Dropshipping is a popular business model that enables entrepreneurs to sell products without owning inventory.

However, beware of some dropshipping products!

In this article, I will go over 13 products you should avoid when dropshipping to maintain a healthy business.

One thing to remember: If you're still interested in selling any of these products, you can still do that in most cases, but don't forget to find a good dropshipping supplier. (More information about that here)

Also, do your due diligence (for example, research what insurance you should take to cover you in case something goes wrong).

1. Big products

Oversized or heavy items might seem appealing initially, but they can be quite tricky to manage.

Consider your shipping costs. They can skyrocket for big products. It will cut into your profit margins and might deter customers if you pass the cost onto them.

Imagine being excited about a product, only to discover that shipping costs more than the item itself!

Packages falling on the US

Then, there's the handling and packaging part. Big items aren’t just expensive to ship; they require special care and packaging.

This means extra work for you and a higher chance of something going wrong during transit.

You don’t want a customer’s eagerly awaited purchase arriving damaged, do you?

2. Products that you can't advertise on Facebook

Other dropshipping products that are better to avoid are those you can't advertise on Facebook.

However, if you really want to dropship any of these restricted products (like adult products), you must find a different platform to advertise with.

Just don't forget to read the rules of that advertising platform.

These are the products that you currently cannot advertise on Facebook:

  • Unregulated supplements
  • Adult products
  • Third-Party infringements
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Counterfeit products
  • Health products: "Before-and-After"
  • Controversial products
  • Weapons
  • Tobacco products
  • Drugs and drug-related products

If you want to learn more about these products and about Facebook's ad review process, I suggest reading our other article here.

You could also look at the Advertising Policies from Facebook.

3. Counterfeit and copyrighted products

You have probably seen this one already in the list of products that you cannot advertise on Facebook.

Copyrighted products are products that have been copied from a brand. Like this one from AliExpress:

Products to avoid dropshipping: Counterfeit and copyrighted products
Source: AliExpress (The product page is offline now)

Not being able to advertise these products on Facebook is not the only reason you shouldn't add these products to your dropshipping store.

Another reason is that people can get disappointed in you and your store if they expect the product to be real, in this case from Nike, only to then later find out that the product was a counterfeit.

Bad reviews on AliExpress
The reviews on AliExpress from the example above

Plus, you're likely to get into legal trouble if these companies find out that you have been selling counterfeits of their products.

Of course, one exception is if you get a license from that company to officially sell these products.

For more information about whether dropshipping is legal or not, check out this article here.

4. Watches

A lot of people choose the watch niche when they start with dropshipping.

I suggest you stay away from this niche unless you have the proper experience to deal with all the competition that comes with it.

MVMT dropshipping watches

Also, many people link these watch stores with "scam stores." You can find out more about this here.

If you're interested in seeing more reasons why I suggest you don't start dropshipping watches, then you can read this article here.

5. Potentially dangerous products

This product group is a big one to avoid in your dropshipping store. Dangerous products, like knives.

Not only because you can't advertise it on Facebook (weapons) but also because what do you think happens when a customs officer finds out there is a knife in the package?

Products to avoid dropshipping: Potentially dangerous products

Every country has its own laws for what you can and can't import into that country.

It's best to research these restrictions on what you can import. If you're not sure about a product, don't dropship it!

And if you're not sure yet which country you're going to sell (so you can check their laws), then look at this article here, which has plenty of examples to get you started.

6. Fragile products

If you're dropshipping Chinese products from China, then the product delivery takes some time before the product gets delivered.

There is a big chance that the package will get some external impact during this time. For example, when it's loaded on the delivery truck.

No one likes receiving broken items... Do you?

This is why products made of or containing something like glass are risky. These products have a high chance of breaking.

Products to avoid dropshipping: Fragile products

If you still want to dropship or want to try dropshipping these products, I suggest talking to your supplier.

Find out how they protect the product, what kind of packaging materials they are using, and so on.

Also, read the reviews to see what other people think about their purchase. Did they receive a broken product or not?

7. Clothing and shoes

This goes for all the products that need sizing (but mainly clothes).

Clothing on Aliexpress

Many people return these kinds of products because they ordered the wrong size or the right size, but the product is in Asian sizing, and they didn't know that.

Asian sizing AliExpress

Or worse, they order a lot of different sizes to return the ones that don't fit.

So, if you're not ready to deal with these kinds of returns, I suggest not picking any products with different sizes.

Tip: If you think you're ready and want to sell something related to clothing, check out this list of the best clothing dropshipping suppliers!

8. Electronic products

If you're dropshipping, you can't see the products before they go to your customers.

This means that you and your customer can't be 100% sure that the product is in perfect working order.

This is hard when you're dropshipping electronic products because a lot can go wrong with these kinds of products.

