Dropshipping has gotten pretty popular as a way to experiment with online entrepreneurship.
Since you don't have to stock any inventory or handle shipping and logistics, it's a very approachable form of ecommerce.
Of course, before you set up a website or put up listings on Amazon, you'll need to figure out what exactly you're going to sell.
There are tons of options. Just about anything you can think of can be dropshipped.
Apparel and jewelry are popular choices.
There are also evergreen categories like electronics that have relatively high margins, and which are commonly purchased online.
A lot of people have had success selling pet supplies, too.
Like figuring out a niche for an affiliate site, the right products for your dropshipping business — not to mention your niche in general — isn't something you can find instantly.
It takes some research and brainstorming to come up with something viable.
And as with most kinds of online businesses, there's a good chance you'll fail a couple of times before you find something that sticks. (It comes with the territory.)
In a recent blog post from Oberlo, successful dropshipper Tomas Slimas offers some tips for finding profitable products to sell online.
What to Sell Online When Dropshipping
1. Brainstorm Dropshipping Ideas
You never want to start with a blank page.
Your head is already full of good dropshipping ideas: your hobbies, products you like such as Google Trends products, and newly discovered passions.
Start by tapping into the wealth of information and inspiration you already have floating around in your own brain.
Write everything down that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter if you think the product will be a bestseller or not.
Don’t skip this step as it provides an important foundation for completing the next ones.
2. Not Sure What to Sell Online? Browse Other Shops
Back in the 1980’s, Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton was arrested for crawling around stores on his hands and knees.
He later told a friend he was measuring the spaces between product shelves to determine how his competitors displayed their products.
At the time, Walmart was making $400M+ in sales, but Walton knew that there was more he could earn if only he could master the approaches his competitors were using to sell their products.
When you browse other stores, look at their offerings, best selling lists, and promoted products.
Many stores have a tremendous amount of data and employ entire departments to organize their sales and select their products.
Use that information to your benefit.
Browse a lot, and browse frequently. It’ll help you come up with great dropshipping ideas.
Here is a link list of stores and resources you should regularly review:
- AliExpress Most Popular Products (Weekly)
- Amazon Best Sellers
- Ebay Daily Deals
- Lazada Top Sellers
- LightInTheBox Top Sellers List
- Oberlo’s List of What to Sell Online
Add to your product list any of the dropshipping ideas posted on these sites that pique your interest.
3. Visit Social Shopping Sites for Additional Dropshipping Ideas
There are over 100 million products on Polyvore and 30 million on Wanelo.
Add Fancy, Pinterest, and even Instagram to the mix, and you have a very large number of products from around the world that can easily be sorted by popularity, trends, categories, and more.
People often overlook these sites in their research, but they are valuable for drawing insights about which kinds of products are making waves on the internet from one day to the next.
Therefore, I recommend setting up an account on each one of these websites.
Subscribe to different categories and lists. Follow what people like the most and add those things to your list.
When you’re constantly surrounding yourself with inspiration, you’ll quickly come up with dropshipping ideas that have profit generating potential.
4. Ask Your Friends for Dropshipping Ideas
The next time you have coffee with friends, review some Google Trends products beforehand, and ask their opinion about those items.
Don’t limit yourself to your own demographics either.
Talk with friends of all ages and backgrounds to get a wide variety of dropshipping ideas and a wider range of perspectives about what to sell online.
You’ll likely end up with dropshipping ideas you hadn’t even considered, and these will make your ecommerce store that much better.
5. Look Around You for Additional Ideas About What to Sell Online
Look around your house, your workspace, and the places in your community that you frequently visit.
Are there any products you can’t live without? Which products would make your life easier?
Is there anything that is hard to find in the supermarket or at local shops?
The answers to these questions could hold the key when your aim is to sell products online that will actually turn a profit.
Consider this: Howard Schultz came up with his coffee shop idea on a trip to Italy and later called it Starbucks.
Lots of dropshipping ideas can definitely come to mind while traveling, it’s equally possible to spot them locally in everyday life.
Start using your daily life as its own databank for product ideas. Stay alert and spot opportunities.
Once you adopt this mindset, you will begin to see hundreds of products and dropshipping ideas each day.
When you’re being active with your ideation you’ll quickly come up with a list of the best dropshipping products for your store.
So, be observant, carry a notebook, and remember to write everything down.
6. Use Niche Filters to Generate Dropshipping Ideas
With the rise of dropshipping, niche shops have become the trend.
Niches have since turned from an ecommerce novelty to a proven, successful strategy.
It makes sense.
There’s no use in fighting with the big stores for potential customers’ attention. Avoid categories that are too broad or general.
The masses are already exposed to thousands of offers daily.
Instead, look to supply niche products that are underserved by the larger players.
For example, there is no specific interest group for a normal belt, but you can easily tell that cycling gear will resonate well with cycling enthusiasts.
Find your niche.
If you can come up with niche dropshipping ideas, you’re already more likely to turn a profit when you sell products online.
You can learn more about niche selection over at Oberlo.
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