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[2017 Update] How to Find Profitable Niches: Do Less While Earning More

Note: this post has been updated to reflect the newest information about drop shipping and profitable niches.

This is an update of a post we published a year ago. But if you’re familiar with digital and eCommerce trends, you know how fast things change. This is still good news for you though!

That’s because it’s only getting easier to research the profitability of a niche before you start building your store. What this means is you will be able to get a clear picture of market trends, releases, and ways to be profitable with a broad, over-saturated niche, hint: sub-niches!

This post will cover the first and arguably, one of the most important steps in building your own profitable eCommerce business: profitable niche selection.

Step One of the Drop Ship Blueprint is Niche Selection

It’s not hard but there are quite a few new tips and tricks that you need to know. When searching for a niche that is profitable and good for the drop shipping model in 2017, you’ll want to:

  • Look at you and your family and friends’ interests and problems
  • Spend the day looking through the eyes of a marketer
  • Examine and evaluate trends and markets

Step 1: Niche Selection

How to Find the Most Profitable Niche Markets Online

My very first eCommerce store starting making money within 24 hours of going live.  I made a sale for $485 the FIRST night that my store was set up to start accepting orders.  

I’m not telling you this to show off. I’m telling you because I want you to know the secret. The same secret we used to make over $3,000 of sales in just over three weeks. 

People are often shocked when they hear this because it sounds like I just threw together an online shop and starting making money through luck. But the truth is I spent A LOT of time prior to launching.  In fact, it’s all about the preparation.

Before my store launch, I did a ton of market research in order to have the best chance of success once I was ready to launch. There was one reason that I made $485 within hours of launching. It was because I found a profitable niche. 

It All Starts With Focused Brainstorming

Like all projects, the first step is brainstorming. Click To Tweet

Before you can test different niches for profitability you need to think of niches to test. This doesn’t mean you think about it on the ride to a friends house, you need to block off time and focus on brainstorming.

To brainstorm new ideas, I often think of things that I’ve recently bought online. As well as asking family and friends what they’ve recently purchased. Also, think about what you’ve bought in the past. Think about all your family and friends and what they have in their houses.

Write everything down, even if it seems questionable at the time. I then take this list and begin my “tests”.

Your Profitable Niche

Research and Evaluate Current Trends

eBay is a good place to check if items sell online but don’t base your prices off of eBay’s. They’re far too low. Even though it’s not as relevant these days, it’s still a good place to brainstorm profitable niches.

Once you’re on eBay, you want to identify products in different niches that are expensive (to me, that’s $500 or more, but up to you). Then go through different categories on eBay and change your search results to show “completed listings”.  If the completed listing is in red it means the item did not sell.  If it’s in green it means the item sold.  

Look closer into the products that are shown in green and search for completed listings only for that specific product.  I used to do this over and over until I identified about 20 products within one niche that almost ALWAYS sold (10+ units per day).

When I started I was not drop shipping. I was importing from China, so I contacted a few suppliers that I had found on Alibiba.com and requested price lists for these exact products.  I then contacted a customs broker and got shipping quotes for a container of the products.  Next, I factored in all of my other expenses and learned I could sell these on eBay at the same price as many competitors and make a 50%+ profit on each sale! But that was back in 2006…

Find Profitable Niches With Amazon’s Help

Fast forward a decade and Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer and they sell pretty much everything under the sun. That’s what makes it one of the best places to find profitable niches and the products that are “red hot”.

Here’s the step by step process to finding a profitable niche on Amazon:

  1. Click on the ‘All’ tab at the left of the main search bar it will show a list of categories or ‘niches’.
  2. Click on a specific category, that interests you (or at random).
  3. Then leave the search box blank and hit ‘Go’.
  4. A new page will display and on the left-hand side a whole list of subcategories or ‘sub-niches’ will pop up.
  5. Click a subcategory and it’ll take you further down into the niche into a more specific sub-niche.
  6. You now have drilled down into specific niches and can even go further still.

Amazon is especially great to help you find a super specific niche and the products that sell best. Even better is you can choose ‘best sellers’ from the navigation bar at the top of the page just under the search box and see what’s currently selling best.

There’s no way you can’t find a profitable niche on Amazon, or at least have a good brainstorming session browsing the site. Amazon’s “Best Sellers” page is updated hourly making it a solid resource for profitable niche selection!

Think Like A Marketer

Now, I know that I’m not selling on eBay anymore and I don’t think you should either. But, a lot of this advice is still useful in the world of drop shipping today. The first (and most important) tip I will share on finding a profitable niche when drop shipping is SELL EXPENSIVE ITEMS!!!

Based on my experience, the average net profit when drop shipping is about 20% of your total sales. Basically; you’ll make 20% profit on a $1,000 item and a $10 item so you could either make $200 or $2 per sale. If you want to make money, you need to sell expensive items.

There’s nothing else to it. Not that complicated, right?  

The Drop Ship Lifestyle Profitable Niche Selection Method

 

Once you’ve identified these items you need to find some potential “future competition”. Online retailers who are already selling these items.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out how much money they make on each sale at this point. BUT you can find out if this is niche is profitable by seeing if the suppliers enforce MAP policies.

