Finding the right products to sell on Amazon
Choosing a convenient product to sell on Amazon can be an energy-intensive and time-consuming process.
Besides picking a high-demand product that has mild competition, sellers usually consider eligible suppliers and how much investment such selling business requires from the very beginning.
The beginning of the research
Whether the seller picks the new product for a start-up or to expand the business, doing all the work without any help is not the only option. Sellers can find a mentor for a detailed consultation based on concrete information that makes the advice more personalized or to hire a specialist whose job is to pick the most profitable product.
The easiest way to select mentors and specialists is to search in Facebook groups, on Reddit, Linkedin, or specific conferences. A big number of conferences happen around the world monthly.
Also, some Amazon sellers decide to build a business with a partner. It is conditioned by the fact that partners can have different innovative ideas, another view on the developing business, investments, and, in addition, all the work can be divided.
Each of the variants has advantages and disadvantages, ones used by the sellers with lack of budget, others with lack of time, or both.
After the product is selected, Amazon instructs sellers how to register an account and how to order the first shipment. Using Amazon services can save sellers from many possible inconveniences and unexpected budget loss, plus, sellers can easily take documentation and any certificates from the factory if necessary.
As previously was mentioned, the basic criteria of the newly chosen products are high interest among the customers and limited competition.
The most popular products are not the best choice, niches of those products are conquered by big businesses and it is very hard to compete with them. That is why beginners usually reject an idea to sell a mainstream product on Amazon and look for a golden middle.
“Don’t dive in a niche where millions live. Mainstream is the death of the novice.”
– Ihor Dubovetskyi, CEO at Profit Whales
Software like Jungle Scout, Helium 10, Viral Launch, etc., have a list of products from which sellers can pick a product to sell, but they have to consider that others look on the list as well and might choose the same product for their business.
Profit Whales characteristics of a good Amazon product
There are nine basic characteristics of a good product to sell:
- The product has a Middle Retail price between $25 – $50
Such a product´s price can easily cover direct costs like Amazon’s fees, cost of products sold, advertising costs, and it is suitable for the customers – the price is under the first psychological barrier of $50. Interesting fact, if the product price is raised higher than $50, the conversion rate drops dramatically.
- The product does not depend on the season
The seasonal products are the dead weight most times of the year. It is not recommended to deal with seasonal products if they are not very exclusive and the seller wants to get rid of them in a short period.
- The top sellers from the chosen niche do not have more than 200 reviews
- The product is not big
Ideally, it can fit in a shoebox and it is lightweight enough to be sent by air.
- The product can be improved in comparison to the competitors´ products
It means that the seller can create advanced and upgraded versions of the product. Just by checking the competitor’s product reviews and making the conclusions.
- The product is simple to manufacture
- No brand dominates the market
- There is less than 50% of listings running sold by Amazon
It will help the seller to avoid quality control or manufacturing challenges.
- If possible, it is better to not deal with a glass, electronics, or highly complex products
“A few years ago, there was a case when the seller went into the niche of teapots with a unique product at that time. His teapots had double glass surfaces like a thermos flask. The first thing he came across is that the photo on a white background as a prime picture was not descriptive enough.
Thus, the buyer cannot understand that this product differ from others on the market. After manipulating the image, the first sales went up, and together with them the first bad reviews. The reason: everybody started to wash glass kettles in the dishwasher and the smallest microcrack led to the crumble of the teapot.
This is one of many reasons to keep in touch with the customers and actively check product descriptions. It may help to prevent a catastrophe.”
– Ihor Dubovetskyi, CEO at Profit Whales
This list can be used as a backbone. Even more extended and detailed information about selling on Amazon is provided in other articles that readers can find in the blog. For example, like an article about profitable Amazon Advertising.
Profit Whales advice for a start-up
Following recommendations can show sellers the right direction at the beginning of their Amazon road:
- Avoiding cheap production
Thousands of people enter the market with cheap products and thousands do not make it on Amazon. Generally, the reason is that sellers lack money to pay PPC, fees, additional costs, and are stuck with a massive competition where it is very easy to lose.
- Considering expensive products
Any niche with expensive products has one big common advantage – less competition. The first reason is obvious, not every seller has a budget to deal with such production. The retail price is $25+. The second reason, the number of inexperienced sellers is smaller because the entrance to the market is more complicated.
Interesting to know:
Sellers, who plan to work with expensive products often pick technology goods, but such businesses require expertise.
