Amazon is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. Thinking of a product to sell is hard enough, but actually finding suppliers is way much harder. On Amazon, you have to do careful research before you start selling.
Whether you are an affiliate marketer or you want to sell on Amazon, you have to understand what the market demand is, who your competitors are and whether selling the item you want is profitable.
Today, you will learn some important techniques that will help you do this. After this tutorial, you will no longer be in the dark, trying to find your way which products can make you decent profits.
Is selling on Amazon still profitable?
Before you start selling, you have to know whether you will make money or not. As an Amazon seller, you have to pay fees.
You have to pay $0.99 for every time you sell on Amazon. At this rate, you are limited to selling less than 40 items per month. If you sell more than that, you have to move to the Professional plan where you have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.
In the professional plan, the $0.99 seller fee is waived, and you can sell more than 40 products a month. The selling fee is the most basic fee that every seller have to pay.
The referral fee varies between the different product categories. You have to pay this fee to Amazon, so the company can cover its marketing costs. The referral fee is paid per item.
The referral fee ranges between 6% and 96% of the cost of the item you sold. If you are selling extended warranties, Amazon will charge 96% of that warrant cost.
If the product you are selling falls under the media category, you have to pay a Closing Fee of $1.80 per item. Examples of media items are books, DVDs, games, and game consoles.
Book Rental Fee
If you are renting out physical books to people through Amazon, you have to pay $5 for every successful rental.
These fees do not yet include shipping costs, handling and packaging costs, plus the money you pay if you are on Amazon FBA.
So, is it still profitable to sell on Amazon?
The answer is yes. The trick here is to understand your costs and then ensure that you price your products accordingly. This is why it takes a lot of research to find the right product to sell.
Once you know your costs, the next step is to find a competitor, and check how your selling price would compare to them. Can you lower your prices to be more competitive? Or should you think of more value-added services to justify your price?
As a third-party seller, Amazon is a great place to sell your items. Jeff Bezos once said that Amazon’s sales back in 1999 was accounted for by 3% of third-party sellers like you. Fast forward to today, 58% of all Amazon sales are from third-party sellers.
What should you sell on Amazon?
Pretty much, you can sell everything on Amazon except those that are unethical and illegal. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what items sell best on the platform, and whether there is a demand or not for the products.
The three things you need to consider are:
- Generic brands where lower prices are better
- Unique products whose price does not matter
- In-demand products that everybody needs
1. Generic brands where lower prices are better
There are many items where the brand name is not important. An example is a kitchen utility like a sponge. The cheaper thy get, the more they sell. The same thing
applies to rags, tissue paper, and other commodity items where even the cheapest products can do the job.
2. Unique products whose price does not matter
Unique products sell despite the high price because people cannot find them anywhere else. If you are selling print-on-demand shirts and mugs, you are the only seller who has these designs, and it is likely that you will be copied.
If this happens, you have no choice but to continue being creative. The only exception is if you have your designs and products patented.
3. In-demand products that everybody needs
There are some things that people would need all the time like shoes, shirts, make-up, and a whole lot more
Products that are in constant demand have a market. The thing is that they also bring in low profit because if there is a demand, then there is surely a tough
The key to selling products like this is to be creative. You have to find a way to sell the items in volume. A product with a small net profit margin of $5 means a lot of you are selling 1,000 of that in a month.
If the product you are thinking about meets any of these three, then you are in a good position to sell on Amazon.
Here is our list:
- Clothing and accessories – i.e. shirts, dresses, and accessories
- Skincare and cosmetics – anything that is used to make a person look good
- Health and nutrition – these are vitamins that are FDA-approved, including herbal supplements that have no therapeutic claim such as weight loss supplements
- Home and garden – curtains, bedsheets, power tools and gardening items have high demand
- Toys and Pets – anything that has to do with playing and pet care, plus pet accessories, have a demand.
These categories are major niches, so to speak. If you want to really succeed, you have to niche down first. For example, you cannot just sell all types of clothing and accessories all at once, or you will get lost and overwhelmed.
