Why you shouldn’t sell a ‘bit of this and a bit of that’ and instead stay focused
Ok, so last Friday’s blog post, in which I talked about finding reliable suppliers, was received very well – thank you to those of you who emailed me this week – however it also prompted a further question from some readers – one of whom was Sam P who said:
“More great information gratefully received from you this week Amanda, thanks. But I do have a question. It’s good to know how to find genuine suppliers for things but I’m struggling with getting going and deciding what to sell. What’s the best product I should try and get from a supplier? Thanks”.
This is actually a really common question and whilst it sounds like quite a simple one to answer – it’s not! There really is no ‘best product’ to sell online and that’s because there is not just one product, there are hundreds of products that can potentially make you money. I’m constantly researching and sourcing products for members of The Source Report and so I know that there is plenty of opportunity for finding a ‘best products’ in pretty much every niche.
In my opinion – and I know some people don’t agree with this – what’s important, particularly if you are a brand new seller with no experience, is to choose a market that interests you and then research a product that is in-demand, within that market.
It’s true that some online sellers have seen great success selling a bit of this and a bit of that, but I’d call those sellers the exception to the rule. If you want to be really successful then I highly recommend choosing a niche market to operate within, rather than selling a mismatch of products. That’s not to say that you are stuck with that niche for the rest of your life, as you can always branch into other areas in the future. It just makes sense to start out in a market that is specifically tailored to a group of prospective buyers – and there is a good reason for this.
You can become a subject matter expert
Your customers will see that you only sell within a particular niche – and that doesn’t mean you sell just one product, you could sell 100 products in the same niche if you wanted to – and will assume that you are an expert on your products.
You can create useful contacts within your niche
It may be that a supplier selling you your first product in your chosen niche can then help to supply other relevant products that you can tempt your buyers with.
You can narrow down your search for products
As Sam discovered, it can be incredibly daunting choosing what to sell, but when you’re only looking in one market area then you instantly reduce the massive volume of potential products that you could sell. It makes you more focused and motivated.
The more knowledge you have about your niche, the more informed you will be as to how much to sell products for and what your competition is up to. There are many, many potential niche markets to choose from and both eBay and Amazon are the perfect places to look for some inspiration as they both provide nice big category lists that you can look through to see if anything catches your eye.
Using their category lists helps you drill down deep into sub-categories and even sub-sub-categories to help you narrow your niche further. For example, I often receive emails saying something along the lines of…
“I want to sell in the Health & Beauty category. What’s the best product to sell?”
There is no doubt that selling a product within a category such as Health & Beauty could be highly profitable, but there are so many different sub-categories and products within that main category that it’s important to drill down deeper to find a smaller market area or niche within the main category of Health & Beauty. It’s impossible to say that the ‘best product’ is X,Y or Z because the choice is so vast!
Just look at the potential niche markets here, you’ve got everything from vision care to cosmetics to dental care. You’ve got aromatherapy, massage, mobility…the list is endless! Every category comes complete with a list of sub-categories so the best plan of action is to have a click around to see if you can narrow down your own search choices. The chances are that you may need to delve even deeper than this for your niche selection so keep a notebook handy and start to jot down any specialist niche markets that are of interest to you, keeping the following two thoughts in mind:
Your niche market should interest you.
Going back to what I said earlier about my opinion being that you should choose a market that interests you, this is the main reason! It’s great picking a niche market that looks profitable, but if you have no interest in that area yourself then you might struggle to see success. By choosing a niche that you know about and are passionate about you will find it far easier to keep your motivation, create compelling listings, to answer customer queries and to know what sort of price certain products should cost. So, as you’re looking through the category lists try to find ideas that spark your own interest. This could be the perfect way to tie a hobby that you love in with your own work.
There should be a real ‘need’ for products within your niche
We all make purchases now and then just because we want something. It might be a new outfit or the latest mobile phone; we want those things because they look nice or they function well and tapping into a want can work, but if you can tap into a need you will see your profits rise more successfully. What do I mean by a need?
Think about someone who is absolutely sick of their partners constant snoring – a stop snoring solution. Think of a parent wanting to reassure themselves of their baby’s wellbeing – a baby monitor.
You get the idea. If you can provide products that offer the answer to a real need then you’ll never be short of customers. So, to put it simply, my answer to Sam’s email this week was to take some time to research potential categories that are of interest and draw up a short list. Look at sub-categories and sub-sub-categories within those main categories until the market is narrowed to a small niche. Once that’s done, the research can start and an in-demand product found within that niche.
No matter what the niche, you can rest assured there will be products within it that you can source and sell for a profit so please don’t spend weeks and weeks fretting about making the right decision. It’s better to pick something right now and take action to ensure you get your online business on the go.
As always I wish you the best of success,