Thinking of starting an eCommerce business? But don’t know how to find a profitable product to sell online? Choosing the right product will go a long way in deciding the success of your eCommerce business. This is why you should take your time in researching and evaluating the profitability of a product.
Before I started affiliate marketing,I started an eCommerce business by selling on Amazon. However,that was a big failure, I failed for a variety of reasons,but the biggest one was not finding the right product to sell online.
I spent a long time researching, but I didn’t follow the advice I was getting, I only researched stuff that I was interested in and stuff I thought would make me rich quick.
Despite my initial failure, I do intend to start an eCommerce business again and that is the reason why I regularly research products to sell online.
My ongoing research has taught me a lot of lessons and provided me with a process that lets me find potential products that I could start selling.
It’s really important to have a good process in place,otherwise just randomly surfing the depths of the worldwide web for a great idea will take forever.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is to keep things simple and this is true when searching for a product to sell.
After reading countless guides and attending a lot of webinars,I keep it very simple and research via the methods outlined below.
- Keyword Research
- Amazon Best Seller Rank
- eBay most watched products
- Salehoo Labs
- Online gift shops
- Consumer trends
Research requires a lot of time and effort and you will find that many of your original ideas are not worth pursuing.
Whether that is because there is no market for it, or the competition may be too tough, you will have to brainstorm several ideas before you come across your golden goose.
Before I list the several methods to come up with good ideas, it should be mentioned that there are successful entrepreneurs that are selling things that would never have come across research.
For instance, storegecko listed a collection of successful eCommerce stores that are selling weird stuff that would never have been thought of during research.
Many times it’s just an epiphany that occurs to people and an idea starts brewing from there.
Take for example potatoparcel, this company which was founded by 24-year-old Alex Craig from Dallas, Texas, sold potatoes with personalised messages on them. Weird? Definitely and he sold it four months later for $40000.
Or Petrock that sells rocks as your personal pets!! Hm weird but the website gets 20000 monthly hits, so there is a market for it.
So even though research is important and plays a vital role in your success, sometimes thinking outside the box will be more rewarding.
So one of the most popular ways of finding products to sell online and ones that have market demand is through keyword research. This is basically figuring out what people are searching for on the popular search engines like Google and Bing.
I mentioned that I wanted to open an e-commerce store when I first looked into running an online business. Well in my research phase I started looking into sports equipment/products as one of my favourite hobbies is watching sports.
So I started looking into golf equipment, I did a lot of keyword research in this area.
As it turned out, there were decent search volumes for different golf equipment.
The great thing about golfing equipment is that they are not seasonal,this means they are popular all year round and would make a great product selection to sell online.
These are the keywords I found. They total over 50,000 monthly searches and these keywords have related keywords that will reveal further search volumes.
The keyword research tool I used is called Jaaxy,it is a great research tool from the team behind Wealthy Affiliate.
By the way, this is a great niche to start an affiliate marketing business too, golfing equipment is expensive and so the commission will be good.
This is why keyword research is so important and not just for e-commerce but affiliate marketing too. I’ll give you one more example of a sporting niche that has a pretty high search volume and low competition.
The results below, as you can see are for search terms related to basketball, specifically Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and their clothing line.
Although the competition is weak, buying these expensive products to sell would not be viable if you don’t have much capital, to begin with.
However, for items like popular branded shoes or clothing, affiliate marketing or dropshipping would the be the best option.
Of course, knowing that these items have a large search volume,you can always produce your own line of accessories and clothing with the names or images of these sporting legends.
This is called print on demand and works best with dropshipping.
One of the best tools for keyword research used to be Googles own keyword planner, however, you will have to have an active AdWords account to use it now.
There are alternatives that will provide the same data and more.
I use Wealthy Affiliates own keyword research tool but there are other really good tools that are free or relatively cheap.
Ubersuggest is a free tool from famous internet entrepreneur Neil Patel that has a host of features including monthly search volume and a score of how competitive the keyword is.
Jaaxy is the best value for money keyword research tool, they have a free trial and two paid options.
