By Erin Wawok



More people have started to realize the income-generating potential of selling products online through an eCommerce store. Dropshipping is one of the most common methods of eCommerce, but it still poses the same difficult question: what do I sell? Choosing products that are too niche will be off-trend and very competitive, but choosing generic items won’t work well either. Before you begin sourcing products, it is important to know which ones you should absolutely avoid. In this post, we explain what you should absolutely avoid selling through dropshipping in 2020. 

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is one method of eCommerce that involves the seller selling items from a supplier. Essentially, the drop shipper connects buyers to the direct supplier who fulfills the order. The seller gets a portion of the sale without the mess of fulfillment. Unlike other eCommerce routes, dropshipping does not require the seller to manufacture items or manage their own inventory. However, choosing the wrong products to dropship is still a costly mistake. 

Dropshipping Categories to Avoid

Some dropshipping niches have really lost their zest. You must avoid niches that are oversaturated and have fallen out of trend. Here are the niches to avoid in 2020:

Fragile Items 

As a seller drop shipping, you do not really get physical insight into the items you are selling. It will be hard for you to truly assess the durability of fragile items and these items have a much higher chance of sustaining damage while traveling. Fragile items heavily reduce your ability to generate return sales. Avoid selling Glassware, fragile art, ceramics etc. 

Heavy/ Bulky Items

Heavy and bulky items threaten your bottom line, and are one of the absolute worst product niches for dropshipping in 2020. Fulfillment and shipping is far more expensive for heavier items, and it will be hard for you to get buyers to spend more. If shipping costs get too high, buyers will abandon the purchase. The financial burden of heavy items makes them something you should avoid selling online in 2020. 

Generic Clothing

Clothing is an incredibly common dropshipping product, but general clothing is one you should avoid. General clothing, think plain sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc, can be sourced locally and often for cheaper. For that reason, buyers are very unlikely to purchase generic clothing from a drop shipper. You should also avoid clothing or shoes that are very form-fitting and “demanding”. Buyers have no way of trying these items on and can easily become frustrated if the piece does not work for them. Instead of general clothing, consider items that are very unique, trendy, and loose cut. 

“Lifestyle” Products

Most general lifestyle products include household items like cleaning products and kitchen utensils. Once again, buyers can easily access these items for very low prices in their area. These lifestyle products are found everywhere, thus the market is oversaturated and competitive. 

Copywrited Items

Technically, it is illegal to sell branded items and replicas, but many drop shippers do so anyway. We highly recommend you avoid selling copyrighted items on your eCommerce store in 2020. First, you will not be able to promote these items, and you may face legal problems if the original brand becomes aware. Additionally, buyers are likely to become frustrated or disappointed when the replica does not match the quality of the original items. The negative feedback will only hurt your store and reputation. 

Dangerous/ Hazardous Items

Each country has regulations for items that are legal to import. Many countries restrict defense items, hunting tools, military items, smoking devices, and other hazardous items. It is best to avoid selling any potentially dangerous items to avoid issues with shipping to the buyer. Steer clear of knives, firearms, fireworks, chemicals, etc. 

Complex Gadgets

While the gadget industry is growing rapidly, we recommend you avoid complicated tech gadgets and stick to accessories instead. As the seller, you cannot physically examine the technology, so you can not be certain it is in working order. Processing returns and refunds for these expensive items can be a huge headache. Additionally, buyers will be wary of purchasing such items without being able to inspect. 

What Should You Sell in 2020?

Based on the list above it may seem like there is not much worth selling online in 2020, but that could not be further from the truth! For a detailed description and some ideas for trending eCommerce products in 2020, check out our previous post. 

Here are the qualities you should look for in products to sell:

  • Products that you yourself would purchase. Check Google trends to determine what is in demand.
  • Unique items. This can be as simple as choosing unique colors or patterns as well. 
  • Things that are easy and cheap to ship. 
  • Products that are cohesive to creating your distinct store identity. 

No matter what you choose to sell, Listing Mirror is here to help. We allow you to sell more and work less with listing management, order fulfillment, inventory syncing, and warehouse management. Learn more about how our #1 multichannel product listing software will transform your eCommerce business in 2020 by contacting us HERE.

Erin Wawok

Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.