IBM 14 | THE Best Thing to Sell Online

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In this episode we talk about the three main types of things you can sell online as well as their pros and cons. We reveal our favorite kind of product and why we focus our businesses on it.

We discuss the best thing a professional consultant or service provider can add to their business to boost revenue and get more client leads.

Also, Jay talks about his new time management system that is he’s using to increase productivity and avoid being to hard on himself about what he accomplishes each day.

Comments

  1. Hi guys! Whoa, my ears are burning from the way you shot retail products down in flames. LOL. I kinda feel that this needs another viewpoint from someone who actually sells them online.

    First of all, many of your ‘downside’ points are well taken. There will always be smaller margins on products that you resell made by someone else versus creating say, your own info product. But, having said that there’s a smarter way to sell retail products.

    First you did not mention the Drop Ship Business model. It is entirely possible to sell retail products and have someone else handle them for you. The drop ship supplier stocks the products and sends the orders – you don’t have to handle them. This eliminates the problem of warehouses, employees, etc, and even allows you to justify smaller margins. This doesn’t work in every market, and certainly would not work with iPods. For this to work, you must choose your niche wisely.

    Speaking of ‘choosing a niche wisely’, that leads to other points. For non-drop shipping businesses, if you don’t want to buy truckloads, then choose your products wisely. Ipods are a terrible example. Stick the with niche markets where there is some demand, not overloaded with competition, and you can be reasonably certain that the product will turn a profit (even on eBay).

    Another point – spread your business over multiple product niches. Don’t do what Sterling did and build an entire business around one Jewelry supplier (I know you probably see the error of that now, Sterling?). Have a variety of niche retail products you can sell.

    A final point – be ready to move on when something stops working. This is particularly important if you’re selling on eBay. Have a cyclical system in place for (1) researching new product niches (2) testing them with small test orders and (3) evaluating the success (or lack thereof) before doing larger orders. When a product line stops making money, move on to another and always be looking at new possibilities, starting the cycle again.

    This is how I avoid buying truckloads of physical products. I just focus on things that I am reasonably sure will make money for me. Oh and eBay is only one part of my business.

    Not that I’m against info products either – in fact I’m working on one! So I’d better get back to work. C ya!

  2. Great resource, but it is easier to illustrate value in a tangible good than to create and establish value in info products. Any tips on that would be helpful as well.

    Excellent site.

  3. I know I’m really late commenting on this post, but I’m a seller of digitally delivered goods on eBay and I’m wondering if Sterling has any strategies in mind to deal with the recently announced elimination of eBay’s digital goods category.

  4. @Patrick,

    I’ll just do it like I did before they had the digital option. After they pay they will get an email with the link to a download page that is hosted on my server. They will just go into my autoresponder series, but the first email with have the link. Easy as that.

  5. Hi Sterling
    Thanks for the response. I’ve tried to do that, but ran into problems by including a statement that the info will be delivered by email. eBay is trying to force me to use the classified ad format, which I don’t think is appropriate for my content.

    I’ve seen other sellers in the same niche selling digital info, but they just don’t state that it’s in digital form. eBay doesn’t appear to have a problem with this.

    Have you run into any problems selling the way you want to? (Or maybe you were already using the classified ad format?)

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