How to Tell if a Product is Too Saturated!

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I don’t understand this! Knowing if a product is saturated or too competitive is one of the most important things you need to know when starting a dropshipping business. Yet nobody seems to talk about it.

When I first started dropshipping back in 2016, I brought a few dropshipping courses (which were generally a waste of money) and none of them had any information on choosing an uncompetitive product. Even today there is little information, so I decided to write this to show you the process I use to find unsaturated products.

Let me be clear, saturation occurs when a product or niche has reached its sales limits in a market of buyers. Even though saturation is very rare, it is a commonly used term in eCommerce to describe a product that is highly competitive. So for the sake of this article, I will refer to a highly competitive product as saturated.

Although this term refers to the products being saturated, it’s actually the market that becomes saturated, not the products.

You will not find a niche or product that is profitable and has no competition. So don’t be discouraged when you Google your niche and find a bunch of websites selling the products you intend to sell.


The best way to use all the information below is to write it all down in a spreadsheet. Google sheets is a free spreadsheet tool and will be all you need to use.

Have a lineup of products you want to test in the columns on the left and all the categories you want to check for saturation in the rows on top. Comparing all this information will tell you which products are in the golden zone for demand and competition making them a viable products to pursue.

Below are the strategies you can use to validate whether a product is saturated.

Is your Product Evergreen?

Evergreen products are products that people are buying now, have been buying for years, and will most likely continue to buy for years to come. These products are considered to be a long-term and sustainable business model instead of the regular trending products many dropshippers opt for.

This is an important question to ask before finding out if a product is saturated. If a product is evergreen, it can never be saturated as there will always be a new audience of buyers entering the market. Think about products in niches such as fashion, baby products, pet supplies, fishing and furniture.

This doesn’t mean every single product in these niches are evergreen as there are always new products, however, as a whole, they are considered evergreen niches.

For a huge list of niches, check out this article which I give you over 400 profitable dropshipping niche ideas.

For example, the pet niche is very competitive but is also evergreen. There are thousands of new pet owners entering the market every day and are all requiring products for those pets. Even with the competition, you can enter the pet niche today and have success. If you can capture 0.1% of the new buyers entering the market, you could potentially make a lot of money.

Two of the best ways to find evergreen products are with Google trends and using common sense. I’ll explain how Google trends works, if I need to explain how common sense works, you have none.

Google trends is a great free tool every online retailer should be taking advantage of. You can check the interest for any search term over a period of time. This will essentially tell you if your product is evergreen, if it’s on a downward trend or if it’s a short trend only.

Check out the search term standing desks in Google trends over the last 5 years. It was steadily climbing then had a jump in popularity when everyone started working from home.

Google trends showing search volume for standing desk

A product such as this will most likely stay reasonably popular as more people than ever will continue to work from home.

Check out the search term paintball below for a very different look at interest since 2004. Paintball was very popular in the early 2000s and since has only declined in interest. This is for worldwide interest and is worth filtering for the countries you plan to dropship to.

Is your Product in Demand?

Does your product have a large market and is your product something people would buy online? You can’t get an accurate view of how much competition is too much unless you know how many potential customers there are.

There are several ways of doing this:

Use a Keyword Tool

A keyword tool will give you the monthly search volume for any specific keyword. When checking this be sure to check for alternative keywords that people may type into Google when checking for the product. There may be various names or brands people may type in.

Also, take into consideration that people may be googling the product for reasons other than purchasing. If you type in “dog house” for example, some people may Google dog house because they want to buy one and others may type it in because they want to build one.

Filter the results by the countries you are planning to dropship to. This will give you a reasonably accurate view of how popular different products and niches are in specific countries and may allow you to find gaps in the market. As well as this it will tell you how competitive certain keywords are and how much advertising costs will be.

Once you have your results, type all this into a spreadsheet. It will help in the end when you are comparing all the data.

Google keyword planner used to be the go-to keyword tool for everyone as it was free, however, they have updated it and only allow you to use it for free if you are paying for Google ads.

If you want a good yet cheap keyword tool, I’d recommend using keysearch.co. It’s about $17 a month and gives you most of the information that far more expensive keyword tools provide. It may be worth paying for a single month, do all the keyword research you need, then cancel it.

Facebook Audience Insights

The next step is to check how big your audience is on Facebook Audience Insights. You can do this by clicking the potential audience tab and typing in the interest and Facebook will give you the audience size in any niche.

You can filter these results by location, age and gender to really narrow your results down and give you an accurate view of the audience.

Online Marketplace Sales

Go to various marketplaces such as AliExpress, Amazon and eBay and see how many orders your product has made. If they don’t have how many have been sold, they will have how many reviews there are which will give you a rough idea of sales.

Going through and reading the reviews can actually be more helpful than checking the number of orders. You will get an idea of how your target audience thinks, their needs and their dislikes which is important when you’re creating your own store.

Another great way to spy on competitors and see how popular products are is to go to Google and type in:

Site:myshopify.com”keywords”

Type the niche your dropshipping to in the keywords section. You will then get a list of Shopify stores selling products within your niche. The next step is to go into the Shopify stores URL and type this in after their URL:

/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling

This will then sort all their store’s products from best selling to least. Try this method on several stores and it will give you a good indication of how in-demand your product is on a variety of online stores.

Will People Buy your Product Online?

Your product may have huge demand and a huge audience of potential customers, but how many of those customers would actually buy your product online? Some products are not as suitable as others for dropshipping products.