{If you don’t know, MAP stands for Minimum Advertised Price.  Suppliers that enforce MAP policies are great to sell for because these policies protect your profits}

Everything Starts with Niche Selection, But There’s More To It

You can call these potential suppliers to see if they enforce MAP policies but the easiest way to check is to go to Google Shopping and search for some random products:

MAP Enforced

If your results show different prices that are all over the place then this supplier does NOT enforce MAP.  If the results say something like “$999 from 3 stores” and there are no other prices listed for the same exact item then you’ve likely found a supplier that enforces MAP!  You can now move onto the next step.

I also discussed real life “niche problems” from our member’s, as well take you on a “niche selection” tour of my office [4:48] in episode 4 of Drop Ship Weekly. Watch below:

eCommerce Niche Selection

Drop Ship Weekly Ep. 4

Watch Now

Any questions? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and we’ll keep the conversation going!

 

Finding a profitable niche is probably the most important factor that goes into making money. That’s why I put together a list of 187 profitable niches to sell online, to help take the guesswork out of niche selection. Click here to get my list of 187 Niches.

DOWNLOAD: 187 Profitable eCommerce Niche Ideas
Anton Kraly
 

Anton is a the Founder & CEO of Drop Ship Lifestyle – an online coaching program for eCommerce entrepreneurs. He began selling online in 2007 and has built and sold multiple seven-figure businesses while leveraging the power of drop shipping.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 29 comments
Anton Kraly

Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I created Drop Ship Lifestyle after selling a network of eCommerce stores and then trying to find a community of other store owners to network with… What I found was a bunch of scammers who promised newbies they would get rich quick by following their push button systems!

This lead me create a new community along with online training that shares how to build a REAL online business.

I’d love to hear what you think… it’s 10 video training modules designed to help you drop ship profitably… all for free.

Be sure to click here to check it out and send me your feedback 🙂

If you go through the “What Is Drop Shipping?” mini-course and still have questions just contact me and I will help you out.

Reply
Don Hesh

Not bad.
Good article, But I thought we will get a list.

Reply
Marshall

Thanks Anton, im reading everything i can get on your course.

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Geri Pitter

Hello Anton,
how is the dropshipbusiness in Europe in germanspeaking countries working, compared to USA ? Should I start here or go to englishspeaking countries ?

Reply
Lynn

What if I can’t decide what package to sign up for? Who can I contact to see what’s right for me?

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Joe Engel

In the name of genuine fashion dropshippers, there are many out there. But, there is always that one dropshipping company that stands out from the rest. We’ve essentially re-invented the way dropshipping should be done. 🙂 And when it comes to profitability, our dropship program is MEANT to make you, the dropshipee, more money than the company itself.

Reply
    Kevin

    What is your company name and website so I can see what you offer. Thanks

    Reply
    Anton Kraly

    The problem with selling apparel online is EXTREMELY high returns rats. For this reason, we do not advise drop shipping these products.

    Reply
Floyd

Anton sir – before I buy all in – I want the free mini-course. When I go to the link – it looks like the larger paid version – … or.. is it? Do I input my info there? ooor

Reply
Mazino

There was no list of profitable niches of doing less and earn more but from the post I got the scope. Not bad at all.

Reply
Annette

Hi Anton! You helped me so much. Your information is very detailed and easy to understand… Thank You

Reply
    Anton Kraly

    Hi Annette,

    Thank you for the kind words! I am glad to hear you’re getting value from the content that we produce 🙂

    And if you love our blog you’ll 100% love our coaching program 😉

    Reply
Carl

Hi Anton, I am just starting and therefore can’t afford your course just yet, but I do appreciate the 10 mini courses you sent me. Was very informative and helpful.

Thanks again for the step by step information you shared.

Hope to make enough to purchase your course soon.

Reply
    Anton Kraly

    Thanks for the comment, Carl. And you’re welcome for the free drop shipping mini-course.

    If you have any questions about any additional resources please email us at [email protected] and we will get you taken care of ASAP.

    Reply
Madeline

Anton – this is a great article. I also love how much engagement you get and that you actually respond to the comments. Keep up the amazing work! #dropshiplifestyle4life

Reply
    Anton Kraly

    Thanks Madeline! I’ll keep posting as long as our amazing community keeps watching…. based on our growth over the past few years I don’t think that’s going to be slowing down any time soon 🙂

    Reply
Nick

Hey, great article.

Can you give us some examples of websites from your students. would be great to see the real deal

Reply
Rajan

Thanks so much Anton for this article. I also really appreciate your guide to drop shipping outside of the U.S. Very helpful!

Reply
Danni

Hi I am looking for someone asap to do some niche research for a dropship site that I hope to establish but not in the USA can you provide this service and how much.

Reply
    Anton Kraly

    Hi Danni,

    To be honest, you’re much better off doing the research yourself. You can get more information in our niche selection system if you’re not ready to invest into the entire course 🙂

    Reply

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