Written by Eugene Cheng
More people are discovering the huge opportunities offered by private label selling on the Amazon FBA marketplace. Especially in the time of COVID-19! So, are there even any private label products left to sell on Amazon FBA? If everyone uses the same listing optimization tools to source products, how do you find a good product that stands out from the competition? These are common questions we hear from new and seasoned FBA sellers alike. Don’t despair, as the Amazon pie is big enough for all of us!
We put together this checklist of expert tips and tricks to help you find the best Amazon products, plus a free research and product launch checklist to give you that extra hand!
In this article, you will learn the process of sourcing a good product to sell on Amazon FBA as well as a few hidden tricks to do so. Before we do that, let’s first break down what exactly makes a great private label product.
What to Sell and Not Sell on Amazon
Consistent Demand / Low Seasonality: You want to sell products that sell consistently all year long, as opposed to seasonal items (i.e., Halloween costumes, Christmas decor, etc). Consistency is the key to success.
Small and Lightweight: The logic here is simple. The bigger or heavier the product is, the more it costs to ship and store it. As the size and weight of your product increases, the more you will have to pay for shipping. If your shipping cost is high relative to your sales price, the less your profit will be.
Evergreen: Evergreen, or everyday use items, are great for recurring purchases. For instance, we take supplements on a daily basis.
Niche Products: Be specific with what products you want to sell. For example, let’s say you want to sell “basketball shorts with pockets for men” instead of just “men’s shorts” or “shorts with pockets”. Make sure you take that extra step to dig deeper into Amazon product categories during your search.
Selling Price of $25 to $99: Anything higher takes a lot of capital to get started. Also, lower price points target impulse buyers. Customers put in less consideration when buying an $18 product compared to buying a $180 product. This is also a great way to test and validate your idea!
Huge Margins: Products with 100% or higher markups (at least 50%) are the way to go. You need to take into consideration Amazon fees, advertising fees, and product costs so you can reorder without losing profit.
- Less Than 1,000 Reviews: Generally, products with more than 1,000 reviews are very competitive. We will explain how you can get this data in the next section.
Trademarked: Trademarked products are a no-go, unless you want to get banned by Amazon and risk spending a ton in legal fees!
Fragile Goods: If possible, avoid products that require special care to package and ship. Fragile goods (i.e. whisky glasses) have higher processing/shipping fees and you don’t want to spend extra resources on replacing broken products.
Multiple Power-sellers/Selling Large Volume: If you’re thinking about selling iPhone cases or screen protectors, think again! That is one of the most competitive categories, with multiple power-sellers doing ridiculous sales every month. Unless you have a revolutionary iPhone case, you don’t want to compete in the red ocean.
Mechanical Products: You definitely don’t want to be dealing with hydraulics or complex machinery (i.e. motors) as they require warranties and are more prone to wear and tear.
Middle Ground Products:
High Maintenance: Products that come in different flavors, sizes, colors, and other variations are more geared towards seasoned and advanced sellers. That’s because they have higher return ratios and require higher maintenance. Shoes, clothing, and groceries fit into this category. Although the profit is lucrative, it comes with a lot of risks as well.
Licensing: Ever see one of those Ferrari perfumes in a duty-free store and wonder why would a car maker start selling perfumes? Simple: licensing. Advanced sellers interested in going down this route can do so by securing licensing deals with big brands.
5 Proven Tricks to Finding Top Products to Sell On Amazon
Now that you know what determines a great FBA product, it’s time to find one! Here are 5 proven tricks to help you with your search.
#1 Use Amazon as your starting point
One strategic way is to piggyback on Amazon’s Best Sellers, Amazon’s Movers & Shakers, Most Wished For, Amazon Gift Ideas, and Hot New Releases to brainstorm complementary products and bundling ideas. These subsidiary products show you what customers WANT.
Use an Amazon product research tool to get a complete look at an entire product category in seconds, all without needing to navigate away from Amazon. Use available filters to obtain results based on price, estimate sales & revenue, rank, reviews, ratings, listing strength to find potential products.
