With thousands of items to Dropship in your store – which ones should you NOT Dropship? Here are 5 major items to avoid at all costs (and why you should).
Watch the video below:
Why you shouldn’t Dropship everything
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You found the “perfect” item, found a supplier for it, created a product page and ran ads to it on Facebook …
… then you open up your sales dashboard, only to hear the sound of crickets in your account.
If you can resonate with this, you Dropshipped the wrong item – a hole nobody wants to fall into, but yet find themselves in time and time again. Worst of all, it’s easy to pass an item as “okay” to sell. Unless someone tells you, there’s no clear-cut difference on what’s acceptable and unacceptable.
But who are you to blame? Who really talks about what you shouldn’t do?
While everybody’s clamouring to find the hottest items, it’s only the small minority who take the time to learn what items to avoid.
Luckily, we are the minority, which is why I’m going to show you five major items to forbid from your store – and why you should. That way you won’t ever need to worry about having a $0 day.
Item #1: Sex toys
REASON: Prohibited from advertising
If you’re familiar with Facebooks ad guidelines, you’ll know sex toys are strictly prohibited.
Sadly though, we’ve had emails from people in the past who thought this niche would surely be profitable – so built an entire store around it.
That was until it came to running Facebook ads … and their ads got shut down.
And don’t think it’s just sex toys that aren’t allowed on Facebook. Categories like weapons & ammunition, surveillance cameras and even as far as paintball equipment aren’t allowed to be advertised on Facebook.
This isn’t the end of the world though. In fact, a friend of mine sells an item that almost every advertising platform doesn’t allow: e-cigarettes.
How did he do this? After testing several platforms that didn’t work, he finally discovered one that did: Reddit ads. If you’re like my friend and have a big passion for X rated categories, testing ads on other networks is a great option.
However, most beginners would be better off taking the path of least resistance by sticking to niches that are allowed on Facebook, and use that as a main traffic source.
Item #2: Guitar mug
REASON: Too expensive
If you’re a regular here at WT, you’ll recognise this special mug here. Funnily enough though, if someone asked me if I’d sell it: I’d say NEVER!
It is true that we “endorse” several items in AliExpress on our YouTube channel, but only for one reason: it’s an example of what a GREAT product should look like.
Think about it: it’s cool, novel and unique. If I were a guitar lover who loved coffee, I’d LOVE this. But as dropshipper who wants to make a profit on each item they sell, this is way too expensive.
On our channel, we talk a lot about selling and advertising low-priced items to attract impulse buys from customers. That’s why we recommend the sweet-spot for pricing is to keep your items at no more than $15.
To do that, your aim should be finding items that cost no more than $5 – including the cost of shipping – so after you factor the cost of the item, shipping and ad spend, you’re left with a nice profit.
That’s why selling this $9 guitar mug would only leave you a tiny margin to make a profit from, which isn’t worth spending your time and money on.
The only time an item like this would have great potential is as an upsell. If you’re unsure of what that is, it’s when you offer an additional item on top of the one someone’s already ordered. For example: when you order a Big Mac, you’ll also get offered some fries and a drink on top of that.
This is the same principle used in Dropshipping stores, and is an excellent way to boost your AOV (average order value). Back to our guitar mug, if we instead made a guitar ring our front-end item we advertising on Facebook, then recommended this mug as the customer was on their way to checkout – they would feel more inclined to buy.
Why? You’re meeting them where they are. You’ve already gained their trust by getting them to buy from you, plus they’re in the buying mood, so their buying decisions are largely overid by emotion rather than pure logic.
Upsells are a totally different ball game though. Since we’re on the topic of front-end offers, understand that keeping prices below $15 is how you’ll make the real money, so keep it that way.
Item #3: Hippo storage stools
REASON: Too big
Shipping with ePacket is one of the holy grails we teach on this channel.
In case you don’t know, ePacket is a shipping treaty set up between the US and China to encourage Americans to buy small, low-cost items from China.
The total height, width and length of ePacket packages cannot exceed more than 90cm, with the longest length not exceeding 60cm.
