Are you trying to figure out what to sell on Amazon? I’ve been there. As an Amazon Affiliate marketer, knowing which products to promote is critical to my commission fees.
Amazon sells nearly 400 million individual products. 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 give you 10 powerful Amazon product research tips. I’ll also help you decide if selling on Amazon is right for you.
How to Find Trending Products To Sell on Amazon:
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.
Is it Profitable to Sell on Amazon?
In a word, yes! Amazon is already extremely popular and it’s getting even more so each and every day, especially with third-party sellers.
Third-party Amazon sales are growing in number and experiencing continual increases as the years progress. Jeff Bezos sees this increase in third party sales as serious competition to the Amazon first-party products his company sells. The third-party sellers are making legit cash, so much so that Bezos makes a definitive response to the increase in third-party sales, which you’ll see later in the article.
To put the rate of increase in perspective, third-party sellers accounted for 3% of Amazon sales in 1999 whereas this percentage steadily increased and was all the way up to 58% in 2018!
Just by looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see that third-party sellers are doing pretty well with Amazon sales, to say the least. These figures are even more impressive because Amazon first-party sales had increased from $1.6 billion in 1999 to $117 billion in 2018! That’s some big competition to go up against.
Selling your own brand on Amazon is profitable, whether you are an ambitious self-starter who wants to do it on your own or you want to delegate and use the services of others. You can choose to handle the shipping, customer service duties, and other roles yourself or sign up for Amazon FBA and let the Amazon team handle all of the finer details of the sale.
If you don’t already know about Amazon FBA, you should look into it as this option makes it even easier to sell on Amazon. Fulfillment by Amazon lets you hand off the duties to a knowledgeable team. To keep shipping costs down, you should compare Amazon fulfillment fees with major third party logistic companies.
You’ll learn how you can maximize your profitability as an Amazon seller as you read through the following content.
Selling Wholesale Products on Amazon? Not So Fast…
If you’re considering selling wholesale products on Amazon (where you buy someone else’s brands to resel it), you may want to think twice about this business venture.
Selling on Amazon and offering wholesale products can be tough since you’re always one click away from a lower price. Plainly stated, the competition is really just too fierce and diving into it can be a mistake.
I know because I’ve failed at this sales model previously. This isn’t to say that we didn’t drive plenty of traffic to our Amazon listings and own website, because we did. The inventory just didn’t move.
Of all of the business models you have the opportunity to pursue, you have the least leverage in retail (wholesale and dropshipping). So if you plan on doing retail arbitrage, and Amazon business will be cut-throat..
If you’re really set on using the wholesale business model, the only way to get leverage is through logistics. This means having your own warehouse and doing your own shipping or drop shipping. But, even then you’ll be at the mercy when it comes to the terms of the supplier.
If you want to go for an Amazon FBA, you’ll still have some logistics issues to deal with, including getting your products from the supplier’s location to the Amazon warehouse.
What Products Sell the Best on Amazon?
Amazon is a price-driven marketplace, meaning that people visit the Amazon site to find cheap prices on the products they want and need. So, if your price or price range isn’t the best one out of a group of the same products, you won’t be getting the sale and you’ll be stuck with inventory.
Certain items will sell better on your site while others will get the most sales by using the Amazon online marketplace. So, what products are the best items to sell on Amazon? There are two types of products that are best sold on Amazon:
#1 When Brand Differentiation Doesn’t Matter and You Have the Lowest Price
If you have brand generic products that you can offer at the lowest price, you should sell these items on Amazon. It’s not a product brand name that attracts the sale, it’s the price tag. With this type of product listing you’ll be going head-to-head with other sellers and the lowest price usually wins.
This is the main theme of Amazon. If customers want an original brand name purse, they’ll shop on that seller’s website to get it. On the flip side, if they’re shopping for a basic brown crossbody purse where brand name doesn’t matter and price does, Amazon is where they’ll go. If you offer a brandless purse, your best bet is Amazon.
#2 When You Have a Validated Differentiated Product Idea
If your product idea is unique, you’ll see Amazon product sales take off. This happens when sellers see a market need and create a feature that no one else has, or is marketing the product strongly. With the right Amazon promotional strategy, you’ll be able to get traction with an original product idea.
