How to find the best products to sell online
Anyone can start an online business. That’s no exaggeration, either. Anyone with an internet capable device has everything they need to start an ecommerce store. Maybe that’s the allure so many people find in the idea. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s practically free. It’s also doomed to fail if you don’t sell the right product.
So if you’re new to the ecommerce game or notice your sales aren’t where you want them to be, the question you should be asking is how do you find the best products to sell online? Here’s a list of tips and tricks to help refine and focus your search.
Hit a Niche
If you’re looking for the best thing to sell online, chances are “sandals” isn’t the answer. That’s not to say a certain type of shoes won’t be a hot seller, just that having a broad selection of general merchandise isn’t going to bring in big profits. That’s why people go to Amazon. If you want a hot product, you need to sell to a niche: something like “Leather and Cork Surf-Ready Beach Sandals.”
According to Entrepreneur.com, “Niche marketing not only provides startups with an opportunity to launch the business successfully, but can also help them grow into major players in a larger market. Healthy, profitable businesses such as Traulsen, Aman Resorts, Zamboni and Peet's Coffee and Tea all serve thriving niches.”
Be Passionately Practical
You’ll often hear people tell you to sell what you’re passionate about. They’ll tell you that the best products to sell are those things that you know and love. This is partially true. If you know and love, say, home theater systems, you’re going to be up against some pretty stiff competition. However, if you combine your passion with a niche (see above), you’re bound to have success. Something like “Oriental-Themed Lotus Garden Surround Sound Speakers” will stick out and appeal to certain people more than “Surround Sound Speakers.”
Look for Pain Points
Some of the best products to sell online are those that address a certain issue or problem. Mountain climbers want products that help reduce weight without compromising the integrity of their gear. Athletes are always looking for apparel that’s comfortable, but doesn’t restrict movement and mobility. If you can find a product that addresses specific pain points, you’ll have customers lining up for a chance to buy what you offer.
Don’t Sell Products that Exceed $200
You certainly can, of course. But there are higher startup costs and more risks as the price of your product increases. In addition, try to sell products that are more than $10. Cheap products are usually taken care of by massive importers who can afford to run on low margins. Finally, $200 is about as much as a customer will pay without investing a lot of research into a product.
If you want to make money running an online store, selling accessories is a great way to do it. Going back to the home theater example, buying a new surround sound system is a big investment for most people. They’re either going to be brand-loyal, or research to death all aspects of a given model. What they typically don’t care nearly as much about, however, are all the accessories involved. Wires? Fasteners? Mounts? All these accessories come as an afterthought to most big purchases and enjoy markups of up to 1000%.
Don’t Sell Local Products
Unless you’re making your own product, chances are good that a customer can find your product somewhere else. The trick is to make sure that product can’t be found locally. If you’re selling something that a customer can find down the road, they’re probably not going to buy from you. Price point often comes first in the purchase process. However, this is typically followed closely by immediacy. Even if your product is cheaper, someone might be willing to pay more locally in order to get it sooner. As you plan out which products to sell, the best products will be those that customers can’t get (easily) from anyone other than you.
Do the Research, Enjoy the Payoff
Do what you love and love doing it. That’s ecommerce. Put the time into finding the perfect product to sell, and not only will you love doing it, you’ll have a successful online business to show for your hard work.
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