What To Sell Online: Advice I Wish I Was Told

Written by
Isabel Edwards

You’ve got the entrepreneurial fire igniting inside you. You know you want to sell, but what is the question.

I was in your exact position when I took the plunge to start my online business. I went through plenty of failures before I found my winning products.

But I’m sharing these tips with you today so you can skyrocket straight to success, and jump straight over the product search hurdles I faced when starting out.

And this article doesn’t contain trending products for this year or strategies that only work for the current climate.

These tips are evergreen and will always be a winning formula for online business success. So, let’s get started…

Start with products you’re interested in

I interviewed Ethan Dobbins recently (check it out here), and he stated something that’s so simple, but I didn’t really consider it when setting up my online store.

When you’re new to selling online, start with products you’re genuinely interested in. There’s plenty of reasons why this will help you in the beginning:

Whether it’s a specific category of products or general theme, starting out with a niche you love will make everything 10x easier.

Don’t be afraid to go niche

Going too general with your product offering can be detrimental for two reasons:

  1. There’s a lot more competition.
  2. It’s harder to resonate with individuals when your product range is so broad.

Let’s say cosmetic products are your passion, that’s pretty broad and competitive, and there’s no reason for users to shop with you over any other generic cosmetic brands.

But handmade, cruelty-free vegan cosmetics is a very lucrative niche to get into. You’ve got less competition, you’ve got a USP that sets you apart from the rest and shoppers who are interested in handmade, cruelty-free and vegan products will connect with your business ethics and be more likely to buy.

Niche is good!

Identify the saturated categories

It’s always good to do some research before launching your online business. See what others are doing, take a look at the competition, get a feel for the space you’re planning on launching into.

If you see the same product time and time again on pretty much every store, I’d recommend staying away for these reasons:

  1. It will be very difficult to stand out from all that competition.
  2. When there are so many options for shoppers, they’ll be on the hunt for the lowest price, which won’t leave much profit for you.
  3. It’s most likely a trend that will pass soon and you’re better focusing on building a store with products that shoppers will always want.

Sell dropship products

In a nutshell, dropshipping allows you to add products to your online store and sell them without having to buy anything in bulk or provide your own storage.

When dropshipping on Mercarto, as soon as your store sells a product that invoice goes straight to the supplier who then ships it directly to your customer.

So, why exactly should you sell dropship products?

Sound good? You can sign up to create your own dropship store for free here.

Use research tools to narrow down your options

If you’ve now got a vague idea of the kind of products you’d like to sell, but still need a little help finding out exactly what kind of products users would want to buy, keyword research tools are the simple solution.

With Google Trends you can search for terms, topics or companies and it will show you the terms users have been searching for most. For example, when searching the topic ‘cosmetics’, it shows ‘fox eye makeup’, ‘cosmetics fridge’ and ‘makeup fridge’ have all shot up in popularity.

Google’s Keyword Planner is a more in-depth tool that allows you to search for topics and find specific keywords or phrases being searched around that topic. It’s really useful for finding out what shoppers are looking for and what they’re not interested in.

Wise up on counterfeit and illegal products

I’m sure you’ll already know this, but don’t sell counterfeit and illegal products. If you aren’t selling products from a reputable marketplace like Mercarto, then you may need to do some extra background checks to make sure they aren’t counterfeit products.

You could face a hefty fine or prison, and even if it doesn’t get to that, you don’t want to tarnish your brand’s reputation before you’ve even got it off the ground.

Order samples from suppliers

Once you’re all set with exactly what products you’d love to start selling on your store, order some samples to see what the quality and overall experience is like.

You’d much rather be the one to spot poor quality products rather than your customers. Although you’ll have to use up a little of your budget to order samples of the products you’re planning to sell, it will be well worthwhile in the long run when you can be confident you’re selling high-quality products to your customers.

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