What to Sell on Amazon (Private Label Products)

What to Sell on Amazon (Private Label Products)

Deciding what to sell on Amazon can be daunting. Yet it’s the very first step in setting up a profitable FBA business.

That’s why in this article, you’ll learn how to brainstorm product ideas, verify demand for those products and then analyze the competition. Your goal is to find at least one private label product idea you’re willing to move forward with by the end.

Sound fair enough? Let’s begin.

How to Find Good Private Label Products

There are millions of products sold on Amazon. Where do you start when picking that one product for your business?

We’ll separate the wheat from the chaff by going over the following guidelines:

  1. Product Criteria: we’ll give you the criteria for selecting a good private label product for your FBA business. Always keep these criteria in mind when doing your product research.
  2. Avoid Restricted Products: certain private label products are qualified as restrictive by Amazon, and you need to be approved by Amazon before you are allowed to sell these products.
  3. Avoid Certain Categories: private label products on Amazon are organized in categories. There are certain categories we recommend you avoid altogether.

When you understand the criteria for a good private label product and which categories to avoid, you’re ready to move on and start brainstorming product ideas.

1. Private Label Product Criteria

Here are our criteria for a good private label product

  • Price: $20-60: this is the sweet spot. Price your product any lower and your margin will likely be too low to make a profit. As you will learn later on in this course, we recommend only selling a product with at least 50% margin (pre-marketing and giveaways). This will be very difficult if your product is priced too low. If you price your product any higher on the other hand, buying new inventory will be very expensive. Also higher priced products are more difficult to sell on Amazon, which has a reputation for low prices.
  • Small and Lightweight: ideally your product is no heavier than 2-3 lb, including packaging and the shipping box. Having a lightweight product is important because it has great impact on the cost of shipping your. Also, Amazon’s fees are higher for heavier items. To learn more about this, read Amazon’s overview of Fulfillment Fees for Orders. In general, smaller items tend to be lighter than bigger items, so focus on small products.
  • Simple and Durable: a simple product is easy to make, so it will be easier to source cheaply. Also, a durable product means fewer returns, which means more money in your pocket. Stay away from electronic products, or products with lots of parts.
  • Can be Private Labeled: In our article, Why You Should Become an Amazon FBA Seller, we discussed that you should not sell someone else’s product. Instead, you should sell your own. And to sell your own, you need to find a product that can be private labeled. This also means that you should stay away from niches that are dominated by established brands.
  • In Demand (low BSR + high search volume): Best Sellers Rank, or BSR, is Amazon’s way of keeping score. For almost every product listed on Amazon, you’ll be able to see its BSR. Low BSR means a lot of sales. A BSR of 1 is the best possible spot. Always make sure you look at the main category BSR. And don’t choose a niche where not a single product has a low BSR. In that niche, not even the top products are in demand. So even if you see a way of breaking into that niche, how are you going to make any money?
  • Market Not Saturated (low no. of reviews): If a niche has many products with a low BSR, many sellers are making a lot of money. So this niche is a prime candidate to enter. But, can you reasonably expect to slice a piece of the profit pie? The market may be too saturated to enter, unless you have unlimited financial resources. Therefore, you need to look further than just low BSR and high search volume. The number of reviews will tell you how saturated the market is. If the top 5 products all have thousands of reviews, forget about it.

What Not to Sell on Amazon:

Avoid Restricted Products

You now have a basic idea of what to look for when deciding what to sell on Amazon. But before you start brainstorming private label product ideas, let’s talk about what not to sell on Amazon.

Don’t sell a product that belongs in a restricted Amazon category. Examples of these categories are AlcoholElectronics and Gambling & Lottery. You can find more information about restricted products HERE. [Amazon’s guide to restricted products]

To sell private label products in restricted categories, you need to be authorized by Amazon first. So you’ll have to apply for permission. Keep it simple: don’t sell restricted products. 

Avoid Certain Categories

Products on Amazon are organized into categories. You can find an overview of all categories by clicking HERE. Not all categories are created equal. Some categories have strict requirements. Others are very competitive, making it very difficult to make a profit in. And then there are categories that contain products that don’t meet the criteria we set above.

It’s not impossible to succeed with a private label product in one of these categories, but we don’t recommend it for your first one.

There are certain categories you need to avoid because they are off limits for FBA. Or, they are digital products… or they just don’t typically work well for an FBA business:

  • Amazon Video
  • Fire TV
  • Digital & Prime Music
  • Echo & Alexa
  • Appstore for Android
  • Books & Audible
  • Amazon Photos & Drive
  • Movies, Music & Games
  • Kindle E-readers & Books
  • Fire Tablets

Furthermore, there are certain categories we recommend you avoid because they either have restrictions or are very competitive:

  • Automotive & Industrial
  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry
  • Electronics & Computers
  • Gift Cards
  • Grocery & Gourmet Food
  • Toys & Games (holiday approval products only)
  • Sport Collectibles
  • Watches

These are the categories to avoid, you’ve been warned.

The remaining categories are all great for private label products. If you nevertheless do decide to choose a product in one of the categories above, make sure you understand all the regulations around selling these products.

Action Steps

Here are the 3 things you need to understand what makes a good private label product:

  1. Understand the product criteria for a good private label product.
  2. Understand that you should avoid restricted products.
  3. Understand which Amazon categories you should avoid.

How To Brainstorm Product Ideas

Now that you understand the criteria for a good private label product, and which categories to avoid, let’s brainstorm Amazon product ideas!

When brainstorming product ideas, keep the following product criteria for a good private label product in mind:

  • Price: $20-60
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Simple and Durable
  • Can be Private Labeled

You’ll notice that the criteria In Demand and Market Not Saturated are missing. For now, you don’t need to worry about those. We’ll get to them when we start verifying demand for your product ideas. Later on in this article, you’ll select a number of product ideas and research demand and market saturation for those ideas.

Your goal is to find a minimum of 15-20 products ideas.

So where do you begin when brainstorming private label products?