There are a number of reasons why people may not buy your product online, but I’ll go through the main few:

  • Some products are much more personalized and consumers may prefer to touch and feel them before making a purchase. Think of Mattresses, pillows, sofas and some clothing. The return rate for these kinds of items is high because you can’t replicate the same buying experience as a standard retail store.
  • If the product is easily found in most standard retail stores, people probably aren’t going to buy from your store when they have to wait for it and pay for shipping. For this reason, if you want to sell normal everyday products, try and sell different variants that standard stores sell.
  • If the product is easily breakable or confusing, they may prefer to purchase it from a retail store. They want to know if it’s easy to return the product and get a refund if there’s a problem. People know it’s a hassle to send back products from an online store.
  • Are you planning to sell products for an occasion? If so, people often need these products fast and if you can’t guarantee that you can deliver it to them fast, they may not buy it from you. Think about products for births, birthdays, deaths, holidays and weddings. It’s difficult to guarantee shipping times when that aspect of your business is out of your hands and you can’t risk ruining someone’s special occasion.

These are just a few of the many reasons why people may not buy from you. It does not mean these products are not profitable online, it just means you should take this into consideration when working out the demand for your specific product.

How Much Competition Do You Have?

This step involves finding how many people are already selling the products you intend to sell. The best way of doing this is to find out how many other sellers are running ads for your products. Don’t assume having multiple other sellers is a bad sign, it’s also a sign your product is profitable. People don’t run ads on unprofitable products.

Saturation Inspector

This is a paid tool that can be helpful but is not essential. It’s really only useful if you want to check the saturation level of products from AliExpress, if you’re using domestic suppliers it won’t help you.

This tool essentially allows you to check the amount of competition and the type of competition you’ll be up against. It scans the internet for Shopify stores selling the product you are interested in and provides you feedback on whether it’s a viable product to sell.

It will give you a list of all the competitors currently selling the product and links to their websites. They also tell you whether the product is completely untapped, competitive or saturated.

How Many Ads are on Facebook?

As Facebook is the most popular platform for dropshippers to advertise on, you will need to check how many people are running Facebook ads for your product.

To do this, simply type the product name into the search bar, filter by video ads and see how many people are running video ads. Not only should you be checking how many ads there are, check how many views on average the videos are receiving.

It’s hard to give an exact number as to what is considered too competitive as there are a number of factors to consider. However, if you’re scrolling down and you see more than around 20 video ads and the views are in the millions, the product may be saturated.

Also, check out the Facebook ads library as this can be a useful tool when checking out ads and getting some ideas. You can type in products, niches and store names to get a list of all the current ads running which will help you to estimate the amount of competition you’ll be up against.

Using the Facebook ads library is also a great way to sift through other ads within your niche and see what they’re doing right and wrong. Spying on your competitors is essential.

How many ads are on Google?

Google is another popular platform for dropshippers to advertise on. Generally, Google ads are more popular among high ticket dropshippers as they can be expensive to advertise on but are highly converting.

To check how many people are running ads for your product, type the product into the Google search bar. You can then click on the shopping tab and see all the ads for that specific product.

You can then check how many different online stores are selling the same product as you. Again it depends on multiple factors but anything above 20 other online stores may be difficult to compete with the same product.

Often the product will have listed compare prices from multiple other stores, click this to see a list of other stores selling the product to give you exact numbers.

Google showing a list of ads running for cat self cleaning toilet

Checking out other ads is not only important for checking competition numbers, it’s also important to check pricing, their ads and their websites. This will give you the information you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out.

AliExpress Dropship Center

Another great tool for dropshippers is the AliExpress dropship center. If you’re looking to find trending products, it can be useful as you can get an analysis of each individual product to show how it’s currently trending.

To help check the amount of competition you’re up against, simply type the product into the search bar and you’ll get a list of the different variants of the product. You can then see how many orders each has and how many dropship orders have been made.

AliExpress dropship center showing the number of orders and dropship orders being made

This will tell you how popular the product is and how many dropshippers have made orders for this product. If there is a large disparity between the orders and dropship orders, it may be a viable product to dropship, depending on how dropship friendly it is.

If more than half the orders come from dropship orders, it may be a product that has already been exposed to the market and will require a different sales angle to be profitable.

This website has a great guide to using the AliExpress Dropship Center if you’re interested.

Analyze the Data

Once you have gone through each of the steps, analyze the data from a spreadsheet and compare the results from the various products. This is your best chance of finding products and niches that stand out and that are more likely to be unsaturated.

There are no exact numbers that indicate little competition as there are so many variables. By understanding all the information above, over time you’ll be able to scan each of the steps above and know reasonably quickly if a product is viable.

Conclusion

The only way to know 100% if a product or niche is unsaturated is to test the product with some paid ads. This will generally take a little time and money, this is why going through the strategies above can increase the chances of you finding a winning product.

The ultimate goal is to find products that have a combination of demand and low enough competition to still make them viable. Demand is far more important than competition, if there’s little demand there’s nothing you can do about that, if there’s competition, you can always beat them!

Take all the factors above into consideration before deciding on a product or niche to jump into. At the same time, if you believe you have a winner and the product appears saturated, I’d still give it a go.

If you fail the only thing you’ve lost is a little money and time which is annoying and best avoided if possible. However, if you succeed you can make money without having a job which is everyone’s goal. Don’t give up after failure, if you keep trying, you will succeed.

If you really want to stand out from your competition in a saturated market, create a brand around a niche or a single product. I have a few articles on branding you are welcome to read.

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