Why you shouldn’t sell a ‘bit of this and a bit of that’ and instead stay directly focused on a niche
So, a very familiar question resurfaced this week in my inbox: What is the best product to sell online?
And I’m sorry to say that you’re going to be disappointed because the truth is there really is no ‘best product’ to sell online.
This is because there isn’t just one best product…there are literally 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 product’ in pretty much every niche imaginable.
Sell what you know
In my opinion – and I know that some others don’t necessarily agree with this – what’s important, particularly if you are a new seller with no experience, is to choose a market that interests you or you have some knowledge about, 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, a bit of everything, 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.
And I’m not saying that you are then 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 are some very good reasons and advantages to this.
Firstly, you can easily become an expert in your subject matter.
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 so will assume that you are an expert on your products.
Number two is that you can create useful contacts within your niche.
It may be that the supplier who supplies you with your first product in your chosen niche can then help to supply other relevant products that you can tempt your buyers with.
Thirdly you can narrow down your search for products.
It can be incredibly daunting choosing what to sell, but when you’re only looking in one market area rather than leaping from niche to niche, then you instantly reduce the massive volume of potential products that you could sell. It makes you more focused and more motivated.
Finally, you will get to know your market as you do your research.
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 these category lists helps you drill down deep into sub-categories and even sub-sub-categories to help you narrow your niche and products further so you’ll be able to find the ‘best products’ for you and your business vision.
For example, I sometimes receive emails saying something along the lines of…
I want to sell in the Sporting Goods category. What’s the best product to sell?
There is no doubt that selling a product within a category such as Sporting Goods 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 Sporting Goods.
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 cycling to fishing to running. You’ve got basketball, baseball and sailing. You’ve got skiing, martial arts and ten pin bowling! The list is endless and every one of these categories comes complete with a list of sub-categories!
So the best plan of action is to have a click around and 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 record any specialist niche markets that are of interest to you, keeping the following two thoughts in mind:
Your niche market should be of interest to 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 smartphone; 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 is a need.
Think of a parent wanting to reassure themselves of their baby’s wellbeing – a baby monitor is a need.
Think of a cycling enthusiast who wants to time rides and improve speed – a bike computer is a need.
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, your plan of action should be 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 your 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 started.