15 Costly Dropshipping Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Starting Out

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Dropshipping is a massive industry growing stronger and popular every day. But while strong, it’s still not without its pitfalls.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get an idea of what problems are associated with dropshipping, then keep on reading because, in this post, we’ll discuss the 15 costly dropshipping mistakes to avoid when you’re starting.

So, let’s begin.

Being Unrealistic

Listening to dropshipping gurus is going to land you in trouble. Nothing comes easy, and they show you that it does, just to market their products and services.

When starting a dropshipping business, it’s always best to start slow. Research as much as you can and then make accurate decisions that are in line with your business.

Having unrealistic expectations from the get-go is going to land you in a state of hopelessness when you realize that you’re not making the sales as promised by the gurus.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a goal. Aim for something real rather than something over the top.

If you manage to fall short of it, then it won’t be as painful and will be a part of the growing process.

Not Having a Focus on Product Research

Product research is vital if you’re thinking about doing drop shipping in the long run.

You can’t just expect to start dropshipping products online without knowing what they are unless you have an unlimited budget.

Learn about various industries operating in the dropshipping world, how they are operating, and what you can offer to the customer that they aren’t already getting.

When you answer these questions, you’ll be better able to have an idea of what products you’ll be selling.

Moreover, you will be able to map the competition and provide a distinctive dropshipping service.

Taking Too Much Time in Product Selection

While product research is essential, there is no need to fuss over it. Oftentimes, we get caught up in our own biases that we tend to forget our own major goal.

Stay on the product research. If you think the dropshipping product is good, then use it. If your research requires further polishing, then go for that option. The longer a period you take to perform your research, the more you’ll procrastinate. This inadvertently means a longer time to market.

Drilling Down Your Niche

Any product you select will be a part of a niche.

For example, t-shirts, shoes, and jeans come under the niche of apparel products. Now that’s a pretty straightforward example of a niche.

For other products, you have niches, and sub-niches to drill down on. Now doing that is quite effective. However, there is a limit to how much you can drill down a product niche.

Ideally, you want to expand your product offerings. Because of the need to diversify, you should never make your business model revolve around a single niche.

For example, businesses starting to name their entire company on the name of their products. This causes branding problems when the company expands.

The goal is not to bog yourself down to the niche of the products that you’re selling for your dropshipping store. Keep your branding varied while your product range is expansive.

Not Having Multiple Suppliers

Having a single supplier doesn’t work for a business.

Even if the business has a trustworthy supplier, it’s always best to have a backup plan in the event of things going wrong. Having multiple suppliers helps you keep on top of things.

In the event one supplier misses out, you can always contact the backup for the supply. While that is a case you should look out for, having multiple suppliers comes in handy when you’re sourcing multiple products.

This helps you keep your supply lines diversified while working normally.

There are plenty of locations that you can use to look for suppliers.

Not Optimizing Your Store

This isn’t just limited to a Shopify store.

Any content management system you use needs to be optimized. But what does optimize even mean? It means different things in different circles. Let’s see two different examples of this:

SEO optimization: essentially, it means optimizing your store for keywords and search engines.

Website optimization: this implies making changes to the layout, look, feel, and performance of the website regularly.

Which one should you be doing? Well, both.

A combination of both sea and technical optimization can keep your site up to date, secure, and well-ranked on search engines since these two optimizations work hand in hand.

Having A “Build It and They’ll Come” Mindset

Build it and they will come. That might have been possible when the internet was in its infancy, but not today.

The modern internet is cutthroat. Without proper marketing and thinking that your product will automatically bring in customers is not intuitive.

There are billions of stores present on the internet. So, even if your product is the next best thing, it still won’t gain traction unless you make it reach people.

Having No Holiday Plans

For any eCommerce store, the holiday seasons are vital. It’s a time of the year when everyone is home and is more willing to purchase products.

Most businesses, however, do not have an adequate plan for the holidays. This is a loss of opportunity for the business who otherwise, could have made a serious profit during that period.

To avoid losing money, you need to plan the holiday season ahead of time.

Planning for such periods helps you avoid the rush of the holiday season. Moreover, it’s a natural moneymaker for e-commerce and dropshipping businesses.

Not Investing in Automation

The modern world is full of automation and doing everything manually can lead to exhaustion and overwork.

Yes, of course, there are things that you would have to do manually, but in the long run, it’s better to have a business process automation software present.

The ideal scenario with automation is to begin in baby steps and then move on from there to bigger automation projects.

Losing Heart Too Quickly

Unless you have a sizable following, who are anticipating the launch of your eCommerce store, it’s going to be a long journey for you.

By long journey, we mean that it might take you a year or more to get sizable sales. The only thing you need to be is patient and not give up on your efforts.

With the right strategy and a bit of patience, you can start selling your product even quicker.

No Marketing Plans

This follows along with our previous strategy.

When you don’t plan, you’re bound for disappointment. Because of this, it’s important to have a solid marketing plan that’s adjustable with the times.

Most businesses, when they’re first starting, don’t care that much for marketing plans. Down the road, however, you’re going to get into more trouble since just winging it doesn’t work well.

Blackhat Sea

Making this mistake in any form of business can land you into long-term trouble.

Yes, while Blackhat strategies might be tempting in the short run, they are very harmful to the credibility of the business in the long.

So, whether you apply Blackhat to SEO or any other point in your website, you should be prepared for the consequences.

Influencer Fees

Influencer marketing is using the top-level people in your industry to advertise your products and services to their already strong customer base.

Now there are advantages to using influencers but they come at a price. As a new business, if you’re looking for an influencer for your business, you’re going to have to spend some time and money.

If you don’t want to invest in influencer marketing, then you shouldn’t. Instead, focus on organic solutions like making a well-designed and optimized website.

Not Having a Return System

In the world of eCommerce, returns and refunds are an inevitability that you just have to embrace. When you don’t have a system of returns present on your website, you can lose the legitimacy of your business and receive customer complaints.

To avoid that fully, you need to have a proper system set up which deals with returns. With that, you will be better able to address customer issues with returns and provide a better quality of service.

In addition to that, you can also have a proper policy for returns so that you can spot any faulty returns.

Not Reducing the Customer Journey

A vital aspect in making more sales and conversions for your dropshipping store is to reduce the customer journey.

The customer is already busy enough, and you need to ensure that once the product is selected, they are checked out as quickly as possible. This leads to quicker sales and more efficient operations that the customer could come back to.


There are many mistakes such as the fifteen we’ve discussed in this post. Hopefully, you learned a lot of lessons from this post.

With dropshipping, it’s best to take a second guess before you proceed with anything new. Research the concepts of the trade and only then, should you move ahead.

We hope you enjoyed reading.

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