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Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool
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Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool
By Chris Malta
Our company publishes the Internet’s leading Directory of
genuine wholesale “Drop Shippers” (wholesalers who
ship products, one at a time, directly to your customers; eliminating
the need to stock inventory). It's called The Drop Ship Source
Directory. We also publish the Internet's Leading Directory of genuine
Wholesale Suppliers who will sell to you in small Bulk Quantities,
while still giving you larger Bulk Quantity prices. That's called The
Light Bulk Wholesale Directory. As a result of the information we
research and publish, we get questions all the time about what products
Home-based Internet Business owners should try to sell online.
I’ve been at this for years, and have become very successful
in my Internet business. But let’s face it, folks. If I knew
what was going to sell well on the Internet tomorrow, next week, or
next month, I wouldn’t be writing this article. I would have
retired and purchased a small private island by now. In the retail
business, whether you are online, in a physical store in the local
mall, or at a roadside stand, it makes no difference; choosing the
products you are going to sell is always the hardest part of getting
I can’t whip out a crystal ball and tell you what to sell.
However, I can tell you about the biggest mistakes that I see new
Home-based Internet businesspersons making, all the time.
Too many people are fixated on four things:
only products they like.
only products they know a lot about.
only products they think are “Cool” or
only products they think (are) “The Hottest Products on the
I get four basic emails from people who are stuck in this rut, and I
can pretty much tell that right off the bat, by the way the email
An Email from a person
who only thinks they can sell what they like starts something like
like, a Sk8ter, and I need to find a Wholesale Supplier for, like,
Sk8tboards + wheels + stuff".
The first problem this person is going to run into (aside from the fact
that he needs to learn how to write a business email!) is a problem for
all four types of people here. There may not be a Wholesale Supplier
for the products they want, that will work with a Home-based Internet
Business. We’ll talk more about that in a few minutes, though.
The second problem is "tunnel vision". This person may actually find a
Wholesale Supplier for "sk8tboards + wheels + stuff". If he does,
great. However, someone who has such a narrow vision of the Internet
Marketplace will never branch out and fulfill his own potential in that
Say he does find the Wholesale Supplier he’s looking for, and
opens a store. Because of the narrow vision that led him there,
he’s likely to stick with that store, and that store alone.
He’ll make some money, but unless he gets really lucky, he
won’t make a really good income out of it. He’ll
piddle along selling “sk8tboard” stuff forever,
when he could have done so much more.
What he needs to do is broaden his scope. If he’s interested
in “sk8ting”, wonderful. But instead of focusing on
just that, he should explore selling all kinds of sporting goods.
Sam Walton, the revered Founder of Wal-Mart, was once a starting
quarterback on his High School football team in Columbia, Missouri. He
also liked to play basketball. Can you imagine what would have happened
if Sam Walton never tried to sell anything besides football and
basketball equipment? There would probably be a pretty big store in the
US selling just footballs and basketballs today, because Walton was a
very good retailer. But it never would have grown to the size and scope
of Wal-Mart today if Sam had allowed tunnel vision to crowd his overall
It’s okay for our “sk8ter” buddy here to
open an Internet store or run Auctions that sell skateboard equipment.
Niche marketing is a good thing. But in his overall business, he should
look for other products with which to eventually run other Online
Stores or Auctions as well. One store leads to two, two lead to four,
and so on. Never get stuck limiting your entire business to just one
type of product!
An Email from a person
who only thinks they can sell what they know about goes like this:
riding horses all my life, and I own a small stable where I teach
riding. I’m opening an Internet Store where I’m
going to sell all kinds of stuff that other riders will want to buy.
I’ve got to find a Wholesale Supplier for saddles and Western
Wear and such".
Again, this person’s first problem is going to be
that he may not find a Wholesale Supplier of the products he knows so
well, that's willing to work with Home-based Internet Businesses. But,
we’ll get to that in a bit.
His second problem is similar to the first person’s problem,
but not exactly the same. This person isn’t fixated on
selling only what he likes; he’s just a little bit scared of
having to learn about something new. He’s obviously going
where he feels safe. That’s okay, but
let’s remember what I’ve mentioned twice so far: he
may not find a Wholesale Supplier for the products he likes. Genuine
Wholesale Supplier do not grow on trees, folks, and most of those who
are out there do not want to work with Home-based Businesses. There
isn’t one available to you for every possible type of
product. It’s very important to keep that in mind when you
So, what does this person need to do? He needs to understand that being
in business is about learning new things every day. New ways to market,
new software to get used to, simpler ways to do his monthly books,
etc., etc., etc. Learning new products is just as critical. Again,
never limit your business to just one type of product. You
don’t have to like what you sell. You just need to make money
An Email from a person
who only thinks they can sell what’s
“Cool” goes like this:
for a Wholesale Supplier of electronics, like MP3 Players, Plasma TVs
and such. Please tell me where to find them."
A request for Wholesale Supplier of electronics is a dead giveaway.
Almost everybody who starts a Home-based Internet Business wants to
sell electronics at first. It’s the Cool, Sexy market, and
even if you never sell anything, you can show your friends your site
and say, ‘Dude, I can get you an Xlent deal on the hottest
Electronics, like any other Cool or Sexy market on the Internet, is not
the place for most people to start. That market is absolutely flooded
with other people who already had the same idea, and the profit margins
have plummeted. Why? Too many inexperienced Internet sellers. They
start price wars, figuring they’re going to clean up by
undercutting everyone else’s prices by a little bit. Problem
is, the second guy comes along and undercuts the first one a bit. Then
the third person comes along and undercuts the second. And so on.
Pretty soon all you have left are tens of thousands of people trying to
sell electronics for pennies more than what they pay for them, just to
advertise a slightly better price than their competition.
The person who wants to sell Cool and Sexy stuff needs to understand
that they are not out here to look Cool or Sexy. They’re here
to make money. Four Slice Toasters and Propane Camp Stoves
aren’t sexy, but they sell and their markets are not
overcrowded, and that’s what the goal is.
Finally, an email from a
person who thinks they need to sell only the Hottest Products on the
Internet goes like this:
Can you tell me were I
can find out what the Top Selling Products on eBay are? I want to know
what everyone else is selling and get in on it."
Look at it this way. If you were in a giant field filled with nothing
but concession stands selling Salted Peanuts, what’s the
smartest thing you could do? Set up yet another Salted Peanuts stand,
or set up a Lemonade Stand?
I’d sell Lemonade, wouldn’t you? :o)
In our business, we look at the Lists of Top Selling Products on the
Internet, too. Then we run the other way as fast as we can. We
don’t want to be just another face in the crowd selling the
same thing as everyone else. We want to think about products that may
be complementary to the Hottest Sellers, that not many other people are
If everyone and their Grandmothers are selling Salted Peanuts, we want
to be the ones selling Lemonade. :o)
Worldwide Brands, Inc.
For more info, please visit
About the Author:
Chris Malta is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He has worked
with computer Systems for 19 years. He's been involved in eCommerce
systems, networking and site design for more than 8 years. He's taught
college-level computer courses in Western NY. He founded Worldwide
Brands, Inc., creators of The Drop Ship Source Directory, The Light
Bulk Wholesale Directory and The Market Research Wizard. Chris's
Business Articles and other materials have been published in several
languages all around the world.
Chris is the Host of "The Entrepreneur Magazine E-Biz Radio Show",
a Talk Radio Show helping Home-based Internet Businesses get started
without getting scammed. The Show is heard in 183 countries around the
world. He is also the on-air Product Sourcing Editor for eBay Radio.
********** Additional References **********
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Best wishes for your online success!
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