• Derick Ho

The 5 Step Formula To Find Winning Products

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

You would have probably heard about the recent trend going around in your Facebook News Feed about this 19-year old "Gamer girl" making a killing off in the internet selling these bath water (lol).

The “Gamer Girl Bath Water”, which costs US$30, reportedly sold out within a day.

Here is the product description: “Bottled while I’m playing in the bath ^-^  This really is bath water.. disclaimer: This water is not for drinking and should only be used for sentimental purposes.” Think about it, if she did actually bottle up her entire tub of bath water and sold it out, she has probably made an estimated couple of thousands — a sum that can be one month’s salary. And in the eyes of the majority, this product doesn't even make sense in the first place!

However, to the eyes of we Shopify dropshippers, that itself, is her winning product.

And the next thing that you will see is people start copying and selling this product all over their Shopify store (okay that was pretty exaggerating) but you get the rough idea of the entire process.

Okay......So How Do You Identify A Winning Product?

Personally for me, I would like to lessen your pain and process of finding a winning product, by asking yourself these 5 questions first:

  • Question 1: Does your product give value to your customers?

  • Question 2: Does your product encourage customers to buy more in multiples?

  • Question 3: Is your product strange and unusual or hard to find?

  • Question 4: Is your product small and light?

  • Question 5: Does your product have high potential upsell opportunities?

By asking yourself these questions, you can tell right away whether or not your potential product that you’re intending to sell has any real money-making potential, or if it’s just simply a waste of your time and money.

Question 1: Does Your Product Give Value To Your Customers?

This is a major one. And for a good reason, I put it as the very first question. Because if you can't get past this question, there is no way you can

You need to understand that customers DO NOT CARE how good your product are.

They ONLY CARE how your product can benefit them. Benefits are the reasons customers buy the product or service. Below is an example:

  • Benefit: Buy a 5-carat diamond ring today and make your girlfriend happy instantly!

  • Feature: This 5-carat diamond ring is a excellent grade cut on the GIA scale (blah blah blah blah)

Notice how the feature is “detail-heavy”?

It’s kinda boring, but if you were an extremely detail-oriented person, it would interest you…

But someone who is looking for a 5-carat diamond ring right now doesn’t want to hear the details. They just want to make their girlfriend happy right now.

Question 2: Does Your Product Encourage Customers to BUY IN MULTIPLES?

A winning product doesn't necessarily require potential customers to buy in multiples, but it deserves a mention here because of one particular point that many eCom dropshippers failed to take into account for, which is increasing Average Order Value (AOV).

For example, my Crystal Tip Spoon is priced at $6.95, but my AOV (average order value) is over $80!

My Average Order Value increases by 12x!

Woah woah woah! How is my average order value almost 12x the cost of my items?

Well, it’s because a customer usually won’t buy just one of my items. Instead, they will usually buy multiple items — at least two at the same time. They don’t do this because I’m running some sort of super giveaway, or because I’m offering crazy discounts, or because they’re weird.

In fact, they buy more of this particular product from me because I have strategically chosen such products in such a way where customers would want LOTS of them in their household. It just doesn't make sense for them to simply buy 1 spoon.

The higher your Average Order Value (AOV) goes up, the more money you make.

Another good example of this would be something like sofa cushions designed around peacock for bird lovers. You wouldn’t just buy one – you’d buy three, four, or even five of them to decorate around the sofa in your house.

However, do keep in mind that there are many winning products outside in the market that are not necessary require potential customers to buy in multiples. Which this brings me up to my next question.

Question 3: Is Your Product STRANGE and UNUSUAL or HARD TO FIND?

Well, let me put it in this perspective as a potential buyer.

If I would have to buy a normal common item/goods that we use in our day-to-day lives, I would rather walk down to my nearest local store and purchase it straightaway instead of waiting for a couple of days to arrive.

I believe nobody would be in a right frame of mind to buy toilet paper from AliExpress and wait a whole to 2-4 weeks for them to arrive when I need them now (unless you're able to hold on to your bowels for the next 2-4 weeks. lol)

.....unless you're able to hold on to your bowels for the next 2-4 weeks. lol

The bottom line is that common goods don’t sell well in Dropshipping stores — and they never will. The key to a highly successful store is focusing on fun, unique, and strange looking products that people didn’t even realise existed (able to relate to the Gamer Girl Bath Water product?).

