eBay: What Should I Sell?


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There is an art to picking profitable products. It’s not just what you want to sell but rather what will sell. Unless you pick a product in demand in the marketplace, you will fail. A fundamental principle of the capitalist system is “supply and demand”. It represents a delicate balancing act between “what people want” and how much of “it” is available.

Every Christmas, we see one toy that everyone wants. One year is “talking Elmo” and the next year it’s something else. But, it never fails to occur. Because everyone wants “it”, so “it” is in high demand. If the supply of the product isn’t sufficient to meet the customer demand, prices soar, as do profits for the people selling them.

You could hope you pick one of those products and make a lot of money in one season, or you can be smart and have a profitable business all year round. How? Understand trends in our society and how they help you predict the products which are or will be in demand, now and in the future.

Current Trends In American Society

By reading and watching current news, we should be able to spot trends. These trends will have an impact upon people and therefore, the products they need or want. For instance, some current trends in the United States are as follows:

  • Americans are fatter than prior generations (particularly children)

  • Baby Boomers (a very large potential market) are getting older. Many are in the 50s or 60s.

  • More and more people purchase online from the security and comfort of their own home

  • Americans are more security conscious since 9/11

  • Travel by car or recreational vehicle is up over previous years

  • Diabetes is making major inroads into the general population

    These are just some of the trends impacting our culture now. We need to take those identified trends and make some assumptions about them. With these assumptions come product decisions, profitable product decisions.

    Using a Trend to Pick Profitable Products

    Let’s choose the Baby Boomer trends upon which to focus. We know that the Baby Boomer Generation represents a large, and very wealth, segment of the current American society. If we choose to focus upon this group of consumers, we know we have a large potential audience. More importantly, we know we have an audience who can pay.

    Determining the products we will offer starts with making some assumptions about our targeted market. What does that mean for the Baby Boomers? We need to take what we know about that market segment and then make some assumption based upon that knowledge. Let’s try.

    What We Know: What We Can Assume:

    We know they are getting older. We can assume they don’t like that. We know they are fatter than prior We can assume they don’t like that generations. and want to do something about it.

    Let’s just look at those two trends and how they help us choose products. If this generation is fatter than the last generation, we can assume larger size clothes are needed right now. Is that true? At eBay, plus size women’s clothing sold for a total of $90,903.37 in the last 30 days! There’s a profitable product selection for the present.

    If we assume they are fatter and don’t like it, they must want to do something about it. What might they do? Exercise or diet. What does this mean for possible products? Exercise equipment or diet pills. Is this true? At eBay, exercise equipment sold for a total of $1,125,144.50 in the last 30 days and weight loss pills sold a total of $130,795.34 in the last 30 days! Two more profitable, “in-demand”, products at eBay, right now.

    Choosing the right product for a profitable business does not have to be difficult. Just follow the four easy steps; analyze, assume, test, and choose. You simply have to read and watch the world. Look at leading news articles and magazine stories. What appears to be uppermost in the minds of potential consumers? What assumptions can you make about the trend? What product(s) does that translate to? Sell that product and you will earn money. Continue to follow those four steps and you will be profitable for a long time.

    Michele Schermerhorn has over 30 years experience in the business world and over 12 years running her own successful online businesses. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (http://www.obinstitute.com ). Online Business Institute Inc. exists to “Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time”. They run regularly scheduled free online seminars.

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