If the products you choose to sell on Amazon fall within one of the two categories listed above, you have a product area that has a good chance of being successful through this online marketplace. And, if your products sell, you’ll make money and empty your inventory, which are pretty good goals to achieve with any business, especially an online business.
So, what are the best products to sell on Amazon and how do you narrow down the options to pick the right ones?
Best Products to Sell on Amazon
Selling on Amazon and succeeding at this venture means targeting the best product categories and selling items that will empty out your inventory with speed. You have to carefully choose your products in order to make sales happen, whether handling everything on your own or using Fulfillment by Amazon.
Here are the best selling product category options currently on Amazon:
- Apparel & Accessories
- Skin Care
- Hair Care
- Home Decor
- Home and Garden
- Kids & Toys
Finding Products to Sell on Amazon
Before selling products on Amazon, you have to find the inventory to sell. Here are ten simple ways to find products that sell on Amazon:
1. Use an Amazon Keyword Research Tool
The first step to take when finding items to sell on Amazon is to use a data-driven Amazon keyword research tool.
I recommend using Jungle Scout for all of your Amazon-specific keyword research needs. This tool will help you validate product demand and show you the search volume of your product.
This step makes it possible for you to see how many people are looking for a specific product and determine whether the volume makes it worth selling it. Need more options? Check out this list of Amazon keyword tools.
2. Find Low Competition Keywords Triggering Product Ads on Google
In order to drive traffic to your product you sell on Amazon, you want to choose low competition keywords that trigger product ads on Google.
Before you put these low competition keywords to use when selling on Amazon, you have to figure out what they are. You can find low competition keywords that trigger product ads on Google by following the steps below:
- Enter Your 5-10 Product Niche Ideas Into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Click All Keyword Ideas
- Filter Results To Only Include Shopping Results
- Filter Results To Only Low Keyword Difficulty
- Click The SERP for Each Keyword
- Look For Low Domain Rank (DR) Sites
If you see several low DR sites on page one of Google that’s a signal that the niche is less competitive. Take a look at the two screenshots above. All I did was enter in super broad amazon product categories into Ahrefs keyword explorer (like “home and garden”) and I got back tons of keywords. Rainshower head…seems interesting….
3. Use WatchCount to See What eBay Products Sell
Another way to pinpoint the best selling products for selling on Amazon is to research what’s selling on eBay. You can do this by using WatchCount.com to see hot sellers on eBay.
On WatchCount.com you can see the most popular eBay items at any time as the site operates in real-time. WatchCount.com reports the results produced by eBay that tracks votes by users when they add an item to their watch list.
WatchCount.com details the number of watchers and includes rankings as well as unique search capabilities.
By using this site to research the highest watch list numbers you can narrow down your list of potential items to sell and target the most popular options for selling on Amazon.
4. Use Amazon Reviews to Find Product Market Gaps
When deciding what items you should purchase for selling on Amazon, it’s important to get a feel for what the customer wants. Vendors might have the time and budget for focus groups to get consumer feedback as to desired products and what they like and don’t like. But, this doesn’t work for all vendors.
Since many vendors don’t have the time or budget to do so, mining Amazon customer reviews is a timely and cost efficient way to decide what you should be selling on Amazon and why.
If you’re thinking about selling a specific product, research Amazon reviews and keep the following things in mind:
- What items people are raving about
- Look for unsatisfied customers with a particular product
- Use the complaints to modify your prospective product
When you dive into Amazon reviews you’ll get a firsthand look at what people love or hate about a certain product. You can take that information into consideration when you decide what products to sell and if you should make any modifications to the product you are going to sell.
5. Search Alibaba for White Label Products
If you want to sell white label products, you first have to figure out what types of white label products are big sellers.
This can be done by reviewing the top product label product ideas to kickstart a $100K+ brand.
Once you know what product ideas are the most lucrative ones for selling on Amazon, you can search for them on Alibaba.
Searching Alibaba is a great way to find white label products that sell and those that will be hot items to sell on Amazon.
When you visit ‘Alibaba, you’ll find products of every type offered by overseas suppliers. Research the products on Alibaba and find the hot selling items to offer.
