What Should You Sell Online?

what should you sell online?

I wrote an article a while ago about why it’s important to do market research and make sure you’re selling products in high demand. If you’ve not read that, you can go through it here.

One thing I failed to mention however is that, just because there’s a high demand for a particular product doesn’t mean you’re the right person to sell that product, especially if you really want to build a thriving online business based on that particular product.

Just because you live in Florida where there are rivers and oceans all around you and there’s a demand for boats and fishing gear does not mean you’ll be able to sell boats and fishing gear successfully, especially when it comes to selling them online.

To prove my point, I’ll ask you this question.

How will you feel if you walk into a car dealership, you see a very nice car that you’d love to buy. The salesman walks up to you, and you ask him about the car. You ask him about the model of the car, about the type of engine that’s in the hood, the interior capacity, build materials and other things about the car, and he has no idea about what any of those means.

You ask him several questions about the car you chose but he can barely tell you anything about the car. He has very little knowledge about the car. Even though you love the car, would you really still be interested in buying that particular car from that dealership? Hardly.

If I’m the one in that situation, I’m just going to pick up myself and go to another car dealership, and I’m sure you’d do the same.

You’d visit another car dealership, where the salesman or saleswoman actually knows about the cars they’re selling.

In the same vain, it’s not enough to start selling a product just because there’s a high demand for it. It’s very important you have knowledge of that product, especially more than the average person.

I’m telling you this because I’ve started several online businesses where I had very little knowledge about the products I’m selling, and at the end of the day, most of those businesses failed. The ones that didn’t fail, I couldn’t hold on to them for long, even though they were making some money.

I simply could not grow them to their full potential.

Now, here’s why you don’t want to start that kind of business or sell that kind of product.

Answering questions from customers require lots of research and takes time.

If you want to run a business successfully, you need to do everything you can to keep your customers satisfied.

One of the best ways to keep them happy and satisfied is to answer their questions and resolve their issues or querries as soon as they arise.

Because I didn’t know much about these products I was selling or retailing online, answering questions from customers as quickly as possible was difficult.

These products where really niche products and require someone who really knows them to answer the questions. Even though I was making some sales, I couldn’t hold on to my customers for long, because when they came back with questions and querries regarding the products, it was difficult for me to answer them.

To answer their question, I have to do a lot of research online, or maybe contact my supplier. This was not a pleasant experience both for me and the customers I’m serving, because I was not serving them well, and I was overworking myself.

On the other hand, if it’s a product I use and really know much about, I can easily answer questions and querries from customers without having to ask Google, searching for answers online.

Why is Elon Musk so successful today? Does he sell skin care products which he probably knows very little about? No, he sells electric cars which he knows so much about. You can ask him anything about the his electric cars, and he’ll answer you right away.

And that’s why if you can, try to create your own products. Ecommerce is great, dropshipping is great, selling other peoples product for a profit is great. But when you can identify a gap in the market, and create a product to fill that gap, you’re no longer just a seller, you’re a creator.

And that eliminates any of the fears I’ve been talking about above of not being able to answer questions about your product, because right now, you’re the creator. You know everything there is to know about that product, and you answer questions from your customers, right away.

I’m not saying you can’t sell what you don’t really know much about, that you can’t sell other peoples product. That’s not what I’m saying. All I’m saying is that, as a solopreneur, who’s just starting out, with no team behind you, it helps when you have a great deal of knowledge about the products you choose to sell.

It helps in so many ways when you can easily talk to people about your business, about your venture without resorting to your books.

Another disadvantage of not having firsthand knowledge about the products you sell is that:

Content creation is difficult and takes more time

One of the best ways to grow a brand and attract customers to your business online is through content creation.

When you know very little about the products you promote, it becomes more difficult to create content about them, and thus it becomes even more difficult to attract a loyal audience.

Every piece of content you create will require a great deal of research, because now, you can’t just write from your head, and post on your blog or your social media pages, without risking providing wrong facts and sounding like a dummy to your audience.

So each piece of content takes a lot of work because of all the research you have to do, making sure that everything you’re talking about matches what the manufacturer is saying.

Lots of work, lots of stress, and that leads to the next point.

Loss of interest over time

Answering lots of questions, doing a lot of research and creating content about products you know very little about will surely take a toll on you over time.

As time goes on, you lose interest. You lose interest because you’re like that car salesman that knows nothing about cars. You’re not even fascinated about cars.

It feels like someone is compeling or forcing you against your will to work in that dealership, when what you really wants to do is to become a body builder and start a gym or something.

If you’re really not interested in a product and you know very little about a product, it becomes increasingly difficult to sell it over time.

My advice

Sell a product you’re really interested in, that means a lot to you, and you really know much about or are willing to commit to learning about. If you don’t like it, you don’t use it, and are not interesting in building a life around it, find something else you like and sell that.

Build a business around it, and it will be much easier for you to achieve success with it.

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