The thing that I love about what I do is that I can take an idea and within a day or two turns that idea into an actual thing. I’m talking about eCommerce dropshipping or other product promotion ideas. It is not uncommon for me to have an idea on Friday and by Saturday night have a website up promoting that idea.
My girlfriend finds this hilarious but I wonder for how long 🤷♂️…
haha slightly worried my obsessive thought to idea problem might be too much for some people. If you have this problem let me know.
Back to the point! I got started in this method by buying a business and running with it with no prior experience. That’s not the ideal start for everyone but I’ve helped a lot of people get started by sharing some of my Friday afternoon ideas. I don’t have time to do EVERYTHING! To share my ideas is not a problem at least someone committed can put them to good use.
I want to help you sell your first product! That’s it a simple goal for this article. This is not too ambitious and anyone can do this. What I’ll go over in this is a couple of product niches and the products that I have sold and still sell that make money. These work for the main niche but can be drilled down into sub-niches and highly targeted audiences.
To keep this pretty basic and actionable I’ll suggest we use the marketplace AliExpress as our product source. AliExpress has millions of products at very low rates that you can use to populate the products on your website. The other bonus is because they sell products at such low prices you can dropship these products at a higher price.
I added the product links in this article so you can click through and see how much they cost on AliExpress. You can sell these often 3-7 times the purchase price. Also, I have used some affiliate links on the products so I may get a commission if anyone of you purchases the products through my links.
So we will be selecting products from AliExpress and then showcasing them on our website. This dropshipping method of promoting products you don’t hold works well, but I’ll also show you some alternative methods to sell products once you sell multiple products. This can be your phase II goal once you have momentum.
I share this because it has helped me build a lifestyle business where I don’t need my job. I can happily live off my online money and I want that for you. This type of hobby changed my life. Selling products online can be your life-changing hobby as well.
Enough fluff lets get into the good stuff.
Think of each of this divided section as a Niche category. The niche category can then be split into subcategories where you can segment products into really targeted product collections. These collections will be highly relevant to a section of people. This is one way to provide relevant products to people actually into those products. The rest is marketing 101.
This niche is highly successful and growing in strides as COVID, rioting and other catastrophes erupt. I do not support any epidemic or race hate crimes or recommend profiting from them but I do support business. Make your marketing focus on the product the problem and the solution and avoid piggybacking off the world events distastefully.
Miltary and outdoor survival type products sell well. This is competitive but not to the point where you can not sell products. I found bags, pouches, kits, helmets, gloves and accessory type tools sell well.
Tactical Backpack For Operators
Click to see these backpack products.
I have a couple of survival, paintball, outdoors type niche sites that I promote these backpacks. What I’ve found is having a variety of the same backpack is a positive signal. I limit the backpack-type to around 4 types but have 7-9 variations of each backpack. People like the colour variations.
You want to use clean images and some action shots of the backpacks being used. The price of these backpacks can go from $40-$120. This is fully depending on your messaging, the backpack you select and what features it has against the others.
Heavy Duty Pocket Torch
Click to see these torch types.
This style of the torch is very popular. Surprisingly the female audience responded best to this products Facebook ads. You will need to be creative with your marketing if you use this product type. There is a lot of competition and noise, so standing out needs one of your focuses.
Notice the image look and feel? it’s one way to make the product look a bit better than your competitors who just use the AliExpress product image. You need to take an out of the box approach to marketing torches and gadget type products.
Tactical Sling Pouch
Click to see these tactical pouches.
I have a lot of these tactical pouches around my house they are functional and can be used for a lot of things. Most people feel the same way seeing as I’m always ordering these from my supplier haha. My tip is to look at the red cross on this pouch. Think about a couple of variations of this type of patch on the pouch, that’s how you create sub-niches.
What do I mean about creating a sub-niche? well, the cross-appeals to one type of customer now I want to sell the same pouch but to other customers. I would check for pouches or patches for snipers, grenades, skulls demons and so on and so on.
I hope you get the point about how to create a sub-niche now.
Heavy Duty Smart Phone Protector Case
Click to see the phone case on AliExpress.
This is a great example of multi-use products that suit a lot of sub-categories. Everyone has a smartphone, and everyone fears damaging their smartphone. A super-protective heavy duty phone case is a great solution to that fear. Now we are getting to the problem and solution type marketing process.
