Deciding What to Sell
1. Choose a product in which you have interest and knowledge.
You don’t have to be an expert, but you should have a working knowledge of and a genuine interest in the product you will be selling. Understanding your product will help you to make good business decisions in the future. Also, you may already have contacts with suppliers and other professionals in the business who can help you get yours up and running. To decide what to sell, you can:
- Evaluate your hobbies. If you have a hobby about which you are passionate, investigate whether it could turn into a retail opportunity. If you already spend a lot of time on something, chances are you know a lot about it. Your excitement for and knowledge about the product could help you to educate customers, which translates into more sales.
- If you are an avid gardener, consider selling gardening supplies.
- If you like to refurbish items purchased from flea markets, consider running an art and antiques store.
- Use your line of work and education to inspire you. Your education and work experience have likely imparted useful knowledge that you can use to run a retail business. Think about the skills and practical knowledge you have acquired while building your career. Ask yourself if could see yourself selling related products.
- For example, a hair dresser might consider running a beauty supply store.
2. Gauge the demand for a product.
No matter how much you love something, it will not sell if there is not a real need or desire for it. Do some market research. This will allow you to determine whether or not people will purchase your product.
- Investigate whether people are purchasing a product. Visit online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Amazon has a Best Sellers Page that lists products that sell well. On eBay, you can do a search for completed sales within a category. Study how well products did in auctions. If it sold quickly or there was a bidding war for the item, it might be a product worth selling.
- Visit Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Type in keywords related to the products you want to sell, and see how many searches have been done on these terms. This can help you to assess demand for a product.
- Visit retail stores that already sell the product you’re thinking of selling. Evaluate performance by noticing how long the products have been on the shelf and if they sell for full price or only when they’re marked down. Ask proprietors what their bestsellers are.