Instead, what you have to do is to sell leggings first, or jeans. It is up to you what type of product it is, but choose only one or two types at the most. Find a supplier for that specific product, and then sell them on Amazon.
Take the time to learn how the market reacts and how you can do better in marketing. You also need to use this time as a learning curve for you to understand the other aspects of the business, such as customer service, shipping times, handling refunds, and so much more.
What to Sell On Amazon: 9 Easy Ways to Find Products That Sell
Now, it is time that we talk about the different techniques on how you can find products that sell on Amazon.
In business, only two types of people succeed: those who bring something new to their industry (think iPhone) or those who use business statistics to make decisions about what to sell.
These nine methods are leaning towards the second type. If you know what products are on-demand, where to find them, and how to sell them, you are on your road to success in selling on Amazon
1. Take Advantage of an Amazon Keyword Research Tool
A keyword tool tells you the number of searches for a particular keyword. If you are planning to sell Baby Yoda on Amazon, the first thing you want to know is if there are people searching for that item.
You can only know that number if you use a keyword research tool, which scrapes information from Amazon only, not from the whole internet. One such example is KeywordTool.IO.
It is a free keyword research tool that shows people’s interest not just on Amazon, but in other platforms, too.
In the screenshot below, we tried searching for Baby Yoda. What we see here is that the Baby Yoda term has 23,800 searches. That number represents the average number of searches for that keyword per month.
We can also see that there is a positive trend of +124%. This trend represents how much the search volume has increased or decreased over the last 12 months.
The CPC shows the amount of money that you are likely going to pay to Google Ads if you ever want to advertise. The last column, the Competition, shows a number between 0 and 100, with 100 meaning there is a seriously high number of sellers for this product.
Here are the benefits of using this tool:
- Know if there is an adequate amount of interest for a product you want to sell
- Find relevant keywords about what people are looking for in that niche
- Determine how the trend is going on; it can be upward or downward
- Check how much it would cost you to run an ad for that keyword
- Find out if you are going to be on a highly competitive niche
If you know these details, you can make a wise business decision whether or not to pursue selling a product. Should you decide to sell that product even if there is a high competition, at least you know what you are up against, and prepare for it.
2. Check or Keyword Ads on Google
If you intend to drive traffic specific to your Amazon page, you have to advertise on Google. But before you do this, you have to know what keywords would trigger an ad on Google.
To be able to do this, you have to use the Google Keyword Planner tool. While there are so many tools out there, the best one to use is Google because the data set comes from Google itself.
Once you are logged in your Google Ads account, just click on Tools & Settings > Keyword Planner. See screenshot below.
After this, select Get Search Volume and forecasts. Enter the keyword you want to search or analyze, and then click on Get Started.
Once the results are in, click in Historical Metrics. Here, you will see the average monthly searches for this keyword in the entire Google Universe.
If you analyze closely, you will find out that the competition is low. On the right side of this page, you will also see how much the current top bid is on the low range and the high range. The values for both of these are shown in the currency where you are.
These bid ranges show you how much you have to bid for your products to be shown on the low positions of Google Ads, and how much you have to pay to be on top.
You do not have to beat these prices. What you have to do is to create an ad campaign and bid for this keyword for an average price of both.
Let us say that the top bid on the low range is $0.03, and the top bid for the high range is $3.1. The average of both is $1.65. In this case, you must create a campaign and pay $1.65 for your CPC cost.
How does this help you find what products to sell? This approach works because it helps you confirm whether your ideas would work.
Here are the benefits of using Google Keyword planner:
- You would know how much it could cost to advertise
- You know if your keyword has enough search volume
You know the level of competition the Google Universe
Earlier, we found out that there are 23,000+ searches for Baby Yoda shirt in Amazon, and yet there are only roughly 10,000 in Google?
Why is there a difference?
What you need to understand is that when people search Baby Yoda on Google, they are not looking for shirts but rather about the character. What this tells you is that there are people who are not exactly looking for a Baby Yoda t-shirt, but they may be interested.
If you show your ads to them, then they are likely to click the ads and then buy.
On Amazon, the 23,000+ search results is a direct search on the Amazon website, which Google has no access to. These 23,000+ searches came from people who are looking for a shirt.
