While eCommerce giants, such as Amazon, enjoy 34% of its product sold from dropshipping products, finding the best products for your drop shipping business can be particularly challenging. This is because every year, around 250,000 new products are launched worldwide, but only about 5-15% survive.
Whether you’re a newly launched eCommerce store searching for drop shipping products or you’re veteran online stores revamping their existing drop-shipped product list, we’ve got everything covered.
Learn where to discover product ideas, find product niche, locate suppliers, and identify reasonable markup opportunities. This article outlines a step-by-step guide to help you find the best drop shipping products to sell online.
1 – Where to find product ideas
The first step is where brainstorming happens. Sit down with your team and list down the types of products you want to drop ship. Generally, 5 or more product ideas is a good starting point.
If you don’t know where to begin, you can check the following sources to get inspired and find product ideas:
Other Online Stores
You can find profitable products by analyzing what other online stores are selling, especially the big ones. The technique here is to browse other online stores’ best-selling products, trending items, and even the least selling items to gauge what to include and exclude in your drop shipping products list.
Understand why certain products are popular and why others are not. Use that analysis to your advantage. Here are some links from the most popular eCommerce stores to find drop shipping products:
- Amazon’s Best Sellers
- Amazon’s New & Interesting Finds
- eBay’s Trending on eBay
- Alibaba’s First Look at Next Season’s Products
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Online Community Sites
Online community sites display relevant behavior, interests, and opinions that you can’t find elsewhere. This is why you need to browse and explore popular online community sites such as Facebook pages to find product ideas. Here are some online communities that you need to look at for drop shipping products:
Social Shopping Sites
Social shopping sites work typically like an online store but with consumer recommendations in a social network environment. It centers around communities of social network users who share similar interests and rely on other people’s opinions. You can get more product ideas from social shopping sites such as:
Don’t go somewhere else, look around your local neighborhood. There could be local stores waiting to be an online success. Begin by finding what the locals are raving about. Visit community bazaars, food parks or thrift stores. There could be products that are worthy for your drop shipping business.
2 – Determine the Perfect Product Price Range
When coming up with product ideas for drop shipping, determining your product price range is an essential aspect to consider. You have to find a balance between selling marketable products and being able to generate a profit.
Generally, the lower the price, the better the conversion rate is. Higher priced products like gadgets or digital items, for instance, would require more buying consideration from shoppers and entail more customer support.
Some eCommerce experts say that a price range from $100 to $200 or $75 to $150 will be a profitable range already. The reason behind is if you try to sell products lower than that price range, you need to sell more units. This means you need to attract more customers in order to generate a good profit.
However, your target location should also be a consideration. For instance, a $75 product may not be that expensive for people living in the US but it’s already a lot for some Asian countries. In any case, try to find a price range that for every sale, it will cover the cost of sourcing and marketing. Plus, it will return a nice profit margin.
3 – How to select the best products to dropship
Now that you’ve listed the product ideas for drop shipping, this step is where you will filter your ideas to decide which products are the most feasible to sell online.
Narrow Down Your Product Ideas
Based on your shortlisted product ideas, ideally 5 or more, you can trim down your product ideas by using Google Trends or Keyword Tools.
How to Use Google Trends to Compare Product Ideas
Google Trends is a platform used to determine the frequency of a particular search term parallel to its search volumes. By using Google Trends, you will get a visual representation of how particular products trend over time and how they are performing compared to other products.
Here’s a step-by-step product idea comparison guide using Google Trends:
1) Compare five product ideas: Google Trends only permits up to 5 search terms at a time.
2) Customize comparison: Based on the available four filters above, you can customize how you want your product ideas to be compared to the following:
a) Country – Choose a global view by selecting ‘Worldwide’ or narrow down by a specific country. But, you can’t filter by region (e.g.: Southeast Asia) or continent (e.g.: Asia). However, you can explore results by subregion, see it on the next steps.
b) Time Range – Custom time range based on how recent or how old the archives you want to include. Pre-filled options include ‘Past 12 months’, ‘Past hour’, or ‘Past day’.
c) Category – Refine the data based on a specific category, such as Arts & Entertainment, Finance, Food & Drink, and a lot more. There’s also a category called ‘Shopping’. Under a category, there are also sub-categories.
d) Source – Filter the source of data where the user searched for the term. Available options are Web Search, Image Search, News Search, Google Shopping or Youtube Search.
3) Interest Over Time – The numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. You can hover over the trend line to see the data points for each search term.
4) Compared breakdown by subregion – The color intensity represents the percentage of searches for the leading search term in a particular region. Hover over a region to get more details on search volume in a region.
Find Your Niche
Still using Google Trends, you can find a specific product niche for your dropshipping store. Each of the search team will be presented with an in-depth analytics for you to help narrow down your product idea and find your niche. Here’s how:
Scroll down to your desired search term. Let’s take for example ‘sunglasses’.
The ‘Related Queries’ box will display the terms that users also looked for in relation to your search term. You can filter by ‘Top searches’ or ‘Rising searches’. It’s recommended to use the ‘Rising searches’ as these are the terms which had the most significant growth in volume in the requested time period. If you see “Breakout” instead of a percentage beside the related query, it means that the search term grew by more than 5000%.
