7 Products You Should Never Dropship

Written by Franklin Hatchett

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Our goal at EcomElites is to help readers get the information they need, we partner with companies to help bring you that information. If a purchase or signup is made through our partners, we receive compensation for the referral. Learn More

Dropshipping is a business that can make you a lot of money, but not if you choose the wrong products. No, we are not talking about illegal stuff. What we are saying is that not all products are meant for you. Today, we will talk about seven products that you should never dropship.

In this article, we will talk about:

  • Reasons why some products are not great for dropshipping
  • Dropshipping Shoes
  • Dropshipping Electronics
  • Dropshipping Healthcare Products
  • Dropshipping Food Products
  • Dropshipping Trademarked Products
  • Dropshipping Big Products
  • Dropshipping Complicated Products

By the end of this article, you should be able to understand why these products can make you fail in dropshipping. If you take these risks, you may one day find yourself generating traffic but with no sales.

Reasons why some products are not great for dropshipping

In dropshipping, you do not manufacture the goods, and you also do not ship the goods. But it is you and the supplier who will deal with customer returns. Even if you can dropship any type of product that you want, there are products that burn money, and there are those that are not practical to sell online.

Product Dimensions

Heavy items are more expensive to ship. It is not likely that you will find a supplier who offers free shipping for big items like a sofa or a bed. Products like this can also break, and if they do, expect your customer to return that to you.

Customers are also not likely to buy bulky items. They would rather see it in person than buy it online. Because of that, you cannot expect to have a huge sales volume. And for each passing day that you have no sale, you are burning money.

Fragile Items

Mugs, glasses, eyewear, and mirrors are just a few examples. Not all suppliers use the right packaging. And then you have shipping couriers that do not really handle fragile items with care. Plus, the materials can break during the shipment.

Fragile items that come broken not only affects customer satisfaction; they can damage your business. They can leave bad reviews about your store, and you have to issue a refund. The problem is, you cannot expect a full refund from your supplier, which means you paid for the shipping cost, but you never got it back.

Shipping Problems

Your best choice when it comes to dropshipping is free shipping. While there are many suppliers who do this, most of them are in China. If you choose items that require a high shipping rate, you are passing on that shipping cost to your customer, and it is likely that they will not buy.

The 7 Products You Should Never Dropship

Here are the seven products that we do not recommend. While you can find success in these products if you do them right, it will take years before you learn everything to make these products profitable for your dropshipping business.

1. Dropshipping Shoes

You can say that dropshippers succeed in selling clothing, so shoes must be a great product to sell. This is actually wrong.

While shoes look great on websites, there are so many problems with this product that you may end up dealing with a lot of customer complaints.

Take a look at the possible issues below:

  • Size – not all feet are created equal, which means a size 5 in Europe can be larger or smaller than size 5 in Asia. Even if there are size charts, these are not accurate. Once a customer receives the pair, and they do not fit, expect an unhappy customer.
  • Material – not all materials used for shoes are the same. Even if you have a good explanation on your product description, that it is made of leather, nothing really beats the feeling of having the shoes in your hand. If a customer feels that you misrepresented the product, he will return the item to you, and you will lose money.
  • Brand – it is tempting to sell branded shoes. The thing is, there are so many counterfeiters out there, even if these are supposed to be legal partners of a branded company. In fact, many manufacturers claim that they are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) even if they are not. If a customer receives a counterfeit item, you are in big trouble.
  • Quality – customers expect the right shoelace color, the right shoe color, and the right pairs. If your supplier shipped the wrong one, you have to issue a refund, and your customer is not likely to wait for another pair.

As you can see, dropshipping shoes can cause a lot of problems. People who buy shoes are better off if they buy it from brick-and-mortar-stores. They can see it, fit it, and feel it. Shoes bought from stores are rarely returned.

But online? You can expect a lot of returns and complaints about this product. Stay away from it.

2. Dropshipping Electronics

Electronic products are hot items, and everyone wants to get their hands on the coolest gadgets. Because of this demand, you might be tempted to sell this item. What you need to know is that there are so many problems that come with this niche.

  • Fragile – electronics are fragile items. They can break, absorb moisture, and stop working when overheated. They have many small parts that can break loose during shipment, and your customer is going to receive an item that does not work.
  • Fake – many manufacturers make fake items. As you know, all countries ban counterfeit goods. If your customer received a fake electronic device, expect a return. Worse, you can get reported.
  • Dangerous – not all electronic products are manufactured with high standards. These kinds of products can cause fire, or they can explode. You must have heard of exploding e-cigarettes and chargers. Just imagine if you are the source of that item. You will be in deep legal trouble.

