Why is Dropshipping a Worse Idea for Clothing Business

Why is Dropshipping a Worse Idea for Clothing Business

Posted by Julie-Ann Dizon on Oct 22nd 2021

Have you heard about dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a method of order fulfillment in which the online retailer does not store or ship any of their items. Instead, dropshipping suppliers, such as wholesalers and manufacturers, engage with merchants to pick, pack, and ship products on their behalf.

When a merchant receives a new order through the website, they will inform the supplier, and the item will be delivered to the customer without even touching the product by the drop shipper.

Perhaps, you once saw a video, read blogs that advertise drop shipping, or you have friends who travel with their laptops and make easy money with drop shipping. But you have doubts because they are claiming it as a rich-quick scheme.

So here's the guide that explains the downside of drop shipping and why it is a worse idea for your online clothing shop that isn't as publicized as its perks.

Why is it a bad idea for the clothing business?

Dropshipping has several drawbacks that you should be aware of before jumping in. It is neither risk-free nor easy. The following are the top 7 reasons you should think twice about drop shipping for your online clothing store.

1. Dropshipping has a lot of day-to-day management

Dropshipping isn't as simple as it appears. You shouldn't take your shoes off just because you don't have to worry about shipment or storage.

You need to do day-to-day management like your marketing efforts, including branding, advertising, social media, content initiatives, customer involvement, product selection, price, and more that goes for your dropshipping website as well. No matter how you slice it, dropshipping is a lot of work. It will all take time and effort, especially if you aren't familiar with web design or SEO.

2. Offers Low-Profit Margins

Yes, you'll be buying things from a wholesaler, but they won't be dirt cheap wholesale costs. You won't be able to acquire the lowest rate possible for your online store because you won't be buying things in bulk, but rather one-by-one as your consumers order them.

Furthermore, you will be charged additional fees for the wholesaler to pick, pack, and ship each customer order, reducing your profit margin. That's not nearly enough to cover your marketing and advertising costs, as well as the costs of maintaining your website, tracking sales orders, and staffing.

3. Highly Competitive

Since it requires very little capital, you will be against many competitors, especially in the clothing niche. Many of your competitors will be selling at the lowest feasible price, which will influence your profit margins. It means that drop shipping businesses may struggle to differentiate themselves from the competition because they won't offer items or services unique to their brands.

And because everyone will sell the same products, every retailer will upload the same picture, title, and description as given by the same supplier, which is terrible for Google and social media algorithms.

4. You lose Quality Control

Because you essentially outsource warehousing and fulfillment to your dropshipping suppliers, your products will reach your customers without ever touching them, suitable for convenience but not so much for quality control.

You won't be able to check products to see if they're up to standard. Perhaps more significantly, you will not be in charge of delivery. Your supplier will be responsible for getting things out on time. Still, your consumers will blame you for any faulty products or late shipping (and, by choosing to dropship, you assume this responsibility).

As a result, you will have negative feedback from a customer about factors that are literally beyond your control.

Example of a bad review:

"I'm very disappointed that a newly purchased dress needed repairs. It looks like scissors damaged it! And also, it took more than a month to be delivered??!! I kept receiving messages that you're going to solve it, but it's almost a week now! I will never recommend your store!

5. Expensive Shipping Fee

When you want to run your business on a dropshipping model, shipping costs can quickly add up, primarily if you use numerous dropshipping suppliers to fill your store. Assume you're a drop shipper who stocks your products from three separate suppliers. If a single consumer orders a t-shirt from each of those three vendors, you'll have to pay for each shipment separately rather than just the total.

It can result in much greater shipping costs, and it's tough to find a way to pay for them. It's not a brilliant idea to pass that cost on to your customers, as a high shipping fee will encourage them to abandon their shopping carts.

6. Returns and Refunds Are Usual

Returns are an inevitable part of doing drop shipping business online. Because of the potential for drop shipping providers to be unreliable, you may find that your products are returned more frequently.

Since clothing has different sizes, colors, fit, and fabric used, and you sell it per piece, returns and refunds are prevalent. One of the reasons for returns is that your customers' product doesn't fit right or ordered the wrong size. It could always happen when you drop ship clothes.

If a consumer is unhappy with your product, you may have to purchase a replacement on their behalf and cover shipping costs yourself.

7. Inventory Isn't Always Guaranteed.

Your suppliers' stock determines your ability to fulfill customer orders. If stock levels have dropped substantially for any reason and you aren't aware of it, you may find yourself selling things you don't have on hand. That will result in dissatisfied customers.


There you have it! Now that you understand why dropshipping is a bad idea for your clothing business, you may be considering other alternatives, such as purchasing apparel in bulk, which is a more profitable and controllable business strategy. Keep in mind that seeing results will take time and consistency.

So if you are looking for a better option, you can buy in bulk or wholesale clothing for your business here

Hopefully, you are now decided and not scared to start your clothing shop journey!

Good luck!