I love hearing people who want to have an online business. I have been answering questions on all experts for years now about ecommerce and online businesses. It gives me perspective hearing about other people’s questions, problems, and confusions….and makes me realize I’m not alone when it comes to the massive and confusing jungle of the online world!
Finding the right product to sell online is CRUCIAL. I am always asked how I started selling bar products, back in 2004. I kind of wish I knew what I knew now, then, because the bar products market is rather specialized and niche – learn how I got into the bar products industry. Maybe if I had started drop shipping mobile phones and electronics back then….I’d be much more (maybe) financially well off.
The other issue to take into account is to take inventory or not. Taking inventory means it will tie up cash, as well as make it more difficult to change your product line later. I have learned this all too well with the bar products industry….warehousing and logistics headaches galore!
I blogged about a year ago about how to start an online ecommerce business in more general terms. Today I just received this question on all experts about CHOOSING the right product group (a common question, but this question was much more interesting and detailed then the normal ones I get) and thought I would share with everyone today:
You answered this question on 02/18/11
Category: E-Commerce, Web Businesses
Subject: ebay store
Question: My husband started an EBay store about 3 months ago and he’s been selling more and more little by little. Mainly used/new electronics that he gets from either Ebay itself, people on Craigslist or Thrifty Store. He is really good at it, I can tell. He is really organized and calculates his profits and control his small inventory really well.
So, I’m wondering if we could have any kind of help on advising us in how to move up to next level, with wholesale retailers and such. It seems that are lot of scams on the internet offering this info anyways.
On top of that, I was thinking of having a section for women on his store as well, so I could sell items as well. However, the items that I’ve been trying were not in demand at all…
Anyways, if an appointment is necessary I’d be more than glad to do so. We are in Los Angeles, CA.
Answer: Hi Adriana,
Its great to hear your husband is doing well, and you will join him as well to earn more money!
There are a few things / ideas. You can use ebay to see which items have been selling by doing an advanced search and seeing what has closed/ sold….and if those listings are selling, and for what price. This will help you make a better decision
I STRONGLY recommend you try not to be soley dependant on ebay…they are dropping every day in the market because they keep increasing fees and buyers and sellers are moving to their own .com shops or to amazon.com so I suggest you looking into your own online shop and selling on amazon as well.
more ways to search for demand in product is reverse keyword tools, a free one is:
there you can put in product names / keywords and it shows how much people are looking for and what they want to find. Selling on the internet is all about GIVING PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT….instead of push media w/ television ads that is TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO BUY. To be successful on the internet, you have to listen to what people want and give it to them.
I would love to meet you for consulting, it is a passion of mine, but I am based overseas in Hong kong / China. I would be open to a phone call or skype call – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps and Good luck! Main thing is not to give up!
There is also the idea that you should pick a product line you, yourself are interested in, and a customer of. This is because a business is mostly serving YOUR CUSTOMERS. I love the article – CEO means customer, employee, and THEN owner (in that order), so if you yourself are already a customer in that product / service industry, then you will understand the perspective of those customers. Also you want to pick a market group inside of the product group, not just sell products- BUT TO WHO? Old women? Teenagers? That is also just as important as selecting which type of products, but which demographic of customers.
The main idea is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. I am not one to talk, as most who know me well know I move quickly…because all talk and no action isn’t good either. People also use this “market research” task as a way to find an EXCUSE why they have NO TIME to start their own business. That they don’t want to sit down and write everything down, make a plan….
I love getting emails like this, people motivated to do their own business, create value in the world by jumping into the world of entrepreneurship. While I myself cannot call myself a true success story, I have lasted a few years at it, and am not afraid to tell people the real deal. I think its a fine balance of preparation and GUTS to actually execute and do it.