Products to avoid dropshipping: electronic products

Here are some examples of electronics you should avoid:

  • Products with batteries
  • Razors
  • Cellphones
  • Security Cameras

You, as the dropshipper, are liable. If something goes wrong with the product, you need to deal with the returns.

Also, you could be liable if your customer gets injured by your product.

This is why it's better to sell relevant accessories and spare parts than electronic products.

If you want to know more about this, I suggest searching about this topic or asking a lawyer.

Plus, you can check out this part of this article, which will go over tips on what kind of insurance you can buy.

9. Mainstream products

Mainstream products are products that can be found and bought almost anywhere.

I wrote a great explanation about this in a different article:

One of the biggest reasons people will still buy from you is if the product is worth the wait.

Let me explain.

Would you wait for 2-4 weeks for a sandwich maker that you can also buy in the store next door?

I don’t think so…

But what if it’s a special sandwich maker that you've never seen before, and it is also in your favorite color? Would you care if it says you might need to wait for 2-4 weeks before it’s in your house?

Source: AliExpress Long Shipping Times

You need to find unique products that cannot be easily found in a physical store.

So, don't try to sell everyday products like toilet paper without having a unique factor.

Toilet paper AliExpress

Toilet paper that changes color? "Wow, I've never seen that before... I will buy it!"

Of course, you could still decide to sell mainstream products, but give your visitors a reason to buy from you. Give them a reason to wait longer than if they would have bought it at a store next door, maybe even cheaper.

10. Healthcare

Facebook bans ads that show before and after results in the ad picture or video.

The image below contains some examples that Facebook has of what is not allowed:

I also advise against any consumables for safety reasons. Something like weight loss pills or vitamins.

If you really want to sell any of these products, please do your research carefully; know what you're selling.

11. Safety equipment

This is a big one as well.

Let's start off with some examples of products that fall into this category:

  • Helmets
  • Mouth Guards
  • Shoulder & Knee pads

Suppose someone buys a helmet from you.

What do you think happens when that person gets into an accident, and your helmet doesn't hold up and just completely breaks?

If something happens to that person, you will most likely get sued for having a faulty product.

Products to avoid dropshipping: Safety equipment

That's why I suggest you stay away from these products.

Unless, of course, you did your research and you're 100% sure about the product you're about to sell.

For more tips on not getting sued when dropshipping, check out this article here!

12. Cosmetics

If you want to start a cosmetics niche dropshipping store, I suggest starting with selling stuff related to cosmetics, such as makeup brushes.

A lot could go wrong because you don't know anything about the cosmetics that will go on your customers' faces, like foundations, eye shadows, or lipsticks.

Products to avoid dropshipping: Cosmetics

For example, your customer could end up with allergies (like an allergic reaction) or skin irritation after using your product because their skin might be allergic to an ingredient that you didn't even know was inside the product.

13. Waterproof products

The last product you should avoid with dropshipping is waterproof products.

Most of the time,, you don't know if the product is even waterproof, and if so, how far or how long it can go underwater officially.

What could end up happening is that your customer tests the product underwater. Then, after that, the product is broken.

Products to avoid dropshipping: Waterproof products

Or even worse if it breaks something else from your customer.

For example, if you sell a waterproof phone case and it turns out to be not that waterproof. What do you think will happen when your customer finds out that their phone has just been ruined?

Conclusion

There you have it! 13 products you should avoid dropshipping in 2024!

I hope you have learned something from this list, and I hope that you will carefully do your research if you decide to dropship any of these products.

Hopefully, you're not scared now to start or continue your dropshipping journey!

But if you are, then maybe these awesome dropshipping store examples will make you calm again!

Or you can take a look at these 13 safe dropshipping products to get some inspiration on what products you can start dropshipping.

If you have any questions, let me know by commenting below!

Getting started with dropshipping in 2024

Getting started with your dropshipping store today

So, are you ready to get started with dropshipping? Or maybe you have already started, but you’re looking to get some inspiration?

If so, I suggest reading my complete Shopify dropshipping guide!

It's a huge article, but it contains everything that you need to know to create your own Shopify dropshipping store in 2024. It's like a dropshipping course, but for free!

Reading this article will help you to get started and to stay motivated while beginning and continuing your dropshipping journey!

Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!

Here are the articles I suggest you read next:

Also, if you want to get started with Shopify, then you can click here to get a free 3-day trial + 1 month for $1!

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15 Comments

  1. Sfiso Masilela Reply

    THank you, this really opened my eyes, I wanted to sell like a dice camera that records in secret, now i realize it’s not worth selling anymore. But my question is, what if you sell a necklace and it causes the skin of the customer to irritate or become redish due to its material content? is it safe to sell necklace?

