Product ideas are all around you… and you can take advantage. Here’s how.

I thought that this week I’d tell you about a nice little method of mine that helps me out frequently when I’m looking for a new product idea.

Coincidentally I used this very method just last week to provide a brand new product, supplier and profit calculation to members of my website!

Now to be honest, this is really simple stuff but it will help you to get going so please read carefully and follow my five steps to kick start your online selling if you are looking for a new niche or product right now.

1. Create a list of potential products

The first thing to do is to simply look around you wherever you are and start making a list of the different items that you can see.

If you’re in an office you might start with the computer, the monitor, the printer, stationary, photo frames…

If you are at home you might write down cups, ornaments, kitchen equipment, shoes, cushions… the list goes on and on! But don’t feel silly about writing down even the little things that you can see around you because we’re going to whittle down the list in the next step.

Once you’re finished with the room that you’re currently in why not have a quick wander around or nip outside and add other bits and pieces to your list. You’re sure to find a wealth of potential items in the bathroom, on the mantelpiece, in the garden, in the garage or loft and even in the street, so it should be relatively easy to come up with a list of a hundred or more items.

Even if you’re reading this on the move on a smartphone you can still start to make a list! Consider the different types of clothing that the people around you are wearing, the backpacks that they use to carry their possessions, the car seats used to secure the children. You get the picture!

2. Now reduce your list

Once you have completed step one you will have a list of many, many products but please don’t be daunted because now is the time to go through that list and highlight between five and ten of the items that particularly catch your attention.

This could be because they are something that you are interested in such as cooking, clothes or computers, or just something that you might know a lot about.

You might have a very long list in front of you, but you’ll be surprised; there will definitely be a few options that will jump out at you or that you are initially drawn towards.

Hopefully you’re starting to see what I’m getting at here. Spending just a few minutes on this task will give you a few ideas about prospective products that you can research with a view to sourcing to resell.

Remember, these items don’t necessarily have to be within a single niche market that you might already operate in online as you can always sell from different venues – eBay, Amazon or your own website or all three together! On eBay in particular it’s very easy to set up a new selling ID if you want to keep your niches separate.

3. Research your choices

Okay, so it’s all well and good selecting the items that you may be interested in but you still need to know if there is a general demand for the products that you have in mind, and of course if it is actually possible to source these goods for a price that will make you a profit when you resell.

First things first. You should now head over and make a start with eBay and search for the first of the products that you highlighted earlier on your list.

You’ll need to look out for the following:

  • How many other sellers are offering similar items?
  • Are any of these sellers running huge stores that you may struggle to compete with?
  • Look at the completed listings; how many of the items are selling?
  • What sort of price did the seller receive for each sale?

In doing this you will be able to see whether the product has potential. If it is not immediately obvious, just drill down into a more specific version of the item that you originally considered, for example if ‘camera’ was on your list, try searching for ‘digital camera’ or ‘waterproof camera’ or other more specific keywords.

You should be refining your initial ideas by this point and have a good idea of potential products. This means that now it’s time to think about where you can actually go to find some of the products that you want to sell.

There are plenty of research avenues and techniques you can use and as this newsletter isn’t specifically about researching where to find your stock I’ll leave that with you to think about, but if you need help with sourcing strategies my Source Report membership site will help you out!

4. Keep your eyes and ears open

Your home or office isn’t the only place where you can find inspiration for potential products to sell online though. Once you get into the frame of mind of looking at every scene as an opportunity you will soon be overflowing with ideas!

What about those magazine supplements that come with the Sunday papers – don’t put them in the recycling bin – they are full of innovative product ideas that you can investigate further.

When you are out and about, look around you. What are the high street stores promoting this week? Is there a product that you can take inspiration from?

What are your friends talking about this week? Is there a particular item or subject that they can’t stop raving about or that crops up in conversation over and over again?

If you have children you’ll know that they provide inspiration every day. Listen to what they talk about not only with you, but with their friends as well – they are full of ideas!
Wherever you may be at this moment in time it’s a place where you will find inspiration for your next product to sell online so make sure you always keep your eyes and ears well and truly open.

5. Be prepared

I strongly recommend that you keep a notepad with you whenever possible so that you can jot down ideas as they come to you. This way, every time you think, ‘I could sell that!’ you can write it down and look into it later. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the success of this simple strategy!