Sales

There’s no point in trying to sell a product that’s not in demand!

I’m a great fan of the eBay website. I don’t think there are many other business opportunities that are so versatile, that allow for both the experienced and the inexperienced to make sales, that allow for anyone of any age and of any interest to make a decent living doing something they love. Granted, eBay might not be as easy to master as it once was as competition on the website is certainly higher than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean that making a living through it isn’t possible.

Plenty of successful sellers are making money using eBay right at this very moment, making a comfortable living from their work. So why do some sellers fail? Typically they have one thing in common, and that is trying to sell the wrong products. If you don’t sell the right items then you will find it more difficult to sell successfully on eBay.

That leads to the next question of course, which is how do you know what the right things to sell actually are? Finding out takes patience, it takes research and it takes a good strategy so in this article I want to help you to formulate a strategy so that rather than picking any old item, packaging it up and trying to sell it, you’ll be able to find some excellent products or product lines that will continue to sell successfully every day.

Let’s think about your strategy now.

Consider Your Target Market

There’s no point in trying to sell a product if there’s no demand for it! You’ll just end up frustrated at your lack of success. A large part of becoming a successful online seller is in learning how to identify a target market. If you can get to grips with who you’re selling to then you’ll be in a great position to offer them a product that really meets their need, and that’s where the big money selling online comes from.

There are many tools available online that you can use to explore different market areas to see what sort of products sell well within them. The eBay website itself is very useful, just to browse around and to explore the different categories and subcategories for niche market and niche product ideas.

Use the filters on the left hand side of an eBay search page to explore your market further by narrowing down your search to Buy It Now and Sold Listings:

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Other tools include Google Trends, which allows you to see exactly what people are searching for using the Google search engine. For example you could compare the data for mens and ladies watches, gold and silver to establish which are the most searched for online right now:

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Spending a bit of time learning your market is the first place to start, and from there you can move on to the next step.

Consider Your Products

Chances are your market research has already highlighted a few products that you could sell successfully that would be attractive to those within your identified market area. Put together a list of potential items, and identify those items on your list that you are actually interested in. Selling something that you’re interested in will help you to stay motivated and help you to instantly know more about your target market. More than that, you’ll be better equipped to actually identify bargains as you start looking for sources for stock to sell on eBay, and will be able to put together high quality descriptions packed full of information that’s really relevant to potential buyers. With a bit more research about your initial product ideas you’ll soon be ready to start looking for sources.

Consider Your Source

If you want to sell a product for a profit you’ll need to source it at the lowest possible price. That will maximise your profit per sale, and with a reliable source you could continue to make money on your product ideas for a long time. There are loads of different options to consider when it comes to sourcing stock for your online store. Some of them are more suited to small scale operations, while others will help you if you’re considering a more serious online selling operation.

Not sure where to look to get started? Consider the following options:

Charity Shops or Car Boot Sales. These options are more suited to finding one off objects, or stocking up on a few bits and pieces of assorted merchandise to make some extra pocket money on the side. There are some great deals to be found, so why not pop in to your local charity shops or car boot sales to see what you can discover.

Wholesale Suppliers. If you have a bit of capital and the room to store some stock then you can secure some great discounts by buying in bulk from a wholesale provider. There are websites that allow you to buy at wholesale prices online such as Ali Express. These sites may not always give you the best deals, but they can be a good place to start out.

High Street Store Liquidations. Unfortunately we’ve seen many stores close their doors for good recently, and when these shops do shut down, they typically sell off all of their remaining stock. You can do quite well out of this, but remember that it’s unlikely to provide you with stock for repeat orders.

Other eBay Sellers. Some listings on eBay are so poorly put together that it means items are sold for way below their value. You can snap up these bargains and sell them on for a profit.

These are just a few easy sourcing strategies for your eBay business. When you become more accomplished at identifying a target market and sourcing stock you can go directly to manufacturers, distributors and importers. Just make sure that before you start looking for stock, you fully understand your market area and the products that you wish to sell within it.

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Amanda O'Brien is an eBay expert, skilled product sourcer and author of home study courses to help you sell successfully online. Sign up to her free w...

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