Well, so much for easing back into work mode nice and gently after the festive season. It’s been full on here with hardly a spare moment – that’s just how I like it though!

I’ve been extremely busy working out my schedule for 2013 which includes this eletter plus I’ve got some other very exciting projects in the pipeline too, which I will keep you updated – so please keep your eyes peeled!

Now, as you may know, last September I launched my online membership site which has been received extremely well and is fast becoming the best one stop resource for help and advice on product sourcing and online selling – and not to mention those all important product, supplier and profit calculations!

The site continues to evolve and over Christmas here at TSR HQ we were busy working on the new ‘blog’ section which you can access here.

You’ll find useful snippets and helpful information on the blog – all for free of course – but if you do want to access the whole TSR site you will need to become a member.

On the subject of TSR; every day, I receive many emails via the site’s ‘Ask a Question’ button – which is proving very popular!

Anyway, quite often those questions refer to the sourcing of products. Usually branded products. For example someone might email me asking if I can help with wholesale details for a supplier of ‘Fisher Price Musical Mobiles’. The brand here is ‘Fisher Price’. Or I may get another request asking me for details of suppliers of ‘Braun Electric Toothbrushes’ – here the brand is ‘Braun’ and so on.

Rarely do I receive requests from TSR members asking for the supplier details of unbranded products in a specific niche – for example ‘Digital Scales’ or ‘Cycle Helmets’. In which case I would direct people to specific venues or websites that stock these products but where the brands are not well known or are completely unbranded.

Of course I am happy to help with information concerning both branded and unbranded products but it would be really great to see more sellers considering the unbranded route because done properly it can explode your profits!

The fact that we actually sometimes speak in ‘brands’ shows how we often think in ‘brands’ without realizing it. One of the most obvious examples of this is the brand ‘Hoover’. How many of us take the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard and announce that we are going to do the ‘hoovering’? Most of us I imagine. But how many of us actually own a ‘Hoover’? Some of us might own a ‘Dyson’, or a ‘Henry’ or an ‘Oreck’. But we don’t say ‘I’m just going to do the ‘dysoning’ or the ‘Henrying’ do we? No. Because a brand name is already stuck inside our heads!

But often, due to the nature of selling online – particularly on eBay, rather than deciding to source ‘branded’ items from wholesalers to resell you should look at sourcing ‘unbranded’ items.

Now you might say that I’m contradicting myself here because if a brand name is easily remembered (like I’ve just stated with the ‘Hoover’ example) then what’s the point in trying to sell a similar but completely unidentifiable product?

Well, because there are far more advantages to selling un-branded products (which I will explain in a moment) than there are if you go down the ‘branded’ route. Of course if you really want to sell ‘branded’ then please feel free, I have absolutely nothing against selling branded products but, mostly, for my own online sales, I concentrate on un-branded products.

So, if you decide you do want to sell ‘branded’ goods because you think that they will bring you higher profits (not always true!) then please check the following carefully…

Branded products checklist

• Do you have the genuine article? If you have sourced a branded product from China then the chances are then no, you probably have a replica or counterfeit item, albeit a very good one! It’s not worth your reputation to be selling fakes.

• Are you allowed to sell the ‘brand’ online, and specifically on eBay? If you do find a source for the genuine article you may find that the brand may not want their products sold on eBay. If you list the item you may find your listings removed under the eBay VERO (Verified Rights Owner) programme or risk a possible suspension.

• Check the competition. It’s probably huge and it will be fierce! Branded products are easy for prospective buyers to compare seller to seller, like for like. You will need a phenomenal listing, lots of traffic and a price set to barely make a profit to compete.

• Check that you can list all your stock. Do you have multiple quantities of the branded product? If yes, then it’s possible that eBay will only allow you to list your new designer or branded goods a certain number of times before they stop you listing (usually for 30 days). This is to ensure you are not listing counterfeit goods and you are a genuine seller. If you are limited on listings you can’t build your eBay empire.

Now I’m going to tell you the reasons why ‘unbranded’ products are so much easier to deal with!

Why Sell Un-Branded Products?

Because, quite honestly, this is the altogether more easy route!

• Source anywhere! Un-branded products, i.e. generic items that can be sold with no brand name or if you are feeling really adventurous can be branded with your OWN invented brand can be sourced almost anywhere in the world at extremely competitive prices. Think China and the USA particularly.

• No easy comparisons. Buyers cannot easily compare like for like with un-branded products. This is to your advantage as it means you remain competitive.

• Trounce the competition. It is easy to totally annihilate the competition in your chosen niche because there is no set or recommended price that your un-branded product must be sold at.

• Unlimited listings. There are no listing restrictions on un-branded products. You can list as many un-branded items as you like in as many different niches as you like.

• No restrictions. There are unlikely to be any VERO restrictions. There may be the very rare occurrence where a seller has secured the sole rights to sell the product on eBay but I have known this to happen only once in the last 8 years.

So, as you can see, you will be much less restricted if you choose to sell un-branded products.

Fewer restrictions mean more potential to grow your eBay business, which ultimately means more profit for you!