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We can consider dropshipping as the go-to business for entrepreneurs who do not want the burden of inventory.
With dropshipping, you choose a supplier of a product; then this supplier ships the item to your customer once you make a sale.
Of the millions of products out there, what should you dropship?
While it is true that products depend on trends, is it also possible to find a product where there is a consistent demand?
Today, you will learn different techniques that’ll help you find the right products to dropship. By the end of this tutorial, I encourage you to apply these principles before you start your dropshipping journey.
1. Choose a niche you understand
What is a niche?
A niche is a category, a group of people, or an industry. For example, toys are a niche. Mountain climbing is a niche. Electronics is a niche.
One of the most common reasons why dropshippers fail is they just grab some products from AliExpress dropshipping suppliers to sell. Retail does not work this way. This is the very reason why a lot of branded items start with a single product, and then slowly branch out.
For example, Nike.
Nike started with shoes. Then it sold activewear. Despite that, the focus of the company is still sports.
Here are the benefits of choosing a niche:
- Narrow focus – you will only sell products that belong to the same category; it’ll be easier to understand the unwritten rules of this specific trade than if you open a general dropshipping store.
- Concentrated market – with a niche, you are selling to a specific group of people; your ads are easier to dial into the right demographics.
- Customer identification – it is easier to create a customer avatar if you have a niche than if you don’t. A customer avatar is a representation of your target market. It is a “cartoon” character that has a name and a set of traits. It serves as your guide whenever you create ads and marketing materials.
If you’re just starting out, it’ll be difficult for you to efficiently market your product if they are not within your expertise. With or without a niche, you will spend extra time and effort to answer queries about a product you are not familiar with.
If you fail to provide reasonable answers to these questions, your potential customers are going to doubt your loyalty.
Related Article: Niche vs General e-Commerce Store: What Should You Choose?
2. Choose and cull products
After successfully determining your niche, the next thing to do is to classify Shopify dropshipping products. If you are in the baby niche, you need to choose what kind of baby items you are going to sell.
Here are some tips to get this done:
- Products that fit your niche – it does not make sense to sell drones in a baby store, even if they look temptingly profitable. Clothing and toys are better options.
- Choose Popular Products – you have to capitalize on trends. Any parent who goes to your baby store is certainly going to look for something that is trending. If this person does not find it, you are going to lose this customer. Here is an example: if a 3D animal print is trending in onesies, sell them.
The only way you can identify trending dropshipping products is through using specialized tools like Oberlo, Spocket, or spy tools that can scour data from online stores. You can also browse Amazon or AliExpress for their best-sellers.
You have to use premier tools to be able to see the top dropshipping products that have a demand, sales, and how many orders are placed for that product.
Examples of these tools are Spocket, Dropfied, and SaleHoo.
- SaleHoo Review: A Quick Overview of the Program
- Ultimate Dropified Review: the best dropship tool?
- Spocket Review: An In-Depth Look at the Spocket Dropshipping Supplier Tool
Adding popular products to your site can help you sell when you are just beginning to make a name for your store. You can also land on your competitors’ pages while looking and study how they market their products.
The downside of selling this, however, will be the high level of competition. Because it is trending, everybody is going to sell this, too.
The answer to this problem is marketing. Develop a marketing strategy can help you stand out against your competitors.
3. Look for products that are about to trend
If you do not want to compete against other dropshippers selling the same thing, you need to get ahead. What you need to look for are products that are about to trend.
This means thoroughly viewing products that are starting to sell like pancakes. What you can do is to use Google Trends and apply a search term. You can see if a product is trending based on the line chart.
Or, you can also use spy tools that already have the data for you. If you do not have time to do research and keep track of data, there are sites that offer services to do product research.
Here are some examples:
- AliExpress Dropshipping Center – this service is made especially for AliExpress users and does the product research and analysis for you. It is free.
It is free if you are dropshipping from AliExpress. If you are using a different platform, there is a cost you have to pay.
- Thieve.co – this is a free tool; all you need to do is to sign up. You can view the products that sell the most in AliExpress. You can organize products by category, so it is easy to see which ones on your niche are trending.
The tool has a paid version. In the paid one called Thieve Supply, you can get more features, but you need to pay $29 per month.
Another examples is Asify. Just install this in your Chrome browser. It is free.
Like the previous two tools, it measures the sales and popularity of items sold on AliExpress. You can see details like sales stats, sales by country, with or without video, and so much more.
Dropship from US/EU Suppliers!