Now, if you combine both these tactics, you know that there is a demand on Amazon for Baby Yoda t-shirts and that there is also high competition. But you also know that there is low competition on Google.
What you need to do is to put your Baby Yoda t-shirt on Amazon, and then advertise on Google. The people that search for that keyword on Google are your target customers outside of the Amazon website.
3. Go to Aliexpress or Alibaba
Alibaba and Aliexpress are like the Amazon of China. The big difference is that these two websites, owned by Alibaba, is a hub of manufacturers and suppliers from China.
A lot of the world’s products, including branded ones like Nike and iPhones, are manufactured in China. If you go to any of these two websites, you can find dropshippers who will be willing to ship the items to your customers on a retail basis.
The other approach you can take is to buy the products wholesale, and then have them shipped to your house. Once you have them, you can now start selling on Amazon.
If you take the wholesale route, your other option is to ship your products to Amazon. Once you have received the items, you can catalog them, and add barcodes, and then send them to the Amazon warehouse.
This is called Amazon FBA, and we have a blog about that in detail here:
If you do not want to invest a huge amount of money for your capital, the best thing to do is to dropship on Amazon.
In the dropshipping business model, you basically post the products of other people in your Amazon store. Once an order comes through, you have to go to AliExpress and then order it from the supplier, and then the supplier would ship the item to your customer.
There are millions of items for sale on both Alibaba and AliExpress. And all of them are really affordable. Because of this, be prepared to face a lot of competition.
What you can do is to brand your own products. You can do this by looking for white label suppliers on both websites. White label means that the supplier will attach your brand label to the products.
With that, it would look like as if you manufactured your own product even if you did not. There is no easy way to do this, but you will know if a seller does white-label in the product pages of AliExpress.
4. Use Data from Google Trends
Google Trends is different from Google Ads. The ad network of Google is focused on product searches and not on generic search terms.
In Google Trends, you will find out what people are searching for over the last decade, and then compare that with other search terms.
To start your analysis, go to Google Trends and then type a keyword. In this case, we will use Baby Yoda.
Once the results are in, we want to expand or narrow down our search. Since we are selling on Amazon, our primary target is the United States for the last 12 months.
As you can see on the screenshot below, there is a downtrend in the search term for Baby Yoda in the Google universe in the recent months. If you think about it, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker was released in December of 2019.
In the trailers and reviews, people found out that Baby Yoda is in the film. This caused an interest, and this is why the search term climbed to a score of 100 in the first week of December.
In Google Trends, each search term’s popularity or performance is measured between 0 and 100. A score of means no one is looking for it. A search term of 100 means that it is at its peak.
With Google Trends, we can expand our search to our specifications. We can also compare search terms with each other.
Look at the screenshot below. We highlighted the areas you can change to expand or narrow down your search.
You can choose specific countries or worldwide, select the duration for past several hours, months, or even back to 2008, show results only for specific categories and also choose where you want the search happened.
Take a look at this sample:
From this, we can see that there really is little interest in Lion King toys worldwide, from 2008 to present in Google Shopping.
We know that there is more interest in Baby Yoda, and this is because of the film being released. If you play around this tool, you will find a lot of helpful data to help you decide whether or not there is a demand for your product.
6. Find the Top Selling Products in Amazon
Since you want to sell on Amazon, then one technique you should not miss is to find the best selling products in Amazon itself.
To get to this information, just go to Google and search for Amazon best sellers. Once the result is in, go to the link of Amazon’s best-seller like the one below.
Depending on the product you want to sell, you have to scroll down and look for the category. The top one that we can see is for toys, and below that are electronics.
If we click on the Toy category, you would see a wide range of products that sell the most on Amazon, like the one shown below.
The main challenge with this approach is that you cannot determine how many of these products are sold. The only things you can see are the products themselves and their prices.
What you can do to dig further is to click on one product, check the quality and product description for each, and also check the product price plus the shipping rate.
Once you have gathered the data yourself, you are in a better position to put a price on your own products.
