June 2nd, 2011
If you want to sell online, don’t try to sell everything to everyone. Try to sell one or two very specialized categories of merchandise to one or two select, targeted niche audiences. Selling to 50, 100, or 200 very devoted customers who are enthusiastic about what you have to offer is better than creating an eBay store and putting your wares before millions of people who are only interested in the lowest price. Not to mention that you’ll be competing with lots of bigger sellers who can cut profits to the bone, offer free shipping, etc.
For instance, go to Wild Spirit Gifts. Look at the list of separate stores operated by Skye Ryan-Evans. This wildlife photographer puts her work on T-shirts, posters, and a variety of other items. Rather than selling everything in one big store, she sells on CafePress, Zazzle, Spreadshirt.com, and lots of specialty sites to get those committed collectors and niche customers. Once they’re familiar with her work, they come back for more and become loyal, returning customers. That should be your goal: to develop a group of return customers who love what you do, and cultivate steady business with them, rather than being everything to everybody.