Let’s take for example I am interested to learn more about ‘clout sunglasses’ because of its significant growth. Click on the related query and then you will see the interest over time.
You can see that the interest for clout sunglasses is piquing tremendously. You can validate the search volume using a keyword tool such as Google Keyword Planner. As a rule of thumb, you should keep away from products that have little (less than 500 monthly searches) or no search traffic at all. Find the right equilibrium between search volume and competition.
Evaluate the Competition
To effectively choose the best product for drop shipping, you also need to know what the level of competition looks like. Although you may be considering for niche products, don’t think that you’re the only one who can come up selling them.
Here’s what you can do to evaluate the competition: using Google Search, input your product in the search key and look at the results page. Say, for example, our clout sunglasses earlier.
Based on the results page, you can already identify your competitors which actively advertise the product. Alternatively, you can use the Image Search to look at how many online stores have the similar product for sale.
List down your possible competitors. This is also the best time to check their pricing strategy. Say, for instance, if you check the UVLAIK clout sunglasses in AliExpress, there are already more than 7600 orders made and it’s sold for just $3.06 per piece. But, if you check the same brand on eBay, it’s being sold for $8.79 + $2.49 shipping cost.
If you can be more competitive with your pricing, then consider the product on your list. But, if you can see that you have a huge competitor for a product idea and they offer a much affordable pricing strategy that you cannot offset, then cross that out from your list.
4 – Where to locate dropshipping suppliers
With a drop shipping model, you will need an agreement with manufacturers or distributors that will drop ship your products on your behalf. At this point, you will need to locate for legit dropshipping suppliers. You can locate dropshipping suppliers through the following:
Contact the Manufacturer
Try to contact the manufacturer first. Starting at the source will give you the possibly lowest prices. For some dropshipping products, you can buy them directly from the manufacturer. This is how traditional brick and mortar stores operate — they purchase from the manufacturer directly.
Some manufacturers have minimum order requirements. If you don’t meet this, ask if they have a list of distribution channels instead. The idea is the fewer supply chain you have to go through, the lower your cost will incur. This allows you to be more competitive when selling your drop shipped products.
Locate wholesalers or distributors online. A supplier’s online presence is a good sign for your online business. The following sites contain domestic or overseas directories.
- Alibaba – has available regional suppliers from 17 countries.
- BrandsGateway –Europe’s largest dropshipping supplier of branded clothes and accessories. Shipping worldwide and delivery within 3-5 working days.
- AliDropship – with 100К+ trusted suppliers and 100 million products available.
- Kompass – represented over 70 countries worldwide across industries.
- Wholesale Central – over 1,400 suppliers with 740,000 products
- Doba – with 165 suppliers and over 1.5 million products
- Worldwide Brands – over thousands of wholesalers and over 10 million products
When deciding on the best suppliers, make sure that you check their reputation, quality, efficiency, and of course, pricing. Here’s how you can spot if you’re going to be profitable from a dropshipping supplier for a particular product.
Say, for instance, you want to sell elastic headbands. Check on Amazon for available products. Via Amazon’s site, you can check the demand for a particular brand by looking at their best sellers.
Now that you have a particular product, go to a supplier’s site. Let’s go to Alibaba, for example, and check if this bestseller elastic headband is available in its supplier’s list.
By doing so, you can already compare the prices of the supplier versus an online seller. You can see that the elastic headband is sold at $0.5-1.5 from the supplier while Amazon is selling the same product for $9.99. Do the math and you’ll see how much profit Amazon is generating for every product sold.
To make it easier for you to fulfill orders, you can use Spocket, an e-commerce plug-in with thousands of dropshipping suppliers from the US and Europe. This application allows you to import products you like, process your orders and have the items quickly shipped to your customers with only a few clicks (with branded invoices).
5 – Closing terms and deals with suppliers
Lastly, finding the best products for drop shipping includes the relationship you’ll have with your suppliers. This means that you have to close the terms of agreement first to gauge the fulfillment and delivery service. If you can’t agree with clear-cut terms with the supplier, it’ll be a headache in the future.
Request for quotation
You need to request for quotation, often called RFQ. It is a regular business process which serves as an invitation to suppliers to bid on particular dropshipping products or services.
Your RFQ must include all important parameters in your drop shipping business. The most essential ones are the following:
- Price per item or per unit of service
- Quantities/Volumes/Minimum Order Values
- Quality Levels
- Delivery requirements
- Terms and conditions
Visit the Project Management Hut to get a list of the most common contract types and negotiation terms.
Discover the best products for dropshipping
Figuring out what products to dropship online can be a daunting task. But, any aspiring online store owners must go through this because it’s a very important ingredient to your success.
Your dropshipping products will be the cornerstone of your online store. They are the reason why your customers will shop and purchase from you. Without the best products to dropship online, you can’t attract customers and be profitable with your drop shipping business.
Further reading: 8 Marketing Tips for a Successful Drop Shipping Business