Can I sell products through dropshipping?

Short Answer

Selling products through dropshipping is allowed if the supplier has a system to reject orders when they know they will not be able to fulfill them. This is usually the case.

Reason for Asking the Question

The Prophet prohibited selling something you do not possess and dropshipping resembles that scenario. The questioner wants to understand the reason and whether dropshipping is an exception to the general prohibition.

Detailed Answer

There are many different forms of dropshipping and much of the difference has to do with who is taking the risk on. See
The Prophet prohibited selling something you don’t own because you are selling something that is not in your possession and it is not within your power to guarantee it and hand it over to the purchaser. Therefore it is an ambiguous transaction and one that is effectively like gambling. Dealing in such transactions may lead to disputes and conflict, because you may be faced with a sudden rise in price, so that the item may cost more than the price for which you sold it. Similarly, the item may become unavailable.
So if your contract with the wholesaler prevents this and you bear all of the liability in case something happens, then it would be allowed. It falls under the category of dropshipping and as long as they reject orders if they don’t have the product in stock, then it is fine.

What the Qur’an and Sunnah Say

It was narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: A man may come to me wanting to buy something that I do not possess; should I buy it for him from the marketplace then sell it to him?” He said: “Do not sell what you do not possess.” [at-Tirmidhi #1232; an-Nasaa’i #4613; Abu Dawood #3503; Ibn Maajah #2187; Ahmad #14887 – graded authentic by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1292]

What the Scholars Said

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Certainty Level: 3 (out of 5) What is this? Shaykh Mustafa Umar