What To Sell on Amazon – Finding Profitable Products
|What Are the Top Selling Categories on Amazon?|
|Choosing What to Sell on Amazon FBA|
|Finding the Best Products to Sell on Amazon – X Steps|
|Sourcing Products to Sell on Amazon|
Amazon is a massive marketplace with tons of sellers who make a good living off of the platform. How do they know what items they should be selling?
More importantly, how can you determine what products are right for you? Keep reading to find out what products are actually profitable, what some of the top selling categories are, and how things aren’t always as they seem in the world of selling on Amazon.
If you’re asking, What should I sell on Amazon? You’re in the right place. Beginners and experts alike should gain a lot of knowledge from the information seen below!
What Are the Top Selling Categories on Amazon?
There are six categories that are dominating Amazon’s marketplace as we speak.
These categories require different selling strategies for sellers who chose to enter into them, so don’t be afraid if you see something you don’t like – it may be best for you to avoid that area completely.
You should never feel like you’re leaving your comfort zone too far behind, you want to sell in areas that you have an expertise in. The fastest way to throw money away is to get into a business you don’t understand.
Conversely, you can make a lot of money if you are dominating in one of these categories. If you’ve got a ton of wisdom and know what people want to buy in these groups – you’re well on your way to success when selling with Amazon.
Toys & Games
Toys and Games are a popular category on Amazon year-round. One notable boost to this category is during the Christmas season – you are definitely going to see customers looking to buy at that time of year.
Toys & Games can be great items to sell on Amazon because it should be fairly easy to understand the market. Play-doh and Jenga are two top-selling items in this category currently; and that’s not a surprise… they’ve been around for years and years.
If you are going to get into the Toys & Games market, one thing you should be prepared for is to weigh shipping costs against whatever it is that you’re selling. Some packages can be a bit bulky, and this is an area where consumers look for deals. No one is going to spend hundreds on a Jenga set. (unless it’s one of those premium custom painted deals)
You should definitely plan to compete on price heavily if you’re going to be in this category.
Saying “electronics” seems kind of vague for such a huge category. That’s okay, because ideally you will find your niche within electronics. Electronics are one of the best things to sell on amazon.
It stands to reason that most people either have the electronics knowledge to dominate this category or they don’t. If you’re not good with tech, and not interested in the latest products coming out, you’re going to find it hard to compete here.
One good thing about electronics is that customers are often looking for the best solution, meaning you can have some pretty nice margins on premium-priced products.
Don’t forget to include bundles if you are selling electronics as products in this category are “frequently bought together” as Amazon likes to advertise.
Camera & Photo
This is a hot category right now, but it does come with a warning. This is not an easy place to compete, and it really takes some level of technical knowledge to get into the game.
While I think that it could be frightening to a newcomer, there also some obvious positives as well. People that are paying for security are going to pay for a product that makes them feel safe. If they’re buying a security camera for their business, it’s highly unlikely that they’re simply going to pick out the cheapest option and go on their way.
These systems can be fairly lightweight, meaning it will be easy to ship and as we just talked about, margins can be high.
Video games are of course a popular part of society today. Children today are playing more video games than ever and that makes this category a lucrative one for Amazon sellers.
Even though video games are going digital, they are still popular on Amazon. One thing to look for is old games or old technology that have been discontinued. These can fetch some great prices on Amazon and can be a lucrative market to get in to.
There are also a lot of things taking up top spots like gift cards & new games as well, don’t overlook the importance of gifting here – lots of grandmas buying their grandson or granddaughter a new game.
It wouldn’t be Amazon without books, right? Books are exactly what Amazon started with so many years ago and they still remain popular on the website today.
Books are an item that you really have to watch margins on. While new books can still fetch a pretty good price, older books may make it hard to make value on after fees and shipping. On the other hand, if you can find some books that are in high demand, you could be well on your way to some big profit!
Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry
This is another broad category – but it’s important to note that Amazon lists them all together. Obviously, customers will start to narrow down their options and use the “Search” feature to find what they want.
Your goal here is to stand out as opposed to your competitors. This is a HUGE section of the market, you’re not going to be able to start selling gray t-shirts and be the only out there doing so.
You’ll need some way for your products to stand out from others. Whether that’s on quality, on price, on value, or the uniqueness of your product – you definitely have to do something noteworthy in this area.