One other keyword tool that is cheaper than most is kwfinder, it’s pretty fast and gives a lot of data to analyse which keywords will be easy to rank.
So keyword research is just one method to uncover potential products you can source to start an e-commerce business. It is probably the most comprehensive and the one that can provide you with a lot of data to assess your options.
However, there are other ways that will allow you to uncover potential products you can sell.
2.Amazons BSR ( Best Seller Rank)
If you’re going to start an e-commerce business, you will do well to see what is selling really well on the biggest e-commerce platform.
And if you are going to be using Amazon’s platform to sell, then analysing what is selling well on Amazon is a no-brainer.
One of the best ways to find out what is selling well on Amazon is analysing their best seller rank. Every department has a list of the top 100 selling items and it gets updated hourly.
Before I go on and show you how to analyse Amazons best selling products list,you should be aware of what kind of products to avoid selling on Amazon.
If you are thinking of selling on Amazon, try and avoid the following products,as my research tells me they are tough to crack because of fierce competition and Amazons own policies.
- Electronic/mechanical products
- Branded Products
- Fragile products
- Products with large number of reviews
Just a side note,I am not saying you cannot make money from these products,you most probably can.However, if you are starting as a new seller on Amazon,it will be best to stay away from these products for a greater chance of success.
So,how do you analyse Amazons best seller rank and try and find profitable products to sell?
Well,there is a fantastic free tool by the creators of Jungle Scout that will provide you with an estimate of a products potential sales per month based on its BSR rank.
For anyone not familiar with Jungle Scout,it is a brilliant piece of software that will let you research the best selling products on the Amazon marketplace.
It is a paid product,however, they do provide lots of free resources and one of them is a tool that will generate a monthly sales estimate from Amazons bestseller rank.
For example,below is the sales rank data for a mini golf putting set.
The BSR on this product is 7740,now if I go over to the free monthly sales generator tool provided by Jungle Scout and enter this number under the category of toys & games, I get the following monthly sales estimate;
456 sales per month on a simple mini golf game is pretty good,the price of the product is $14.89,multiply that by the number of sales per month and the gross revenue is $6789.84.
To get an estimate of the net revenue,I went and searched on Alibaba for a similar product and actually found one that cost $2 per set.
After Amazon fees,the net revenue is $10.66,that is over 70% profit. Although I didn’t account for shipping costs from China,however even after these costs and maybe a bit of advertising,you are looking at a 50% profit margin.
Using this process you can start getting an idea if your product has potential or not.
This process is much easier if you have the Jungle Scout App,with it you get far more sales data including competitor analysis.
If you are thinking of selling on Amazon,it will greatly help you choose a product to sell.
3.eBay Market Research
eBay is another platform where you can start an e-commerce business, it is the world’s biggest auction site. Finding profitable niches isn’t as straightforward as finding one on Amazon.
They don’t have a best seller list like Amazon, you can look through products and see how many items they have sold or how many people are watching an item.
Finding a product this way would take forever.However, there is a software that makes it easier to research products on eBay.
There is an eBay market research tool that will provide you with a lot of information about products that are selling well. Terapeak is officially endorsed by eBay but not created by them.
I have actually used it and it is a really powerful tool, amongst other metrics, it provides you with what search items are getting the most conversions, how to advertise and how to increase your conversions.
It’s a paid tool but there is a free trial and if you are thinking of selling on eBay, it is a tool that will increase your chances of finding a profitable niche.
You can read my full review of Terapeak and see what other features it offers.
Watchcount is a really popular website where you can research the most popular items on eBay. As the name suggests,you can see how many people are keeping an eye on a product.
This will give you an idea of what sells well on eBay or what kind of items consumers are showing an interest in and help you in finding a profitable product to sell.
4. Salehoo Labs
Salehoo is a New Zealand based company that is well-known for it huge database of dropshipping suppliers and wholesalers, they also have a database of over 2.5 million products that you can use to find products to sell online. However, what many people don’t know is that they have an innovative research center called Salehoo Labs, this where they analyse thousands of products a week and provide their members with data such as;
- Trending Products
- Products that are selling well on Amazon and eBay
- How many other sellers there are on those platforms ( So you can analyse the competition)
- The sell through rate
- List of dropshipping suppliers and wholesalers for that product
It really is an amazing research tool and something you should defnitely think of investing in if you are serious about starting an eCommerce business. Click here to learn more about Salehoo and the services they offer.
