How to Find Products to Sell on Amazon

Amazon’s FBA program provides an incredible opportunity for driven individuals to make money online with a small upfront investment. Amazon is a well-established platform where hundreds of thousands of shoppers go every day to purchase products.

If someone buys your product, Amazon will pack and ship the item with their guaranteed 2-day delivery. All you have to do is find a product to source, list it on Amazon, and convince shoppers to purchase.

Sounds easy enough. But not all products are created equal. The price point might be too low or competition too high.  These factors can leave you stuck paying Amazon’s storage fees for inventory that won’t sell.  If you want to reap all the rewards of the Amazon FBA program, you must pick a product with potential. Here’s how to find products to sell on Amazon.

1. Generate Ideas for Products to Sell on Amazon

Before you can dive in and start evaluating potential profit for a market, you need a handful of product ideas. Think of small items that are within Amazon’s standard size requirements—18” x 14” x 8”—and are mechanically and electronically simple.

PRODUCT MARKET: A product market refers to the products that appear on a search result page for a keyword.

Most people want to start with something that is easy to manufacture and lightweight to ship. You also want to find an item that sells at a good price point between $15 and $30. Don’t feel boxed in by these criteria, but this is a great first step to find products to sell on Amazon.

You can walk around your house or the store to look at the items and start writing a list. You can also browse on Amazon to try to find ideas to add to your list. Or to quickly find a list of profitable ideas, you can use a product finder tool, like the Viral Launch Product Discovery tool.

Product finders are really helpful because they allow you to filter for the kind of product you want to sell.  For example, you can filter a product in a certain category or one that sells about 1,000 units a month.   It allows you to specify several filters within the tool and see catered results that are much more likely to be favorable markets.

You can get a pretty good list going by just looking around your house. But when you do your market research, you might find that all of the ideas on your list have too low of a price point. And then you’re back to square one. With a product finder, the product ideas that you’re starting with are much more likely to end up being ideal markets. For more information on how to use Product Discovery to find product ideas, check out our Product Discovery strategy guide videos.

2. Do Market Research

Once you have a list of product ideas, it’s time to do market research to make sure the market is favorable. You can try to do this manually, but with affordable tools like our market research software, Market Intelligence, there’s really no reason for the extra work.

A market research tool will quickly gather all the data for an Amazon product market for you. You can see estimated monthly sales, price point, number of reviews, etc. And with Market Intelligence, you can see sales, price, and review trends as well. Trends are helpful because they can show you whether a market is on the up and up or if it’s declining.

Market research helps you ensure success for your products to sell on Amazon. You want to know that you will achieve sales and make your money back multiple times over. As you look at the markets for the products on your idea list, here are a few things you’ll want to look for:

    • Monthly Sales: Typically, well-priced products with about 1,000 monthly sales per product provide great revenue for someone just getting started. However, if you are looking at a product with a higher price point, lower monthly sales may be just as lucrative.
    • Price: Products that sell for about $15 – $30 are the sweet spot for new private label sellers. They offer a healthy margin as long as the product is mechanically and electronically simple and easy to manufacture. This is just a guideline, and products to sell on Amazon outside of this range can be profitable with the right margins and sales numbers.  
    • Sales Distribution: By looking at estimated monthly sales for page one products in the market, you can see sales distribution. Sales distribution is how often shoppers purchase products on the lower half of the first page of results for the product’s main keywords. Design-oriented products typically have better sales distribution because shoppers browse for the product that is the color, pattern, or design they prefer. Distribution matters because the more shoppers browse, the easier and cheaper it is for you to win a sale without having to fight for that very top slot.
    • Number of Reviews: The fewer reviews top sellers have, the easier it is to launch a new product in that market. Shoppers look to reviews for social proof of a product’s desirability and quality. If you can get a competitive number of reviews in your market, your product can quickly sell competitively.
    • Product Ratings: If the average rating for top products in a market is low, there is likely room for product improvement. Read customer reviews and find out what the common complaints are. Then ask your manufacturer to make changes to your product to address these pain points. And, continue to make product quality your number one priority with regular inspections. If your product is the only 5-star product in the market, you’re going to win the majority of the sales.
    • Sales Trends: Using Market Intelligence, you can see sales, price, and review trends. Trends help you understand the trajectory of a market. For example, if you look at the sales estimates for beach towels in the coming months, they will be much higher than if you had looked in January. Make sure you know what to expect from the market you’re getting into. Most new sellers want a product that sells consistently all year around. You’ll want to beware of fad products that are seeing  recent spikes in sales and drop in price. You don’t want to have to sell your product at or below cost just to get rid of it.
    • Other Obstacles: Don’t forget to consider your competition. Take note of whether or not Amazon is an active seller in the market. Make sure that the main keyword for your market is not trademarked. For example, Band Aids is a trademarked term, and the top seller in the market is a recognizable brand. Do your due diligence to ensure you understand the market that you’re getting into as you’re finding products to sell on Amazon.