If you want to participate in the electronics niche, you have to sell accessories. Do not sell chargers, robots, or anything that requires power in them. Instead, you can sell iPad plastic protectors, phone casings, and dangling accessories.

3. Dropshipping Healthcare Products

Healthcare products are dangerous. Most of them are also fake. They make claims that even leading pharmaceutical companies will not do. This is why many social media sites, including Google, do not allow you to advertise health care products, especially those in the weight loss niche.

Vitamins and medicines are dangerous tablets and pills. Your product may not even reach your customer. Many countries have strict custom laws against vitamins, medicines, and weight loss pills. All products that are sold in their country must pass through their government department that governs health products.

4. Dropshipping Food Products

One example of this is herbal tea and all other foods where the manufacturer claims it is made of organic materials. Even if the packaging says that it is made of natural or organic materials, you will never really know. Remember, you are a dropshipper, and you have no idea how these things are made. If your customer has an allergic reaction to it, you are in big trouble.

If you want to be in the health care niche, you are better off selling fitness products. Examples of these are slimming belts, portable treadmills, and other stuff like that. These products work and do not pose any danger to the health of anybody.

Also, no customer can claim that these products do not work. The effectiveness of these products really depends on the user.

For health products, avoid selling anything that a person must put in his mouth, like foods and drinks and pills. You should also avoid make-up, facial cream, whitening lotions, soap, and anything that touches the skin.

Lastly, do not sell patches, Botox injections, and magic creams, as these can cause serious health damage and put you in deep legal trouble.

5. Dropshipping Trademarked Products

While it may seem alright to sell leggings with the word Nike on them, the truth is that it can cause you a lot of legal problems. There are many manufacturers that do this, and it is typical to see toys that are fake like superhero characters.

Most of these products are cheap. And while there are many customers who like fake items because the real ones are expensive, the business risk is just not worth it. You should not dropship trademarked products.

There are online stores that are legally partnered with branded toy manufacturers. Some toy manufacturers even have their own websites, like Monopoly and Mattel, the owner of Barbie. If they catch you selling fake items, you will get reported, and you will face serious jail time plus pay fines.

Here are some examples of items you should never sell if they are based on trademarked and patented goods:

  • Fashion – do not sell products unless you are sure they are original. You can only get original items from legal companies that make them like Prada, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, and so much more
  • Toys – anything that is not manufactured by the original company must be avoided like superheroes, Barbie, Star Wars, and many more
  • Figurines – displays based on popular characters like superheroes and anime characters

If you sell toys, stick to unbranded ones that anyone is free of patents, like a slinky, jack in the box, dolls, and others. Any toy is good but make sure they are not branded.

6. Dropshipping Big Products

Big products refer to beds, furniture, sofa, and cabinets. It must be inspiring to see big companies like IKEA shipping their products, but you are not IKEA, and your manufacturer is not IKEA.

What we are saying is that IKEA has its own shipping department. It has a logistics department that takes care of the potential problems that can happen during shipment. Besides, IKEA is a big company that can work out special deals with shipping companies.

You are not likely to succeed dropshipping big products because of the shipping cost, breakage, and competition. Instead of buying from, customers would rather buy from IKEA.

7. Dropshipping Complicated Products

An example of a complicated product is a drone. This is a product that is no longer a toy. Professionals use drones for their photography business. Because of this, the drone is better left alone unless you understand it well.

Another example is remote-controlled cars. While these are toys, these are hobbies for the big boys. The main problem you are going to face when you dropship these complicated materials is support.

If a customer bought this item from you, he would expect that you know what you are doing. He will ask about batteries, antennas, wheels, and others. Worse, he may even ask you for step by step guide how to set it up.

If you do not know the answer, you will lose credibility. Besides, these hobby materials are not equally made. If you sell low-grade toys, you can expect a lot of returns.


While dropshipping allows you to sell anything, not all things are great choices. Some can make you good money, and some can cause you a lot of problems. The last thing that you want is to face the police, pay fines, and spend time in jail.

Remember, do not dropship products that are illegal, easy to break, and those that do not make business sense. If you cannot find a good product to sell from Alibaba, there are other alternative sites you can use to look for products.

Your goal in dropshipping is to make profits and make customers happy. If you are thinking of a product that belongs to the seven items we mentioned, forget about it and look for a new one.

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