Comparing Dropshipping and Selling on Takealot: Start-Up Costs and More

Comparing Dropshipping and Selling on Takealot: Start-Up Costs and More

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is dropshipping?
  3. Selling on Takealot
  4. Startup Costs
    • Shopify Costs
    • Domain Costs
    • Building Your Own Website
  5. Product and Stock
    • Dropshipping
    • Stocking for Takealot
  6. Marketing
    • Importance of Marketing
    • Marketing for Dropshipping
    • Marketing for Takealot
  7. Running Your Business
    • Time Commitment for Dropshipping
    • Time Commitment for Selling on Takealot
  8. Conclusion



In today's world, one question that is frequently asked is whether it is better to sell and take a lot of products or to engage in dropshipping. Many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of dropshipping, especially in South Africa. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both options and help you make an informed decision.

What is Dropshipping?

Before diving into the details, let's first understand what dropshipping entails. Dropshipping is a business model in which the retailer does not keep the products in stock. Instead, when a customer places an order, the retailer purchases the item from a third-party supplier who then ships it directly to the customer. This eliminates the need for inventory management and reduces upfront costs for the retailer.

Selling on Takealot

Takealot is a prominent online marketplace in South Africa. When selling on Takealot, you have the advantage of a ready-made platform with an existing customer base. The platform takes care of various aspects, such as marketing and website maintenance. Let's now compare the startup costs, product management, marketing, and overall time commitment for both dropshipping and selling on Takealot.

Startup Costs

When starting a dropshipping business, there are some initial expenses to consider. If you choose to use a platform like Shopify, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $19 (approximately ZAR 290) to have your online store up and running. Additionally, you will need to purchase a domain for your store, which can cost between ZAR 800 to ZAR 1200.

On the other hand, if you decide to build your own website, it can be done for free, but it requires technical knowledge and may not be recommended for those new to dropshipping. Investing in learning how to build your own website can make managing and customizing your store easier in the long run.

Selling on Takealot, however, simplifies the startup process as you don't need to worry about website setup or domain costs. You can get started by paying a monthly subscription fee of ZAR 300 to have your products listed on the platform.

Product and Stock

In dropshipping, you don't need to worry about inventory management or stocking products. When a customer places an order, you simply forward it to the supplier who takes care of shipping the product directly to the customer. However, finding reliable suppliers and winning products can be a challenge.

With Takealot, you are responsible for managing your own stock. Depending on the products you choose to sell, you may need to invest between ZAR 1500 to ZAR 2000 in stocking your inventory. Once the stock is located at Takealot's distribution centers (dc's), they handle the logistics, ensuring timely delivery to customers.


Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any online business. It is important to reach your target audience and attract potential customers to your store. When it comes to dropshipping, you will need to invest in marketing efforts such as running ads to generate traffic and sales. Platforms like TikTok can be effective for reaching a wide audience.

Selling on Takealot provides the advantage of the platform taking care of marketing for you. However, if you want to boost your sales or move your stock faster, you can consider additional marketing options provided by Takealot. It is important to keep in mind that successful marketing strategies require continuous testing and optimization to yield the best results.

Running Your Business

Managing a dropshipping business requires constant attention and dedication. As a dropshipper, you are responsible for checking inventory, handling returns, managing marketing campaigns, and continuously finding new winning products. This can be time-consuming, especially if you already have a nine-to-five job.

Selling on Takealot, on the other hand, requires less day-to-day management since Takealot takes care of various operational aspects. As a seller, you primarily need to ensure that your stock is available at the distribution centers and promptly address any email communications from Takealot regarding your listings.


In conclusion, both dropshipping and selling on Takealot have their own advantages and considerations. If you are young, have some capital to invest, and want to enjoy the entrepreneurial freedom of managing your own online store, dropshipping can be an exciting option. However, if you have a nine-to-five job and prefer a more hands-off approach to selling products online, Takealot provides a convenient platform with established infrastructure and marketing support. Consider your personal circumstances and preferences before making a decision.


  • Dropshipping is still relatively new in South Africa, offering opportunities for entrepreneurs.
  • Shopify provides a platform for dropshipping with initial costs involved for setup and domain purchase.
  • Building your own website can be a cost-effective option for dropshipping, but technical knowledge is necessary.
  • Takealot is a well-known online marketplace in South Africa that simplifies the selling process with a monthly subscription fee.
  • Dropshipping eliminates inventory management while finding reliable suppliers and winning products can be a challenge.
  • Selling on Takealot requires managing your own stock, but the platform handles logistics and delivery.
  • Marketing efforts are essential for both dropshipping and selling on Takealot, with different approaches and costs involved.
  • Dropshipping business requires constant attention and time commitment, while selling on Takealot offers a more hands-off approach.
  • Personal circumstances and preferences should be considered when choosing between dropshipping and selling on Takealot.


Q: Is dropshipping popular in South Africa? A: Dropshipping is still a relatively new concept in South Africa, but it presents opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to learn the business model.

Q: Are there upfront costs involved in starting a dropshipping business? A: Yes, setting up a dropshipping business may involve costs such as platform fees, domain purchases, and marketing expenses.

Q: Can I build my own website for dropshipping? A: Yes, building your own website is a feasible option for dropshipping, but it requires technical knowledge and may not be recommended for beginners.

Q: Does selling on Takealot require stocking products? A: Yes, when selling on Takealot, you will need to stock your products in their distribution centers to ensure timely delivery to customers.

Q: Do I need to handle marketing efforts for selling on Takealot? A: Takealot takes care of marketing for sellers, but additional marketing options are available for those looking to boost sales or move stock faster.