The majority of successful online selling businesses operate within niche markets. Selling any old product under any old trading name doesn’t help to build up any recognition of the market that you’re actually working within, so it’s always a good idea to choose an area and stick to it. It’s true, as sellers start to grow more successful they often expand into other market areas, but often operating under a different trade name to keep products of a similar type together.
If you want to sell successfully online then it’s important for you to think of a profitable niche that you can sell in. In order to point you in the right direction here are some thoughts on some of the questions that I’m frequently asked when it comes to this topic.
Why do I need a niche market?
If you were to look at the eBay store of an individual selling some old bits and pieces that they no longer wanted then you wouldn’t see much tying it all together. There might be a toaster here and a collectible mug there, maybe an item of clothing that didn’t fit right or an old framed poster that could be valuable but is no longer wanted. That individual may well sell some of the items that they have for sale, but they’re unlikely to make as much for each item as if they were listed within a store filled with similar merchandise.
Because on the eBay website people tend to be nosy enough to want to know what else a seller that they’re contemplating buying from is selling. When a person goes to view your store they’ll click on your username. If that username is CollectablesUK then a prospective buyer is going to get a better idea of what you’re selling than if your username is something along the lines of JohnSmith54893. Once they access the store and see that all of the other items listed there are collectables as well they’ll start to get a feeling that you’re an expert in your field or niche.
That reassurance is often just what an individual needs to make a purchase from you, knowing that someone specialising in collectables would know how to carefully package and post something valuable. It could even help a person return to your store in the future when they’re looking for something similar.
What should my niche market be?
Right, now that you know you need a niche market it’s time to start thinking about what that market could be. I could write out a long list of the areas that are statistically the most profitable on ecommerce websites such as eBay and Amazon but that wouldn’t really help you here. The most profitable markets on paper also tend to be the most competitive!
The trick here is to drill down into the sub-category of a sub-category to find a little corner of a market that you can sell in without too much competition. There are a multitude of potential markets available to you, so where do you start when considering what to sell? Well my advice is always to start with something that you know and like, something that you’re passionate about. There’s a good chance that there’s some sort of product that could be associated with it.
Maybe you’re a fan of Jack Russell dogs? You might not have much luck trying to buy and sell puppies online, but what about items to do with Jack Russells? Calendars, keyrings, pictures, etc., etc., the list goes on and on! Or you could go down a different route and consider selling things that dogs need such as a lead for walking, a collar, personalised name badges, a food bowl. You get the picture. No matter how obscure your interest there will be products relating to it.
If you’re finding it hard to come up with any ideas then head over to the eBay website and click on the link at the top of the menu entitled Categories .
This will open up a new page which will feature a list of all of the different categories on the eBay website. It’s a great place to get you thinking as you’ll be able to hunt down some areas that are of interest to you to see what types of products lie within them.
Would you believe it? Drilling down through the Pets category into dogs and then into beds & baskets there’s even a market for dog beds specifically suited to the Jack Russell breed.
How do I make money within my niche?
One excellent tool that you can use to determine if there is any real interest in a type of product that you are wondering about selling is again found on the eBay website. It’s called Completed Listings, and it allows you to see how many auctions and Buy It Now listings have sold, and how many haven’t. The option can be found within the search criteria on the left hand side of a results page, and you should investigate your own category and product type with it before deciding on a final niche market.
There’s a perfect crossover when you find products within a niche that you’re passionate about and you can sell them on to equally passionate people. They’ll catch your contagious interest in what you do, even just through the writing within the descriptions that you write about the items that you have for sale, and they’ll be more likely to stay in touch to purchase from you again. It’s perfectly possible for you to find a niche market in an area that you love. By narrowing down the categories based on your interests and then supplementing those thoughts with research to find products that really sell you’ll be well place to start making some serious profit.