Let’s face it, finding a profitable product to sell on Amazon is hard. The competition has never been so intense, especially with thousands of sellers on the platform.
So, how do you know what to sell on amazon FBA?
Most e-commerce blogs and YouTube videos tell you that you need to reverse-engineer.
This means you need to find a product that’s in demand and that people are searching for on Amazon. Then, you go and sell the same product.
Well, things have now changed.
In this guide, I’ll discuss the things to consider when selecting your products. I’ll also share the ways you can research and differentiate to make your products stand out.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How to Make It Big on Amazon: The Winning Principle
There are multiple criteria to consider when selecting a product to sell on Amazon.
Because of the high competition and the saturated market, most Amazon gurus would tell you to sell a super niche product with some demand and low competition.
Items like red cat-shaped chopsticks for kids or baking pans with unique shapes are a few examples of these super niche products.
Sure, you can make a few hundred dollars with a niche product, but you are limiting your growth.
Some sellers go to the extent of buying Amazon pallets for sale in the hopes of reselling the items for profit. But that’s not sustainable.
What you need to understand is that high competition = high demand and money to be made.
So instead of pigeonholing yourself in a small niche with limited growth potential, it’s better to choose an evergreen product.
Evergreen products are those with consistent demand. They enable you to position yourself differently from your competitors.
One of the best ways to find gaps in the market is by reading your competitors’ reviews to learn more about your target audience and understand what they like and don’t like.
Here are the different ways you can differentiate your product:
Offer a Variation.
Everyone loves peanut butter (unless you’re allergic to it). You would think that the peanut butter market would be saturated with so many brands already out there.
But this brand was able to stand out with a clever differentiation strategy.
It sold peanut butter in powdered form, and that’s something different from the choices available in the market.
According to Helium10 Xray, this product makes around $88,000 per month in revenue in a saturated market.
Market Your Product to a Specific Audience.
Another way to make your product stand out is to know your target market and tailor your listing to it.
For example, this brand sells tea bags for women with PCOS and hormonal imbalances.
The company has tailored the entire branding of this product to women with PCOS.
So, if a woman with PCOS sees this product, it will grab her attention and make her want to buy it.
Here’s another example of using tailored listings to differentiate a product from competitors.
By assigning a gender and age bracket (for boys aged 8 to 12), the seller narrowed down their target market and made it clear to whom the product was for.
Do a Design Upgrade.
A design upgrade involves modifying a product’s shape, packaging, color, or size.
To illustrate how you can do a design upgrade, here is an example.
Double-wall glasses have been popular in the last few years. The classic style is the first picture on top, which is rather plain and functional.
The product in the second picture shows an upgrade—a redesign of the typical double-wall glass to a unique one. Obviously, this design would catch more attention than the classic style, and you can command a higher selling price for it.
Offer New Flavors.
When it comes to online selling, one thing’s for sure—more often than not, new is better.
Customers love exploring new items, so offering new and unique flavors can be a good idea.
Changing flavors reinvigorates older brands. It can also help you acquire a new consumer base.
For example, check out this spaghetti brand made with black beans.
Black bean spaghetti isn’t a very common product, so it will likely spark interest and make people curious about it.
Create Better Product Listings.
Suppose your product pages have low-quality images and poorly-written descriptions. In that case, customers won’t likely pay attention and purchase from your store. Every time you should follow amazon image requirements at the time of uploading images.
To overcome this, create better product listings using professional, high-quality images. Optimize your title and product descriptions to ensure your listings rank higher on search results.
An optimized product listing should tell customers relevant information about the product and convince them to buy it.
You can use Helium10 to monitor the quality of your listings. This tool displays a score on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) depending on the number of Amazon best practices your listing followed.
Use the Bundle Strategy.
Bundling is perfect for products that complement each other or that target a specific lifestyle or activity.
When you offer bundles, you make customers perceive your products as having high value.
Make Your Product Giftable.
