Owning your own dropshipping business can be a rewarding and lucrative way to make money, but it comes with challenges. 

If you have never operated a dropshipping business, it can be easy to make some of the most biggest dropshipping mistakes if you are not careful. 

In this article, we will discuss the main challenges to dropshipping: 


Once you have decided what to sell in your dropshipping business, you need to find a reputable supplier.

This is easier said than done and most drop shippers come across suppliers who are unreliable, make empty promises and who don’t ship on time. Unreliable suppliers will not only disappoint you, but can also ruin your reputation. 

A good place to find a reputable supplier is to consult AliExpress or another major dropshipping platform. Here, you can review lists of suppliers by product and then make contact with promising suppliers. 

To avoid problems with suppliers later on, it is best to be upfront, honest and clear about your expectations from the start. Let the supplier know what your requirements are in terms of quality, stock availability and how fast the goods are shipped. 

Be clear that you expect the supplier to adhere to your operational requirements in order to continue with the relationship. 

Brand Marketing

Marketing your brand is another important challenge to overcome. 

It is for this reason that you need to compile a comprehensive marketing plan and strategy before you start trading. 

You need to know exactly how the general public is going to learn about your products because failure to advertise effectively will mean that your dropshipping business will fail. 

Your marketing plan should include the development of a logo, company values, and the development of content to advertise on social media platforms. 

Dedicating a few hours every day to marketing your brand and engaging with potential customers can mean an increase in sales and profit. 

As your business grows, you might want to consider hiring someone to handle your marketing efforts. 

Negative Reviews

Even if you do everything you can to ensure that all your shipments run perfectly, it is inevitable that you will receive a negative review one day. 

Although a negative review can be upsetting and disappointing (especially if you know that you have worked hard for the customer), it is normal and is not the end of the world, if handled correctly. 

Instead of going on the defensive after a negative review, try and view it as constructive criticism. 

Make sure that you respond publicly to the customer in a positive and proactive way. Let them know how sorry you are that they are not happy, and describe how you are going to solve the problem. 

When reading the negative review, future customers will understand that you are a business who cares and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service. 

Product Returns

Most people return products because the description and pictures online did not match what they eventually received. 

To avoid product returns as much as possible, do your best to have realistic photos and descriptions on your site. That way, the customer knows exactly what they are getting and will not be disappointed when they receive it. 

Stock Levels

Certain times of the year (Chinese New Year and Christmas) can get very busy for dropshipping businesses. 

These times are an opportunity to make a lot of sales, but what if your supplier is out of stock? 

Planning for busy sales periods is essential. If you can, try and compile a sales forecast or, if it’s your first year of trading, try your best to estimate your sales levels. 

Once you have this information, engage with your supplier and negotiate with them to keep stock for you. This may involve paying a warehouse storage fee, but it can be well worth it in the end with the lucrative sales. 


Having a dropshipping business can be an excellent way to make a living, but you should be mindful of the challenges involved, and not afraid to overcome them.