‘Unique’ products can potentially inhibit your sales. Here’s why you should go with the flow…but first I have… Stop Press News!

On Wednesday the 19th March I will be re-opening my E-Seller Mastery Programme. This is the ‘big one’ where you’ll get the opportunity to get your hands on everything you need to start or progress your online business including access to exclusive webinars and live chat with me, home study manuals, one to one email support from me personally and the chance to attend my one day workshop later in the year.

There will be limited places available and previously these have all been snapped up long before the closing date so if this interests you please make sure you check out the details. You can do that here:

E-Seller Mastery 

So, now on to other matters and this week was race week again in Cheltenham, although sadly I haven’t managed to attend this year. As it’s Friday, I will however be placing a few bets from the comfort of my local pub a little later today!

The Cheltenham Festival is a great event (even if you don’t really like horse racing) simply because it’s full of atmospheric buzz, friendly people, good food and drink and a few famous faces as well. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get your glad rags on and go and do some ‘people watching’.

I don’t mind admitting that this is one of my favourite pastimes – probably because I’m quite inquisitive (read: nosy) and I’m constantly on the lookout for little things that can be put to use in my business, whether that’s current trends, ideas for products or marketing.

When I last went to the Cheltenham Festival, which was a couple of years ago, I faced a huge decision in the weeks running up to the event over what I should wear – shoes or boots, dress or skirt, coat, gloves, hat or fascinator? What would everyone else be wearing? Would I look out of place if I went for a bright colour rather than a neutral tone? But when I look back and think about it now, all of this flapping was completely unnecessary, because when we arrived, all the ladies were pretty much clones of each other – including me!

I ended up wearing a similar outfit to all the other ladies. Dress, smart coat, fascinator, leather gloves along with the obligatory glass of Champagne in manicured hand! And actually it was really nice to be comfortably part of it all. Nobody was trying to be different, dress creatively, make a statement or start a trend.

I was relieved that I had basically followed the crowd for the occasion. Now obviously there are times when it’s good NOT to follow the crowd, but here’s my point today…

I am often asked if you need to have a lot of creativity and ingenuity to become a successful online seller and the common misconception is that you must constantly be trying to come up with new ideas for product lines right off the top of your head.

Should you be different? Should you sell a unique product? Do you have to think of something nobody else has thought of? In fact this was the very topic that Mike asked me to cover when I recently asked you for your blog/eletter subject choices.

So, the answer to all of the questions above – including Mike’s is definitely a big ‘no’. Please don’t get me wrong; selling new and upcoming products is without doubt vitally important, but coming up with brand new, unique things to sell all on your own is not something that you need to worry about because, just like my race day outfit dilemma, you should certainly never be looking to start a new trend. In fact, researching random products, finding a supplier for them and then listing them online is much more likely to end up losing you money or only making you a tiny profit over a lengthy period of time that it really isn’t worth all the effort.

Mind the gap!

There is absolutely no point trying to sell into a gap in the market if there is no market in the gap, yet I’ve seen many new sellers fall into the trap of sourcing a product that no one else is selling (usually because they’ve found it at an extremely cheap, bargain wholesale price) and assuming that it will be the big thing that makes them their fortune. But what you must consider is this:

Why is no one else selling this product already?

If a product is going to sell well, someone else will in most cases already have thought of it and will be selling that particular product successfully. Although you may get incredibly lucky and find a popular item that no one else is selling, the chances of this happening are slim. So, the idea here is this.

Instead of trying to be clever, follow the crowd instead.

This is a really valuable piece of advice and one that you should take on board – you should become a follower, not a leader. I might possibly become the only person who will ever tell you that you should be a follower rather than a leader or ‘pioneer’, but I don’t mean this for every area of your life. In fact, taking the step to actually start selling online rather than following the usual crowd working 9-5 jobs would tell me that you are a person quite willing to take the lead in your life.

The area that I am talking about being a follower within is that of actually researching and sourcing the products you will sell online. This is a strategy that will save you significant amounts of time and money, as well as a big headache when you discover that something you imagined would sell successfully really won’t.

Choosing to lead instead of follow in this area of your business means that you won’t make the potentially disastrous mistake of purchasing stock that is available via a particularly spectacular offer from a wholesaler, fill your garage to the brim with it, only to discover that in fact you can’t make enough profit to have made your purchase worthwhile at all.

This is the ‘pot luck’ approach. You may get lucky and make a small fortune from a great wholesale offer that you have found, but you may also be incredibly unlucky.

You should never leave your online selling success to luck.

This is why I always follow the same strategy. Find the market first and then find a product to sell within that market, rather than finding a random product and then simply hoping that the market exists in which to sell it. So how do you go about emanating the success of those sellers already selling successfully within different market areas?

You may already have guessed what I’m about to say; initially it does come down to that old chestnut – research. Fortunately there are loads of tools online to help you find products and market areas that perform successfully. Searching through completed listings on eBay, for example, will help you to learn quite quickly what is currently selling, just as Watchcount can give you a glimpse of what the public are searching for. Amazon too offers bestseller lists for every category on its website to help you learn of potentially successful products to sell and Google Trends is fantastic for uncovering hot new trends and rising searches.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to learn how to find these niches and products for yourself, The Source Report members only website explains exactly how you can do this – more importantly, if you don’t want to do the research and sourcing yourself, I even do all the hard work for you. I provide researched product suggestions, suppliers of those products and full profit calculations too, so if you really don’t know where to start I can help.

In a nutshell, research (whether yours or mine) is the key here and will put you in the right direction. The golden rule and the one you should remember is…keep following!

As always I wish you the very best of success,

Amanda O'Brien