Finding profitable products to sell on Amazon is the most overwhelming, the most difficult step of the process and probably the No. 1 thing people getting stuck with. Many new FBA sellers get frustrated with scouring bestseller lists, hot selling items, analyzing product listings and competition because is maddening and time-consuming.
As I said, many don’t even make it out of this step. If you are reading this, you probably ask yourself a question: how to find profitable products to sell on Amazon, what would the perfect FBA product look like?
Everywhere you’ll read:
- relatively high value per size/weight
- not fragile/breakable
- not hazmat
Now you’re probably thinking, wow, a diamond ring is light, expensive, almost non-breakable….it must be a perfect product. Right? Wrong…who buys their engagement rings on Amazon? You probably also read this:
- Product Requirement: Similar Products Have a 5,000 Best Seller Rank or Smaller in Main Category
Lol, this is ridiculous – Products with Best seller rank 5,000 in Sports & Outdoors are worse sellers than 15,000 in Home and Kitchen category. And this…
- No Brand Names within Product Category
Well, this is an interesting opinion… Some experts wanted to say you can’t sell basketball balls, headphones, keyboards, bedsheets, car parts or any cell phone cases?
Once I find the time I’ll read that expertise to see how they came to that conclusion, I’m curious though it has nothing to do with common sense. Another situation is when one product dominates the market then they have built enough trust and authority to draw most customers to them. Competing them is pure masochism.
- Lightweight (Preferably under 2-3 pounds)
Okay, this is true, but…you are limiting yourself. There are fewer competitors on large items. That being said, all the above is true but not enough for a profitable product to sell but one more thing before we start with this Step-by-Step Guide How to Find Profitable Products to Sell Tutorial…
If you plan just to slap your own sticker to Meat Claw, Baking Mat, Garlic Press, Selfie stick or any other generic product you’ll be warring with everyone, their neighbors, and their grandparent’s dog. Everyone who learns someone’s magic formula starts selling the same mediocre crap.
To succeed you simply have to be better and somehow unique.
I’ve learned hard way from my mistake. My first product failed and was about to quit, but luckily my 2nd product ended up being a massive hit. What did I learn from my failure?
Buying a product based on instinct instead of based on detailed research is by far the biggest mistake you can make. A profitable product is a result of preparation and detailed research.
So, let’s begin with this
What to Sell on Amazon
Profitable products are:
First and most important, a product with good positive Return on investment (ROI)
The most common mistake that new seller makes is that they calculate profit margin without ROI calculation. Let’s say for example you comparing two products, a knife, and a spoon.
The knife had a profit margin of 30% while the spoon had a profit margin of 20%. But then you look at the ROI for each and ROI for knives is 53% compared with an ROI of 120% for spoons.
With just looking at the profit margin, clearly you would make a mistake and have gone for knives, but the ROI calculation reveals how much better is to invest in spoons.
A product that can be sold for $20 or more…why?
There are people who live in the under $10 market but they are in Amazon’s “Small & Light” program which is unfortunately CLOSED to new products and new sellers. You can’t compete them when yours FBA fees alone are $4 and their $1.
I’ll show you an interesting product
Looks like a good product, it’s small & light, it sells well, 2,364 reviews, 4.6 out of 5 stars, 30 answered questions etc… but take a look at Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator and…
Wow…selling price is $2.42 and FBA fees alone are $3.01!!!!
This is a good profitable product but for Amazon only, for you can be money wasting product and nothing else. Now you see what I mean…you’ll lose money even if you get a product for free with free shipping to Amazon fulfillment center included.
UPDATE: New sellers can enroll in the Amazon “Small and Light” program
2-3 products with few on without reviews on the first page…why?
There is no too much competition and it is easy to compete with products with less than 20 reviews. It Is VERY difficult to get organic reviews, especially after Amazon Update on Customer Reviews in October 2016.
No product with 1000+ reviews on a top spot
Only one item sells and dominates the market.
There is a demand on Amazon
It is very hard to create demand on Amazon, instead, try to leverage existing. You should be sure your top three product keywords get over 100,000 monthly searches.
