What should I sell on eBay & Amazon?

No primary category set

Tomer Guriel ezbobTomer Guriel, CEO of EZBOB speaks to hundreds on online traders and the one question he always gets asked is “What should I sell”. It’s a question that Dan and I are constantly asked as well, second only to “Where can I source my stock”. Sourcing stock, although on the face of it daunting, is somewhat easier than deciding what to sell in the first place. Today Tomer takes a look at how to decide what to sell.

Sellers Should Play to their Strengths when Picking a Viable Online Niche

When starting an online business, it can be a tiresome exercise picking a niche. There are various factors to take into consideration such as your target audience and picking the right products that will make you the most profit and certain characteristics to be mindful of that could increase your chances of success. These include products that require lots of accessories, products that have a low turnover, small products, products that are hard to find locally, and products that you’re interested in.

In regards the latter, there are two schools of thought that online sellers should be aware of when it comes to finding the most profitable products to sell on eBay, Amazon or any other merchant site. One says that you should only sell items that you are very familiar with, while the other asserts that you can make money regardless of the product that you sell. And to various degrees both are right.

Selling Items You’re Interested In

When selecting a profitable niche, if you can find one that you’re excited about or have a passion for then you are likely going to have a competitive edge over others. Buyers will feel your passion in the description of the products. So if you are considering selling two products that are equally profitable, having specific knowledge about one will enable you to write a more compelling description about the product than the one you are unfamiliar with. This will make it more likely to sell, while you’ll be ready to answer questions about it quickly and thoroughly.

Not all online merchants agree with the oft-said cliché “Just follow your passion and you’ll be successful”. Passion is of course important and can be correlated with success. However, when it comes to picking an eCommerce niche, using personal passion as the sole criteria is not a good idea. Similarly, if you find a niche that you are confident will make you a tidy profit but have zero interest in it, then don’t dismiss it out of hand. As many business owners will attest to, once you start working hard at something, you will at some point become good at doing it, and slowly start to enjoy it. Before long, there’s every chance you will also become passionate about it.

A simple question to ask yourself is: would you rather run an online business based on a product you are passionate about that makes just a few hundred pounds a month, or one based on a product you have absolutely no passion for but that is successful enough to support you on a full-time basis?

Online Sellers : Sell What You Know or Become an Expert

There’s no doubt that when online sellers become successful at selling a product they will automatically become passionate about it. So the key is to find a niche that has a high probability of success and then put as much effort into it as possible. While you may not start out passionate about it, you should be passionate about the process of selling it online and the outcome. Being passionate about growing your business is more important than being passionate about the product itself, and if you enjoy some success, then in time you will become passionate about both your online business and the product being sold.

Ideally, business owners that are planning to sell on eBay or Amazon will find a niche that has both a good chance of succeeding and that they are passionate about. Online merchants that already have an interest in the niche they are pursuing will find the early days a lot easier to get through. With knowledge in the field, they’ll be able to add value to the business, while marketing should be a lot more straightforward as it should be obvious to pinpoint what problems customers have and what’s important to them. Most people looking to make a go of a business online, however, are unlikely to be passionate about a profitable niche, but with a bit of work and a few sales under their belt, the passion is sure to come.

The Benefits of Passion

When creating a successful eBay listing, if you are only familiar with the facts of the product then the likely outcome will be a product description that does little to entice customers into making a purchase with you. To stand out from the crowd, you want to be able to write and offer something a bit different, and to this end being passionate about a product can play an important role. Of course online sellers can make money selling things on eBay without being passionate about them, but they have a slight handicap doing so. Customers can sense if you are passionate about what you’re selling and this helps convert them into buyers. With passion comes a better written description of what you’re selling and a good description should include features, i.e. the bare facts, as well as benefits, which is where your expert knowledge and passion can be expressed.

A good starting point when deciding what to sell on eBay is checking out its “hot lists” to see what’s currently selling well. Be warned, however, that once an item becomes “hot” it’s not long before competition increases and profits starts to take a tumble. Alternatively, simply browse some of the listings to see which items are attracting the highest bids. Unfortunately you may struggle to determine the factors that are contributing to a high selling price. So take advantage of web-based research tools that provide useful information in regards to profitable online auctions.

7 Responses

  1. I’d say that best way to go is to find that niche with a good POTENTIAL and then see whatever it interests you or not. Nowadays everyone can become an expert on a topic in a relatively short period of time Thanks to blogs/forums/websites/books etc., so even if you’re not an expert on the topic, you can become one very quickly. That is if desire is there.

    The problem with hobbies and passions in most cases is that most people have same interests, lol, – sports, technology or video games! And these are one of most competitive niches out there!

    So yes, I’d say find that potential first and then simply GET IN LOVE with that niche!

  2. I would say try a small number of items in a large number of niches and see which ones work for you, then keep building on your success. Unless you’re already a retailer of a certain product line, it’s hard to know which products have good volumes and good margins from the existing competitive offers (or lack thereof).

    Thanks for the article!

  3. Great article and so true!!!

    You really need to love what you are selling or even how you are selling it, enthusiasm is one of the greatest sales tools.

  4. Is there such a thing as a niche on Amazon these days? If something sells then Amazon will stock it and undercut you. It happens to me every week.

  5. Sell new or used or both?

    That has to be a key question. New places different demands on sellers to used.

    Amazon are poor on used outside the area of media and are not strong on collectables (or even niche?) leaving only ebay or a website for many. Multi channel selling can limit the options available.

    What is “niche” anyway?

    Defining this may help. If nobody else sells it then why is this?

  6. As a businessman, my passion is making money. I’m only interested in selling what sells and makes me money. All this talk about it being essential that you pick a product that you are passionate about is complete and utter tosh.


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