What to Sell on Amazon - Finding Profitable Products

posted on 10/Tue/03/2020 14:04
Intro
What sells on Amazon - Which are the top-selling categories? 
Choosing What to Sell on Amazon FBA
Finding the Best Products to Sell on Amazon -5 Steps
Sourcing Products to Sell on Amazon - 7 ways to consider
Final Thoughts
FAQ

Intro

What to sell on Amazon? That’s a great question, and many people tried to have a good answer for that. However, there is no ultimate answer to this, but in this guide, we are going to fill your mind with ideas and questions to think about. In case you are looking for a starter guide to get you going, this is the right one for you. In the following sections, we are going to take a look at what sells on Amazon, how can you find a proper product or niche to run a business on, and we are going to talk about sourcing products and materials. The main goal of this guide is to provide you with the information to help you run a successful online business on Amazon, no matter where you are located at.

What sells on Amazon - Which are the top-selling categories? 

Frankly, the best answer to this question is a piece of advice: check out the Best Sellers page at Amazon. That would give you the first idea, yet it could prove to be a bit misleading. The Amazon best sellers list is actual, and it doesn’t really feature the long-term information you need. World events and local (e.g., German, American, British) events have an almost immediate impact on what sells best at Amazon - at that given time. You, as a business owner - or wannabe business owner - need to focus on the long term statistics because that’s what going to bring you profit. Reacting to worldwide events is not for you if you are a beginner and can’t source and list products overnight.

Now, the top-selling categories are the ones where you can offer a solution to an everyday problem. Or, as they say online: scratch your own itches first, which means you should measure your needs, find annoying everyday issues, inconveniences and find a product that helps with that. For example, you cook at home, but the floor near the stove gets stained all the time. What’s the solution? A mat that you can wash just like you wash the dishes! Is it an actual product on Amazon? Yes, it is! 

Now, that’s enough for an introduction; let’s take a look at the four best categories to sell in!

Books

Selling books on Amazon is something everybody tries once in a while. There is a huge market here, which is volatile and is never really full. If you’d like to start small, then selling books is the way to go. There are, however, a few things you should consider when you try to sell books on Amazon. One such issue is the matter of profit: when you sell books, you can expect only a few dollars, so you need a large-scale business to make real money from it. However, books are easy to source, and you can get sellable books for free in many cases.

Electronics

Electronics is a huge cake, and getting a slice from it is a bit harder. However, gadgets, accessories do sell on Amazon, and if you get to source some excellent products, you may profit from this niche. There is vast competition, though, since Amazon itself sells electronics, and large brands are present too.

Clothes, fashion accessories

Clothing and different accessories are also best sellers on Amazon, and it’s not too hard to find a small gap in this category, which you can take advantage of if you can source the right product in good quality. As with the electronics, this category also has many sellers, and the big brands are also here. Nonetheless, you can manage to fill a gap in a subcategory, and this way enhances the chances of having a real profitable business. 

Toys

Children will always need toys, and adults probably continue to buy them. Having a good source of toys is essential when you try to establish yourself in the toys category at Amazon. There are numerous ways to grab toys from all kinds of sources, and if you take a look on the best selling Amazon products in the Toys’ category, you’ll see that simple, easy to use toys are rocking, such as balls, building blocks, and several toys for Montessori-method parenting and skills’ developing. 

Choosing What to Sell on Amazon FBA

what can i sell on amazon

Okay, now the primary goal of most of those who try to get into the “selling on Amazon” business, is to set up a good Fulfilled By Amazon business, where almost everything is handled by Amazon. It’s not as easy as many claims, and finding the most profitable product is not straightforward. In general, there is a lot of research and work included. If you put in the effort, you might actually reach the profit margin you want. In this chapter, we are going to take a look at how to find the best products to sell with FBA.

Step 1 - Find the best sellers on Amazon

This is the easiest step. Open the best sellers’ page at the Amazon marketplace you would like to enter (e.g., UK., DE, ME, etc.). This is going to give you an idea if you have an open mind. As we’ve already said above, world events may shift the markets, so you have to sort out seasonal products and items that suddenly became bestsellers (e.g., like the facemasks and antibacterial soaps in early 2020). Since you have to promote your product somehow (e.g., place reviews and ads online), it’s advised to choose niches you are knowledgeable in.

Step 2 - Avoid extremities.

There are types of items you should avoid when you try to build your FBA business. If we consider products on a spectrum, there are two ends: too popular and too niche products. The first is bad for you because the competition is going to be crazy, and as a newbie, you are destined to fail. On the other picking, a product that’s so special it could be a niche by itself is also a bad idea: that particular niche may not be popular enough to sell well. 

Step 3 - Durable, light and small

After you’ve chosen your niche, you should pick a few products - compile a list, and choose from that. Considering the Amazon FBA prices, you should choose items that are light and small so that packaging won’t use up too much material, and shipping is also easier. As an FBA user, Amazon handles the items, you should go for something durable so that it won’t break easily.