Amazon technology sellers usually consider having a PrepCenterin the USA, because electronics break more than any other product. The PrepCenterhas to provide the next functions: delivery, repacking, consolidation, inspection, repackaging and labeling. The returned products must be received back, repaired, or repacked and sent to the customers again.
Clothing businesses have to establish or hire PrepCenter in the USA as well.
- Starting small
But selling technology is not an easy start. Sellers of electronics drown in all sorts of certifications, licenses, etc. Better to select a product that inspires, expensive enough, familiar, and does not need additional permits.
Amazon sellers take into consideration Amazon fees from the beginning. The Amazon calculator has been created to simplify this process: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/fba/revenuecalculator
- Thinking about building a brand
This is a very extensive question that includes several main points:
- Starting to monitor, research, analyze the target audience and the competitors
- Creating the idea and the approach
- Making the brand name, the slogan, the image of the brand, and the logo
- Implementing the brand across the business
“One of our clients has started to sell towels for children in a bright packaging. No matter how he tried and promoted sales, nothing happened, nobody wanted to buy it.
I suggested changing the packing color. Then we have created two variants with different packing colors and conducted A/B testing. Later we received 2000 feedback. After analyzing the answers, we realized that the problem was in color, as I assumed.
Children’s towels are usually bought as a gift for couples, who are waiting for the birth of children. Most of the buyers had no clue about the gender of the newborns. That’s why the white color was preferable as it is gender-neutral. The color was the problem and color fixed everything. Traditional marketing research together with own opinion can help to enliven business.”
– Ihor Dubovetskyi, CEO at Profit Whales
At first, thinking about the right product to sell on Amazon might seem the longest and most annoying process of all. However, the answer is hiding not in an obvious place. The most successful sellers build their businesses on the products they are interested in and passionate about.
When the seller knows about the secrets, tricks, and features of the product, naturally, all works out well and business gets more and more prosperous.
“I remember guys who were passionate about RC sailboats. They knew everything about jibs, sails, hulls, remote controls, etc. But they tried to start selling linens.
After hours of exhausting negotiations, I asked them what they prefer to do in their free time.
– RC yachting! – they said.
Finally, they decided to sell RCYachts kits. It turned out to be a fantastic idea. The secret of their success: they had vast expertise in this area, knew exactly how a product had to look, and the price of their product was a bit more than $35.”
– Ihor Dubovetskyi, CEO at Profit Whales
Being passionate about the job is the decisive point in business planning.
The guys from the example above became one of the most successful sellers on Amazon.
Trend hunting, coolhunting, and trend spotting
Another beneficial way to find the wonder-product-to-sell is trend hunting, coolhunting or trend spotting. The following software list can help to catch the luck:
The algorithm of the software:
- Finding the big publishers in the space and popping their domain into Ahrefs’ site explorer
- Defining the biggest publishers in the area and dropping their domains into Ahrefs’ site explorer
- Checking their outgoing links
- Sorting the linked domains to find out how many of them are related to Amazon;
- Finding out the anchor text to define the products they are linked to
- Analyzing the products: the price, if the product is seasonal, and its popularity
For example, the seller found out that some of the publishers have a countless number of links to the Amazon listing with “Best Sunglasses for Jogging.” These sunglasses cost nearly $200, which means that there is a significant margin for the publisher fee. Most likely, the “Best Sunglasses for Jogging” is in trend and it’s seasonal. Important to think thoroughly about choosing a product like that.
Amazon uses a relatively limited pool of software to search. Capturing a trend at the growth stage is an excellent start of trading on Amazon, but there is no guarantee that it will be long-lasting. A good example can be a spinner – there was a trend that got noticed and became a millionaire, however, the trend was too short. But with some luck, nothing can prevent the seller from jumping on the bandwagon.
Ahrefs help to track trends, fashion, popularity, delve into blogs, discussions, and make the right choice.
Google Trends is a perfect tool to find trends in a wide range of products. This tool can help to define the area of products interesting for selling.
Google Trends has a history of trends based on which sellers can predict the popularity of products. It not only helps to save money but to get some extra.
This is a very convenient platform to search for actual content that performs best for the moment. Plus, it is shareware.
With help of Statista infographics, it is easy to track statistics and trends. A paid subscription is required, but there are also free statistics for previous years. It will be enough to go in-depth with the help of other resources. Sellers can use it to define the research direction.
