What Do I Sell?

by Aaron Turpen of Aaronz Auction Newsletter


Almost every day I am asked by someone through my newsletters, auctions, etc. the same question... "What should I sell?"

I always answer in the same way, with a question: "What do you like?"

You see, you'll never be truly successful selling something you don't enjoy selling. If you're into, say, computers and you're selling afghan rugs - you probably aren't excited about it. Try selling something computer-related instead.

Most newbies to serious selling make the mistake of finding tons of sources for product before they find out what it is, exactly, they want to sell in the first place. This mistake usually means a lot of wasted money, effort, and frustration.

Now, this doesn't mean you can only sell one product or even one kind of product, but it does mean that you should build a "core" product line (or type of product) that you will always enjoy selling and that you can always rely on to make sales with. I, myself, sell books on CD-ROM (mostly government manuals) because I enjoy collecting and reading them, so I also enjoy selling them.

Your own likes and dislikes are probably different.

Here's how I worked out what I would sell online. It's a simple process and one that every online auction seller should go through periodically.

Sit down with pen and paper in a quiet place where you won't be bothered. Now pretend you're filling out a dating survey that asks a lot of questions about your likes and dislikes. List what you like on one side of the paper and what you don't like on the other. Don't edit things, just write them down as they come: no matter how ridiculous they seem to be.

Now that you have your list (the bigger it is, the better), start editing out those things that are obviously not for sale on the 'Net: your spouse (no matter how much you think you'd get), your kids, and so forth. If you aren't sure about something, leave it on the list. You never know.

Go to eBay and your other favorite online auction sites and start searching for those items. You'll find most of them listed somewhere, I'm sure, no matter how ridiculous they seem to be. I never cease to be amazed at what people will sell (and buy) online!

Your list has now been narrowed down to things you can enjoy selling and that you can sell realistically. Now to find sources for the stuff you want to sell!

Obviously, if you enjoy crafting, making, or otherwise building the stuff you like, then you're already in business. The first thing I ever sold online were hand-crafted fishing lures.

If your item isn't something you can create (consumer electronics, for instance), then you'll have to find a source for that product.

There are literally hundreds of "wholesale" and "drop-ship" source lists and directories out there. In my experience, most of them are bunk - in fact, the last place I would look for and purchase one of these directories is on an auction site! Instead, find a resource you can trust, such as, say, my newsletter (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), and find out what that source recommends.

OK, since you've asked, I recommend two resources for finding products. I have yet to find a single, perfect source for all of your wholesale/drop-shipper needs. I can recommend two of them, though, that are pretty dang close.

The first is, of course, my own list. It's part of Aaronz Auction Newsletter and is where actual users of the vendors rate them, so you can see what other people who've used these vendors really think of them. You can find that list on my website: http://www.AWWStore.com/wholesalers/

The other list I most highly recommend is from Chris Malta, eBay Radio's Sourcing editor and one of the hosts on Entrepreneur Magazine's Online Radio Program. He actually has two lists: the Drop Ship Source Directory and The Light Bulk Wholesale Directory on his site http://www.myaffiliateprogram.com/u/worldwid/b.asp?id=8398.

After you've found sources for your items (never rely on only one source if you can help it), start listing them for sale!

Once you've got your "core" product lines and are becoming successful with them, you can begin branching out and finding new items to sell.

Author's Bylines

Aaron Turpen is the proprietor of Aaronz WebWorkz, a web services company providing consultation, development, and more to small businesses online. Aaron publishes several newsletters regularly and is the author of many ebooks, including "The Layman's Guide to Doing Business Online" and "The eBay PowerSeller's Book of Knowledge." Visit him online at http://www.AaronzWebWorkz.com


Back to FAQS.ORG