Why you should avoid dropshipping products with a limited lifespan in 2020?
Recently I’ve been reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made since I started dropshipping. I’ve made quite a few of those In fact, some of these mistakes were so bad that they caused my one successful online store and business to fail miserably. And unfortunately, the reason why I was reflecting on these mistakes was that I’ve recently received a string of emails from several of my clients at SaleSource, that indicate that they are making these mistakes in their stores as well.
Rather than have you go through the painful and expensive process of learning these mistakes yourself, I thought I would share with you the most important one that I made in the past, so that you can check to make sure that you aren’t doing them and if you are you can stop making them.
Selling products with a limited lifespan
I focused on selling products that had a limited lifespan and I was not prepared for it. My first online business consisted of importing second-hand video games directly from trade stores and dealers in the USA and reselling them back at home, in the UK for a big profit.
It’s very different from the types of stores and online selling strategies (ie how to drive traffic to your Shopify store) that we teach at SaleSource. I actually ended up pivoting and completely changing what I sold and how I sold it for a variety of reasons. One of them is that because of the way that I started selling items. I was no longer stuck to only being able to sell them within the UK, but nevertheless my original store was for a time very successful and it made me a lot of money or at least it did for a few years.
My store’s bread and butter was importing and reselling video games for Nintendo DS. Back in the day, you could buy a Nintendo DS game in the United States and then play it on a UK Nintendo DS. This, however, was unusual, most other video game systems have not allowed you to do this. Blocking you from doing that is called region-locking.
The reason why Nintendo has historically usually chosen to block people from doing this is so that they could charge higher prices in smaller markets like New Zealand and force them to have to pay those prices. It surprised pretty much no one when Nintendo released their successor the Nintendo 3DS a few years later and removed the ability to play international games on it.
By doing this not only did Nintendo remove the ability for the Brits to play cheaper imported games, but they also removed my ability to keep making money from items that I was selling.
The story does actually have a happy ending. I ended up pivoting and selling a completely different type of item in a related niche. I ended up selling modding devices that allowed you to play imported foreign games on your systems, even if they were region-locked, so I’m sorry Nintendo, but you can’t stop us.
Nevertheless, I was not prepared for the pivot and in the in-between time of selling different types of items, I ended up having to get a job to tide me over and so my advice is if you’re out there looking to start a new store is to ask yourself: Does my product have a limited lifespan? Is it based on a trend?
For example, these were once hot relevant products:
Now, however, they are not.
So, if you’re selling a product with a limited lifespan, that’s okay. It can still make you a lot of money but keep in mind you will eventually need to pivot and conduct extensive Shopify product research in order to find winning products to sell in your store.