Here are the places we recommend you start your search:

  1. Your Everyday Life
  2. Amazon Best Sellers
  3. Amazon Top-Level Categories

Find Your Product Spreadsheet

To record your product ideas you are going to use the Product Ideas Sheet in the ‘Find Your Product’ spreadsheetTo access it:

  • click on the link above
  • select ‘File’ in the menu bar
  • In the ‘File’ window, select ‘Make a copy’

Your what to sell on Amazon spreadsheet

In this personal copy, you can record anything you want.

Whenever you come up with a product idea, for example a tea pitcher, record it in the Product Ideas column in the Product Ideas Sheet. And if you find a specific product on Amazon, also add the price and the product link next to the product idea.

Your Everyday Life

It would be great if you could sell a product on Amazon that you’re actually interested in. It’s not necessary, but it helps. In the coming months or even years you will be seeing it from every angle and you will have to convince customers to buy it. So you’d better not choose a product you feel no connection to!

Start by thinking about your everyday life:

What are you passionate about? What are your hobbies and interests? Is there a product here that meets our product criteria?

  • Drawing
  • Dogs
  • Cooking

Do you use products that you think could be improved?

  • For example, you might regularly use a silicone spatula to clean out the mixer, but wouldn’t it be great if you could bend a bit more?

What have you bought online in the last 90 days? Was it a physical product?

Just let things flow. This is not the time to hold back and censor your thoughts. As long as it meets the product criteria we set out above, anything goes. Also, don’t hesitate to contact your friends and family and ask them the same questions.

Amazon Best Sellers

Your everyday life is a good place to start, but you have no way of knowing if any of the products you just came up with will sell. You will do your research on that later on.

But why not start brainstorming products that we know are already selling?

Amazon Best Seller lists will let you do exactly that. Amazon Best Seller lists contain the top 100 best selling products in each top-level category. So you can’t go wrong here!

Start by going to: www.amazon.com/best-sellers/zgbs

Look at Amazon best sellers to figure out what to sell on Amazon

In the left sidebar, you can select any category to see its top 100 Best Sellers.

Let’s choose ‘Home & Kitchen’ for example:

Home and Kitchen private label products

These are all products that are selling well. All you need to do is sift through the products and apply the product criteria we set out earlier in this Module.

For example, the 88th best selling product in the Home & Kitchen category is this BPA Free Water Pitcher:

BPA water pitcher private label product

At first glance it meets our criteria: it’s within the $20-60 Price Range, it looks small and lightweight, and also simple and durable, and it can probably be Private Labeled.

If you’re not sure about the size and weight, you can simply check this by clicking on the product to open the product listing page, and then scrolling down to the Product Information field:

What to sell on Amazon product information

Looks good. Let’s add it to the Product Ideas List!

What to sell on Amazon product description

However, there is a catch: as you may have noticed this water pitcher has over 3,000 reviews!

Water pitcher private label products

It will be difficult to compete with such a product, especially if its main competitors have a similarly high number of reviews. That’s why you shouldn’t limit yourself to the top 100 in top-level categories.

The beauty of Amazon’s Best Seller lists is that you can drill down your search to subcategories, and then their subcategories. And you should definitely take advantage of this! Drilling down allows you to see the top 100 best sellers for each subcategory, and this is where you can find the real gems.

For example, in the ‘Home & Kitchen’ category we can drill down all the way to ‘Bakeware’ → ‘Baking Tools & Accessories’ → ‘Mixing Bowls’:

Mixing bowl private label product

The top products are all products that probably meet our product criteria, but have way fewer reviews.

Amazon Top-Level Categories

Another way to brainstorm private label product ideas is to go through Amazon’s Top-Level Categories. This will be a process similar to what you’ve just done with the Amazon Best Sellers lists. However, you will find different products, because now they are organized in a different way.

Begin by going to Amazon’s Departments OverviewRemember that there are a number of categories you should avoid. If you want to refresh your memory, go back to the “Avoid Certain Categories” section.

Now just pick a category. Let’s choose ‘Kitchen & Dining’:

Kitchen and dining amazon product category

This opens up the Kitchen & Dining page.

Amazon kitchen products homepage

As you can see, you don’t immediately see an overview of products. Instead, we’re presented with a number of featured subcategories, such as Small Appliances and Cutlery. And there other categories in the left sidebar, such as Cookware and Kitchen & Table Linens.

Just select one subcategory and keep going until you end up on a page where you actually see products.

For example, let’s click on Kitchen Tools. This will return another page where we don’t really see any products. So let’s dig even deeper, and select Coasters from the left sidebar.

Coasters private label product

And now we’re getting somewhere. We’re presented with coasters that are categorized in 5 different ways. Not just Best Sellers, but also Hot New Releases. And you may also see headings such as Top RatedMost Wished For and Most Gifted.

Amazon coasters best sellers

This opens up a whole new world of product ideas to brainstorm!

Go through as many categories as you can and keep recording any interesting product ideas in your Product Ideas sheet. When you’ve found about 15-20 product ideas you really like, move on to the next section.

Action Steps

Here are the key Action Steps you should take to begin generating product ideas:

  1. Downloadthe ‘Find Your Product’ spreadsheet.
  2. Brainstormproduct ideas from your everyday life, Amazon Best Sellers and Amazon Top-Level Categories.
  3. Recordyour product ideas in the ‘Product Ideas’ sheet.

How to Verify Private Label Product Demand

The next step in finding the ideal private label product for your FBA business is to verify demand for your product ideas. This is a crucial phase in your product research.

You’ve just found 15-20 product ideas that you’re interested in or are selling well on Amazon. That’s a good start, but you can’t stop here.

Later on, you will be spending a good chunk of money to buy your first inventorygive away products at a discount to get your first sales, and also to send paid traffic to your product listing.

This will be a necessary investment to kick-start your business. But you will want to put yourself in the best possible position to recoup that investment, and ultimately make a good profit. This is why you need to research the niche market for your product ideas.

In short, you’ll need to assess 2 things:

  • Demand: Is the pie big enough to make it worth your while?
  • Market saturation: Can you reasonably expect to take a piece of that pie?

How do we determine this? Although these are not set in stone, here are a few basic guidelines we recommend you use to determine demand and market saturation.

