Are you trying to find a profitable niche for your dropshipping store? Well, let me make it a little bit easier for you by telling you the absolute worst dropshipping niches you can get into!
I have been around in the dropshipping game for quite some time, and I have seen trends come and go, I have seen online stores pop up and disappear, but overall I have seen some niches that have been around for a long time and that have never been successful. I really felt like making a post about this to help you avoid making a dropshipping store in one of these niches.
1. Cheap Watches
I need to start off with this one because it drives me crazy! In all of the forums, I’m part of, I see at least one new dropshipping store every day selling the same low-quality cheap watches. You really need to stop making watch stores.
Every single store I see from beginner dropshippers, for some reason sells watches. It could even be totally unrelated too, like a shop selling hunting gear having a luxury watch section. It doesn’t make any sense, and these watches are absolutely horrible to sell.
So basically, what is wrong with dropshipping watches? Well, let me tell you a few things: First of all, most of the watches on Aliexpress are really cheap and terrible. If you buy them for the Aliexpress price which is like 2-10 dollars you get what you pay for, and you won’t get mad if they suck.
If you try and sell these watches for like 20 dollars or more on your store, or even worse sell them with free plus shipping and charge them 15 dollars, people are going to be really angry when they receive the watch!
I see ads all the time on Instagram for free plus shipping watches that are obviously dropshipped, and every single comment is from angry people blaming the seller for not receiving their product or criticizing the quality, saying it’s not worth the money they paid for it. Everybody knows that watches are being dropshipped, so you really need to stop selling cheap crappy watches!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sell watches ever, but you need to make sure that the watches in your store are actually good quality. A quick tip: Don’t focus on watches as a niche by itself, because you will have a LOT of competition from other dropshippers doing the same. This worked a few years ago, but it does not work now. Don’t even try it, don’t waste your time and money.
2. General Clothing
General clothing stores are the second most common type of dropshipping store I see on the forums. I don’t mean clothing within a specific niche, but clothing that appeals to a wider audience. Beginner dropshippers often choose women’s clothing for this which is a big mistake.
What they often do is go to Aliexpress and type in women’s clothing, sort by most orders, and then put all the search results on their store. By doing this they get a random selection of bad quality products, with convoluted pictures. I can guarantee that doing this will end up getting you a bunch of returns or no sales at all.
Another reason why general clothing is one of the worst dropshipping niches is that there are a bunch of huge established clothing retailers out there already. Brands like H&M and Uniclothes sell very cheap clothes that are high quality, compared to what you can get from Aliexpress.
On top of that, people can actually go to these stores and try the clothes on before they buy them, you simply can’t compete. If you somehow convince people to buy clothing from your dropshipping store, a big portion of the time the sizing isn’t going to be right because it’s Asian sizing. Even if you try to size up, the proportions can be weird and the quality of Aliexpress clothing is often really bad.
There are a million general clothing dropshipping stores out there. If you make one, you’re not gonna stand out, and It’s really not worth risking.
3. General Lifestyle Products
I don’t see this as much, but when I do, it’s not good at all. What I mean by general lifestyle products is stuff like basic kitchen and cleaning items. Things you would see on Amazon and think is kinda neat, and then never think about again. Dropshipping stores that sell these kinds of products don’t do well.
In order to make your store a success, you need to find products that are interesting and not well known. If you can create enough desire for the items you sell, people will impulse purchase them. For example, if you sell a really cool necklace that people have never seen anywhere else, they might buy it from you. If you sell generic colanders or kitchen spoons, you are going to have a hard time creating the desire to purchase.
Sure you can use creative copy, fancy graphics, and talk up lifestyle products, but it doesn’t change the fact that people can go to the nearest Walmart and get products similar to what you are selling, but way cheaper.
If you do want to sell these kinds of products, I would recommend having a general store and only adding the most trendy and hot products to it. Sell them as one-offs and don’t base your entire online store around one product category.
