6 Tips To Help You Decide What To Sell On Amazon

By Rodney Laws | Business

Feb 26

As the world’s largest and best-known marketplace, Amazon is a great place for any merchant to start selling. 

Amazon allows you to list products from an innumerable number of categories, ranging from pet products to bedwear. However, it should be noted that you will have competition from a staggering 2.5 million active marketplace sellers.

So how do you find a product to sell that can get you noticed ahead of those 2.5 million? And are there certain products that sell better than others on Amazon? 

We explain why it’s important to sell the right products and show you how you can find what they are. 

Why it is important to sell the right items

With all the millions of products listed on Amazon, it is often the initial reaction from many sellers to simply throw any of their products on the marketplace. However, that is rarely the best way to ensure your business is profitable. 

Profitability on Amazon comes from finding items that will sell well on the Marketplace, at minimal expense to you. This could be down to lost production cost, or because they work well with Amazon’s schemes such as fulfilment by Amazon.

Consistency of sales is also important. Even a large initial bulk sale may not be a sign of long term profitability. Whilst regular sales across several months of a similar amount are a good sign. 

By selling the right items on Amazon, you will attain both profitability and consistency. Both of which combine to ensure your business is successful on Amazon in the long run.

The technique behind finding the ideal product to sell

There is a knack to selling on Amazon. Some of it is down to luck, but there is also an element of your success that you can control. In this case, that is finding the right product to sell. To find that kind of product, you simply have to consider one technique. Sell something that is in demand, with little competition.

That may seem easier said than done, but you will need to do a degree of research when selling on Amazon anyway. So that gives you a good start, as you will already have an idea of the gaps in the market for your products. However, you can also consider products with certain characteristics, or even products in certain Amazon categories.

The characteristics of perfect products for FBA

FBA (fulfilment by Amazon) can go a long way to helping you sell profitably on Amazon. By signing your products up for FBA, you will pay a little extra to Amazon. However, FBA streamlines your entire sales process, helping you with year-round fulfilment. This can make the process more efficient and help you to make more money.

Certain products are ideal for selling with FBA, as they meet all the necessary criteria set by Amazon. Here are some examples:

Smaller products

Smaller, lightweight products are ideal for FBA. This is because they cost much less in terms of shipping, and more can be shipped at once. In addition, their export and import costs are also lower.

Year-round products

Using FBA means your product should be available as often as possible. Especially as you will have your competitors hot on your heels. Customers do not want to wait months for a delivery. And Amazon does not want to be associated with brands that cannot fulfil orders quickly. Therefore, you should try to sell products that are available year-round.

Easily manufactured products

When considering a product to advertise on Amazon, you should also consider manufacturing. Easily manufactured products can be made at a greater pace than those that are more challenging to manufacture. They are also cheaper to make, whilst maintaining a good standard of quality. This allows you to sell at a greater pace, whilst still getting positive feedback and reviews from your customers.

The best selling categories on Amazon

Another element of finding the right products to sell on Amazon is the category. Amazon has a very wide range of categories for you to choose from. However, some experience far more sales than others. For example, books account for almost 16% of all sales on Amazon, so selling a book would be far more effective than selling pet supplies, which come in at just 2.8%. 

You may also find that certain categories have increased restrictions on what can be sold. This can also play a significant role in deciding whether a category is worth selling on or not. One category where this may be the case is the food category. Certain national or state laws may prohibit the online sale of certain food items. Whilst other categories may have higher taxes, which deter sellers. 

It is also important to note that even if a category is not one of the best sellers, there may still be numerous profitable products within it. So you shouldn’t rule out a product that has potential, just because it doesn’t fit into a bestseller category.

Source: AMZ Scout 

Top tips for finding the best products to sell on Amazon

Below, we’ve highlighted some top tips to help you find the right products to sell on Amazon. 

Avoid categories dominated by the bigger brands

Big brands are often difficult to displace when it comes to online sales. This is because they already have an established reputation with many buyers and are a trusted label. Because of this, it is often better to avoid any category dominated by a big brand and focus your efforts elsewhere. 

Look for more niche markets that bigger brands have not entered yet. Up and coming markets with plenty of demand are the most fruitful. However, you also need to be wary of those big brands entering the market after you. Try to keep an eye on any new faces in the niche you are focusing on.

Spot profitable products

If you believe you have found a few perfect product niches’ to sell on Amazon, you are off to a great start. However, you still need to consider the profitability of the product. Fortunately, all the information you need to check this will already be out there.

Before making a final decision, you should check:

  • The products popularity
  • The categories popularity 
  • How much it would cost to ship
  • Is the product durable enough to withstand shipping?
  • Competitor pricing
  • Sellers fees
  • If it meets the criteria for FBA

Many products will seem like an easy win of the face of things. However, once you delve deeper into their costs, it may be apparent that the fees are too high for the niche to ever be profitable. That is why you should consider all of the above elements to find the perfect, profitable product.

Check top product listings

By checking the products that currently hold the Buy Box for a listing, you can learn a lot. If a Buy Box product has plenty of reviews (1000+), a description that seems like it will never age, and includes things like a warranty, then you have likely stumbled upon an in-demand product.

You can take this check a step further by considering how well the listing is optimised. If the seller has taken time to optimise their listing with a keyword filled description and title, the product is probably worth their while. This highlights the demand for items in the niche.

Monitor your competitors

Any store owner needs to be up to date with their competitors. And that is no different when selling on Amazon. If you monitor your competitors, you may notice patterns with their products, and what sells well. You may even notice that certain items sell well at certain times of the year.

By monitoring your competitors, you can gain a better understanding of the current market for products and services in your area, as well as their pricing structure. Ideally, you will find a gap in the market for an in-demand product. That way you can offer something that people need.

Use extensions to find niche markets

Chrome add-ons, such as Unicorn Smasher, are a great way to collect data and find niche markets. By using an extension like this, you can find the monthly sales volumes on products via their keywords, and therefore spot products with low competition.

In addition to that, you can also save products you are interested in and track them over time. This gives you a wider range of data, so you can spot opportunities with greater ease.

Check Amazon’s best sellers rank

The best sellers rank on Amazon can be very useful, as it shows products by recent and historical sales. In essence, Amazon BSR shows products that are in demand. This is useful for sellers, as you have the ability to check the categories of the products in the best sellers rank. If there are numerous products from the same niche, then it is clear that there is a demand for that niche and an opportunity for you to take advantage of.

Final thoughts

Selling on Amazon can be incredibly rewarding if done well. However, finding the right product to sell on the marketplace is essential for long term success and profitability. If you want to get ahead of Amazon’s millions of other sellers, then researching the market, competitors and Amazon’s wide range of product categories is exactly what you need to do to get you on the road to success.

About the author

Jacques van der Wilt is the founder and CEO of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimisation solution that helps online merchants optimise their product listings for 1,000+ ecommerce channels in more than 50 countries.