In Demand:

  • The BSR of the top product is <1,000
  • The BSR of 2-3 products in the top 5 is <5,000
  • Total estimated monthly sales for top 5 >2,500
  • Amazon Search Volume for the top 3 keywords is >100,000

Market not Saturated:

  • Ideally, the top product has <300 reviews
  • At a minimum, 1 or 2 products in top 5 have >1,000 reviews
  • It’s even better if 5 products in top 10 results have <100 reviews

Remember: if the top 5 products all have <1,000 reviews, forget about it. This niche will be almost impossible to enter.

Tools to Verify Demand and Market Saturation

  1. Unicorn SmasherUnicorn Smasher is a free Google Chrome extension that gives you access to a lot of different data for the top results for a given keyword search. At a glance, you will be able to see Best Sellers Rank (BSR), sales estimates and number of reviews. You’ll be spending most of your time using this tool, as it is by far the most important tool to verify whether it’s worth pursuing a product idea.
  2. DeepWordsDeepWords is a tool that will give you an estimate of the number of monthly searches by Amazon customers for keywords that are most relevant for your product idea. This is another indication of demand.
  3. Google TrendsGoogle Trends is a tool that will show you the trend for a specific keyword search on Google. While it doesn’t show actual search numbers, it allows you to see whether a product is seasonal, and whether interest has increased or decreased over a certain period of time. Ideally, you will want to sell a product that has year round demand.
  4. CamelCamelCamelthis last tool is an Amazon price tracker. It shows a product’s price and sales rank history, and is one of the best ways to visualize an item’s past performance. This is a good tool to double check a product that has both a low BSR and a low number of reviews. That low BSR may be the result of a recent promotion.

You are going to record your findings in the Product Research Sheet, which is the second sheet in the ‘Find Your Product’ spreadsheet. If you haven’t downloaded it already, you can download it by clicking on the link.

The Product Research Sheet contains quite a few different columns to fill in. But don’t worry, we’ll explain what to record in each column, one step at a time.

Start with copying your favorite product idea from the Product Ideas Sheet to the Product Research Sheet. For the rest of this Module, we will be using a tea pitcher as our example. First, go through all the steps for one product idea. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with all the steps, it will be easier to repeat it for your other private label product ideas.

Unicorn Smasher – Amazon Product Research Tool

Created by the AMZ Tracker team, Unicorn Smasher is a 100% FREE Chrome Extension. With this extension, you will be able to quickly see a lot of data for the product idea you are researching. This is by far the most important tool you’ll use to verify demand for your product ideas.

Unicorn Smasher is an extension you will use directly on the Amazon website. Unfortunately, it currently only works for Amazon.com, which is Amazon’s website for the United States marketplace. If you want to do product research on an Amazon website for a different marketplace, for example in GermanyJapan or Canada, you cannot use Unicorn Smasher.

However, don’t let this hold you back: you are still able to use all the other tips and tools described in this article.

This is what Unicorn Smasher looks like:

Unicorn Smasher Amazon Product Research Tool

In short, here’s how it works:

  • Search for a product on Amazon, for example a tea pitcher.
  • When you see the top search results, clickon the Unicorn Smasher extension at the top right of your browser.
  • A window will now pop-up that will populate with data about these top product results.

This tool is going to save you a ton of hours opening product pagesdoing manual calculations and entering all that data into a spreadsheet!

How do you use Unicorn Smasher?

Start by going to http://www.unicornsmasher.com/ and download the Chrome extension. These instructions will help you install the extension. Make sure you are using the Google Chrome browser! Otherwise, you won’t be able to install the extension.

Now, go to the Amazon website and fill in your product idea in the search bar. We’ll search for a tea pitcher, so type that in and then click on the extension in the right hand corner of your Chrome Browser.

This will open up a window that will auto-populate with data. It looks something like this:

What does Unicorn Smasher do?

So, what are you seeing here?

Let’s go over each column individually:

  • Product: title of each product.
  • Brand: brand name of the product.
  • Sellers: number of sellers for this product. If the number is higher than 1, this means there are multiple sellers for the same product. For example, when you search for an iPhone 6S you will find many different sellers that all sell that same iPhone. They will be competing for the ‘buy box’ because per customer only 1 seller can make the sale. You will be selling your own private label product, with your own brand. This means you will have control over the buy box, so you don’t need to be concerned about competing for the buy box.
  • Variations: number of product variations, such as colors and sizes. An example is a shirt that comes in the colors red and blue, and in 3 different sizes. If the number of variations is 1, it means there is only one option when purchasing the product.
  • Price: the listing price of the item.
  • Category: category in which this product is listed.
  • Rank: Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) in the main category.
  • Sales: monthly estimated sales.
  • Revenue: monthly estimated revenue.
  • Reviews: the total number of reviews for a given ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). An ASIN is a 10-character unique identifier assigned by Amazon to identify products within the Amazon catalog.
  • Rating: Amazon Star Rating (1-5) given to the product.
  • FBA: type of shipping that is provided by the seller controlling the buy box. “AMZ” (Amazon is the seller and fulfills the order), “FBA” (3rd party seller, Fulfillment by Amazon), and “-” (3rd party seller, fulfilled by merchant). “FBA” indicates that this is probably a private label seller.

All this information is golden: within seconds you can see how any given niche is doing! But how can you use this information to verify demand for your product ideas?

Now, let’s analyze what we’re seeing:

How to analyze Unicorn Smasher data

We’re using ‘ice tea pitcher’ as an example. We can immediately spot that there are a number of FBA sellers, which is a good indication that this product can be private labeled. AMZ stands for Amazon. This means that Amazon is selling this product.

Although opinions vary on this, we don’t recommend competing with Amazon. You will probably find Amazon selling products in almost all niches you are researching. That’s not a cause for concern. However, you’d rather not choose a product in a niche in which the majority of the best selling products are sold by Amazon.

For our tea pitcher example, there’s a good mixture: some top selling products are sold by Amazon, but there are also quite a few sold by FBA sellers.

Next, organize the search results on their BSR by clicking on rank.

How to analyze Unicorn Smasher rankings

As you see, there’s hardly any data for the results in the top rows. That’s because these are sponsored resultsthe sellers of these products paid Amazon to show up for the keyword search tea pitcher. Ignore these results, and start with the first real result. In this case, we’re only interested in the results on the fifth row and below.

