Building a Dropshipping Business with Coffee Products

By Josh Koop •  Updated: 03/01/21 •  9 min read

If you are a coffee lover maybe you should look into dropshipping options available within the coffee niche. There are many options which can allow you to do private label further building you as a brand, so can you make money dropshipping coffee and can I sell coffee online?

The coffee business is incredibly large and there is lucrative opportunities for someone looking to dropship. There are opportunities for private labelling along with distribution of others goods with a high return.

There are many angles a dropshipper can take but unlike finding a single product coffee can allow you to offer many options to customers. This could even branch out into coffee makers and some of the other equipment if interested.

Coffee Beans Cup

If you approach it like you did with your typical store where it’s nothing more than a simplistic shop with some products slapped on, then you will almost certainly not succeed.

If however, you take your time to research who you want as your customers, take your time figuring out how to get them interested, mainly by building a cohesive and competent brand image, then you’ll have a far better chance to succeed.

Is Dropshipping Coffee Worth It?

Your success will be from building a strong image and brand within the customers who love coffee. You can look to companies like Black Rifle Coffee as they have built a brand in this same space in recent times.

If you believe you can run this like any other dropshipping company where you build out Facebook ads and scale you will probably end up failing. For this style of business to be worth it and be profitable will require more work and building a real business.

Should you choose the path of least resistance and try to run via only Facebook traffic you will face an uphill battle separating yourself from the competition as it is online and offline from many competitors who don’t like to lose.

Is Selling Coffee Profitable?

It can be interesting to sell goods that the customer could buy from the coffee stand or Starbucks down the street. How you approach this will mean whether it is viable to be successful.

Selling coffee and the associated items can be lucrative albeit challenging as you aren’t facing just other dropshippers, you are facing large stores that have had years to build a customer base. You will need to build a brand and build a rapport with customers as this will help you get repeat business.

To begin differentiating yourself from your competition will require some work and thought to win. You will need to find the crack that will help you gain a foothold and gain repeat customers.

How to Differentiate Yourself From Others

You need to find out the way that works for you to sell something that the website visitors can find at almost any grocery store and more places.

This may be in something special your coffee has, for example, like more caffeine. You need to find a hook as to how and why they should order from you instead of where they have been purchasing their coffee.

What You Will Need For Success

There will be some core focuses you will need to understand and drive home to have a successful business in the coffee dropshipping world. Below I have talked about the three that I feel will influence quality results the most.

An Impressive eCommerce Site

To stand out from the others in the space you need to put time and effort into a high quality look and feel for your dropshipping site. Preferably adding some solid informational blog content around coffee would help.

In addition this would include a high value domain name that is brandable and doesn’t have numbers and dashes contained inside it, this may take some time to find.

The last thing would be a high quality logo design that helps match with your brand domain name and your values, this can then be placed on FB ads, and more to build you up versus competition.

Loyal Repeat Customers

The next thing that you will want is to find a way to keep those customers and visitors coming back to you, possibly through coupons or another way to lead them back again.

This is one of the most powerful things you can do on a niche like this, repeat customers are what allow for greater income as you don’t need ads to draw those clients back again giving a far higher ROI.

Reliable Suppliers

This is the last big item to lock in, a reliable supplier is important as they are providing you the coffee and if you have a big seller you don’t want to lose access to the supply and impact your profit and sales.

Reliable sellers will have a track record of continually being able to provide products without long or excessive delays, depending how you source coffee you want to really key in on this with your suppliers.

Issues and Concerns With Coffee

With food and beverage goods you have some fairly different rules and concerns for a business to operate legally, make sure to understand these all well prior to starting down this track!


While researching I found out from a few sources that you apparently need a license to resell coffee, unlike physical goods this may be a limiting factor up front to starting your store.

Do you need a license to sell coffee online? From what I read you need at least a reseller license to sell coffee within the United States, if you aren’t just selling coffee mugs and similar you will want to form your LLC prior to getting this license setup so that your business is legal.

Next on our list is around customer health and product viability as once you have a license you need to make sure you understand any rules to bringing shipments into the US if you are trying to bring them from overseas.

Health Regulations

What many aren’t ready for when they decide to give coffee a try is that there is actual issues with health regulations, licensing and more to shipping food and drink items around.

What do I need to import coffee to USA?

There are things you will need to have to allow you to import any coffee into the USA if you are located here and/or your plan is to sell within the United States.

Coffee shipments into the US involve three government agencies: US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This process is pretty cumbersome so here is a link so you can read more and start to assemble a plan.

Private Label Dropshipper Coffee Options

The benefit to a private label coffee is that you get to brand their coffee with your brand logo and name, this effectively helps you look much more impressive to your customer.

Minimum Order Requirements

One thing you may need to talk through with a private label is if they have minimum order requirements, you want to know these up front since your goal as a dropshipper is to have the customer order, not to order surplus or not be able to place the order until so much is purchased.

Store Software To Open Your Shop

If you decide to go this route you will need to have the best website and shopping cart software possible to help you sell your coffee beans. There are many options out there that you can use but we prefer Shopify for this style store.

We prefer them as they are simply one of the easiest eCommerce solutions for anyone to get started with and we have instructions to start your store over here.

You can open your store on the Shopify platform in a matter of minutes while it provides you the ease of a built in payment system and easy to customize look and feel.

Since you will be private labeling your beans, you will need to take photos of your packaging to place on your product pages in your store. You will also need to write your own product descriptions.

Additional Product Ideas

You can look to supplement your coffee selling by adding in additional items that can frequently sell as addons to their order to help raise your total ticket on a sale.

French Press or Similar Devices

Everyone prepares coffee so you will need to have a method to prepare your coffee, this is your opportunity to show them some unique method to make their coffee that can intrigue them enough to purchase and give it a try.

Coffee Subscription Box

If you can find a provider who would give you the option to add on a coffee subscription box could help you to add on income from an additional source outside of just dropshipping.

Specialty Coffee Mugs

We all know that coffee drinkers love to express themself through their coffee mugs, these allow them to express their personality and are a good idea to add as add on items to coffee.

Why I Would Source Coffee Mugs From AliExpress

There are many good reasons why dropshipping store owners source their inventory from AliExpress. The only big issue you face from AliExpress is many will ship from China so delivery could be a month or longer, make sure to inform buyers to cut down returns.

Here are some to consider:

You can search for coffee mugs and sort by the number of orders as well as by their star-rating (customer reviews). You can then find suppliers offering the best pricing.

You also have the option to search for suppliers based in the U.S.:

Final Thoughts on Can You Make Money Dropshipping Coffee

Overall if you feel you have the skills to market against the bigger companies or have a hot new niche you may be able to take advantage of coffee is a goldmine.

Opening the store on a site like Shopify is simple and doesn’t require a technical degree to understand and get implemented which can help you launch fast and efficiently.

Lastly make sure you are properly covered from the legal side and that you offer more goods than just coffee, have add on offers for coffee mugs and similar to help raise the overall purchase prices and good luck out there!

Josh Koop

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