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Worst And Best Dropshipping Products: How To Pick Worthy Items For Your Store

by Olga L. What to sell
Mar 05, 2018 27 minute read
5285 2

best dropshipping products

From today’s research, you will learn more about choosing the best dropshipping products, and filtering out the least appealing items.

What makes a product totally unsuitable for your dropshipping store?

And what, in turn, makes an item an absolutely great find for your business?

In this article, we will show you how to evaluate real AliExpress products to find out if they are worthy of your time and attention.

Let the fun begin!

Best dropshipping products are something you’d buy yourself

Obviously, the main idea of your dropshipping store is to offer something that is sold well.

This means that the best dropshipping items are the products that are desired and requested by your target audience.

In other words, in order to choose worthy items with a solid potential, you need to concentrate on items that are:

– Demanded

This is certainly the most important parameter because there’s no reason to fill your products with the items that are not needed by anyone.

Ideally, you should go on Google Trends to check if people are commonly interested in this particular product.

Let’s compare the following 3 graphs:

best dropshipping products

best dropshipping products

best dropshipping products

Here, we were analyzing the demand for 3 product types: sweaters, sweatshirts, and hoodies. All of them solve the same issue for a potential buyer (all of them are warm clothes protecting the wearer from cold weather and providing additional comfort), but, as you can see, the demand levels are totally different.

Still, there is a similarity. For these graphs, we took the period of 3 calendar years. Do you see that all the 3 graphs have the same pattern of peaks and falls?

These fluctuations are closely connected to a specific time of year. It means that these products have a seasonal nature: every year, there are the same periods of time when the demand goes super high, and there are periods when the demand is close to zero.

It is not a bad thing itself, but you should always remember that if your store contains seasonal products only, the volume of your sales and profits will be unstable during the year.

And if you compare the 3 graphs again, you’ll notice that the peaks and falls of the hoodie graph aren’t as sharp as the ones on the sweater graph. It gives you a reason to assume that in this example, hoodies are a more reliable product type, but ideally, they should be mixed with non-seasonal items in a dropshipping store offer.

– Unique

Choosing generic, plain, boring items is a serious dropshipping mistake that has a huge influence on sales.

Let’s continue talking about hoodies and consider the next example. Take a look at the pictures below:

best dropshipping products

This is an AliExpress hoodie that costs $13.99 and has a rating of 4,6*, 25 reviews and 34 orders.

As you can see, the item has a moderate price, a large clear picture of high quality that shows the product in actual use, and a good description with the relevant size chart and lots of illustrative pictures. Plus, both the store rating and the item rating are quite fine, but, judging by the low number of reviews and orders, none of these are convincing for potential buyers.

And here is another example:

best dropshipping products

This is an AliExpress hoodie that costs $16.79 and has a rating of 4,6*, 3491 reviews and 6333 orders.

This is an impressive difference, right?

Even though this item is slightly more expensive and the product pictures are obviously photoshopped, this hoodie is 185 times more popular! It’s obvious that the reason for such a huge demand is the unusual hoodie design: the space print heavily attracts buyers.

Indeed, a basic monochrome hoodie with an ordinary cut can be found nearly in any offline store – you can buy it on the spot and waste no time waiting for its delivery. The space printed hoodie, in turn, is quite a rare find for the majority of other stores, and it certainly attracts more interest of a store visitor.

And this is how we go over to the next product feature that is an absolute must-have for each and every of your items.

– Triggering impulse purchases

Basically, impulse purchases are a major driver of growth for any dropshipping store.

For such stores, neither fast shipping nor low price is a competitive advantage that can lure a visitor into making a purchase.

In this case, the only way to persuade a visitor to order something is to create an appropriate atmosphere for buying impulsively. This can be achieved through a number of ways (making a catchy store design, creating a sense of urgency, showing intense buying activity, providing other buyers’ experience, etc.), but if your products are not appealing enough, none of these tools will help you.

Let’s look at the example of sweatshirts. To make a more fair comparison, we will take 2 different product offers from the same seller.

The first item is a striped sweatshirt in pastel colors that costs $13.49 and has 5 orders, 0 rating and 0 feedback.

best dropshipping products

The second item is an aquarelle rabbit printed sweatshirt that costs $9.83 and has 1983 orders, 4.7* rating and 1004 reviews.

best dropshipping products

The numbers speak for themselves: people are more likely to buy emotionally charged products.

This is the reason why cute, adorable, kawaii products are quite often chosen by dropshipping store owners. But, you don’t have to limit yourself with ‘sweet’ stuff! Anything that immediately creates a strong emotional response is a good choice.

Take a look at an example below:

best dropshipping products

This sad patch is not exactly cute, but, thanks to its semi-sarcastic emotional drive, it got 1594 orders, 1103 reviews, and an impressive 4,9* rating. Not bad, right?

