One of the most popular ways to make money from home is to sell products online. Platforms like Shopify make it super easy for everyone to set up an ecommerce business in no time with hardly any investment. However, if you don’t pick the right products, you won’t make any money with it. That’s why you should have a closer look at this step-by-step guide that teaches you how you can find profitable dropshipping products to make a real living out of your online store.
Want to find out how one of my clients makes 95,000 USD a month (!) with dropshipping? Check out the linked post!
What is Dropshipping?
Just so we are all on the same page, let’s look at how dropshipping experts at Shopify define this retail system:
“Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.”
That means you don’t have to invest a lot of money in buying products, storing them at your house or a storage room and sending them to your customers. A chosen third party handles all the logistic processes for you.
Advantages of Dropshipping
Here is why I think to start a dropshipping store a brilliant business model for everyone starting out with their self-employment (or a profitable side-hustle):
- You can manage your store from anywhere in the world. Perfect for everyone who likes to be location-independent and wants to work from home or travel the world, like digital nomads.
- You don’t need to stock up on inventory which means you won’t need much start capital to get your business going.
- You are free to experiment with products. If one product doesn’t sell you can easily switch to another without losing any money.
- You don’t need as many resources as for a normal e-commerce business because you don’t need to do things like packaging, shipping, returns, stock level, etc.
- Ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, make it super easy to set up a shop without any technical knowledge.
Want to learn how to set up a successful Shopify store in no time? The linked post wil guide you through step-by-step.
How to Find Profitable Dropshipping Products
Sounds incredible so far, doesn’t it? The only thing you need to figure out now is what kind of products you could sell. Because even with the best marketing plan in the world you won’t be able to get rich with your online store if you try to sell the wrong products.
Read on and learn how to find dropshipping products that sell like crazy.
I know it sounds simple. But you have to start somewhere, right? So get a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything that pops into your mind – and I mean everything. That can be products related to your passion or hobby, trend products, products that you use, or stuff that you saw on Instagram lately.
If you need more inspiration, browse other popular shops and check out Amazon’s Best Seller list or go and see all the products that are listed on Oberlo’s What to Sell list.
Try to get a wide range of different products. This will help you later get a feeling of which niches work and which don’t.
2. Check Out Trending Products
Of course, you can go for products that people always need and will surely continue to buy in the future, for instance, diapers.
Or, which is even better, you go the extra mile and find trending products. With them, you could be able to establish your store before your competition does and become a leader in that niche. You will have the expertise and services ready when everyone is looking for it.
A good source to find trending products is Google Trends. You can either scroll around to get more ideas or check out your product ideas one by one.
Let’s take minimalist desks as an example. You can clearly see that the search volume increases over time. It may be a slow growing but there could be potential.
Another example would be fidget spinners. In 2017 everyone wanted to have one. Now nobody cares anymore. Absolutely no point in starting to sell them (unless you have a super innovative version and a brilliant marketing concept). This trend is over.
As you can see, Google Trends can give you a perfect idea of how popular a topic or product is at the moment and how much potential there is for future sales.
A second way to come up with popular products is using the Google Keywords Analysis tool. You simply type in your product name under ‘Keyword Ideas’ and it will show you how many monthly searches that phrase gets. That is a nice indicator of how many people are interested in the product. It will also give you related keywords people are searching for. That might help you coming up with more ideas.
A third way of finding rising products is to check out websites like Trendhunter or Cool Hunting. They often list new products that could become super popular. Perfect for sneaking around a bit. Just be aware that not all products you find there are great products for dropshipping.
The next step is narrowing down your ideas to get truly great dropshipping products.
Extra Tip: Think Business
When you sell a product, you don’t only want to sell this single one product. You want your customers to buy more. So think of potential cross- and upselling opportunities.
For instance, if your customer buys a set of pillows, you can offer him a set of matching pillowcases. If he goes for a deck chair, offer him the entire seating area set.
Thinking about these kinds of selling opportunities you will surely come up with some more ideas.
3. Narrow Down Your Ideas
By now you should have a long list with great ideas for your e-commerce store. Unfortunately, not all of the items on it are suitable for this type of business model. That’s why we have to sort them out and find the best ones.
Here’s the thing: Expensive products might make more profit per unit. However, you usually need to put in more effort to sell them and might need to provide better support.
Cheap products often have a way better conversion rate. But on the other side, you won’t make too much profit per unit.
So you have to find the sweet spot in the middle. I know many successful dropshippers who prefer going for products with a price range from 100 to 200 USD. Others go for something like 50 to 150 USD.
