Finding wholesale products to sell online . . .
This is without question one of the vital elements to any business selling physical products. Before we begin our search for wholesale products or to find products to drop ship, we need to know what it is we want to sell. We also need to do some market research to be sure that it is worth our while to sell whatever it is we have in mind to sell.
While market research is clearly very important and something that can be very involved, we also want to keep things in perspective. The kind and complexity of research needed will vary from business to business, and the kind of research I’m going to discuss will be the sort needed to help find niche products likely to sell well online to a fairly well-defined target audience of buyers for our products.
To start, I am going to list four basic criteria that successful niche products are likely to share. These criteria will help indicate products you may want to choose:
Choose products not easily available in mass market retail outletssuch as Walmart, Target, or Best Buy. For example, home solar panel kits are not yet readily sold through brick and mortar retail stores. Specialty t-shirts and craft items are other examples.Choose products you can make a profit on An example of a market to avoid would be mass market electronics. The amount you can feasibly mark up most electronics is generally to small to be worthwhile. Look for products you can realistically mark up at least 45 to 50 percent. Ideally you will want products that you can mark up 100 percent or more.
Choose products that sell consistently or at least predictably Maternity wear, baby strollers, specialty automobile horns are examples of items that tend to always sell. Home improvement items also sell consistently well.
Choose items that can easily be shipped In the United States, this means by USPS, UPS, or Fed Ex.
Next, I’m going to list and briefly discuss some of the basic, free research tools available to help you determine products that are likely to be successful. If you are serious about marketing online, then I strongly suggest that you take the time to study these tools in more detail. If you do, you will learn a great detail about research:
Google Trends As the name suggests, this allows you to search patterns of trend. You can see current Google hot trends and can do trend searches using your own keywords choices. You can research trends for any region of the world for any time frame you specify. Google Insights This tool allows keywords searches and allows searches by web, image, news, or product. You can target your search for any region and major metro area of the world and specify any time frame you like. The tool gives you results in the form of a graph for the time frame indicated. It also allows you to drill down into your search and uncover search terms that are beginning to take off.
Google External Keyword tool This tool can provide a wealth of information about your keyword/product choices. Find out how people are searching for your product, and find out the relative competition and search volume for your keywords. Tool interfaces with Google Insights; at the push of a button you can check the search interest for your words.
eBay The general eBay search auction search results can help you find out how well products are selling and for what prices. If you are planning on selling from your own ecommerce website, do not worry about trying to beat eBay prices. Typically, if you have chosen your products well, you should expect to get higher prices than the eBay final selling amounts.
eBay Pulse eBay Pulse allows you to find the 10 most popular searches for any eBay category. It also provides you with the largest stores in that category.
Amazon Amazon is another tried and true resource for product information. Look for products that have lots of positive reviews.
Using Your Research Tools
There are also additional, simple methods for scouting niche product areas such as browsing magazines that cater to niche areas (such as sports, music, collecting, crafts, and so forth), or simply keeping your eyes open to local buying behavior. In a sense, we are trying to tap into already existing buying behaviors by identifying what is already selling or by identifying strong areas of interest or need.
The trick to success with the resources listed above is in using them together. In other words, you generally want to coordinate your use so that the tools work together to help give you product insight and information. For example, use the keyword tool to find out the words people are using to look for your product, then click on the magnifier image to go to Google Insights. Drill down into the results. If the results give you a product that is the same or similar to yours, then go to eBay and find out how well it is selling. Find out if this is a product that is actively being sold by power sellers and if so, find out if any have an eBay store devoted to your product. If yes, then this is a positive success indicator for a product. You then want to check Google listing to find out who else is selling this kind of product. In other words, you want to find out some information about your competition. I would suggest that you also research your product on Amazon to find out if it is selling in that market place.
How to Find Product Suppliers
When you know what you want to sell, you then need to find product suppliers. There are many different solutions to product supply, but in this article, I’m referring to wholesalers and drop ship suppliers. Finding product sourcing is generally not difficult.
