If you want to open a shop or set up a website and am not sure what to sell. Going door to door and asking people is a long-winded way of doing things – there are far better ways of discovering what to sell. First do some initial research:

• Go onto the big sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, PreLoved, GumTree, Fivver etc. and see what is selling, what is in demand. Make a list of several categories that you are interested in such as clothing, electrical etc.
• Go through the social media sites – especially the groups and see what is trending and fine tune your categories.
• Use these two operations to narrow down a field of what you might sell – say certain items in household goods.

Now narrow the field down by:
• Seeing what is already being sold, especially by the big sites and/or close by shops. You do not want heavy competition or saturation in the market.
• Checking that suppliers are available that will:
o Sell you small amounts to start with
o And will open up a credit account with you.
• You have some interest in what you can sell. A boring product area for you will tire you out very quickly and you will also lose interest in your company. Entrepreneurship is difficult and time consuming and you need some interest to keep you going.

Now, the most important part of your research – you need to find your market for these potential products.

What you are seeking is a window of opportunity as well as a ready market that will buy what you want to sell at a price you want to sell it at. A window of opportunity is you finding a ready market for what you want to sell. So back to the social media sites, especially the groups. Join in the discussions and see what they think about your potential products. This does NOT mean that you try selling- that is a quick way to get thrown out of the groups. Just generally chat about the interests of the group and use these conversations to fine tune your products.

The last part of your research is to find the price that you can sell your group of products at. This is best done by split testing. Set up some simple adverts on Facebook or Google. Set one up with one price to go to a set landing page and another with a different price to a different landing page. So as not to annoy your potential customers, use different websites and branding if you can. If this is not possible then do some more research and seek out what prices others offer the products at.

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