This article has been just updated: December 11, 2019
With over 175 million active buyers and more than 1 billion products, there’s no doubt that eBay is one of the hottest shopping destinations on the internet. Since its launch in 1995, the online auction site has attracted 25 million sellers, many of which have created a successful business on it. But making a profit on eBay is not as easy as it used to be, and it’s virtually impossible to rise to the top without picking a profitable niche.
What Is a Niche?
Simply put, a niche market is a subset of a larger market. A good example of a niche market is the market with handmade leather goods. Within this niche market, it’s possible to identify many other niche markets that are even more specific, such as the market with handmade leather wallets or the market with handmade leather belts. Each niche market is characterized by its specific needs and preferences, which may be different from the larger market.
Niche markets are important because it’s much easier to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Considering that there are over 25 million established sellers on eBay, it’s safe to say that the site is a pond the size of the ocean. Making it on eBay isn’t easy even with a profitable niche selected, but it’s virtually impossible without it.
How to Select a Profitable Niche on
Unfortunately, there’s no 10-step program on how to select a profitable niche on eBay, and there never will be one. Those who claim to have created one are in the business of selling lies. The harsh truth is that the needs and wants of modern consumers are constantly changing, and so is e-commerce in general. What works today may not work tomorrow, and what worked last year probably doesn’t work anymore.
That said, there are some general guidelines that you should adhere to when selecting a profitable niche on eBay:
- Prioritize profit over passion:
If you have a hobby you’re passionate about, your natural inclination might be to turn it into a business. The problem is that hobbies are typically hard to commodify, and those that can be profitable have most likely already been seized by others.
What’s more, it’s one thing to enjoy a hobby in your spare time, and it’s something else entirely to dedicate 40 or more hours every week to it. The chances are that you would quickly realize that your beloved hobby no longer feels as interesting as it once used to and that you don’t look forward to dedicating your spare time to it anymore.
- Go with an evergreen niche:
Remember fidget spinners? Many people have already forgotten about them. Fidget spinners are a perfect example of a fad, a short-lived craze if you will.
Don’t get us wrong: there is big money to be made by investing in fads, but it’s impossible to create a successful business that will thrive for many years on a single trend. If you don’t want to start over every year, you should instead select an evergreen niche, something that will always be in demand.
- Solve a specific problem:
Most people visit online shopping sites like eBay because they are trying to solve a specific problem, such as “fix a flat tire” or “get a six pack” or “connect with nature.” All great products solve a certain problem, and your inventory should reflect this.
If each product you sell is solving a different problem, the chances are that you still haven’t decided what your niche actually is. The sooner you decide which problem you want to solve, the sooner you can start making a profit.
Top 7 Profitable eBay Niches
We’ve selected top 7 profitable evergreen niches that provide aspiring entrepreneurs with many opportunities how to make money. Within the niches we’ve picked are countless sub-niches, and your goal should be to find one that’s just taking off or has the potential to take off in the future.
1 Pop Culture
Pop culture sells. From geeky collectibles to trending fashion items, there’s always money to be made within the pop culture niche. What’s not so easy is figuring out how to exploit fads without being defined by them. You could, for example, start a pop-culture-oriented T-shirt store on eBay and constantly refresh your products to keep your inventory fresh and interesting while building your brand at the same time.
2 Diet and Weight Loss
There’s a global obesity epidemic going on, and people are desperate for weight loss strategies and diet products that actually work. Even though the fundamental principles of weight loss are set in stone, it’s only up to you to decide how to implement them. Vegan-friendly diet and weight loss products are in vogue now, but what about carbon-neutral diet supplements? With the right marketing strategy, you might just be able to use this micro-niche to join the ranks of eBay top-sellers.
While the fitness niche goes hand-in-hand with diet and weight loss, this is really a distinct niche with its own specific characteristics and problems. Sometimes, getting fit and healthy means gaining weight, which is why many fitness enthusiasts stay away from companies selling weight loss products.
From self-help books to sacred items, the universal desire to better ourselves is behind many of our purchase decisions. Some people want to become better partners, some want to learn how to survive in the wilderness, some want to learn how to play a musical instrument. For as long as people look for ways to infuse their lives with meaning and a sense of purpose, there will be a huge demand for everything related to self-development.
We all have to eat, and only a few a few us can afford to rely on take-outs and convenience meals during the week. Sooner or later, most people learn how to cook, making the cooking niche extremely profitable. Instead of selling cookbooks and cooking utensils, why not explore other possibilities within the niche? You could focus on meal prepping, sieve cooking, slow-cooking, or any other popular cooking sub-niche. If you’re outspoken and active on social media, you might even be able to create a brand-new sub-niche and become its ambassador.
The technology niche is massive, and it’s getting bigger every year. New products and entire product categories sprout up all the time, and the demand for them seems relentless. While you most likely won’t be able to attract too many customers by selling smartphones, there are many emerging technology niches that are rife with opportunities, including wearables, the internet of things, or virtual reality.
People love their pets, and their willing to go above and beyond to make them happy, which often means buying expensive pet products. There are at least as many sub-niches within the pet niche as there are kinds of pets, which means that you shouldn’t find it too difficult to differentiate yourself from your competition.
We hope that you now have a good idea how to select a profitable eBay niche and turn it into a thriving business. Despite the fierce competition on eBay, there’s still plenty of room left for aspiring entrepreneurs who are not afraid to swim with sharks.