In this blog post we are going to use the Amazon Best Sellers page to find products that sell well and then niche down, head off the beaten track and find products that have less competition and are still selling well.
WARNING: This is not a product research method. Please use this to either start your product research process or as an exercise to reassure you there is still gold in those Amazon mountains.
Product research is the most important part of the import process and will dictate the success of your business. Consume as much information as you can.
For comprehensive product research guides that cover everything check these out:
There are a normally a lot of questions whirling around the head of someone who is looking to sell on Amazon but the two main ones are:
- What am I going to sell on Amazon?
- How do I know my products will sell?
These are very valid and important questions that if answered could inspire you and others to move forward and take action. So let’s start from the top, get the basics out of the way and then we’ll go find some products.
What is product research?
Product research is a process amazon sellers go through to find products that meet a certain set of criteria. Here are some of the key points to look for and we’ll go into further detail on these shortly.
- Is there a market for the product?
- How much competition is there?
- Is the product practical to ship and sell? (more on this in a minute).
If a product you have selected looks good after these questions have been answered then you have already won half the battle.
Of course, this is a brief look at what it boils down to and there is a lot more involved but for this guide, we will focus on the three points above which will leave you in good stead to go onto more advanced product research techniques.
What Makes a Good Product?
To make life much easier we are going to stick to certain criteria for the products we source.
If you are looking to be the next Nike or Rolex then this process is probably not for you as you will need a big budget and team.
We are just looking to get fast selling products with little competition that fit the below criteria so there are as little headaches and things to go wrong as possible.
Here is a list of points to look out for. Its unlikely you will get all of them in one product but we are trying to hit as many as possible.
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Number of Reviews
Reviews on Amazon are one of the main factors as to how a product gets ranked and stays at the top of the listings. Like the number of sellers, we want to see products with reviews. This will give us a lot of information on the product and what customers think about it.
It can also give you an inside edge if you can establish what a product is lacking and then offer an upgraded version. For this process though we will be focusing on how many reviews the first-page competition has.
Number of Sales
A lot of sellers will do this by looking at the Best Sellers Rank. But in this method, we will take it up a notch and actually get an estimated figure of how many monthly sales you can expect. You can also use this to see how well the niche is performing overall, we will cover this too in a bit.
Viable Estimated Margin
The actual margin will only become apparent once all the figures have been gathered, you have received shipping quotes and negotiated a price with your supplier. But you can get a good idea of how things will look beforehand with some free tools we will be covering shortly. It goes without saying that you are looking for a very profitable margin. As a rule of thumb, I like to see at least a 100% markup.
The Price Sweet Spot
One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting out was sourcing and selling products that were low priced. This gives a really small profit margin, makes it harder to sell them and gives you much smaller returns. On the other hand, sourcing products that are very expensive can also reduce your sales as now the customer has to think about it… needs ask the wife…. there has to be a family meeting etc.
The products you are looking to sell are in a sweet spot where they are not too cheap so money can’t be made but not too expensive that the customer needs to think about it. They should just be a no-brainer add to basket kinda product. I would recommend that your potential products have a market price of between $50 – $150 (£30 – £110).
An Existing Market In Place
There’s a lot of crud on the net about being ‘first to market’ or ‘finding that untapped niche’ or ‘selling in a blue ocean, not a red’. Not here! We want to see a market that already has competition… Why? Firstly this tells us that there is a market and the product is selling.
Secondly, we can find out how well the product is selling.
Thirdly, using Amazon reviews we can see what the customer issues are with that product and bring an updated better version of the product to market that we know our customers want and beat the competition.
Having competition is a good thing, we just don’t want too much of it.
Here are two videos covering the above points in more detail.
Where To Look For These Products
For this process, we are going to use a bit of reverse engineering and find products that are already selling incredibly well and work back from there.
The best place to start is on the Amazon Best Sellers page.
What is The Amazon Best Sellers Page?
Even though its called the “The Amazon Best Sellers Page”, it’s not so much a page as a directory of all of Amazon’s top selling products. Each category has a list of the top 100 best selling products in it. You can then niche down into subcategories and find that each of them also has listed their top 100 products.
In essence, it’s an amazing starting place to find inspiration for products and to be able to niche down further into a product category.
The Amazon Best Sellers Tutorial
At the time of writing the access to the Amazon Best Sellers page is strangely not available on the main website and has to be accessed through Google.
To do this just type “Amazon Best Sellers” into the search and you will be met with the following results.
You are looking for the search result with ‘zgbs’ in the green URL.
This will take you through to the Amazon best sellers home page where you will see a list of departments/categories down the side and by clicking on them will reveal the subcategories.
Here is a video of me using Amazon Best Sellers to find a product and check it out on Alibaba.
Please note that this is just for example purposes and you should check multiple other metrics on a product before heading off to source it on Alibaba.
Handy Free Additional Tools
These two tools are not only extremely handy for quickly getting an idea of how well a product is performing but they are also FREE! 🙂
The first is a browser extension called Keepa and once installed will appear on your Amazon product listing pages giving an insight into how well the product is selling and any major price changes that have taken place.
