Today, I'm sharing with you one of the most important lessons about Amazon: how to de-risk yourself while finding profitable products.
There are many sellers out there who will approach product research with a sawed off shotgun. They'll throw 40 different product ideas into their Amazon store. But after two months, they only get three or four sales. They didn't take the time to research.
One of my clients goes through 1,000 products every day, looking for one, two, or three that will meet the qualifications I’m going to share with you. As a result of her consistency, she came up with incredibly high potential products in only a week. Even I was jealous!
Your goal is to narrow down your options until you only have high-potential and low-risk products left.
Like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” says, it's all about knowledge. Your most powerful asset other than time is what’s in between your ears: your brain.
Today I'm going to show you how to use your brain and build your product line using proven, high-selling products on Amazon.
First, navigate to the Best Sellers list on Amazon.
On the left side are categories with best selling products in each of these categories. When you start, you want to choose products you are already familiar with. This will help de-risk yourself and increase success. For example, if you’re experienced in home design, you’re going to move much faster with a bedding or bathroom product than if you jump into something you know nothing about, like instruments.
I’m going to start in Industrial & Scientific; this is a category I really like and feel confident in. Notice that once you click on the category, it's broken down into smaller categories on the left side. These are sub-categories of Industrial & Scientific. You can click on any of these; every time you niche down to a smaller category, you are still looking at top selling products. Whether you start in a large category or small sub-category on the Best Seller's list, you'll still be going through the best of the best.
Some of these categories require approval to sell in, which I can show you how to handle as well, but for now I’m going to start in Industrial & Scientific. I'll try going into a sub-category as well, Fasteners. This item catches my eye: Video Surveillance Sign.
It’s in my category and I’m interested in it, so to determine if I want to sell it or not, I’m going to put it through five very important tests.
Number one: It has under 500 reviews.
Number two: It is between $15 and $75.
Number three: It is private label-able.
Number four: It is lightweight.
Number five: There are not many competitors.
You are going to go through a lot of products before you find one that works. Remember, you are de-risking yourself by spending more time upfront, sorting through products before you find one that is going to do really well.
Google does this when they hire people: they spend a lot of time going through a lot of people before they find someone they like and who they think will stay with the company a long time. But once they find them, they get a great return on their investment. That’s exactly what you want to do here.
Take the time you need to do this well. It may take several weeks, working several hours a day, but that's okay. My brain feels like mush after doing this for a while, but that’s okay. I’ll go run, workout, hang out with my dog, hang out with my wife, do something fun, and then come back again and hit it hard.
Let’s put this item through the tests.
Under 500 reviews: Yes, it has 390. That’s really good. If a product has too many reviews, it becomes very hard to compete with. The seller has been selling it for a while and has traction. But anything under 500 means it’s probably riding the wave: it's trending, it's going up quickly. You want to catch that wave of new up-and-coming products. You don't want ones no one knows about, and you don't want ones that have saturated in the market for years. 500 max reviews helps you gauge the middle space.
Priced $15 and $75: This one is under $15, but let’s keep going with it for the example. When your item is priced around $10 or under, your Amazon FBA fee starts to eat into your profit too much. This is because the fee stops being based on a percentage and instead is a flat fee if your item is priced too low. So if you’re selling a $5 item, your fee is $4 and some cents; it’s ridiculous.
You want to have a decent profit. If you’re making 20 cents off a product, you’re wasting your time. You’d have to sell millions to even begin dreaming of passive income. It’s very important you keep your price range within reason. $13 is pretty close; if it’s at least above $10, it’s safe, but $15 to $75 is ideal.
Why do we put a cap at $75? Time and time again it’s been proven that impulse buys are stronger for lower cost products. People buy a lot more of something that is a lower cost. If it costs more, they’re going to research, look at reviews, take longer to purchase, and you will not get as many sales.
You want something that will make you good profit, but will still sell over and over again. This product does exactly that; it’s around the price range we want.
It is private label-able: What do I mean by that? If the product can be inexpensively created, does not have high-tech or moving parts, is not patented, and not a major brand name like Forever 21 or Whirlpool or Nike, then it is private label-able.
This here is a generic product; nobody’s going to have a patent on a sign that says ‘security alert’. You don’t have to worry about breaking someone’s patent if you get the exact same product or one similar to it.
You also don’t have to worry about someone searching online for “Sigo Signs” products. If this was a Nike product, you'd want to avoid it. Customers will pass over other brands of shoes because they only want Nike. Nike is a major brand.