One key thing to note that vintage or rare products that are usually hard to find elsewhere will also be in the hot seat.

1st Edition Charizard Pokemon Card! Pokemon fans anybody? Can relate?

In short, if your product isn't able to sell in multiples or bundles, then it better be special or rare enough to pull out my credit card to make a hasty purchase.

THAT is how you make money with dropshipping.

Question 4: Is Your Product Small and Light?

To increase profitability, try to find products that allow you to minimize shipping costs. Even though your products are being drop-shipped, you’ll need to pay for the actual transit of the item in some way.

Usually, products that are bigger or heavier in size or weight respectively is going to cost more in shipping. Unexpectedly high shipping costs can deter a potential customer from making a purchase at the last minute. The easiest way to control the shipping costs a customer pays is to stick with items that are small and light in weight.

What this means is that if you focus on selling small, lightweight products, your expenses are going to be less — and for each sale, you’ll make more money.

Although this is something that won’t matter as much in the beginning when you just start out, it will definitely have a huge impact later when you are dealing with bigger numbers and revenues.

I may be small in individual, but I pack a punch when I go BIG in multiples.

One way I like to take go around with this is to simply sell small products in bundles. Usually, vendors will charge you the same shipping rate for the price of one product or at a discounted shipping rate if you order more than one products at one a time. Do check with your vendors to see whether do they offer such arrangements.

Question 5: Does Your Product Have High Potential Upsell or Cross-sell Opportunities?

Another way to increase your order value is by simply upsell or cross-sell. An “upsell” or an "cross-sell" is a product you sell directly after your initial product.

What is an upsell?

McDonald is a classic example of what an upsell looks like. For example, you order a fries, guess what do they ask next?

“Would you like to upgrade your fries to large?”

“Would you like to upgrade your fries to large?”

Think of it as a "upgrade" to your current purchasing item. Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product.

What is an cross-sell?

Again, I will use McDonald as a classic example of what an up-sell looks like. For example, you order a big mac, guess what do they ask next?

“Would you like to have fries and Iced Lemon Tea in addition to your big mac?”

What they’re doing is cross-selling you — they know that if you’re eating a burger, chances are you’ll want a drink and a fries to munch after, so they take advantage of this to bump up the order value. Most of the time, such combination like this would come with a discount to encourage customers to complete the upsell process. Refer to the below image:

Complete your look with Leather Belt at 20% discount!

It works the same in dropshipping. Let's use cross-sell as an example here.

Say a customer comes to our store and adds this cool-looking Denim Jeans to their cart. When they arrive at the checkout, they’re shown a cross-sell “discounted” offer for these nice looking Leather Belt — the perfect cross-sell that goes hand-in-hand with our Denim Jeans!

This is why upsells and cross-sells are so powerful: they can LITERALLY double or even triple your profits overnight.

Upsellz & Cross-sellz....imma lovin it

But of course, upsells and cross-sells only work well AS LONG AS you carefully select your initial product and subsequent products to pair along with.


When choosing products to sell in your store, always ask yourself this: Will this product encourage and push your customers’ average order value up? Because that is the way that you are going to truly make money dropshipping AliExpress products.

If you would have realised it by now, majority of my questions above always seems to be talking a lot about products being able to increase or improve order value. Real winning products are supposed to be able to do that!

One last bonus key point to takeaway from this post before I end.

In every business, you need to give out value first before your potential customers are willing to put in money into your bank account. No business will ever survive without ever giving value to their potential customers. A simple way is to look at some of your regular stores or cafes/coffeehouse that you usually frequent. Do they not give you a reason to keep coming back?

Always give value first, before you start seeing money.

Always give value first, before you start seeing money.

To conclude, what kind of value does the Gamer Girl above give value to her followers on Instagram that made her dedicated followers buy from her the Bath Water even though it's a product that didn't make any sense in the first place?

Well, I leave it to you to decide!

Talk soon,