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5 Types Of Products You Should Avoid Dropshipping

By Timur Y.

Here are some products you should avoid dropshipping

Although one can find almost any kind of product on AliExpress, not all of them are suitable for your business. Here’s a list of 5 products you should avoid dropshipping.

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Why certain items are unsuitable for dropshipping

In theory, you can dropship any type of goods. Of course, the demand may differ and, as a result, some of them may sell better than others.

However, you can tell a good product from a bad one even without a thorough market analysis. Here are some of the features to watch out for.

  1. Size and weight

When choosing products to dropship, entrepreneurs usually avoid heavy and large items. There is a good reason for it. First of all, a heavy package automatically means a high shipping cost. In addition, heavy objects are more likely to break during transportation.

  1. Fragility

For the same reason, you want to think twice before dropshipping fragile items made of ceramics or glass. Do it only if you’re sure your AliExpress seller takes good care of packaging.

  1. Shipping issues

While you have little choice when it comes to delivery time on AliExpress, shipping fees is something you can and should take into account. Free shipping is your best choice. Alternatively, use ePacket shipping because it’s relatively cheap. Consequently, other options are questionable.

  1. Potentially illegal products

Simply speaking, you’d better avoid anything related to hunting/military equipment or drugs. So, knives or smoking devices will make unsuitable dropshipping items because they may be considered illegal by the customs. Of course, unless you know the given country’s legislation and are absolutely sure it’s legal.

  1. Political issues

Other products you should avoid dropshipping include those that might be banned for political reasons. In other words, choose wisely and always double check if it’s possible to import particular goods in your target country.

These rules can be applied to any products for selling online. Now, let’s take a look at top 5 products to stay away from and learn why.

Dropshipping copyrighted goods


In dropshipping, copyright can cause serious issues. First of all, when it comes to branded products, people usually expect to receive high-quality items manufactured by famous companies. But if you start dropshipping replicas from unknown Chinese sellers, you won’t be able to avoid complaints and accusations. Therefore, you’d better stay away from fake goods.

The second reason you don’t want to sell items like this is because the brand owner can sue you. That’s why dealing with merchandise designed after a famous TV show or anime can be risky.

It doesn’t mean you’ll get a call from a lawyer the next morning after you imported such products. Some people manage to successfully dropship such merchandise for some time, but in the long run, you can expect problems.

Dropshipping sophisticated electronics

5 Types Of Products You Should Avoid Dropshipping

Dropshipping electronics might seem like a good idea. Gadgets, robots and similar items are getting more available to the general public and a lot of people can now afford them. But on the other hand, dealing with electronics, especially expensive pieces, can cause a lot of troubles too.

Electronics are fragile and complicated things. They can break from almost anything – because of temperature fluctuations, careless transportation or because the stars weren’t aligned!

As a result, you might have to deal with a lot of refunding, which isn’t really a problem for a dropshipping store, except such goods usually aren’t cheap. So, each time this happens, you’ll have to lose quite a lot of money.

Therefore, it’s safer to focus on accessories instead which are cheaper and less fragile. This way, you can avoid the problems mentioned above, but still participate in this niche. Another option is to focus on low-cost yet cool tech gadgets – take a look at a sample fancy selection of gadgets under $5 here!

Dropshipping weight loss products


This is another tricky category of products you should avoid dropshipping. To be precise, some goods here are perfectly fine. For example, massagers or slimming belts can make a great addition to your product range. But stay away from things like patches, creams, pills and herbal teas.

The reason is simple. These are organic products, but do you really know how they’re produced and tested or what side effects they may have? What if a client has an allergy to some components? What if the pack got damaged and the product got spoiled?

In other words, some weight loss products can be health threatening. Yes, people do buy stuff like this from AliExpress, and I’m sure most of them are safe. But if your supplier lets you down, you are going to be in a lot of trouble!

Also, if you still want to deal with other (non-organic) weight loss goods, prepare yourself to deal with customers complaining that your stuff isn’t helping. But that’s another problem.

Dropshipping beauty products


Dropshipping beauty products is associated with similar problems. Cosmetics are chemicals that can cause allergic reactions or even worse. Still, it doesn’t mean this niche has no potential.

As an alternative, some entrepreneurs do dropship beauty products that don’t go into direct contact with the user’s skin. Of course, even in this case, you should make sure the goods are safe. To do that, contact the potential sellers and ask them to show you these products’ certificates or other legal papers.

What’s even more important, read customer reviews on AliExpress to see if someone actually had any problems!

Dropshipping shoes


You may wonder: so many successful dropshipping stores sell clothing and costumes! So what’s wrong with shoes?

First of all, not all people buy apparel online. Even if the size tables a store offers are accurate, there’s no guarantee the clothes will fit. But if it happens to be a little over- or undersized, it might not be that much of a trouble, at least with certain types of clothes.

If you put on an undersized T-shirt, you may feel uncomfortable. If it’s oversized, you may look a bit stupid. But if your shoes are oversized, they’ll fall off your feet! If undersized, it’ll hurt to walk!

Besides, shoes usually cost more than a piece of clothing. And again, as a result, you will have to deal with lots of complaints and refunds. So, dropshipping shoes may be risky.


Of course, it doesn’t mean that a dropshipping business dealing with these categories of goods will necessarily fail. However, if compared to alternatives, these ones are more likely to cause additional challenges. Most certainly, they will also require a more careful approach to your business management.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide what goods to pick and what products you should avoid dropshipping. By the way, don’t forget to start your product range creation with a niche analysis! With our free Niche Research tool, you’ll easily find a profitable product niche meeting your personal interests.

By Timur Y.
Timur holds a Ph.D. in Philology and works as a senior copywriter at AliDropship. He's been writing articles on ecommerce and dropshipping for more than 3 years and is keen to create easy-to-read educational content for ecommerce newcomers and beginners in dropshipping.
Adewale Atewogbade 4 years ago

Interesting article. When I asked for niche recommendations before paying to build my alidropship store, one of the recommendations was a cosmetic store which I chose and now run as So tell me, what are best selling cosmetic products i can sell on my website without running into potential problems.

Timur Y. 4 years ago

I’d say you’ve covered pretty much everything I can think of. As for risks, anything containig chemicals may cause problems, so make sure you work only with trusted suppliers. Nail accessories and tools are very popular, and they are surely safe. You may also want to broaden your niche a bit and import products distantly related to your main niche. I wrote about it here:

Hope it’ll help you.

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