Many people wanting to start an eBay business spend a lot of time fretting over what they will sell. Perhaps these questions are familiar: Where do I find ideas? Should I sell the most popular items? How do I know a good idea? These are important questions everyone faces.
eBay already contains so many items for sale that some sellers feel overwhelmed from the start wondering how they can possibly find a product idea when the market appears to be full anyway.
So where should you start then?
1. Your hobbies
This can be a great way of establishing a niche. Perhaps you love embroidery or making model airplanes? Chances are a lot of other people share this passion and are looking for related supplies. Crafts and hobbies is a big market - however, before you jump in headfirst, make sure you do some research to back up the feasibility of your idea. eBay is a numbers game and no matter how great your idea is, it won't work if not enough people are interested. So be sure to use the completed listings search and test the market with some of your own supplies first.
2. Listen to what your friends and family are talking about
Sometimes the best ideas can arise from your friends and family. One seller says she overheard some women at the table next to her talking about the trouble they were having finding a particular brand of baby slings. This got her thinking, and, after a bit of research, she realized they were a foreign brand and hard to find in the USA. A wee bit of research later and she had found a supplier and was successfully selling online. So keep your eyes and ears open! If people you know are looking for a particular item, chances are others will too.
3. Research newspapers and magazines
Newspapers and magazines can provide a ton of information on trends and styles. Just browsing the headlines can often be enough to spark a new idea. Try sitting down with a pen and notebook and skimming the pages of popular magazines and daily newspapers. You should have a list of at least 10 ideas by the end.
4. eBay Seller Central
eBay itself has a fantastic resource in the Seller Central area 'What's Hot'. Every month, a list of super hot, very hot and hot items are published. This is a great way to find ideas but remember that everyone on eBay also has access to this information! The merchandising calendar is also a useful resource.
All successful sellers sell several products, rather than putting all of their eggs into one basket. Not only can trends change with the wind, but some products are only popular during a particular season. For example, dehumidifiers are more popular during winter than summer, while lawnmowers are super hot in spring and have a practically non-existent market in the winter.
5. Find out what your buyers are buying
A good way of expanding your product range is by 'spying' on your buyers. After making a sale, check your buyer's feedback and find out what other items they have been purchasing recently. This will help you get to know what your target market are interested in and expand your range accordingly.
Finding something to sell can seem daunting at first, but I guarantee that once you think of one idea, plenty of others will quickly follow!