How To Choose The Best Things To Dropship

How To Choose The Best Things To Dropship

By JoAnne D. | eCommerce/Dropshipping

If you plan to start selling on your blog but can’t make your own product yet, dropshipping is an excellent starting point. However, there are so many products to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Read on to find out how to choose the best products to dropship, plus plenty of examples of the best things to dropship right now.

Dropshipping is a terrific way to monetize your blog.

First, though, you have to think about what products to sell. You can’t just go into it; you’ll have to do your homework and research extensively to find which products will give you the most profit.

In today’s article, I’m going to guide you on where to find inspiration for product ideas, how to narrow them down, and how to choose the best things to dropship.

How To Determine The Best Products To Dropship

Dropshipping is a business model wherein a retailer (that’s you) sells products from a supplier on their online store where customers can shop and pay for the products.

When the retailer gets the payment from the customer, they keep the profit, and they pay the supplier the wholesale price of the product. Then, they’ll ship the product directly to the customer without the retailer ever handling the product.

Here’s a simple diagram of how the process typically goes:

What Is Dropshipping?

Click To Zoom

A step-by-step guide to dropshipping through AliExpress and Shopify can be found in one of our previous articles. But for now, I’ll only talk about how to choose products to sell through dropshipping.

The most important question to ask about any possible dropshipping product is: “Will it sell?”

Here are some steps to follow so you can come up with products that sell.

Come up with a list of prospective products.

1. Brainstorm.

You should already have some idea of products to dropship. Think of products related to your niche that your audience will find useful or valuable. Even products that have merely aesthetic or novelty value may be worth looking into.

At this point, just write down all the ideas that pop into your head. Don’t filter anything out yet (we’ll get to that in a while).

2. Browse other online shops.

The bigger players in e-commerce have an incredible amount of inventory, and some of the big stores even do dropshipping themselves. Browse through their product offerings to get ideas of products to dropship.

browsing online store on mobile phone

These big online stores also normally have bestseller lists as well as promoted products. Going through them will give you an idea of what products are popular. You can also go through the reviews and find out if there are issues with these products and if there are better alternatives.

Online stores you should regularly review are Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

3. Know what’s trending.

Aside from all-time popular products, you can also try to find out what products are currently trending. If you manage to source trending products before anyone else, you’ll have less competition and can therefore claim that you were one of the first to sell that product.

When the initial wave of popularity crashes and the product remains popular, then good for you. If it ceases to be popular, then at least you’ve cashed in on the trend and you’re ready to look for a new product to sell.

Some websites you can go to research on trending products include Google Trends, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo.

4. Ask your readers.

Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of asking your readers what they want.

If you already have a sizable following, you can create a blog post with a poll, or send an email asking what products would make their lives easier. You can even straight up ask them, “If I were to sell [product], would you buy it? Why or why not?”

You can offer them a small token in exchange for answering your question, like being on the first-to-know list when you start selling your products, or an exclusive discount coupon (as in, only those who answered your poll question can use this discount coupon).

Make sure to take note of their answers and thank them for their time.

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Narrow down the list.

A this point, you should have a sizable list of potential products; the next step is to narrow that list down.

list

Aside from products that will sell, you’ll need to figure out what products to offer based on what will fit with whatever you’re writing about on your blog. These products will also need to make sense when displayed on your blog.

Here are some more steps to narrow down your product list.

Tip: Your research will go easier if you create a spreadsheet to organize the data you gather at this stage.

1. Examine the product characteristics closely.

Now’s the time to really scrutinize the products on your list based on the following characteristics:

Risk. You’ll want to steer clear of high-priced, slow-moving products, especially if this is your first foray into dropshipping. Examples of these high-risk products include high-end electronics and luxury jewelry.

Scarcity. Rarity is a strong selling point. The harder it is to find in stores or elsewhere, the easier it’ll be to sell on your blog.

Accessories. If you can sell main items AND its accessories, it gives you more chances for upselling and bundling related items together. What’s more, there are greater profit margins for accessories than the actual items that they accessorize.

Size. The smaller it is, the less expensive it is to ship out.

Novelty. Usual items with an unusual spin are also worth looking into. It’s how you can distinguish yourself from a thousand other dropshippers selling the same product.

2. Check the price against other retailers and dropshippers, as well as suppliers.

The next thing to do is research the price of each product. Go back to the online stores you monitored the first time around but this time, focus on the prices of the products on your list, as well as any similar products you find.

Now’s also the time to check the prices of these items from suppliers. If you have no idea who supplies that product, it’s as simple as googling “[product name] suppliers.” You can also do a reverse image search using an image of the product.

Record both the lowest price and the highest price you find per product. You can also include some notes, such as how fast it sells (if the store you’re looking at has this data), or if they’re typically sold individually or bundled with other items.

3. Analyze your profit margins.

Now that you know what the products on your list cost and how much they’re sold, you can now decide how you’re going to price them.

A good profit margin to start with is 100%.

shocked

You right now, probably.

That sounds a lot, but trust me, that’s almost the minimum you can get away with. Selling an item you got for $1,000 at 100% profit means you’re selling it for $2,000, which seems too much. But selling an item you got for $20 at 100% profit means you’re selling it for $40, which seems more reasonable. Depending on the cost and perceived value of the item, your profit margin can even go as high as 1,000%.

The advantage of going for lower-priced items, aside from having greater profit margins, is that it takes less decision-making for your customer to buy the item. The downside is that you’ll need to sell more of the product for you to get substantial profits.

4. Second-guess yourself.

So you’ve done your homework and crunched the numbers.

Time to nitpick your own thought process.

