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Finding Products to Drop Ship

Apr 11, 2008
Drop shipping is a great way to do business. This ultra-convenient system allows you to sell online without the hassle of making, storing or shipping any products. How good is that?

But to benefit fully you must get a few things right. For starters, you must pick products that will sell or you will be disappointed. It sounds so obvious doesn't it? But you may be surprised how many people launch businesses on the back of what they think will sell and not what customers are asking for. And you do not want too much competition. You need a product that people are searching for but not one where you are competing with too many merchants.

Here are some tips for finding products that will make money.

Step One: Find Whats Hot

You must find out what products people are searching for online. But when you find a hot product, don't stop at a broad category, for example "computers", is too wide and too competitive. "Laptop Accessories" is a better alternative.

There are many resources you can use to give you product ideas. Check out eBay Pulse, which will show you the 10 most popular searches on eBay as well as other useful information. Use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to research the different categories.

Another great resource is the top searches section popular shopping websites. Some provide the top 100 searches in each category.

Use these sites and others to build a list of sub- categories to take on to the next stage.

Step Two: Find Niche Keywords

Keywords are the single words or short phrases people type into search engines. Researching keywords can tell you whether the products chosen in Step 1 above will be likely to make money.

You need to find keywords that are searched on frequently but do not turn up many search engine results. When you find such a keyword you will know there is a demand for the product but that not many websites are supplying it. If you stared selling that product you would have low competition.

Go back to the list of sub-categories you noted down and type a few words and phrases related to the products into a search engine like Yahoo or Google. Putting quotation marks (eg "laptop accessories"). around your keyword will give more accurate figures. If you get millions of results, you must either dig down and find a smaller niche (eg "laptop bags for women") or abandon the plan. Forget sub-categories that are too competitive and note the products that don't have huge competition.

When you have a short-list of ideas, you can use a keyword tool, such as the Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Overture to help you. Wordtracker is another free option.

These tools can tell you how often a specific keyword or phrase is searched for in a given month, and also give lists of related searches. The figures won't be exact but you will get a feel for your product idea and whether demand for it is high. For example, if one of your keyword phrases only receives 12 searches in a month, you can safely conclude there is little demand.

What next?

When you have found your ideal product the next step is to find a drop ship merchant to supply and handle it for you.
About the Author
Sometimes, it takes research to find the items that will sell the best or will command the fewest competitors. Worldwide Brands is the industry leader in drop shipping research. Salehoo is another program that contains lists of wholesalers and drop shippers to help you find hot items.
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