 

3. Calculate Upfront Cost and Profitability

Once you’ve narrowed down your product ideas, calculate your upfront cost and potential profitability. To help with this step you can use the free Viral Launch FBA Calculator. Just plug in a competitor ASIN and edit the weight, dimensions, and unit cost for your product. You can get this information from prospective suppliers before you purchase.

Remember to err on the side of pessimism with your profit projections. Just because the top product in your market sells 5,000 units a month doesn’t mean you can replicate those numbers. They could be running constant promotions or using black hat tactics to drive sales. Don’t base your projections on a single listing. Look at market averages, and be realistic.

You’re well on your way to FBA success!  Remember to put together a good list of product ideas, do thorough market research, and calculate your costs and profits. 

For more information on finding profitable products to sell on Amazon, download our guide: 3 Steps to Finding Your Next Great Product

 

GET THE GUIDE

Update: Find International Products with Product Discovery

Many sellers have been awaiting the launch of Product Discovery in global markets. Well, the day has finally come! Just like Market Intelligence and our Launch platform, Product Discovery now allows you to find international products in the following countries:

  • UK
  • Germany
  • Canada
  • Mexico

We are also on track to roll out other international markets in quick succession, including:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • France
  • India
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Japan

Try Product Discovery International  

Find International Products

With international markets now enabled on Product Discovery, you can easily select the market you are wanting to compete in from the top menu. Just look for the location drop-down menu on the top right of the screen, and select your preferred marketplace.

Once you have selected your market, some of the language inside the tool will change. For example, when looking for product ideas in the German marketplace, the category names will appear as they do on Amazon.de. Likewise, if you are searching by Keyword, the keyword results will be in German.

This is where being able to quickly transition to Amazon becomes really handy. If German is not one of your primary languages, you won’t be able to tell what the product is or even what category it is in. Click the View on Amazon button for the products whose metrics look most favorable to you, and give yourself a few tabs to explore.

 

Validate International Product Ideas

Once you’re on Amazon, use the Market Intelligence Chrome extension to get the most up-to-date star rating for the product as well as historical information about how the market is trending. You can also see sales trends, price fluctuation, and market averages for revenue, sales, price, reviews, and star rating. While Product Discovery helps you find products, Market Intelligence will help you to validate, or invalidate, that market.

Market Intelligence provides data and insights for international markets including the following: UK, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

Launch In International Markets

Viral Launch also offers international launches in the following marketplaces: UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. Coming this year in 2018, we will also offer launches in Japan, India, China, and Mexico.

The opportunity to expand into international markets at this point in time is incredible. While you can certainly expect the cash flow from these markets to be less than Amazon.com, getting into a market early is a huge advantage. You can begin gathering reviews and building sales history to establish your product as the go-to product for your market before competition increases.

Additionally, we currently offer all international launches for free, with the exception of UK launches.

With Product Discovery, Market Intelligence, and our Launch platform all integrated with international markets, it’s never been easier to expand your business.

Ready to find and source your next international product? Create a free Viral Launch account and sign up for Product Discovery with international capabilities today!

 

Find International Products  

 

 

Generate Amazon Product Ideas: 3 Creative Methods for Sellers

Don’t you hate it when you’re ready to source your next Amazon product but you cannot come up with any good product ideas? Same.

With Viral Launch’s new Market Intelligence tool, you can research and validate your product ideas through an in-depth analysis of different product markets. But, what good is a product research tool without any product ideas?

