Niche No More

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Glenn is one of Tamebay’s regular commenters and has been contributing to the site for many years. Today he looks at some of the niche products which were once staples on eBay but may not be quite as good sellers today.

Niche No More

I write this article somewhat tongue in cheek fully expecting to be shot down in flames by a self proclaimed ‘Expert’, but here goes anyway.

“Sell something you are passionate about / become an expert in your chosen subject” – and similar sound bites encourage sellers to sell within a ‘Niche.’

Well I followed this advice and bought and sold books, CDs, LPs and DVDs. As an avid reader, film fan and music lover I thought these products were as safe as chips wrapped in newspaper. (Ops they don’t use newspaper anymore do they!)

Media products face the death of a thousand cuts Digital Downloads, and although I accept there will always be a market for different media formats that market is shrinking.

So just for fun I suggest several niche markets / products sellers might want to avoid.

Niche markets / products to avoid

1.   8 Track Cassettes
2.   VHS Video Tapes
3.   Betamax Video Tapes
4.   Laser Discs
5.   Tamagotchi (Digital animals)
6.   Lava Lamps (Mind you, you never know)
7.   Aircraft sick bags (empties only)
8.   Platform Shoes
9.   Two Tone trousers
10.  Clackers (Two plastic ball banging against each other)
11.  Stylophones (Pocket electric organ)
12.  Pogo Sticks

Please feel free to add to the list.

5 Responses

  1. I think the moral of the story is to spread your risk. Complacency is a huge killer of businesses on the high street and in the online environment (where things move much faster). Keep you eye on the market, ensure your niche is big enough to pay your bills, and be prepared to be agile (to avoid that race to the bottom). Yes – selling what you love is a great way to start – learning to love a wider range of products is probably key to staying healthy.

  2. I always tell people to buy the products they don’t like, it seems when I buy a product to sell that I would like or would want to buy it doesn’t sell very well. When I buy a product I don’t like we sell shed loads!

  3. “Sell something you are passionate about / become an expert in your chosen subject”.

    This “rule” is actually as alive as it ever was! These days you can’t really build a sustainable online business if you’re not THE BEST at what you’re doing! And without becoming an expert in products you sell, it’s pretty much impossible to achieve.

    Only thing is that people should add one line to that rule – sell something you are passionate about if there’s market out there! (this means demand and logic demands that competition is also evaluated before you move into any new market).

    By the way, Betamax related stuff (tapes and players) made almost $20k in sales last month on eBay.com 🙂

  4. .
    Re; Lava Lamps (Mind you, you never know)

    This thing never dies.

    Way back in the early 70’s a UK maker ripped off the design of someone making these for £25 [Yea in 1970].

    I was a wholesaler in the fancy goods business & bought these from Laurie & Co [Importers] of London.

    Case of 12 @ £3.15p each + Purchase tax of 55% [Luxury item] RRP £5.99p….

    Then they died & were remade when they became trendy again.

    By the way, the glass part was actually a well known squish bottle…

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