You can differentiate your product simply by making it giftable.
That means you need to focus on presentation and packaging. Your goal is to convince customers that your product would make excellent gifts.
Best Products To Sell on Amazon by Category
Here are the products that are always in high demand on Amazon.
One in five American households adopted pets during the pandemic.
As a result, the demand for pet supplies skyrocketed. The pet supplies industry reached nearly 110 billion US dollars in 2021.
The good news?
According to the same article, 85 to 90% of those pets are still in those households.
In other words, it remains a strong market for you to grow your business in.
If you sell online products specific to cats and dogs, collars, chew toys, and leashes are at the top of the list.
Home and Kitchen
Home and kitchen products are always trending because items in this category are considered essentials.
Kitchenware is generally a decent option in terms of market stability.
However, it’s wise to avoid breakable items like knives and glasses.
Remember, every seller’s worst nightmare involves damaged products, return shipments, and bad customer reviews.
To be safe, look into home products like shower curtains, rugs, bed sheets, and so on.
Sports and Outdoors
Sports and outdoor items are extremely popular during the warm season.
However, they’re still fairly in demand even during the spring months, making them good products to sell.
You can sell inflatable pools, beach accessories, and sunscreen throughout the year.
Alternatively, you can adopt a seasonal approach to product offerings and sell them exclusively during the summer.
Patio and Garden
Similar to the outdoor category, patio and garden items are seasonal on the Amazon marketplace.
Plants, flowers, bug spray, and gardening materials are among the best sellers during warm months.
On the flip side, pool covers and winterizing treatments sell better during winter.
Wellness and Personal Care
The health, beauty, and personal care category covers a broad range of products.
These include bath accessories, vitamins, fragrances, and hand creams.
The wellness industry is a $1.5 trillion-dollar industry with the potential to grow more than 10% per year.
Even newer product categories like home massagers, first aid kits, and essential oil diffusers are trending upward.
Categories can also be organic, natural, and chemical-free items.
You can even create product bundles of essential items that many customers will appreciate.
Consumers are constantly looking for products to make their lives easier, so there’s an opportunity for big profits here.
Baby and Toddler
Baby items are also an evergreen category you can go into.
After all, parents love shopping for baby products for their little ones.
There is a wide variety of baby products to choose from, which include bibs, blankets, and toys.
Smart storage is becoming a trend on social media. People are creating creative ways to clean, declutter, and store their stuff.
Look into storage bins, closet organizers, and fridge organizers.
You can also show customers fun ways to use the storage products as part of your marketing efforts.
Home Fitness Equipment
Most public gyms closed during the pandemic, leading people to buy fitness products for their homes.
More specifically, these are dumbbells, jump ropes, and resistance bands.
Yoga mats, cell phone holders, and water bottles fall under this category, too.
Unless you have a considerable budget, avoid bulky or expensive products like treadmills, stationary bikes, or rowers.
Novelty items fall into specific niches, like cartoon socks, Halloween costumes, or novelty mugs.
This category is tricky, and success can be hit-or-miss.
Take time to research and avoid super-specific items.
If you go all in and the market isn’t there, your business will struggle.
Games and Puzzles
Games are popular among all age groups.
You can choose from board, educational, drinking, and card games. Puzzles are a solid option, too.
Restricted Products: What Can’t You Sell on Amazon?
As you look for profitable products to sell on Amazon, it’s also important to know about restricted products on the platform.
