Product niches can be the equivalent of a gold mine: hit the right one, and your competition is low enough that you can make a killing. But it all rests on actually evaluating a product niche the right way, so read on to learn what RepricerExpress has to say.

Brainstorm Ideas, Products and Markets

They say an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, and we’re going to modify that slightly. The more research and brainstorming you can do ahead of time, the easier a time you’ll have in the evaluation and selling processes.

This part is fairly simple, and it most definitely helps if you have a pint (or three) in front of you. Carry a notepad around with you and write down every single product idea that comes in your mind. If you’re stuck on ideas, ask family and friends of things they can think of that are sold online. And as a third part, just take a virtual stroll through Amazon to see what the best-selling products are.

Next comes the editing process.

Most of your ideas are going to be garbage, but that’s not the point. The point is to have a body of work to start with. And once you’ve got, you can start paring it down to a handful — or dozen, or so — realistic products to work with.

Related reading: 7 Amazon and eBay Product Trends for 2016

Spend Intensive Time Researching and Evaluating Individual Products

This is one process where you’ll have to spend some serious time, so gear yourself up for that. It’s also one where you may want to (temporarily) put down that pint of beer so you can think with a clear head.

Look at each product and see how it could work in the future. For some sellers, making a list of pros and cons works, while others go on gut feeling and what they personally like. Whatever works for you, go with that. And if you’re super passionate about one or two products above all others and think, ‘to heck with traditional market knowledge’, then choose it and find a way to make it work.

Settle on a List of Criteria for Evaluation

There are two areas you have to look at in terms of viability: market and product. The criteria changes slightly for both, so let’s take a look at each.

Market Criteria

  • Market size and competition: if there’s no or appetite for your product, it doesn’t matter how strongly you feel about the item if it’ll never sell.
  • Clientele: what kind of people will potentially be buying your product? Do they comprise a viable demographic, or are you pitching to the wrong target? And will your potential buyers be able to go down the street instead of waiting for it to be delivered from online?
  • Hotness: will you be selling in a proven market that’s thriving, or one that’s thisclose to having the plug pulled on it?

Product Criteria

  • Product price: you’ve got to consider how much you want to sell it at, what a realistic selling price will be, and whether the resulting profit margin is actually viable or how often you’ll have to mark it up to compensate for shortfalls.
  • Shipping: your product’s size and weight will make a big difference in how much shipping costs because of something called dimensional weight.
  • Availability: how often will you be able to realistically sell your product? What we mean is, will you be selling something like Christmas gift wrap that’s really only good for a few months of the year, or will you be selling something that’s not so seasonally-based?
  • Needs and desires: products that fill needs tend to sell better than those that are ‘nice-to-haves’, as you can have an easier time convincing someone to invest in the former. Say you want to sell massagers: there’s a huge built-in customer base in baby boomers who can find a physical need for it.
  • Durability: Apple users get frustrated because while Apple products are pretty durable, they’re also pretty expensive to replace. There are non-Apple alternatives, but some are really cheaply made and not worth the price of the box they come in. You have to figure out which category your item falls in, and how easy or hard of a time people will have spending money for something that just doesn’t last.
  • Ship-ability: can you freely ship your product to all Amazon markets, or are there restrictions that really limit who can buy it? This shouldn’t rule an item out entirely, but if you can’t fulfill the demand, then you won’t be making money with the product just sitting in storage.

While product niche evaluation can be a bit of a heady process, there’s something that doesn’t have to be: us! Yep, we’ve intentionally designed our software to be as simple and easy to use as possible, and the magic all starts when you sign up for your 15-day free trial.

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