7 Risky Products You Should Avoid to Dropship

David Linder

David Linder

I write about dropshipping, ecommerce and marketing. Owner of www.www.productmafia.com the worlds best product research agency for Dropshippers.
5 min read

Dropshipping products can make or break your dropshipping business.


The search for winning products can be difficult nowadays. Dropshippers are always on the lookout for the newest, most unique products to emerge in the market that offer them the opportunity to earn more revenue. However, some risks should not be ignored in favor of instant gratification as they may cost more money later on.

If you’re new to dropshipping, you’ll likely overlook the risks of dropshipping certain products. These risky products may look profitable at first yet, they come with consequences that might be too much for you to handle. You can lose more money than you earned or quit dropshipping for good out of frustration. Some dropshipping products can be considered high-risk due to any of the following:

  • They are not allowed legally to enter some countries.
  • Facebook prohibits advertising them on its platform.
  • Counterfeit or trademarked items with legal consequences.
  • High shipping costs.
  • They are prone to breakage, damage, and malfunction.
  • The products can be found on brick and mortar stores.
  • The items have a high probability of returns.


With the wrong choice of product, you’ll be left dealing with an angry customer who wants a refund and destroys your business on social media. Not to mention the risk of getting sued by companies for selling knockoffs of trademarked products. To prevent these from happening, here’s a list of 7 risky products to avoid dropshipping.




#1 Shoes and Clothing

Dropshipping products that require sizing can leave you dealing with returns. The customer might order the right size based on your sizing chart but the product may not fit them at all because they are not of Asian size. If they ordered in different sizes, you’ll have many items that you’ll end up keeping if your supplier does not accept this type of return. Jeans, dresses, tees, jackets, and sneakers have a high potential of returns so if you’re not ready to deal with returns, don’t dropship these items.



#2 Counterfeit or Replica of Trademarked Products

There are three reasons why you should steer away from selling this type of dropshipping products. One, products like these are not allowed to be advertised on Facebook. Two, customers will bombard you with complaints and negative reviews for making them buy counterfeit goods from you. And lastly, companies that owned the trademarks can sue you for selling fake products that carry their branding.

Some shoes, apparel, toys, and accessories being sold on AliExpress have trademarked branding and if you don’t have a reseller’s license you cannot legally sell them in your store. You might rake in more profits with trademarked items but it will be at the expense of getting slapped with copyright infringement later on.



#3 Big or Heavy Items

Dropshipping products from China is so popular due to several reasons and one of them is ePacket shipping. However, there are limitations to the dimensions and weight that ePacket allows for shipping. The maximum length should be 60 cm and the total length, height, and thickness should not exceed 90 cm plus the item should not weigh more than 2 kg. You can find more info on ePacket shipping in this article.

Even if you dropship from other countries rather than China, heavy or big items could still be an issue for you. You will not only pay more in shipping, but there is also the risk of product damages during delivery. Furniture like this bed may allow you to set a high markup but you have to select a different shipping method. It might cost more than the product itself and will take longer to arrive at the customer’s address.



#4 Products Not Allowed to be Advertised on Facebook

If you are planning to advertise on Facebook, avoid dropshipping these prohibited products stated in its Advertising Policies.

  • Drugs and drug-related products
  • Adult products
  • Third-Party infringements
  • Tobacco products
  • Unregulated supplements
  • Counterfeit products
  • Controversial products
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Health products: “Before-and-After”
  • Weapons



Face masks, knives, hunting tools, e-cigarettes, and adult toys are just a few products you might be able to market in other platforms but not on Facebook. There’s also the risk of some countries not allowing the import of potentially dangerous products by private individuals. Thus, you have to thoroughly learn and understand the regulations of the country you’re dropshipping these items to. If you’re still in doubt might as well avoid selling these products.


#5 Fragile Items

Dropshipping will take many days for the product to get delivered to the customer. Fragile items might get broken during loading and unloading on the delivery truck. If the supplier cannot ensure protection and free replacement of damaged products during delivery, you’d be better off leaving out these items.



#6 Electronic Products

Electronic products are just some of the items that cause complaints and returns. As you will not be able to check the products before they are shipped you cannot 100% ensure that they will work properly when the customers received them. A lot can go wrong when it comes to dropshipping this type of product. They may not work properly or can injure your customers. If something goes wrong with your product, you’ll have to deal with the returns and could be liable for any harm that befalls the customer while using it. To know more about the liabilities of dropshipping electronic products, it’s best to consult a lawyer.

Some electronic products to avoid dropshipping are cellphones, razors, security cameras, and products with batteries like this night lamp for kids.



#7 Technically Complex Products

Costly items with a technically complex operation like drones might let you earn favorable revenue but the after support can be trickier and longer. Neither you nor the customer has physically inspected the product before purchase so none of you can guarantee that it will work perfectly. If it will not function as expected you’ll have to deal with the return and refund if the customer decided not to accept product replacement. Worse, you’ll have to settle fees if the customer chooses to file a chargeback with his bank instead.



Key Takeaway

When you’re dropshipping products, always take the safer and smarter path. Dropship only lawfully resalable items. Don’t give in to the temptation of selling highly profitable but risky products. The profits you’ll get from them will not be worth the trouble they will cause in the future.


DISCLAIMER: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional legal advice. Always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal situation. 

David Linder

David Linder

I write about dropshipping, ecommerce and marketing. Owner of www.www.productmafia.com the worlds best product research agency for Dropshippers.

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