Worst Products for Dropshipping - Top 4 Characteristics That Ecommerce Store Owners Should Avoid
Logistics is an integral part of dropshipping, and it is natural that you should consider logistics related matters in your decision making process for your store. This blog post discusses some main characteristics that you should pay attention to when conducting product research and planning product launches. Generally, you should avoid selling these types of products because the process of shipping them, especially overseas, is challenging and complicated.
Let’s first find out the reasons why shipping some products involves more complications than others.
1. Some courier services do not want to take the hassle of transporting certain products
First of all, it is a tiring process to persuade some couriers to ship certain items. Even if they agree to ship the products for you, the shipping rates are relatively high. The problems worsen if your customers want to exchange or return those goods.
2. There are many restrictions for some products
More restrictions (e.g. shipping routes, size, weight) means higher shipping costs and longer delivery time, which leads to lower customer satisfaction of your ecommerce store.
3. Shipping some products are difficult and risky
Risk means the products are likely to be damaged, resulting in higher return and chargeback rate.
All the cases above would result in additional operating and other overhead costs, thus lower profit margin for your dropshipping business. With the reasons explained above, we now will present some pointers that you should look out for when deciding which products to dropship.
1. Heavy or oversized
Considering that many dropshipping businesses attract their customers with fast and affordable shipping, selling heavy or oversized items while keeping the costs down would be a great challenge for store owners. Moreover, the shipping rates are especially high once the parcels cross certain weight and size segments.
However, if you are confident that those products would bring you a decent return, you can still pursue this path. Since shipping charges vary across different courier services, you should negotiate with multiple companies to obtain the best rates. Alternatively, you can work with a dropshipping agent who usually has long-term partnerships with a large pool of shipping companies and experience in handling a wide variety of goods. Therefore, they would be able to propose the best solutions and get you the best deals for shipping. For instance, at Xianchao Logistics, we help our clients take out unnecessary packaging and materials to shrink the items with large volumetric weights and ship them out to the end consumers.
Dropshipping products with batteries is tricky because most shipping methods do not accommodate or impose many restrictions on them. The problem gets more complicated for items with internal batteries, such as power banks. This is mainly due to the potential hazards that batteries pose during transportation, e.g. explosion. Another thing that you should keep in mind is that there are restrictions on the amount of charge for batteries, which depends on the courier services and countries of destination.
Nevertheless, many dropshippers still choose to sell these items because of their high potential and market share, and they are able to overcome many challenges when working with a dropshipping agent. For example, while the majority of shipping companies do not accept portable chargers, Xianchao Logistics has helped many of our clients to dropship this type of products over the past few years.
One of the biggest reasons for low customer satisfaction of ecommerce stores is that buyers received damaged products. Although transporters and shippers are supposed to handle packages with the utmost care, they do not have the time to carefully lift every single parcel and load them on the transportation vehicles. Therefore, breakage is a common scene in the shipping sector. That is why many dropshippers avoid fragile products such as glasses and ceramics because they are much more likely to break during the shipping process. Even worse, you would have to deal with high breakage rates if you work with inexperienced and irresponsible logistics service providers.
Nonetheless, if this is a risk that you are willing to take, you should at least talk to your suppliers to discuss the alternatives and measures that you could implement to help you and your business. For instance, you can negotiate or ask for certain types and volumes of packaging and dunnage to be inserted. This would provide extra cushioning and protection for your items, thus decreasing the change of them being broken.
Dropshippers are usually advised to stay away from sharp-edged and dangerous items such as knives because of the complications involved in shipping them internationally. First of all, the edge might tore the external packaging and pose safety concerns to carriers. Secondly, many countries impose size restrictions on those items, and they are usually held at borders and custom checkpoints longer for extra inspection and investigation. In worst cases, they might be denied entry and sent back to sellers.
While it is hard to overcome the second challenge, the first obstacle is something that you can work on with your suppliers. You should clearly state your expectations and ask them to provide additional packaging for those products so that they are less likely to damage other items in the package as well as the outer packing itself.
In short, dropshipping certain products is more demanding than others. However, there are ways that you can work around those obstacles in most cases. In order to better handle your orders and appease your customers, you are recommended to work with a trustworthy dropshipping agent, who can share their industry insights with you and provide you with the best advice to grow your ecommerce store.
If you are looking for a reliable dropshipping agent who can help you scale your business, contact us today! With 30+ years of experience in logistics industry and 5+ years in dropshipping sector, Xianchao can help you handle most back-end matters and solve your pain points, ranging from product & supplier sourcing to ecommerce order fulfillment, or branded packaging & private labelling to quality inspection & product certification. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need to know any details about partnering with us.