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Getting Specific: The eBay Product Challenge

The day of decision has finally arrived; itís time to lock down your choice of what to sell on eBay. If youíve been doing your eBay homework you now know that there is almost no area, no matter how esoteric, that has been overlooked by the eBay community. Donít despair; just because there are already eBay merchants selling the product you want to sell that doesnít mean you canít still make money. You will, however, have to approach your business with care and planning.

Letís say youíve decided to combine your spouseís Saturday morning habit of hitting garage sales and your Saturday morning habit of hitting the links into an eBay business. Youíre going to offer ďslightly usedĒ golf clubs for the discriminating buyer. Sounds like a good idea. Letís spend this Saturday morning hitting eBay. Try searching for golf clubs in a very generic way (putters, irons) and a very specific way (Callaway, Big Bertha). Take detailed notes about the responses you receive. Youíll want to remember what categories were turned up by the different searches. Most importantly, youíll want to see how the competition has positioned itself. You are looking for the narrow grooves that havenít yet been filled or havenít been filled completely.

The same sort of research can be effective even if you chosen a product which might not be so directly linked to your personal lifestyle. If youíve decided to market products you purchase from a direct shipper, you are still going to need to carefully scrutinize the marketplace. You donít want to be merchant number five hundred selling ever burn flashlights; that is unless you have some particular slant on ever burn flashlights that makes your torches superior to numbers one through four hundred ninety nine. Price, obviously, is one quick way to set your product apart from all the others. An ever burn flashlight paired with another emergency related product can also be a selling point. A well written product description and ease of purchase can also be deciding factors when a person is choosing which ever burn flashlight to buy.

There are products Ė books, DVDs and software Ė which can help you narrow your focus in choosing merchandise to sell on eBay. Computer programs which compile the words and phrases most commonly searched for on eBay are abundant and can be useful. Many times there are a lot of people looking for things that might never cross your mind. Watching television (especially late night infomercials) and reading newspapers and magazines will also keep you abreast of current trends which may signal emerging markets. All of these resources, however, work best when combined with ongoing personal research on the best resource of all: eBay.

Charles Hammer
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