If you are building a dropshipping store, you can compare the Amazon prices against your supplier’s prices. This way, you can carefully study if your products are competitive enough.
While doing this exercise, it is best that you use a spreadsheet, like MS Excel, to list down important details about your competitors.
7. Find Out What People Are Watching on eBay
Amazon and eBay are tough competitors. It is likely that the customers on Amazon are also browsing eBay for the same products.
The thing with eBay is that it is an auction site. On eBay, they can add items for sale on their watch list, and then just buy it later on.
To find out if people are watching a product similar to yours, go to Watchcount.com. On that site, you will see a box where you can type the keyword of the product you are searching for.
In this case, we will type Baby Yoda in the yellow box, and then hit the Show Me button. Once this is done, the website would show a result, as shown below.
As you can see, the most-watched item is an embroidered Baby Yoda with 126 watchers. These 126 watchers are spying on the same product, so you know that there are 126 people who are surely going to want to buy this item.
The reason they are watching this is that it is a product that is up for bidding. They are only trying to see if the current bid price is within their budget.
But if you can sell this at a lower price on your Amazon store, then you surely have a customer base for this item.
7. Use SaleHoo to Find Top Sellers
SaleHoo is a dropshipping supplier tool. You need to be a registered member before you can use it.
As a directory, SaleHoo has a list of suppliers from around the world. These suppliers are carefully selected, and they will ship the items directly to your customer.
Because SaleHoo is one of the biggest supplier directories in the world, it has what is called the Market Labs. The Market Labs is a tool that would show you the best and trending products to sell not just on Amazon, but in the world.
The cost of SaleHoo is $67 per year, or you can pay a lifetime membership fee of $127.
Take a look at the screenshot below of how you can find top sellers on this tool.
With Salehoo, you can use the sliders on top to show you only products that have a 100% Sell Rate.
What this means is that product sells. You can also drill down your search according to the price or the category.
If you click on a product you like, the tool will show you how many suppliers are manufacturing this item, where they ship to, and if there is a minimum order.
With the SaleHoo Market Labs tool, you will have real data that can show you if you are going to have a hard time selling the product or not. All you need to do is to spend some time browsing different products.
8. Use Oberlo for Research
Oberlo is a free tool where you can find dropship suppliers who ship globally. Aside from that, Oberlo knows what products sell because the tool is used by many dropshippers on both Amazon and Shopify.
Oberlo is free, so you just need to sign up for an account to be able to use the search tool. The other plans that are paid are best used by dropshippers on Shopify. You can also get the paid version if you are already earning money from your Amazon sales.
For now, use the free tool. Once you have signed up, go to your dashboard. On the left side, click in Search Products.
In our example, we will take a look at Baby Yoda. Type Baby Yoda in the search box and then hit Search.
As you can see from the results, you can view how many reviews are left for the product, how much it costs, how many pages views it has generated from dropshippers, and how many orders are currently pending.
From this tool, you can find out if the product you want to sell has a demand or if there are suppliers out there that can sell it to you for a lower cost.
9. Check Product Reviews in Your Desired Niche
The last step method we can show you is to check product reviews for the same products you want to sell. Once you are sure that there is a market for your items, head on to Amazon and see how the other sellers performed.
Let us try Baby Yoda in this demonstration. If we use that keyword, we will see the search results in Amazon below.
As you can see, the cup to the left side has sold several pieces with ten reviews. Now, here is the problem; it only has a rating of 3.5 stars.
If we click on that and then look for customer feedback, most of the customer complaints are fairly easy to fix.
As you can see, one said that the item was broken, and another said that there are black smudges to the print. If you can find a supplier who can guarantee high quality, you can easily use this to your advantage.
Selling on Amazon requires patience and hard work. Like anybody else, you have to know that traffic on Amazon is easy to get. However, buyers also know that you are not the only person selling that item.
You need to understand your competitors, trends, and then change your marketing approach and business performance from time to time. To succeed in sales, you have to be on top of your game and be an active entrepreneur.
Start using the techniques we discussed here to find the items that sell. Choose one or a few tools, and then start working your way up to a successful online business in Amazon.