You’ve found the perfect item to dropship, and there are plenty of suppliers willing to send you the product. Now you just need to create a product page and promote it on social media platforms.
That’s exactly what you do, thinking you’re just an inch-away from earning a 6-figure income. Then you open up your analytics, only to hear the sound of crickets in your dashboard. What happened?
My friend, you're dropshipping the wrong item.
An item that shouldn’t have been considered in the first place because it’s either
- Too big to ship
- Too costly to source
- Too niche to expand
But, you shouldn’t blame yourself because you didn’t know better. After all, who really talks about the worst products to dropship?
It turns out that there are as many bad products out there as there are good ones, so acting wisely and avoiding certain products may increase your chances of success as a new store owner.
13 Products to Avoid Dropshipping at All Costs
In this post, I’m going to share a list of 13 worst products to dropship, as well as explain why you should forbid them from your store.
While you can sell furniture at a high margin, this product is almost certain to cause you headaches.
That’s because selling furniture breaks a critical rule of thumb for aspiring dropshippers, which is to never dropship something the supplier can’t send via ePacket and other cost-effective methods of shipping.
Channels like ePacket are fast and cheap because they have a size restriction. For example, ePacket shipping requires a product to weigh less than 2 KGS and be 90*60 cm in dimension.
Because furniture is unlikely to meet any of these criteria, you’ll need to choose another shipping method.
In many instances, other shipping routes cost more, sometimes even more than the cost of the item itself. Also, they can take much longer than ePacket to reach your customer.
So if you don’t want to ruin the experience, skip furniture and sell something else.
One idea is to sell pillow covers. Think covers for sofa pillows, bedroom pillows, and so on. These items also come under the home décor category, but they’re small enough for suppliers to ship via ePacket.
2. Electric Guitar
The next worst product to dropship is the electric guitar.
Why? Because it’s too expensive to source and can give you a hard time when it comes to making a profit.
The sweet-spot for new dropshippers is to keep the items below $100, but you’d rarely find an electric guitar that falls under that price range.
Take a look at this AliExpress page:
As you can see, most suppliers are charging $200-$300 for a single unit. Now ask yourself, can I add a high markup on this product? It’s impossible because the price is already high.
Your aim should be to find products that cost no more than $100 (including the expense of shipping), so after you account for the manufacturing cost, logistics and ad spend, you’re still left with a decent profit.
Related: 17 Insane Hacks To Find The Best Selling Products for Your Online Store
3. Drinking Glass
If you’re sourcing products from China, then the shipping takes a while before the products reach customers.
During logistics, there is a chance that the product will experience some external impact, such as when it’s being loaded on a delivery vehicle.
This is why products made of glass should be strictly avoided.
Drinking glasses and other similar items have a high chance of wear and tear, and it wouldn’t make a good impression if the product arrives broken.
A better approach is to search for and dropship the same kind of item in some other material. For instance, drinking cups made of plastic are less likely to experience damage than their glass-based counterparts.
But if you still want to sell, or want to attempt dropshipping, these items, then I recommend you to talk to your supplier.
Ask them about the type of measures they can take to secure the item. Perhaps they have a reputation for getting fragile items to the customer in excellent condition. Who knows?
There’s nothing to stop you from dropshipping supplements, expect that you won’t be able to create awesome ads on Facebook.
Why, because Facebook doesn’t allow users to advertise items that make health claims.
That’s a bummer because the most effective supplement advertising is the one that includes various claims.
Can you imagine buying a muscle-building supplement if it doesn’t say “this pill is going to give you 5x gains within a month” or something like that?
To take advantage of Facebook’s large database of buyers, you need to play by its rules.
If you advertise something and say it will improve someone’s mental or physical condition, your ad will be disabled and your whole account could get banned.
After seeing many store owners make this mistake, I have a better alternative to suggest, fitness accessories.
Sell these and you’ll be able to target the same health-oriented people, but you won’t experience any hiccups when it comes to running a Facebook campaign.
5. Safety Helmet
Dropshipping this product means getting yourself into a catch-22 situation.
Sure, it's meant to provide safety to the consumer, but what do you think might happen when someone experiences an accident and your product doesn’t hold up?
Even worse, what if it completely breaks?
If something happens to that individual, then you will most likely face a lawsuit for selling a faulty item. The fines and penalties that follow can put you under financial distress.
That’s why I consider safety helmets, mouth guards, and other similar items to be one of the worst items to dropship.
If you are still keen on selling any of these items, then please conduct proper research and know what you’re getting yourself into.
Also, some countries have rules in place about what you can sell online. Make sure you don’t end up selling something that was supposed to be exclusively sold via government institutions.
6. General Clothes
You shouldn’t expect to make sales with general clothing as they are not as appealing as they need to be for your audience.
The reason for this is that there are already numerous brands in the market that sell all types of clothes in various designs and patterns.