4. Look for unique but unpopular products
This approach takes a while, and it is clearly subjective, but you can still find the best dropshipping products. You need to have exposure before you can even qualify as a good judge of what is unique or not.
If you are unsure, you can always use Google to see if the product you are eyeing is truly unique or not. You can use the same tools we discussed earlier.
But this time, you need to look for products that have low sales—with high potential, that is.
This technique requires a deeper level of research compared to the first ones. But this has a low level of competition, and it will put you an advantageous marketing position.
You have to understand the market and observe what kinds of products the consumers are looking for. You may think that high-demand products are your priority, but no. High-demand products always have a small profit margin.
5. Choose products based on price range
This is a principle of marketing, and you need to apply this as a filter when selecting dropshipping products to sell. Many dropshippers get inundated by the sheer number of choices on AliExpress—they end up importing so many products to their store.
One of the most effective ways on how to find the right dropshipping products to sell is to keep your search within a range. If your range is $5 to $50, stick with that.
Why is this important?
Because as a retailer, you need to know the price that your market can bear. The price you set on your products affects your buyers’ decision. If you mix and match products with significantly different prices, your site visitors will experience price fatigue.
Taking this into account, you must deliberately study on how much you will sell your product so both sides will benefit.
Here are two things that you need to take note of:
- Study your competitors’ pricing styles – take the time to research what your competitors are selling and for how much.
Find out if the products you have selected can compete against their offer. Do not get too caught up with expensive items even if they have a high margin. Again, your basis for your price range is what your consumers can bear.
- The Right Profit Margin – when choosing products, you have to keep an eye for those that you can sell with at least a 30% profit margin.
This is the ideal percentage that will not put your store out of business. Of course, this is on a case to case basis. You need to account for your expenses to determine a healthy gross profit margin.
You also need to consider shipping costs. Consumers often think twice before purchasing because of the shipping costs. Choose products that are offered with e-packet or free shipping.
Even if your products’ prices are already fairly low, your buyers may still change their minds if the shipping fee is added. This commonly happens in international orders.
To avoid this, you can organize a promo wherein the shipping fee can be free of charge if they purchase a certain amount. You can also offer free charges if they are within your area or country.
6. Find the most eligible suppliers
In the dropshipping business, suppliers play a critical part in your success. Thus, along with your products, you also need to make a thorough study about who your suppliers are and what they offer.
Consider the following:
- Supplier’s Products and Pricing – you cannot adjust your price if the stocks are expensive, to begin with. You are left at the mercy of the buying price. Take the time to look for a supplier who offers low-cost items. Make sure the quality is not compromised just because the price is low.
- Shipping performance – you also have to look into their shipping and handling capabilities. Look for suppliers who fulfill their committed processing and shipping times. You can only do this if you order the product yourself. The last thing you want is a delay—your customer will ask for a refund, and you will lose money.
- Supplier’s location – do not deal with suppliers who have no warehouses close to your target countries. At first, it may be tempting to ship worldwide. They all do it in AliExpress anyway. From my experience, this is a nightmare. I once shipped from China to Brazil, and the package never arrived.
There are situations where the products are damaged or defective. It is also likely that the product sent was wrong. You need to have protection, and this can only happen if your supplier has a reasonable refund policy. Stay away from suppliers who do not issue refunds.
7. Know your competitors
The last tip I have on how to find the right dropshipping products to sell is to know your competitors.
The competition level refers to how many stores are selling similar products and services as your store. Competitors, on the other hand, are the stores WITHIN the level of competition.
Knowing who your competitors are, and what abilities they are capable of, allows you to get ahead of the game. You can spot their weaknesses, too, and then use that to your advantage.
Here are some things to think about:
- Know what products they sell – if you and your competitors are on the same niche, you can keep an eye on what they are selling. You can gather data on what sells, and what kind of marketing strategies they use.
- Read customer reviews and feedbacks – lurk in your competitor’s store and read feedback from their buyers. Understand their weakness and use this to your advantage. If they do not have a discount sale, launch one. If they do not bundle, do it.
You can use bad reviews by looking for problems—problems that you can avoid in your own store.
In conclusion, dropshipping cannot be considered as an easy way to earn money overnight. You need to possess many types of skills to be able to generate a large profit from your store. And all of these begins with searching for the right products.
Now that you know how to find the right dropshipping products to sell, the next step is execution.
Finding the right products to sell is easier said than done. This requires both research and occasionally, additional financial investment to analyze your target market.
But if you do this right, you can reduce the possibility of your dropshipping store failing.
WATCH: Top 10 Winning Products
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