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If You Are Shipping Bricks Make Sure They Are Made Of Gold!

By Bill Carlin

Bill Carlin is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has experience selling on every major eCommerce platform including Amazon, Ebay, Walmart.com, and more. Contact Bill today to learn more about Shipmate Fulfillment.

A question I am often asked by new sellers is, "what kind of products should I sell online?" Everyone wants to know what items will magically make all their dreams come true, but selling items online is much more complicated than that. My usual response is simple and short, and it is also the title of this article.

gold

 

The Costs:

Every person who has experience online knows that there are numerous expenses that come with the title of eCommerce seller. Namely, shipping, advertising, and marketplace fees are some costs that account for the majority of the sticker price of an item sold online. Because of this, I recommend to new sellers that they start with small, lightweight, high value items with strong branding. My philosophy when selling online has always been, "if you are going to ship bricks make sure they are made of gold." This means that as the size of my package grows the value of my item has to grow accordingly or I will not carry the item in my catalog. In this article, I will talk about some of the ways in which you can increase the value of the items you are selling online .

Branding:

Building a brand is difficult and takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail, but when it is done right a brand can add tremendous value to any product you decide to sell. Branding can be a way to convey the quality of your goods and can be used to differentiate from your competitors and elevate your products to the next level. Think about many of the products you yourself own or have used. The products with the strongest and most appealing brands can often charge a premium over their counterparts. You can buy clothing at Dollar General, Target, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Each of these places sell shirts or pants, however the brands they carry are of very different quality and notoriety and the prices vary as such. Branding is one of the most valuable tools you can use to turn your products from mediocre to pure gold.

Differentiation:

A great way to elevate your products is to do something different than your competitors that sets you apart. Don't be afraid to try something different to set your business and your products apart. For example, try using a different size, color, feature, shape, material than your competitors. There are countless ways to stand out from the competition and give yourself a competitive edge. Think of ways you can improve or expand upon the category you want to sell in.

Find Your Niche:

Niches are a great way to grab a leg up on the competition. There are all different kinds of people with all different kinds of interests. Targeting one of these smaller groups in the market rather than a general audience is a great way to grab traction. For example instead of selling blue tumblers, you could sell tumblers with french bulldogs on them, then target the french bulldog community. This is a great way to take basic products and enhance their value within a specific group of potential buyers.

Multi-Pack:

Selling more of a cheap product at once is a great way to elevate its value and make it profitable. For example, I was selling dental floss on Amazon. It was virtually impossible to sell a single pack of floss, but when I sold four units in one bulk pack, it sold like hotcakes! I was able to take an item that was normally unsellable and make it a $11.99 retail item. By increasing quantity often the value to the customer increases faster than the additional cost of shipping. This creates value for both the seller and the customer! This may be a great tactic to employ within your existing catalog to help produce more golden products in your line up!

Kitting & Bundling:

Ask anyone who reads this blog or watches any of our videos, I am a huge proponent of using kitting and bundling to increase a business' profitability. I wrote an article about this topic and released a video on it. I hope you will check them both out as this is a strategy every seller can use to increase their profitability almost instantly!

Include A Freebie:

This is a tactic I have stolen from those 1990's infomercials and it works just as well now as it did back then! A great way to increase the value of an item is to make someone feel like they are getting a bonus for free. For example, whenever a customer purchases a toilet seat from me, I throw a toilet brush in the box for free! I find that doing this my sales velocity greatly increased and I was able to mark my seats up two dollars to more than cover the added few cents for the brush. Many sellers do this by even offering virtual products like a PDF cookbook with an appliance or a water intake tracking app with a water bottle. Get creative and think about what you could offer as a bonus that your customers would love.

 

Topics: kitting & bundling, kitting, profitability, Photography, listing, content creation, branding

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