Beware of What Is Happening Around You – with Andrew Milburn


DSC00072aaaaOnce we get into sourcing products and feel at ease of doing Retail Arbitrage both online and offline, and some Wholesale, a question we are often asked is “How are some sellers always ahead of the game, and I seem to always be at the end of the trend?” This is a good question to be asking both yourself and the people you surround yourself with who are helping you grow your business.


When I work with students and clients I will often ask them “Were you aware of the trend or were you even following the trend at the time?” Again I get that look well of course not, as I did not know it was a trend.


When a product come to market and you pin its growth on a graph you will often see a line on the level and this line either suddenly grows, peaks then drops back down. This trend is hard to follow and unless you are aware of it and will to risk a bit this type of trend is not good to jump onto.


The good one is where the growth is nice and steady to levels off a bit and then grows some more, levels off and then slowly drops back down again. There are times were it stays at an even level for a long time, a good example is lego, this stays at a nice level, yes we see spikes when a new product is launched but overall this is a nice, safe trend to compete in. (I am using Lego as an example being safe).


As a product sourcing expect you need to learn when to jump into a trend ride a wave then know when to jump off and into another one. Ask any surfer who knows surfing then know the exact time to jump onto a wave and exit.


Personally I like it when it is on the upward growth and has been steady. This way you can spend sometime in the product before having to move on. But how do you get to spot these trend and hot products before they become far too popular?


  • The best way is to know the niche you are in.
  • Ready both consumer magazines and trade magazines
  • Attend trade shows
  • Read papers and see the products people are talking about
  • Pay attention to what adverts appear on the TV, Cinema and in magazines
  • Listen to what people are talking about
  • If it involves toys talk to children and listen to what they and their friends are wanting
  • Be alert the whole time
  • Make notes all the time in Evernote or in notebook.
  • Keep looking and listening

Above I mentioned magazines, consumer magazines are a fantastic way to gauge if niche is growing or dying. Try and spend sometime each week at a News Stand or Newsagent and study the magazines that are in the racks. If there is more than a few magazines for a niche then that is a hot market, and if there are a good handful of magazines then the market is red hot.


Beaware of what films are coming out at the cinema over the coming months and years and then see what products you can find that match the film. Beaware and be ready, for if there is a new film or TV series there are often a lot of spin off products.


So to finish off………… on the look out for what is happening around you, this could be the early signals of a massive trend about to take off, and you can be there at the bottom ready to ride the wave.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *