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Product Selection Advice for Ebay Sellers and Drop-shippers

Aug 17, 2007
The first step to picking your products involves identifying you niche. It has been proven again and again that Ebay sellers who focus on a niche market are much more successful both in sales from new traffic and sales from repeat customers.

What is a niche market? It is basically a specialty store. To put it simply you focus on one group of related products. For example Children's Apparel, Cameras and Camera Accessories, Designer Handbags, Fragrances for Men and Women...etc....The point is to focus on a group of related products and if you explore the eBay stores you will notice most of the successful ones are all these types of specialty sites.

Here's a breakdown of the benefits of a niche market approach:

Initial set up is much easier. Since you are focusing on a group of similar products you can quickly and easily add all the available products in your chosen category to your Ebay listings.

It has been proven that niche market Ebayers gain a significant increase in their up-sales (meaning a customer who views you listing for a digital camera sees that you are also selling the lens he wants and he buys that too). If you are selling unrelated items like cameras and belt buckles then you are not going to have much chance at the up-sell.

You will generate repeat customers who have shopped with you before and had a positive experience. When you sell Joe Blow a printer and he later needs ink or paper he is more likely to return to you to make his purchase because he already trusts you and he assumes you will have the related products he wants, and if you have followed the niche model you will! Since you are selling printers your niche would include these accessories and you would pick up the sale. Ebay allows members to add sellers and Ebay stores to their favorites list so they can easily come back to the vendors they have used and trust.

A niche market is much more manageable and logical. It doesn't really make sense to be selling power tools and wide screen t.v.'s....you see the point? And keeping up with your inventory is a very simple matter when you are working from a niche model.

There are two invaluable FREE tools that can give you a great snapshot of the hottest products on eBay. Ebay Pop and Ebay Seller Resources. Access them through Ebay and make good use of the available tools to help you narrow your niche.

So now lets suppose you have chosen Cookware as your niche market. You build your eBay listings using only products that fall into the Cookware category. You appropriately price your items, fine tune your listings and drive traffic to your listings.

When you feel you have all your cookware products running smoothly you are ready to expand to a related category like blenders or microwaves. Each time you complete a category you move on to the next one and the list of items you are selling will grow and grow....and you will still have a niche market.

There is no limit to how far you can go with this. With enough time and effort you could find yourself running on a department store type model. The key is one category at a time. Make sure every product in that category is 100% optimized before moving on to a new category.

*Import Notes on Selection Criteria for Products*

It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the many products you now have access to. Here are some crucial factors to keep in mind when choosing your niche market and the best products within your niche:

Don't chose a niche that is already highly saturated on Ebay. You can easily determine the saturation level by doing a couple of ebay searches for products in the niche you are considering. For example if i go to eBay and search for "Cell Phones" thousands of listings are going to pop up. Your listing would get lost in the shuffle. Search for "Underwater Camera" and you will find it is a much less crowded category. If you check the completed listings you will find most listings sold telling you this is a good opportunity for a niche market. It is always a good idea to check the completed listings for a more accurate idea of how well the item is selling overall on Ebay and for how much.

When choosing products avoid items that have a low quantity available. It may seem like an easy sell but when quantities are low you take a huge risk that the item will sell out before you sell it. In some cases products with a low quantity are actually already sold out and have not been updated yet. You can always contact customer service to get more information as to the availability. My general rule is not to sell products that have a quantity of less than 25 in stock.

Do Ebay searches for any item you are interested in. You can see how much competition there is and also by checking the completed auctions you can get a picture of how much people are paying for the item. Prices can vary greatly and you may ask yourself why. It is all about the presentation.

Don't get to caught up in how much the retail price of the items are. The important thing is what they are actually selling for and how steady the demand is. I have a product that I sell for $5.95 plus $3 shipping. I profit only $2.30 per sale but that adds up fast when you sell 50 or 100 a week.
About the Author
Jordan Milton has over ten years experience as a professional writer and reviewer. You can access her free in depth analysis of how to build a successful eBay dropshipping business with zero dollars out of pocket including reviews of the only two Ebay approved dropshippers at:

http://idiotsrevenge.tripod.com
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