This also depends on the market you are selling your products. While a 50 USD product might not be too expensive in Australia, it will be a lot of money in India.
You should play around a bit and see what works best for you. Find out at what price do you have a good conversion rate, cover all your costs and make enough profit. I would suggest you to start with a profit margin of 25% to 50% per article. That should make enough to re-invest and shouldn’t make it too hard to sell the product.
Another approach would be to say that you want to make at least 10 USD profit per article. So if you source a phone case for 5 USD, try to sell it at 15 USD. That way you can be sure all of your costs are covered.
While clearly those numbers are flexible, you can see that high-end products, for example TV-screens or motorbikes, might not be the best choices for dropshipping.
Since we just had the two examples of big products: Please do yourself a favor and make sure that your future products are fairly easy to ship.
Consider the size and weight of your products when narrowing down your list. If they are hard to pack and expensive to ship, you customers won’t be too happy about paying extra or that. Customers love free deliveries. And they usually want their order fast.
The more effort and money you have to put into your logistics, the more complicated it will get. Chances are your TV screen is going to break while shipping. That results in an angry customer and an annoying return process.
Try to keep it as simple and bulletproof as possible.
Even if you find the perfect trend product, you will very likely have to deal with competitor shops. This is normal and only means that your product has potential. Don’t shy away too quickly!
Maybe they have been there before you but that doesn’t mean that they are better than you. Make a competitor analysis and see how they are performing.
How does their online store look like? Can you do it better? Maybe represent the products better, more eye-catching. Maybe write better copy. Maybe make the shop more intuitive. Could you give additional information about the products? How to use them, recipe ideas, decoration tips – whatever extra information that shows your customer that you are the expert in that niche.
How about marketing? What are your competitors doing to promote the particular product? Can you do better? Maybe you are a pro in social media. Maybe you are a Google AdWords wiz.
See if you can find weak spots that you can definitely improve and do better than your competition.
You can have the best products in mind for your dropshipping business – if you don’t have a reliable supplier, you won’t get anywhere.
So before you start writing loads of content and create a detailed marketing plan for your product, do your research and contact potential retailer or manufacturer. Check their pricing and logistic conditions, i.g. packing, shipping and return handling. See if you can find reviews about them to find out how reliable they are. Are their products good quality? Can they supply the quantity your customers will be demanding?
If you don’t want to search for potential suppliers one by one, you could also use platforms like Oberlo or AliExpress. They are well-known, know what they are doing and have lots of high-quality products for you to choose from.
Just bear in mind that these will be the products your competitors are using, too. So potential customers can usually easily find them all over the internet. Means you have to put in more effort to stand out and promote that product better than everyone else.
What Products You Shouldn’t Sell in your Dropship Store
Something you should definitely stay clear from are copyrighted products. First of all, it is not easy to find suppliers that offer the originals. If you do, there is a chance that these products are fake. Your customers surely won’t be too happy to find out that their brand new Nike shoe is not the original. That can not only harm your reputation, but also get you into serious legal troubles.
So it’s better to avoid branded products and build your own brand instead.
Should I go for a Niche?
My personal opinion: Yes, you should.
When you decide to open up an online store that focusses on one niche, you can become an expert in that niche. You will learn what your customers want, be able to find high-quality products and suppliers and are likelier to find trends in that area. This can help you develop your store and make the best of it.
With your expertise you are also able to create content packed with additional information about the products or the niche in general. Your customers will see that you are the number one address to go to for this type of product. This can also help you justify higher prices.
As a third advantage, you will be able to target the right customers. You can focus your marketing efforts specifically on your potential customers, which will be more efficient and can save you money.
Dropshipping Products that Sell like Crazy? Yes, please!
As you can see, there are a few things you have to keep in mind before you start your online store. You should really take the time, sit down and analyze the market and your potential products before you invest time and money in it.
Make sure to consider the following criteria when picking dropshipping products:
- Big potential for sales (preferably a trend product)
- Potential cross- and upselling opportunities
- Sale price range somewhere between 40 and 150 USD
- Profit margin of at least 25 to 50%
- Easy to pack and ship
- Can you be better than competitor stores?
- Can you find a reliable supplier?
Of course, these are all just rough guidelines. In the end, you have to go for a few products and test your way around. This is the only way to find out if a product works for you or if it doesn’t. Don’t assume that your first product is going to make you rich – it’s very likely not. But it will surely teach you a lot about dropshipping in general, your customers and your niche. So go ahead! The earlier you start, the faster you can improve.
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