Kathy Jacobs Web Design is a pretty cool firm I use

Rob Snell: I've been working with Yahoo Store owners for over 10 years, now.

Interviewer: And so you've written about everything. So, with the clients, say, how do you help them figure out what to sell? What are the basic steps?

Rob: First off, you want to figure out what's selling online.

Interviewer: Okay, how do you do that?

Rob: There are two ways to do that. You can look online and see what other folks are selling and you can look offline and see what other product categories are doing well for retailers. So what I get my retailers to do is I say, "Go online. Go look at eBay." Ebay is pretty transparent about letting you see what other people are selling; the same thing with Amazon. You can go look at their best seller list and see, actually in numeric order, what the best products are on Amazon in different categories.

Interviewer: Okay, can you do that on eBay also?

Rob: Yeah, you can actually see the completed auctions. And there's some third party software like Terapeak.com and there are a couple of other third party providers that actually can subscribe to their information for 40 or $50 a month, and actually see specific sellers, what they're selling, what the final completed price was on an auction and get a pretty good idea what's moving on eBay. And online, it's like with an online store it's a little bit different than with an auction site as far as trying to find something to sell. Because you know you're not competing against people in the exact same marketplace. It's kind of like having your own store versus being in a flea market.

Interviewer: Okay. So the first step is finding out what's selling.

Rob: Right, because you want to make sure that you're selling something that there's actually a large enough audience for you to make a living selling this product. And I've seen people try to sell you know calligraphy of their poetry. I mean anything from that to like their paintings or their grandmother's crochet or things like that at bottom end. As far as like seeing what other niches are out there, you want to make sure that you're focusing enough, though, on something to where you're not competing... you're not trying to sell every book in print like Amazon does. You want to focus in a niche.