By Gary Huang
Yesterday we learned about the Top 3 Product Selection MISTAKES sellers make.
Today we will learn 3 ways to come up with profitable product ideas away from the crowds.
But you might be asking… WHY? Can’t I use product research tools and filters to select products to sell?
Well I’ve noticed that most sellers are doing exactly this. But the problem is if you start out at the same place as everyone else then you end up at the same place as everyone else.
Most people generate product ideas using the same tools out there. While I’m not against product research tools, in fact they are EXCELLENT in reducing risk when VALIDATING product ideas, I do not recommend using them to COME UP with product ideas.
Because you and several thousand other sellers are looking at the same item. And what looks like a lucrative product opportunity TODAY will become a crowded and highly competitive niche 3-4 months later when everyone is selling the same product.
This has happened to me before and I strongly advise against this tactic when choosing your products to sell for a private label business.
So you might be wondering – so HOW do I come up with product ideas?
Here are THREE ways to potentially come up with your next profitable product idea.
And the good news is that you can implement them TODAY.
Let’s dive right in.
Method #1 – TRAVEL
Often times a change of scenery, a change of routine, and a change of environment, can mean not only a shift in MINDSET (i.e. being more open to new things) but also new opportunities for noticing product ideas.
One of my favorite ways to come up with new potential product ideas is to keep my eyes and ears open when I travel. For example when I traveled to Japan, it was hugely eye opening for me because the culture, the language, and the people were so different!
When I went into a 7-Eleven, the clerks would greet you in Japanese and even bow to you. They were super polite in almost an awkward way!
Over time I noticed that in Japan people carried themselves differently. For example nobody would eat or drink while walking in public. They would either consumer their food at the store or restaurant and drink their drinks before leaving the establishment.
At the same time, while browsing local shops and malls I noticed dozens and dozens of new potential product ideas that I had never seen before which I would jot down and research later.
Obviously not all of them result in profitable product ideas (most won’t) but the key is that I am continuously generating new product ideas not from research tools but based on what people are actually using and buying.
This rule holds true regardless if you’re taking a vacation to Florida, a trip to Europe, or to Asia. Product ideas are out there and endless if you bother to notice them. This leads up to the second product idea strategy…
METHOD #2 – KEEP AN ONGOING PRODUCT IDEAS LIST
Seth Godin said that you have to come up with a lot of bad ideas before you come up with good ones.
Based on my own experience as an entrepreneur I agree with Godin 100%.
In my own product ideas list, I have a ongoing list of hundreds of product ideas that I’ve accumulated over time.
I’m always on the lookout and always am adding products to my product ideas list.
This way I have more chances of success when it comes to product ideas.
On the other hand, one common mistake I’ve noticed newbies make is to research product ideas right after they come up with it.
In other words once they add a new idea to the list, they immediately fire up their favorite product research tool to see if it’s a “good” product to sell.
I do not recommend this because it is not efficient and it can make you frustrated real fast.
Conversely, I recommend that you batch your work – research your product ideas together in one sitting. Set aside a couple hours and then run through a group of product ideas that you have on your list. This way you not only save time from stopping what you’re doing every time you come up with a new idea.
Another benefit of this strategy is that prevents you from beating yourself up that it wasn’t a great product everytime you come up with a new idea.
Let’s be real for a minute.
Coming up with a profitable product idea is not easy. So by batching this process, instead of feeling down on yourself you will immediately move onto the next product idea.
It’s like in sports rather than taking one shot in basketball and not making it and sitting on the bench sulking, it’s a lot better to keep moving and get ready to make your next shot.
Method #3 – Gift lists
This is a great way to come up with multiple product ideas quickly and let someone else do the work! My kind of strategy! 🙂
I especially like gift guides such as Mother’s Day gifts, Back to School Gifts, Gifts for the person who has everything etc.
These content creators will have done the research for your because they need to generate product suggestions that most of the general public are not aware of.
So often times by browsing the gift lists online or in magazines, you will discover new products that you are not aware of and trending products that you can add to your ongoing product ideas list.
But avoid junk websites where they haphazardly churn out “list-acles” which in fact are actually Amazon affiliate websites designed to generate commissions when people click through.
OK now it’s your turn.
I’m not writing these emails just to entertain you before you move onto your next email.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started with your private label business.
OR if you’re a six figure seller who’s facing a slump in business.
I challenge you to apply these 3 rules and see how many ideas you can come up with in the next 48 hours. You don’t need to share with me the actual product ideas but let me know if you’re IN and then check back with me on Thursday to let me know how many ideas you were able to come up with.
PS: If this post helped you please do me a favor and share with anyone who can benefit from this.
The views, opinions and images in this article are purely the author’s own. Global Sources does not own responsibility for what is presented in the article.
Gary Huang is an American based in Shanghai, China, and working in sourcing since 2008. He is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing, which helps small business importers quickly and efficiently source from China. Gary also serves as the Co-Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai’s Supply Chain Committee. You may contact him at www.8020sourcing.com/contact.