- Animals & animal-related products
- Art – Fine art
- Art – Home decor
- Automotive and power sports
- Composite wood products
- Prohibited cosmetics and skin/hair care products
- CPAP cleaning and disinfecting devices
- Currency, coins, cash equivalents, and gift cards
- Dietary supplements
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, weapons, and related items
- Export controls
- Food and beverage
- Gambling and lottery
- Hazardous and prohibited items
- Human parts and burial artifacts
- Jewelry and precious gems
- Laser products
- Lock picking and theft devices
- Medical devices and accessories
- Offensive and controversial materials
- Other restricted products
- Pesticides and pesticide devices
- Plant and seed products
- Postage meters and stamps
- Recalled products
- Recycling electronics
- Refrigerants: Ozone-depleting substances and substitutes
- Strike-anywhere matches
- Subscriptions and periodicals
- Surveillance equipment
- Tobacco and tobacco-related products
- Warranties, service plans, contracts, and guarantees
- Upholstered furniture and other quilted products
Pro tip: Don’t try to sneak around these restrictions. Amazon will fine you if you do.
However, there are ways to get approval for restricted products if you want to sell in one of the restricted selling categories or subcategories.
How To Choose The Best Things To Sell On Amazon FBA
Here are some tips to help you select the best products to sell on Amazon:
Analyze Product Demand
Products with high demand present an opportunity to make more sales.
You can analyze demand by doing keyword research, as this allows you to see how often buyers use a particular keyword per month.
I personally use Helium10 Magnet for preliminary keyword research combined with a product research tool such as Blackbox.
Higher search volume means higher demand.
And if you also check how many competing products appear on the search for that particular keyword, you can analyze if there’s too much competition.
You can then decide if it’s wise to sell products related to that keyword.
Perform Trending Product Research
Trending products change from time to time, like seasonal products.
Here are some ways to find the right products to sell:
- Type a product category into the Amazon search bar and check the related products or top recommendations.
- Check the Today’s Deals and Best Sellers sections.
- Read product reviews to understand what customers look for in products.
- Join shopping-related newsletters from Amazon, Costco, Target, and other product market niche retailers.
- Follow Amazon and other retailers on social media pages to stay updated on trends.
- Look for specific products and related keywords in Google Trends.
- See what social media influencers are selling or marketing.
- Watch trending videos on social media.
- Use tools like Helium 10 or JungleScout for product research to help generate product ideas for your Amazon business.
Product Size and Shipment
If it’s your first ecommerce business, you should begin your journey as smoothly as you can.
You can start doing that by avoiding the following:
- Bulky and breakable products
- High shipping costs
- High storage fees
Instead, choose products that are lightweight, small, and durable. It’s also important to select suppliers who invest in excellent packaging.
Order a sample to review the product first and ensure the boxes are sturdy enough to keep the products secure during shipping.
Check the Competitiveness of the Product
Competition in popular listings is stiff, and breaking into a crowded market can be difficult.
If you want to try it out anyway, here are some questions to ask yourself first:
- Can you offer lower prices or better discounts than others?
- Do you offer better product features or benefits compared to your competitors?
- Are you competing against big brands with huge budgets?
If your answer to the first two questions is yes, then there’s a chance you can outsell your competitors with proper execution.
However, the third question has more weight because customers are more likely to purchase from more prominent brands than smaller ones.
Keep that in mind if you choose to go this route.
In any case, selling items with low or minimal competition has always been a good strategy for Amazon FBA sellers to test new markets.
Check the Return Rate
You can check a product’s return rate by jumping over to customers’ reviews and looking at its star ratings.
It’s best to avoid a product with a high return rate and several ratings below 3 stars since you want profitable products that are fast-moving, not fast-returning.
How To Source The Best Items For Amazon FBA
Sourcing is the process of acquiring products that are cheap enough to buy and makes you a profit when you resell.
Here are some ways to find products for your Amazon store.
Retail arbitrage involves purchasing discounted products from clearance shelves at big retail stores like Walmart, Costco, Big Lots, and CVS.
These products are heavily discounted from retail prices, and you can buy them in small batches.
However, this process can be time-consuming and risky since there’s no guarantee the products will sell.
Online arbitrage is similar to the previous item, except it’s online.
Take your time to research cash-back websites like Swagbucks and Rakuten that pay you to shop online.
You can also use tools for online sourcing to make things easier.
