It’s a common problem many sellers face: picking the wrong products to sell. Here are five that can cause you to lose money.
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It can be exciting to see people buying, engaging, and raving about your products online.
Whereas in other cases, some products can end up creating a load of problems for you and your business.
Some products that can land you into legal trouble, while others cause you to lose money, make customers unhappy, and generally become a real burden to try and sell.
Being aware of which products you should avoid is critical if you want to succeed long-term as an online seller.
Here are 5 types of products you need to keep away from your online store…
1) Copyrighted products.
As a seller, you should never sell copyrighted products without having the legal rights beforehand.
But, of course, this is easier said than done. Popular brands have the added advantage of a loyal fan base that you can easily ‘piggyback’ from.
But this method of selling is usually illegal and unethical. And could possibly land you into a myriad of legal complications.
How do you tell if a product is copyrighted?
The answer is quite simple: The moment a piece of artwork is created, it is by default copyrighted.
Take baby Yoda from the Star Wars television series. The re-created character is massively trending as we speak, and larger interest has led to an influx of new fan art being sold.
Despite the risk, people are willing to sell Baby Yoda merchandise. And while people are able to profit from it, this method of selling only equates to short-term glory. Or in worst cases a potential legal case.
The Star Wars brand has millions of trademarks to its name — including Yoda. This makes it extremely risky to try and profit from their business — and rightly so! After all, billions of dollars have been invested into these brands. So the last thing they want is somebody dipping their paws into their hard work.
This also applies to fan art. It doesn’t matter whether you draw Baby Yoda in your own style, if it’s clearly Yoda, then it’s copyrighted.
Just because someone else is selling it, doesn’t mean you should too. Don’t be deceived by other listings. While they might sell, it’s only short-term glory, and they are easily putting themselves at legal risk.
2) MLM products.
First, what is MLM? This is a business that sells direct to independent resellers, who then resell to customers on the business’ behalf.
In this business, anyone is eligible to become a reseller. As a member of an MLM you’ll be required to purchase a membership fee and your batch of inventory that you’ll be reselling.
How you find out about this reselling opportunity is usually through friends or family who are existing members. If you sign up through them, they are rewarded with a commission on that sale.
The problem: Some products can be extremely pricey. This makes it even harder for new recruits to sell the item, without any sales skills.
In an attempt to recoup their initial investment, new members desperately try to sell their product to other people, hoping they’ll sign up too.
But it can be challenging trying to sell products to people who don’t want it!
You wouldn’t sell a football to a basketball player. They simply won’t buy it. And that is how prospects perceive MLM resellers who are trying to sell their products to them.
As a marketer, it’s more effective to target audiences who have genuine interest in what you’re offering.
3) Products with bad ratings.
This is a common mistake we see a lot of new sellers make.
Products with bad ratings are one of the worst types of products to sell… Because they don’t!
In many cases, products with a bad rating are usually of a low-quality, or hold a bad reputation for their delivery.
And if you go on to sell these products, your reputation is on the line, as it’s your supplier who will fulfil your customer’s orders.
That’s why you should sell products with a high feedback score. This is critical, as it indicates that customers have responded positively to the product, and are genuinely happy with the supplier’s service.
If you source products on Aliexpress, pay attention to important metrics such as orders, review score, and reviews.
4) Boring and generic products.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out.
But you’ll be surprised at how many people make this error when selling online.
It’s not that boring and generic products don’t sell. But, as a dropshipper, it’s harder to earn money selling products people can easily find at their local supermarket.
The solution: Sell products that are unique or novel. When you sell something that’s rarely found in physical stores, people have a bigger incentive to purchase from you, as they won’t be able to find it elsewhere.
So, avoid sourcing boring and generic products and focus on fun, unique products that aren’t easily accessible in supermarkets.
5) Products that feature embroidery.
Now it’s likely that most of your designs will be digitally printed onto merchandise.
But there are other cases where your designs might feature embroidery—in other words, stitched onto merchandise.
While not a glaring problem, it can be in a scenario where the colours of your design differ to the colour thread options your POD service offers.
As a solution, find out which colour threads are available, and only use these colours in your designs and any images that feature it.
The Bottom Line
Selling the wrong product comes with a number of risks, but this can be easily avoided.
Be sure to exclude these five products out of your product research when looking for new potential opportunities.