Is Selling Physical Products Overrated?

As a business owner you may sell, or are considering selling, a physical product. Digital products are becoming more and more prevelant and easier to develop and sell. So are selling physical products overrated?

Dress:  Rent the Runway - $80    Boots:  DSW - $24.98  (on clearance)   Purse:  Target - $19.99

Dress: Rent the Runway - $80   Boots: DSW - $24.98 (on clearance)   Purse: Target - $19.99

Well, they can't be that overrated considering the success of online retail sales in the U.S. However, there are a number of things that you need to think about and consider before you make the decision to sell a physical product. I have a combination of products I sell here at Blogging Beautifully:

Digital download: 55 Amazing Blog Post Ideas

Mentoring services: Blogging Mentorship

Physical product: The Editorial Checklist Planner

The digital content is by far the easiest to create and manage. More on that in a blog post later this week, so stay tuned. Selling a digital product is NOT overrated, but you do need to have a plan and there are a number of things to consider. Here are 3 things to consider before selling a physical product

Will you resale a product or will you sell a product you design?

Reselling a product is very different than selling a product you design and create yourself. Reselling is actually fairly easy. You just need to identify a supplier who supplies the type of products you want to sell, purchase the products at the wholesale price and then resell them at the retail price. There is way more to this process, but this is the gist of it. If you want to sell a product that you design you need to think about how you will have it manufactured-- like I did with my Blog Planner. The main difference is selling a product that has already been manufactured versus a product that you get made from scratch. 


Where will you have it manufactured?

If you decide to create your own product, you will need to decide where you will have it manufactured and identify a manufacturer. The goal is to have it produced at a very low cost so that you have a large margin when you sell. This is the only way you will make money. If you watch Shark Tank, the Sharks always want to know how much it costs to make a product and what the product sells for. This margin is what determines if it will be profitable or not. Will you use a manufacturing company in the United States or overseas? I had my blog planner made and China because I could not get a quality product made at a low cost here in the U.S. Navigating manufacturers in China can be very complicated-- but not if you know what you are doing. Other things you need to consider are:

Can you afford overseas shipping costs? Products manufactured in China and other countries usually are shipped via shipping containers and can take 3 weeks or more to get to the U.S.

Can you afford to pay the taxes and tariffs that come with importing products from China (or another country)?

Do you know how to work with a courier service that will pick up your shipment from the Port and deliver it to you (you can not just drive to the port and pick up the shipment yourself-- it doesn't work that way).

Can you deal with a delay if the container your products were shipped in gets held up at the Port for inspection (this happens ALL the time)?

These are just some of the things you need consider before going this route. 

How will you manage your inventory?

The third thing you need to think about is how will you manage your inventory? Will you use drop shipping? Or manage the inventory and shipping yourself? Will you sell online only or have a retail location? There is so much to consider. Depending on your business and the product(s) you sell will determine the right path to take. If you decide to go the online route you will need to determine which online store product you will use. Square Space and Shopify are popular options but there are other options as well.

Are you thinking about selling a physical product and need some help? This post just barely scratches the surface of how to develop and sell a physical product. Sign up for the Pick My Brain mentoring session and I will help you strategize a plan and give you the steps you need to take to make it happen. I look forward to meeting with you!

Do you sell a physical product? If so, what is it and what has your experience been?

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