This is a guest post from Jon Carmen of SupplySpy. Jon is a digital media consultant with consulting and building companies in the digital economy.
So you want to be an entrepreneur, more specifically, you want to find a product to sell on your own website and on Amazon. Perfect, this is such an exciting process! As an entrepreneur, this portion of mapping out your new business can be both incredibly exhilarating and completely daunting.
It’s very exciting to think about all the possible products you could sell, but really, where do you even start with something like this? The shear amount of products one could choose from is so large; many would-be eCommerce entrepreneurs never get past this stage.
You could choose something you are passionate about and invent a product where you are solving a problem. You could find something that is already selling and source a white label version from China or the US. You could also find a wholesaler in the US and sell products that already exist.
Invent Your Own Product
In the “old days” before Amazon, this is how many businesses were started. Someone had a problem that they could not solve, so they figured out how to build a product that solved this problem and began selling it to others that had the same problem. Brilliant, right?
Well it can be, if the audience with the problem is large enough and your solution is elegantly designed. But if you don’t know how to market it or your supplier produces poor quality, it could also spell disaster.
In the age of Amazon, this is even harder to pull off, because if it’s not already selling on Amazon, chances are, sales will be slow and educating your customer base could be cost prohibitive.
Find Something That Is Already Selling
The current approach that most eCommerce sellers take is to find products that are already selling, with low competition, small enough to fit in a shoe box (best shipping prices), and sells between $20 and $50 at retail. But how do you identify products like this and where do you source them?
How to identify products
Here are 6 ways to identify products to sell:
- Keyword research: Google is a treasure trove of data. If you know where to look you can uncover great insights. You can go directly to the Google Keyword Planner (you need to be logged into your Google account to use this tool).
- Solve a customer pain point (make a better mousetrap): Have you ever purchased a product and whished it had one more feature? Or, you thought this would be a better product if it only had this one other feature. Well, if you are thinking these thoughts, chances are other customers are too.
- Sell something you are passionate about: Love Mountain biking? Look for an unmet need and build products around a mountain biking brand. You can build out a whole line of mountain biking accessories all with your brand name on them.
- Find a passionate community, build a brand around it and target that community: If you can’t come up with something that gets you excited, find something that caters to other’s passions. These days there is a community for everything. People who like to hike, People who like to dress up in costumes, People who like to get together with other people that have the same dogs. You name it there is a community. If you can identify something that community needs, you are on your way to eCommerce success!
- Sell your YOU. Are you an expert at something that others are not? Write a guide or a book. This can be highly lucrative if it sells well, because once the product is produced there is no cost for you to produce digital versions and fairly low cost for print versions
- Be a keen observer of trends: Are you someone that always spots trends, then once it becomes a trend, looks back and realizes you saw it coming a mile away? Well you don’t have to do that in the dark anymore either. You can use tools from Google to find out what is trending.
Where to source your products
Ok you have figured out what you are going to sell; now where do you find it? Are you going to sell someone else’s products or are you going the private label route?
- US Manufacturer: US based manufacturers are typically known for higher quality, lower risk, but also higher cost.
- Chinese Manufacturer: Chinese based Manufacturers are typically known for lower cost, but also lower quality, complicated shipping and higher risk
- US-based Wholesaler: US-based wholesalers offer products that already exist. You can use tools like SupplySpy to find US wholesalers and US factories.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to selecting a product to sell. The product selection process can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. You can invent something, capitalize on trends, build your own better version of something or cater to a niche community.
Whichever direction you choose it takes desire, will, hard work and a little luck! These are just a few of the most popular ways to research, identify and select your next eCommerce product to sell. Now get out there and start selling!