Thursday, May 05, 2005

Discover Your Niche: Step 2

A great thing about eBay is that it can be really easy to find your niche market and cater to this group of people (or for your niche market to find you). Take a close look at the broad list of eBay categories and sub-categories. Each one of those is its own niche market unto itself, and eBay is the broad marketplace that holds these sub-divided markets together. All these special-interest niche groups are like tiny little side streets in the eBay world.

Think of eBay as one of those giant bazaars in the Mid-East or Asia. Of course, eBay is really much more than that. You can buy computer equipment, cars, houses and services on eBay. But for the sake of the analogy, think of eBay as a humongous bazaar with thousands of booths with individual vendors, each selling a very specific good with everything from copper cooking pots, to fabric, to spices, vegetables, hand crafted goods and so on. And the market is teeming with customers, each seeking something different. No single seller can possibly meet all the needs of all those customers, so these smart vendors specialize in a specific product that they know intimately.

This direct connectedness between the proprietor, his product, and his customers has allowed a centuries-old retailing system to survive, and indeed thrive, in the modern age. Smart eBay sellers will find a niche market and work to be the very best in the minds of a small group of avid customers. And by being so specialized, they can keep their fingers on the pulse of their niche market, maintaining an intimate connection with the desires and demand of their customers.
Think about your own interests or areas of expertise and how they are reflected in the products you sell on eBay. Perhaps you’re a technophile who sells computer parts, or a movie buff who sells DVDs and videos. Maybe you’re an avid traveler who returns home with treasures from around the world to sell on eBay. Many sellers in the antiques and collectibles fields are also collectors themselves and use eBay as a means of thinning their possessions and earning extra money to make new purchases.

These examples illustrate individuals selling on eBay, however businesses of all sizes need to develop well-defined areas of expertise and create their own niche. Even if your business employs 2 people, 10 people, 200, the scope of your business is still guided by your own interests and passions as the chief of the tribe. The important thing is that you convey your expertise to all of your team members. They too must understand your specific niche market to be able to best address the needs and desires of your customers.

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