After you’ve sorted the products by BSR, we’re going to copy the following data for the Top 5 ranking products from Unicorn Smasher to your Product Research Sheet:

  • Product link
  • Price
  • Rank
  • Sales
  • Reviews

Unicorn Smasher product selection

The easiest way to do this is to export the data to a CSV file first. To do so, click on To CSV at the bottom right.

Unicorn Smasher export to CSV

After the file has been downloaded, open it in Google Sheets. From here you can easily select and copy the data for the top 5 results.

Put data on what to sell on Amazon spreadsheet

Then go to your Product Research Sheet and paste it there.

Unicorn Smasher data into what to sell on Amazon spreadsheet

Now go over your findings and analyze the BSREstimated Sales and Reviews. What you would like to see is a BSR of <1,000 for the top product, and at least 2-3 products in the top 5 with a BSR of <5,000.

If the BSR of (most of) your top 5 products is >5,000, dismiss this product idea. There’s not enough demand. Additionally, the estimated monthly sales give you an indication of how many products they are selling per month. You will want this to be at least around 2,500 in total for the top 5.

For our Tea Pitcher product idea, we’re definitely seeing enough demand:

  • BSR: all <5,000
  • Sales: approx 9,000

Next, we’ll look at the number of reviews. What you will see is that the product with the lowest BSR will not necessarily have the most reviews. Number of reviews is just one of the ranking factors. When searching for what to sell on Amazon, you will find that the highest selling products have more reviews than the lower selling products.

When you look at the reviews, ideally you would like to see that the top product has <300 reviews. However, often this won’t be the case. But at a minimum, see if 1 or 2 products in the top 5 have <1,000 reviews. It’s even better if 5 products in top 10 results have <100 reviews.

If 3 or more products in the top 5 all have >1,000 reviews, forget about it. There may be enough demand, but this market is probably too saturated. To get a piece of the pie, you’ll need to throw crazy money at this niche in order to match these numbers of reviews. It may be something to consider for a second or third product, but it’s not worth it for your first product when you’re still learning the game.

The only exception to this guideline is when the top 10 products all have low BSRs. If the products 6-10 all have low BSRs, and not too many reviews, this could still be a profitable niche to enter. A lot of sellers are making money here, not just the top 5.

Unicorn Smasher exceptions

That’s how you use Unicorn Smasher. Analyzing Unicorn Smasher’s data is a crucial step in when figuring out what to sell on Amazon. So take your time. Make sure that you run every product idea that you are interested in through Unicorn Smasher and analyze its market potential.

Action Steps

Here are the steps to using Unicorn Smasher to figure out what to sell on Amazon:

  1. Go to comand install the Unicorn Smasher extension to your Chrome browser.
  2. Search for your product idea on the Amazon website and open Unicorn Smasher.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the different columns in Unicorn Smasher.
  4. Check if you see FBA a number of times in the FBA column.
  5. Organise the search results on their BSR by clicking on rank.
  6. Export the data to a CSV file and open it in Google Sheets.
  7. Copy the data in the Product Link, Price, Rank, Est. Sales and Reviews columns for the top 5 products and paste it in the ‘Product Research’ sheet.
  8. Review your findings and analyze demand by looking at the BSR, Estimated Sales and Reviews.

What to Sell on Amazon Research: DeepWords

Analyzing the BSRestimated monthly sales and number of reviews is the most important step in verifying what to sell on Amazon. An additional, and key, method is checking the search volume for the keywords that Amazon customers use to search for your product idea.

This tells you what your customer is searching for by telling you which words are being used and the level of demand for each phrase. It’s useful for not only determining demand, but also to optimize your product listing for the product.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t provide any public data related to keyword research on its search engine.

However, there is a keyword tool that uses a special algorithm to estimate this search volume: DeepWords, an Amazon tool created by AMZ Tracker. It will give you an indication of the potential keyword search volume on Amazon.

Note: There are no third party tools that can give an exact match.

The algorithm that DeepWords uses casts a wide net to cover a VERY large number of searches and then intelligently analyses the search terms to build out all possible and valid variations. These are then checked against other keyword sources to ensure the search volumes reflect customer demand.

There are over 17 million searches tracked in the DeepWords database, and we’re growing that database every day.

All Amazon regions are supported from the US and UK, to Mexico, France and so on.

Here’s how you use DeepWords:

Log into your account. In the search bar, type in your product idea and click on search.

Don’t be too specific here. For example, if you’re going to sell an ‘iced tea pitcher’, most customers will probably use (variations of) the keyword Tea Pitcher to search for your product. So we recommend you simply use that keyword in DeepWords.

A good indication of demand is a combined estimated Amazon search volume of around 100,000 or more for the top 3 keywords with the highest search volume.

Keep in mind though that, with the Amazon market getting more competitive, the true profit gems can often be found in the smaller niches which have a lower search volume. So don’t dismiss a product idea immediately if the search volume estimate is somewhat lower.

Filling in the keyword Tea Pitcher returns the following results:

Deepwords keyword research tool

The keywords are already sorted on the highest estimated monthly search volume.

Searching Amazon keywords with Deepwords

The top 3 keywords are Tea PitcherIced Tea Maker Pitcher, and Mr Coffee Tea Pitcher. And we can also quickly see that the estimated monthly search volume is about 75,000.

Now copy this information and paste it in your What to Sell on Amazon Product Research Sheet:

Put deepwords data on what to sell on Amazon spreadsheet

If the combined search volume for the top 3 keywords for your product idea is lower than 100,000, like with the Tea Pitcher search, this does not mean you should necessarily drop the product idea. As pointed out above, with Amazon getting more competitive a substantial search volume below 100,000 can still be indicative of a very profitable product idea.

Moreover, actual sales (low BSR) are more important than estimated search volume. But a high search volume for your product idea’s top keywords is indicative of strong demand, so you should definitely be confident in going ahead with a product idea if the estimated search volume for the top 3 keywords exceeds 100,000.

Action Steps

Here are the steps to using DeepWords to help you figure out what to sell on Amazon:

  1. Go to https://www.deepwords.com/and create an account.
  2. Fill in your product idea in the search bar.
  3. Copy the top 3 keywords and their search volume and paste them in the ‘Product Research’ sheet.
  4. Review your findings and analyze demand by checking if the total estimated search volume for the top 3 keywords exceeds 100,000.

