TikTok Dropshipping: Your Complete 2023 Guide (Beginner & Intermediate)

By Friday February 10

Lots of people are making heaps of cash with TikTok dropshipping. And we mean heaps.

There are tons of success stories all over YouTube and dropshipping forums showing how newbies have gone viral and succeeded with dropshipping on TikTok literally overnight.

If you want to launch a new store and start making money with dropshipping, it’s honestly never been easier.

Want all the details of how TikTok is helping eCommerce entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level? You’ll definitely want to read on.

In this guide, we’ll reveal the exact step-by-step process you can use to start a TikTok dropshipping business…

…all without having to create cringy lip-synch videos or awkwardly show off your dance moves.

You’ll learn how to discover trending products, create organic content, and scale sales with paid ads.

Ready to get started?

Let’s dive in.



What is TikTok, and How Is It Used?

Before we get to the step-by-step guide, here’s a quick TikTok explainer if you’ve never used the app.

TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to watch, create, and share short videos.

After launching the app, users are met with a full-screen vertical video on their ‘For You’ page. You can browse new content by swiping up on your phone.

One of the primary reasons the app has exploded in popularity is its powerful algorithm. TikTok does a great job of finding videos that users will find interesting and engaging.

The app became popular for lip-syncing and dance videos. But you’ll find videos on every topic, from comedy skits and movie clips to makeup tutorials and DIY hacks.

So there are plenty of lucrative dropshipping niches you can tap into.

Need some help choosing a niche? Check out our guide on How To Choose a Profitable Dropshipping Niche According to Six-Figure Dropshippers.

Like Snapchat and Instagram, TikTok provides a catalog of filters, effects, and sounds to help users create engaging videos.

For eCommerce stores, TikTok offers an excellent opportunity to reach and engage audiences. You can create organic content, use paid ads, host live streams, and leverage TikTok influencers to connect with your ideal customers and generate sales.

TikTok is also a powerful product research tool. You can find trending products to sell in your store and promote them on TikTok and other platforms.

Pros and Cons of TikTok

So, you’re probably thinking that TikTok sounds like the perfect platform for dropshipping.

But like all platforms, there are also some aspects that mean TikTok is not the best option for everyone.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons to determine if TikTok dropshipping is worth it for you.

Pros of TikTok Dropshipping

Huge User Base

TikTok has a massive, growing user base. As of 2023, the platform has a user base of over 1.53 billion.

With so many people using the platform, it’s guaranteed that your ideal potential customers are on TikTok.

Diverse Audience Demographics

Most TikTok users are Gen Z, but the platform has grown in popularity among older demographics.

As of September 2021, 31.3% of US TikTok users were aged 40+:

Even if your target audience is older, you’ll still be able to reach them on TikTok. There are a bunch of examples of brands targeting older users on the platform.

High Engagement Rates

TikTok has the highest average engagement rate of all social media platforms. According to recent studies, engagement on TikTok is 15% higher than other leading platforms.

That’s great news for brands, creators, and dropshippers looking to reach audiences and drive traffic.

Cons of TikTok Dropshipping

High Advertising Costs

You can go viral and attract followers organically, but investing in paid ads can help you take sales to another level.

The downside is that TikTok Ads are typically more expensive than other platforms. For example, TikTok requires a minimum spend of $500 per campaign with a minimum daily budget of $50.

If your business model is based on a high turnover of low-margin products, you might struggle to generate a good return on investment (ROI) with TikTok advertising.

High Competition

You don’t need expensive equipment or a professional studio to create video content for TikTok. The barrier to entry is low, which means even beginner eCommerce store owners can take advantage of the platform.

But that does mean the competition is also high. So even if you invest in paid ads, you’ll need to create something eye-catching and engaging to stand out on users’ ‘For You’ page.

How to Use TikTok to Find Winning Products

TikTok can be a game-changer for product research.

If you can find a trending product that people are buying, you can make a lot of money selling it in your eCommerce store.

In this section of our TikTok dropshipping guide, we’ll reveal the four steps you can take to find winning products.

Step 1: Establish Winning Product Criteria

Before you even open the TikTok app, you first need to know what you are looking for.

So what are the characteristics of a winning product?

Well, the criteria for a good dropshipping product on TikTok is a little different from other platforms.

In his video guide, YouTuber Kamil Sattar revealed the criteria he used to choose products that generated $100,000 in 30 days dropshipping on TikTok.

One of the most important things Kamil looked for was a ‘wow factor.’ The product needs to be unique and eye-catching so people stop scrolling and watch the video to learn more about the product.

You want users to have an immediate reaction.

In terms of cost, the product should be priced above $20 and less than $100. This is typically the sweet spot for dropshipping products.

Lower than $20, your margins will be too low to invest much in advertising and content creation.

If the product sells for $100+, you’ll need strong branding and a memorable, unique selling point (USP). That can be challenging if you’re new to dropshipping.

Products that solve specific day-to-day problems are also easier to sell. If you can prove a product can make people’s lives easier in a short video, you’ll make sales with TikTok.

The last criteria is a good profit margin. Ideally, you should be able to add a 30%+ margin to the products you sell.

For example, if you find a carpet cleaner tool for $30, you should be able to sell it for $45 to consider it as a viable product.

If you’re looking for reliable dropshipping suppliers, check out SaleHoo Dropship. It makes it easy to find legitimate sellers on AliExpress and avoid scammers.

You’ll also be able to access products handpicked by our eCommerce experts and import them to your Shopify in a few simple clicks.

Step 2: Use Hashtags

TikTok creators use hashtags to increase the reach of their videos, while viewers use hashtags to find new content.

You can use hashtags to find trending products.

The key is to search for hashtags used by consumers posting videos about the products they have bought.