Suppose you want to avoid the responsibility of managing inventory. In that case, you can work with suppliers that ship products directly from their warehouse to the customer.
This is a win-win for both parties—you don’t have to worry about inventory. At the same time, the supplier stays invisible to the customers.
You can save on the upfront fees and pay only when you sell an item. However, expect small profit margins and limited customer experience.
On the downside, your brand will take a hit if the supplier misses a shipment or sends defective products.
Many sellers use Amazon for dropshipping. However, I don’t recommend it as it’s actually against Amazon’s policy, and it’s not worth it compared to the other available opportunities.
Wholesale suppliers and manufacturers offer discounts for bulk purchases.
This also lets you skip the process of creating new ASINs so you can go straight to selling products.
As a result, wholesale products can pull in substantial profit margins.
However, you must obtain approval from Amazon to resell the products or brands. If you skip the approval stage, you risk getting flagged for copyright infringement.
Amazon might even suspend your seller account.
Private Label Products
Buying generic products and placing your label on them is another popular way of Amazon product sourcing.
You can still sell from a manufacturer, but you must clearly communicate your branding information, like product design and brand name.
Furthermore, this method gives you good control over product quality, packaging, labeling, and more. Generic Products
It’s worth looking into B2B marketplaces like Alibaba, ThomasNet, and other ecommerce sites for bulk products and quantity discounts.
However, be extra careful of counterfeits and scam sellers.
Auctions and Thrift Stores
You might be able to find rare and valuable products in thrift stores, garage sales, and auction spots.
However, this only makes sense if you’re targeting a niche market, as this method makes it difficult to source products in bulk.
Create Your Own Products
Suppose you have a unique ability to create your own products and produce them in bulk.
For instance, if you want to sell candles, you must find a manufacturer to make the products using your formula and package them for you to sell on Amazon.
This can be time-consuming and expensive, but you’ll enjoy the growth once the business starts growing.
You can also consider trademarking your business to prevent others from stealing your idea.
Many Amazon sellers manufacture handmade products and sell these handmade items in the Amazon Handmade category.
However, as Amazon is a search engine, this will get you consistent sales only if your products rank high on the search results for frequently-used keywords.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are People Buying Right Now?
Here are the top-selling items people are buying on Amazon:
- Peel-off face masks
- Nail polish
- Haircare products
- Fitness items
- Yoga mats
- Water bottles
- Exercise bands
- Games and puzzles
- Board games
- Laptop skins
- Cameras and photo equipment
- Pet supplies
- Print books and ebooks
- Vinyl LPs and CDs
- Belt buckles
- False eyelash accessories
- Household cleaning supplies
- Circuit boards and components
- Play vehicle accessories
- Pet carriers and crate accessories
- Curtain and drape rings
- Marine radar
- DJ systems
- Measuring cups and spoons
With many bestselling products to consider, pay close attention to what sells and the Customers Also Bought section.
Adjust your product portfolio, find suppliers with the best quality, and offer discounts to gain a competitive advantage.
Which Category Should New FBA Sellers Sell?
Picking the right product category matters and sets you apart from other sellers.
This is especially true for new sellers.
With that said, starting with profitable product categories that are safe and easy to ship is a good idea.
Here are some of them:
- Toys and games
- Home and kitchen
- Lawn and garden
- Beauty and personal care
- Sports and outdoors
Of course, just because a product is in a best-selling category doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make profits.
Experiment with the categories above, choose a niche in the subcategories, and identify the amazon FBA winning products.
Find what works for you and run with it.
The Bottom Line
On Amazon, good products are the engine that powers a successful business. If you can get that part right, building your own brand will become so much easier.
It’s also important to remember that there is no guarantee that selling products from popular categories will automatically translate to success.
As always, consistency plays a crucial role.
Hopefully, this guide has given you the necessary knowledge to hit the ground running.
And most importantly, you have to remember that just finding the right product is not enough. You must also optimize your product listings and have a proper product launch plan.