If you are just getting started with ecommerce the first thing you need to do is find profitable products to sell online. This however is easier said than done as you are likely finding. The reason you are struggling to find this is for two main problems. As most sellers start to locate a supplier to use, they search the internet. What is found in the results are a number of dropshippers and suppliers who are ready to go to help you with products. The problem is many other sellers have already found these suppliers and are already selling their products online. This means while the cost to do business with them and get started is helpful, the list price for these products have already been drive down by competition. As a result, you will find very few profitable products to sell online if you use a supplier in the first few results of any search.
Tips to finding profitable products to sell online
- The harder it is to find your supplier the better off you are. As I mentioned, if you find your supplier without much effort, most likely the competition has as well. You should really dig deep in your searches for dropshippers or manufacturers to find suppliers that are really out of the way and harder to come by. These helps ensure that only more serious sellers are on the lookout and limits how much competition you will have online.
- Do competitor research before you spend your time. Before you pick a supplier, get their product catalogue and spend the time searching the marketplaces you plan to sell on first. You should be able to tell how competitive the market is pretty quickly. If you get many results for the products, then there is no point in moving forward with the supplier as the competition will create a race to the bottom for price and take away and profit margin you might have.
- Check many marketplaces. You may find as you do your marketplace research for competition that one marketplace is not profitable yet when you do the same research on another possible marketplace there is room for profit. Not everyone sells everywhere so use this to your advantage. Look at a number of marketplaces and find the right one for you for the specific supplier you plan to use to maximize your profit.
- Pick a niche for your supplier and sales channels. It is easy to go wide and find any and every product you could sell and just start listing away. The challenge typically is really establishing your brand and knowing the space with this approach. It is much easier to know if you have a good opportunity the deeper you can get within a specific vertical. For example, if all oyu sell is home and garden category, you will more quickly learn the competitive landscape and start to identify opportunities. If you try to sell everything to everyone and everywhere, it is really hard to learn and identify opportunities for profitable products to sell online.
- Don’t forget about shipping and marketplace fees. Often sellers focus on the product cost and list price and see an opportunity. The reality is that is only part of the profitability. You really need to consider the shipping costs and if you are going to offer free shipping, you need to account for that in your list price and make sure you are still making money. You need boxes and packaging supplies. You need warehouse storage and maybe even staff to support you. When you make a sale on a marketplace, you need to pay a commission or fee on the sale to the marketplace. In some cases, you have to pay a listing fee upfront or a monthly membership to be a seller. All of these costs should be accounted for when it comes to profitability.
There are many business models that exist when it comes to selling online. All of which can be successful if you put the right amount of effort into it. The key however is to research where you source your products and finding the right place online to list them where you can maximize the potential profit. You will also need to really consider all costs when you think about profitability not just the obvious when it comes to what you paid for the specific unit to what that unit sells for. This will help ensure you can grow your business year after year.