With over 353 million listed products in various categories, Amazon is the global leader in e-commerce and online retail. In 2021, Amazon generated $457.9B in revenue and more than 50% of this amount was generated by third-party sellers on the platform. Anyone can become a third-party seller by creating an Amazon Seller account, listing products for sale on the platform and shipping items (or requesting Amazon to ship the item) when the customer makes a sale.
Amazon has a strong reputation of trust and a solid subscriber base of customers who order products regularly on the platform. Millions of customers come every day to the site looking specifically for things to buy. Anyone can use software tools to discover what customers are looking for and find gaps in the market. While competition is tough, the market is also big enough for you to carve a niche for yourself.
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How to find goods to sell on Amazon
Selling on Amazon isnt rocket science - it is a business model as old as time. You buy a product in wholesale prices from a supplier and sell it at a higher price on the platform. Your Amazon fees, marketing costs, shipping fees and profit margins determine your final selling price on the website. Once you have some profitable ideas, you can look for suppliers on sites like Alibaba. They can sell you existing products in wholesale or even manufacture customized products and packaging for you.
While the process is straightforward, the unlimited range of product choices can seem overwhelming. Many new sellers are eager to launch their Amazon stores but always get confused about what exactly to sell. If you are keen to start, but don’t know where to begin looking, we have your back! Read on to discover seven uncommon ways to find your next big Amazon product idea.
Method 1 - Retail and online arbitrage
Arbitrage is the simultaneous buying and selling of the same product in different markets to profit from tiny variation’s in the product’s price. For example, you purchase electronic devices at 50% discount during the holiday season. You then resell them at their usual rate on Amazon at a later time in the year. This technique is popular among some Amazon sellers and works well for certain product categories like books. You can use two types of arbitrage models:
Some retail stores sell products at cheap prices when compared to Amazon, especially during clearance sales or seasonal discounts. You can purchase and resell these products on the platform. Of course, you have to be on the continuous lookout for product sales to succeed in this model. Also you will not be able to establish a long term sales pipeline without a direct relationship with the supplier.
Online arbitrage is similar to retail arbitrage but you find discounts online instead of physical stores. You can use some browser extensions and apps that alert you automatically about the hottest deals online. You try and bulk order items from online sales and then start selling clearance items on Amazon. While the shopping itself is easier, you will have to pay additional shipping costs that could eat into your profit margins.
Method 2 - Wholesale dealers
You can buy items in bulk, at discounted prices, directly from the manufacturer or other wholesale dealers. To find new product ideas, you can look up popular, dealers in your area and negotiate the price of a large order from them. You can also use tools like Semrush's Product Research for Amazon to determine your profits at the different price points. The tool automatically calculates Amazon’s fees for you so that you can sell your direct-source products with confidence. Here are three steps you can take to find wholesale products to sell on Amazon:
Find high in demand products
You can also use the tool to find the most searched products on Amazon. You can be sure of the demand for your selected product by:
- Considering products from Amazon’s top-rated categories.
- Studying current best-selling products.
- Looking at search term volume for keywords that match your product.
Semrush's Keyword Wizard for Amazon can help you discover short and long tail (multi word) keywords that you can target in your listing.
Look for low competition categories
It is easier to launch a new product in low competition categories. As a newbie, it can be difficult to compete with established sellers having thousands of reviews. On the other hand, your chances for success improve greatly if your immediate competition has fewer reviews and even some negative feedback! Some quick tips include:
- Use Semrush’s Search Insights and Traffic Insights for Amazon to analyze competitor performance.
- Avoid over saturated niches with too many sellers having strong reviews..
- Conduct qualitative analysis of your competitors through SEO.
Look for good profit potential
After you’ve found a product that’s high in demand and has low competition, it’s no good to you if it can’t generate profit. Therefore, you need to conduct profitability analysis by:
- Keeping the price competition in mind.
- Understanding and including all involved costs,
- Preferring products that are small and lightweight.
Method 3 - Alibaba
Alibaba is the most prominent business-to-business wholesale online store based in China. If you feel like talking to wholesalers is not your cup of tea, you can get everything you want directly from China. Thanks to global shipping services, your bulk order can be delivered within a week, even if you’re in the United States. Moreover, even though international shipping is expensive, you can still enjoy good profit margins by selling three to five times higher than your purchase price. This makes buying from Alibaba and selling on Amazon a popular and profitable option. Below we give some tips on using Alibaba for product ideas.
Evaluate product samples
It is best practice to order a sample batch first to test the product quality and packaging. While samples cost more, they are a great investment, even when dealing with tested suppliers. Samples give you an opportunity to try the product yourself before selling it. You can also suggest design and packaging improvements before listing to the platform.
Use independent product certification experts
Even if the sample is great, you do not want defective products shipped to you later on. It is best to pay a small fee to third party product checkers who will verify every batch of products before it is shipped out to you.
