Product Sourcing: 5 Tips for Choosing & Finding Items to Sell Online
From how to decide what to sell to determining profit margins, here are 5 pro tips that can help you get a handle on product sourcing.
If you’re an online seller, product sourcing is a major key to your success. But how do you figure out what to sell? And once you’ve made your decisions, where can you find and acquire your inventory?
No worries. We’ve got all the info you need to put together a growth-focused product sourcing strategy. Follow these 5 pro tips to find the right items to sell online for your business.
Use Amazon Sales History to Determine Supply & Demand
Whether you’re just getting started in the eCommerce game or looking to expand your inventory, you’ll need to begin by deciding what you want to sell. You can start by gauging the supply and demand for any product on Amazon.
Even if you don’t sell on Amazon, the marketplace is a great way to determine what items are hot sellers, as well as figure out which products are already flooding the market and which ones are in high demand.
Put Together Your Product Sourcing Criteria
You should also put together a list of criteria for deciding if you want to sell a particular item. Just a few questions you need to ask yourself include:
- Is the product shippable?
- What kind of effort is involved in packaging / shipping?
- Is the product type approved for listing on the platforms / marketplaces on which I sell?
- How much competition is already out there for this product line?
- Is the item in high demand & a popular seller?
- Does this product fit in with my current branding tone?
- Can I easily source this product or will it be difficult to acquire?
- What will it cost to acquire this item & how much can I sell it for?
Once you’ve put together your list of important questions, check any item you’re interested in selling against it. You want to offer items that fit in with your brand, are not too difficult for you to acquire, can be sold on your marketplaces and most importantly, will be great sellers (at a profit).
Calculate Potential Profit Margin
Speaking of profit, calculating your potential profit margin is a crucial step in your product sourcing strategy. You need to look at how much an item will cost to acquire, list, package and ship. Then compare that number against what you can feasibly sell it for.
To add up potential sales prices, take a look at what similar or identical items are already selling for. After all, you’ll need to price your products at a point where they are competitive with those available from other sellers. You can learn more about how to price your products in our comprehensive guide here.
Study Your Competitors
You should also study your competitors in order to decide what products to source. Take a look at what the competition is having success with. This will help you to formulate a product sourcing strategy that enables you to reach your own sales targets.
By studying your competitors, you can gain major insights into the right products to sell, how to price them and even how to put together amazing product descriptions.
Acquire Your Products
Once you’ve assessed supply and demand, created a criteria checklist for product selection, calculated your potential profit margins and studied your competitors, you should have a great list of products that you want to sell. So now it’s time to acquire your items.
There are a wide range of places from which you can buy products to sell. Just a few of them include:
- Global Sources
- Direct Suppliers / Manufacturers / Wholesalers
- Trade Shows
You can also use alternative methods such as dropshipping to sell products online. This involves selling items for a third-party supplier. Via this method, you handle things like product listings and sales, while the supplier handles keeping the inventory on hand and shipping it. Learn more about dropshipping here.
Final Thoughts on Product Sourcing
Whether you’re starting a new online business or expanding the inventory for your existing company, product sourcing is a crucial part of your eCommerce success. Follow the 5 tips listed above to nail your strategy by choosing the perfect items for your brand and finding the right supplier from which to acquire them.
And remember, your sales also depend heavily on the quality of your customer service. Even if you sell amazing products at great prices, letting inquiries fall through the cracks can cripple your eCommerce business.
But don’t get overwhelmed. Replyco exists to take the hassle and guesswork out of your customer support. With our easy-to-use helpdesk for eCommerce, you can consolidate messages from all of your marketplaces and platforms into one single inbox. And our advanced tools such as smart auto-responders, custom templates and live chat widget enable you to save time and effort while keeping your customers happy at every stage of the buying process.
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