Although we can help you find all the products you want online, the truth is that you are probably going to find your best contacts like this:
Manufacturers and distributors Find the manufacturer and ask who their authorized distributors are. Then contact the distributors to set up an account. Trade shows Trade shows are where product distributor exhibit their products. Attending trade shows is one of the best ways to make industry contacts, find products, and get the best prices. However, you can also look up trade show sites, such tradeshow.com, tsnn.com, or tradeshowhandbook.com to find trade shows for your niche area. You then look up the distributors attending the shows and record their contact information. You can also do a Google search for “your product + trade show.” This almost goes without saying, but still . . . . if you do a search engine search, be prepared to prepared to search beyond the first several pages of listings.
Online memberships It is not necessary to join an online membership such as Salehoo or World Wide Brands, but it can make finding product supplier much easier. I happen to be a member and affiliate of Salehoo and believe that it is a very useful service. However, it does come with a small yearly membership fee, but again, you really don’t need memberships to find suppliers. Nevertheless, some sellers find them extremely helpful in providing sources of product supply.
Drop Shipping and Finding Wholesale Products
I am always a bit leary of handing out tips. For one thing, I can’t possibly know what everyone wants. I know that many of you reading want tips on drop shippers. For more supply sources and product search tools, see my post Wholesale Drop Ship Suppliers Legitimate Sources. As a reminder, your best potential bet for finding a drop shipper is to approach a manufacturer of your product and see if you can’t strike a drop shipping agreement or to find out who their distributor is. Having said that, I’ll give out a few supplier tips mentioned in the article referenced above, and I hope that there is at least one that may be useful. Please leave a comment to let me know how these work out for you.
Keep in mind that these are only a few suggestions, and you will have to vet them yourself. Some of the sources listed above are true wholesalers or provide contact with true wholesalers but not all. Again, it is important to do your research and understand the service offered. Generally, these sources are well regarded. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to hear the opinions of others–something you can do on a good wholesale forum. Inventory source itself does not drop ship but instead offers a range of related paid services. However, and this is an important “however,” you can register for free and access the inventories of their participating product suppliers.
Thank you very much for reading! I would appreciate any comments or thoughts you have. Perhaps you have tips to add; if so, we would certainly appreciate hearing from you.
Finding Products to Sell Online or Off | Avoiding the Middleman
Daniel Curry writes about what to look for in a drop shipper. We think his description of a good “intermediary” sounds awfully much like a description of a middleman who buys from a wholesaler and then claims to sell to you at “wholesale” prices. You make up your own mind. There are good online wholesale directories that will provide you current, up to date contact leads as well as a forum to cross check information with the members.
Finding great merchandise to sell online can be a tricky proposition. Whether you already have an online store, are hoping to open an online store, or want to sell through the many auction sites on the Web, it’s always a challenge to find great products at wholesale prices.
The primary challenges revolve around inventory. Even if you are able to find a great deal on a product, there are costs involved in having it shipped to you. Once you get the inventory, you have to find a place to store it where it won’t get damaged. And then, periodically, you have to count the inventory, which is always a hassle. Then, there’s the danger that you got such a great price because the item simply won’t sell. If that happens, you’re stuck with a whole lot of inventory, and lose money in the process.
So, what’s the secret to finding great wholesale products to sell online? Finding an intermediary who has great connections to wholesalers, who will only charge you for what you actually sell (no inventory on hand!), and who will deliver the product to your buyer’s door (no standing in line at the post office!).
There are a number of drop ship companies out there, but here is a guide to finding the best. A great drop shipping hub will offer the following features:
* Unlimited access to tens of thousands of products at wholesale prices
* Free drop ship services with no minimum order
* Free order fulfillment
* Track, report, and pay any sales tax for you
In addition, the best companies will offer you a number of options, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you already have your own online store, they will offer you access to all of their products to supplement your inventory. If you are an auction maven, they will have special programs that generate code for your online auction. And, if you’re new to online selling, they will offer you:
* A customizable website, where you can choose the name, the products, and the prices
* Free website hosting
* Free email address
* Free payment processing
* Daily update of products, including the quantity available
Furthermore, the website should give you the ability to:
* Add your own banners
* Add your own HTML code
* Add your own products
* Add your own logo
* Monitor your sales and profits in real time
Whatever your online sales vehicle, you should learn all you can about getting great products at wholesale prices.
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Find Great Wholesale Products or Majon’s Business and Entrepreneurs directory.
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