a month 

From eBay to Etsy, the internet is full of online marketplaces where sellers flutter their wares to customers all over the world.

But an emerging trend that has taken off on TikTok is seeing entrepreneurs selling goods they’ve never touched.

So-called ‘dropshipping’ is a modern fulfillment method. An entrepreneur identifies a product – usually through e-commerce platform AliExpress; a cheaper, Chinese-owned version of Amazon — and then advertises it to customers online.

The ad, which is often pushed on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, directs the customer to an online store.

Once the order is placed, the merchant — who has no physical inventory — goes back to the original AliExpress listing and has the product shipped directly to the customer.

An emerging trend that has taken off on TikTok is seeing entrepreneurs selling goods they've never touched.  Mohamed Camara shows people how to turn their hand to 'dropshipping'

An emerging trend that has taken off on TikTok is seeing entrepreneurs selling goods they’ve never touched. Mohamed Camara shows people how to turn their hand to ‘dropshipping’

A breakdown of the prices shows the low cost of starting a dropshipping business and is used by many students and those with minimal jobs as a way to create an additional income stream in addition to their wages.  However, others warn that it is not as easy as it seems

A breakdown of the prices shows the low cost of starting a dropshipping business and is used by many students and those with minimal jobs as a way to create an additional income stream in addition to their wages.  However, others warn that it is not as easy as it seems

A breakdown of the prices shows the low cost of starting a dropshipping business and is used by many students and those with minimal jobs as a way to create an additional income stream in addition to their wages. However, others warn that it is not as easy as it seems

They can determine the final price, which usually takes into account the money spent on marketing, but is usually much higher than the original.

The seemingly simple premise has enticed potential entrepreneurs from all over the world who claim to be making the equivalent of £8,000 a month through dropshipping. The industry would be worth $15 billion.

Hundreds of “how to” videos have surfaced online, demonstrating the “simplicity” of the scheme, but warning people that it “isn’t as easy as it seems” and you won’t become a millionaire overnight. .

The low start-up costs mean that, in theory, anyone can become a successful dropshipper for little more than the cost of setting up an online store and paying for advertising.

A dropshipping business can also be run from any laptop with an internet connection, appealing to the generation of “digital nomads” who want to be able to travel while they work to earn money.

TikTok user Alice Liu @alice_liuuu, claims that dropshipping can yield a six-figure annual salary.

A dropshipper promotes the product online in a stylized manner, using trending music and platforms and sometimes sells the product for a triple markup to make a profit.  The videos often look homemade and recognizable - which is attractive to today's market that wants to feel more involved with products

A dropshipper promotes the product online in a stylized manner, using trending music and platforms and sometimes sells the product for a triple markup to make a profit.  The videos often look homemade and recognizable - which is attractive to today's market that wants to feel more involved with products

A dropshipper promotes the product online in a stylized manner, using trending music and platforms and sometimes sells the product for a triple markup to make a profit. The videos often look homemade and recognizable – which is attractive to today’s market that wants to feel more involved with products

The TikToker claims that to maximize your earnings, you need to be smart about choosing your products by looking at lists like Amazon Must Haves and Tik Tok Made Me Buy It – a tag given to products that go viral on the video sharing platform .

Alice said, ‘You have to find a product that is unique and that you must have. Then you need to start a 14-day trial of Shopify. Check Amazon Must Have lists or TikTok Made Me Buy it.

‘You then go to the shopify app store and to Zendrop. Find the product on Zendrop, then import it into your Shopify store. After you’ve customized your Shopify store, it’s finally time to advertise.

“Use TikTok and Instagram to drive traffic to your store. Post consistently about the product and show how this product has made your life better.”

A man who called Mohamed Camara claimed to make $38,000 from dropshipping in just two weeks and posted a video showing how he did it.

He found products on AliExpress, including a pink deer-decorated diffuser that cost £7.98, and decided to sell it for more than triple the retail price at $24.99.

