Finding a niche market.
I recently visited some wholesalers who specialise in the sale of baby and children’s ware. The reason: my friend and his wife were interested in an eBay business selling baby and children’s clothing. They had had some success in selling unwanted items or items that were now too small. They believed that they had also found a gap in the baby market that was not being fulfilled properly.
As they explained the idea to me I could see the potential in the idea. We brainstormed the idea, even came up with the name for an eBay shop that reflected the service. It sounded great, was instantly memorable and described the service perfectly. Next step research. As far as baby ware is concerned this I know from nothing. So using yell.com we found a number of local suppliers and paid them a visit.
Most were very welcoming and some a bit suspicious, I simply mentioned that I was already trading on eBay and that we were looking at setting up a joint venture which my friend was going to run. Doors open, what are you looking for sir? In the last wholesalers we visited we were talking about how we intended setting up this business, when the wholesaler started to explain his business model. Some years ago in order to differentiate himself from the other traders he started to specialise in the christening market and then diversified into selling formal ware such as suits and dresses for children. Aiming at the special occasion market enabled him to grow the business as a specialist rather than a generalist. Niche market again. The quality of his merchandise was excellent as was the price, after looking on eBay we found very few traders specialising in this market, but there was also a very high level of sales, this looks like a market fit to be plundered.
At the time of writing my friends have not yet taken action on either of these business ideas. You can have the formal ware one with my blessing, the other idea I’m keeping to myself as I may well use myself.
Next time how to list children’s ware.