You could sell these to a lot of audiences. tradies, campers, drivers and more. Everyone wants to keep their smartphone safe and secure.
“The evergreen military tactical and survival product kit. This is an evergreen product that I believe will grow in popularity throughout the year. Thanks to COVID and Mad Max (movie was set in 2021) people have concerns about survival””.
Leading on from the tactical and military survival gear is this segway into an off-grid living, solar power chargers and outdoor power options. Very popular and growing in popularity. This served me a double positive, it would make me money but I could also buy these products for my old man for his birthday. A great way to get product test data and action shots of the products.
My pro tip: work smarter not harder!
Portable Solar Power Charging Pad
I’ll be honest with you I have bought so many of these I really should start white labelling them. They are great gifts for family members who work outdoors. Sturdy and functional they can even serve multiple audience types.
I have used cyclist targeting and crane operators before with success. A little tricky but they sold more than I paid in ad spend, that sweet sweet ROAS.
The problem is people use their phone a lot for music, talking, videos etc and they if are like me most would be terrified the moment their battery hits 10% remaining. How this product helps them is to provide a portable charging solution, that can charge from the sun and they can move around while charging their phone.
An example snippet from an advert I ran “The old way was to sit by a power outlet while your phone charges”.
This was some wording from a past advertisement I ran hitting on that mobility factor. You need to be creative in ad copy to sell products.
I found a positive audience for this product on Pinterest and Instagram.
BONUS Product Solar Charger Panels
Click to see this bonus product here.
These bonus tip bad boys sold WELL! I targeted so many sub-niches audiences. The product is amazing so selling it just requires using the right type of messaging. Fishing buffs and camping audiences were the biggest buyers of this product. I branched off into some out of the box subcategories and found success especially in cross-promoting other survival tactical type products.
Bonus tip: Sometimes getting the visitor to your website is just about being able to cookie them for any retargeting adverts that you might have running. This works well for discounts and coupon promotions of your product as well.
Multi Function Tactical Pens
Click to see what this pen can do.
These multi-function products like tactical pens work well in waves. I found it challenging to get consistent sales from promoting these pens. I would create an ad set after ad set to promote these products and win for a couple of days then routinely fail.
My tip for promoting these products is to select months of the year to run 6-week promo and ad campaigns and then at the end of the 6 weeks cut the campaign.
This was the only I could get traction promoting these. I do think they are over-saturated. But if they are saturated that doesn’t mean we can’t sell them we just need to be creative in how we sell them.
Security Lighting LED Bright Light Bars
Click to see this light bar product.
One of the top-selling products in my outdoor camping niche store is a bright light LED bar. These are multi-purpose and not just for outdoors they also suit suburban security fittings. I like these type of products because you can play on the home alone, intruder alert type fears factor.
These make great perimeter lighting and are so helpful after dark when camping.
This is a marketing tactic and I do not suggest people go around scaring people into buying these with horror stories.
Yet another segway into outlander type Mad Max scenario is the steampunk genre. People are getting into this trend and dressing as they walked straight off the set of Mad Max or Tank Girl. Steampunk mixes industrial factory with military-style dress code while looking very unique. I do not get why people dress like this outside of comic con but hey all the power to you if this is your dress style.
The Steampunk Trench Coat
Click to see the product.
The trench coat is a starting point for most people starting to make a fashion statement. It also helps act as a security blanket for the first-timers stepping out as a steampunker. They practically sell themselves.
When you do sell these trench coats include women as well. A lot of the steampunk style is unisex where anyone can wear it and you don’t need to be a man to have it. Unisex clothing is a thing and it makes sense…..if we live in a future where the supplies are limited.
Steampunk Glasses / Goggles
Click to see these glasses.
Could I wear a pair of these and look as cool as this guy? Nah probs, not my friends but some people are going nuts for these type of glasses and speed demon goggles. The style is unique a little vintage a little retro and something modern.
I would have a handful of style types and then 2 or 3 colour variations for each pair of glasses. You could use these as a bundle offer or as an upsell in the shopping cart.
Steampunk Patches & Badges
Click to see these patches.
