Are you trying to figure out what to sell on Amazon? I’ve been there. Amazon sells more than 398 million individual products. A lot of beginners, and even experienced sellers have difficulty sorting through this huge market and finding the best niche to pour their time and effort into.
In this guide, I’m going to help you complete your search for the perfect products to sell on Amazon. Then I’ll help you learn how to start selling on Amazon effectively – using advanced analytics and product monitoring software.
Selling on Amazon, for beginners, is a great first step in learning about ecommerce. Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) program eliminates a lot of the headaches associated with fulfilling online orders. This business model might not be for everyone. After all, there’s pro’s and con’s to selling on Amazon.
But, even if Amazon is taking care of order processing and fulfillment, you still need to identify the best products to sell online if you want to make a meaningful income.
This guide will help you find what to sell on Amazon. Once you’ve identified a profitable product category, you can find ways to develop and sell your own products – maximizing the amount you personally earn on each sale.
Here’s what you’ll need in order to find the best products to sell online with Amazon.
- Amazon Associates Account This will allow you to earn commissions on the items customers purchase after visiting your site.
- Amazon Seller Account – If you want to sell products directly through Amazon’s platform, this is critical.
- Ahrefs Account – Ahrefs is something you can use to find keywords and other SEO opportunities for your website and product listings.
- JungleScout Account – is purpose-built for helping Amazon sellers and affiliate marketers identify hot products on Amazon.
- Passion for a Profitable Lineup of Niche Products to Sell
Selling online is time consuming, and requires trial and error. This means that failure will be part of your journey. When a product flops, you’ll need to draw on your passion for the line-up of products you carry to keep you going. And, if you have a burning passion for the market you’re in, you’ll better be able to sense trends and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
1. Discover What Amazon Pages the Big Boys Are Pushing Traffic To
To focus your efforts on products that are likely to sell, try to uncover where the major players are pushing traffic to on Amazon. After all, they have massive marketing and analytics teams in place to avoid wasting time on products that don’t sell. Take advantage of their research!
Step by step guide to finding proven products:
- Find the big publishers in your space and pop their domain into Ahrefs’ site explorer.
- Click on outgoing links.
- Sort by linked domains to see how many links they are sending to Amazon.
- Dig into those links deeper by studying anchor text to see which products they link to.
In the screenshot above, you’ll see that I used Ahrefs to identify the Amazon pages that MensHealth.com is sending their viewers to. They almost certainly earn a commission on Amazon sales they generate. So, with all of their industry expertise, they’re sending customers to the “Best Earphones for Working Out”.
And those items are around $180 – meaning there’s a nice chunk of change to generate an affiliate commission at the end of the sale. Use clues like this to jump inside the head of major players in your space.
You’ll also want to consider if what times of years an item sells best. Is it seasonal? You might want to avoid investing a ton of time into something that only sells well for a few months a year. Or, maybe you’ll decide that the crazy volume is worth the months of famine.
2. Use Amazon Reviews To Find Product Market Gaps
Selling physical products online is a $1 trillion industry. You could also look at selling digital products. Or, maybe a combination of the two?
One of the best ways to zero in on the products that will sell is by analyzing online customer reviews. What are people raving about? What are people upset and disappointed by?
When it comes time to develop your own products, the customer gripes about your competitor’s products should serve as inspiration for how your products should work and function – allowing you to outperform the competition.
For example, this review tells me that the existing options on the market don’t handle keyboards with a built-in stylus. I could develop my own case that compensates for this.
When looking at a category, always look at the best sellers. This is how Amazon calculates seller rank.
3. Look for Listings with Few Customer Reviews
One of the keys to successfully listing and selling a product on Amazon is having your item listed on the first page of search results – appearing first when customers search for your product.
Look for products with less than 30-50 customer reviews. If, when searching for your potential product, you find the top Amazon listings only have few customer reviews, you’re golden!
Amazon heavily ranks products based on reviews. The less reviews competing products have, the faster you can climb up the rankings as you begin to generate sales.
For example, when I search “Dell Latitude Case” on Amazon, the top items have only one customer review. There’s an opportunity here to quickly climb the rankings with my own Amazon product listings.
