Dropshipping how to find a niche updated: April 2020. When you first start dropshipping finding a niche is arguably the hardest part. With millions of products and thousands of niches it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Untapped niches are almost impossible to come by but some niches are more competitive than others. Starting in a niche that is too competitive puts you on the back foot from day one.
The great news is that new niches and new products are opening up almost daily. Before we dive deep into the tutorial on Dropshipping – how to find a niche, lets get clear on what a niche is.
What is a Dropshipping Niche?
A niche is a small segment of a bigger market.
When you think of niches, think of “groups of people” instead of thinking of products or problems to solve.
Everything always boils down to your audience.
A few examples of niches.
Golf is not a niche. It is a huge market and if you try and compete in the golf market you will be up against some seriously big players.
If you start looking niches then we will look at small markets within golf. Golf for kids? Wheelchair golf? Golf for the blind? Night Golf?
Beauty is a market. Even smaller segments like Makeup is a market. To niche this down, how about Goth Makeup? Or Glitter Makeup? Or Organic Makeup?
Now you can define a small segment of the market and if you build your business around this small segment or “niche” you can stand out and become a specialty store.
Why does this work?
Because people can relate to a niche store. They feel like you understand them and their needs and that you are “one of us”.
Consumers place a higher value on speciality stores and are willing to pay more compared to buying the same or similar products in a general store.
Dropshipping: How To Find A Niche
It is easy to overthink things. The hardest thing in the world is to think like a customer. When you are a dropshipper you can not help but to think like one.
This is why it can help a lot to start looking at your own life and your own needs when you are trying to find the best dropshipping niche.
When you already know a niche or if you are already part of a niche then it help you a lot in almost all areas of your store and your marketing.
It will help you to think like a customer and not like a dropshipper.
Remember, your niche wants to feel that you are “one of us”. When they can relate there is trust. When there is trust, sales are easy.
In Phase 1 of our research we want to find a few niche markets that could work.
In Phase 2 we will check if we can find good products in the niche to justify starting a store in that niche.
Phase 1 – Find a Niche Idea
Brainstorm 5 – 10 niches that you are in already (or are at least interested in).
Here’s my example:
- We have 2 small babies (potential niches: Newborns and baby stuff)
- Cooking (time saving cooking appliances and tools)
- Home fitness (don’t have time of flexibility to go to gym)
- Home Organisation (space saving and organizing products)
- Home safety (with small kids – baby proof & general safety)
If I start with any of these 5 niche ideas I will be miles ahead of anyone who knows nothing about it. I know the problem and I know the issues already.
You can figure it out but it will take a lot more time and effort. I see so many people selling stuff to new moms and it is glaringly obvious that they know nothing about babies or moms. Being “in the trenches” gives you a huge advantage.
Discover Untapped Niches
New niches open up all the time. While there may not be products readily available you can always re-purpose products to match certain niches.
One great example is with the Ghost Hunting niche. This niche will fall under the paranormal market that is usually a huge niche with books and movies.
Thanks to many TV shows the Ghost Hunting niche has boomed. Ghost Hunters use certain tools to help them when they go ghost hunting.
- Tactical vests, tactical gloves ec.
- LED Flashlights
- Laser Pointers
- EMF Meters
- Night vision goggles
- Night vision cameras
- Audio recorders
- Walkie Talkies
The list goes on and on. None of these products are specific to Ghost Hunting but because you identified the niche market FIRST, you can find a whole host of products that you can sell to that niche.
Can you see the difference?
Any Ghost Hunter can probably find these products elsewhere on some general store or even eBay, but because you are a niche store they will much rather buy from you.
There’s trust and you understand their needs.
New niches pop up all the time and being aware of what goes on in the world is crucial to tapping into these niches.
Some niches will be short lived though.
Straying in the Paranormal market, there was a movement that started on Facebook called “Storm Area 51”. It gained a lot of traction quite quickly and some dropshippers pounced on this.
Dropshipping apparel with Print on Demand allows you to quickly create products in niches like this. This particular niche had a deadline and after the event was over it started dying out.
However, these niches often get revived from time to time.
Watching trending topics on social media is the best way to find these sorts of niches. They don’t come by often but when they do you want to act fast.
Using Niche Lists
Before I share this huge list of niches a word of caution. You can quickly get over whelmed with ideas and niches. Don’t get sucked in too much. Just go in, pick 5 to 10 and then move on to the next phase of how to find a dropshipping niche.
Here’s a list of more than 1000 niches. Not all of them are appropriate for dropshipping or for sourcing products but let it be a guide.
Lets pick out a few “weird ones” and move on with our research.