The next product set that sells pretty quickly is the mix of badges and patches that can be added to any article of clothing. The patches can represent factions or groups. The growing popularity in games like Fortnight and league of legends is factions and groups.
The patches and badges help people express their allegiance just like people wear their fav NBA team jersey these patches are like wearing a Chicago Bulls patch for steampunks.
Chains & Chokers for Steampunks
To see this product click here.
There is a need for chains in any steampunk store. Why chains? there is always chains in Steampunk and these are cheap to drop ship or Whitelabel. They are not too heavy to ship and they are a staple of the dress code.
Think also about those rock punk wallet chains that attach to the belt. A nose ring and earring chains and this can expand on even more and start leading into the fetish niche. The sky is the limit.
Apocalypse Mechanical Watches
People like these watches. I don’t wear a watch but these sell pretty much like …wait for it…clockwork! 🤣
I would suggest having 10-20 watches and then 2 -3 colour variations per watch. You could make a website just themed on steampunk mechanical watches. Again do not leave out the female steampunks, think unisex for steampunk targeting.
The online retail space is exploding and it is not going to slow down. I highly recommend getting a start with some type of eCommerce method. I broke down the top 4 methods below where you can get started.
The tabs below will tell you what each method
- What is each method
- Who each method is for
- What you need to get started
- Earning potential
Check it out below!
What is it? This is a method where you promote a product without having it. When someone buys that product from you the money they pay you will be used to buy the product from the supplier. You use the money from your customer to buy the product. You never have any leftover stock because you don’t ever touch the product.
Who is this for? Everyone. This is easy to test the waters method. You can get started quickly and the overheads are quite low. You should be able to get this set up for $500 bucks. The return on this investment can be double triple or higher than the $500. You will need to understand how emails, shipping and ordering works.
What do you need to get started? the minimum is a website, an email address, a bank account, some form of product to promote usually found on AliExpress or eBay.
Earning potential? $-$$$
What is this? You take a product you like and design some changes to the product to make it better. This can be minor tweaks or some fundamental design or feature changes. The manufacturer makes you a product that matches your new design. You now own a product YOU created.
Who is this for? People who have sold products before. People who understand market needs. You MUST have done some market research. You MUST know the demand for what you have.
What do you need to start? You need an idea. You need to validate your idea that it will have demand for it. You need something to piggyback off and create your private label product. Then you need a website, email account, bank account and then starting capital to order, ship and store the products. You will need to physically stock these products.
Earning potential? $$-$$$$$
What? This is a method where you join up to programs to promote products on behalf of brands or networks. When people buy the product from a link you’re promoted you get paid.
Who is this for? Everyone. This is an easy way to test the waters. You don’t ever touch or hold products, you will just promote products you like.
What do you need to get started? As a minimum a bank account, an email and somewhere to promote the products. This could be a website, Instagram, Pinterest etc.
Earning potential? $-$$$$$
What is it? This is one of the toughest roads to take in eCommerce. Compared to the other methods this one requires the most physical involvement of creating, shipping, storing and housing the products. You will be building your product from scratch. You will need to ship the products to your warehouse and store the products until they need to be shipped to customers. BUT you own the product and you can take it where ever you want in sales revenue.
Who is this for? NOT for starters. You should have some sales experience and business experience under your belt first. I would suggest starting with either dropshipping or affiliate marketing first.
What do you need to start? You will need significant investment capital to start this method. You need to create prototypes, design specs, shipping and logistics, storage facilities ( I started doing this in my garage and dining room lol) then manual shipping and promoting the products to get them moving.
In short, this is not an easy method. Why should you do this? well in 12 months this will be a LOT easier and it will be making you a great income. The time to build momentum takes time but it can steamroll into something huge.
Earning potential? $$-$$$$
I got a start in eCommerce by buying a business from Gumtree, it was a really simple mobile phone case store. This was back when mobile phones could only play the game snake and people would clip the phone cases to the outside of their belts.
ANYONE can do this but like any business, it takes time and commitment. If you don’t put in the work early on, you won’t see any rewards. If it was push-button easy EVERYONE would be doing this.
I hope this has helped you see the opportunity and get some momentum towards selling your first product. If you liked this comment below or like it or share it with someone who might make use of the information. Peace!
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