We’ll walk through some creative methods for generating product ideas, and by the time we’re through, you’ll have an extensive list of potential product markets to plug into Market Intelligence! With just a little bit of time spent brainstorming, you’ll be on your way to sourcing your next gold mine.

 

How to Generate Amazon Product Ideas

Before brainstorming product ideas, it’s important to understand the basic criteria of a successful Amazon product.

Good products to sell on Amazon are typically:

  • Small, light, and durable for lighter shipping and manageable returns.
  • $10-50 typically for good sales numbers and margins on Amazon.
  • High-margin for a good return on investment.
  • Niche for a more specific audience and potentially higher conversions.
  • Not dominated by a name brand for more opportunity to grab market share.

These are just guidelines for your thought process, but don’t feel like you need to stay inside a box of specific criteria. If you think of a heavy product with great margins, that product may be perfect for you. Now, you’re ready to brainstorm ideas.

We’ll go over three creative techniques to help you generate product ideas for Amazon FBA.

  1. Alibaba Catalogs and Storefronts
  2. Niche Discovery Method
  3. 10 Ideas Each Day

 

Alibaba Catalogs and Storefronts

Right now in China, a supplier is manufacturing a product that has potential to make you thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s just up to you to find out what that product is!

A great way to discover product ideas is looking through a supplier’s complete product offering. This can be found in the supplier’s catalog as well as on their Alibaba.com storefront.

First, send a message to Alibaba suppliers asking for their product catalog. Contact suppliers by running a search for any product and then clicking the Contact Supplier button.

Here’s the message I sent to about 5 or 6 suppliers:

Hi there,

Can you please send me your product catalog? I’m interested in sourcing a product, and I would like to look through what you offer first. My email is example@gmail.com. I’ll look forward to seeing what products are available from you.

Thank you.

Send a similar message, and you’ll get a document back containing every product offered by that supplier. This is a great source of product inspiration! For example, a knee brace manufacturer sent back a multi-page document showing everything they offer. Here’s one page from their catalog:

From this catalog, I found other product ideas, such as gymnastics grips (★★★★), lunch bag (★★★★), doormat (★★★★), and shin guards (★★.5). Many catalogs have a similar layout, and others will be a spreadsheet containing details about each product.

The product ideas you’ll get from catalogs may not all be home runs, but looking through everything a manufacturer offers is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Once you’ve got a list of potential product ideas, plug them into Market Intelligence to discover which markets are duds and see if you’ve come across a gold mine.

Another similar method is to visit storefronts on Alibaba.com. Find these by clicking on the Supplier’s name in search results.

On the supplier’s homepage, you’ll see the products they offer. You can also navigate their products by the Product Categories tab.

As you’re combing through the storefront, you can plug the product ideas into Market Intelligence to research the market and determine if its a good fit for you. One cool feature of Market Intelligence is the ability to run multiple searches, up to ten, at once!

You may find that some markets are oversaturated, but with enough searching around, you’re sure to find your next money-maker.

With this method and the storefront shown above, here are some of the products I came across and did some quick research on: cosmetic bag (★★★.5), card holder (★★.5), ice bucket (★★★.5), and inflatable travel pillow (★★.5).

 

Niche Discovery Method

Put your thinking cap on. It’s time to discover some Amazon product niches. This method can help you find smaller product markets within more popular categories. You may find some golden nuggets, and you’ll likely come across some really goofy products. But bear with me here – sometimes finding the perfect niche requires thinking out of the box.

  1. Collect Items

Get up, and go grab 7-8 items that fall within our “good Amazon product” specifications. As a reminder, those are products that are small, light, durable, $10-50, high-margin, niche, and not dominated by a name brand.

Today in the office, I’ve picked up a water bottle, straws, yoga mat, coffee cup, gloves, scissors, and a laptop case.

  1. List Adjectives

Once you’ve got your items, get out a piece of paper and a pen. Write down ten common product adjectives. You can choose your own, or you can use these examples:

  • Mini
  • Large
  • Bulk
  • Travel
  • Personal
  • Industrial
  • For Kids
  • For Men
  • For Women
  1. Search Combinations on Amazon

For each product that you collected in step one, run a search on Amazon with each adjective attached to it. For example, I’ll search mini scissors, large scissors, bulk scissors, travel scissors, and so on. These search terms may seem a bit odd, but trust the process 🙂 Sift through the product results to see if you can identify a product niche within that search… maybe a product that you haven’t thought of before.

