“Think outside the box. In fact, burn the box and think on your own.”
Seriously, I have lost count of the number of emails I receive from people who want to start selling online but who all seem to have got it into their heads that to sell successfully – particularly on eBay – they must acquire a large stock of designer or branded goods.
Where this myth came from I have absolutely no idea because in fact it’s far better to sell unbranded products on eBay.
You might be thinking does it really matter what you are selling on eBay as long as you are making money? Well, actually yes it does matter because there is making money and there is turning money.
With many designer or branded goods there is very little profit to be made and once you have taken into account your selling fees and postage costs you will be lucky to break even.
This is because genuine designer goods cannot be found at wholesale prices to insure the brand against cheapening. (You’ll notice I say ‘genuine’ here because it’s easy to source designer knock-offs from China, but that’s a road you definitely don’t want to go down!)
The fact is that if you really want to make a comfortable income using eBay then you must find in-demand products that you can source easily and inexpensively without cutting corners on quality. Listed correctly your products will then give you a regular income on auto-pilot with no hassle. If you need help with this then give The Source Report a trial as I upload new product suggestions, suppliers and full profit calculations regularly to save you the hard work!
There are so many product options open to you if you make a sensible decision and take the unbranded products route. Open your mind to this world and you will be running a successful eBay business in no time.
Selling unbranded products has always been my thing (almost from day one) and continues to be a successful strategy for me. So, this week I’ll explain my top 8 reasons why you should add this strategy to your arsenal (plus I’ll give you some hints and tips on how to do it).
1. ‘Unbranded’ products are generic
This is the most important part of the idea that you should sell unbranded goods on eBay. The products are generic. This means that these are items that come with no brand name or at the most just a number.
Of course all products start their lives like this until branding is added by individual companies. But what this means is that it is quite possible to source the very same product in its unbranded state that is selling as a branded product on the High Street. It just doesn’t have the brand name on it, but it will still do the same job! The advantage is that you will pay less at wholesale for it.
Once you have the product you can resell it on eBay at a cheaper price than the branded version.
The trick is to let your potential buyers know that what you are selling is the same model, does all the things the branded version does and the only difference is that it simply doesn’t have their name on it. You can do this by adding this important information into your listing description. (Make sure you don’t use the brand name in your keywords as this is known as keyword spamming and you may find your listing removed).
2. Buyers are often lazy!
The great thing about unbranded products is that often buyers cannot be bothered to compare like for like products and this is a huge advantage to you as it means you remain competitive at all times no matter what product you are selling.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you are selling a top notch digital voice recorder. It is unbranded but almost identical to the top selling branded digital voice recorder, just a different shape and colour. It does exactly the same job as the branded product.
Now, imagine that you can source these Voice Recorders for £15 each and you know that a similar branded product is selling on eBay for £39.99. So, you list your unbranded Digital Voice Recorder at £25.99, making you a profit of £10.99 less your selling fees of course.
Your listing description should show good clear images of your actual product and state that it does exactly the same as the branded product which means that potential buyers will very often go for the option of saving money and buy yours over the branded version.
The trick is to convince potential buyers that they will only be paying extra for the ‘brand name’.
Contrary to popular belief, many buyers just want to quickly find the item that does the job at a good price and that’s where unbranded products do well.
3. There is no recommended retail price for unbranded products
It’s so easy to totally trounce the competition in your chosen niche if you are selling an unbranded product because there is no set or recommended price that it must be sold at. It’s up to you and as long as you are making a decent profit then the decision is yours.
If you are selling genuine designer or branded goods it’s likely that there will be upper and lower thresholds that you can’t cross. This is restrictive and means the market will be much harder to crack.
4. There are no listing restrictions for unbranded products
You will also discover that there are no listing restrictions on unbranded products either. You can list as many unbranded items as you like in as many different niches as you like, another immediate advantage for you!
The possibility of VERO (Verified Rights Owner Program) restrictions becomes a rare occurrence. There may be the very, very rare occasion where a seller has secured the sole rights to sell the product on eBay (it is usually an eBay seller who also has their own website) but I have known this to happen only once in over 8 years so it is extremely unlikely. It’s worth knowing too that if you purchase your goods to resell directly from a manufacturer, they will tell you if someone else has exclusive resale rights in your country.
5. You will find cheaper wholesale pricing and a larger number of suppliers who are prepared to negotiate on unbranded products
Unbranded products will always be cheaper to purchase at wholesale than branded products. Why? Well because they are not ‘well-known’ makes. There is no ‘reputation’ as such that goes before them and so you are not paying through the nose for the brand.
Wholesalers want to make a sale – it’s their business – so by showing an interest in their unbranded products you will be able to negotiate a better deal, simply because there is usually no recommended price and also because fewer resellers will be purchasing the unbranded versions of products from each wholesaler.
This is because there are likely to be many suppliers who stock the same product and also buyers will (often wrongly) choose instead to go for branded products thinking they will make more money. Showing an interest in a wholesalers unbranded products means you will be able to negotiate a better deal.
All manner of unbranded products can be sourced from almost anywhere in the world at extremely competitive prices. I’m talking about MP3 Players to Digital Cameras, Beauty Products to Car Accessories, Baby Clothes to Pet Products. Anything goes and you should be considering China and the USA as potential suppliers.
6. You will always know you have the genuine article with unbranded goods
By choosing unbranded goods you will slightly narrow the amount of suppliers who stock the item but conversely you have a much wider product choice.
Imagine running a Google search for an Apple iPod wholesaler for example. I just did this and a total of over 68 million results were returned. The chances of you finding a genuine supplier in amongst that lot are slim, but choose to search for a generic 8GB MP3 player and you will still get a huge selection of results returned but you don’t have to worry about fakes.
7. Find several niches or micro-niches and unbranded products will fly off your shelves
The trick with unbranded products is not to limit yourself to just one niche. Often the quirkier the niche the better. I know of one eBay powerseller who has sold thousands of bird boxes – not just standard wooden bird boxes that you can buy at your local garden centre, but unbranded bird boxes that come in all shapes and sizes, colours, designs, castles, palaces, union jack prints, that sort of thing – just something a little different. This is a real niche within a niche for unbranded products and is something that you could do very easily.
You can then move on to a different niche and run that alongside it. Again do your research and choose a niche that is a little bit quirky!
8. You can source unbranded products and brand them yourself!
This will cut out even more competition in the selling process!
Finally, I must just point out that I have absolutely nothing against selling branded or designer goods on eBay and if you choose to do so then that is your decision, but unbranded goods will continue to consistently bring in profits which is why I believe that it is a sure-fire strategy for success.