Back when I started my first brand on Amazon, I spent 90% of my time trying to find the best products to sell on Amazon.
I hated the process...
But by the time I launched my third brand, I had the process of picking winning products nailed. It's super easy and enjoyable. Moreover, I don't use any fancy software to do this, so there's no need to shell out for any specialized tool.
So here's what I'm going to do...
In this article, I'm going to share with you what has now become my best-kept product research strategy: how to find what to sell on Amazon in minutes, for free.
It works every time.
And when you see the logic you'll see why it works. It removes all the guesswork, all the stress and it enables you to literally look at the best products each and every time.
All you need to do is:
You can then integrate this process into your own Amazon business and start finding the best products around right after you finish here. No waiting.
So let's get to it, my friend.
There you have it, in a nutshell. Now let me expand on this topic to give you the full picture.
Before I hit upon this process, I had no idea how to pick a product to sell on Amazon. I visited a few forums to see what I could learn, but soon discovered that one half of the participants were asking things like 'what product should I sell on Amazon?' and the other half were busy arguing about what they each thought were the best products for Amazon FBA.
There were tips, of course, and I tried every method I could find. One strategy I heard in a podcast caused me to walk around with a notepad, constantly jotting down each and every idea that popped into my head. I would take the notepad to bed and wake up during the night, reaching for it and frantically scribbling down more product ideas.
Seriously, that's a strategy I've seen discussed in quite a few places.
Finding a product to sell on Amazon can be stressful, especially when you feel the pressure to hit a deadline you may have set for yourself, when you desperately want to launch a product and get started doing private label and making some money.
But, as gruelling as the process may seem, it's the key to success in Amazon. Choosing good products can be the make or break of your business - it's a skill every serious seller needs to develop.
And yet, many people have made the process so complicated that many sellers follow the advice but don't really know at the end of the process if they have a viable product or not.
That was me, when I launched my first product.
When it came to launching my second and third products, I actually took a different approach to find profitable products to sell. I sat down and thought about this whole thing logically.
And here's what I came up with...
Would you buy a little old car from the 70s that was worth nothing other than its scrap value, if you didn't like the car? I'm not talking about a collector's car here. I'm just talking about a car that really isn't worth anything.
I know I wouldn't. And if you didn't like the car, I don't think you would either.
But back in its heyday, that car may have been a best-seller.
Think about that for a moment.
[clickToTweet tweet="Products are actually tied to a timeline. They may be a best-selling product today, but they may not be tomorrow." quote="Products are actually tied to a timeline. They may be a best-selling product today, but they may not be tomorrow." theme="style3"]
When you start to look at products to sell and their potential with this idea in mind, it becomes completely pointless to try to find the perfect product, because there is no such thing.
And that's because...
[clickToTweet tweet="The perfect product today is not going to be the perfect product tomorrow." quote="The perfect product today is not going to be the perfect product tomorrow." theme="style3"]
This is great news, by the way, because this should remove all that stress, all that nail-biting and all the sleepless nights. There's no need to agonize over finding perfect products to sell in Amazon.
In fact, that's a waste of your time, as you'll see in a moment.
Attempting to dream up what to sell on Amazon really is like looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
There is one exception to that, and that is somebody who invents a product or comes up with a new variation of a product. However, the risk involved in innovating is much greater than launching a product that is a proven best-seller, and should in most cases be avoided unless that is part of your business plan.
If you want to make money on Amazon, the easiest route is going to be the tried-and-tested way (launch a good selling product). If you want to innovate, my advice is to do that later, after a few successes.
OK, let's plough on!
This is where Amazon 'hide' all the bestsellers. In plain view.
Once you click through to the best sellers, look at the tabs at the top:
Right there is a ton of information on what to sell on Amazon - this is what's selling right now - this is what sells the most.
This is where your product research begins.
On the left-hand side navigation of the best sellers page, you'll see a list of categories. This is where the real research takes place.
If you already have an idea of what you want to sell, then you already know the best FBA categories to look in. This method enables you to see the best products to sell in your chosen category based on what sells the most on Amazon right now.
