HoR Story Part 2 : Finding Something To Sell

I was a senior in high school, age 17, living with my parents, about to leave for college in a few short months and had very little cash. I wasn’t prepared to buy any inventory and ship out orders each day, so I had to get a little more creative if I wanted to sell physical products. I decided to find someone who sold what I wanted, then ask them to send the products out for me (aka Drop Shipping). First I had to find something to sell.

This was a bit hard. I took a sheet of paper, and in my tiny handwriting I listed about 300 products. EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF. Lamps, mugs, pens, speakers, couches, guitars, software, beds, mini-blinds. Whatever popped into my head, I wrote it down. I then started narrowing the list down. The first items scratched off the list were the items with either way too much competition or things out of range for my $200 budget. Couches, computers, ceiling fans etc. were scratched out. I then started to search the competition for other products by doing search engine tests for the products.

Keep in mind, this was my first eCommerce project, so I wanted to enter a very small niche where I had a chance of survival.

I ran my final list of 10 things over with some friends and family….but still nothing was looking fantastic to me. My 12 year old brother helped me brainstorm a bit, and it was actually one of HIS ideas that stuck. Rave, club and party stuff. I did a quick search for that genre of product, and there were about 10 websites that sold them. Two of the websites were good, and the eight others were total crap. I KNEW I could make more professional and easier to use sites than 80% of the competition, so I set my sights on the rave/club/party genre of products.

Competition was low and the products wouldn’t be very expensive, so this seemed like an ideal testing ground for my first eCommerce site.


If you don’t already know what you want to sell, get out some paper.

1.) Start writing down different products. Anything. EVERYTHING. List at least 100 products. Since “products” is such a general term, I’d say list at least 300-400 items.

2.) Start narrowing down the options. Start by crossing out obvious things that either have way too much competition or are out of your range. I started crossing off things like couches, airplanes, computer monitors etc…

3.) Identify possible targets and niche markets. Maybe you’ll get clobbered trying to sell books, but perhaps you could experience some success with your knowledge of antique books from the Victorian era…or some niche market like that.

4.) Start researching your potentials and even further narrowing the list. Is a certain niche already filled by lots of big players? Can you do a much better job than the competition? Is the niche large enough to make profit?

Next >>> Part 3: Finding A Drop Shipper

The House Of Rave .com Story
Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Finding Something to Sell
Part 3: Finding A Drop Shipper
Part 4: Getting A Site Setup
Part 5: Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping
Part 6: How It All Works

Blog posted on: December 14, 2007

9 comments on “HoR Story Part 2 : Finding Something To Sell

  1. Pingback: House Of Rave .com Story Part 1 - Neville's Financial Blog

  2. Susan

    Hi, Neville,

    I’ve just recently discovered your site and I think it’s pretty epic. Great goals, too- by 27, most people have invested for maybe a couple years at most.

    Anyway, I’m in high school and wanting to start an e-commerce website. I’ve been reading a bunch of investing, personal finance, and entrepreneur blogs and resources. I was just curious, though- You mention in this post (I read the whole series) that you were 17 when you thought of this. How did you manage with contracts and tax filings? Thanks!

    1. Neville


      The company didn’t ask me how old I was at the time :-)
      Plus tax fillings weren’t an issue. A lot of people make the mistake of making everything WAY more complicated.

      Just START something, and IF it makes money, then file all your proper tax documents.

  3. Pingback: HoR Story Part 4: Getting A Site Setup | Neville's Financial Blog

  4. Casey

    Hey Neville,

    Great post here. I actually purchased your behind the scene of a muse product and love it. Thanks for putting together such great stuff.

    One question I have had so far is when you said
    “The first items scratched off the list were the items with either way too much competition or things out of range for my $200 budget.”

    What exactly was the $200 budget for? Was this for buying some product so you could photo, video and test out to write and have better content? Thanks :)

  5. mpcondo

    Love your Blog, and your “Muse” course. I am working on finding my niche, and was curious of what you think of my method of validating my ideas.

    I am “Pinning” items from Amazon to Pinterest, using the captions for ghetto marketing. I am watching comments, repinns and I’m using Amazon affiliate links so I can watch the clicks(and maybe make a buck).

    Can you see any drawback on this?

    P.S. Thanks for pushing my wantrepreneur into oncoming traffic.

    1. Neville


      If what you’re doing is giving you ideas about what people actually BUY, then you’re onto something :-)

      An item that gets a lot of coverage, but not a lot of sales….is still a crappy thing to sell :-)

  6. Everett Kaylo

    Most modern monitors will switch to a power-saving mode if no video-input signal is received. This allows modern operating systems to turn off a monitor after a specified period of inactivity. This also extends the monitor’s service life.;”

    Talk to you later

  7. Neil

    do you still offer a “How to establish a drop shipping business” product/course? I can’t seem to find it. I think you had a set of videos that expanded upon these older posts.

    Also, why does good chrome think there is malware on your websites?


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