In the third quarter of 2020, e-commerce sales rose to $209 billion—a 36% increase compared to the same quarter the previous year. What’s more, spending totals typically seen in November—when holiday shopping begins—started showing up in September 2020. 

The pandemic nudged everyone to buy online making e-commerce to 2020 what the Gold Rush was to 1849. However, unlike the 49ers flocking west to pan for gold, you don’t have to just get lucky to cash in.

Allison J. Prince has been showing her clients how to quickly find products to sell online year round that will help them rake in hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars. She is a former junior high school teacher turned e-commerce expert who has built four online multi-million dollar businesses.

Here are Allison’s three tips on how to discover exactly what to sell—and how to make it appetizing so people rush to buy it.

Wondering What You Should Sell Online In 2021? Here’s How To Figure It Out | Stephanie Burns

Wondering What You Should Sell Online In 2021? Here’s How To Figure It Out | Stephanie Burns

Makayla Prince

1. Shop Your House To Build Capital

“Easy money may be collecting dust in your home right now. Everything from old prom dresses, to leftover craft supplies, can make you cash online,” says Prince. “Then you can use that money to buy inexpensive items to sell online.

“The first product I sold in my online store was something headed to the trash. It was a roll of vinyl lettering, which is like black sticky paper. I decided instead to put it up online and it earned me a cool $300. I then found long sticks of wood behind my shed. I cut them down into blocks. I ended up selling over $9k in less than a day. The money I made on this simple product allowed me to invest in new products and then hit my first 6 figures—and then a million in sales within a year.” 

Even if you don’t have something free right now to sell from your house, you could find something inexpensive to sell. Each week, one of Prince’s students hits a second-hand shop and buys products for a dollar. Then resells them for $25 to $250 online. Keep your eyes open!

2. Sell What The Product Does, Not What It Is

“Creating a ‘vision’ for the buyer by talking about what the product will do for them is a vital step that gets missed in sales. For example, Black vinyl letters are easier to sell when you show potential customers how they can make home decor out of them,” recommends Prince. 

“I sold those blocks of wood that I cut by showing customers how they could turn them into holiday countdowns. On my sales page, I described chubby little toddler fingers using the blocks to count down Santa’s arrival with anticipation. If you are not creative, no need to pump your brakes. Simply use Pinterest for inspiration. Searching the social media site will enable you to create visions of your products can help increase the number of sales you’ll bring in.”

This is an important reminder for any entrepreneur. Selling the end result for your customer is always more important that just listing features.

3. Invest In Trending Products To Resell

“It’s important to dispel the myth that you need to have a Thomas Edison-level lightbulb moment and create an original product to make bank. New is not the way to go. Developing a new product can take months and require thousands of investing dollars. In the end, you may end up creating something no one wants to buy or that they need to be convinced to purchase,” notes Prince. 

“Instead, use the capital you’ve built from selling what you already have to buy and then sell what customers already want. Focus on what colors, designs, and styles of clothing are popular in the moment. Then search for products that fall into those categories. One of my students made $15k in less than a month selling Slap Bracelets—those bracelets we all stacked up our arms in grade school. These are not a new product, but they sold because parents were looking to purchase something simple and nostalgic to give their kids and they started trending.

“To discover what people are already buying, check out Google trends, search Amazon’s top-selling products, and look at your own favorite shops, as they tend to feature the hottest products at the top. Also, look at streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. When Cupcake Wars was hot, cupcake liners didn’t stay in stock as people were wanting to create their own home cupcake wars with their kids. Starting a business doesn’t have to be fancy to get huge results. Humble beginnings can have huge outcomes!”

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Roland Millaner