In the video, I go through an example where I decide that I want to sell something for dogs.
Here's the process:
Amazon is telling you right now what is selling better than anything else.
There is ZERO guessing involved here. There's certainly no need to walk around with a notepad and your head in could 9 hoping to find inspiration to come up with great products.
Best of all, you can see the top 100 best-selling products in any Amazon marketplace, in any category or subcategory.
In less than a minute.
Let me repeat this point: right there, in front of you, is a list of products that are selling more than any other product, right now.
That is how you find the best products to sell on Amazon.
When you realize that how great the product is (or isn't) is tied to a timeline, you can see why trying to find (or think of) the perfect item to sell on Amazon is going to lead you down a rabbit hole.
The right question to ask is:
What are people buying in Amazon right now, in the marketplace that I want to sell in?
Then, you follow the process I just discussed, to answer that question. This way, your answers are data-driven, not guesses. Always let Amazon tell you the answers.
Now let's take a deeper dive...
The best category is going to depend a lot on you, and your resources.
For example, cosmetics is an example of a great category. But how great it is for you depends largely on your ability to compete in that category. If you choose a best selling product but you can't source it profitably, then it's not likely going to be a great category for you.
But we'll get to that in a moment.
Looking at this in a different way, does it matter what the category is if you're profitable? If you sell shower curtain rings and you make a fortune each month, then how much do you care about the cosmetics category?
You get my point.
So browse through the categories in search of products that you think are a good fit for your brand and your business, but don't get too hung up on the concept or a perfect category. All categories have products that sell well, and you can quickly find out what those products are by browsing the best sellers list in those categories.
So the top 100 best selling products in each category is where we start. Even the product listed at number 99 is a best seller. Out of all the products in the category, that product is the 99th best selling product right now. And that's nothing to turn your nose up at!
Now, let's hone in on the concept of perfection...
In most cases, a private labeller will be aiming to keep costs down. And that translates into a small, lightweight product.
The bigger and heavier your product, the more you're going to pay for delivery and - potentially - storage fees.
A lighter product is also going to reduce shipping costs from manufacturer to you, or to Amazon's warehouses. In many cases, smaller products (depending on what they are) may also be cheaper to buy (e.g. a phone case for a small phone may be a little cheaper than the same case for the bigger model of that phone).
If this is the case for you, it means that you can buy more units because you're saving costs on shipping.
That leaves us with a lot of choices. I mean, there are millions of products that fit this criteria.
So, where do we go from here?
Let's recap on this method so far:
The next step is to answer the only two questions that you're going to have at this point - and that's really it when it comes to finding the perfect product to sell.
Ok, let's see how we can nail both of those questions:
Sourcing a product is never a problem. The trick is getting it at a price point where you can make a profit after selling it.
[clickToTweet tweet="When it comes to finding great products, if somebody sells it, somebody makes it." quote="When it comes to finding great products, if somebody sells it, somebody makes it." theme="style3"]
Getting the product cheap enough is going to almost always come down to how many units you buy. If you just want to dip your toe in the water and buy a hundred units, you're simply not going to get as good a price as if you bought a thousand units.
It's worth pointing out here that you do not need to test the water in terms of testing whether the product will sell. Remember that you picked a winning product from Amazon's own best sellers list. The product is a proven product. It is a perfect product right now.
However, if budget is limited, then you may only be buying a few units, and that means settling for a smaller profit margin.
I get that. I've been there too.
Don't beat yourself up if your profit margin is small. Realize that when you're able to scale and buy more units in bulk, your price per unit will decrease and your profit margin will in turn increase.
Now let's look at making our chosen product look like a winner...
If you're able to source the product cheaply enough, you may be able to charge less than the competition. That would be a great opportunity to take a chunk of that market.
[clickToTweet tweet="Competing on price alone is never a great strategy unless you have the deepest pockets." quote="Competing on price alone is never a great strategy unless you have the deepest pockets." theme="style3"]
The problem is that, if competitors start discounting their prices, it can turn into a race to the bottom where the cheapest one wins (and that will very definitely kill your profit margin).
