Finding out what are the best dropshipping products is arguably the biggest success factor in dropshipping. Aliexpress has hundreds and maybe even thousands of products that work incredibly well with dropshipping.
Finding the best drop shipping products for your Shopify store is also the number one obstacle that causes so many dropshipping stores to fail.
As far as product choices are concerned, failing stores usually make one of these 5 common mistakes.
- They sell over-saturated products that every other dropshipper has been selling for the last 3 years
- They try and sell obscure products that are not proven to sell or that does not have a market
- They sell products that they like personally and fall in love with the product.
- They fail to come up with a unique marketing angle on top-selling products
- Their store and marketing is not up to scratch
So, what do the best products for drop shipping look like? What should you look for and how can you identify these products?
How To Identify The Best Drop Shipping Products
Identifying the best dropshipping products is both a skill and a process. With experience, you will start noticing what types of products work.
Even with a trained eye, you will be wrong at least 50% of the time. Now, you can make almost any product “work” with the right marketing and with a lot of effort. This can leave you feeling drained and defeated – especially if you are new at dropshipping.
Great products just sell without too much effort. This is just the truth. Many gurus will try and sell you a whole load of crap about scarcity tactics, upsells and all sorts of stuff.
If you can put the right product in front of the right audience at a reasonable price, they will buy it.
You still need to do great marketing, have a kick-ass store, and provide real value. That almost goes without saying. But, with the right product, you don’t need to try and convince people to buy.
The product will sell itself if you do a half-decent job at marketing it.
Dropshipping is all about finding the “right” products to sell.
The “right” product is a very vague term. It depends a lot on your marketing strategy. Some products lend itself perfectly to influencer marketing. Just look at the stuff the Kardashians are flogging on their Instagram.
Some products lend themselves perfectly to interruption marketing. This is mostly marketing on social media like Facebook. People are not actively looking for a specific product but get interrupted when they see your ad (or product).
Interruption marketing relies mostly on impulse buys. People are just going about their own business on Facebook.
They see your killer for a gadget that solves one of their biggest pain points in life and they pull out their credit card and buy before they even have a chance to think logically about it.
Search marketing is the opposite of interruption marketing. Google Ads and Google SERPS are the biggest sources of search marketing and search marketing is when someone is actively searching for the product you are selling.
This is a very different mindset.
People will find your product through a specific search and most of the time they will come to you informed and educated about the product already.
These are highly targeted buys with purchase intent. This kind of traffic converts 2 to 10 times better than interruption marketing but tends to cost more and is much more limited (there’s only that many searches per month for any given keyword).
Interruption marketing tends to work best for dropshipping products that have some sort of wow factor or that solves a problem. These are two factors that can really grab people’s attention quickly and cause them to buy on impulse.
The 10 Characteristics of Winning Dropshipping Products
We will focus mostly on products that fit into the model of interruption marketing but it can translate to any other type of marketing also.
With search marketing, you need to do a lot less marketing and lot more selling. People come to your products with a buying intent. They just need a little push to make the decision.
With interruption marketing, you often need to take customers on a journey nd educate them about the product first.
Here are the 10 characteristics of winning dropshipping products. A winning product does not have to tick all ten boxes but the more boxes you can tick the better chances you have of seeing success with the product.
1. The Product Solves a Problem
Products that solve a problem is by far the easiest products to sell. If someone has neck pain, they will try almost everything to get rid of the pain. These types of products are proven winners in dropshipping.
A great example is the “posture pillow” – a shaped and rigid pillow that corrects your neck position during sleep.
If your product can solve a problem that a customer have been unable to solve effectively then you’ve got yourself a winner. There are so many products that fall into this category.
The makeup brush cleaner is a great example. Makeup brushes are expensive and there are a lot of ways to clean it by hand. This simple device does it automatically and very effectively.
Often times, the product will actually highlight a problem that someone was not really aware of but seeing the product will make a light go off and they will buy it.
The portable dog water bottle is a great example. Pet owners who take their dogs out with them are often struggling to give their dogs water. Its a problem but something most pet owners just live with.
When they see this product it will make them aware of the problem and in seeing the solution it actually gets them interested in something they would otherwise not have gone looking for.
The massage gun is another great example. Most people love a massage and some even buy massage chairs. Only when they see this massage gun will they start developing the need for it.
Products that solve problems in a new and innovative way are also great because there is some proof of concept already.
An example of this would be the “power knees”. Knee braces have been around for years, but this knee brace is different.
It solves the same problem but in a new and interesting way. Anyone with bad knees will be all over this product in a heartbeat and it almost sells itself.