One of the best ways to do this is to focus on specific platforms mentioned in the hashtag. For example, you can search for #TikTokmademebuyit, #Amazonhaul, #AliExpressmust-haves, etc…

You can also focus on a specific niche or product category. For example, you can search for hashtags like #campinghacks, #kitcheninspo, #homedecor, etc…

Then, you can scroll through the results and look for recent trending videos with high views and engagement.

Step 3: Use the TikTok Creative Center

This is a TikTok product research tactic that many people overlook.

You can find trending products by looking at which ads are performing well on the platform using the TikTok Creative Center.

The TikTok Creative Center is similar to the Facebook Ads library. You can see the ads in specific regions and categories. It also allows you to filter ads according to campaign objective, date, clickthrough rate (CTR), engagement, and more.

This is super helpful for guiding your content and ad creation. But it can also help you find winning products on the platform.

You can narrow in on ads in your niche and see which products advertisers are pushing on TikTok.

If advertisers are spending money on promoting the product and it gets a good reaction from users, it could be a product you should consider selling.

Step 4: Validate Buyer Demand

Once you’ve found a possible winning product, you need to verify if there is actual buyer demand. You need evidence that people are actually interested in buying the product.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to read users’ comments on the video.

You need to make sure the comments are from genuine users, but this is an effective way to quickly judge how people feel about the product.

Some product videos get high engagement and lots of views. However, if you investigate the comments section, you’ll find many people are not interested in making a purchase.

In the example above, you can see comments like ‘I need this’ and ‘I love this.’ If the accounts are genuine, that signifies real buyer demand.

If you want to learn more about the characteristics of a winning dropshipping product, check out the resources below:

How to Use TikTok to Sell Your Products

TikTok is a powerful tool for product research. But you can also use the platform to enhance your marketing efforts and sell products.

In this section of the guide, we’ll break down how you can use TikTok to sell products with organic content and paid ads.

Looking to scale your business and expand beyond eBay?

Discover the best places to sell online in our Top 26 eBay Alternatives list.

Organic TikTok Dropshipping

The first step is to download the app and create a TikTok account.

If you already have a personal TikTok account, you should create a second account just for your business. This will help find more relevant product videos by ‘teaching’ the algorithm about the videos you want to see.

It’s also super-easy to switch between accounts on the app.

You’ll need to choose a username for your account. If you already have a Shopify store or eCommerce brand, try to use the same handles across social media to make it easy for users to find you.

TikTok lets you link your Instagram and YouTube accounts if you have a following on those platforms.

TikTok will create a personal account by default. But you can switch to a business account for free on the TikTok website.

This is well worth doing as it will allow you access to features like analytics and paid ads that can help you to grow your dropshipping business on TikTok.

If you have an eCommerce store, you’ll also be able to include the URL of your website in your profile.

Once you’ve finished setting up your account, it’s time to start creating content.

Before you pick up your smartphone and start making videos, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the types of content that perform well on the platform. You can also use the TikTok Creative Centre to get a feel for the types of product videos that resonate with users.

Most successful branded videos aren’t too salesy.

The goal is to create content that drives users to take action and check out your product, but great TikTok videos aren’t like traditional video ads.

Keep the tone light-hearted, and try to create something funny, educational, or informative that will catch the eye of your target audience.

You can also search for hashtags related to your niche to see the types of content that brands are creating.

Try to create something similar with your branding and a strong call to action (CTA).

It’s important to note that TikTok videos don’t have to be professionally shot works of art. There’s no need to be a perfectionist.

As long as the ‘idea’ for the content is good, you can go viral with a ‘basic’ TikTok video.

The first two seconds of your video are the most important. Users will decide to watch or keep scrolling based on your opening. Try to grab users’ attention right from the get-go.

The timing of your posts is also important. If you post when your audience is most active, you can gain a quick boost in views that helps your content gain traction with the algorithm.

You can find out more about posting times in our Best Times to Post on Social Media guide.

TikTok also allows you to create live streams and hashtags. Once you’ve built up a small following, consider going live with a product giveaway or crash sale.

You can also create challenges for users to participate in and use a branded hashtag to increase your reach. For example, Guess’ #InMyDenim challenge encouraged users to show off their denim fits. It generated 5,500+ user-generated videos and 10 million views over the campaign.

Consistency is key to growing your audience on TikTok and reaching more potential customers.

Because of a leaked internal document published in the New York Times, we know that TikTok rewards creators for consistent usage.

What does that mean for your dropshipping brand?

In simple terms, the more you post, the more the TikTok algorithm is likely to favor your account and display your videos to more users.

The social media platform even recommends posting 1-4 times daily to maximize exposure.

It’s also important to respond to comments on your videos and engage with your audience. The more people like and comment on your videos, the more the TikTok algorithm will push your new and older videos.

Once you start to post regularly, you’ll see that it’s much easier to grow your audience on TikTok than on other social media platforms.

TikTok isn’t the only way you can boost sales. Check out our list of 18 Dropshipping Marketing Tactics to learn how you can increase sales.

Making Money with TikTok Dropshipping in 2023

Whether you want to boost sales with a new marketing channel or build a new online business from scratch, you should consider TikTok dropshipping.

TikTok makes it easier than ever to find trending products and reach new customers. Once you’ve found a trending product, you can use the SaleHoo Directory and SaleHoo Dropship to find reliable suppliers and start making sales.

If you have questions about TikTok dropshipping or anything else eCommerce related, get in touch with our 24/7 live chat customer support.



Related posts you may be interested in...


  Already a member? Login to comment


Want to fast-track your dropshipping success?

Free webinar
min sec
Popular Posts
Blog Categories




SaleHoo helps over 137,216 online business owners
find reliable low cost suppliers

Find out how