Or, let’s look at this indecent enamel pin:

best dropshipping products

It can cause various feelings, of course, but you can benefit from these emotions anyway: judging by the 1512 orders, 462 reviews, and 4.8* rating, the pin is really popular. Emotions matter, as you can see!

– Affordable

There is a simple rule: the lower is the original seller’s price, the higher is your potential profit.

It’s quite obvious, indeed: if the initial price is low, it gives you the opportunity to set up a considerable markup without disappointing your customers. Ideally, both you and your buyer should be happy with the item price 🙂

For example, you decided to import this hoodie from AliExpress and add it to your store:

best dropshipping products

The item itself is good: it is sold by a reputable seller and has a 4,5* rating, 189 reviews, 507 orders, and the free shipping option (plus, it can be shipped from the United States in a super short period of 4-13 days). The only downside is the price: if the seller asks $34.99 for this hoodie, imagine how much the item will cost after you apply the markup formula!

This is why it’s so important to click the ‘Check if this is cheaper on other sellers’ button (it’s an exclusive feature of AliDropship Google Chrome Extension, by the way). The system will offer you several matching options, and you will be able to choose a more suitable alternative – for example, this one:

best dropshipping products

This hoodie is also a great find: it has a 4.6* rating, 4878 orders, 761 reviews, and the ePacket shipping option that allows a 12-20 days delivery time. With the shipping fee included, total cost of this hoodie is only $17.45.

So, it’s not that hard to guess which of the two items is more beneficial for your store, right?

– Quick and cheap to deliver

When you want to lure your store visitors into making an impulse purchase, it is a good idea not to charge any extra fees for shipping.

Quite often, people leave online stores without placing their orders simply because they get unhappy with the total order cost, and a high shipping fee is surely a common reason for it.

So, while selecting items on AliExpress, you can only pick and import products that are shipped for free; to do this, you simply need to put a tick in the ‘Free Shipping’ field (don’t forget to specify the country where you want this product to be shipped!). The results’ page will look the following way:

best dropshipping products

Alternatively, you can only select the items that can be delivered through the ePacket option: AliDropship Google Chrome Extension easily shows you which products have this feature and which ones don’t.

best dropshipping products

The reason why we traditionally recommend to stick to the items with ePacket delivery option is simple: this shipping method allows your buyers to receive their packages really quickly. What’s also great, the shipping fee in this case is usually quite low, so you can simply include it in the item’s final price: the product will still remain affordable, and your customer will be pleased to see the ‘Free Shipping’ phrase.

Best dropshipping products are competitive

When we talk about a product’s competitiveness, we don’t necessarily mean its attractiveness in terms of SEO (ideally, you should have evaluated SEO aspect at the point of the store niche selection). Here, we are discussing the features of the products themselves, such as:

– Distinctiveness

A good dropshipping product is an item that helps you differentiate. We have already discussed this subject above when we were talking about the benefits of unique products.

It is really important for you to build a memorable store identity: a specific pleasant atmosphere in your webstore makes it more appealing for buyers and helps you compete with AliExpress and other online selling platforms.

This is why the products uploaded to your store should have the same mood and sentiment: consistency and integrity of the product offer are the key to creating a wholesome store image that attracts buyers. Look at the picture below:

best dropshipping products

At the first glance, it might seem that these two items can be easily included in the same store offer. Both of them are unisex sweatshirts with soldier-related prints, so they seem to be suitable for a store dedicated to military stuff.

Still, they are not exactly similar: they certainly generate differing emotional response, and each sweatshirt has its own ‘tone’. While both of them are a good find in terms of popularity and feedback, your final choice should depend on the desired atmosphere you’re trying to create in your store.

– No logo or brand name

According to AliExpress official policy, it is forbidden to sell branded products through the platform.

Still, this restriction only applies to globally known brands because it’s aimed on fraud prevention. At the same time, lots of items on AliExpress are in some way ‘marked’ by local manufacturers: many products have some kind of a logo or brand name on them.

Here’s an example of a branded wallet below:

best dropshipping products

As we see on this example, some Asian-based manufacturer put the producer’s name on the item in a very distinctive and obvious way. Are such products suitable for dropshipping store owners?

Normally, they are not. When you’re trying to build your own store identity, the best strategy is to avoid items that show the manufacturer’s name (especially if it’s done in such an eye-catching manner).

Obviously, it is not always possible. Some types of products, for example clothes and gadgets, are not even manufactured without the producer’s mark. If you are working with such product categories, the best option for you is to carefully examine the pictures shown in the item description. This way, you will be able to only select the items that don’t have their brand names shown openly:

best dropshipping products

This example shows a hoodie label with the product size (M) and the manufacturer’s name (Rumeiai). The brand name is rather discreet and it’s not featured on any other part of the hoodie, which is why it is acceptable to add this item to your store.

