The first and most important step to becoming a successful online seller is to choose the right products. All of your other efforts will be futile if you do not offer buyers something they actually want, and at a competitive price. As a seller you probably fall into one of three categories: someone who already has your own product line, someone who has some products but would like to supplement with more, or someone who has no products but would like to get started.
Already have your own products? Then great! Perhaps you are crafty, and have a line of handmade children’s clothes, or you are a collector of antiques. Or maybe you even have a brick and mortar store but want to have an online presence and drive sales to your website. Having a specialty or niche product is a great way to have success selling online because there is not as much competition.
If you currently are selling online, but would like to add more diversity to your product line, or if you are a total beginner at ecommerce and do not have anything to sell, there are plenty of options. Dropshipping is a very popular and a very easy way to have an online business.
Whether you are selling through online marketplaces or on your own website, many sellers expand their inventory of products to sell by working with wholesale dropshippers. Finding true dropshippers and especially free dropshippers can be a challenge given the large amount of “fake” dropshippers and affiliate marketers promoting various programs online. The Marketplacester team has been involved with wholesalers and dropshippers for over a decade, and to help you find the best dropshipper options available, here are our official recommended sources for finding legitimate products to sell:
Inventory Source has been providing free resources and dropship services since 2002, and provides access to a free dropship directory of verified, legitimate dropshippers that you can work with directly. Beyond the free dropshippers directory and finding products to sell, Inventory Source can provide you with an automated ecommerce website or manage your dropship products on your own website or marketing channels for you, making sure you always have accurate product information and do not sell out of stock items. With a range of options, starting of course with the free dropshipper directory, it is a great resource for any online seller.
Worldwide Brands is perhaps the most well-known company in the dropshippers arena and provides access to a wealth of information for new sellers along with their core product, the dropship source directory. For anyone looking to explore dropshippers with in-depth analysis and extensive educational information, this is a fantastic resource.
Salehoo is another paid directory, but provides an extensive collection of wholesale dropshippers from around the world, including a large catalog of international dropshippers. Salehoo also has an extremely active member community and educational tools for any seller and provides an ongoing resource and community of experts to learn from.
Doba is different than a directory, and will actually provide you with the products to sell through their own supplier network acting as a middleman provider. If you are just getting started and looking for an easy way to test the waters and start selling, then give the Doba free trial a check. Once you create an account you can start selling from their large collection of suppliers and have Doba be your source of products to sell. Doba’s wholesale prices range quite a bit, but it is one of the easiest ways to find a huge collection of products available for you to sell instantly.
Do you have to use one of these services? No. However, if you plan to dropship it is highly recommended for many reasons. They only work with trusted dropship suppliers, so there is no reason to worry about being scammed, and they provide a complete database of suppliers and products so you don’t have to waste time searching around. They offer a ton of features that make your life a lot easier, and if you plan to sell any more than 10 products, you really need the tools that they offer. As someone who has run an online store with dropship products, the automatic inventory updating that Inventory Source provides is the most crucial. Nothing is going to lose you business faster and anger buyers more than offering a product for sale, especially on an auction marketplace, and then not being able to fulfill the order because your supplier has sold out. It is an impossible task to keep your product quantity and pricing up to date without this.
Things to Consider When Choosing Products:
Go with something that interests you
Since you will be spending a lot of time working with the products, make sure it is something you find interesting so that you want to help people and have fun with it. Are you an avid outdoorsman? Then perhaps a line of sporting goods and camping gear is a good fit. If you can’t stand animals, selling pet supplies probably isn’t the best fit for you. If you already have your own products, then you are all set here.
Pick something buyers want
I know the mass produced figurines may look cute, but there is not a huge market for them. Electronics are in high demand with consumers, but the profit margin on them is generally so low you have to sell a ton to make any money. According to the National Retail Federation, these are some of the top product categories. Keep in mind, this includes all retail sellers, so books is the number one category because of sites like Amazon. Don’t let this scare you into avoiding books, it just means you might have to choose a specialized category.
Top product categories to sell:
- Computer Hardware
- Computer Software
- Toys/Video Games
- Videos DVD’s
- Health and Beauty
- Consumer Electronics
- Office Supplies
- Linens/Home Décor
- Sporting Goods
- Small Appliances
- Tools and Garden
If dropshipping, choose products with good available suppliers
Not all wholesale suppliers are created equal. Make sure you find one(s) that offer good customer service, have good wholesale prices, reasonable shipping fees and times, and good return policies. Once you have decided on one, do a quick Google search to make sure they have favorable reviews.
Make sure the price is right!
If you have the greatest products in the world, it won’t make a lick of difference if they are priced too high. The best way to determine pricing is to do a search for the product (or something similar if you are selling handmade goods) and check out what competitors have their products listed for. This will give you a good idea of where your prices should be. Also, do NOT overcharge on shipping. This is a big turnoff for buyers. Do not price your products low and then make up for it with charging an exorbitant amount for shipping (as in infomercial strategy). Do not base your shipping prices on order total either, because if you are selling a necklace for $500 that weights 1 ounce, it shouldn’t cost $25 to ship it. Try to price based on weight instead.