Market Research You Can Do

What Market Research Can You Easily Do?

In business school we were taught to write out lengthy business plans for our ideas. We would create full profiles on who our prospective customers would be and would be expected to give sales and profit projections years in advance based on the data we found.

What if you do not want to go through all of that and want to spend hours rather than weeks? Fortunately there is some basic market research you can do rather quickly before diving in and making your items.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to analyze your potential market.

Make sure there is a market – While creating something that the world has never seen would be cool, marketing something that does not fit into any well known category can be a huge challenge.

If you look at sites like Ebay or Etsy and do not find any category that would be suitable for your designs, there may not be a lot of interest in that type of item.

Are similar items for sale? – Check on marketplaces, Ebay, Etsy, etc, and do internet searches to see if there are similar items out there.

While on one hand it may be depressing because you will most likely find others that had a similar idea, it does gives you proof that there is a market. Not finding anyone, anywhere, making a similar type of item can be more of a bad sign than finding a lot of people who are making things like that. If a lot of people have gone through the effort to set up websites and create items, there is a good chance that people are out there buying from them.

What do they go for? – Do some research and get an idea of the price range that those types of items sell for and see what the differences are between the high and lower end.

The reason this is important is because of mass production. If there is someone out there mass producing similar items at a particular price-point, they are probably driving prices way down. You would not usually want to hand make similar items. There is no way to compete from a price standpoint when it takes you much longer to make something by hand.

What you can do though is see if there is a market for higher end variations that would make sense to make by hand. If you can find that there is a market for hand crafted versions and see higher priced items in this category, it may be viable.

Is there a good place to sell? – As you know, selling handmade anything online is much more complicated than just posting photos of your items on your site. Marketing and drawing attention to them can be challenging.

See if there are items in that particular category for sale on marketplace and auction sites, and see if they are selling. Selling through a popular marketplace style site is one of the easiest ways to get started making sales.

Where and how can you fit in? – After seeing what is already out there, where they are selling, and for how much, you can then decide where you want to fit in to that category, or if you should consider making another type of item. If you do not find what you are looking for, keep searching. There are niche segments in every type of market that you can cater to.

Good luck with your research

Richard Walker