So you’re thinking about starting your own online store in order to earn an extra income but don’t know what item(s) to sell?
Most of the time, this is where people get stuck on. They decide to open an online store and might even already have marketing strategies and website designs in mind, but have no clue on what product they want to sell – all they know is that they want to sell something. With so many stuff on the market, how do you figure out what will actually sell well and what will just end up a complete failure?? This is where most people usually just admit defeat and abandon the idea, without even giving it a proper shot. Don’t be one of those people.
Here are some tips, questions and guidelines to keep in mind when deciding what products will best suit your store:
What are you Passionate About?
Sell products that you are passionate about; not products that you generally don’t care about even though it could make you a large profit because the truth is, it won’t – if you are passionate about the product you are selling, and even if you make a miniscule profit from it, you will most likely sell a lot and thereby make a huge profit at the end of the month. If you are selling something that you’re not passionate about, chances are that you’ll have a difficult time selling it and the profit you make is not even worth the effort. So ask yourself, what are you PASSIONATE about? IMPORTANT NOTE: Please realize that although this is a very important factor when choosing a product, it should not be the only factor – if you choose a product purely because you feel passionate about it, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
Tangible or Digital?
Do you want to sell a tangible product (something that can be bought by a customer and shipped to them) or a digital product (such as an eBook, which can just be downloaded by the client after purchase).
Use the Internet for Ideas
Surf the internet to get ideas on what products to sell. You might not necessary find “the perfect product” but it might just open your mind a bit more and chances are good that it’ll give you a few ideas of your own
Is there Room for the Product on the Market?
When you have found products that you are passionate about, pick a product that actually has room to grow in the market. It shouldn’t be TOO popular because then you’ll have too much competition and as a new store, you’re going to struggle to compete. That being said, don’t pick a product that is too unique either because the demand might be very low and you’ll find yourself with an online store with no potential clients. I would recommend making use of Google’s Keyword Tool to see if your product doesn’t have a too low keyword search and also how competitive the term already is.
Go for High Margins
Try to choose a product which doesn’t really have a set and expected price. For example, a Playstation 4 has a set and expected price. This price can differ from store to store, but not by much, so your profit margin would be very low. Unique, one of a kind, personalized or hand crafted items, doesn’t have an expected price and your profit margin would be much higher. On the other hand, it might be too ifficult to find enough supply for the demand.
Trend, Fad or Growing Market?
Establish whether your chosen product is just a trend, a fad, or if it’s a growing market. Google Trends can help you here, as well as Trend Hunter and Trend Watching. Years ago, Tamagochis were a fad and you would have been able to make a huge profit from selling them. Trying to sell them now, however, won’t get you anywhere. It’s fine if you choose a product that’s a fad at this moment but keep in mind that it’s just a phase that will pass – don’t buy too much stock and be prepared to find another product to sell when the craze dies out.
Is your product something that can easily be bought at a store around the corner? If yes, then why would people buy it online when they can just pop into the store quickly? I would stay clear of products such as this, except if you are able to make your product stand out from the other products that local stores sell. With that being said, what makes your product stand out from the rest?
Do your Research!
When you have finally picked a product to sell, and before you do anything else, research it further. Contact people who are already selling the product and find out how easily it sells. Talk to people in the public and find out what the demand is for the product. You could also use SurveyMonkey to create a free survey to establish how the general public feels about the product. Figure out if you can get the product directly from the manufacturers and if you could get it at a good price. Try to get a discount for buying the items in bulk. Research, research and do more research!
How Will it be Delivered?
You’ve also got to take the product delivery into consideration? Would you carry the inventory yourself or make use of dropshipping? How much would it cost to ship the product to the client and will the client pay for the shipping himself or would you be able to work it into the price and be able to provide free delivery? The bigger or heavier the item, the more the shipping will cost – if you want to sell a product such as iron weight sets which will cost the customer $100, but the shipping will also cost $110, chances are that the customer won’t buy it because it’s hard to justify spending more money on shipping the product, than the cost of the product itself.
Will it Break?
On the subject of shipping, how fragile is the product? Can it easily break when being shipped? Test it out first.
Existing Customers vs Returning Customers
Most businesses agree that it’s easier to sell to an existing customer, than it is to find a new customer. In this regard, if you sell consumable products (for example – beauty products and nutritional products), you will be able to sell to existing customers which will be much easier.
Can You Keep Up?
Would you be able to keep up with large order? Sure your business might start out small but once it starts taking off, you might get a lot of orders or very big orders – would you be able to get enough products in this instance? This is an especially important point if you want to sell handmade or rare products.
The best thing to do is to make a list of all the products that you are considering and then to test them against my list above – but don’t worry if your product only complies to a few of the do’s and don’ts – I doubt if there is any product in existence that would hold up to the entire list. And if yours does, please let me know what your product is as it might just be the best product ever and I might want to “borrow” your idea (haha, just kidding)!