Why Do Most Dropshippers Fail?

1, They Don’t Vet Their Suppliers

The anonymity of running an online business is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can make money without leaving your house, but on the other, you don’t get to qualify partners face to face.

One of the biggest mistakes dropshippers make is not vetting their suppliers and manufacturers.

They see the products and prices online and then place their first order. Suddenly, their orders aren’t being fulfilled, the supplier is prioritizing other retailers, the products are arriving damaged or not at all, or worse, the supplier isn’t responding to their emails.

These disasters can be avoided by making an effort to interview and vet different suppliers before choosing one. Schedule a phone call with them; even better, make it a video call. See how fast they respond to your messages. Get to know the person on the other end of the phone. Ask them lots of questions. Ask for reviews or references.

Better yet, save your time and energy by using a secure and reliable drop shipping platform like KaKaClo to connect with credible apparel suppliers. There’s also a test option that allows you to test products out before making your final decision.

If you want your dropshipping business to survive, start by ensuring you have an excellent product from a trustworthy supplier. And use your time for the areas that matter most: marketing, customer service, and website design.

2, They Don’t Market Their Store

Drop-shipping isn’t a source of 100 percent passive income, at least, not if you want to be successful. The drop-shippers who are killing the game are constantly marketing their stores. How?

First, they create a user-friendly, appealing, and enticing online store. They use secure payment options, a riveting web design, and a website that is optimized for mobile searches. After all, 79% of smartphone users make purchases on them.

You may be wondering if you really need to use social media to market your store. Is a website enough?

The answer is no, not anymore. Plus, social media marketing has the power to drive 71% more sales on your eCommerce website, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Successful dropshippers create content frequently and regularly and spend money on ads. They engage with their followers on social media and respond to website inquiries ASAP.

Marketing an eCommerce business is a full-time job. The ones who don’t treat it as such aren’t successful.

3, They Don’t Put Their Customers First

When a customer emails you saying your product doesn’t function the way they expected it to, how do you respond? Do you believe it was the customer’s mistake and not your problem?

Top drop-shippers take accountability for their customers’ experiences whether they are good or bad. If they receive a concern or complaint, addressing it is at the top of their to-do list.

Why? Because without customers, you don’t have a business.

And, because you simply have to expect returns if you run an eCommerce business. 41% of consumers purchase multiple variations of one product with the intention of returning the ones they don’t want. Furthermore, eCommerce stores have twice the return rate of brick-and-mortar stores!

You can put your customers first by having a reasonable and fair refund policy, accepting exchanges when possible, and adapting your shipping options to be more convenient. Although this can be tricky with foreign suppliers. US suppliers usually make returns and reimbursements easy and simple.

That could mean finding a US supplier or Canadian supplier to decrease the shipping time for your North American consumers.

If you want to succeed at dropshipping, your goal should be to have the best customer service on the internet. And that doesn’t end once the customer has made the purchase.

Another way to put your customers first is to build trust. Make payments secure, and have trust badges and customer reviews to help people see you as a legitimate business.

4, They Don’t Do Their Research

It’s incredibly important to research pricing strategies when creating your product listings.

Undercharge and you don’t cover the cost of your expenses, you turn away high-quality customers, and you miss out on profits.

Overcharge and you decrease your sales, deter new customers, and prevent your business from growing.

Research your competitors’ strategies, consumer behavior, and market positioning. Then, use A/B testing to see which strategies are most effective for your unique slice of the consumer base.

Research is key for pricing and many other aspects of your online business.

The most successful dropshippers understand that their success is not based on luck. There is strategy in every aspect from pricing to brand colors to listing copy and customer service.

If you want to thrive as a drop shipper, don’t leave anything up to chance.

5, What Should I NOT Dropship?

Before you decide what to sell online, keep in mind that some products are less suitable for dropshipping. Consider the quality, marketability, and ship ability of your products.

Here are some items to stay away from if you want to be a successful dropshipper.

Products That Lack Quality

‍This specifically refers to counterfeit products or low-quality materials. Even Amazon is battling its share of counterfeit goods in circulation. They appear cheaper for the retailer to acquire and they seem to come from a trending or well-known brand. However, they can cause serious liabilities for the retailer.

In the beauty industry, counterfeit or low-quality products have caused skin injuries and potentially-fatal conditions. As an online seller, you are liable for the products you sell. Selling counterfeit or low-quality products can lead to a mass of angry customers and potential lawsuits.

The same goes for low-quality items. Cheaper products may last only a few weeks before falling apart, leading to upset customers and a bad reputation. Choose wisely and test your products before selling them to your customers.

Although this is easily avoidable by having vetted many suppliers and inspected the products, it takes time, effort, energy, and a few headaches to get there.

Products That Aren’t Marketable

‍As we pointed out above, social media drives 71 percent of sales on eCommerce websites. However, you can’t market on social media if the products you’re selling aren’t allowed on the platforms or are completely oversaturated and un-unique.

If you aren’t going to be able to market it properly, don’t bother selling it.

You should also avoid products that customers can get at their local shopping mall. Why would a customer wait 4 or more days for an item they could get from a physical store today? Why waste your marketing budget advertising products your customers won’t buy online?

Unless there’s something amazingly unique about your everyday product, don’t waste your time, money, and energy.

Products That Aren’t Shippable

‍The heavier and larger a product is, the more expensive it is to ship. This can be especially tricky for overseas suppliers. In this case, the best way to go about it is to have these items shipped from a US or Canadian Supplier to ensure safe and fast delivery.

The reason for this is a word all drop shippers dread “Cart Abandonment”. If your customer pays for shipping, they might get to the final checkout page, see the shipping charge, and abandon their cart altogether.

The cart abandonment rate across all industries is nearly 70%. Over half of all cart abandoners cite unexpected costs, like shipping fees, to be the number one reason.

So, if the product can’t be shipped safely and from a short distance, don’t put yourself through the agony and stress of dealing with it. But if your mind’s made up, make sure you test it out first before making a decision.


Dropshipping is a lucrative and exciting business option for those who are willing to put in the time and effort. But it’s not a get-rich-quick-scheme and it’s not fully passive income.

If you’re ready to start your dropshipping business, use a reliable, secure, and thriving platform to host your store and meet suppliers. KakaClo is a dropshipping platform for all your apparel and promotional needs. We help you to get rid of supplier issues so that you focus on branding as we manage everything from design to delivery.