Below is an example of products associated with the keyword phrase “massage roller with handle” on Amazon.
Chrome Extension grabs live data so you can validate a product, fast.
Note the important piece of data on the far right - the launch budget. The launch budget is an estimated budget required to launch a similar product and get it to page 1 for the keyword phrase “massage roller with handle”.
The estimate is based on COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) as 30% of the average sale price and enough inventory for 3 months of organic page 1 sales volume.
Pro Tip: Depending on which marketplace you are researching, the level of demand and competition may vary. I recommend that you keep track of all your work in a spreadsheet.
#2 Use Google Trends
Another trick for finding top Amazon products is Google Trends. This powerful tool lets you gauge demand for your potential product by displaying how often it’s been searched for on Google. Check for consistency rather than volume. This helps you avoid fads (i.e. hand sanitizer) that cost you.
A comparison between the hand sanitizer and massage roller below will give you a clear idea of what to avoid. You can also determine trends for primary keywords for product listing optimization using Google Keyword Tool alongside Google Trends.
Google Trends lets you spot seasonal sales trends.
Google Trends identifies year-round sellers as well.
Once you’ve spotted a trend, it’s time to validate your idea using an Amazon product research tool. Focus on data points such as buyer demand, competition opportunity, revenue potential, and other important metrics to help you make a decision.
#3 Look at Trending Shopify Stores
While Amazon is definitely the biggest name out there, it isn’t the only eCommerce marketplace. Shopify has over 31% of market share in the eCommerce industry. You might find in-demand products to add to your store or to start a new brand with. Here’s an example of trending products to sell in 2020:
The top 20 items so far in 2020 on Shopify.
Don’t be afraid to research sales data from competing eCommerce platforms. You might find hidden gems that translate into big sales for your FBA business. With these three tips in hand, you’re already way ahead of your competitors!
#4 Look Around You For Private Label Product Ideas
Sometimes the obvious is not always obvious. Start by listing products that you interact with on a regular basis. For instance, “I would pack all necessary workout gear in my gym bag before grabbing my car keys to leave for the gym.” Based on this routine, there are already multiple products to potentially sell on Amazon.
One important note is to search for products that you would use so you fully immerse yourself in the user experience and have a clear idea of who your ideal FBA customers are.
#5 Visit Expos and Trade Shows/Fairs
Expos and trade shows host companies to showcase their latest and greatest products. This is a great opportunity for you to not only network with like-minded sellers, but most importantly, source potential products to sell on Amazon.
There are many expos and trade fairs to attend such as Canton Fair, eCommerce Expo, Global Sources, and many more.
3 Vital Questions to Ask Yourself When Performing Amazon Product Research
Can the product be improved? This is one way to steer yourself away from existing competitors. A ninja tactic to find out if a product can be improved upon is looking at competitors’ negative reviews to see what their customers think can be improved.
Can the product be bundled? This is a great way to get creative. For instance, if you sell massage rollers, you could bundle them with a massage ball or even a yoga mat.
Can the product be private labeled? Another advanced strategy I strongly recommend is to go down the private labeling route. This is a great way to build your own brand and stay in the game for the long haul.
Finding the best product to sell on Amazon is not easy. It takes a great deal of research and time to identify potential products. With all of the tips and tricks above, you now know which products will win or lose. The next step is taking a leap of faith!
Decide on 3-5 potential products and find reliable suppliers to purchase samples from (or get them for free, depending on your negotiating skills!). Choose your products based on suppliers’ information and trust your gut feeling.
Starting your own business might be daunting. The end result, however, is far more than worth it!
Ready to get a head start on your product search and start selling on Amazon? Download this FREE research and launch checklist today! It includes a valuable step-by-step guide and a product tracking sheet to help you make smart product launch decisions.
About the author
Eugene Cheng is part of ZonGuru’s business development team, Amazon business consultant, and blockchain enthusiast. ZonGuru is an all-in-one private label seller toolkit to provide sellers with powerful data insights and automation to grow and scale their business. Learn more about ZonGuru at: Instagram / Facebook / YouTube