Choosing What to Sell on Amazon FBA
Once you have a category picked out, you need to figure out exactly what items you’re going to sell through Amazon FBA.
There are literally millions of products, so you really do need to think about this carefully. Let’s go through some basic ideas behind what products will be best for you to sell!
1. Product Size
Obviously, product size is going to factor in a great deal. Even if you are dealing with a set up where Amazon is paying shipping; you still have to get the products to them so if you’re thinking about scaling – shipping costs will still be important.
Every part of the logistics chain needs to run smoothly and product size can definitely affect that for your business.
2. Easily Made
Again, to go back to your logistics – you want a product that is easy to manufacture. Nobody wants to start up business on Amazon and suddenly be hit with a ton of quality issues that are going to affect your ratings and ultimately your sales.
Whatever you’re selling needs to be sturdy and you need to be sure that your products can take the wear and tear of shipping to a warehouse as well as shipping to a customer.
It’s a lot easier to protect your business before you even go down that path, as opposed to reacting to customer complaints.
3. Finding the Pricing “Sweet Spot”
Of course, pricing is always going to be a high priority issue when you start a business. There is a specific range for Amazon products that most businesses find to be the most successful. If it works for others, you probably need to heed their advice.
That “sweet spot” is in between $20 to $50. The reasons for that range are many. It seems that these kinds of products perform better online and you can see why. Most consumers are not going to trust your product if it’s selling for $3.99. Alternatively, a lot of customers probably don’t love buying a “high-ticket” item that is worth $499.00 without seeing it or knowing what it is like first.
This pricing range makes sense for a lot of reasons. It also will work with margins and costs associated with running an Amazon business. Usually, depending on what you’re selling, you’re able to find some profit margins in those zones for items that can be in high-demand and relatively easy to build up.
4. Are you Unique?
Here’s something to figure out when picking what to sell. Are you in a field where you can stand out and do better than what your competitors do?
The whole reason for running a business is that you want to improve someone’s life. Obviously, everyone wants to do well financially and business owners can really get caught up in the numbers sometime – but think about it. Are you doing this any better than anyone else out there?
If the answer is no, why should any consumer buy from you and not the competitor who is in your mind right now?
You’ve got to be able to compete and you’ve got to be able to bring value to the marketplace. Tricks and shortcuts will only get you so far, so make sure you’ve got the quality to back up what you’re doing.
5. Peaks and Valleys
Is what you’re selling a seasonal item? If so, do you have other items to be sold in the less busy times of year?
While most people will tell you to never sell seasonal items, I would agree with the warning that you need to be careful. You’re running a year-round business and have year-round costs. If you can modify your item so that it sells year-round, it may be worth it.
If you have something like a St. Patrick’s Day item that is only selling for 2 weeks out of the year… you may be in a bit of trouble.
Sales always go up around the Christmas season. We’ve seen that in stores for years, but you need to find something that will work for your business. Are you prepared to weather the highs and lows?
Finding the Best Products to Sell on Amazon – X Steps
Now we’re moving on to the 4 steps that will help you find the absolute best products to sell on Amazon.
Step # 1 - Avoid Big Brands
Big brands can be a positive indicator or a negative indicator. On one hand, it’s very hard to compete with big brands toe-to-toe. They can usually price items lower than you can. They usually have more manufacturing ability than you have. Who wants to get in a fight with a giant?
On the other hand, if you’re too scared of these big brands, you’ll never get anywhere profitable. You want to walk the line carefully when it comes to big brands.
Avoid them when you’re fighting on the exact same product if you can. However, look to the trends that make those big brands successful. What emotions are customers feeling when they buy certain products. How can you twist what you have to offer something great while staying out of the destruction of a big brand?
Step #2 - Look For Profitable Products (Use Software)
This is a very important step when it comes to being successful on Amazon. You are going to have to get comfortable using software to help you find profitable products.
There’s no way you can do all of this research on your own, and if you somehow could manage that – you certainly wouldn’t have time for any of the other actions in your business.
Using a tool like IO Scout, Jungle Scout, or Helium 10 is so important. I do highly recommend that you use a paid tool as well. Using free tools can be okay, and if you have to look up a handful of products, you probably don’t need a paid tool.
If you’re serious about this business and you really want to find the products that are most profitable – I really believe that one of the three listed above is the solution that you need.