Don’t be afraid to veer off the path as you click through products and niches. You may just run into the perfect product opportunity.

When sifting through the search results for bulk scissors looking for interesting niches, I came across products like scissor caddy, rolling scissors, and desktop organizer. These are all potential markets that I wouldn’t have thought up on my own.

Here are some additional niche product markets that I came across in my searches:

Write down your list of niches. Now, some of these products are going to be horrible products dominated by huge review numbers or marginal sales. But that’s ok. Not every idea is going to be a home run.

After using this niche hunter method, you’ll have a solid list of product ideas for your Amazon product research. I even found a 5-star product 😉

Plug your ideas into Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool, and see if you’ve come across a winner. You’re now one step closer to determining what to sell on Amazon!

Want a tougher challenge? Head to your local Walmart, Walgreens, Target, or Home Depot and jot down the products you see that may be a good fit. Use Market Intelligence on-the-go on your mobile device, or go research-crazy when you get home!

 

10 Ideas Each Day

“You have to come up with a new way of thinking. A new way of having ideas. A new way of interacting with the outside universe. You’re in crisis. Time to change. Time to become an IDEA MACHINE”James Altucher

James Altucher is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. Years ago, he found himself at rock bottom, so he started coming up with ideas to make a change. He would take his waiter’s pad, go to a cafe, and write down 10 ideas each day. Some were business ideas, some were book ideas, some were solutions to problems he faced. In doing this, James strengthened his “idea muscle,” and the results were twofold: he could always come up with ideas when he needed them, and he came up with some really good ideas.

To help you brainstorm Amazon product ideas, I want to challenge you to strengthen your idea muscle. You’ll come up with good ideas, and after some time, you’ll be a more creative thinker. Sit down each day without distraction. Pick a category, and write down 10 product ideas.

This may seem easy, but you may discover that around number 6 or 7, your “brain starts to sweat,” as James puts it. Think about it: when you workout at they gym, the muscle building comes after you’re comfortable. If you stop lifting the weight when it starts to hurt, you won’t see results. When you’re brainstorming, get past the difficulty and push yourself. This is where you may find some of your golden nugget ideas.

And just like working out, you must make it habitual to make any sort of difference. Challenge yourself to do this everyday, and after lots of practice, you’ll become an idea machine. Of those hundreds of ideas, you’ll likely find some ideas for good products to sell on Amazon after a bit of Amazon product research using Market Intelligence!

Here are some categories to get you started:

  • Coffee, Tea & Espresso
  • Pet Supplies
  • Camping & Hiking
  • Computer Accessories
  • Storage & Organization
  • Office Supplies
  • Sports & Fitness

 

Research Your Amazon Product Ideas

After you’ve gone through the Alibaba Categories and Storefronts, Niche Discovery Method, and 10 Ideas Each Day exercises, you should have a list of potential product ideas. Now, you’ll want to do some extensive researching to determine which products will make the most sense for you and your Amazon business.

To understand whether or not a product market has potential, you’ll want to take many factors into consideration. These include, but are not limited to: average monthly sales across the market, possible monthly sales if you were to source this product, the sales/review ratio, sales trends, price and review count trends, the best selling period, and the number of reviews needed to sell well.

Sounds like a lot of research right? Well, it is. We won’t downplay it. It is crucial to do your research and understand a market before jumping in. If you go in blind, you’ll likely be blindsided and unsuccessful. But, if you know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll set yourself up for success.

Luckily, Market Intelligence conveniently places all of the necessary information you need at your fingertips. You’ll understand where the market has been, where it’s at today, and where it’s headed in the future. You’ll recognize potential downfalls, trends, and crucial data. After looking through the market’s information on Market Intelligence, you’ll be confident in your decision to source or walk away from that product.

Check out Market Intelligence for free and take the next step towards sourcing your next home run product!

 

Related Blog Post: Why Your Amazon Product Research Tool is Costing You Thousands