Best dropship products have informative pages on AliExpress

Let’s assume you’ve noticed an item on AliExpress, and this product immediately got your attention because of its unique nature, affordable price, and strong competitiveness.

Does it mean you should immediately import it into your store?


Before you do this, you need to go to this product page and examine it super carefully. The reason for this is simple: further, you will have to edit single product pages in your own store, It is a necessary action if you want to improve your conversion rates!

If the original AliExpress product page doesn’t include some of the following details, it might be challenging for you to create a good-looking item profile in your own store. So, before pressing the ‘Import’ button, make sure that this particular product has:

– High quality pictures

Well, if this item has already caught your attention, most likely, its main image is good (otherwise, you’d never had noticed it). But a single photo is not enough!

For example, take a look at this product:

best dropshipping products

The price is great, the shipping cost is tiny, the feedback is positive, the preview image seems to be fine – a perfect product, right? But, once you open the product page, you notice that the picture quality is not that high. Plus, it turns out to be the only image in the picture gallery, and the description box only provides 2 additional product-related pictures that don’t give much information as well. This is not the type of item you should be looking for.

For your store visitor, product images are basically the only source of knowledge about this or that unknown item. Check both the product gallery and the item description to find out if there are enough informative pictures. Ideally, the pictures should demonstrate an item in actual use, plus, there should be close-up photos showing the product details.

Here is an example of a product that is more suitable for dropshipping:

best dropshipping products

The product has multiple variations, and each of them is clearly shown on a large picture of a high quality to prevent confusion and misunderstandings. The photos are taken in a professional and appealing way, and you can view the product from various angles (you can even see the back side of the earrings and the fastenings type). If you scroll down to the description box, you will also see the pictures that give indications of the earrings’ size: there is a measurements picture, and there are photos of the earrings being put on a mannequin for scale. Even though the measurements picture contains some unnecessary info like the company name, you can easily fix it with the help of Image Editor.

– Informative description

An online store visitor can’t physically see or feel the item, which is why many questions may arise considering the item’s features. You need to be able to answer any of them correctly and professionally in order to provide a high-quality customer service, and of course, you need to fill in the item’s description to make your store look credible and trustworthy.

This is why an item like this one is not actually a good choice: the description contains no information whatsoever on the pendant size and the chain length, and you need to carefully go through all the texts on the page to try guessing what is the actual product’s material:

best dropshipping products

For a necklace or any other simple type of product, such lack of information might be just disappointing, and not really disastrous. But what if something similar happens to an item of a more complex nature? Having no data to rely on, a potential customer will simply leave the store without making a purchase.

– Relevant reviews

AliExpress reviews serve two really important purposes.

First, they prove that the item was actually bought by someone else before – for online shoppers, it is quite relaxing to know that another person has successfully purchased this exact item from this particular seller. Thanks to AliDropship plugin’s feature of reviews import, you can make sure that the products in your store have the same reviews they had on the AliExpress seller’s page.

Such reviews get even more helpful after you install Customer Gallery add-on: this way, you let your store visitors view the real-life product pictures made by previous buyers, plus, you provide the direct links to the items featured on these photos.

It’s vital to note, however, that the quality and content of reviews matter: please look at the example below.

best dropshipping products

The reviews are positive and seem to be authentic, but, due to the automatic translation to English, the first one looks really messy. You can vaguely understand that the buyer is happy with the purchase, but this review doesn’t add much to your store credibility. You should either leave such reviews untranslated if they are written in your target audience’s language, or simply delete them.

The second important purpose of product reviews is to help you decide whether you’d like to import this item to your store. For example, take a look at this product: it is an unconventional yet affordable item with high quality pictures and a detailed description. It seems like a good find for a dropshipping store, but it doesn’t have many orders yet as it’s been found in the ‘New Arrivals’ category. Should you take a risk and add it to your store?

To answer this question, go straight to the ‘Feedback’ tab. Here’s what you see:

best dropshipping products

One default review simply proves the fact of completing the purchase, while two others give a bit more details: there are real-life photos and some clarification on the pendant design. So, the buyers actually received their orders, and they seem to be quite satisfied with the product quality. The item is worth trying, most likely!

– Good seller reputation

The seller’s reputation is a crucial factor to consider, especially if you’re importing items with minimum orders and zero feedback (it’s a good strategy to follow when a brand new item appears on the market, or something becomes super trendy and you know it’s going to become a bestseller soon).

In this case, you can’t rely on previous buyers’ experience (there simply is none), but instead, it’s wise to consider the seller’s rating and performance. AliDropship plugin has an integrated feature that evaluates the seller based on many criteria (time in operation, customers’ feedback, etc.). Take a look at this example:

best dropshipping products

The dress looks awesome, has an affordable price, and is shipped via ePacket, but it’s new on the market: there is only 1 order placed, and there are no reviews yet. Still, the seller is reputable: it has a good score, so we can assume this supplier works professionally and doesn’t sell items of poor quality.

