Picking a Product to Sell Online: Tips and Experience
If you’re thinking about selling products online, the most crucial choice you make will be what to sell. Most online selling gurus will save this post for last because it is the most crucial most captivating aspect of online selling. I have picked several products at this point; some by choice and others by chance. Some of them have been successful and others have not. I have a mere 24 months of experience, so rest assured that if a beginner like me can do it so can you.
Why tell you how to do it? Because there is a world of opportunities to go around and out of 100 people that read this, perhaps 1 might take the advice. But if I could change the world for 1 man or 1 woman in a way that provides more abundance and happiness and reduces overall worry and stress in their life……Well then my work has been done. So here is my advice.
The product that you want to start with is probably something you already love or already use. The benefit to this is that if you fail to sell it as intended you can usually use the product yourself, which lowers your exposure to risk.
So to make an example I picked first a vape battery that I had happened across in my dealings and I thought it was pretty dope for its purpose. I thought it worked great, it was a great value. In essence I liked it a lot. Think about something that you have that you use that you found along the way and said “Wow, this is really great.” Maybe it’s a hair piece, a bag, a comb or a sponge or a tool or any object, item, gizmo, invention that you are so sure is so cool that you would put your life on it that other people would use it and love it. That’s probably something you should research and consider selling online.
A second example would be the drill brushes. I did not have them but I had always thought that it would be a great idea. My wife runs a cleaning business so we figured we could test and use them there, worst case scenario. To make the long story short, I wanted to sell a unique waterproof brush for cleaning tough to reach or scrub areas. We found something along these lines and bought it and tried to sell it.
Total Flop. I was barely able to sell it for cost. Luckily, I only bought a few to try it out. So why did this fail? While many factors played in, the brush motor was too weak, replacement parts were too difficult to find, and the idea of adding another single purpose item to your cleaning closet is unsettling unless its super useful. Presumably, I could have seen this coming. But I did not.
However, the Drill Brush Story has a happy ending. The next product was the 3 piece and 14 piece drill bush sets. These serve the same purpose of removing the elbow wear and tear while increasing the cleaning effectiveness and efficiency. But they attach to your household drill. Everyone has a household drill, probably two. And if you don’t your neighbor or friend does and at your local Walmart or target or ace there is a huge selection. They scrub the piss out of anything you can thing of, and with a few extras like extensions and maybe a 90 degree bit attachment, you can make your life a lot easier and cleaner, all while having fun with this little toy. It sells great and I am able to buy it and sell it at a profit.
Looking at the 2 examples above, there are several very important points I want to make. In the case of the vape battery, the product was something I had already and used and loved. In the second I did not have a drill brush set but I knew that I wanted it from the second I saw it. I loved it. It just looks fun and cool and I loved it. In the first case I knew I could sell it to my friends and in the second I was confident in giving it away as a gift or even just selling it at a slight loss if that’s how it played out. However, in the case of the battery operated brush I really liked it but I was unsure of it, and when I had it in my hand I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I just didn’t like it, I didn’t feel it added value to my life, so why would I think it brought value to yours, enough for you to buy it and rave to your friends. At the end of the day that’s what you want in a product is something that you can consider writing home about.
Below is a brief list of the most important factors with regard to picking a product to sell online.
- Pick a product that you have and love, or have seen and want to have but do not already.
- Research the product to find out where you can get it and the differences in price and quality.
- Determine if you can make money off the product at normal pricing after fees, shipping, packing and cost of the unit. (you will need to know the weight and determine the freight costs, the cost of packing it for shipping, and the sellers and associated selling fees.)
- Determine if you can sell the product on the intended platforms available for selling. This is very important.
Also some tips for picking a great product:
- In most cases, among products with similar sales prices, products that are likely to sell in multiples are better than those likely to sell in singles. (1 Three piece drill brush set is just as profitable as 1 Eleaf Battery but people rarely buy 2 drill brush sets at once, however, they buy E Leaf 510 Batteries in multiples more often than in singles.)
- Your manufacturer may be domestic or foreign. Don’t get hung up on buying from Alibaba. I sell Boveda at a profit, they come from Boveda and are made in the USA. My Drill Brushes come from China. I researched another product recently; it was cheaper to buy form the USA than from anywhere else.
- Test the market first. Buy form a local provider for a higher price than you would in bulk. Sell it at the price you would from your price research if you bought in bulk. If it sells, that’s a good sign. It might cost you a few bucks but the information is priceless.
- Once you have it in bulk sell it at the lowest cost possible for a while to increase sales and then return the price to your target sales price. This is effective at increasing sales overall even at the higher profitable price.
In closing, I do not advise you to make the decision hastily. Take your time. Don’t fear that you will never sell your product, because in my experience, for some “weird reason” places like Ebay almost throw sales your way just to see if you follow through and how quickly.
I say weird, because I believe it’s actually something to do with their lovely algorithms’ as to why nobody sellers with no sales record get sales. It also happens relatively quickly from my observations of starting new Ebay accounts and bringing them to top rated status. I went from being a nobody seller to having 50+ sales in a day within a matter of 4 weeks on 2 different accounts at 2 different times. I worked hard for it and slept very little but I got to the top quickly from 0.
Don’t be overly worried about market saturation or competitors seller ratings. While these could be helpful, you can make a name for yourself. Take the above advice, do some additional research and then start thinking seriously about products to sell. If they don’t meet all the criteria don’t sweat it. Run a test or 2 to see if it is viable. I can tell you that I was surprised at how easy it really is, if you do your research, trust your gut instinct and follow through with discipline.