How to Research Amazon Products With Google Trends

Next, you will want to check whether there’s year-round or seasonal demand for your product idea. You can’t check this immediately with Amazon data, but Google Trends can give you a rough idea.

Google Trends is a tool that will show you the trend for a specific keyword search on Google. While it doesn’t give actual search numbers, it allows you to see whether a product is seasonal and whether interest has increased or decreased over a certain period of time.

A good example of a search term that has very seasonal spikes is ‘Eurocup‘. The UEFA Euro Cup football tournament is organized every 4 years, and you don’t need a vivid imagination to understand that Google sees a spike in searches for it during the tournament.

How to Use Google Trends for Amazon Product Research

Conversely, searches for a keyword such as ‘House’ are pretty stable year-round:

Example of a stable product

To check seasonality for your product ideas, start by going to https://www.google.com/trends/In the search bar, fill in your product idea. We’ll use ‘tea pitcher‘ again.

Semi-seasonal amazon product with Google Trends

Next, limit your search to the territory you are going to be selling in. For example, if you are looking for an FBA product to sell on Amazon.com, limit your search to the United States.

Limit your Google Trends geography

Now if we look at the graph, it’s obvious that demand for this product is not the same year-round. There’s higher demand in summer, and lower demand in winter.

Google Trends spike analysis

The differences are not extreme, like with the ‘Eurocup’ keyword. There are still quite a few searches for tea pitchers in winter, there are just more in summer.

We can see that even better if we limit the time period to January 2014 – July 2016.

Seasonal is obvious with Google Trends over a long period of time

Seasonal demand for your product is not a deal breaker. Also, seasonality comes in different forms: a Santa Claus toy will only sell around Christmas, whereas an ice cream maker will sell all summer, and possibly spring and early autumn. And finally, as we just saw with a tea pitcher, higher demand in summer doesn’t necessarily mean no demand in winter.

Yet, ideally, you’re selling a private label product that sees year-round demand.

And it makes sense: when it’s cold most people will probably prefer hot chocolate over iced tea.

Record your findings in the comments column in the Product Research Sheet. For our tea pitcher example, we would add ‘Higher demand in summer’. But you can record it in any way you prefer.

Action Steps

Here are the steps to using Google Trends to check whether your product idea has year-round or seasonal demand:

  1. Go to com/trends
  2. Fill in your product idea in the search bar.
  3. Limit your search to the territory you are going to be selling in.
  4. Analyze the graph and determine if your product idea has year your or seasonal demand.
  5. Record your findings in the ‘Product Research’ sheet.

Amazon Product Research With CamelCamelCamel

You now have most of the information you need. The last thing to do when deciding what to sell on Amazon is check whether the product’s Best Sellers Rank is inflated. BSR is a reflection of a product’s most recent sales. Amazon cares more about this than it does about a product’s sales over a long period of time! A lot of recent sales lead to a higher ranking.

Sellers may take advantage of this ranking approach by running a giveaway promotion to boost their BSR ranking. And when you ran your product idea through Unicorn Smasher, you might have – without realizing it – just stumbled upon one or more products with an inflated BSR.

A great tool to check whether a low BSR really means that a product is popular, or is simply the result of a recent promotion, is CamelCamelCamelCamelCamelCamel is an Amazon price tracker that shows a product’s price and sales rank history. It is one of the best ways to visualize a product’s past performance.

You don’t need to check this for all top 5 products for your product idea. Only do a CamelCamelCamel check when you feel the data seems off. Go through your list and flag the products that have a low BSR, yet also have a low number of reviews. Especially if that product ranks higher than a product with many more reviews.

Our ‘tea pitcher’ overview contains one such product: a BSR of 1043, yet it only has 153 reviews, whereas the product on no 5 below has 1252!

Price Discrepancy on What to Sell on Amazon Spreadsheet

It is one of the cheaper products in the list. So that could explain why it’s selling more than pricier products that have a lot more reviews. But the low BSR might also be a result of a recent promotion. Let’s investigate!

Open the product listing page by clicking on the product link. When you’re on the product listing page, scroll down to find the ASIN:

Amazon product ASIN

Now go to CamelCamelCamel. Start by creating a free account, so you can use the features addressed below.

After you have created an account, paste the ASIN in the search bar.

CamelCamelCamel for product research

Next, scroll down until you see this graph:

Use CamelCamelCamel to find great Amazon products

At the top, you’ll notice three tabs. We’re only concerned with the first two: Price History and Sales RankClick on the Sales Rank tab. In this graph, you can see the changes in BSR over time. It looks like our product has been in a pretty stable range since the summer of 2013, with a few dips.

See price history with CamelCamelCamel

If we change the date range to 3 months, we can see a pretty strong recent BSR increase:

CamelCamelCamel date range increase

We can’t really know for sure, but it might very well be that this seller has run one or more promotions recently by creating discount voucher codes and giving them out to preselected customers. This would explain why this product has a low BSR yet also a relatively low number of reviews.

We’ll add this bit of information to our Product Research Sheet in the Product Idea Comments column, “#2: may have run promotions recently to boost BSR.”

What to sell on Amazon spreadsheet– recent promotion

If you find an inflated BSR, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead with this product idea. But you may want to go back to Unicorn Smasher and have a look at the lower ranking products. Especially if you spot multiple inflated BSRs in the top 5.

One final note: if there are product research findings that don’t relate to a specific section in the Product Research Sheet, add them in the Product Ideas Comments column. For example, if Unicorn Smasher shows a high number of reviews for the top 5 products, but a very low number of reviews for all products below that, this is something to record in the Product Idea Comments column. And this is also the column to record any Google keyword research findings.

Action Steps

Here are the steps to using CamelCamelCamel to check a product’s sales rank and BSR history:

  1. Go to com
  2. Create a free account.
  3. Fill in the ASINof the product that you suspect might have an inflated BSR (low BSR and low number of reviews).
  4. Look at the Price Historyand Sales Rank graphs and analyze whether the current BSR is indeed inflated.
  5. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

How To Analyze Your Competition on Amazon

Great, by now you should have verified demand for your private label product idea. Next up is analyzing your competition to figure out how you can outperform them!