4. Dresses and fitted clothing
The quality of clothing is another issue that makes it a hard niche for dropshipping. In particular, dresses can be problematic. People expect to look like the models in the product photos when they buy dresses. Any time you have seen a picture comparing expectations and reality, you will know how often that doesn’t work out.
You might want to think twice before trying to sell dresses (or anything else fitted) because you will end up dealing with a lot of returns. It would not surprise me if a dress from your online store became the latest internet meme – the last thing you want is social media attention like that.
5. Basic Essential Products
All of us use these products every day. As essentials are less personal, you’d think that it’s a better niche than clothing. If you create ads that remind consumers they need to buy something, you may get them to buy it — such as cleaning products, dishrags, toilet paper, or kitchenware.
In this case, essentials fail to meet a key dropshipping principle: Products must be eye-catching.
Basically, you want people to impulse buy something they wouldn’t normally buy. Consumers won’t pay attention to ads for basic essentials, as they are so boring. Additionally, they can shop at the grocery store for everything they need, and any discount they receive from you will seem negligible in comparison.
Another problem with selling basic essential products is that people often need these products right away. Would you wait 2-4 weeks for a package to arrive and pay the shipping cost when you’re down to the last roll of toilet paper? No, you would probably go to the nearest grocery store and get it.
6. Equipment for Surveillance
Any product that you can legally sell online could technically be sold through a dropshipping store. However, some types of products are restricted from being advertised on social media and via Google ads. This includes products in categories like weapons, ammo, tobacco, and surveillance equipment.
Here is another reason why you might want to sell something else than surveillance equipment in your dropshipping store; If you’re in the business of dropshipping surveillance equipment and cameras, then there’s a good chance that the United States government or one of its many law enforcement divisions might come looking for you.
In the United States, it’s not all that hard to imagine a scenario where a government agency will show up at your door with a warrant and check you out. This doesn’t just apply to people who do retail – it also applies to those companies who have made arrangements for wholesale distribution deals with other entities as well.
7. Heavy Or Large Items
You have to pay more for shipping anything heavy or large, which reduces your profit margins. If you source items from abroad, you should definitely avoid bulky items, such as furniture.
When you source products from China and ship to customers in the U.S. using ePacket, you have to meet strict package restrictions. As a result, your packages are limited to a maximum of 60 centimeters in length, height, and thickness, with a maximum of 90 centimeters total.
Dropshipping furniture like office desks, chairs, and sofas is also impossible because packages must weigh under 2 kilograms to be shipped as an ePacket. So if you want to hand over your profit to the shipping companies this is the way to go.
If you decide to dropship heavy products anyway, there are other issues that arise. Size means larger shipping costs. That means you need higher profit margins in order for your dropshipping business to be profitable.
Heavy products are more likely to be damaged during shipping so you will need to decide whether you want to deal with returns that will take up a lot of time and energy on your part. This means that dropshipping heavy-weight products isn’t ideal for dropshipping.
8. Fragile Products
Drop shipping is very risky with items made of glass or other fragile materials. You could ensure to package individual items carefully if you were shipping them yourself. Unfortunately, you rely on the suppliers for this. You need to trust that they will do everything they can to keep the glassware in perfect condition – or else returns will be inevitable.
Asking specific questions about packaging and reading reviews of the supplier can help. In any case, don’t be surprised if a customer receives a damaged item. You’ll then have a return to deal with — and perhaps a bad review as well.
9. Pet Themed Products
While there are quite a few pet lovers out there, how many of them do you expect to reach with your ads on Facebook and Google? What is the likelihood that your ad will trigger them to buy your pet-themed product even if they see it? It’s probably not very likely to happen.
The competition is already tough, and the market is highly saturated at the moment, so making much of an impact is too hard.
10. Safety Gear
It is risky to sell safety gear you cannot verify. The worst thing that can happen when selling low-quality products in other dropshipping niches is unhappy customers. Safety gear can be pretty dangerous if the quality is bad. If someone uses one of your products and something breaks or causes an accident, you can be held legally responsible.
So avoid selling helmets, goggles, kneepads, mouthguards, and whatever else is used for protection.
