Whether you have a general or a niche dropshipping store, you’re going to need at least a few products to start making money. But our own experience shows that a single right product can earn you more than all the other goods in the store.
To make it happen, one needs a really popular item, but how can you know what’s going to fail and what’s going to shine? Here’s how our team searches for new and promising dropshipping products.
We are going to need the following:
What is AdSpy and why do we need it?
AdSpy is a database that allows you to search and look through ads published on Facebook and Instagram. You can also click on them to view the original social media post.
This is how one can see what other ecommerce entrepreneurs (and dropshipping store owners in particular) advertise. Although we can’t know for sure how successful their attempts are, there are several methods to identify the potential of a given product.
Finding products with AdSpy
First, we’re going to set up the filters. There are 15 of them, plus a search field, but not all of them are necessary for this particular task. So, here are the ones we need.
This filter lets you toggle between ads on Facebook and Instagram, but the default settings show both of them. Since both these social networks work great for ecommerce business, leave it as it is.
This filter can hide all ads that come from any platforms except the ones you choose. Here I picked Shopify and WooCommerce, so I’m going to see only ads created by ecommerce stores built on these platforms.
This is how I can find out what other dropshipping sites advertise.
With this filter, I can learn what ads were shown to Facebook and Instagram users during a given period of time. In other words, I’ll be able to see the best ecommerce products regardless of when the ads were created.
For example, this ad below was created in July, 2017, but is still visible now (March, 2020).
In other words, it’s an old ad, and one should be careful about it. Popular ads get republished again and again, thus, earning a huge amount of likes. On the one hand, if you see such a post (with 150 or even 350 thousand likes), it’s definitely a popular product.
On the other hand, the number of likes clearly indicates that somebody’s been advertising and selling this product for a very long time. It could mean that the market is already oversaturated or that beating this particular store will be extremely difficult.
The ad on the screenshot got more than 200,000 likes and was shown in 22 countries. A serious competitor, in my opinion. So, choosing the same product may be risky.
However, I can still try to make a good profit, but we’ll get back to it later.
Unlike the previous filter, this one will show me only those ads that were created during a given period of time. In theory, such ads reflect the latest trends better than the Seen Between filter. However, if you see a newly created ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean nobody made similar ads before.
Still, this filter is more trustworthy if you’re looking for fresh (not only popular) ideas.
The Language filter will show you ads created in a given language. On default settings, AdSpy doesn’t take this parameter into account at all. Neither should you if you want to dropship worldwide, but some entrepreneurs may need it.
Do you remember the ad that got 200,000 likes which I considered too competitive? If I sold products only in my own country, I could try finding similar ads in my language. If there’s none, it could mean that nobody’s been trying to sell this item in my country. And if it’s popular worldwide, it may get popular here as well!
So, it’s a useful filter to check niches and products on local markets.
As you could guess, this filter will show me ads with the number of likes I want.
How many is enough? That’s a tricky question. It really depends how long an ad exists, how wide a given niche is, and how large the audience is.
A good ad usually gets about 5,000 likes a week. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing ads that got only one or two thousand likes since they were created because even such limited results can inspire me. So, I’ll set the minimum to zero.
As for the upper limit, I set it to 50,000 to avoid too popular ads.
It’s a search field that will look for ads that contain a given word or phrase, comments, advertiser name, etc. You may want to use it to narrow down the search to a particular niche or theme. But since I’m looking for any kind of product, I’m not going to use it.
And finally, I need to sort the list by the number of likes.
As a result, I will see the ads shown to users in the past two weeks and having 0-50 thousand likes.
Looking for the best ecommerce products
After setting up all these filters, AdSpy will show a long list of ads. Most of them will probably not suit you for different reasons. For example, I found quite a number of ads promoting shoes, but I don’t want to take such a risky product.
That’s Ok. You’re going to see a lot of boring stuff here, but you have to get through it to find decent product ideas. Just keep scrolling until you find something interesting.
After just a few minutes, that’s what I found.
The ad got 39,000 likes which is a lot but not too much. The product on the video looks good and it was last shown just three days ago. Although I’m a bit worried the ad was created in July, 2019, the item is still worth checking.
Verifying products with Google Trends
The easiest way to check the demand for a given product is to go to Google Trends. It says that the interest for grooming tools has been steady over the past 12 months, which is a good sign.
Note that Google Trends works well with more or less general queries and will hardly help with very specific ones. For example, my attempt to input “cucumber T-shirt” completely failed. But it doesn’t mean such T-shirts couldn’t sell well, so don’t expect Google Trends to be helpful all the time.
Checking customer reviews
Whether Google Trends helped or not, next you want to see the post on Facebook or Instagram to check comments. Of course, you can see customer reviews on the seller’s website, but social networks generate much more engagement and people tend to communicate more willingly there.
It’s also important to check when the last comments were posted to see whether the item is still popular.
After 10 minutes of scrolling, I found out that most users were happy with their purchase and the last comments were posted a few hours ago, so the product gets another score.
Visiting the seller’s website
Now it’s time to check the online store that published the ad. There you can check customer reviews as well, but you’re unlikely to see any negative comments. What you really need is to check the price, shipment options and costs, available payment methods, the countries the store delivers to, etc.
In other words, you want to know if you can compete with this particular store. However, keep in mind that there are probably lots of other stores selling the same product, so this one serves just as an example.
I found out that the shop sells the product at almost $20, but charges about $5 for shipment. So, the total cost of a purchase would be around $25.
Checking the product on Amazon
Just one attempt, and I get the same product right away.
The first thing you should look at is the product’s rating. Since Amazon doesn’t show the number of sales, this is the only way to know how popular an item is. In this case, 6,456 is an impressive score which means people buy and enjoy this item.
The second thing to check is the price sellers ask on Amazon. This particular shop sells the item at $16.95, and I don’t really like it.
The problem is, if i want to make a profit, I have to include various expenses into the price such as shipment cost, import duties, cost of conversion, etc. According to my calculations, I will have to sell this item at least at $25 (just like the creator of the Facebook ad I found).
Moreover, I also found a similar product on Amazon that cost only $9! Even if you add the cost of shipment, Amazon buyers can purchase it at about $15.
Does it mean I should give up on this product? Not necessarily.
First of all, $10 is not a huge difference. As long as your price stays within the expected range, people may still want to buy the goods.
Second, few people will compare prices. Yes, when you purchase something expensive, like a TV set or a sofa, you want to find the best deal possible. But a grooming tool isn’t that kind of product. As long as the price seems right, they will still buy it.
Third, this type of product can trigger impulse purchases, so the price difference shouldn’t be a problem.
To sum up, I would say that this product is not perfect because I’ll have to compete with Amazon in terms of pricing. On the other hand, it still has a promising potential, and the fact that somebody is successfully advertising it on Facebook proves it.
Therefore, I would import this item and advertise. Despite the risks, it’s actually worth trying. Besides, waiting for the absolutely perfect product can take forever. And even if I find one, it won’t take long before somebody starts selling a similar product on Amazon.
The most important thing to remember here is that there’s no 100% guarantee it’ll work. All the numbers I was able to gather only give me a general idea of what potential the product has, but risks still remain.
On the other hand, with a dropshipping store, I only need to invest in advertising. I don’t have to buy 500 goods in advance without knowing whether they will sell. Even if I fail, I’m not going to lose a fortune.
At the same time, with each attempt, I’ll be learning and becoming more experienced. With due patience, this experience will turn into skills and knowledge that will let me spot opportunities in a moment.
If you want to know how to start your own dropship store, feel free to contact us.