Choosing which products to sell online can be one of the most challenging aspects of setting up your online business.
While you can always switch products, it will save you time and money to pick a winner upfront, especially if you are designing an entire website around a specific product theme.
5 tips to choose the best dropship products
Tip #1: Start Small
People are often tempted to start dropshipping plasma screen TV’s and diamond jewelry because they think they’ll make the most money this way. It’s hard enough to get people to give you their credit card number for a small purchase, never mind something that costs $3000.
Until you’ve built a positive reputation and rating on eBay, with the BBB, and online in general, it’s better to be a little more conservative in your product choices.
The best dropship products may be ones in the $30-120 range, which tend to sell well online.
Remember, it’s not always the most expensive items that have the largest profit margin: you’ll make more money dropshipping $80 purses if you’re getting them for $20 than you would selling $400 laptops if they cost you $350.
Tip #2: Consider Shipping
Whenever you sell a product online, you need to consider how shipping will inflate the price.
The cost of the item plus shipping should equal what a person could get the same item for at a brick-and-mortar store. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule: if a product is extremely rare or is not sold in any great variety at your local mall, than it will have a greater demand online.
In general, dropshipping items like stainless steel refrigerators and swimming pools doesn’t work due to the cost of shipping such bulky products.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid To Specialize
Choose a niche, not a general store.
You’re not going to be able to compete with the variety and price of products available online from Target or Wal-Mart. However, you can compete in a specialized niche market.
Focusing on a niche also allows you to write blogs, articles, and tips closely related to your product, which will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), drive traffic to your website, and help build a relationship with your customers.
The best dropship products are often those related to a specific hobby or theme.
Tip #4: Find Your Point Of Difference
When people pitch their online business to me, I hear a lot of ideas like “My website will be just like Monster.com” or “It’s going to be just like Office Max”.
Your website shouldn’t be “just like” anything.
If your site is exactly like a bigger, more established website, how are you going to compete?
You need a “point of difference “, a product or service you offer that sets your online business apart. It should fulfill a need in your specific market that is not already being filled. You can get ideas for your point of difference by scoping out your niche community online (joining discussions on message boards, reading blog posts, etc.). You may discover that there are plenty of jewelry-making sites, but none that cater specifically to period-era jewelry, or maybe there are plenty of fishing websites, but a dearth of quality spear-fishing products.
Tip #5: Remember Your Own Purchases
If you’re having a horrible time brainstorming, and you just can’t think of anything you want to sell online, think back to the products you’ve bought online over the last month or year. What did you buy? What made you go online instead of to a local store? Why did you choose the specific website you purchased from? How did you find the products you were looking for? Examining your own purchases can give you more than dropship product ideas: it can also help you formulate a web design and marketing strategy.
If you need additional help choosing dropship products, check out the following blog article:
Products to Sell Online for a Profit
This article contains a long list of products you can sell online for a profit. You can also find suppliers for virtually any product on this site.
Leah Darrow is a blogger for a wholesale dropshipping company. She also writes educational material, all geared toward helping people start online businesses. She and her husband Ryan were married in December 2008, and they live in Provo, UT.