You want to put yourself in the best possible position to run a profitable FBA business. To make that happen, you need to find a way to differentiate your product from your future competition.

We’re going to analyze your competition to learn if we can do better, and how. We will look at two things:

  1. Is the product listing optimized? We will review the product title, bullet points, images and description of your competitors’ product listings.
  2. Can the product be improved?We will review the positive and negative reviews, and the Q&A section of your competitors’ product listings.

Is the Product Listing Optimized?

Although sales are the most important factor to rank high in Amazon’s search engine A9, another very important factor is Amazon Product Listing Optimization. What does this mean?

In Module 1 – Why You Should Become An Amazon Seller, you learned that Amazon is in the business to make money and will boost whoever is pushing the highest sales volume upwards.

So it wants to make sure that for any given keyword search it’s returning product listings on the first page that have the highest chance of converting into a sale.

And the way for a seller to increase the conversion rate of their product listing is to make sure that it is optimized. There are four visible elements of a product listing that can be optimized:

  • Title
  • Bullet points
  • Images
  • Description

We will get into much more detail on each of those in Module 8 – Create Your Optimized Product Listing, when you are going to create your own product listing. For now, we’ll just touch on the basics, so you can vet whether or not your competition has optimized their product listings.

Ideally, you would want to see unoptimized product listings with a low BSR and low number of reviews. Simply by optimizing your own future product listing you would already be able to differentiate yourself from these sellers’ product listings.

What should you look for when reviewing your competitors’ product listings?

  • Title: Amazon recommends using 50 characters maximum as a general rule. However, in our view the longer the title the better. Depending on the product, a seller may be able to use as many as 200 characters in the title.Check the length of a title and if it includes the most relevant keywords for the product. An example of a bad title that doesn’t use enough characters is ‘iPhone 6 case’. A better, optimized title would be: ‘#1 Rated iPhone 6 Case Matte Black Lightweight’.
  • Bullet points: You are allowed to add 5 bullet points. Check if the seller used all of them. Also check how they are used. Do they just list features or are they more focused on conversion by listing benefits? Are the first words of every bullet point written in CAPITAL letters?
  • Images: You are allowed to add 9 images. Check whether all image slots are used. Also check the quality of their images. Do they look professional? And are they zoomable?
  • Description: You are allowed to use a maximum of 2,000 characters in your description. You don’t need to max it out, but check whether the seller is using a minimum of 1,000 characters in their description. Also make sure to read the copy. Does the product description provide a persuasive storyline and does it include relevant keywords? Finally, check if the seller has used some basic HTML to make it look better. Although Amazon is cracking down on this, you will still find many sellers using it. Look for words in bold, or white spaces.
  • Enhanced Brand Content: This is now available for sellers that have registered for Amazon brand registry. It is free and enables you to modify your product description field with images, subheadings, paragraphs and bullet points. You can find out more by clicking here.

For each product in your top 5, open up the product listing page and analyze how optimized it is.

In your Product Research Sheet, you’ll be scoring your findings with a Yes or a No in the following columns. You can enter your score from the drop-down menus or just type in the words:

Put if the product is optimized in your spreadsheet

We’ll use number 1 on our tea pitcher list to demonstrate:

Can the product listing be improved?

Title

After we’ve opened the product listing page, the first thing we notice is a long and keyword heavy title.

Amazon product listing TItle

That is definitely optimized. In the Title cell we’ll select Yes from the drop-down menu.

Title Optimized? Yes

Bullet Points

Then we move on to the Bullet Points.

Amazon product bullet points

This seller has used all 5 bullet points. Also, it’s not just an enumeration of features but focuses more on benefits. So that’s another Yes.

Spreadsheet bullet points

Images

Next up are the Images.

Product images optimized or not?

This seller has used only 4 images, where he could use 9. The images look professional and are all zoomable. But he could – and should – have used all 9 image slots. So the images of this product listing aren’t fully optimized. We’ll add a No in the Images cell.

What to sell on Amazon spreadsheet images

Description

Finally, let’s scroll down to the product description.

Example of a short (weak) product description

This looks rather short. Let’s copy it to CharacterCountOnline.com to count the number of characters:

Character count online tool for Amazon product descriptions

And it is short indeed: only 683 characters, where this seller really should have used a minimum of 1,000 characters. Moreover, it’s badly written. It contains multiple spelling errors, such as “due to it’s decorative square”. And what’s even worse, it ends in the middle of a sentence!

This description is definitely not optimized, so we’ll add a No in the Description cell.

What to sell on Amazon product description spreadsheet

That’s it! Now you know how to analyze and score a product listing page. Do this for all top 5 products of your product idea before proceeding to the next section.

If you end up with a lot of Yes’s, you’ll have some strong competition. You can’t outperform them simply by creating a fully optimized product listing. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue this product idea any further. If the top 5 products for your product idea have a low BSR and a relatively low number of reviews, that is much more important than how optimized their product listings are.

Yet, ideally, you would like to see a lot of No’s. If your competition hasn’t optimized their product listings, that’s a great chance for you to later outrank them!

Action Steps

  1. Understand the basics of optimizing a product listing: product title, bullet points, images and description.
  2. Review the product listings of the top 5 product listings for your product idea. Assess whether these product listings are optimized or not.
  3. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

Can the Private Label Product Be Improved?

Now we move on to the last step on choosing what to sell on Amazon: can you make a product that is better than what’s already on the market?

The way to find out is analyzing what our future customers think of the current top selling products. And the good thing is: we don’t need to conduct expensive and complicated market research to find out. As a matter of fact, your future customers have already told you! Huh?

They have already told you by leaving a positive or negative review on your competitors’ products! Or by asking a question about that product. All this information is publicly available and free.

Your future customers are telling you what they think of the current top selling products: what they like, dislike and what they would like to see added or changed.

All we need to do is find that feedback! Here’s where you will find it:

  • Reviews
  • Questions & Answers

You can find links to both right below the product title:

Check Amazon product reviews for product flaws

You are going to record your findings in the last 2 columns in the Product Research sheet:

  • Positive
  • Negative

Can your competitor's product be improved?

Analyze the reviews of every top 5 product listing and try to find 5 positive and 5 negative things about your private label product idea.