This begs the natural question, “How do I know if it’s a major brand?” This is why it is important to start with categories you’re already familiar with. If you are familiar with art, then you already know the major brands in that category. But even if it is a major brand doesn’t mean you are out to sea with a similar product: it just decreases your chance of succeeding.
A simple way to see is find if they have a website. This doesn’t mean they’re a major brand, but if they don’t, it’s definitely an Amazon and eBay-only type product and you’re safe. They have a little legitimacy if they do have a website, but it doesn’t mean they’re a major brand. It’s a gray area.
Another thing to look at is if it has no moving parts. If it doesn’t, the chances of it breaking or having a patent are greatly reduced. You don’t want it to break. That will cause a lot of returns and your seller performance will go down. That can effect your ability to get approved to sell in other categories. It needs to be simple and not very breakable.
It is lightweight: As a general rule, under 16 ounces is good, and under 8 ounces is perfect. This one is 6.4 ounces: that is awesome!
You should sell this one. That’s wonderful and here’s why: If you are going to have these manufactured in another country, usually in Asia because they can have it made much cheaper than here in the US, you don’t want it to be super expensive to ship. Once the item gets to 12, 13, 16 ounces, it becomes really expensive. My wife and I opened a new clothing line of light sandals, and the shipping per sandal sometimes costs as much as the sandal itself unless you get a massive quantity.
When you actually ship the item to Amazon’s warehouse for them to ship it out, it’s going to be super cheap. Amazon has a preferred discount relationship with UPS, so when you ship it UPS, you can ship massive boxes as big as me full of products for $5. Don’t worry about that shipping, it’s the shipping from the supplier that can get expensive.
As a beginner, make sure to have it shipped by air express, not by sea. It’s not worth it and you won’t be able to afford it. But once you start getting a ton of products, it makes more sense and you’ll save a lot of money.
Start off with a light product, especially if you’re just beginning and don’t have a lot of money sitting around. Try to keep the weight down so it doesn’t cost too much to ship from the manufacturer to your house or warehouse.
Not many competitors: If there are a ton of competitors selling this product, we have a problem, because it makes your chance of succeeding much slimmer. How do you find this out?
First, take a stripped down version of the title of the item. I’ll say “Video surveillance sign.” Don’t use the entire title, because probably only this item will show up. You want to get an idea of how many other sellers are selling something like this.
So after looking through several pages of search results for “video surveillance sign,” I’ve found that most of the competitors are selling an unintimidating rectangle shape as opposed to the octagon shape, which psychologically says “stop” since it’s the stop sign shape. There are quite a few signs, but I’m not finding many like the one we found. So you do have some competitors in the area, but I would go with this item.
Based on what I’ve seen, I would absolutely consider this product. Remember the five guidelines:
Does it have under 500 reviews?
Does it price between $15 and $75?
Is it private label-able? (That means no moving parts, not high-tech, and not a major brand name.)
Is it light to ship?
And does it have few competitors?
There are competitors selling similar products to this, but not this exact one. So if I want to sell this, I’m going to do something very close to the original, but tweak it so that it’s even more arresting. I might add an exclamation mark at the end of the statement. I could also differentiate the product by adding something to go with it so that it really stands out in the search results. I might add screws that help attach the sign to the wall.
If the customer sees this seller’s product, then your product, and yours includes a little package of screws or tacks for attaching it to the wall, why wouldn’t they buy yours? Screws are super cheap for you. You can price your product at the same price or slightly higher than this seller. They might not even need the screws, but the mental idea of getting everything they need is going to increase their chance of buying.
Now here’s a little bonus tip for you, and I haven’t heard it from anyone else so far: You don’t have to find a product that’s in the best seller list for it to be qualified as a potential product to sell for you. You’re not necessarily selling the same product; you’re getting an idea of what people like and adding a variation off that.
There is another way to find an item, because you could have a 1,000th top selling product that still is a hot seller.
First, go and see how many reviews it has. This item has 390. But what if you find an item that isn’t in the top seller category and has 3 reviews? If an item has 2 or more reviews from the last month, there is a very high chance it is a top selling products. You can sort the customer reviews by most recent so they show them all in order, and you can see when the last reviews were. If there were over 2 reviews for this month, even if it’s not in the best seller list, I would absolutely consider it. Don’t feel like you’re limited to searching the best seller list only.
I hope this has been helpful; if you have any questions, comment below. I’m here to help you succeed. If you see a dime, think of me. A dime is not just change to sit around the car or use for coffee or tea. It can be leveraged and turned into $100,000. I did it, and you can too if you focus. Value the small wins and the big wins will just be a matter of time.