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Share the latest methods for product and market validation

Geekour

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I have a few ideas in mind for Ecommerce physical products.

Curious what you all think as to what the most current and latest effective methods to validate and test a product/market need.

I feel landing pages might piss people off / feel spammy when they find out you don't have stock and ask for an email. I want to build trust from the start if I am to create a brand.

I have seen some threads discuss this but either some links were broken or it is outdated (some good ideas though) so I figured I would start a new thread to see the latest methods being used by the community here.
 

RazorCut

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There is no better validation than someone willing to part with their money. Does it matter if you don't have stock? Better having no stock and loads of willing customers than a warehouse full and no interest.

If you give your customers the option of being notified once stock arrives how is that spammy? I purchased a product from Amazon last month that was out of stock. Had to wait 2 weeks and then an extra unanticipated delay before they finally shipped. Didn't bother me a bit.

At the end of the day until someone wants to part with their money you won't know if you have a saleable product. It doesn't matter how many people say they would buy a fictional product, they usually disappear into the ether as soon as you say you are ready to ship and ask for a credit card.

If you really want to validate your product first then do the prep and run a Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
 

SRathwell

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I have to agree that the only real way to get product validation is by making sales, real sales where someone is willing to pay you for your product.

I have to disagree with the Kickstarter and Indigogo route. Speaking from experience it is not a good method to validate a product. To properly do a crowdfunding campaign you need to A LOT of upfront marketing. It takes both a lot of TIME and a lot of MONEY, more than I would say is reasonable for just validation.

Don't get me wrong, I think crowdfunding has its place. I just do not think it should be used as a tool for validation.

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RazorCut

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I agree, if you are only throwing mud at a wall to see what sticks then crowdfunding is not the way to go.

If however you think you have 'the product' then all the prep work is worth it. Or you do the bare minimum, set your expectations high and put it up in Kickstarter anyway just to gain the feedback knowing fully well it's an exercise in validation not a launch.

You can alternatively look at Quickstarter which has no marketing.

Here's a simple project:
Quickstarter: File Stapler - a handy desktop tool

The book Will It Fly might also help with ideas.

If I were going down the eCommerce route with a physical product then looking at Amazon sales would give a strong indicator as to whether or not a product will validate.

Many years ago I validated a product by simply sticking it on eBay. I sold out within a week and so I ordered more. Within 11 months I had to rent a 2800 square foot warehouse to run it from.
 

Geekour

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The book Will It Fly might also help with ideas.
I read this last week. Great book. Need to reread it because I missed out a lot of info.

So besides crowdfunding a landing page is still a viable option today? I know not all products launch through crowdfunding when would someone use this method instead of not using it. Appreciate the feedback btw guys :D
 

RazorCut

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A lot depends on the product. If it's just a case of ordering through Alibaba then you may as well buy a small number, test the quality then see what the response is on eBay/Amazon. Yes you will probably have to pay more for the item than you can sell it for if you are only buying a handful but it is still a cheap way to validate.

Or you could use a site like doba.com and test the waters with a large number of products as they will drop ship any sales you make so you don't have to carry any stock or have any outlay.

I don't use either site myself as I have no interest in selling someone else's products so you will need to do your own due diligence when making your purchases.

At the end of the day be creative, there are loads of ways to test a product or niche. Just do some research and use the ones that are a best fit for your type of product.
 

GoGetter24

Gold Contributor
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I feel landing pages might piss people off / feel spammy when they find out you don't have stock and ask for an email. I want to build trust from the start if I am to create a brand.
Limiting beliefs and self-imposed action obstacles.
 

Megaman9

New Contributor
How many customer do you think you will need to "piss off" in order to validate a product ? (serious question)
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
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A lot depends on the product. If it's just a case of ordering through Alibaba then you may as well buy a small number, test the quality then see what the response is on eBay/Amazon. Yes you will probably have to pay more for the item than you can sell it for if you are only buying a handful but it is still a cheap way to validate.

Or you could use a site like doba.com and test the waters with a large number of products as they will drop ship any sales you make so you don't have to carry any stock or have any outlay.

I don't use either site myself as I have no interest in selling someone else's products so you will need to do your own due diligence when making your purchases.

At the end of the day be creative, there are loads of ways to test a product or niche. Just do some research and use the ones that are a best fit for your type of product.
I almost always advise against dropshipping as a product validation method. The exception would be if you can find the product's manufacturer and be sure of being able to purchase direct at a good price.

That might work if it is a brand name, but in that case margins can be severely limited by MAP pricing, at least in the USA where anti-competition rules are more relaxed than many other places.

It is usually better to start off by buying a small quantity direct from a manufacturer. There is no doubt that costs will be higher for a small purchase, but if you follow my small order method you could well break even on a trial run.

Walter
 
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