Market research is the best way to find new products and more importantly, determine whether they will sell. When we perform market research, we are researching three things (1) the audience (2) the products and (3) the competition. Think about it this way: would you ever open a cafe in a street without knowing if there are other cafes nearby, or without researching how many people walk by each day? It's highly unlikely! Without performing adequate market research, online sellers can find themselves with a garage full of $5000 worth of stock and no interested buyers. To avoid getting yourself into that kind of dreaded situation, read on for my 5 step guide to easy online market research.
Step 1 Come up with a few product ideas. You may already have a few to get you started. Keep in mind the best items to sell are niche items which means they will appeal to only a small audience. This might seem strange, but new sellers become PowerSellers by appealing to a very small number of people then expanding their product range later. A few examples might be: plus size men's sleepwear, fishing rod holders, left handed can-openers or women's golf shoes.
Step 2 Next, research these products individually. You can do this by searching through eBay's completed listings. This will take couple of hours of your time but won't cost a thing. Start by going to eBay.com and clicking the "advanced search" icon right next to the search bar. Find the heading "search including" and check the box for "completed listings"
Step 3 Next enter a few keywords describing the item you are selling, select a category and hit the search button
Step 4 You'll now be presented with a list of search results. Scroll through the results and look at how many items sold (represented by their price being written in green) and how many did not sell (represented by their price being written in red). Count up the number of green listings in relation to the number of red. To find a profitable niche product, you need to find a product with at least 60% of its completed listings being green. Scroll through at least 5 pages to really make sure you are onto a good thing.
Step 5 If you're item meets the 60% threshold; it's time to find a supplier! If you're item doesn't hit the 60% mark, enter a new product idea into the search bar and start over!