Is Dropshipping Passive Income? (What You Can Do To Succeed In The Industry)

February 17, 2024

In principle, dropshipping is not passive income. Sure, dropshipping can be potentially profitable and will not require you to maintain inventory as you would when running a traditional store. The business model will demand a significant amount of time, effort, and investment to start and operate. Simply put, dropshipping is not a business that allows you to make money with minimal labor and supervision.

In fact, you’ll have to keep track of customer orders and respond to customer inquiries often. In dropshipping, providing a timely response is crucial if you’re aiming to succeed in the industry. Delivering excellent customer service is a must. Moreover, you’ll need to manage an effective marketing campaign to reach more of your target customers. This means regularly spending on PPC ads and other advertising methods to attract attention for your ecommerce store.

So, is it possible to simplify the whole process and make dropshipping passive income in certain aspects? The answer is yes. By using automation tools and by hiring virtual assistants, you won’t have to be directly involved in the day-to-day operations of your dropshipping business.

Meanwhile, lead generation makes an attractive alternative for those looking for a lucrative online business. With lead generation, you only have to rank websites, draw traffic, and then rent out the sites to paying customers. There isn’t much work needed once your site achieves top ranking on search engines - and you’ll still make money on a regular basis. Compared with managing a dropshipping store, a lead gen business is more flexible and definitely not as demanding.

What is passive income?

Passive income is money you earn without requiring much effort on your end. It is money you generate from other sources than an employer or contractor. When done right, it can help you achieve financial freedom. It is not, however, a get-rich-quick scheme that just automatically brings you a continuous stream of income. 

Some examples of passive income include earnings from interests, investments, dividend stocks, property rentals, royalties, lead generation, or other business ventures you are not actively involved in.

As mentioned, dropshipping can be a good source of passive income in certain ways. As you implement strategic marketing and make use of automation tools and virtual assistant services, you can boost your earnings while significantly decreasing the workload of running your dropshipping business.

How much can I earn from dropshipping?

You can earn a profit margin of 10% to 30% from dropshipping. Potential earnings usually vary from one dropshipper to another, depending on the quantity of the products they sell each month. That said, the monthly average dropshipping income can be between $1,000 to $3,000.

Experienced dropshippers, however, manage to make way more.

In an interview with Forbes, we read about young entrepreneur Anthony Agyeman who explored dropshipping at the age of 18. At the time, he had no money and almost gave up after only 6 months. “I was doing it over and over again, but I didn’t get far,” he shared.

Anthony later decided to research more about the business and found a successful dropshipper who willingly provided guidance. This helped him understand the industry better, along with the “cognitive biases that explain why people buy products.” Today, he sells high-ticket items that cost $1,000 each, which allows him to earn 30% to 40% profit. 

Can someone become a millionaire with dropshipping?

Yes, people can become millionaires with dropshipping. Over the years, we’ve seen many success stories that prove it’s entirely possible to make a million with this type of online business.

For example, Harry Coleman caught some attention online after successfully managing 3 dropshipping stores and making $5 million. His beginnings were challenging as he had to spend $500 to $800 on ads - which only brought him one sale. Eventually, he revised his game plan by testing out different products (such as rings for cat lovers, LED dog collars, and more. He started making a revenue of $100 to $200 each day.

This inspired Harry to try other winning products and advertising strategies. He later saw his daily earnings skyrocket from $1,000 to $10,000.

Harry would later tell Oberlo:

“Once you kinda have success with one store, and once you’ve got your customer service in place, once you’ve got your email systems in place, you know how to run your adverts, it’s easy enough to replicate success over different stores.”

Today, Harry is one of the world’s most successful dropshippers who have made millions. He has also designed the online course Ecom Beast 2.0, where he teaches learners about how to create a profitable ecommerce business.

Of course, it should be noted that not all dropshippers are able to achieve a similar level of success. In fact, around 90% of dropshippers fail within their first year of operations so it doesn’t mean the business model is a guaranteed way to make a fortune. For the most part, success requires marketing skills, combined with winning products and a comprehensive understanding of the market.

Ways to make dropshipping more passive

Some ways you can make dropshipping more passive are:

  • Using dropshipping automation tools
  • Hiring virtual assistants

1. Using dropshipping automation tools

Instead of doing all tasks manually, investing in automation software can boost your efficiency and productivity levels. While the additional expenses could initially mean lower profit margin, it could prove worthwhile in the long run.

Here are some of the most popular automation tools for dropshipping:


Zendrop markets itself as “the #1 high margin dropshipping app for accelerated growth.” According to their website, this auto-fulfillment software puts order fulfillment “on autopilot.” They also provide global support plus they help users get access to over 500,000 exclusive products from their US catalog.

Free trial:

30 days

Pro account:

$49 per month

Plus account:

$79 per month


Recapture is a user-friendly solution that helps you prevent abandoned carts in your dropshipping store. As a result, you get to retain more customers and gain increased revenue. The software supports BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and other dropshipping platforms. It also integrates with CartHook, OneClickUpsell, Recharge, and more.

Pricing varies and start in the following costs:

Cart recovery:

$29 per month

Cart recovery + email:

$48 per month

Cart recovery + SMS:

$49 per month


SaleHoo is a service that puts over 8,000 trusted suppliers and over 2.5 million products at your fingertips. With their comprehensive dropshipping directory, you can save more time on market research and grow your earnings quicker.

Annual access:


Lifetime access:


2. Hiring virtual assistants

With the help of virtual assistants, you can greatly streamline your process and focus on the more important aspects of your dropshipping business. You delegate repetitive tasks such as customer service, database entry, social media marketing, website management, and more.

You can hire full-time, part-time, or freelance virtual assistants, depending on your budget size and the type of work you require. Ideally, you want to find reliable professionals who have the knowledge and skills needed to keep your dropshipping business afloat.

Some websites where you can check out dropshipping experts include Fiverr, OnlineJobs, and Upwork.

What are other ways I can make passive income online?

Other ways to make passive income online include:

Related Articles on Dropshipping


While it's possible to make dropshipping passive income, it does require a lot of effort, investment, and know-how. Of course, you also need to find winning products to sell and stay ahead of your competitors. Both these things are never easy to accomplish.   

That said, an excellent online business alternative is to start a lead generation business. Compared with dropshipping, lead generation is way less competitive. You won’t have to compete with hundreds or thousands of dropshipping stores in the market and you won't have to worry about delayed shipments and customer returns. Instead, the goal is simply to rank high on your chosen area and keyword. You’ll only have to compete with 20 or so local businesses for the #1 spot on Google.

As long as you can achieve top search engine results and deliver traffic, businesses will gladly pay for your services on a monthly basis. You can also expect to do minimal work once your business site’s rank on Google. It will stay there for months, which makes lead gen a great way to generate continuous passive income.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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