Here is an example of The U.S. Wireless Headphone Market:
There is enough data on Statista to build a strategy, conclude and develop a plan.
These platforms can inspire sellers to make the choice or to create bestsellers on Amazon. The main feature of the crowdfunding software, like Kickstarter, is to introduce the original, often high-end products, independently and passionately made by an individual or a team. The users determine how popular a particular idea is and it can lead to the trend.
Social Media for an inspiration
Before launching the product on Amazon, sellers usually communicate with their target audience on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Reddit, Quora, Yahoo Answers, and other types of QuestionsAnswers sites are also worth attention. This is where sellers share useful content and receive feedback on how to improve the product and create a waitlist for receiving feedback.
Pinterest is a social media that responses to all trends. It is also an excellent source for brainstorming inspiration.
Other perfect hunting grounds are product reviews and discovery sites. Uncrate – men´s products, and AHAlife – luxury products, are precise tools to check the new curated product trends daily.
Consumer blogs for an inspiration
Here is a list of popular consumer blogs to get useful information about trending products:
Spying on Amazon sellers
Listings from different sellers, new or with history, give Amazon users insights about trends that are hard to find anywhere else.
The list of the URLs for tracking the freshly launched products:
For tracking the products that just started or are already running, viewers can use these URLs:
Category analysis on Amazon
Category analysis explains whether the product is suitable for a certain category and if it has enough of the resources to enter this niche. Using software such as Jungle Scout, Viral Launch, etc., gives interesting, but different statistics that businesses can use as a basis for a start. To find the golden middle sellers can work with several platforms to compare the data.
Here are the ways to analyze a niche:
- Monthly Sales / Sales Distribution Analysis
This is a way to look at the volume of the market. For example, the seller in 3rd place of the top 5 in the niche sells 300 units with 1000 reviews. In case the seller decides to sell as much, then 1000 reviews are clearly necessary, and apparently, the niche is highly competitive.
Important to know:
Once the seller finds a niche and product to sell it’s important to use an Amazon Sales Tracker to track and monitor the daily, weekly, monthly progress. Amazon provides basic tools and data, but, as a rule, Amazon users come to a point where detailed breakdowns of the sales by SKU or ASIN in order to stay ahead of the competition is needed.
- Growth in sales and reviews
It is essential to watch the annual growth of sales and reviews, those give an understanding of the growth rate. For example, people leaving a lot of reviews means that customers are highly interested in the niche. The product can take off at the beginning but quickly fade away in bulk. This information is easily tracked with help of annual growth data.
Browsing open Databases gives an understanding of what volumes the competitor´s trade and which parties are delivered in what period. It would help to see a full picture of the market conditions.
- The same products have different brands
Another trap of the fresh Amazon seller: it is essential to create a unique product with an original design. The merchandise has to stand out and not look like the product from another label, the difference can be in the size, price, packaging, style, or functions of the product.
Trademarks, intellectual property, copyrights are the next obstacles. This is a critical point, since the product may not be possible to sell precisely because of a patent that does not belong to the seller. Better to give this job to a lawyer, taking into consideration that every business existence depends on it.
The ways to order the first samples from the potential suppliers
After selecting the suitable product, sellers find a few manufacturers, choose the best one, and get samples to test them for price and quality. Afterward, sellers send a message to the product supplier/manufacturer requesting more information about the product.
The following questions are recommended:
- How does the quantity of products in a batch affect the price of one unit?
- What is the minimal quantity of the units in a batch?
- Could the product supplier/manufacturer send a sample to a certain location and how much does it cost?
- What payment terms and methods are accepted?
- Is it possible to customize the product in the production facilities?
It can be helpful to reach as many suppliers as possible to have a wider range of samples.
Ordering the first shipment
When the time comes to ship the products to Amazon, sellers create a delivery plan. The delivery plan defines:
- the shipped products
- the quantity of each product
- the chosen shipping method and carrier Details
- The preparation and labeling process (the seller or Amazon is responsible)
All the information about the shipment of the product to Amazon is here.
In conclusion, the process of finding the right product to sell on Amazon starts from the dip internet research and specialists help. There is nothing wrong with learning from other sellers’ mistakes and they might even write about it in their blogs and articles. The last important thing to distinguish, sellers who choose to work with products they are interested in and passionate about reach the top of success and rarely face burnouts.
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