6. Check Amazon Best Selling Categories
What’s one of the best ways to come up with product ideas? Check the Amazon best sellers list!
Since you’ll be peddling your wares on Amazon, it makes sense to see what Amazon sellers are hitting it big with when it comes to item sales on the site.
From toys and games to electronics, you’ll see the top hot sellers on Amazon when you visit the Best Sellers section.
Knowing what items are the best sellers on Amazon will help point you in the right direction as you select your inventory to sell on Amazon.
Combine this tip with #2 (the ahrefs tip) and you’ll come up with some interesting ideas.
7. Use Jungle Scout to Find Low Difficulty Niches
You want to choose a product that has low competition. JungleScout.com offers a way for you to input the keyword associated with your product and determine if it’s a low difficulty niche.
This site makes product research easy and effective in an online manner and will help you decide what to sell on Amazon.
Finding the best niche market is determined by various aspects, including sufficient demand, low competition, physical product opportunities, and additional monetizing opportunities.
When your product meets these features, you can rest assured that you are choosing a product to sell on Amazon that falls within a low difficulty niche category.
8. Reverse Engineer Top Industry Amazon Affiliate Publishers
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.
9. Research Trending Topics on Google Trends
Researching the trending topics on Google can help you narrow down the options to the products that will fly out the door when selling on Amazon.
Google Trends highlight the popular products and taking note of these will help you choose a product that sells.
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re looking to target for your product to sell on Amazon. Looking at the latest Google Trends will give you an idea as to the top sellers in a wide array of categories.
Google Trends is a popular research tool that you should be using to zone in on the ideal items to sell through Amazon.
10. Power Browse Amazon Listings with a Chrome Extension
Another way to choose a hot selling product is to power browse Amazon listings by using a Google Chrome extension.
There are quite a few Google Chrome extensions that Amazon sellers use to research products and determine how well these products will sell on Amazon. Some of the top Chrome extensions include the following:
- Jungle Scout
- Unicorn Smasher
- AMZScout Pro
- Helium 10
- AMZ Base
When you use any of the Chrome extensions listed above, you can browse Amazon listings quickly and fully, determining what products should be on your seller’s list. In addition to zoning in on the best sellers, you can compare product prices, mull over sales estimates, dive into revenue projections, and consider keyword insights.
How to Decide What to Sell on Amazon
Once you know the ways to find products to sell on Amazon you have to decide what you’re going to sell via the Amazon marketplace.
Maybe you already have an idea of what you want to sell and you have the data to support selling this type of product. Or, maybe you’re still considering your options and need some additional help in this department. If the latter category sounds like you, there are specific ways to decide what to sell.
- Using data: Amazon search volume, Google search volume, competition, SEO difficulty, market trend data.
- Profitability analysis: How do your wholesale prices compare to retail? Do you have at least 40% margin?
- Presence of big brands: Are there established brands already selling products in this niche?
Let’s dive into each one in more detail.
Compare Product Ideas Using Data
Before picking a product or products to sell online, you want to compare your product ideas by using concrete data.
Reviewing available data will help you find out information such as search volume, keywords, and more to prepare you prior to selling on Amazon.
Product Search Volume
If you’re wondering what site, Amazon or Google, is more popular for product searching, there’s conflicting data out there. So, with this in mind, you want to understand the search volume of both.
Comparing the search volume of both Amazon and Google will ensure that you have a clear and true picture of what products people are searching for online and what you should start selling on Amazon.
Google Search Volume
You want to keep the Google search volume in mind when narrowing down options to the products you’re going to sell.
When you know what people are buying, you can decide what items will fly out of your online store the fastest.
The Google search volume measures the total number of searches performed via search engines. These are noted as an average monthly volume over the past 12-month period. This data is crucial to consider as one of your determining factors with product research and enable you to choose the right product to sell on Amazon.
You want to choose the most profitable keywords with the lowest competition. To do this properly, you need an online tool that will help you gather the data and get you ready to sell on Amazon.
SEMScoop is a free online tool that analyzes keyword difficulty and competition.
This promising newcomer offers a free plan and priced plans, with plans as low as under $10 per month. The priced plans are good options if you plan to use SEMScoop on a frequent basis in the daily dealings of your business.