Companies like Zara and H&M produce both low cost and expensive clothes, while Uniqlo is one company that’s making a lot of noise for supplying high-quality clothes at an affordable price.
Do you expect people to buy the same kind of items from your store when they can easily shop for them from a nearby brand outlet?
Even if you get some orders, there are several issues you’ll need to take care of, such as sizing and quality because clothing on AliExpress and other supplier websites are better quality.
So, I highly suggest that you drop the idea of dropshipping general clothing.
If you want to stick with this niche, then find something trendy to sell.
7. Counterfeit Shoes
You have probably seen these in the list of items that you cannot promote on social media.
Counterfeit products like the one in the image have been copied from an official brand.
Dropship them and both you and the supplier could get into legal trouble.
On top of that, dropshipping counterfeit items can leave your customers feeling disappointed, especially if they expect the item to be real and later find out that it is a replica.
Of course, there is a way to do this legally, and that involves getting a license from the brand to officially resell their products (in this case, you’d need to get a license from Nike).
Because obtaining a license is almost impossible for new dropshippers, it’s best to steer clear of this product.
This is what you can sell instead, shoes that are designed with the suppliers own brand.
Many AliExpress suppliers have their own custom branding that isn’t trademarked. Feel free to sell their shoes without any worries.
Related: 21 Products That Sell The Best On Shopify
8. Waterproof Accessories
It’s hard not to include waterproof accessories in this list.
Here’s why: In the majority of instances, you don’t know if the accessory is waterproof and even if it ends up being, then you aren't aware how deep it can go underwater.
It could be that the customer tests the accessory with the product it was made for, and the product ends up being broken.
For example, if you sell a waterproof camera case and it turns out to be not that safe. How do you think the customer will react upon finding out they’ve just lost their hard-earned investment?
This is why it’s better to dropship regular product accessories than waterproof ones.
9. Household Items
Household items are essentials that are accessible almost anywhere.
For dropshipping success, you need to sell items that cannot be found easily in a brick-and-mortar shop.
Would you wait a couple of weeks to receive a tissue box, that is also available in the shop next door?
So, don’t try to dropship everyday items like a tissue box without providing unique value.
For example, you can sell this instead of a general tissue box.
A tissue box that looks cool? “I’ll take one, please.”
If you’re going to sell household items, then give people a reason to wait longer than if they would have purchased it from a store nearby.
10. Dangerous Products
The item in this image is a great example of a product with a potentially dangerous nature.
An import officer would probably question such items and could even ban them from entering the country.
Every nation has its own regulations for imports, many of which also apply to online purchases of consumers.
There might be some restrictions on dropshipping hunting tools, military-related items, and defense products to some countries.
If you are not sure if it is legal and safe to dropship a certain product to your customers’ country of residence, ask them to confirm it from their local chamber of commerce.
If, after confirmation, you still have doubts, it’s best to just forget the item in question and dropship something else.
If you want to dropship cosmetics like face powder and makeup brushes, then I suggest you think twice.
That’s because you don’t know anything about the quality of the products that will go on your buyers' skins. Like lipsticks, face masks or foundations.
A lot of things can go wrong, for instance, the buyer could end up with skin irritation or an allergic reaction after using your item because their skin might be sensitive to an ingredient that you aren’t even aware is inside the cosmetic.
Like with safety helmets, it’s best to do some research before ordering any batch of cosmetics.
In other words, don’t enter this territory if you don’t know exactly what the products are made of.
Related: How To Find Trending Products To Sell Online
12. Tight Bottoms
You have probably seen some hilarious expectations vs reality clothing posts on Facebook, and this is exactly what could happen if you dropship tight bottoms.
When a buyer has no way to try on a pair of pants before purchase, it could lead to multiple issues for the store owner.
The main issue you’ll face is the difference between Asian, US, and European sizes. Sizes vary from brand to brand, even in the same store. So, there’s no doubt that sizes for products dropshipped from China are going to vary.
Generally, Chinese sizes are one to two sizes smaller than European or US sizes. If you’re selling in the US, you’ll need to ask customers to purchase a size up.
While a size chart may help in some instances, most people will naturally order the same size they always do.
One solution is to include a disclaimer that asks them to order a size or two up, but doing that doesn’t make for the best visitor experience.
The best option is not to dropship tight clothing.
13. Cheap Bracelets
The last worst item to dropship is the cheap bracelet.
You won’t be able to sell these at a high margin because rarely take out their wallets for fake jewelry.
Also, the low cost of sourcing this product from AliExpress means your customer receives a very low-quality item.
On top of that, people already have an idea that cheap jewelry is available to buy on AliExpress. These are a few reasons why I suggest you avoid this product altogether.
Thats ends our list of 13 worst products to dropship. I hope you found this article helpful and expect that you will avoid selling these items through your store.
Hopefully, you already have other options lined up. But if you don’t, watch this dropshipping product research tutorial.