5.Online Gift Shops
I actually came across these sites whilst doing keyword research on the search term ‘golfing gifts’ (a term that gets searched over 22,000 times a month).
Products on these sites cannot be found in major online retailers and they are a great resource for product research.
One of the sites I came across that gave me plenty of product ideas is notonthehighstreet.com,it is full of unique product ideas,many of which get a decent amount of search volume every month.
For example, they have a personalised gift section in which you can purchase gifts based on interests and personalise them.
I found a few product ideas from this section alone.
For example, I found these great golfing gift ideas;
- Personalised golf gifts
- Personalised golf balls
- Personalised tees
- Personalised golf towel
- Personalised golf ball markers
I am sure if I searched other areas other sports,I would find even more product ideas,here are a few other stores you can research for unique product ideas.
Other ways to find products is to follow websites that analyse consumer product trends. These can give you ideas of where consumer trends are heading and what products are starting to trend.
Armed with data of what’s trending in the consumer world can provide insights into new products that you may not have thought of before. Also getting an early start in promoting new product lines means a greater chance of success because of the low competition.
These are so e of the websites that follow trends in the consumer market.
Of course, you should also keep a keen eye on the major social networks and see if any products are trending on those platforms.
Sourcing the products.
Whether you are going to stock inventory or dropship, you will need to find suppliers to source your products from.
Finding a reputable wholesaler/manufacturer is probably one of the most time-consuming tasks. As I came to realise, most of the trusted wholesalers do not have good functioning websites.
The websites you do find on Google search are sites that charge you for access to their database of wholesalers and manufacturers. And many of them are not very trustworthy.
There are some trustworthy sites I came across and I have listed them below,I will update the list if I find others.
Salehoo.com (Mainly US)
Worldwidebrands.com (Mainly US)
Of course, many eCommerce store owners find it cheaper to source from China. Alibaba is the premier place most people go to find and source their products.
However, there are alternatives like those listed below.
Sourcing products can be time-consuming and many times quite stressful, I didn’t even contact any suppliers but just looking for the right products was tiresome.
It’s why you should always seek help from those who have walked that path, there is a wealth of information and guidance to start an eCommerce business.
I have listed my method of researching products to sell online,there are plenty of other ways which I have not mentioned.
However, I am sure you will find potential product ideas by following what I have laid out in this guide.
If you are looking to start an eCommerce business,I would advise you to find a proven training program that shows you the how to start one.
I have written an article on the best dropshipping courses, there are many more, but the ones I have listed have proven results are are not too expenisve.
There are other resources and training programmes. Some of these cost quite a sum, however there many websites which provide a lot of information regarding niche research, sourcing products and other
The website below are the ones I used to go visit regularly when I was thinking of opening up an eCommerce business,
I hope they help you.
31 thoughts on “How to Find Products To Sell Online”
Well put together and very detailed, you have done a great job with your post. Tons of information and is easy to follow. Your viewers will love all of this information that is so easy to follow.
Thanks Norman, hopefully, people do find some useful information that they can use.
I am relatively new to affiliate marketing and learning more about it every day. I have heard through the training process at Wealthy Affiliate about e-commerce but never really knew what it was all about.
Reading through this post How to generate ideas for a eCommerce business was very inspiring to me. You have given so many ideas and offered some excellent reference materials. I believe that could be my next avenue into generating revenue.
One thing that really caught my attention to start with was the fact that you need capital to begin. If I read that correctly. How much capital would be needed to start an eCommerce store? And can you give a brief explanation as to to what drop-shipping is?
Thanks for taking your time and reading my article, I’m glad you found it interesting. There two methods to starting an eCommerce business, the first method is where you will need a bit of startup capital. How much will depend on what want to stock and sell.The things I wanted to sell would have been way too expensive for me to buy in bulk, stock them and then ship them off whenever an order came through. This is the traditional stock and ship method.