Research is probably the biggest part of the Amazon “game” and without it you will get lost very quickly.
Step #3 - Is There Room to Beat The Competition?
You’re hunting for items here that have great profit margins and low competition.
Ideally, you’re going to pick a product that isn’t being sold by Amazon itself (who do you think they’ll rank higher?) and also isn’t sold by any huge corporate brands.
You want to stay away from items that are already best-sellers on Amazon, especially where one item is the stand-out item. If only one item is a best-seller, that means that customers know and love that product and don’t even really think about which item they’re going to choose.
If they’re not thinking about it, they can’t learn about you and put you in to their decision-making process.
One final note here is that you want to attack a product market where the reviews are low.
If you can start making sales right away and your product gets great reviews from a ton of customers, you’re going to be shooting right up to the top of the Search results. This is something that those paid software programs like IO Scout can really help with is making sure you generate those reviews in the right way.
Step #4 - Learn From the Best of the Best
To truly understand how buyers and sellers function on Amazon you need to spend a lot of time on Amazon. Research wins the day.
Look at the top sellers – especially if you can find top selling items from companies who aren’t the biggest out there. What are they doing right?
I can tell you one thing that all great sellers do on Amazon is they list their product specs in an easy-to-read format.
- They aren’t going to give you a wall of text that you can’t see.
- They aren’t going to use confusing descriptions.
- They don’t make it hard to tell what comes with the product
- They use bulleted lists like this one
Our eyes determine everything when it comes to online shopping. If you have information that is easy to decipher like the list above, wouldn’t that build more trust for you as a buyer and be more likely to convert into a sale?
Sourcing Products to Sell on Amazon
The most popular way to source your Amazon products is going to be from Alibaba. This is often referred to as the “Chinese Amazon”. You can get a lot of cheap items here, but you do need to be careful about the quality of what you’re buying. If you don’t have experience with this, you may want to be a bit careful.
Another great way to source your products is through retail arbitrage. This is a fancy name given to the act of buying cheap items that are worth a lot more.
You can find discounted items all through stores such as Walmart, Big Lots, and CVS, just to name a few.
This is a time-consuming method, but it can be effective depending on the market that you live in. If you’re doing this method, you’re probably not spending a ton on inventory due to the fact that you’re out manually shopping. It can also be a negative when trying to scale your business as well.
Some Amazon sellers also get into the business of drop shipping. Drop shipping is when you’ve essentially become the middle man and someone else is responsible for the products and the shipping (sometimes Amazon). This can lead to some customer problems with satisfaction and availability, so be careful if choosing this route.
Figuring out what things to sell on Amazon is a complex task that doesn’t have a “right” or “wrong” answer. What matters is if the items you sell are working for you as far as satisfaction and profit margins.
You should be able to track plenty of metrics to figure out if your customers like what you’re selling. No matter what, you should always stay “tuned in” to the marketplace to make sure that you’re doing what you need to so that your business stays successful.
How successful is selling on Amazon?
Amazon is one of the leading marketplace sites in the entire world, so you know there are many sellers having success with the website. Each individual seller will have different levels of success. If you are looking for a place to sell that has high visibility, it would make a lot of sense to go to Amazon due to the sheer size of their audience.
How much can Amazon sellers make?
Again, this is a question that really depends on the individual sellers’ goals. Some Amazon sellers are only looking for a bit of side income when they find heavily discounted items in their local area. Other sellers are looking to create multiple businesses when they start selling on Amazon.
Your income is almost unlimited when selling on Amazon, and it is realistic to say that many have quit their jobs due to the income they make on Amazon.
What does it cost to sell on Amazon?
There are a lot of variable fees and different packages when it comes to selling on Amazon. An individual plan costs $0.99 per item but includes referral fees and different closing fees based on the item. Professional plans start at $39.99, however again you should check with Amazon based on the exact business you’re running and how you are going to fulfill orders.
What is the most sold item on Amazon?
It’s impossible to say what the highest-selling item is right now on Amazon; however Alexa accessories and TV sticks have been popular lately as well as Crayola products, Nintendo games, many different types of books and audiobooks, as well as a multitude of clothing options.
The main categories that always stay popular are clothing, electronics, and home items. That’s because consumers have come to trust Amazon when it comes to these types of items.