Jungle Scout is a very cool tool that allows you to search Amazon buyer keywords by how much the Amazon search volume for those keywords is trending.
Non-seasonal Products. Items whose usage does not vary by the time of year.
Trust me, you don’t want to have hundreds of Easter Bunnies on stock at Christmas time. Can your product sell all year-long? As a new seller, you can’t really afford to sell only three-month out of 12 and you don’t know have to strategize on how to effectively buy and manage seasonal inventory and that’s why you’ll bigger opportunity with a non-seasonal product.
A good tool you can use to figure out the trends and demand for a product is Google Trends. Say we were interested in cutting boards, we can see that the interest, demand has increased over the years.
A cool thing you can do is to check the “Forecast” box and see the projected trend is for the particular product actually you will see whether a product is getting more popular over time.
You can purchase including shipping for less than 33% of the sales price
Otherwise, there is no chance to be profitable.
Not fragile/breakable items
For the obvious reasons… Save yourself a headache and money with non-fragile items.
Initial, trial purchase can be less than 200 units
If you want to invest more, I would buy 4 or 5 different products rather than a lot of inventory of one product. You’ll maximize your chances of success by having multiple possibilities for success.
No cheap Chinese electronic devices
Trust me, you will have more refunds than sales.
No branded products
Anything with a trademark is guaranteed lawsuit against you.
If sourcing in China go for a simple product
Quality and functionality won’t be an issue – if possible, avoid unpleasant surprises from our Chinese friends.
How to actually find possible products to sell on Amazon?
There are several methods…
Simple, no headache method
Look at the product on Amazon, find a similar or better product on Alibaba, get a quote, use the FBA revenue calculator to figure out total costs and margin, buy small test order to see if the product is successful, If it is, order more. If it isn’t, don’t and repeat the process with another product.
NOTE: This is the easiest method to lose money – DO NOT do it.
Manual method #1
Go to Amazon and type in a popular search term like “Glass Measuring Cup” and see what the suggested results are before pressing enter. Take a look at those suggested items.
Browse until you find a product that complies with all the criteria. Go on Alibaba source a product. Using this method, be ready for endless hours spent in front of the monitor.
Manual method #2
Browse Amazon by category and subcategory. Look at the top-ranked items. When looking at those lists, look for products with bad reviews. Click on those bad reviews. See what the complaints are.
Source a similar product that fixes those issues. Example, flexible cutting boards ranked high but people in reviews say that it’s really thin mats, go get some heavier duty cutting boards, maybe someone sells a tent that is ranked really high but the reviews say it is too big – go and make a smaller one and so on…
NOTE: Making a product that is better than others listed on Amazon is extremely difficult when capital is tight, molds for a factory are more than expensive.
Manual method #3
Browse eBay and AliExpress listings to gather product ideas and compare those with Amazon listings. Like with previous manual methods, it is time-consuming. You can easily spend days without any progress.
Use a paid tool
Jungle scout by far the best and most famous tool for researching the best products to sell on Amazon. This tool costs but save so many hours of work – definitely worth the money. In a second you will get thousands of potential products – imagine how many hours would need to do that manually…
How to actually use Jungle Scout Web App, what filters to set?
Choose whatever you want, play with it, just don’t read and set filters you read somewhere because the issue with this kind of program is the more users it has, the higher chance there is that another seller is seeing the same products as you.
- Price range
- Number of reviews
- Categories you want to see
- Best-seller rank
- Average rating
- Fulfillment type
As I said – DO NOT READ AND USE SOMEONE ELSE’S FILTERS, USE YOUR OWN, play with the tool, change filters until you find something like this in the photo below.
Huge sales and only a couple of reviews…Bingo!
If you are interested here you can read a Jungle Scout review.
Hire a freelancer
I use Fiverr pretty often and bought many Fiverr gigs. I never bought product research on Fiverr but if you still don’t know where to start, you need some fresh idea or simply you are just lazy to do the research on your own then I suggest Fiverr.
As you can see on the image above, there are many “amazon product research” related gigs and some of them are with over 150 reviews. so it’s obvious that people buy those gigs a lot.
Once you picked a product you can start with all the other steps to starting an Amazon FBA private label business.