Here are 5 niches that I’ve never heard of before:
- Paddle Boards = 35,000 Searches a month
- Ostomy Supplies = 8,100 Searches a month
- Petanque = 9,900 Searches a month
- Shiatsu Massage = 22,200 Searches a month
- String Art = 22,200 Searches a month
I’ve cross checked each niche idea in the Google Ad Planner to make sure that there’s some sort of demand.
If people are searching for it then people are at least interested in the niche.
This means there is potential to sell products to them. Don’t read too much into these numbers though. It is just a broad check to make sure the niche is not a dud.
I would say that anything over 6,000 searches per month is well worth your time but this is just a general rule of thumb.
Search Market Places for Categories
One sure-fire way to find niche products that are proven to sell is to go look at some of the biggest marketplaces. Amazon, Aliexpress and eBay are 3 massive online marketplaces with hundreds of thousands of products.
Before you go there, we need to make one important distinction. We are not using any of these to find products (yet).
We want to get niche ideas.
If you look at Aliexpress for instance, they have a lot of categories. This can be incredibly useful to start narrowing down our search for dropshipping niches.
Likewise, Amazon and eBay have great product categories that can help us find niches to build a dropshipping store around.
Look at the Bestselling Dropshipping Products
In the last 2 years a whole host of dropshipping “spy tools” came out. These are essentially scrapers that look for products that are advertised the most. The theory is that if a product is being advertised consistently then it must be profitable.
Some of these tools are pure crap but most of them are okay. What you should NOT do is to look for popular products and then build a general store and fill it up with the 50 most popular products from your favourite Spy tool.
Everyone is doing that. It is too easy.
The way I use these tools it to look for NICHE ideas – not product ideas. One of the best tools is eComHunt. It is manually curated and does not just scrape products.
The products they list are almost all great sellers in some shape or form.
Looking at eComHunt (free version available) I see Fishing, Cycling and Tools that looks interesting to me. Instead of just listing these 3 products in my store I want to dig deeper.
Think of the niche and how you can build an entire store around the niche. I can easily see how I can build an entire store around fishing or cycling gadgets – there are so many.
The tool bag looks particularly interesting. It is not something I would have come up by myself.
There are hundreds of ideas here that you simply can not come up with by yourself. On top of that, you know that people in this niche are buying because there are already winning product(s) in that niche.
Phase 2: Find Products in Your Niche
Where To Find Dropshipping Products
Now that we have some niche ideas we need to start narrowing down our search and start finding products to dropship in our niche.
Not all niches will have great products to sell.
You can either spend a lot of time trying to source products or you can just move on to the next niche. Generally speaking, the deeper you have to dig to find products the less competition you will have.
We can cover a lot of ground with dropshipping and you can almost always find (or create) products that will sell in almost any niche.
AliExpress, Alibaba, DHgate
AliExpress is by far the biggest source of products for dropshipping. You can find almost any product there and should be your first stop when looking for dropshipping products.
Simply head over to Aliexpress and type your main niche into the search bar. This will list all the products related to your niche. Aliexpress sellers are quite good at listing products so your keywords will usually trigger the right products in the search.
Next, list the products “by order” – this will order the products from the most order to the least and generally speaking the most popular products will be at the top.
This will give us a pretty good idea of the landscape of products in that niche. You can also do some more specific searches to dig a bit deeper.
What you are looking for is at least 5 products in your niche with decent sales. In Aliexpress you want to see at least 250+ sales for a specific product (just a rough number to gauge demand).
With dropshipping, how to find products is not limited to major suppliers like Aliexpress, Alibaba or DHgate.
We have one big weapon in our back pocket and that is called Print on Demand POD).
Print on Demand
This is not suitable for all niches but printing on to blank products is a form of dropshipping that allows you to quickly create unique products.
Always keep POD in the back of your mind when you look for dropshipping niches.
While the margins are not great, it is a very low risk model and requires minimal work since you do not have to do much i.t.o order fulfillment or inventory.
China and Print on Demand are by no means the only places to find dropshipping products.
You can dropship products from anywhere. India and Pakistan are emerging with great production facilities. It might be tough to get started because there are no systems in place but if you need something bespoke manufactured this can be a great option.
As far as dropshipping is concerned, you can dropship from Walmart, Amazon, eBay and just about anywhere. Just know that you will sacrifice profit when you do.
That should never be a long term solution though but it is a great way to test the market.
You can sell almost any product you see on Amazon or eBay. You just need to search hard enough to find the source.
Reaching out to suppliers and really searching for products is incredibly time consuming and can be frustrating. The upside is that if you do find something you can have virtually no competition.
I have successfully dropshipped products from Etsy in the past and in my opinion it is a massive untapped source.
You will need to negotiate with the Etsy sellers though and the long term plan should always be to move away from etsy into a private agreement.
Most Etsy sellers are great at making products but really poor at selling them. This is where you can swoop in and make a killing while helping them grow their business. A win-win.