2. The Product Has a Wow-Factor
If you are aiming to sell products on social media platforms,s then a wow-factor is essential. A wow factor is something unique, quirky or even strange that gets people interested.
Most of the time these wow-factor products will be a bit gimmicky but it is an essential part of hooking people and getting them interested.
The ionic hairbrush, the levitating flower pot and the waterfall incense burner are three very popular dropshipping products that you probably saw in your Facebook feed at some point in time.
They all have a wow factor and when you see video ads for these products it immediately creates the desire to buy them.
When you see these wow-factor products in action it triggers impulsive buying.
If you have a product that solves a problem and that has a wow factor then you are definitely on to something. Almost all the top-selling dropshipping products tick these two boxes.
3. The Product is Not Freely Available in Stores
If you are trying to sell dropshipping products that someone can go and buy at Walmart for half the price you are selling it then you are fighting an uphill battle with your dropshipping business.
Unique products that people have not seen before is what drives successful dropshipping stores.
With good branding, you can still sell products that are freely available in stores but it is much harder. Products that people have not seen before perks their interest and drive impulsive buyers.
It is often the curiosity that gets the sale more than the product itself or the problem is can solve.
Walmart and Amazon seller cath on quite quickly these days and you may only have a few months of massive success before the product becomes more mainstream.
4. The Product Has Mass Appeal
Trying to sell a new and innovative product to stamp collectors may get you a few sales if you can find the right marketing channel. Most of the time you won’t unless you are intimately involved in that niche.
This certainly can work in search marketing but it is not a recipe for bi numbers.
When you sell products that have mass appeal it becomes so much easier when marketing on social media. Think of almost any beauty product. It appeals to a large percentage of women.
Phone accessories, tech gadgets, pet products. These are all products that have mass appeal and where a large percentage of broad targeting in your ads will be interested in the product.
5. The Product Can Be Sold for 3x The Cost
If your product margins don’t make sense then you will never stand a chance of turning a dropshipping product into a success.
As a rule of thumb, for products under $50 you need to be able to sell the product for 3x your costs. So, if the product costs $7 (including shipping) on Aliexpress then you need to sell it for at least $20.
The theory is that one third is for your product cost. One third is for your ad costs and one third is your profit.
For products over $50 the numbers look different and you can get away with selling it for 2x the cost.
These are just rough numbers and should never be a hard and fast rule. There are always ways to reduce any of the numbers and make it work but this gives you a quick strategy to guage the potential of a product.
You also need to keep price resistance in mind. What is the maximum that people are willing to pay for the product?
You could position yourself as the “luxury brand” and outprice your competitors but that requires some kick-ass marketing and branding.
You need to be in and around what most other brands charge for a similar product.
6. The Product Has a High Perceived Value
There is a big difference between the value of a product and the perceived value of a product. A prime example is with Apple products.
The perceived value of an Apple product is much higher than most competitors because of the way Apple branded and marketed their products.
People are willing to pay more because they believe that Apple products look better and are of higher quality than most competitors.
This is a big reason why Apple can get away with charging way more than its competitors even though the products themselves are not necessarily any better.
Creating a high perceived value relies a lot on marketing. From a product point of view, it needs to look like it could be an expensive product. If it looks obviously cheap and not like much then it will be hard to create any perceived value that would allow you to sell it at a premium.
Wireless headphones is a great example. A good pair of Apple or Bose headphones can set you back a few hundred. Wireles headphones have a high perceived value even though you can find similar ones on Aliexpress for $2 (of course not the same quality but it does the same thing).
7. The Product is High Quality With Positive Feedback
Finding high-quality products from Aliexpress can be a challenge. Most of the time it is impossible to judge the quality of the product from the Aliexpress listing.
If you are serious about selling a product and creating a one-product store or brand then you should order the product yourself. Holding it in your hands and seeing how (or if) it works is really important.
Reading the product reviews on Aliexpress will give you a good idea but what is even better is to find the same product on Amazon and read those reviews.
Amazon reviews tend to be much more reliable and much more detailed. Make sure there is a decent sample with at least 30 to 50 reviews.
8. The Product Has “SKU Simplicity”
SKU simplicity refers to having as little product variants as possible. Suppose you sell a women’s dress. It may have 4 to 5 different colours and come in 5 to 6 different sizes.
That is potentially 30 SKU’s for just one product. This can really complicate things when you start getting into buying your own stock.
Sizing and returns can also be a nightmare. Most people get their sizes wrong – especially on Chinese clothing products. Unless you have a robust system for handling returns, you will lose money.
Focusing on products that have have little to no variants can make everything so much easier.
