Top 10 Dropshipping Mistakes To Avoid: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

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Hey there, folks! Today, we’re diving deep into the world of dropshipping, specifically focusing on the top 10 blunders you absolutely need to avoid. Trust me, these mistakes are game-changers. One wrong move and your entire dropshipping venture could crumble. So, let’s get started with some actionable advice.

Table of content

1. Overlooking Shipping Times

standard shipping vs express shipping
Standard shipping vs express shipping

First up, a common misstep I see newbies make is not checking the shipping times for the countries they’re advertising to. If you’re on Aliexpress platform, you’ll see a myriad of shipping options, each specific to the country you’re shipping to. So, if you’re targeting the United Kingdom, make sure to check out those specific shipping times. Sometimes, you might need to find a different supplier for one country than another.

Why is this so crucial?

Well, imagine having a 14-17 day shipping time for the United States, and then you check out the shipping to Canada, and it’s up to two months. You don’t want to be sending products out with 2-month shipping.

That’s a surefire way to rack up unhappy customers, refund requests, and chargebacks. So, make sure to tick this off your checklist.

2. Setting Unrealistic Goals

Mistake number two is setting unrealistic goals. I get tons of messages every day from people who think dropshipping is a get-rich-quick scheme. They want to make $50,000 or $100,000 in a few months. But let me break it to you gently – this business model takes time and effort. If you’re a beginner, don’t expect to make money right off the bat.

Your primary goal should be learning as much as you can. The hardest part is getting over the initial hump to where you actually start making sales. Once you’re there, you can ramp up advertising and bring in more traffic. But don’t expect to make a fortune in the next few months. If you do, you’ll be disappointed when the money doesn’t come in instantly, and you’ll quit much faster.

3. Starting with a Limited Budget

starting your business with a limited budget
Starting your business with a limited budget

The third mistake I see a lot is newbies jumping into dropshipping with a limited budget. They see this business model and want to start with $100 or $200. While that might be enough to get your first store off the ground, if that’s all the money you have, you’re likely to lose it quickly and think this business model doesn’t work.

I suggest starting with a budget of two or three thousand dollars dedicated to testing products. This will give you a higher likelihood of finding a winner. If you don’t have that kind of money yet, I’d suggest getting a job first. It’s much easier to take $1000 from a job and 10X it into $10,000 than to take $100 and try to 10X it into $1000.

4. Not Focusing on Problem-Solving Products

a person with a knee brace
A person with a knee brace

Mistake number four is not focusing on viral products that solve problems. I see a lot of you guys trying to sell odd trinkets, jewelry, and fashion products. While these do sell, they’re some of the most competitive niches. It can be harder to convince someone to buy a fashion product than something that solves a problem.

The method I teach in dropshipping is finding products that fill a gap in the marketplace. For example, a knee brace that helps you walk better and takes off weight from your upper body solves a massive problem for anyone with knee issues or walking difficulties. This product is much easier to sell than a random trinket because it solves a real-world problem.

When you advertise this to people with knee problems on Facebook, they’re much more likely to make an impulse purchase.

5. Starting with a General Store Approach

Mistake number five is starting out with the general store approach. This is a store like Amazon that focuses on selling any product under the sun. The problem with this method is that you’re likely to spread yourself too thin.

You’ll end up focusing on quantity over quality, which is a recipe for failure in dropshipping. Instead, focus on fewer products and merchandise them better. This gives you a higher chance of making sales. I recommend starting with a niche store or a one-product store.

These stores focus on one market or one product, allowing you to dedicate the time needed to properly merchandise your product and create good product descriptions and ads.

6. Selling Copyrighted or Trademarked Products

selling spiderman costume
Selling spiderman costume

Mistake number six is selling copyrighted or trademarked products. This might seem like common sense, but I see too many people getting into this business model and getting their stores shut down. Don’t sell products with characters or references to other companies.

