I blog a lot about product sourcing so naturally I get email questions from people wanting my opinion on this and that and whether ‘item x’ is a cool item to sell or not. Usually I can’t answer them without doing some research, so I’ll just say something like, ‘Sell what people want — sell what’s in demand.’
Does everyone remember the Sony PlayStation 3 launch last holiday season? A manufacturing problem created a ‘perfect storm’ for a cool product. There was a shortage of product, but plenty of demand right around the start of the holiday season. Perhaps you remember stories of long lines at retail counters and eBay listings for PlayStation 3 consoles that topped out at many times their market value. If you happened to have been lucky enough to buy some of those then, you may have turned over a tidy profit.
But what happened after that? Then the supply corrected itself and it became just another game console. That was an extreme case of a ‘hot product’ and it’s hard to build a sustainable business around something like that. Demand for products doesn’t last forever; this is something that eBay sellers understand. Ideally, you’d like the demand to last for more than two weeks.
The best approach is to research products that you can sell for the long term on eBay or on some other online venue. Think ‘sustainable’ and think ‘repeat business’ (customers that need to replenish whatever it was they bought). A couple of research and product sourcing tools for you: The eBay Research System and Worldwide Brands OneSource Product Sourcing resource.