Worst dropshiping products

Finally, it’s time to talk about serious things: limitations and restrictions.

The possible issues connected to a wrong product choice might be:

  • A super angry customer who wants to return the product, make a refund, and ruin your reputation on social media
  • Legal consequences

Commonly, these 2 issues are connected to each other; they arise because of the same reasons, and it’s wise to never let any of them happen.

In order not to get into trouble, please avoid the products that are:

– Copyrighted

Take a look at this item.

not the best dropshipping products

Do you remember that we’ve mentioned something about AliExpress own ban on branded items…? Technically, it is forbidden to sell such items through the platform, but here it is, shining bright.

We don’t recommend adding something of this kind to your dropshipping store: first of all, if it’s a replica of unsatisfactory quality, the buyers will most likely get disappointed because of unmet expectations, and their negative feedback won’t do you any good.

Plus, most likely, you will have difficulties while promoting these items on social media: if they get wide coverage, they will certainly get attention of the original brand owners, authorities, or just concerned individuals. Your social media account might get blocked, and your whole business will get compromised. That’s not what you want, right?

– Potentially dangerous

The item below is a good illustration of a product that might get stuck on customs because of its provocative nature.

not the best dropshipping products

Every country has its own regulations regarding items that are allowed to be imported, even if it’s just an online order placed by a private individual. There might be some restrictions on importing defense articles, hunting tools, military-related items, smoking devices, etc. If you are not sure that this or that product can be safely shipped to your buyers’ country of residence, please check it twice, and if you’re still doubting, just leave it out.

– Fragile

The item on the picture below is super cute, but somewhat tricky.

not the best dropshipping products

Product delivery takes a lot of time; during the shipment process, the package will certainly see some external impact.

No one likes receiving deformed or broken items, which is why products made of glass, ceramics, or other similar materials are sometimes a questionable choice.

If you still want to have them in your store, it is a good idea to talk to the relevant AliExpress seller first. Ask about the used type of the packaging materials, and read the previous buyers’ reviews to make sure this seller does a good job of providing the items with a secure and damage-proof package.

– Heavy

According to the seller’s description, the weight of the package containing this animal-head piece of home decor is 4 kg.

not the best dropshipping products

Even for domestic shipping, such items are usually a bit tricky.

International delivery, most likely, will demand some extra shipping fees, which is not a good news for your buyers. Plus, the heavier items that are inconvenient to manage are more likely to cause some unpleasant incidents during the loading activities, and this, in turn, may result in the product damage.

– Technically complex

The picture below shows an example of a drone offered on AliExpress.

not the best dropshipping products

Even though the gadget industry shows a rapid favorable growth, it might be a better strategy to focus on the relevant accessories and spare parts instead.

The reason for this precaution is simple: neither you nor your buyer can be 100% sure in the perfect working order of a complicated piece of technology that none of you can physically examine.

If something goes wrong, you will have to deal with the standard return and refund routine. Generally, it is a simple and quick procedure, but if you’re dealing with costly items (and gadgets are quite expensive, as you can guess), the whole process might get a bit longer and trickier.

– Tight-fitting clothes and shoes

Typically, we don’t even recommend working with shoes (except for home slippers) and ‘demanding’ clothes. Here’s what we’re talking about:

not the best dropshipping products

This dress is exquisite and looks fancy, but, as you guess, it requires a specific body type, plus it needs to be tried on before purchase.

You have certainly seen some funny ‘AliExpress: Expectations vs Reality’ posts on social media, and this is exactly what might happen to your buyer. When a store visitor has no way to try on a piece of clothing before purchase, there are two possible scenarios for this customer: 1) leaving the store without completing the order, 2) ordering an unsuitable and disappointing piece of clothing that will later be returned. None of the options is really great, right?

The same is true for shoes; here’s an illustrative picture from a seller’s page.

not the best dropshipping products

Even the modelling person clearly has some inconveniences with wearing these high heels; can you expect that a random customer’s feet will definitely fit into this pair of shoes?

This is why we recommend working with oversized clothes and items with a loose cut that are not supposed to fit you tightly: buyers with any kind of body type can pick and wear them with no stress and discomfort.

That’s all for our product recommendations!

Follow these instructions and fill your store only with the best dropshipping products: they are guaranteed to bring you great returns!

By Olga L.
Olga Lavrinovich is a content creator at AliDropship, and she aims to explain the most complicated drop shipping concepts in the simplest terms possible.
Ramesh March 6, 2018 14:35:28

Great, very detailed and helpful post Olga. So many things to consider and watch out for

Jo Ann Longmire March 6, 2018 21:40:31

Great advice. As a startup it puts me on the right track.

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