Step 3 and a half - Sourcing materials for your own product

In case you have come up with a new and winning product idea (or at least you think so), you should focus on sourcing materials that are light and easy to handle. If you do the assembly yourself, consider the efficiency and costs of a small assembly line. (Like Penny did in Big Bang Theory with the Penny Flowers)

Step 4 - Tracking and analyzing

As you advance in your business, you have to start tracking the competition and your products’ performance. For this, installing an FBA extension or browser-based software is essential, because you won’t be able to keep up with all the changes and incoming information for all your products. What are the most important details you need to monitor? Well, here they are:

  • Seller Rankings
  • Product Rankings
  • Reviews
  • Sales history

Step 5 - Be brave, be bold, be clever

You have to be an open-minded individual to become successful, and you have to face failures bravely and learn from mistakes. With open-minded, yet careful thinking you could find the best product for your niche and for your 

Finding the Best Products to Sell on Amazon -5 Steps

Find the best selling products at Amazon is not an easy task. First and foremost, you have to do the research required. In this section, we are going to give you yet another step by step guide on how to find and decide whether a product is worthy of attention or not, is it profitable or not. These steps are also the criteria that you have to consider.

1. Research

Before you dive into the Amazon business, you have to research your product, your competition, and the related keywords for promotion. This is very important because you base your whole business on this. Let’s take a quick look at this researches.

  • Product research. There are several guides around the web focusing on product research, thus helping newbies finding the best things to sell on Amazon. This process starts with your idea concerning the item you would like to sell. You should pick only one niche and choose a bunch of products. The product research is about finding a middle-high ranking (five-digits rank, well above 100,000) product, with only a few sellers, 5-10 daily sales, and a good-looking (consistent) sales history. You shouldn’t choose seasonal products. 
  • Keyword research: it is a different matter. It’s important because this will provide you with the material to put in your product description, ads, and landing pages. (You thought of those, right?) There are several great tools for this, and you are going to need at least two: one for finding trending keywords in Google, and another for the Amazon keywords (Amazon has its in-house cooked search engine).
  • Tracking your competition: in case you plan to stay in business for a long time, you have to research your niche and your products thoroughly. This includes monitoring and researching your competitors. For example, you should check their overall rankings and reviews - this can help you find small gaps, problems that you can turn to your advantage.

2. Set the right price

When you try to set the price of your products, you probably have a profit margin in mind. If you feel like a shark, then you probably are, but that doesn’t mean you really have the upper hand, and the profit will flow in like crazy. Set the price too high - you’ll have a large profit margin, but sell much less. Set the price too low - people will think your product is cheap because it’s junk, or the “too good to be true” effect takes place. We can not tell you how to set up your price. There are calculators that can make you great spreadsheets with average prices - you need to do the math yourself. And one more thought on the price: items in the $10-$100 price range tend to sell better. It might not bring you huge profits in a short period, but in the long run, a steady income is more desirable.

3. Source your product

Sourcing is an essential step, which you have to take care of. It doesn’t matter if you resell a finished product or you manufacture the final product from sourced materials, and a steady, preferably cheap source is a must. There are many platforms and methods to source products, such as Alibaba, AliExpress, and other wholesale companies, or even eBay. Depending on your business’ location, you have to find a fast and reliable source, so when you see your inventory running out, you can refill it really fast.

4. Join FBA - or don’t

When you first set up your seller account, and you haven’t got too many items, you might be satisfied with the regular “individual seller” account, but if you have more than forty items to list, the “professional seller” account type is the right choice. In case you have your established operation, you have an item that sells regularly, you may consider joining FBA. This way, you can avoid the fuss that comes with shipping, and Amazon also takes care of customer service for you. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it’s certainly less expensive than hiring people to do it full time - and you also get dirt-cheap storage!

5. Manage your business

Managing your already established Amazon business is the sweetest job. By the time you get there, you may put your mind at ease, and run your business by working 2-3 hours a day. During that time, you’ll have to monitor your inventory, check reviews, take care of anything that comes up. Reaching this level will take much effort, and it’s going to be a fantastic experience going on for years to come.

Sourcing Products to Sell on Amazon - 7 ways to consider

Arbitrage - Online and offline (retail)

This is the method to buy discounted products in larger quantities from local retails or online.

Every so-called big box store has a clearance aisle, where they pile up massively discounted products (by massive, we mean 75%). There are many sellers that follow this course, and they regularly visit those stores (e.g., Walmart, Big Lots) scour those aisles to find cheap products that fit in their niches. In case you can afford the time, you should try this method.

As for the online arbitrage, the base principle is the same: you buy a bunch of heavily discounted products, and you resell them on Amazon for a profit. 

Both ways are quite time-consuming, yet you won’t have to worry about making bigger upfront investing. 

Drop-Shipping

This one is tricky: you practically buy the inventory from a wholesaler or a retailer, and you also list the products and sell on Amazon, and the products ship directly to the buyers.

