Our top tips for selecting the right products to sell.
Whether you’re just starting off selling home and giftware, or you’re an experienced retailer revaluating your lines, in this guide we hope to provide you with actionable tips and guidance for helping to choose the right products for your target audience, whilst also helping you to ultimately achieve your business goals.
Choose the Right Supplier
When you’re just starting out selling giftware and you’re on the hunt for products to sell, it can be easy to overlook factors about a supplier, that might influence the way your business operates later down the road. Things to consider include:
- Do you have a limited capacity for storage, which means you’ll need to order little and often? Most suppliers have a minimum order value and you might not always need to spend that amount. (Shameless plug – Here at Something Different we don’t have a minimum order value!)
- What are the minimum order quantities of their products? You might want to choose products which have a low minimum order because you’re unsure of whether your audience will like them.
- What are the shipping charges and are you willing to pay them?
- Perhaps you want to sell products that aren’t readily available anywhere else – so does the supplier have exclusive designs or can they create custom designs especially for you?
- Would you like to see products before you buy them? If so does the supplier have reps on the road that could stop by and show them to you?
- Are you limited on time? If so you might want to choose a supplier that has a greater choice of products so you only need to order from them.
- Does the supplier offer product imagery or are you happy to take your own?
- Does the supplier offer credit accounts? You may initially have a limited budget to work with so being able to pay on account can give you more flexibility.
- Do they regularly run out of stock and if so how often does it take for new stock to come in? This will affect you if one of their lines becomes a bestseller for you and you can’t get it back in stock for months.
- How often do they get new products that your target audience might like?
Ultimately a good supplier will recommend products suited to your business, at competitive prices and give you the information you need to be able to sell them effectively. After all, the more successful you are, the more stock you’ll need!
Use the Right Tools
If you’re an eBay or Amazon seller, there are great tools at your disposal that can give you great insight into the market and what products are selling. These include Terapeak (which has now been acquired by eBay) and Amazon’s own profitability calculator tool which will help you to learn which products are most profitable to sell when you have removed your cost of fulfilment.
Listen on Social Media
By looking at what’s trending on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram it can help to give you insight into what consumers are interested in and what they’re talking about. Even if you don’t sell fashion or homeware, looking at these categories in particular can help you identify emerging trends and provide you with inspiration on what new lines to stock.
Ask Your Customers
Here at Something Different we want to make our customers happy and one way we can help to achieve this is to show that we’re listening. We regularly pose questions on social media about what additions our customers would like to see to a collection or if they are struggling to source a particular product that we might be able to help with. If you’re just starting out and you don’t have an audience, you can use Google Surveys to get market insight.
What’s Missing in the Vicinity
If you’re a highstreet retailer, spend some time exploring the shops in your local area and see if you can pick up on anything that’s missing – or perhaps selling well and there’s room for more of this product to be sold in the area. It’s also a good idea to research shops which were once on the highstreet but have since closed down. What were they selling and why were they unsuccessful? You might have a better idea on how to sell those products or it might help you to decide to rule out selling those products completely.
Consider Order Fulfilment
If you can’t find reasonable prices for shipping products of a certain size or weight, or you don’t have storage space for large products, it might influence your decision on whether to stock these items.
Consider Your Marketing
When selecting your products, think about how easy they will be to market and the level of demand there is. If the product has a higher price point and less demand, it could cost you more to acquire a customer. On the other side of this, if you choose a lower-priced product where there is more demand, could the market already be saturated with similar products?
We hope that this list has given you some inspiration for your product selection strategy. It’s a topic that we’re passionate about and to share all of our ideas and insight here in one blog would make for some hefty reading! We’ll be consistently adding more articles about Buying to this blog so why not make sure to subscribe so that you’ll get updates when we publish them.
Thanks for reading!