What Should I Sell? 7 Product Research Tips & Best Practices
Whether you want to find the best products to dropship through your online store or you’re considering creating a new product of your own, effective product research is critical to your success. The time you spend researching products now can pave the way for profitable sales later.
Not sure where to begin?
Keeping reading to learn about some of the best practices to use when researching what products are the best fit for you and your customers.
7 Product Research Tips to Find Products to Sell
There’s much more to effective product research than considering only the demand for a product. These tried-and-true product research tips work for product sellers in any industry:
1: Use Several Sources to Conduct Research
Researching products from a variety of places gives you a well-rounded picture of how a product might perform. We suggest using a mix of several selling websites, like Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress, and online communities, like Quora and Reddit, to give you an idea of what people are looking for and what issues you should target with your products.
While you can search product reviews and popularity on selling websites, you can get more personalized research from Reddit, Quora, and other online communities. See what people are talking about, what issues they’re facing, and what questions they’re asking to decide how you might be able to meet their needs with what you’ll sell.
2: Know What to Avoid
As you research, keep in mind a few features of products you’ll want to avoid because of low profitability, low demand, or other flaws that could affect your selling success:
- Too large or heavy for economical shipping
- Small profit margin (usually, products that sell for $18-$20 or less)
- Seasonal products that aren’t likely to sell throughout the year
- Little to no demand
- A lot of competition with other sellers
- Trademarked or patented products, or those that could present other legal issues
3: Determine Profitable Pricing
There’s a fine line to walk when it comes to choosing products in a pricing range that will be profitable for you while keeping customers happy. Many expert online sellers select products that they can sell for $25 to $75.
A $25 price tag is appealing to buyers while still giving you some room for a profit. A $75 item can leave you with an excellent profit while still being affordable for customers. Going above that limit could be profitable for you depending on the item, but you’ll also spend more on each product, so it may not be the best pricing bracket for new sellers who want low startup costs.
4: Scope Out the Competition
After deciding on a niche for your products, you can do a little spying on your competitors. It sounds fishy, but it’s a commonly used marketing tactic to increase your selling success and brand awareness.
First, check the reviews of competing products. Are there some that are neutral or negative? Are there only a few reviews for the product? If the answer to either question is “Yes,” then there’s room for you to swoop in, sell an even better product, and grab those positive reviews.
You can also browse the product descriptions, marketing techniques, and product images of your competitors to see what they’re succeeding at and how you can do better with your products.
5: Find the Unicorn
There’s something to be said about selling products that are highly targeted to a specific type of person. People love unique products that they can’t find anywhere else, so don’t underestimate the power of selling something weird.
Scoping online communities – Reddit, for example – can help find oddballs. You can also hang around niche Facebook groups to see what people love and want.
6: Track Trends
Follow trends in your niche to stay in touch with what people interested in that niche are searching for. Google Trends is the perfect tool for this, allowing you to follow trends as far back as 2004.
A search for “hair tools,” for example, shows that people search for hair tools and related items relatively consistently, with several spikes each year. Google also shows that people search for related terms like “hot tools hair dryer brush” and “hair extension tools,” which gives you some ideas of products that could become a hit.
7: Consider Future Growth
When you start selling, don’t forget to think of what the coming months or years mean for your business. Where do you see it heading? What’s the ultimate goal for your business?
You might start with just one or two products but have a goal of expanding into 20+ products. If that’s the case, you’ll need to consider similar products to sell that make sense for your niche. For instance, workout clothing can be a good match for a business that sells running shoes or dumbbells.
AliExpress is helpful for this research. Type in a term for a product you’re selling, like “garden hose,” and click on a product. On the product page, you can see related items to the right. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll find similar product categories, like garden water timers and watering accessories, to spark ideas. Amazon can help, too, with its “Frequently bought together” section on many product pages.
Set Your Online Business on the Right Foot
Have you found the perfect products to sell?
Now, work on creating a site that helps you sell your products. Adding share buttons to your product pages and image share buttons to your product images will entice visitors who love your stuff to share them with their network. It’s automated growth for your business!