Also, be sure to take note of how the competition is generating and moderating Amazon customer reviews. This skill will play a big role in your success on Amazon when you decide to start listing items for yourself.
4. Food – One of the Rising Products to Sell on Amazon
With Amazon’s launch of AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry, food has become a hot, trendy ecommerce category. And, there are a ton of online resources for researching and learning about what types of foods are rising and falling in popularity.
Some of the most profitable food items are perceived as more healthy than the alternatives on the market. Health-conscious consumers are willing to fork over their cash to live a healthier life. And items that are perceived as healthy change based on new research and studies – something you can use to jump in on the beginning of a profitable trend.
Google Trends is a great place to look for current trends. For example, Google Trends tells us that “Healthy Food” is consistently increasing in popularity – more than doubling since 2012.
The health food market is so diverse, it would take years and millions of dollars to build out an inventory of products to meet every need. Thankfully, you don’t have to have a product in your inventory in order to make money. For example, building an affiliate marketing site could allow you to also cash in on other healthy food products.
If you want to jump into the health foods market online, I recommend taking a comprehensive approach that includes your own products for sale on Amazon. Then, market these products, alongside others, with an effective affiliate marketing site. You’ll generate traffic to your own site and build your personal credibility in the space, while selling items through Amazon.
5. How to Find Products to Sell on Amazon with JungleScout
General online trends are helpful and can point you in the right direction. But, there’s no substitute for in-depth analysis of items listed for sale on Amazon. JungleScout is a fantastic tool for digging beneath the surface and finding opportunities.
I use their platform to see:
- The top selling Amazon items, based on search terms I input.
- Estimated sales for individual Amazon listings.
- Average price for a category.
- The average number of reviews that an item receives.
- Estimated revenue, based on sales metrics, that existing sellers are earning.
6. Find Products to Wholesale on Amazon
When you wholesale an item you’re purchasing a product in bulk directly from the manufacturer or supplier. Then you sell the items individually on Amazon at a retail price. In order to wholesale an item, you need to establish a relationship with the supplier. This can be a long, time consuming process.
You’ll need to ensure that the manufacturer you’re partnering with is both reputable and reliable. Sourcify is an excellent tool for vetting the people you’ll need to establish relationships with.
Pros of Wholesaling on Amazon:
- Product development and production is taken care of by the manufacturer.
- You can either fulfill orders yourself, or place your products in the Amazon FBA program.
- If successful, you’ll build powerful relationships with industry juggernauts.
- Pricing and profit margins are more predictable.
Cons of Wholesaling on Amazon:
- You’re selling someone else’s product, instead of building up your private label. This means margins are tighter.
- If a manufacturer doesn’t like the way you operate, they can pull the plug and stop you from carrying their products.
- You have to compete with other Amazon sellers for the right to sell products on Amazon.
- The up-front investment required to acquire products in bulk creates a financial risk for you. If they don’t sell, what will you do?
If you’re ready to launch an Amazon wholesaling business, you’ll need to search for products that aren’t already being sold on Amazon. Or, you’ll need to find a way to steal away a manufacturer from another wholesaler. Caution: Being at the mercy of a manufacturer can be frustrating.
7. Test Products You Think are Hot with an Affiliate Site
If you think you’ve found a product that you’d like to sell on Amazon, it’s okay to take baby steps to see if you’ve really caught lightning in a bottle. The way that I would recommend testing a product category is with an affiliate marketing site.
I’d rather slowly spend money, and time to figure out what will give me ROI, than burn a bunch of cash fast then try the next idea. Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?
You’ll be able to assess traffic on your site and earn a commission from the product sales you generate. I recommend opening an Amazon Affiliate account. You can also build relationships with other sites, but Amazon has been projected to account for 53% of ecommerce growth. And you’ll earn a commission for more than just the items you directly link to with Amazon.
The good news is you can easily retool an affiliate site to market your own product listings on Amazon. So you’ll never have to struggle with launching an online store with no inventory. And you’ll gather a ton of information without the upfront product costs of acquiring or developing your own products. And accurate information is what separates the winners from the losers in ecommerce.