You have 2 choices when it comes to fixing this issue:
In practice, a lot of Amazon FBA sellers don't have the budget - especially those starting out - to customize a product too much, if at all. So they end of buying the same product that everybody else is selling.
Try looking for a case for your smartphone and you'll see what I mean. There are thousands and thousands of products that are more or less really the same item.
In fact, many sellers get their products from the same manufacturer and then use the manufacturer's own images... making it very obvious that it's literally the same product.
I've seen this countless times.
On that note, try to avoid using the manufacture's own photographs. Just remember that hundreds - if not thousands - of other sellers will be doing just that. To differentiate your product from others, or at least to try to make it look different, you're going to have to take care of the photography yourself.
Don't attempt to take the photographs yourself if you're not a photographer or if you don't at least have a good understanding of photography basics, and don't fall for thinking that the photos you took using your smartphone look great. They're not, and any photographer will tell you exactly why.
Taking sub-par photographs is one of the surest ways to kill your product's chances on Amazon. People will simply buy competing products if they look more professional.
Personally, I searched for and found a photographer on fiverr. He did an excellent job and I ended up using him for various other products.
Here's what I did:
I let him keep the products I sent to him, to save on postage costs, but also to establish a bit of a relationship. It's always good to build your network at every opportunity, and if you're an Amazon seller, then you need a good photographer in your network.
So back to the product's positioning...
As I said, you can request some customizations from the manufacturer, or you can at least brand it with your logo and try to make it look different to other competing products with imagery. The idea is to make it premium.
That said, while being able to position your product as a premium product is a great position to be in, it's not necessarily something that you need in order to survive and make sales.
My first brand has a range of products that are actually pretty much the same as everybody else's. It's in a very competitive niche and there are thousands of variations of this product. Furthermore, I'm not the cheapest seller in that niche.
But my products still make sales.
[clickToTweet tweet="People don't always buy the cheapest. They usually buy the one that they like the most." quote="People don't always buy the cheapest. They usually buy the one that they like the most." theme="style3"]
Your branding and how you present yourself (the words you write on your listing) can be a deciding factor when it comes to making sales, so don't worry too much about starting low if the budget isn't there, and look forward to scaling and bringing down your costs in the future.
A few units is all you need to get into the game.
The second question (can you beat the product that you want to compete against) requires a little research. But it's simple.
Check the best selling product's stats:
And then ask yourself: can you beat all that?
Don't sweat the reviews too much. People understand that you have to start from the bottom. Also, the more reviews you have, the more chances of a bad review popping up.
Sometimes zero reviews can be a blessing, especially when going up against a product with thousands of great reviews but a few very damaging 1-star reviews.
The title, description and bullet points are all about positioning, and since sellers can't copyright the alphabet, you're free to use other seller's titles and descriptions for inspiration in crafting your own.
Note that I say 'use for inspiration'. Don't copy somebody's listing - don't be that person.
Beating a good title and description is more than achievable. Keep in mind also that you can tweak and test variations of a title as you go.
Images are a must. You already know you need to use professional images. If your competitor isn't, then this is one place where you can very easily beat them. Also, use as many images as you're allowed in your listing. Products with just 1 image are usually very off-putting to buyers.
I want to quickly touch on the difference between marketplaces. It doesn't actually matter if it's Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon EU, or any other marketplace. I just couldn't include every marketplace in the title!
But here's what I want to point out:
If we find a great product to sell in Amazon UK, this does not necessarily mean that we automatically have a best seller in Amazon US.
A best selling product is tied to a timeline but also to a location.
So you still need to go through the same process to check out any other marketplace and see what the best selling products are right now in those marketplaces
When it comes to finding the best products to sell on Amazon, look at what people are buying right now. Those are best products right now.
Amazon shows you what is currently selling well. There's no need to guess. The list of best sellers is where you conduct your product research.
Those bestsellers are tested and proven best-selling products, all of which are perfect products to sell right now in Amazon.
This removes all the guesswork and stress when it comes to choosing what to sell as a private label seller.
Apply this simple but powerful strategy in your own business and never again stress about wondering what will sell.