Try to find the top positive qualifications for each product: The positive qualifications that are mentioned most for all products, or that stand out most. Let’s say a common positive comment for a Tea Pitcher is that it does not leak. This qualification is mentioned multiple times in reviews, and for multiple products. Then you definitely will want to add this to the list. But record it only once. No need to duplicate positive comments here: we are looking for 5 different positive qualifications.

Do the same for negative qualifications, which you will mostly find in the critical reviews. Interpret negative broadly: for our purposes, we’ll also qualify constructive feedback or suggested changes as a negative qualification. Record those qualifications in the Negative column.

Check Amazon Product Reviews

Amazon uses a 5-star rating for their review system. A 4 or 5-star rating counts as a positive review, anything below that (including 3 stars) counts as a negative or critical review.

As an example, we’ll use the same product listing we just looked at when analyzing the product listing for page optimization. Under the product title, click on Customer Reviews or simply scroll down the product listing page to the Customer Reviews section.

Customer reviews on competitor's products are so important

The reviews you see here are not the most recent ones, but the Top Customer Reviews. These are the reviews with the most helpful votes.  For the product we are looking at, the top review has 33 helpful votes, and the review below that has 31. You can see this at the bottom of a review.

Check the most helpful reviews

A top customer review can be positive or negative, but in both cases Amazon customers have read it and indicated that they found the review helpful. You need to look at these reviews first: in these reviews, you will find the best information about the product!

So start by going through these top customer reviews and try to spot what people like and dislike about this product.

Next, go back up and click on See all [number] customer reviews.

See all customer reviews

This will bring you to a new page where you can see all reviews. You basically have two choices: See all positive reviews (4 and 5 stars) or all critical reviews (1-3 stars).

View top and critical reviews

First go through the positive reviews and find what people like about this product.

Then go through the negative or critical reviews and spot what people dislike, or would like to see improved about the product.

If there are lots of reviews, focus on finding a common positive or negative comment. Different customers will like different things, but if 10 customers give the same feedback that’s worth taking note of.

For the product we are looking at, one of the common positive comments is that the tea pitcher is compact:

Analyze your competitor's product's top benefits

And something that is mentioned a number of times in the critical reviews is the quality of the lid:

Top product flaws

So we’ll add that to our Product Research Sheet:

Can the product be improved? Spreadsheet

Questions & Answers

Next, we’re going to look at the questions customers have asked about this product. To do so, go back to the product listing page and scroll down to the Customer Questions & Answers section.

Check customer questions and answers

This is where you will find the questions that customers have asked about this product. These questions can be answered by the seller, but also by other customers who have already bought this product. As with the reviews, at the top you will find the questions that were voted most helpful.

To see more than the top questions and answers, you can click on See More Answered Questions at the bottom.

See more answered questions

Go through all the Questions & Answers and see what you can find. In this section, you can learn what is holding customers back before making the purchase. They are interested in the product, otherwise, they wouldn’t leave a question. But they have a question that they would like to have addressed.

For example, a question that is asked about the tea pitcher we are looking at is if it is possible to pour boiling water into it.

Look at top questions answered by customers

This question is not answered by the sellers, but by 3 different customers: it’s better to not pour boiling water in the pitcher. That’s great information: we can safely assume these customers don’t have a double agenda and are simply sharing their own experience with this pitcher.

One of the top questions for our tea pitcher is whether the lid is safe.

Customer questions regarding Amazon product safety

We’ve already learned from some critical reviews that the quality of the lid is an important concern for customers. So this question is something to take note of and add to our Product Research Sheet:

Product flaws filled out on the Spreadsheet

Analyze the reviews and Questions & Answers for your product idea. If you see multiple positive or negative comments, you can add them to the same cell. But don’t make a big list: try to spot the most common ones.

Keep the objective in mind: you’re not looking to write an encyclopedia, you’re looking for ways to make a better product than your competition. Remember, negative reviews will be most helpful to you: it’s good to know what customers like about competing products, but to differentiate your product you need to know what customers would like to see that is different from the products that are already on the market.

Action Steps

  1. Understand how you can use a product listing’s reviews and questions & answers to learn how you can improve your potential private label product.
  2. Analyze the reviews and questions & answers of the top 5 product listings for your product idea to find what customers like and what they would like to see improved.
  3. Record your findings in the Product Research

Select Your Favorite Private Label Product Idea

Now, you can take a breath: that was a lot of hard work. Congratulations, well done! You can be proud of yourself. There are just a few more steps before you can pick the Best Amazon FBA Product for you.

If you have done all the steps for one product idea, now is a good time to go back and repeat the process for all the other product ideas you are interested in. To make things easier for you, we have created a Cheat Sheet that contains the very basics of the Product Research process. Using the Cheat Sheet will prevent you from having to go back and forth through this module. You can download it here: Cheat Sheet. (Select File in the menu bar, in the File window and select Make a Copy).

When you have researched at least 5 product ideas and recorded your findings in the Product Research sheet, you are ready to select your favorite product idea!

But, how do you select your favorite product idea?

Go to your Product Research sheet. Look at all the data you have collected and analyze which product idea has both the:

Highest Demand:
  • The top 5 results have the lowest average BSR, the highest number of estimated monthly sales, and the highest keyword search volume.
Lowest Competition:
  • The top 5 results have a relatively low number of reviews (indicating that the niche is not saturated), at least some unoptimized product listings, and opportunities for product improvement.

It also helps if you have a strong interest or at least a certain affinity for the product idea that has the best numbers. This is not crucial, but it will definitely help: if you decide to go ahead with this product idea, you’ll be going to spend a lot of time looking at it!

Let’s take a look at our example product idea, the tea pitcher. How does it compare against our private label product criteria?