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi!
      Thank you for your comment! That’s definitely a good question. I never dropshipped jewelry so I’m not entirely sure if this will become a problem for you or not.
      I’m sorry, but I can’t help you further with this one! Hopefully, someone sees your comment and knows the answer!

      Otherwise, I do suggest contacting someone in your country that knows the law around these kinds of problems. Another option is to contact a company that offers liable insurance to see if they know more!

      Good luck with your dropshipping store!

  2. You’re right, clothing for the fact that sizing can be a pain is a good one for newbies to avoid but also perfect for someone who wants to build a long-term business with plenty of content and products to expand to. Especially in women’s clothing. Any newbie who is willing to go through the growing pains and sizing issues can stand to benefit long-term.

    For example, me. I visited the top 30 women’s fashion sites and noted down their UK sizing from size 4 through to 18 and their respective bust/waist/hips. I then added each measurement up for each size (4 throught to 18) and divided by 30 to get a true average amongst the biggest brands. The majority were fairly similar. I then converted UK sizes to all other country sizes.

    So now based on the measurements from a piece of clothing I find elsewhere like Aliexpress, I can ignore the Asian sizing on the sizing they give me and use the measurements I have and stick them within the averages I worked out. So anyone shopping will pick the size their used to picking on other popular sites and the measurements will match up.

    It’ll also help with customer service because I can speak to customers and ask them where else they shop and help them choose a size since I have a document with the sizing from all other online stores.

    This does take extra effort and it took me days of head scratching and working out to complete but it makes things easier going forward.

    It is recommended you stay away from this niche and even more so the women’s trendy fashion niche if you’re not willing to go the extra mile to work out these details first or you will get a lot of returns.

    I want my customer to love what they ordered, plus their satisfaction is a huge meaning within the name of our logo so it would be very contradicting to our brand name if we didn’t put the customer first above all else.

    Jason.

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi Jason, thank you for your great comment!
      This is some great advice for people that do want to start in the clothing niche or want to dropship products that require sizing.

      Good luck with everything you’re doing/going to do!

    • Hi Jason!

      I am actually setting a shopify store to dropship women’s intimates and loungewear clothing, a niche I chose because of the popularity of lounge clothing and because intimates have been top sellers online for the last few years. I know I’ll have issues and growing pains, but I appreciate your tip on calculating sizes, that was super helpful! Up until now, I’ve been trying to only import products that include a size chart, but after reading your comment here, I’m realizing that I need to take care of that step for my customers, so they don’t have to try and figure out what size to order. Thanks again!

    • I can relate to this and possibly need a bit of help. I’m about to start dropshipping strapless bras, but when I asked about conversion sizes from the typical Asian ones to European sizes, the seller did not reply? It’s a good product but now I am confused as what to do.

      • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

        I’m not Jason, but did you think about switching to a different supplier if he or she doesn’t reply to you?

        Let me put it this way, what do you think is going to happen when you’re selling his (or her) products and your customers start asking questions? In this example, you don’t know the answer, so what do you do? You contact your supplier, only your supplier won’t reply to you.

        For me, that sounds like something you don’t want to do! I suggest taking a look at this article here.

        Good luck with everything!
        – Richard

  3. Hello sir
    Do u think selling stuff related to sleep is a good niche ? Like pillows cushions travel pillows etc…?

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi Hala, that’s a good question, but unfortunately, I’m not sure. You don’t hear that niche often though (which could also be a great sign for not much competition yet).
      I suggest reading this article of mine here to learn more about how to see if a niche is worth selling in. I think it will help you further!

      Good luck with everything, and let me know if you got any more questions!

  4. Hi Richard. I am a single mother to 4 and I am trying to learn more about Dropshipping. I am planning to open up an online store so I can earn extra money while working at home. I am in fact into research to further learn about the process and how to avoid failing. I thought that if it goes well, maybe I can start having my own website. I knew that selling online does not require one to have big amount of money to start their business, I even have a friend who started earning without having to spend a single penny. However this somehow complicates to what I have found out whilst I did further research. I am just wond’ring if you can recommend legit wholesalers who won’t require bulk order of each items and ask for membership fee. Please?

  5. Thanks for your your article. It is quite educating.

    My question is to Jason (hoping you can help me reach him to help out).
    I would love him to help me understand the sizing technique he used to made a headway. It is a niche am interested in.

    Thanks.
    With love from Nigeria.

    • Do Dropshipping - Author Logo

      Hi Ostin,

      Thank you for your comment!

      I’m sorry, but I made the mistake to not reach out to Jason earlier, and I can’t seem to get in touch with him anymore, but I’ll let you know if he replies!
      Or maybe he will reply to your comment here 😊

      Good luck with your store, and let me know if you ever got any questions!
      – Richard

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