Canadian's Internet Business

How to Choose the Best Products to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada ©

One of the most daunting tasks in online retail is deciding what products to sell. When you use drop shipping the pressure is far less than if you had to order hundreds of items for in-house inventory, but can still be a massive undertaking. Experts have ways to take the pain out of the product selection process and you can learn to do the same.

One of the first considerations when selecting your products will be where you intend to sell them. Canadian drop shippers have several online venues in which to sell their products, ranging from auctions to online marketplaces like Amazon.ca. Online marketplaces and auctions are highly competitive, but you’ll enjoy exposure to a large number of buyers. You’ll also benefit from market rewards, such as loyalty points, or even free shipping if orders are fulfilled by them. However, I recommend having a website for several reasons, even if you will only be selling through online marketplaces and auctions.

Read The Best eCommerce Software Platforms for Drop Shipping to find the platforms with the most suitable features and tools for drop shipping products in Canada.

Your Niche

Most people choose a niche before they choose their products, although product research may lead you into a niche. If you’ve noticed a gap in the Canadian market, all the better. The best inventions are born from necessity, and so are the best businesses.

10 Tricks to Choosing the Best Products to Sell Online in Canada

1. Drill way down into your niche when you first begin product research. If you’re into fashion, you’re going to have a lot of competition. If you drill that down to plus-size fashion and then on to plus-size sportswear, you may do better. Even your complimentary products can be specialized, such as a focus on natural sunscreen instead of the average sunscreen you can get at your local Walmart.

2. Once you have defined your niche, the latest news and trends will be a treasure chest of product ideas. Subscribe to newsletters and magazines and pay attention to the advertisements. Many trade magazines are available free of charge to Canadians.

3. If you intend to sell in Canada, you can monitor best selling products in the USA and check for their availability here. For example, how many times have you searched for something on Amazon.com and found it wasn’t available in Canada? So you check Amazon.ca and it isn’t there, or there’s one choice that costs three times as much as it did on Amazon.com. If that product is selling like hotcakes in the US, there’s a good chance the demand will be there in Canada too.

4. The same applies for anything new on the market within your niche. Just last week I read a journal article about Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and it’s ability to stop organ and muscle degeneration. Soon it was all over the news. I’ve looked everywhere for a Canadian source but I haven’t found one single place to buy it online. If I order it from Amazon.com I’ll risk Customs broker charges, pay more for shipping, and take a hit on the currency exchange. It’s a perfect product for the opportunistic Canadian online entrepreneur selling in virtually any health-related niche. Do keep in mind that you should take advantage of limited availability in Canada, but don’t try to exploit it. If you price it outrageously it will backfire one way or another.

5. Avoid products (and their accessories) that quickly become obsolete, unless you want to do a lot of monitoring and changes (website, sales listings, and so on). Smartphones may be popular, for example, but the technology is in a perpetual state of change. There is always a new model coming out and with it comes new accessories.

6. Think very carefully before choosing an expensive product to sell online. At face value, it looks like you’ll make more if the price is higher. However, big ticket items are tougher to sell, often have lower margins, and may require more involved customer service.

7. Round out your product niche with accessories and consumables to encourage larger orders and repeat business.

8. Remember to check laws and regulations. For example, you may be able to drop ship some supplements or pharmaceuticals to the US that aren’t approved in Canada. Some products, like eCigarette “juice” may be confiscated at the Canadian border.

9. Research product availability in Canada, as well as how easy or economical it is for Canadians to find it internationally.

10. Use legitimate, reliable drop shipping suppliers who deal with Canadians.  You’ll find a list of them here.

Profitability

Know Your Enemy

Market Analysis

Once you’ve compiled a list of possible products, you’ll need to take your market research a step further with a detailed market analysis. This involves researching marketplaces and eCommerce websites to determine trends, supply and demand, market saturation, and competitive pricing.

It can be a huge, perpetual task to research each product manually, but there are tools that will save you an extraordinary amount of time:

Google Trends is a free tool that will illustrate product popularity as determined by search volume. Since it specifically reports online search data, it’s a valuable indicator of what people are looking for and the growth potential. It can also provide additional products and content marketing ideas.

World Wide Brands has a product analysis tool that is absolutely priceless, yet is included free with your lifetime membership to their (certified genuine) drop shipper directory. It is designed specifically for online sellers, providing market research data like demand, competition, and more.

Canada’s Terapeak is a powerful tool that is taking sellers to the next level. You’ll gain access to insider eBay, Amazon.ca, and Alibaba analytics for Canada, the US and other countries. Track your own listings and strategies over time and see how they shape your bottom line. Calculate your margins and monitor the listings, quantities, and prices from your competitors to stay ahead of market conditions. Access detailed supply and demand data to know what not to source and how much you can profitably pay.

Drop Shipping allows for a lot more breathing room in product choices. The most you will lose by choosing the wrong product is your time. Start with a few products and begin the process of elimination, while also being open and alert to new product ideas.  Eventually you’ll build a thriving eCommerce business without ever having to deal with inventory or shipping.

Further Reading:

Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
Shopify: Picking Products to Dropship

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