Deciding What to Sell

Whether you’re just stepping into the arena of online retailing for the first time or you’ve been selling for some time, you face two big questions: what should you sell? And how much to sell it for? Nobody can answer those questions for you, but in this section, we offer advice on how to answer them for yourself.

  • Selecting products that are passionate to you.
  • Scoping out trends and niche markets.
  • Learning about drop shipping suppliers
  • Setting prices to for profitable sales.

Let Passion Be Your Guide.

When choosing what to sell let your passion motivate your choices. Make a list of your interest and hobbies – what excites you? What gets your blood pumping? If you’re into fashion magazines and blogs, selling apparel and accessories might be a good choice. If you spend your time tinkering with computers, maybe you should look into selling software electronics. If you’re a dog lover consider searching for the perfect dog items to launch your own doggie boutique.

You’ll be spending a lot of time with the products you choose to sell. You will be securing inventory, posting product listings, writing marketing copy, and shipping products around the world. By choosing products you’re crazy about, you’re more able to recognizing and serving our customers’ needs when you are selecting and marketing these products, while establishing yourself as trusted expert in the field. The best part is, turning your passion into profits allows you to find joy in your work, which should be one of the reasons you are pursuing an online business.

Deciding What to Sell: Engaging in Market Research

When deciding what to sell, consider who is going to buy it. This is called your target market. The customers who consist of your target market have needs and desires. Identify those needs and desires, and you’ll have an answer to your question of what to sell.

Next, we reveal various ways to size up your target market and identify products that have the most potential.

While you’re looking for inspiration, keep the following advice in mind to avoid the most common “product-selection” pit-falls:

Instead of thinking about what to sell, consider what people want to buy. Make sure there is a demand for your products. Think about the demand side of the supply and demand economic equation.

Don’t focus on products that are currently popular. The most popular products to buy, are usually the most common products to sell, meaning competition is tough. Explore niche markets and consider complimentary selling products that help customers get more out of those popular products they already own.

Think big picture. Just because a product will sell fast doesn’t mean it’s the most profitable product for you. Make sure that the product meets the following requirements:


  • Make sure it’s legal
  • Shipping Cost
  • Restocking process
  • Target market
  • Profitable

Finding trends

Although pursuing hot-selling products can be tempting, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your target market to gauge demand and recognize your market’s needs. Here are some easy and readily accessible resources to get you started on your market research:

Newspaper/magazines: Lifestyle sections of major newspapers and advertisements in popular magazines. The big companies who are paid big money to advertise these products have already identified hot trends.

Trade journals: If you want to sell niche products, check out industry-specific publications. Trade journals can provide lots of insight into what products and trends are popular.

Drop-shipper and wholesaler directories: Go online to check out the product listings for various drop shipper and wholesalers. Simply google “Drop-shipper and wholesaler directories “. Drop-shippers typically vibrant product photos, along with pricing information to help inspire and steer your decision.  We will talk more on drop-shippers later.

Retail stores: Don’t be scared to step into local stores to see which products are bestsellers and being heavily promoted.

Other e-commerce sites: Can you think of an e-commerce site that inspires ideas for your own store?  Visit the site to see which products it features. Also look at the products that are receiving the most customer reviews.

**Be alert and thoughtful. You can spot trends simply by listening to what your people are talking about. Observe how friends and family spend their time, what they wear, games they play, places they go, and so on. When you’re surfing the internet, watching TV or listening to the radio remain alert to what people seems to be getting the most excited about.

Niche Markets.

8.jpgYou’ll be facing some stiff competition from major retailers in almost any industry, not to mention the elite e-commerce sites like Amazon and Zappos. One way to handle competition is to target a niche market. A niche market is a small part of a bigger market. Instead of going head-to-head with a retailer like Toys “R” Us, you may want to compete by promoting a niche products such as toy robots.

Niche markets are comprised of a smaller pool of potential customers. These shoppers tend to be much more passionate and loyal. Also, they can be easier to reach and engage with, especially via blog and social media efforts.

Take a look at fans of a classic sci-fi movies. Although they the number is small in regards to segment of the population, these diehards are willing to shell out cash for anything related to sci-fi brand: video games, vintage posters, life-size replica of their favorite characters, and anything else you can think of.

Connecting With Prospective Customers.

One of the best ways to identify your target market’s needs is to tune into perspective customers. If you choose an industry that you already have passion for, connecting with customers is much easier. You will be able to like the same Facebook pages they like, subscribe to the same newsletters, clubs, conferences and events, hang out at the same online discussion forums and so on.

**Listen for problems and distresses, which often highlights of unmet needs. After identifying an unmet needs, try to find products that meet those needs and then work toward making those products your niche. By providing solutions to problems, you establish yourself as an expert in the field.  You go beyond selling products and in turn customers will give you there trust and loyalty.

Next more details about drop-shippers and wholesalers… Stay tuned