Amazon Search Volume
In addition to Google search volume, you’ll want to research the Amazon search volume. This is especially important since this is the platform you’ll be selling on.
Amazon Competition Level and Number of Amazon Sellers
After you see what products people are searching for on Amazon, the next step is looking at the competition amongst Amazon sellers for that type of product.
When you know how many sellers are offering a specific product on Amazon, you can see if the competition level is high or low and whether it’s worth it to try to enter the market with that particular product and sell on Amazon.
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the rate of return that’s needed for an investment to experience growth from the beginning balance to the end balance. This is assuming that the profits realized are reinvested at the end of each year during the investment’s lifespan.
The CAGR isn’t a true return rate but it represents the rate that the investment would have grown if it did so at the same rate each year with the profits being reinvested at the end of every year.
CAGR will help you determine if long-term market growth is a possibility. If not, you may want to put this product on the shelf and look to other product ideas for your Amazon sales site.
You can compile information on CAGR by completing the following steps:
- Search on Google and discover market research documents: Use words such as “keyword market growth” or “keyword CAGR” in your search.
- Purchase a market research document or look further for free info: You can choose to spend the money to buy one of the market research documents you found in your search. Or, you can keep searching for free information.
Use the CAGR data for idea comparison and to validate market growth: Once you have the CAGR data, put it down in writing. Use this information as part of the determination of whether or not you can build a successful brand on specific products.
Potential Market Size
As you carefully consider product ideas, you have to look at the potential market size. How big can this business be? Is there a demand for your product? Has there been a demand for you product in the past? What are the changes in market size?
When you consider all of these questions before you start selling on Amazon you can look to the future and get an idea as to how successful this product will be and if it will sell or fail.
Check Potential Margins Before You Buy
Before you pull out your credit card and start purchasing products from just anywhere, you have to look at the potential margins.
This means comparing wholesale and retail pricing. You want to get the best purchase price for your products so researching this aspect is a must.
Compare the wholesale of Alibaba with the retail of Amazon pricing to see which prices would benefit you most.
You should also determine if AliExpress or Alibaba is a good choice to pursue.
The good news is that there are options when it comes to buying the least expensive products and gaining the greatest margin when selling on Amazon. Whether you choose wholesale or retail vendors to help you do this will be determined once you do a bit of research on this topic.
Avoid Big Brands, Especially Amazon
When you’re honing in on a specific category of products for selling on Amazon, make sure you avoid categories that cater to big brands, especially Amazon brands.
When you enter the market competing against big brands selling on Amazon, you’re setting yourself up for failure, or at least a less than lucrative product market.
As a small business, you want to place yourself up against competition selling on Amazon that is similar to your business…other small businesses. This way you’ll have a greater chance of making a name for yourself up against the competition and selling your inventory faster.
How Do Beginners Sell on Amazon?
Once you know what products you’re going to sell on Amazon, you’ll have to set up an account to get started offering your items through the Amazon marketplace.
Setting up an Amazn seller account is easy. You just have to follow four simple steps:
- Visit the Services page on Amazon: https://services.amazon.com/
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Sell on Amazon” under the Solutions section
- Choose whether you want to sell as an individual or sell as a professional. For individuals, Amazon charges, $0.99 per sale. For professionals, you’ll pay $39.99 per month plus other added selling fees. See Amazon seller fees.
- Fill out the information sheet and you are well on your way to selling your products on Amazon.
The difficult part isn’t signing up to sell on Amazon. The tedious part is doing the product research and choosing the product that has the highest likelihood of being successful for you as you sell on Amazon.
When you sign up to sell on Amazon, you’ll have access to plenty of seller tools to help you along the way.
Can I Drop Ship on Amazon?
The short answer is yes, but the actual answer is no. Confused? Don’t worry, it will all become clear as you read on.
The way that most people think about dropshipping is that they’ll be sitting on an island somewhere, not having to deal with customers or suppliers. And, that’s exactly where you’ll wind up if you try to dropship on Amazon.
Selling on Amazon does allow dropshipping but there are many rules attached to this type of selling.