9. The Product Can Be Shipped Easily and Economically
Shipping and fulfillment is a big part of dropshipping and eCommerce in general. Because dropshipping has a much longer supply chain, shipping and fulfillment will always be a bottleneck.
Some products have more shipping issues than others. There are a lot of international restrictions and security measures regarding different types of cargo.
Shipping makeup products is not the same as shipping a t-shirt. One is a chemical that could contain harmful substances while the other is just an innate object.
Organic products tend to be subject to much more scrutiny at customs checks and need disclosures on the parcel.
Shipping will be one of your biggest expenses as a dropshipper. Shipping often makes up 50% of your total product costs because of the distance when shipping from China.
It is a really important consideration. When it comes to returns, you will most likely have to eat the shipping costs and that can add up really quickly.
The two factors that affect shipping costs the most are size (bulk) and weight. Big and heavy = expensive. Small and light = cheap. Its as simple as that.
It is one reason why jewellery is such a great dropshipping product. It has high perceived value and is super cheap to ship (small and light).
10. The Product is Evergreen
Trends come and go all the time. The fidget spinner took the world by storm and many dropshippers got in early and made a killing.
It was short-lived though. Hype products like this rarely last.
Building a business based on products like that is not a long term strategy. You are looking for products that are more evergreen; products that will still be in demand 2 or 3 years from now.
Jumping on to general trends is a good strategy. Jumping on to hyped products is a bad strategy.
GTRENDS — MAGNETIC EYE LASHES vs HAIR EXTENSIONS
Apart from trends, you also need to keep in mind that some products are very seasonal. Most products other than household essentials have some sort of seasonality.
You do not have to avoid seasonal products but you have to be very aware of the seasonality and plan accordingly.
Personally, I don’t like very seasonal products because it grinds your store down to a virtual halt for a certain period of time every year. If you have a team in place then you basically have to figure out how to keep them busy or let them go.
In saying that, many businesses run largely on seasonal products. Halloween stores and valentines gift stores are good examples.
These stores can work if you treat it as a purely seasonal store.
How To Find The Best Drop Shipping Products?
Now that you know the “ingredients” of a winning product, how do you find it? There are dozens of strategies and most of them work.
What is all boils down to is that you want to find products that are already proven to sell. Finding obscure products that you like is a recipe for disaster.
You might get lucky but it is not a very smart strategy.
Apple did not invent the MP3 player. MP3 players was already proven to be a huge hit with great potential. Apple simply made an existing idea better.
If we follow this same principle then you want to look for product TYPES that are already selling and then get in on the idea. I like to find massive winning products and then look for ones that are slightly different or even a bit more quirky.
That will set you apart from the herd who are all just selling exactly what everyone else is selling. This, by the way is NOT what you want to do.
You may be able to find a trendy product that is selling like hotcakes but these products rarely last.
So, how do you find products that are already selling?
There are essentially two methods you can follow.
1. Finding Winning Products Manually
You simply look at the best selling products on open market places like Aliexpress and Amazon. They both tell you which products are selling and even how much they are selling.
Any product on Aliexpress that has sold 1000+ units is proven to sell. Now that does not mean is will sell well on your store but at least we know that it is selling somewhere and there is proof that it is selling.
Some Aliexpress sellers bypass the system and artificially inflate their numbers. Be sure to check that high sales numbers have a corresponding amount of reviews (read them).
On Amazon, you want to find products that have a high number of reviews. This is not always 100% accurate since a lot of them buy reviews but any product with 500+ reviews is selling well on Amazon.
Simply pick a category an Aliexpress and Amazon and start picking 10 to 20 products with decent sales volume.
Then, run these products through the 10 checks above. Does it solve a problem? Does it have wow-factor? Go down the list and start narrowing down your options until you have 2 or 3 products.
Then, you need to test them. Get it up on your store and get some traffic to it. It is the ONLY way to really know if a product will work or not.
2. Using Spy Tools
Both these tools have different data points that they look for in products before they make it into the database. Ecom Hunt relies mostly on manual searches by its staff. This is one of the reasons why I really like it.
It’s not just a bot that gathers data. This also limits the amount of data it has though.
Sell The Trend has a lot more detailed data and they look more at active product ads. Both these tools can be a great help in finding winning products fast. All the products that these tools list are proven sellers in some shape or form.
Will they work well on your dropshipping store? They could. There are never any guarantees though and the only way to truly know is to test it.
The downside of these tools, however, is that everybody else has access to it and you are not the only one with the data.
These tools should never be seen as the be-all and end-all of your research. Applying some common sense, past experience and an interest in the product also go a long way.
Never underestimate the marketing and advertising of the product either. Most of the dropshipping success on Facebook Ads rely on great video ads.