If I create a listing, how will I know a new product will be successful?

By Katharyne Shelton

For sellers who are used to rank charts, sales history and CamelCamelCamel, bringing a new product to the market can be terrifying. Why? Because how do you know it will sell?

What specifically will make a buyer hit the buy button on your new listing? So I have an analysis tool that I introduced in Create called 'NEST' for figuring out whether a product is likely to be successful. People talk about niches and niching down but what does that really mean? What specifically will make a buyer hit the buy button on your new listing?

Let's say you are in Trader Joe's and you see a new pack of cookies, or Big Lots and you see a tablecloth for the upcoming holiday. Should you be the one to bite the bullet and create the listing for it?

Well, let's check it out… Your ideal product should meet these four criteria:


Does it meet someone's needs? Is this something someone would be looking for for a particular reason. We need food, shampoo, birthday gifts. Some we need more than others - sales of gluten free food or dandruff shampoo purchases might be driven by need.

Emotional Appeal:

Is someone going to obsess on that product and fall in love with it? Can you appeal to their emotions? Frogs, dragonflies, pug dogs are the kind of thing that people get very emotional about on products. Similarly Harley Davidson, pin-up girls and Hawaiian themes tend to draw on people's emotions. If you've sold on eBay, you know an Elvis mug or a Harley mug will be easier to sell than a plain floral coffee cup. This is why :)

Seasonal appropriateness:

Does it fit the coming season? Weather, mood, colors, flavor. People want pumpkin everything in the fall. They want beachy things and sunglasses and light clothing in the summer. Romance and weddings in springtime. Products themed for specific days - Father's Day, Mother's Day, Fourth of July and Halloween are the easiest to sell. And don't forget religious holidays like Diwali, Eid and Channukah.


Does it fit into the current mood, an upcoming event or have a design that fits a trend? Trends are thoughts, moments or ideas that are in the minds of a portion of the population. Trends affecting teenagers might be different from those affecting crossfitters or baby boomers or vegans.

Examples of trends are coloring books, planetary prints on clothes, scrapbooking, current video game themes like post-apocalyptic survival, political issues etc. In many ways, trends bind emotions and seasons together.

If your product already ticks each of these four boxes… or can be tailored to fit them, then it's probably time to get listing!

NEST - Kathayne's Winning Product Matrix