8. Find and Vet Suppliers for the Products You Want to Sell on Amazon
Finding products that consumers want is important. But, the next step is finding a way to manufacture your private-label products to help meet the needs of your future customers. If you deliver poor quality products, your brand will sink in a sea of negative Amazon customer reviews.
Here’s how I find reliable suppliers for my private label Amazon products:
- Decide whether I need a single overseas manufacturer to produce my product from start to finish (more expensive), or do I want to bid around and find different suppliers for different aspects of my product (more risky)?
- Use reputable sites to research overseas manufacturers with the experience necessary to produce my product reliably:
- Send feeler emails to at least ten different potential manufacturers. The way that they handle my communication will tell me a great deal.
- Order samples from at least two different suppliers to see if their quality is as good as they claim.
As your business grows, you’ll build relationships with both overseas suppliers, and other individuals in the industry that can tell you who they trust overseas. But, in the beginning, finding a quality supplier can be a painful journey.
9. Avoid Selling Products on Amazon in Categories Dominated by Big Brands
At every stage of the process of selecting a product line to sell on Amazon, you need to keep an eye on the major competitors in your space. This list will change from week to week. The most important thing you need to look for is if a major manufacturer is entering a space.
I have a google sheet that I update every week with my competitors, including links to their websites and online marketing material. Whenever I notice a new one, I add them to the list. Over time, if you do this too, you’ll develop a strong sense of how competitive your market is.
A major brand jumping into your niche is a signal that there’s a ton of demand for a specific product or service. But for anyone in the early stages of finding an Amazon product, it’s a massive stop sign. Pump the brakes and reassess.
Don’t take my word for it. Just look at what Kevin O’Leary had to say to the Founders of The Lip Bar. They survived to prove him wrong, but do you have enough energy and resources to fight a major competitor? Is it the most efficient use of your limited time and energy?
10. Search Product Listing Ads in Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
You can discover keywords and product listings with Ahrefs. This information will help you discover the most profitable items to sell on Amazon.
I mentioned in the first step that you can use Ahrefs to see what the major sites are referencing and pushing traffic to. This same tool can give you new ideas, and better focus your existing efforts by helping you with keyword research – a key ingredient in your marketing.
Here’s how I discover new Amazon product opportunities with Ahrefs:
- Enter a couple of 2-3 word phrases associated with the types of products you’re thinking about selling.
- Ahrefs will use these terms to deliver keywords and topics related to your products. Review the results for inspiration.
- Find the most popular keywords and phrases that have a shopping icon next to them. Google displays products on the result page for these terms. This means Google thinks that the people searching these specific terms are ready to buy.
- Do a Google search and see which products Google is displaying for these terms.
If the most popular search engine on the planet, with access to unbelievable amounts of data, thinks that online shoppers are using a term to search for a specific set of products, I’m paying attention.
As an online product marketer, it will be your job to make sure your Amazon product listings rank well for the terms that your shoppers are typing into Google and Amazon.
11. Avoid Expensive Returns by Selecting the Best Products to List on Amazon
It’s important to consider whether or not customers are likely to return your item. Any product you sell on Amazon will have the opportunity for customers to make a return and/or leave a negative review. You can hurt your seller profile if items are regularly returned. This will hurt your ability to sell other products online.
Beyond the damage to your brand / Amazon seller profile, there’s also the financial hit of taking a returned item. It’s not always possible to resell something that has been returned by a customer. Shipping costs can add up quick, add in some returns and your profits will start to bleed.
You can minimize the likelihood of your product being returned by:
- Providing accurate pictures and descriptions in your listing.
- Analyzing existing reviews and customer feedback before adding an item to your Amazon listing.
- Ensure products are packed in a way that protects them from the rigors of shipping.
To Make Money Selling Products on Amazon, Product Research is Key
I hope you enjoyed my guide to finding products to sell on Amazon. If you follow my advice, you’ll increase your chances of earning a profit and decrease trips to the store to buy Advil.
Nothing’s worse than putting in hundreds of hours to market a product on Amazon, only to find that consumers don’t want it, or a major brand is drowning you out. Before you get started, make sure you understand Amazon’s fees.
Have you used a different strategy to successfully find new products to sell online? Still not sure what to sell on Amazon? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.