While there are many things to think about when starting an e-commerce business, there’s one question that we get asked over and over: How do you pick which product to sell on Amazon? Whether you’re brand new and want to learn how to sell on Amazon or you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while, you’re not alone if you’re asking this question.
We all know the potential of selling products on Amazon. As big as e-commerce is now, it still accounts for only 12% of all commerce. It’s projected to grow significantly over the next five years, and the fastest growing sector is mobile shopping. If you’ve ever purchased something from Amazon on your phone, you know how incredibly easy they make it to buy. With just a few clicks, you can have an item on your doorstep in 48 hours. Not only that, Amazon is already bigger than the next 10 biggest e-commerce platforms combined. This is the reason we eat, sleep, and breathe Amazon, and we’re so excited about the potential for you to build a profitable business.
What all this means for you is that we’re still in the early stages of the Amazon and e-commerce “gold rush,” and there are huge financial opportunities for those that follow a defined process for success.
But with so many products to choose from, it can be overwhelming and intimidating to know where to start when learning how to sell on Amazon. Some people make the mistake of doing just basic product research and then jumping right in to sell on Amazon, while others let the research process stop them from moving forward. So if you’re asking the question of how to choose the best products to sell, you are starting in the right place.
Choosing the right products is essential to building a strong foundation for your business whether you are a veteran Amazon Seller or if you are in the category of “How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners”.
These days at AMZ Insiders, we have a large headquarters, a warehouse, and a team of people, but at one point we were just starting out and trying to figure out all the steps we needed to take. We made some mistakes in the early days in choosing which products to sell, so I want to help you avoid the mistakes that we (and many others) made so you can establish a strong foundation for your business. Today I’m excited to share our exact process for finding products to sell on Amazon, along with 3 essential tools that will help you in this process.
So, how do you find a profitable product to sell on Amazon?
The first (and possibly most fun) way is to travel. I’ve enjoyed traveling to China to explore product options–it’s a great perk of this business. There are large markets there where you can meet manufacturers or sourcing agents to look at a wide variety of products. But while traveling is a fun aspect of the e-commerce business, and I encourage you to do it if you can, it’s not a requirement.
If you don’t have the time or funds to travel to China right now, here is a step-by-step process for choosing the most profitable products from home to sell on Amazon:
1) How to Sell on Amazon – Begin collecting ideas of products to sell on Amazon.
There are several ways to gather product ideas. As you look around in your daily life, ask yourself whether the item is something people would buy on Amazon. (Most of the time, the answer is “yes.”) You’ll be amazed at how many products you’re surrounded by on a daily basis.
- Look around your own house. If you see something interesting, you can begin to look that product up. For example, take a look at the cooking supplies or wine accessories in your kitchen.
- Look for ideas while you’re shopping. You can get all sorts of great ideas while you’re out and about.
- Listen to your kids, friends, and family. What new items are out that people are using?
- Type randomly into Amazon. Amazon’s search function is really powerful. By simply typing letters into the search bar, Amazon will autofill the search bar with items that people are searching for most.
- Look at Amazon bestsellers. There is a wealth of information that can be found on Amazon’s best seller lists. The BSR (best seller rank) gets updated every hour, which allows you to see top selling items in every category.
- Be creative and brainstorm.
The key with this initial step is that you should not make any buying decisions yet! This is a mistake many people (myself included) have made. It’s really easy to get excited about making money on Amazon and jump into buying a product based on brainstorming instead of research. This step is a great place to start, but make sure you keep going in this process so that you will be set up to compete with profitable products.
2) How to Sell on Amazon – Analyze & Research Products to Sell on Amazon
Once you have some ideas that you’ve brainstormed, it’s important to spend a lot of time analyzing and researching specific products using the following process and 3 helpful tools to find a product to sell on Amazon.
Search AMZProductSpotter.com (also known as the Jungle Scout Tool).
This is an amazing, game-changing tool that we use extensively at AMZ Insiders. For this process, we’ll be using the Niche Hunter and the Chrome Extension. The Niche Hunter does some heavy lifting for you as you begin your search for a product to sell on Amazon. It allows you to search within categories on Amazon using specific criteria, such as price and marketplace, to find quality opportunities that you can then research further.
Try searching on the Niche Hunter with these tips in mind:
→ An average price of $15 – $50 is a good place to start because this is where there are a lot of impulse buys on Amazon.
→ If the quality of the current listing is poor (“Listing Quality Score”), that means there is an opportunity for you to create a better quality listing and outperform your competition.
When you find an item that looks interesting, you’ll need to analyze it with the Chrome extension.
Click on it to head over to Amazon to view the product. From the product you pulled up, copy the keywords from the product title and search for this on Amazon. So for example, if I found a “4-step dog stair,” then I would search Amazon for all 4-step dog stairs to see what comes up. Once you get the search results, this is where you’re going to use the Jungle Scout Chrome extension, which takes all of the items from your search and calculates an estimate of how much sales each product does in a month. Using this tool, you’ll also see how many reviews a product has, who the seller is, and how competitive it is.
As you analyze, you’re looking for a few things :
- How well does this product sell?
- Do you think this is a market you could compete in? If you’re just beginning, you may want to go with something that’s less competitive.
- Is it profitable? To answer this question, we’ll head to our last 2 tools to determine profit potential.
Find product costs on Alibaba.com.
In learning how to sell on Amazon, Alibaba is the world’s largest B2B marketplace that connects you with manufacturers and sourcing agents around the world. To assess your product cost, head there and type in the product you were analyzing in Jungle Scout. Although there is still more work to be done, the range of prices will give you a good starting point to use the last tool.
How to Sell on Amazon – Determine profit potential using the Amazon FBA Calculator.
Head back to the product you’re researching on Amazon, and use the Amazon FBA Calculator. This tool populates all the data from Amazon, so all you need to do is enter in what the product costs. You’ll be able to see the FBA Fee as well as your margin. Typically, you want to target margins of at least 30-50%.
3) How to Sell on Amazon – Add Value
Once you’ve found a promising product to sell on Amazon, you will need to add value in some way, such as a different color, combination, or packaging. We’ll discuss this idea more in a future tutorial, but it’s important to round out the research process by thinking about ways you can add value to a listing.
Check out the video below to see me walk through each of these tools with real life examples.
Finding the right product up front is absolutely critical to having a successful e-commerce business, and it makes the rest of the process much easier. This step-by-step, repeatable process for researching products to sell on Amazon will help you set yourself up for success. It will help you avoid the pitfall that many people fall into of picking products randomly, and you’ll be way ahead of the majority of the competition from the beginning!