Price: $20-60:
  • Only one of the top selling products is in this range. So this product may not give us enough margin to run a successful FBA business.
Small and Lightweight:
  • Yes, depending on size and materials, a Tea Pitcher can be an ideal size for a profitable FBA product.
Simple and Durable:
  • Tea Pitcher’s are definitely simple. Whether it’s durable will depend on the material, this is something we need to pay attention to when finding a supplier.
Can be Private Labeled:
  • Yes, there are a number of FBA sellers indicating private label potential.
In Demand:
  • Yes, the top 5 products all have BSR < 5,000 and the total estimated sales are approximately 9,000.
Market not Saturated:
  • There is fierce competition in this niche. 2 of the products in the top 5 have around 1,000 or more reviews. Matching those number of reviews will require deep pockets, which is not something we want.
  • However, our Unicorn Smashersearch results also showed that most other first page products also have low BSRs, but some have less than 200 reviews. Moreover, the product listing we looked at is not optimized and we have found room for product improvement. If we could find a way to sell this product at a $20+ price point, this might still be a product idea worth pursuing.

Analyze all your researched product ideas in the same way. After you have reviewed your findings, pick your favorite product idea. This is the product idea you will go ahead with in Module 3 – Choose Your Supplier.

With selecting your favorite product idea you have laid the first brick of the wall you are building: your FBA Business is starting to take shape! In the next module, you will continue to build the wall by learning how to find and choose a supplier that can make this product for you, at a competitive price.

Action Steps

  1. If you have researched only 1 product idea, repeat the same process for the other product ideas you are interested in. Download the Cheat Sheet(Select File in the menu bar, in the File window and select Make a Copy) to review the basics of the Product Research process.
  2. Review the data you have collected in your ‘Product Research’ sheet.
  3. Select your favorite product idea by analyzing which product idea has both the highest demand and lowest competition.

Action Steps

Great job getting through every section! It’s a lot of research, but this may be the most important work you do to make sure you find your ideal private label product.

Below is a recap of ever section’s Action Steps:

What Makes a Good Private Label Product?

  1. Understand the product criteria for a good private label product.
  2. Understand that you should avoid restricted products.
  3. Understand which Amazon categories you should avoid.

How To Brainstorm Product Ideas

  1. Download the Find Your ProductSpreadsheet.
  2. Brainstorm product ideas from your everyday life, Amazon Best Sellers and Amazon Top-Level Categories.
  3. Record your product ideas in the Product Ideas Sheet.

How To Verify Demand For Your Product Ideas

  1. Understand how to assess demand and market saturation for a product idea.
  2. Copy your favorite product ideas from the Product Ideas Sheetto the Product Research Sheet.

Unicorn Smasher

  1. Go to comand install the Unicorn Smasher extension to your Chrome browser.
  2. Search for your product idea on the Amazon website and open Unicorn Smasher.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the different columns in Unicorn Smasher.
  4. Check if you see FBA a number of times in the FBA column.
  5. Organize the search results on their BSR by clicking on rank.
  6. Export the data to a CSV file and open it in Google Sheets.
  7. Copy the data in the Product Link, Price, Rank, Est. Sales and Reviews columns for the top 5 products and paste it in the Product Research Sheet.
  8. Review your findings and analyze demand by looking at the BSR, Estimated Sales and Reviews.

DeepWords

  1. Go to com
  2. Fill in your product idea in the search bar
  3. Copy the top 3 keywords and their search volume and paste them in the Product Research Sheet.
  4. Review your findings and analyze demand by checking if the total estimated search volume for the top 3 keywords exceeds 100,000.

Google Trends

  1. Go to com/trends
  2. Fill in your product idea in the search bar.
  3. Limit your search to the territory you are going to be selling in.
  4. Analyze the graph and determine if your product idea has year your or seasonal demand.
  5. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

CamelCamelCamel

  1. Go to com
  2. Create a free account.
  3. Fill in the ASIN of the product that you suspect might have an inflated BSR (low BSR and low number of reviews).
  4. Look at the Price Historyand Sales Rank graphs and analyze whether the current BSR is indeed inflated.
  5. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

How To Analyze Your Competition

  1. Understand the importance of analyzing your competition to finding a way to learn how you can outperform them.

Is The Product Listing Optimized?

  1. Understand the basics of optimizing a product listing: product title, bullet points, images and description.
  2. Review the product listings of the top 5 product listings for your product idea. Assess whether these product listings are optimized or not.
  3. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

Can The Product Be Improved?

  1. Understand how you can use a product listing’s reviews and questions & answers to learn how you can improve your potential private label product.
  2. Analyze the reviews and questions & answers of the top 5 product listings for your product idea to find what customers like and what they would like to see improved.
  3. Record your findings in the Product Research Sheet.

Select Your Favorite Product Idea

  1. If you have researched only 1 product idea, repeat the same process for the other product ideas you are interested in. Download the Cheat Sheet(Select File in the menu bar, in the File window and select Make a Copy) to review the basics of the Product Research process.
  2. Review the data you have collected in your Product Research Sheet.
  3. Select your favorite product idea by analyzing which product idea has both the highest demand and lowest competition.

After you’ve selected your favorite product idea, you are ready to move on to the next Module. In Module 3 – Find Your Supplier we will show you how to find suppliers, contact them and ultimately choose the best supplier for your product.

You’re going to try to find a supplier that is able to make your product and give you a minimum of 50% profit margin before marketing and giveaways. Hopefully, you’ll hit a homerun immediately.

But should you not be able to find a supplier who can give you this margin, you might need to revert to this Module 2 – Find Your Product and select another product idea. There’s no shame in that. Remember what we said at the beginning of this Module. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and your journey to a million dollar private label business begins with a single product. The first bricks you lay are the foundation: later on, they will support the whole wall.

If you chose a bad product that no one is interested in or that doesn’t give you a high enough profit margin, you’re going to fail. So it’s crucial that you do everything you can to get your first product right.

Closing Thoughts 

Whew! This was a long one. But very important.

I have a question to ask you: did you achieve the goal I set for you? Do you have your product? I hope so. If not– no worries. Go back over the steps above one more time and I know you will find a good one.

And remember–

When you begin selling your product, AMZ Tracker is here to give you the winning edge over the competition.

AMZ Tracker gives you a lot of tools that Amazon doesn’t provide. Tools like:

  • Product Keyword Rankings at a Glance
  • Boost your Sales Velocity with Vipon.com
  • Track Your Competitor’s Sales
  • Find New Lucrative Products With Unicorn Smasher
  • And much more

To learn more about AMZ Tracker and see how it will help you sell on Amazon profitably, click here now.

Happy selling!

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