(Part One of Two)
We are all looking for the perfect product to sell on eBay, Amazon, and on countless other marketplaces on and off the internet.
But do any of us really know what goes into making the perfect product: perfect for us to sell, that is, in expectation of massive sales, high profit margins and no problems or hiccups of any kind?
Here are a few things to take into account…
#1. Is it a Proven Best Seller? A product that’s already making lots of sales and piling up the profits for someone else should be a good money maker for you too. As long as you make sufficient changes to the product and the way it is currently being marketed, and ultimately make your product the one that stands out from the crowd. More about this in #2.
You can prove – as near as possible – how popular an item is in any particular marketplace, using tools specific to the marketplace. On eBay, for example, tools like Goofbid – http://www.goofbid.com – help you determine the number of past sales for specific product types, along with their fixed prices. Find them by clicking on ‘eBay Tools’ top of Goofbid’s home page and then choose ‘eBay Most Popular Tool’ right side of the dropdown menu.
On the page that follows, key your product type into the search box and you’ll be taken to goods matching your search term along with their sales figures and prices.
On Amazon you study Best Sellers Rank within your product’s appropriate listing category. Choose a product listing category left side of the search box at the top of your chosen Amazon site. Then key your product type into the search box, such as t-shirt for the following example. Next page, choose a product similar to one you might consider selling.
Scroll down the product listing until you come to ‘Product description’. A little further down, at ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank’, click on the emboldened end-of-line product type. Like this:
Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry > Men > Clothing > Shirts > T-shirts
The next page takes you to current bestselling products within your chosen product niche.
#2. Exclusivity – the product appears to be yours alone, even though unlimited sellers might be offering the exact same item. The trick is to make your product stand out from others, even identical items, and you do it like this:
– Create your own images and descriptions while other sellers use what’s given to them by manufacturers. Manufacturers, including wholesalers, aren’t always the world’s greatest copywriters, and even if they did employ copywriting experts, there is always room for improvement.
– Find products selling very well in one or a handful of marketplaces but not on others. Study overlooked marketplaces to determine suitability for promoting your products and test market each product for a month or so before rolling out.
– Give your product a useful add-on, such as packaging that improves the perceived value of the item or a bonus item that can’t be copied by rival sellers and effectively makes your offer unique.
– Let your product sell itself. Find ideas by keying your product type into the search box at Google Images – http://www.google.com – then click on ‘Images’; also try Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com. Take screenshots of images that grab your attention, which means they will probably stand out to other people too. Add images to a folder on your desktop and compare screenshots of similar and identical bestselling products. Look for eye-catching features that make one or two screenshots more appealing than others. Adapt and use some of those features in your products and marketing materials without breaching trademark and copyright laws.
– Make your product more attractive than those currently topping the charts in any marketplace. One way is by studying feedback and reviews for other people’s products. Note down reasons customers are delighted with their purchase and why they are sometimes disappointed. Add the best features to your product, and then better them; ensure your products are free from reasons resulting in poor feedback for rival sellers.
#3. High Profit – select and research products matching all or most features of the perfect product, then choose one already likely to attract a high profit, or make changes to a another person’s base product as highlighted in #3. Test market various price levels until you find your product’s highest viable price.
#4. Low Competition – start by finding a heavily competitive market, such as health and beauty, making money, raising happy children, and then find a sub-niche within that overall market where demand is high and seller rivalry low. Those end-of-line product categories mentioned in #1 are the smallest niches within a specific market on a particular marketplace like eBay, Amazon and others. Study products attracting heavy sales and high profits for other sellers in your chosen end-of-line niche and pick and make improvements to them.
#5. Product Features – choose products matching as many of the following as possible:
– Evergreen product, not a fad or gimmick, unless the fad or gimmick is rising in popularity and has plenty of time to go before demand declines.
– Evergreen product with lots of seasonal peaks. Such as greetings cards, for example, an all year bestselling product that peaks at Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and so on.
– Item popular with gift buyers, especially for major seasons just mentioned.
– Can be bundled with items most buyers purchase alongside. Such as tags and gift wrapping with Christmas gifts, wrapping paper and birthday card together, stationery with envelopes, dog collar and lead, and so on.
– Product is simple to use and does not require separate instructions. If it isn’t easy to use, a well written step-by-step how-to guide can lift a product in search returns over listings with inadequate instructions – or no instructions at all.
– Lightweight to minimise delivery costs; robust to reduce breakage in transit.
– Product has multiple high ranking keywords targeting different buying interests, so increasing product visibility and potentially leading to bidding wars and unexpected high auction finishing prices. Fixed price listings can also attract multiple different buyer types and justify higher prices than for similar items with limited market appeal. Examples: booklets with patterns for different craftwork types – crochet, knitting, needlepoint; gift product to suit several different celebrations.
– Product matches a growing trend, preferably long term or permanent. Study trending websites like Trend Hunter – http://www.trendhunter.com. Analyse and respond to trends and look for new ones at Google Trends –https://trends.google.com/trends.
– Matches bestselling products in limited supply or already sold out at major sites like eBay and Amazon. While the other seller is waiting for new inventory to arrive, you should try grabbing their audience and expect some of it to stay with you. Look for signs such as Only One Left and Out of Stock and move in right away.
– Product can be personalised. Personalisation is one of the top reasons for choosing one product over a similar item that can’t be customised for end users.
– Lends itself to a line of related goods, such as greetings cards, toys, skin care products, craftwork materials, and so on.
– Leads to repeat sales and regular replenishment, such as soap, clothing for babies and toddlers, collectibles forming part of a set.
– Leads to multiple products purchased together, such as several balls of knitting wool, baby vests, individual pots of artists’ paints, wedding invitations and table favours, etc.
– Can be sold on numerous marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay and others, as well as from a seller’s own websites and blogs.
– Doesn’t breach regional, national and international rules relating to safety, copyright, consumer trading, etc. All high street banks have business start-up guides detailing common legal requirements.
– Does not breach marketplace rules. Amazon, eBay and all similar marketplaces have their own rules which sellers must read before purchasing goods to sell.
Those are just five ways to identify the perfect product, one that makes good profits for you and in many cases cannot be copied and sold by anyone else. Next week we will look at more ways to have a product that’s not only perfect but a regular bestseller too and with no rival sellers.