The original product

The original product

An AliExpress product restyled and used in TikTok videos.  Some have a comedic slant and some are not obvious ads that can produce organic consumers who like the product from the video and are looking for a way to buy it.  Many videos appear with the same product, so a TikTok feed will eventually be flooded with that particular item.  Many users have taken this simple 'note light' and used it in videos - and it's often seen on TikTok.

An AliExpress product restyled and used in TikTok videos.  Some have a comedic slant and some are not obvious ads that can produce organic consumers who like the product from the video and are looking for a way to buy it.  Many videos appear with the same product, so a TikTok feed will eventually be flooded with that particular item.  Many users have taken this simple 'note light' and used it in videos - and it's often seen on TikTok.

An AliExpress product (left) restyled and used in TikTok videos. Many users have taken this simple ‘note light’ and used it in videos – and it’s often seen on TikTok (right)

He said, “I went to Shopify where I could build my store, it was really easy and took about 38 minutes, I made a little home video for an ad to promote the diffuser and that’s how I can make six figures a month from home. ‘

Mohamed then shows some bills with large amounts of money on the video for a few seconds.

Ecommerce sites welcome dropshippers as it generates new revenue streams they would not otherwise have and additional marketing.

Large sites benefit from people doing the advertising work for them online and buying large quantities of their product so that they will make a lot of profit from successful dropshippers.

However, others argue that dropshipping is not as easy as it seems.

Due to the low start-up costs, a large number of people are trying to capitalize on the trend. To stand out, they set their prices extremely low, which can ultimately mean losing money when advertising costs are taken into account.

The market is full of vendors all trying to sell the same product – just like a street full of Avon reps, each rep would make very little money compared to if they were the only one in the area.

The homemade video made by Mohamed demonstrated how the AliExpress diffuser fits into his home and enticed users to buy the product through his store

The homemade video made by Mohamed demonstrated how the AliExpress diffuser fits into his home and enticed users to buy the product through his store

The homemade video made by Mohamed demonstrated how the AliExpress diffuser fits into his home and enticed users to buy the product through his store

Some have also argued that the startup costs are not as low as one might think.

It is estimated that the cost of an online store, a domain name for a website, and advertising will be more along the lines of $500 to make the business a success.

One TikTok user said: ‘For people who think it’s easy; it is no more. You can still make a lot of money, but it takes time, it’s not passive income.’

@Nina.modernluv was a successful dropshipper who was asked to raise her prices by one of the providers she used to create her store.

She said: ‘I built my life and put all my love and energy into my business and had a successful bridal products page and got an email telling me to raise my prices.

“So I raised them, and I ended up thinking, ‘These products aren’t even worth what I’m selling right now.’

“So in addition to pricing, I also had issues with shipping, customers contacted me asking “where is this product?” and had no control over it.

“Also with quality – I couldn’t guarantee that – so I deal with brides who want to do everything right and if the printing doesn’t work or something was wrong – I have a heart attack for them.

“Of course they want everything to be perfect, so do I. That’s why I’m never going to dropship again.’

Since the dropshipper has no control over the products, they may be left at the mercy of the original supplier, who may require them to sell the product for a higher price, which could cause dropshippers to lose money instead.

Morally, as @nin.modernluv experienced, she was selling products she felt weren’t worth the extra cost – so she withdrew from the game.

Shopify, which helps people set up online stores that are popular with dropshippers, offers advice for getting started: “Dropshipping companies act as product curators, selecting the right mix of products to market to customers.

“Remember that marketing is a cost, both in time and money, to help potential customers find, evaluate and buy the right product.

“You should also factor in the cost of providing customer support when there is a problem with the product or shipping. Last, but certainly not least, is the original price at which your supplier sells the product.

“With all these costs to account for, dropshipping companies mark individual products in exchange for distribution.

“To make a profit from your dropshipping business, it’s a good idea to find out how much it will cost you to ‘win’ a customer and thereby praise your products.”