This could be an excellent solution if you don’t want to bother with keeping inventory or joining FBA. With this method, you kind of mediate between the actual seller and the buyers, while you still make a profit.

Nonetheless, there are two major issues involved: the matter of quality and availability. Now, when you set up for a drop shipping Amazon business, you don’t see the product, you won’t hold it in your hands. This carries a risk that it might not be that good in quality, or it’s just a copy, a fake based on a big brand. The other problem is in the nature of those drops shipping companies: they won’t wait for you to sell your items. There may be hundreds or more other sellers trading that item, so it could happen that by the time you make your sales, the product simply ran out. 

Wholesale

This method involves buying quite a large bulk of branded products from a wholesaler or from the brand company itself.

This is one of the most versatile sourcing methods for Amazon, and it has great potential in terms of scalability. Wholesale means you buy huge bulks of products from one seller. In many cases, when you do a great job of selling the items, you might have excellent additional discounts from the manufacturer. With this kept in mind, wholesale deals are one of the best ways to go when you want to source items that sell on Amazon.

With Amazon, you have to go through a quite strict approval process to prove you are an authorized reseller of a product, or you are a kind of representative of a brand. This way, you can avoid Amazon flagging you as a copyright infringer and suspend your seller account.

Private Label

You buy non-branded, generic items to sell them on Amazon after branding them with your own company label.

The principle is the same as with the previous channel: you buy bulks of items from a wholesaler. There is one extra step to take, however: labeling those items as your own private label products. This method lowers the competition and makes sure you have a good chance of continuously sourcing your product. It1s not that expensive as most laics think, and it requires more effort than money. With thorough research, you may find an item that’s not available on Amazon, or it’s scarcely presented. You may even find a gap in a niche, a lack of features that you can improve, implement, and sell. More extensive operations may require a smaller team, but outsourcing some of the tasks can lower your HR expenses.

Alibaba

Alibaba or the “Chinese Amazon” is a great place to buy an inventory of items to sell on Amazon.

Alibaba has a huge range of different products you could buy cheaper in bulk, and then list on Amazon for sale - even with FBA. There are many Amazon business owners who run their operations based on Alibaba-sourced inventory. The reason for this is that Alibaba is really cheap, and even with overseas shipping, it’s worth it. You can settle with another similar source, too, of course.

If you worry about counterfeit items, you shouldn’t overdo it. The company realized that there are way too many fake items on the website, so they are testing many suspicious items, thus enhancing and maintaining customer satisfaction.

what should i sell on amazon

Auctions, sales, and eBay

best products to sell on amazon

This is a special case of arbitrage: you buy usually used items and resell them.

Auctions, yard sales, garage sales, and storage sales could prove to be a great way to get your hands on some excellent quality items to sell. There are usually some high-profit goods in such places, so keeping a keen eye near such places and events is a good idea.

How could you profit from this? Well, you should check Amazon first! Find well-represented products that sell at a reasonable price and buy them at auctions and sales for a fraction of its value.

eBay has a special place in sourcing for Amazon businesses. In principle, it’s an auction website where you can buy mostly used items at friendly prices. Today, however, there are many new items uploaded, too, often available in large quantities. eBay, nonetheless, is a good source of inventory if you plan to sell some used items on Amazon.

You

Make your inventory yourself

This is a method to have full control of your inventory. It requires a lot more effort, but manufacturing products and then selling them with your brand label on them is advanced, and - in our opinion - most honorable way. All right, you have to put the work in it, and you will have many sleepless nights but will work out in the end. Cosmetics, accessories, unique clothes are quite common, and if you can find someone to manufacture the items, you can set up your business fast. The best is to create the products, send in for the FBA program, and let them handle packaging and shipping for you. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you know enough about how to find and source profitable products on Amazon. In case you have a question, feel free to ask! We highly recommend placing a bookmark on the page, so you can return whenever you feel like it!

FAQ

How successful is selling on Amazon?

Well, as of 2020, selling on Amazon is still trendy. There are some worldwide events that somewhat shook the whole industry - especially China - but it’s all going to work out, and you can be successful. We have to say, selling on Amazon is still profitable.

How much can Amazon sellers make?

Quite a lot. It all depends on the effort put into it. With so many calculators and stuff out there, it’s not hard to find out the potential profit. However, it all depends on how much you want to earn! Selling something that sells like crazy and yields $10 profit per sale is just as good as trying to sell something more expensive that sells slowly but generates $200 profit.

What does it cost to sell on Amazon?

It depends on the seller account you choose, and on whether you joined FBA or not. Individual sellers have to pay a flat $0.99 fee, various referral fees, and closing fees - and they can only list 40 items a month. Professional seller account owners pay $40 per month for unlimited listings, but referral and closing are still in order. FBA is a different matter: you pay a fee on a per item base, calculated from storage space the inventory takes up, and from other related issues.