And the total weight can’t exceed 2kgs, which is just under 4.5 pounds. Whether or not you did the math, it’s easy to conclude that these hippo storage stools are just way too big to fit inside an ePacket package.
This might be confusing if you’ve been on AliExpress and seen even BIGGER items that these hippos that are eligible for ePacket shipping, like these huge teddy bears.
Could you guess why though?
I’ll tell you: they’re collapsible. These teddy bears don’t arrive at your door this big. They come folded and unstuffed, so they can easily fit into ePacket and made shippable.
So yes, you can still sell “big” items through ePacket, but have a look to see if they’re collapsible first.
Item #4: West Highland Terrier (niche)
REASON: Too niche
Truth: I absolutely adore dogs. Sadly though, I travel way too much to have one myself, so end up spoiling my parents’ dog instead.
But while I love to show off “my” West Highland Terrier to friends and relatives, I’d never show him off in my Dropship store.
The reason? The westie niche doesn’t have a lot of market depth.
In our flagship course, the Dropship Club, a key criterion when picking a niche is to find 20 items with more than 50+ orders. This is rare in the westie niche, and only a handful of items make more than 50 orders. A red light you want to steer away from.
The first step to a profitable store is finding a niche saturated with items proven to sell. The more the items in a niche, the bigger bandwidth to test – and the bigger your options to find a winner.
A niche with a handful of items like this one will most likely end up short-lived, and only earn you little to no profit.
But there’s another reason too: Ad saturation.
Imagine running a super-hot ad. One that’s earning you the majority of sales in your store. Over time, this ad could become saturated and “die out”, your sales can get slashed overnight – and your income can drop drastically.
Of course, a way to bulletproof yourself would be to pause the ad, and run ads to another popular item in your store.
But here’s the catch: what if you don’t have another popular item?
This is what happened to a subscriber of ours. At first, they hit the jackpot: a winning ad that was making them over $10k/month. And I bet you too could easily guess what they did. Put their feet up and watched the sales roll in.
That was, until their ad stopped converting. And because they didn’t have a second product to test, their income dropped to zero.
This was a lesson learnt, but learnt too late. Don’t make his mistake. Pick a niche with plenty of depth that has potential for multiple winning products.
Item #5: Guitar Necklace
REASON: It costs more than $5 if you include ePacket shipping
A great rule of thumb for making a healthy profit on each sale you make is to only sell items that originally cost $5 or less.
But items like this can be a trap if you don’t consider the “hidden” cost everyone forgets – shipping.
“Only $4.50? I found the perfect item!” you might say, without realising the extra $3.50 you’ll have to pay in shipping fees. It’s easy to lose out on big profits if you don’t factor in shipping cost.
Being strict on your buy price adds more room for bigger profits after deducting the cost of the item, shipping and advertising. This is especially true when you consider upsells, that yield even bigger profits since you don’t have to pay for advertising.
In our case though, ePacket shipping costs $2.35, pushing the total price well above $5 (which is too expensive).
So, when deciding on selling an item, make sure the item PLUS the price of shipping equals $5 or less. If it’s more than $5, it’s too much.
Steering past these dead-ends will help you avoid early failure and keep your business in good standing for years to come.
But knowing what not to sell is only part of the process. If you’d like a bird’s eye view of how to build a Dropshipping store that earns you money while you sleep, I’d like to offer you something.
6 Steps to building a six-figure Dropshipping store
In it, I’ve included:
- How just one “winning item” can earn $10k/month. Yep. A lot of people don’t realize this… but most stores make the majority of their money from just a handful of items!
- The right way to choose Aliexpress suppliers. Picking the right Aliexpress dropshippers is crucial to drastically reduce things like refunds. Learn how to pick the right suppliers.
- Why long shipping times DON’T matter. A lot of people are scared to start dropshipping because of “long” shipping times. You’ll learn why this doesn’t matter inside.
- Why their stores take 2 hours a day to manage. You’ll learn how they utilize apps like Oberlo to make their stores semi-automated… making managing orders super simple!