10 Products You Should Avoid Dropshipping

Choosing the right inventory for your eCommerce brand is essential to its success. By offering your customers the right products, you keep them happy and guarantee profitable sales. On the other hand, the wrong inventory will keep them away from your store and hurt your business. 

In this post, you’ll learn which kinds of products to avoid so you can maximize sales, meet your customers’ expectations, and avoid penalties.

10 Products You Should Avoid Dropshipping

Supplements

You should avoid supplements because Facebook won’t run ads for them. Following changes to its policy, Facebook does not allow any advertising that includes health claims. Since you’ll have to follow this rule to access its enormous user database, you shouldn’t offer them on your eCommerce channel. Furthermore, most countries have strict laws on vitamins and similar health products, so it will be hard to ship them overseas. 

If you really must drop-ship items in this category, you’ll want to make a careful assessment of your products’ locations and find an effective marketing strategy that doesn’t include social media advertising.

Cosmetics

A lot can go wrong with cosmetics products that you would do well to avoid. Your customers may get irritations or allergic reactions after using products from your store. This may occur due to ingredients you didn’t know were present, and leave you liable to a lawsuit.

Furniture

Although you can make a substantial profit off a furniture sale, it is incredibly likely to bring you trouble. Selling furniture violates an important dropshipping principle – you shouldn’t drop ship an item that can’t be delivered through e-packet and similarly effective shipping methods.

What’s e-packet?

E-packet is one of the best ways to set up a successful dropshipping business. It is a shipping agreement between China and the United States that allows American citizens to buy small, low-cost items from china.  

Each parcel must fit specific dimensions. That is, combined height, width, and length cannot exceed 90 centimeters, and the longest packages must not exceed 60cm. There are also stringent weight requirements. Items must not exceed 2.5 kilograms – about 4.5 pounds.

Since it is unlikely you’ll find furniture that meets such conditions, you should avoid the category altogether. 

Generic clothing items

Dropshipping boring, plain items will likely have a grave impact on your sales. Generic items receive few orders and reviews – even when they have affordable prices, clear pictures, and attractive descriptions. This suggests that most buyers don’t find them convincing. On the other hand, uniquely designed clothing items, even when they are more expensive, are a lot more popular.

The problem here is that consumers can find ordinary clothes anywhere, and by buying from brick-and-mortar retail stores, they can avoid the delays that come with shipping.

Besides, several other problems make selling such items even more undesirable – you’ll need to handle multiple sizes and fittings, and find a way to beat competitors like AliExpress that offer high quality at low cost.

That said, items with unique prints and patterns are hard to find, so they will always catch your visitors’ interest.

Weapons and other potentially harmful items

Products like knives are potentially dangerous and shouldn’t be drop shipped. If your items are traveling overseas, customs officers will likely question your motives and have them confiscated – the regulations will vary for each country.  Selling potentially dangerous items is further complicated by the fact that Facebook doesn’t allow ads for them.

If you are uncertain about whether it is allowed to ship a specific product to your customers’ address, ask them to consult with local regulators. If you are still unsure even after receiving confirmation, then switch to something else.

Glassware

If you’re sourcing from an overseas country like china, it will take a while before products are delivered. There are high chances that your packages will be jostled and dropped in transit, and if they’re made of fragile materials such as glass, they will break.

Broken items will ruin customer experience and damage your business’ reputation. Disgruntled buyers may even leave negative reviews on your website, and you’ll have to refund their orders.

Avoid glassware and other delicate products whenever possible. If you must sell them, ask your shipping agents to ensure they are carefully packaged and handled.

Safety gear

This category includes products like chest guards, helmets, and safety harnesses. Let’s assume someone buys a chest guard from your store, and then their ribs get crushed while using it. Are you prepared to handle any legal repercussions? You could get sued for selling an unreliable product. If you haven’t done sufficient research on your products, and are unsure of their safety, stay away from this category.

Cheap jewelry

Since consumers are rarely motivated by cheap/fake jewelry, you can’t sell such items at decent margins. In addition, your audience already knows they can find these products on platforms like eBay and Amazon; they are less likely to buy them from you.

Food items

The problem with dropshipping food products is you have no real knowledge of their ingredients. An example is an herbal tea whose manufacturer says it is organic. Even if it says so on the packaging, you have no assurances on how it is made. If your customers experience adverse health effects after they buy it through your store, it could cause you trouble. 

Complex electronics

Electronics are trendy, and it’s understandable if the demand tempts you to offer this category on your store. However, there are a few things you must consider.

Support: If you lack the knowledge and expertise with such items to help your customers when they call you for help, you should avoid them altogether.

Forgery: because they are so popular, electronics (especially those from prominent brands) are often duplicated. If your customer purchases a fake gadget from your store, they’ll return the product and probably report you.

They can be dangerous. Not all manufacturers adhere to recommended safety standards. Consequently, their products may malfunction in hazardous ways; they may start fires or explode.  

Although you can dropship just about anything, not all products are good choices. While some will make you lots of profit, others will cause several problems. Avoid products that are fragile, illegal, and potentially harmful to your customers. Doing so will spare you fines and police inquiries, and keep your customers contented.

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