The other method is where you don’t need much start up capital, this is called dropshipping. Basically, you don’t hold any inventory, you come to an agreement with a supplier/wholesaler and they will deliver the item at a reduced price for you.You keep the difference between what you charged the customer and what yu paid youe supplier or wholesaler. You can find out more here.
I hope that helps.
Thank you for providing so much information! I feel like I’ve learned so much in such a short time! You’re willingness to share your wealth of information is inspiring and very humbling. I never knew there was so much information behind keywords and so many different resources. How do yo sort through them all? Do you find the price for Jaxxy worth it?
I am glad that you found the article helpful. As for Jaaxy, I really do think it is the best-priced keyword research tool currently on the market. There are cheaper tools on the market but they have limited search functions, with Jaaxy, you get unlimited searches plus all the other features.
Very informative my man!
You laid it out in GREAT detail.
This is awesome – thanks for sharing!
Excellent site – I think it has a lot of potential.
I am an active eSEller and I thought your stories rang with truth.
As an eBay and Amazon store owner I read this article with keen interest. I think the safest plan ultimately is to have your own eCommerce sit.
I appreciate the list of wholesalers and drop sellers a lot.! Those methods reduce some of the hard work of eSelling.
I am happy you found it useful, one of the hardest parts of building an ecommerce business is finding reputable wholesalers/suppliers. That’s the reason I included them, I hope it helps people start their business much quicker.
All the best
Is that the keyword tool that comes free with the membership in Wealthy Affiliate? Looks like a very good tool, and that makes Wealthy Affiliate worth joining in my opinion.
I was looking for a good alternative keyword tool since Google Adwords Planner have become stricter these days you can no longer just freely use the tool. It seems, this one from Wealthy Affiliate is the best choice.
Thanks for sharing!
I really appreciate your very organized ways of finding new products to sell online. It is very detailed, and on the other hand easy to use.
I learned a lot of new things from your article even that I am in the field of affiliate marketing for more than one year now.
I found this information highly valuable. Keyword research is EXTREMELY important to anyone who has a website. If you want to rank in the search engines, it is an absolute necessity!! Some of these companies I had never heard of so I will definitely check some of them out now as well. Thanks for the great info.
Interesting article. I have not heard of some of these merchants that watch sites providing you with hot sellers and trends. I’m definitely going to check them out especially the one that scrapes the Amazon site.
Interestingly, you mentioned that you didn’t go into the golf niche as you didn’t have enough capital to purchase the inventory. With Affiliate Marketing you won’t need to stock any items – you just become an affiliate with the merchant who stocks the item and you promote it via your website. Have you thought about this avenue?
Wishing you success in your online endeavours
Thanks for commenting, yes I did think about starting an affiliate site around golfing but what stopped me was writing content golf and golf related products. I am not a particularly fast writer and although I do like watching glf,there was no way I was ever going to be churning out high quality in this niche.
I instead chose another niche that interested me and one that I am fairly well–versed in.
All the best
E-commerce always seemed a legit way to go if you have the money to get started.
You did brilliantly with this post and left no stone unturned as to good resources. How much does the Store Coach cost?
You really seem to have put a lot of effort into this article. You listed good keyword research options, ecommerce platforms, and where to find profitable products to promote.
Wow thank you for this very in-depth guide on how to
Find products to sell online.
I’ve never created an ecommerce store before, but
I can see like you said it takes a lot of research and time to find a good product to sell.
Would you say you are making more with affiliate marketing then you have with an ecommerce store?
Thanks again for your guide, I’ll be sure to check back to this when I start an ecommerce store.
The research Phase is pretty much the same between eCommerce and affiliate marketing.
I have made more with affiliate marketing but that is because I have stuck with it for longer. If I had known about the idea of dropshipping before I started an affiliate business, I would have gone with dropshipping.
All the best
Wow, this is a wealth of information on different ways to identify key items that will naturally draw traffic. Using ideas like best sellers and keyword searches to find extremely popular items is a new one for me and i really appreciate the detail you went in throughout this article.
