Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sell What You Know

By Ken Woodbury, Director of Marketing for Doba

One of the first, and often most difficult, questions an online retailer has to answer when beginning starting an eBay business is ‘what should I sell?’ There are many different ways to answer this question. As a retailer, you might decide to focus on the latest ‘hot’ or trendy items. You might have a special source for a particular product that you want to sell. You might focus on products you purchased at a heavy discount, such as closeouts or discontinued items. You might even take the approach of high volume, low dollar margin or low volume, high dollar margin.

A good rule to follow when selecting products to sell, particularly when first starting out, is to develop a niche centered on products that you know and enjoy. This strategy may be as simple as filling out a catalog of products around a product that you already sell or opening up an online retail business based on a hobby or your current line of work. The bottom line is that when someone asks ‘What do you sell on eBay?’ it should not be a difficult question to answer. Rather than saying ‘all kinds of things’ you should be able give an answer like gardening tools,beddings and linens, or camping equipment.

When your strategy is to sell what you know and enjoy, you will notice several distinct benefits to your eBay business. First, you will become familiar with the products and prices in the category. Not only will you begin to recognize good prices when sourcing products but you will also learn know how to competitively price the items you are selling. You will also gain experience at predicting sales volumes and accurately forecasting income based on sales volumes.

Additionally, you will be able to write compelling product titles and descriptions when you are writing about a set of products that you care about. Compelling product titles and descriptions are more than just a manufacturer-provided list of product specifications and features. When you effectively highlight the enjoyment and experience associated with the product rather than simply the details and descriptions, your customers will sense your excitement and your sales will increase.

Arguably the best benefit of all is that you will begin to develop a loyal base of repeat customers. You will essentially be creating a community for people who are interested in the same types of products as you are. Customers will develop long term buying relationships with you when you can provide them with a satisfactory buying experience centered on a host of related products. Few customers return to an eBay store based only on price, rather they return because of products offered, trust, convenience, level of service, etc.

When you have decided on a product niche that you want to develop into a business, the next step is finding a source for those products. One way for a new online retailer to quickly and easily source products is through drop shipping. As one of a select group of eBay Certified Services providers, Doba offers instant access to more than 1.2 million products in just about any niche you can imagine through a network of more than 250 drop ship suppliers. And, as an eBay seller, you can tryDoba’s service free for 14 days.

Begin your FREE 14-Day Trial Today!

Doba is a product sourcing company connecting eBay sellers and small online retailers with drop ship distributors, manufacturers and wholesalers. Doba is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has been an eBay Certified Service Provider since 2004.

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