104: How to Find and Validate Your First Import Product

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Episode 84 with Andy Slamans on how to get started with private labeling and Amazon FBA is now the most-downloaded episode of The Side Hustle Show. And for good reason — Andy gives us a detailed look at product selection, working with manufacturers, and bringing that product to market.

But the most common question I get from listeners is how to find that first product to import.

How do I find a profitable product? How do I measure the competition? How do I validate the demand and the pricing?

In today’s episode, I sit down with Will Mitchell from StartupBros.com to dive into those exact questions.

Will and his partner-in-crime Kyle run a series of Importing Empire Jumpstart groups, guiding new sellers through this process, and are hosting an action-packed free training webinar w/ more on this subject.

Hopefully you’ll be able to join us at 8pm EST on Apr. 22nd.

In fact, Andy from episode 84 was a student of theirs and has obviously gone on to massive success of his own.

Free Bonus: Download Will’s Top Tips On Getting Started With Importing

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  • Where Will recommends looking to brainstorm potential product ideas.
  • The tools he uses to organize his research and compare metrics.
  • The numbers you should pay attention to when evaluating products.
  • The “Start-Up Sweet Spot” profit margin to aim for.
  • How to negotiate with suppliers.
  • Will’s Sample Selling Process that validates pricing and demand.
  • Will’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


What say you? Could you use these tactics to find a product of your own to sell? Some of the profit margins in the worksheet (linked above) are pretty impressive!

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

6 thoughts on “104: How to Find and Validate Your First Import Product”

  1. Hi Nick! I really enjoyed this podcast and am now exploring the idea of importing some products to sell…
    however, i want to be careful about purchasing items that have been made in sweatshops or where the workers are not being paid or treated fairly….so I wonder how Will would factor this into the evaluation and selection of products & suppliers?
    Thanks so much for the great podcasts…

    • Thanks Kathleen — that’s a great point. I haven’t spent much time on Alibaba some I’m not sure if they share any worker’s rights or working condition data. That said, for certain products it can make sense to source locally within the US as well. As many as 80% of consumers say they’d pay more for products “Made in the USA.”

      • Kathleen,
        Alibaba allows you to filter by “Onsite check” and “Assessed supplier” which means that someone from Alibaba has actually been to the company and inspected their operations. I’m not sure if they check the age of employees, but they at least verify the validity of the business license and operations as specified at this help page: https://service.alibaba.com/buyer/faq_detail/13858716.htm

        They also publish a report for each assessed supplier to give you a better warm fuzzy feeling about them.
        I hope that helps!

  2. I am looking for a way to get started with the importing business. I am trying to make since out of the process. I sounds pretty easy. I don’t have the funds to play around with and risk loosing what i do have.

  3. Hi Nick,
    I went to download Will’s workbook but for some reason it does not match the information from the podcast. Do you happen to know if this workbook has been updated since the time this podcast went live?
    Thanks much!


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