11. Counterfeit Products
There are many big dropshipping platforms that claim to sell only legitimate branded products like designer bags or shoes. However, the prices of these branded products still seem too low for them to be anything but fake. You are not only breaking the law by selling these items, but you are also undermining your own business. You may not face any problems in the short run, but in the long term, these fake products will make your store lose credibility and trust.
Despite appearing exactly like the real thing in pictures, counterfeit products are usually terrible. If you sell counterfeit products, it won’t be long before customers start complaining about what they receive. Any dropshipping business focused on this niche will fail quickly.
12. Cosmetics And Beauty Products
Cosmetics is another poor dropshipping niche due to quality concerns in the industry. Once you eliminate known brands, you’re left with products that are difficult to check for quality. Considering that the products will be applied to customers’ eyes, lips, and skin, this is a very serious concern.
Poor-quality ingredients might cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation and in worst cases death. This could ruin your business because you’re liable. If you want to dropship cosmetics and beauty products anyway, while at the same time protecting them from harmful substances, then you should be familiar with the Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and Council on cosmetic products, also known as the EU Cosmetic Directive or ‘COSMETICS DIRECTIVE’.
Pro tip: Consider selling brushes or other makeup tools instead of consumables if you intend to specialize in the cosmetics niche. A number of countries have a high demand for these products all throughout the year.
13. Expensive Instruments
The cost of dropshipping products like musical instruments is far too high and the profit margins are low. The amount you should spend on sourcing items varies, but experts agree that you shouldn’t pay more than $100 for dropshipping products. Other experts recommend staying under $5, including shipping costs.
Consumers often take more time to think about expensive purchases. You want people to see your ads and buy your products immediately without having to think much. This doesn’t work for high-end products like musical instruments.
Before purchasing instruments, musicians often like to test them. That’s not possible because dropshippers never actually take ownership of the products. You basically just act as a middleman between the supplier and the customer, which means that musicians who want to test their new ukuleles will have to wait for them to be delivered.
14. Waterproof Cases for Phones And Cameras
Having a waterproof phone or camera is great. You can take photos when you’re in or near water, such as on a boat, when playing water sports, and even when you’re diving. Due to the fact that only high-end phones and specialized cameras are waterproof, cheap cases to protect devices from water might be appealing to customers. However, there’s a problem: you cannot tell from the product’s packaging how waterproof the phone or camera case is.
There are waterproof cases available for cameras that work underwater or for just protecting your camera from getting wet in light rain. It is impossible to advertise your product correctly if you don’t know how well it works.
The issue is that even if you purchase some waterproof cases yourself and test them, you can’t do the same for every model. Additionally, you run the risk of damaging your own devices. Finally, if a customer breaks their phone or camera by pushing a product beyond its limits, your store will get a bad review and you might even be held responsible for the damaged property.
15. Low-Quality Jewelry
Low prices and shipping costs are the benefits of cheap low-quality jewelry. Unfortunately, no one wants to pay more than the wholesale price for it. When you add your own markup, even if you get some sales, people will often be disappointed with the product they receive. Additionally, the cheap jewelry looks even worse in real life than it did in the photograph and is likely to break within a short period of time.
This means that even though you get sales, people won’t come back and buy products from your store again. Let’s be honest, just because plastic jewelry is coated with gold paint, people will still know that it is plastic.
I really hope you learned something about what niches to avoid adding to your dropshipping store. If you do want to pursue the niches I mentioned in this post, please be smart about it and stop doing what so many others are doing without success.
If you are not sure if your niche is desirable for your online business, check it in Google trends and test it. Start a small sub-site on one of your main sites where you only sell the product you are interested in. If it doesn’t bring profit after a couple of weeks or so, drop it. Look for another idea and try again. Your main site should be safe from your little experiments, and you should be able to quickly tell if the niche is interesting or not.
To recap: when choosing a product to sell online – don’t think it will be an easy money-making machine. It won’t! You need to test and work hard in order to get sales.
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