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How to find the best products to sell online

Anyone who wants to sell online has a massive range of products to choose from. But not all ideas are created equal, and figuring out what to sell is the tricky part. That's why we’re going walk you through finding a product that’s right for you and your audience.

So…what to sell online?

The top-selling products on eBay are usually electronics. The top-selling products on Amazon are usually cheap clothes. The best products to sell online are already being sold online. If you can’t re-invent what’s already out there, you’ll need to think of something else. The more in demand a product is, the harder it is to stand out. 

 That being said, you’ll need to execute a little creativity. Let’s start by thinking small… 

Create a store with SumUp Online Store and sell your products quickly and easily. Share links to your products with customers and get paid online.

Finding your niche 

With so much competition in the ecommerce world, the best thing to do is find a niche. Targeting a smaller demographic may seem counterproductive, but your marketing will be more focused and you’ll have more chance of building a loyal customer base.

It’s a lot easier to establish market dominance and be a top-seller if you’re the go-to for a particular product. Being a niche seller makes you a master of one thing, as opposed to an “ok” seller of lots of things. Selling high-quality, specific products will help you to create a long-lasting and reputable online brand.

Spend some time thinking about what exactly your niche could be, and once you’ve found it, you’ll find it significantly easier to start making a profit and scaling your business.

Sell something durable, lightweight and small

Shipping and handling is a nightmare as it is. By selling a product that’s simple to ship, you’ll save yourself headaches in the form of returns.

A few things to consider: 

  • If you decide to sell a product that can easily be damaged, make sure that your T&Cs and returns policy are clear. 

  • Aim for a uniform shape. If your product can fit into a square or rectangular box, you’ll eliminate extra postage costs.

  • Size does matter. Selling furniture or large pieces of art? Delivery will be difficult whether it’s the other side of town or the other side of the country.

  • If your product is small, postage will be cheap. Customers love free shipping. If you can factor postage costs into the sale price, you’ll likely increase their average cart spend.

  • Storage can be expensive. If you plan on having large quantities of a product on hand before you sell them, make sure you factor storage into your business costs. 

Be tempting 

We’ve all been victims of an online shopping spiral, so if there’s one thing everybody knows, it’s that not everything we purchase is a ‘need.’ 

Buying online comes with a certain level of anonymity, which removes the guilt from impulse buying and may even justify it. It makes things easier, and faster. That’s why the best product to sell online is one that a customer considers an affordable luxury.

Take ice cream, for instance. Ice cream isn't usually portrayed as something healthy or necessary. Instead, it’s marketed as a luxury, a temptation, or even an obsession. By understanding the desires and obsessions of certain demographics, you can sell a product that people find irresistible to indulge in.

Be more than a product…

Sell a service.

By offering a service as well as a product, your brand becomes more valuable to your audience. If there’s some kind of maintenance or repair required for what you sell, offer that service. That way, you can make money from your time as well as your product. This approach also opens a lot of doors. Your audience can now include anyone with a product similar to yours, whether they got it from your store or your competitors'. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Sell kitchen knives and offer a knife sharpening service

  • Sell antiques and offer a price evaluation service

  • Sell decorative prints and offer an interior design service

  • Sell headphones and offer a cable replacement service

If the product you sell is something people usually only own one of, offer a service that disposes of the old one. Or, if you want to keep things simple and online, start advertising audits or consulting. 

Some takeaways 

  • Be original. Doing the same thing someone else already does doesn’t make sense. 

  • Become the ‘go-to’ product in an industry, not just a jack of all trades.

  • Don’t copy other sellers, you’ll just be setting yourself up for unnecessary competition.

  • Be more than a product. Find a way to offer a service that revolves around your product.

  • Use psychology and emotion. Sell things that people like to splurge on, indulge in or spontaneously buy.

  • Sell a product that's easy and cheap to ship. 

Finding the best products to sell online isn’t an easy task. It may take time, but it’s worth the payoff. For more information, tips, and tricks on how to improve your online presence, visit the SumUp blog.

Anna Marie Allgaier