Finding the right product

I read it in many books: “Finding the right product is the hardest thing of starting your business and being successful”.

I totally have to agree with this. It is really hard to find a product that you can sell. There are many factors to be taken care of, like popularity (is it a popular product?), originality (am I the only one selling it or are there already hundreds of other sellers?), price (can I buy it for a reasonable price and sell it profitable?), sources (where can I buy it?), etc.etc. I planned to start selling on eBay, as its the easiest and fastest way to find customers worldwide.

So, I started looking around to find THE product in Hong Kong.

While I spend time in Hong Kong during summer university, the ESPRIT outlets were very popular among my female classmates. ESPRIT is a Hong Kong company and producing a lot of their clothes in China and Hong Kong. They have some great outlets where they sell leftovers, overstock and last season items for a very low price. So I started going to these outlets and buy hundreds of t-shirts, tops, trousers and jackets, take pictures of them and put them on eBay (Summer-Autumn 2005). As the competition of ESPRIT items is very though on eBay and our profit margin was too low, I stopped selling ESPRIT clothes and started looking for new products.

Anyone who is visiting Hong Kong and wants to check out their outlets, here are the addresses:
KAISENG Commercial Centre
4-6 HANKOW ROAD
TSIMSHATSUI
KOWLOON
Hong Kong

CITYGATE
SHOP 201, LEVEL 2
TUNG CHUNG
NEW TERRITORIES
Hong Kong

Esprit Tanktop
black ESPRIT tank-top

Esprit trousers
beige ESPRIT trousers, was one of our best sellers

During that time (End of 2005) Apple released their new product iPod nano and that product was HOT. it was released later in Europe than in Hong Kong and the price was much higher than here. Additional, Apple’s iPods were sold out, so I thought, this could be a profitable income. I started selling on eBay iPod nanos and was quite successful with it. The only problem was that some customers had trouble with customs and had to pay extra tax. After a while, there was more competition on eBay and the profit margin was reduced, so I started looking for new products again.

iPod Nano
that was our first “bulk” shipping of iPod nanos

Sony released their very first SONY PSP (End of 2004). Hong Kong was one of the first markets to get these new popular game consoles because many wholesalers import from Japan and so you can get almost everything that is available in Japan immediately. As the sales of iPod nanos wasn’t attractive anymore, I started selling Sony PSPs. The Japanese versions were very popular in Europe because of the special white colour and because you could play copy games with it. I sold PSPs for a very long period of time but after a while (around a year) the market was saturated and not attractive to me anymore.

white Sony PSP
selling Japanese white SONY PSPs with one of our eBay accounts “hk-trends”

Coming up:
What other products I tried to sell and how I found THE product.

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