One thing i was wondering i about was if you could go into further detail about dropshipping. This is a term i have herd about a number of times now and still don’t fully understand the idea.
Thanks again for all the info,
I am glad you found this article helpful, regarding dropshipping,I have actually written an article on it. Hope you find it helpful
What is dropshipping?
All the best
Great article. Really helpful strategies in finding out whats selling. Well done. There is so much information out there about making money online that is can be confusing for the newbie. Your website helps cut through the massive pool of information and gets straight to the point. Your Storecoach review is interesting too. What do you recommend or prefer? Afilliate marketing or eCommerce?
Thanks for your comment,my preference has always been eCommerce,my first attempt at starting an online business was through eCommerce,unfortunately I failed miserably. However,that was through traditional eCommerce (stock and ship) if I had known about dropshipping and had the knowledge I now have,I would have started a dropshipping business.
All the best
I enjoyed your post on finding products for an commerce store, Minhaj. You pretty much covered everything. I’m still blogging, and I don’t have a store site as yet, but It’s something I’ll probably want to do in the future, just to diversify my income streams. Thanks for the info on researching and finding a good product. It’ll help me when I get a store going.
Thanks for commenting and I am glad you found the article helpful.
All the best
When it comes to the world of the internet it is so amazing how many products that are there but it can get pretty confusing as to trying to find out what products are out there. Your post will help so many people and will make their work much easier when it comes to trying to find products to sell.
Thanks for your comment and I hope it does help people
All the best
oh man, I loved this article.
I’m into blogging about my own personal interests at the moment, and will be moving into affiliate marketing soon, but I really want to get into ecommerce once I’ve got my head around everything.
I had my own business that I closed down last year.
I was doing everything from product development, manufacturing, branding, packaging, plus webstore and my own social media.
I knew nothing about how to get traffic to my website though, so I just wasn’t getting return for my effort.
I have a toddler now, so I think ecommerce would be a better way to reduce some of the manual labour I had to do in my business before. I was baking paleo lactation biscuits in my home, so I had to wear too many hats I think.
I’m curious, what kind of capital did you need to buy your own product? How many items do you purchase at once?
How do you go about storing your items?
And do you use postal or courier to get your items out? Thanks so much for the information, it was right up my street, and I’ll definitely be getting in touch with Storecoach when I’m ready to get started.
Cheers, Angie 🙂
Thanks for your comment.
As for your questions.
How much capital is required?
There is no simple answer to this,it will depend on what kind of eCommerce store you want to start. What I did is called retail arbitrage,basically I would purchase products from online/offline retail stores and sell it for a bit of profit on Amazon. To start this kind of of eCommerce business,you probably a couple of hundred dollars just to test things out and then start to scale when you see what products are selling well.
If you want to start a traditional eCommerce business,you are looking at at least $2000 to start,most likely more but $2000 can get you started. This cost includes purchasing inventory in bulk, initial delivery charges and fees for storage.
The other method and this the one that I will most likely start is called dropshipping,this is becoming a very popular way to start an eCommerce business, This because of it costs little to start,you can start a dropshipping business for less than $100. All you need to get started is a domain name and hosting. Of ourse you will have to have identified a product to sell and find suppliers who will dropship,but after that you can get started as soon as possible.
I hope this answers all your other questions about storage,inventory and delivery charges.
All the best
Amazing guide on how to find products to sell online! I have bookmarked your website for future references and loved your idea of selling Personalized Gifts.
This post really inspired me to go searching online for other novelty ideas that could have good potential on eBay and Amazon.
Thanks indeed for the info on your website, Jeff.
Thanks for your comment and I am pleased you found the article helpful.
All the best
This is a lot of information and resources for starting an e commerce business. I am going to bookmark it so I can come back to research your resources some more.
I’m going to try out jungle scout as I think that one will help me to decide on what products I should be selling.
I have some ideas but don’t want to jump in too soon.
Thanks for your comment and I am glad that you found my article helpful.
All the best