Check out my full Keepa tutorial Here:
The next tool is the awesome product research service Jungle Scout. Jungle Scout provides a comprehensive product research software solution and if you are looking to take things to the next level then definitely check them out.
By using the products sales rank and the marketplace the product is selling on it calculates an estimate of how many products you can expect to sell.
Remember that this is just an estimate and the sales rank is just a freeze frame in time so please at the very least use this in conjunction with the Keepa above so you get a history of the performance of the product.
For a full tutorial and more information on the Amazon sales rank check out this video:
Niching Down & Digging Deep: Case Study
This process is so easy and simple but really can bring up some amazing results that you can then move onto investigating further.
The products in the Amazon Best Sellers pages are selling like crazy… obviously. But that selling frenzy doesn’t stop just at those products with sales rippling out onto related products too.
For example, if I bought a fishing rod that was ranking high on the Amazon Best Sellers there is a strong possibility that I would buy some accessories to go with it like a stand or a new tackle box.
The best thing is that these products are much more niched down they are off the beaten track of the best sellers pages and are still selling really well off the back of the best sellers.
In the step by step case study below, I will show just how easy this is.
I recommend doing this process with as many products as you can and then moving onto a more in-depth product research method to find that ultimate winner.
Step 1: Finding our seed product
In this first step, we are going to use the Amazon Best Sellers to find our ‘seed product’.
What do I mean by ‘seed product’?
The seed product is a product that fits the criteria that we addressed above and is doing very well in the Amazon best sellers.
It’s not too important whether the seed product meets the above criteria as we are only using it as a starting point and the product you end up with could be completely different.
As a good starting point the seed product should have the following points:
- Be priced between $60 – $200 (£40 – £150)
- Be something people are passionate about like a hobby or sport.
- Have accessories or add-ons that can be purchased for it.
As stated earlier, there is a strong chance that you will end up with something completely different but these points will get you off to a good start.
On the bestsellers home page, you will see a list of the main categories down the right-hand side. Some of these categories are going to more suited to our needs than others, like the CD & Vinyl or PC & Games will yield next to no results for us compared to the Home & Kitchen or Sports & Outdoors where products have lots of associated items.
For this example, we are choosing Garden & Outdoors.
Once selected you will see a new list of categories and if you select one of them you will get another set of 100 best sellers and another list of subcategories to that.
Feel free to dig down into these categories as much as you like.
The seed product I am going with is the Ketter Store It Out.
It fits with our price range, looks like it could have accessories and other products that could be bought with it and is in a niche that people are passionate about.
Clicking through to the product listing you want to do a few things:
- Check what the listing looks like. Sometimes a best seller has just popped up in to the top 100 due to some marketing or an influencer has taken a shine to it. If the listing is poor and there is not much competition then you could be able to piggyback off that.
- Check the Keepa chart. Our storage box is as expected selling very well but its good to check the price history of the product and how long its been around for.
- Check the reviews. If they are average or poor this could tell you straight away what the customers are looking for that is missing from this product.
Step 2: Time to Dig Further Into Amazon Best Sellers
Once you have checked the seed product and got any information available its time to dig down a level.
To do this we follow the spending ripple and look on the seed product listing in the “Customers who bought this item also bought”
This shows us a list of all the products that customers bought with the seed product. Now some of these won’t be related at all but most will have some kind of connection.
Don’t feel like you have to stay on topic here. Open up a load of tabs and check out the Keepa stats, reviews and listings on all of them.
Remember now you are looking at products that you might eventually want to source so try to keep your selection to the product criteria mentioned earlier.
You can download the handy infographics below to help.
On scrolling, through the selection, I saw a kids play table. It looked a little on the bulky side to source but it had a good price point and could well lead to other more smaller products.
So again we dig further by heading to Customers who bought this item also bought
and drilled down again. Now even though this has nothing to do with our initial seed product I made the selection of these kids storage cups rack.
It fitted all of the criteria and according to Keepa is selling well
Step 3 Competition & Additional notes.
Once you have got 10 -20 products on your shortlist its time to check their competition. This can be done as you are finding them but I like to do it at the end and make my short list even shorter.
Checking competition is just searching on Amazon for the product using its main keyword.
make sure to have the search setting set to “All departments”
Ideally, you are looking for some competition and you want to use Keepa and the Jungle Scout Estimator to see how many units they’re selling each month. This will tell how strong the market is and if it’s too saturated.
If it is too saturated with listings selling nothing then you can start the process again or niche down further.
You will not strike gold every time. There will be a good few times where the search will go cold or you will go too far away from the money. When this happens just start again with a different product.
Don’t set your heart on anything. This rule applies a lot in product research as a whole. Until you have the products up and selling then do not set your heart on anything.
Especially at the beginning.
I cannot emphasize enough that full correct product research is essential.
That’s all folks.
I hope you found this blog post fun and an introduction to finding products off the beaten track.
I wish all the best importing to sell on Amazon and would love to hear about your exploits.
If you have any questions please leave a comment and I promise to answer them ASAP.