Avoid payments outside of Alibaba
Using Alibaba to manage vendor payments gives you greater control and money back options in case of disputes. It is best to work with vendors who are part of Alibaba’s Trade Assurance Program. The Trade Assurance program gives you payment protection if either Product Quality or Ship Date vary from what you and the supplier had agreed to.
Copyright your products
You do not want other to copy your product or design. You can private label your unique product and packaging designs by getting yourself a brand name and a trademark. Private label sellers can also join Amazon Brand Registry program to get more marketing opportunities on the platform.
Method 4 - Custom print-on-demand products
Print on demand (POD) is a custom dropshipping service where you manufacture items only when you receive an order. You can sell coffee mugs, tshirts, keychains, cushion covers, notebooks and dozens of similar items with unique prints and designs on them. All you need is an Amazon approved POD supplier and some unique designs that sell. Your POD supplier will source and store items in their warehouse, and print and ship the item when you receive the order.
Since there is a high demand for POD goods, Amazon has created a sister marketplace called Merch By Amazon. Setting up a Merch account is relatively easy, and there are no upfront charges. You dont have to be an artist or a graphic designer to start selling on Merch by Amazon.
How to set up an Amazon Merch account
Firstly, you will need an invitation to get started on Merch. Visit merch.amazon.com and click on the blue “Request Invitation” button. Next, you will be required to fill out a form that will explain why you’re a perfect fit for Merch by Amazon.
Upon completion, Merch will add you to a waiting list due to high demand from sellers. Once Amazon approves your invitation, you will be given access to your Amazon Merch Dashboard. You can then create new designs for your POD offers, manage existing designs, and view your sales graphs.
Merch account status
Merch dashboards show your account status, including details like::
- Available submissions or the number of designs that your account is allowed to create.
- Published products or the number of approved designs you have on Merch by Amazon.
- Tier representing your seller level, influencing the number of designs and products you can list.
Method 5 - Handmade goods
If you create art and want to sell it on an all-exclusive marketplace, then give Amazon Handmade a try. You can take full advantage of handmade and sell your unique products to customers that appreciate and collect art.
The critical point here is that Handmade accounts follow a different business model from regular seller accounts. Every product listed needs to be handmade, hand-altered, or assembled by hand. Keep in mind that you cannot sell mass-produced products at all. Therefore, you can only sell products like:
- Abstract art
- Crochet handbags
- Bead bracelets
How to set up an Amazon Handmade account
To start selling your products on Handmade, follow these steps:
- Since you will be selling handmade products, you or your team member will have to handcraft each product sold on the marketplace.
- You will need to fill out an application and answer questions that will let Amazon determine whether you qualify as a Handmade seller or not.
- Decide the method you will use to fulfill your orders. You can use both Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfilled By Merchant (FBM)..
- In case you choose FBM, be ready to pack and ship your products as per Amazon’s guidelines so that your customers can receive the products.
While Handmade sellers enjoy lower fees and higher profit margins, you need to uphold the standards and expectations defined by Amazon to maintain the customer’s shopping experience.
Method 6 - Pinterest
Not many people realize the potential of Pinterest as a great resource to finding suitable private label product ideas. You can have a secret idea board on pinterest where you pin or save product ideas as images or links. Pinterest is a huge collection of images that reflect the dreams, hopes, and wishes of a large number of users. Because all idea collections, called Pinterest boards, are public by default, you can spot trends and popular patterns that you know will sell.
How to research Amazon product ideas on Pinterest
Pinterest research starts by searching for a keyword on the site and seeing what pictures come up in the results. You can use Semrush's Keyword Wizard for Amazon to find high volume low competition terms in advance. For example, if the tool shows that many people are searching for “Gadgets to improve productivity” on Amazon, you can search this term on Pinterest. Pinterest will show you a wide range of ideas in the form of images. You can save the ideas you like and then hire a designer to customize the idea into an actual product you can sell.
Method 7 - Product research tool by Semrush
Semrush's Product Research tool for Amazon simplifies the process of finding the right products to sell on Amazon. The tool’s smart filtering option lets you uncover low competition, high demand items to direct-source products that give you high-profit margins. Experienced sellers can also benefit by discovering new products to add to your product portfolio. Here’s how it works:
- Select the category that interests you and define the price range.
- Play around with the filters to uncover the most profitable products to resell.
- You can also calculate your profit line for the selected product by inserting the cost and selling price.
- Add products to your favorites tab to compare them and finalize the perfect product.
Research is crucial to succeed as an Amazon seller. While it can seem overwhelming at first, brainstorming new ideas is often the best path to success. If you are totally new, we suggest that you:
- Picking any one of the above ideas
- Do your research
- Make a stepwise checklist on what you need to achieve your first sale
- Complete your checklist tasks
Launching your first product is hard, but once you have done it you may soon find yourself replacing your 9-5 job with a fulfilling e-commerce business!
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Read further: There are millions of products that you can sell on Amazon, but you need the right one. Here’s how you can find the best-selling products to add to your listings. You can even launch a private label brand to compete with other performing brands through a competitive pricing strategy!