For every product left on your list, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will my readers buy this?
  • Will people aside from my readers buy this?
  • Is the amount of profit worth the cost of marketing it?
  • Will I sell this product fast enought?
  • Can the suppliers handle a sudden upswing in demand?
  • Is this product available elsewhere?
  • How unique is my product? Or how unique can I make it?
  • Will I be able to offer free shipping on it? If not, will my customers be willing to pay the shipping cost of the item?
  • Is this product only popular now? If yes, am I willing to branch out into other products once the fad has passed?
  • Will the best marketing strategy for this product work with what I have in place?

If you still have 4 or 5 products left on your list, and you feel good about them, then those are the products to start dropshipping!

Dropshipping is awesome, but it isn't the only way to make money online. Want to know more? Click here to enroll in our free course! >>

The Best Things To Dropship Right Now

Now that you know how to choose products to dropship, here’s a list of the best things to dropship right now.

First, a caveat. No one can guarantee your success with these products. Aside from selling the best products, you also have to be able to sell these products effectively. Think of this list as a starting point for further product research, and not as permanent product offerings.

Also, I didn’t cover all niches here, because that would be impossible and impractical. Again, this is a jumping-off point so you have an idea of what a good product to dropship looks like.

Home Décor/Bed and Bath Necessities

Many online stores, as well as traditional brick-and-mortar stores, offer these products at different price points, so the trick here is to find unique products that have that novelty factor. Another trick is to find currently trending products.

Examples

Moon Lamp

Moon Lamp

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Black Panther Sheet Set

Black Panther Sheet Set

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Diatomite Bath Mat

Diatomite Bath Mat

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Accessories

The key to accessories is their aesthetic, their novelty, and price point. Nail all three and you’ll have a bestseller.

Examples

World Map Watch

World Map Watch

Screenshot of Etsy Product Page by author

Arrow Bangle

Arrow Bangle

Screenshot of Etsy Product Page by author

Sloth Ring Set

Sloth Ring Set

Screenshot of Etsy Product Page by author

Pet Supplies

The pet industry is projected to grow in the next few years as pet owners are expected to spend more on their pets. There’s something for every kind of pet as well as every kind of pet owner, so you’d be wise to get into this market.

Examples

Pet Feeder

Pet Feeder

Screenshot of eBay Product Page by author

Pet Bed

Pet Bed

Screenshot of eBay Product Page by author

Pet Toy

Pet Toy

Screenshot of eBay Product Page by author

Women’s Clothing

While women’s clothing is too broad a category to really excel at, narrow subcategories within this broad category have a better chance of earning a greater profit.

Examples

Plus-sized dresses

Plus Sized Clothing

Screenshot of Amazon Products by author

Shapewear

Shapewear

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Athleisure

Athleisure

Screenshot of Amazon Products by author

Laptop and Phone Accessories

Laptops and smartphones aren’t likely to be out of fashion anytime soon, so accessories for them will always be in demand. This is a high-competition niche, but if you focus on selling high-quality products for a low price, you can edge out the competition.

Examples

Phone stand

Phone Stand

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Laptop skin

Laptop Skin

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Phone wallet

Phone Wallet

Screenshot of Amazon Product Page by author

Health and Beauty

This is another wide niche, but this also means that there are plenty of sub-niches to explore. If you can source products that are unique and cater to a specific

Skincare and makeup can get especially tricky because different people react to different substances in different ways. Focus on products that are highly reviewed on other sites to make sure that they work for the majority of your audience.

Makeup brushes

Makeup brushes

Screenshot of Amazon Products by author

Face masks

Face Masks

Screenshot of Amazon Products by author

Pore cleaner

Pore Cleaners

Screenshot of Amazon Products by author

Overwhelmed with ideas? Take a break and sign up for our free course on making money online. >>

Conclusion

Let’s recap the steps to follow so you can come up with the best products to dropship.

Come up with a list of prospective products.

  1. Brainstorm.
  2. Browse other online shops.
  3. Know what’s trending.
  4. Ask your readers.

 

Narrow down the list.

  1. Examine the product characteristics closely.
  2. Check the price against other retailers and dropshippers, as well as suppliers.
  3. Analyze your profit margins.
  4. Second-guess yourself.

 

The best products to dropship:

  • are desired by a specific portion of the population.
  • are exceptional and innovative.
  • have a great profit margin.
  • are wanted by YOUR target audience.

 

I hope I’ve inspired some ideas with the examples I gave. Here are some more reminders before you go on to do your product research.

Test your products before offering them.

Get your hands on the products first before making a final decision.

If at all possible, get the products direct from the supplier. This gives you a chance to test how long it takes for the product to ship from your supplier, as well as how easy it is to contact them in case something goes wrong with the shipment.

If you can’t source the products from the supplier, order a similar one elsewhere. Hopefully, you’ve ordered one or two items from Amazon, so you know how their process goes, but ordering from less well-known online store gives you an idea of how other stores process orders.

Testing your products gives you the chance to experience the product yourself so you can share your insights more thoroughly. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to take product photos yourself, instead of relying from the photos that your supplier provides.

Testing is an essential part of your research so you can offer only the best products and serve your audience better.

Don’t snub seasonal items.

Agreed, holiday items such as Christmas- or Halloween-themed products aren’t going to be popular all year, but you can always take advantage of their popularity during those times.

christmas shopping

Add these products to your store 2 or 3 months before the actual holiday. Run promotions and special bundles and prices during this time to drive traffic to your store. Customers who like your items will come back when they need to buy again.

Only dropship products you actually like.

It’s easier to write promotional blog posts and product descriptions when you truly love using a product. It’s also easier to think of other ways to market the product when you really believe in the product and have positive experiences with it.

Have you already started building your dropshipping site? Let me know what products you plan on selling in the comments!

About the Author

JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.

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