If you were to ask me this very second how many things I’ve sold since launching my e-commerce businesses, I would like you right in the eye and boldly pronounce, “I have absolutely no idea.” Seriously. I don’t have a clue how many thousands of things that have gone in and out of my warehouses. But ask me the three things I wish I didn't sell and would never, ever in a million years sell again, and you better betcha that I can name three of them. Right here, right now.
The Best Products to Sell Online and the Things I Wish I Didn't Sell
So you wanna know the best products to sell online and what not to sell online? Over 8 years of shipping products to customers, I've learned what stinks and what is a home run.
The Top Winner of the Things I Wish I Didn't Sell: A TOTAL Pain in the Glass.
(See what I did right there?) Oh the great lantern glass fiasco. I had found these awesome, ginormous lanterns that looked so cool and I just knew everyone would want them. And the thing is, a lot of people did. Until they arrived. And the panes of glass were in SHARDS in the box. Teeny, tiny, poky litter shards. Not only was this oversized lantern fiasco expensive to ship, but so many of them were also broken by the time they arrived. Holy glassware nightmare, Batman. Yeah, never again on that one.
Item Number Two: Measure Twice, Order Once
I have an eye for crazy cute décor, and I was WILD about these delightfully cool black organization boards. The moment they arrived I was instantly envisioning the hundreds of kitchens they would adorn across the country. And then I went to ship one. And realized…I’d measured them wrong. Did you know that when something is just 3—THREE—inches longer than expected it means the shipping cost you’d estimated sooooooo carefully actually exploded by $7?! SEVEN DOLLARS. Oh—and it was $7 that had to come out of my own pocket. That was a painful day for my wallet and me. Both of us still have a little PTSD from it. So yeah, BIG things like that (no matter how dang cute they are) are permanently off my e-commerce selling list.
Item Number Three: Cock-a-Doodle Don’t
Roosters have had their place in the home décor world. And they looked so charming when I found some cleverly perched on glass containers. I waited ever so anxiously for the orders to come in. Waited…and waited…and waited. Those dang roosters really laid an e-commerce egg. (C’mon—that was FUNNY!) But truly, I just missed the mark on what design style my customers were focused on and have learned to be more careful in my selections. That includes a rooster-free selling roster.
Fortunately, however, after selling lots, and lots, and LOTS of products, I do know the kinds of things that I love to sell and that my customers always love to buy.
Love to Sell Number One: Small Stuff That Packs a Big Punch
Not only do smalls often sell well, but they’re also a dream to ship. I’ve sold about 98 million (okay, that might be an exaggeration) rolls of washi tape, for example. Trust me when I say that being able to toss those 2” rolls into a poly shipper and get them out the door is fast and easy.
Love to Sell Number Two: Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart
Moment of truth: no matter how many times you stamp “fragile” on a package, it’s going to get handled exactly like every other item that goes through a shipping service. And in all fairness, we can’t expect them to halt the conveyor belts and gingerly carry it from one place to another. That’s why if any item is easily broken, it’s not going to be part of my product line.
Love to Sell Number Three: One Size Fits All
Lots of people have built amazing businesses selling clothing and that is AWESOME! There’s a fantastic market out there—so keep doing what you’re doing. For me, however, worrying about stocking the right sizes in exactly the right amounts isn’t my favorite thing. What is? Things that are essentially a single size—like the washi tape I mentioned above. They make my inventory and shipping easy-peasy.
You already know that I love helping people build their own businesses and change their family’s futures through e-commerce adventures. If you’re building yours, take the time to learn from my failures as much as from my successes.
I've also put together a list of the things I wish I didn't sell and the things I love to sell that you can download for your reference. Just click the link and it will be delivered straight into your Messenger inbox!