For example, a Spiderman costume, an NBA jersey, or something related to Pokemon. If you do, you could face legal implications, and your website could be taken down immediately.

7. Not Understanding Profits

Mistake number seven is not understanding the profits you’re making each day. This is pretty simple to figure out. There are apps like Life Timely or Order Metrics that track your profit in real time.

You can integrate your Facebook ads, Google ads, product costs, shipping, and any fees you’re paying with Shopify or any external apps. Knowing your exact profit can help you know when to scale. If you know you have a 30% profit margin, you know you can spend a little more money on ads.

This can help you scale quicker, keep more profit, and be successful in your dropshipping business.

8. Not Leveraging Credit Card Rewards

credit card rewards
Credit card rewards

Mistake number eight is not leveraging credit card rewards. If you’re spending a lot of money on your debit card or paying for your ads through your bank or PayPal, you’re missing out on potential rewards. 

If you’re spending a lot of money, consider using credit cards that offer points for your eCommerce business. Over the last few years, I’ve made over $20,000 from rewards from these companies.

Specific credit cards like the Chase Business Inc. and the American Express Business Gold Card offer 3-4% cash back on marketing up to a limited amount every year. This could potentially give you an extra $10,000-$12,000 every year.

9. Not Setting Up a Legal Business Entity

legal business entity
Legal business entity

Mistake number nine is not setting up a legal business entity. This is really important once you have some revenue coming in. When you first get started, you could start a sole proprietorship, but as your business scales up, it might be more tax advantageous to run something like a pass-through corporation. I recommend talking to your local CPA about this, as the information I’m sharing is only relevant in the United States.

10. Not Keeping Up with Your Books and Taxes

keep up with your books and taxes
Keep up with your books and taxes

Finally, mistake number ten is not keeping up with your books and making sure you’re properly paying taxes. I remember when I first started with e-commerce and dropshipping, I wasn’t focusing on taxes. At the end of the year, I had to scramble to get everything together for tax filing, which was incredibly stressful.

To avoid this, once you start getting sales, talk to a certified tax professional. They’ll help structure your taxes so you’re doing everything correctly. You can use something like QuickBooks to keep your books up to date. This way, at the end of the year, you can just submit your profit and loss statement to your accountant, making everything super simple.


And there you have it, folks! Those are the top 10 mistakes you could make as a beginner in dropshipping. These are some of the biggest hurdles I see beginners face, and I truly believe that if you take this advice and implement it into your dropshipping store, you’ll be much more likely to have a successful dropshipping business.

Remember, it’s all about learning, avoiding these common pitfalls, and steadily growing your business. Good luck!


The profitability of dropshipping can vary widely depending on several factors, including the products you sell, your marketing strategies, and your operational efficiency. While it’s possible to generate substantial profits, it’s important to remember that dropshipping, like any business, requires significant time, effort, and strategic planning.

Setting realistic goals is important because dropshipping, like any business, requires time, effort, and patience. If you set unrealistic financial expectations, you may end up disappointed and quit early.

While it’s possible to start with a small budget, the article suggests starting with a budget of two or three thousand dollars dedicated to testing products. This increases the likelihood of finding a winning product.

You can use apps like Life Timely or Order Metrics that track your profit in real time. These apps can integrate your Facebook ads, Google ads, product costs, shipping, and any fees you’re paying with Shopify or any external apps. This helps you know when to scale your business.

Yes, dropshipping can be a great business model for beginners due to its relatively low start-up costs and the fact that it doesn’t require you to hold inventory. However, like any business, it requires learning, effort, and time to become profitable. It’s important for beginners to educate themselves about the business, choose the right products, and develop effective marketing strategies.

While it’s technically possible to start a dropshipping business with $100, it might be challenging. This budget would need to cover the cost of setting up a website, marketing your products, and other operational expenses. The article suggests starting with a budget of two or three thousand dollars dedicated to testing products, as this increases the likelihood of finding a winning product.

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