Your venue is as important as your product – and I’ll tell you why…
As a subscriber to my weekly eletter, it’s very likely that you are already an online seller – or if not then it’s something you are most definitely considering. But let me ask you to put your ‘buyer’ head on for a moment rather than your ‘seller’ head and consider this:
What are the best places to buy the things that you want – in other words where do you shop?
- Maybe eBay?
- Maybe Amazon?
- Maybe general online retailers?
- Maybe bricks and mortar stores?
I ask because I was thinking about whether certain venues are suited to certain niches or certain products. And it’s likely that in answer to my earlier question, you’ve thought – ‘Well it depends what I’m looking for!’
So, first let me tell you why I was thinking about this. To cut a long story short, a little while ago my daughter required a fancy dress outfit and I knew that there was a fancy dress store in the town nearest to where I live, so a friend and I decided to hatch a cunning plan.
Take a trip over there and see what they had in stock to get some ideas and then follow that up with a scout around online for a ‘cheaper version’ of anything we spotted in store.
Strangely, when we got there this ‘fancy dress’ place appeared to be, not a fancy dress shop as expected, but in fact a tattoo parlour and piercing bar!
Unfortunately we didn’t notice this until it was too late and were met at the counter by a very pleasant, heavily tattooed and pierced lady who advised us that all their fancy dress stuff is only available online – on eBay!
So that was our little plan scuppered! With not another fancy dress store for miles around, we returned home and fired up our laptops!
So, this fancy dress / tattooing / piercing business had worked out that selling the fancy dress stuff online and reaching a wider audience and keeping the tattooing and piercing in store (for quite obvious reasons) was more lucrative than selling the costumes from their bricks and mortar store – and they split the business accordingly. And I can see why – not only for the reason that I was more likely to purchase off eBay anyway!
Fancy dress does not necessarily need to be sold from a physical store. The reasons for this are that fancy dress is a kind of throw-away thing. I don’t mean that you wear it once then throw it in the bin, but it doesn’t really matter if the quality isn’t great, or it’s a size to big or small or if the colour doesn’t suit you.
You wear it for a couple of hours and then stuff it in a drawer (out of sight!) or resell it on eBay. And for this reason, it’s a fairly easy sale for the seller as long as the prices are competitive.
As a buyer, I would certainly not have a problem purchasing a fancy dress costume online and obviously many others are of the same opinion – so in this respect one of my first ports of call for this item would be an online venue such as eBay.
But that’s just one niche – fancy dress. What about other niches?
Do items like vintage clothing and accessories suit online retail or do you like to see and touch these kinds of items before you buy?
Do you need to see and test electronics items before you purchase them or are you happy with online reviews?
Of course, each to their own but in the past few years, more and more buyers are choosing to spend their money online. eBay is definitely the place to look for things like vintage items and fancy dress, Amazon doesn’t fare so well with vintage, but does ok with fancy dress. Another venue – Etsy.com – is great for vintage stuff and a good alternative selling venue if that’s your niche of choice…
With electronics – eBay and Amazon are both good choices – it’s a competitive market but there are buyers in abundance who don’t feel the need to see and touch a product in the flesh before buying!
So, my point here is this. There is never really a ‘best venue’ and it does depend on the product. You don’t always have to sell your products on eBay. Or on Amazon. Or Etsy. You should pick the venue that suits your product. The venue where your hungry market is waiting and where you will make the most sales. So good research is the essential key.
In a perfect world you would combine all of these (depending on your products) along with your own website as well to ensure you reach ALL markets.
Remember; some products will sell better on eBay, some on Amazon and some just aren’t suited to online sales at all – i.e. professional tattooing and piercing! So, next time you are researching what to sell, make sure you think about where you’re going to sell it too.
Your venue is as important as your product.
As always I wish you the best of success,