Here are some examples of the Amazon dropshipping rules:
- Be the seller of record for your products
- You must identify yourself as seller on all product packaging
- Not identify any third-party drop shipper on your packaging
- Be responsible for all customer returns
- Comply with all of your Amazon seller terms
If you’re looking to hand off a lot of the seller’s duties to another party, you may want to sign up for Amazon FBA. With an Amazon FBA business, you store your products at the Amazon fulfilment centers and the Amazon team will pick the products, pack them, ship them to your customers, and also provide customer service for these shipped products. A lot of vendors are using Amazon FBA for their sales.
Amazon FBA offers all-in-one sales assistance and makes it easy for sellers to entrust many sales duties to others. When you entrust these tasks to the Amazon FBA team, you’re using a method that can be carried out in an efficient way by those in the know. Fulfillment by Amazon makes the job a bit easier for you.
To Make Money on Amazon or Any Business You Need Certain Things
Before you even start to have visions of handfuls of cash coming your way, you need a few things checked off the checklist in order to make money on Amazon or with any business:
- You have to understand your true product cost
- A sufficient gross margin (at least 20% after all product costs)
- Determine your overall startup costs
- Figure out your break even point
- Forecast your revenue
- Implement performance-based marketing based on revenue projections
- You have to move inventory-if you don’t move the inventory you’ll lose money due to product costs and storage fees
Is An Amazon Business Right for You?
So, now that you have the basic knowledge on how to choose profitable products and even how to get started on Amazon, is an Amazon business right for you?
When deciding if pursuing an Amazon business is the right route to take, you should know that selling on Amazon provides a great way to get started selling online. This is especially true if you don’t want to deal with technology.
Selling on Amazon, whether handling the duties yourself or using Amazon FBA, will be the most beneficial if you can introduce a product that has a differentiated feature.
That is, until Jeff Bezos finds your product.
Remember How Jeff Bezos Admitted Amazon Sellers Were Kicking His Butt in 2018?
Remember the letter from Jeff Bezos to shareowners shown earlier in this article where he said Amazon third party sellers were kicking the first party seller’s butt? If not, heres a reminder:
Well, here’s how he responded to the competition that prompted him to say this.
Shortly after that admission, Amazon added 157 private label brands. This addition brought the total number to 450.
When it comes to his bank account, that man doesn’t mess around!
A Purely Amazon Based Business Is Not a Long Term Play
You need to keep in mind that selling on Amazon as a do-it-all vendor or using Amazon FBA exclusively is not a long-term move to make.
As the competition grows, selling on Amazon is only going to get tougher. The more competitors your Amazon business has, the less likely you are to make huge profits. Andrew Youderian from put together this seller research study on Ecommerce Fuel.
With that said, you’ll want to spread your wings and get off of Amazon. Selling on Amazon is a good sales method to start with but shouldn’t be a permanent thing. And, it’s important to know that brands that invest off of Amazon have a higher rate of profitability.
I’ve worked with successful brands on Amazon that have hired me to help them get off of Amazon and launch a lucrative sales career through other avenues. It’s never been the other way around. Nobody has asked me to help them launch a professional business on Amazon.
Maybe because launching an existing brand on Amazon is quite easy. It just takes an Amazon pricing strategy, sending the product to FBA, and just an app or plugin to integrate with Amazon. For example, Shopify and BigCommerce both have this capability. You can just turn it on as soon as you have your APIs and prepare to sell on Amazon.
Plus, you’ll find that other options provide a less risky and more lucrative option to consider. One example of this is an Amazon affiliate marketing option which allows you to tap into the Amazon ecommerce money-making ecosystem.
Trying to compete against Amazon is a losing battle. With Amazon Prime, they already have access to millions of stored credit cards for easy 1-click selling. But it a channel worth exploring if you are looking to get started fast.
Are You Closer to Figuring Out What You Should Sell on Amazon?
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 nice profit margin 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.
Also, make sure you understand that Amazon’s business is based on finding popular products, private labeling them, and then undercuting the competition. So if you want long term ecommerce success, you need to sell on your own site, or utilize Amazon affiliate marketing. Otherwise, Amazon will eventually drown you out.
When choosing what to sell on Amazon, JungleScout is my top go-to tool.
Have you used a different strategy to successfully find new products to sell online? Are you an experienced Amazon seller? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.