Here at FBA Global, we break down each part of how to become an Amazon seller through our Amazon FBA for beginners blog series. Today’s topic, within Amazon FBA Product Research: what to avoid during product research for Amazon FBA. Within this article we’ll discuss how to use a Free Amazon product research tool to eliminate products that won’t make you money!
First off, congratulations on getting this far in your Amazon FBA selling journey. Even if you’re still in the research/learning phase, you’re taking the time to find what will actually make you money. No matter the time it took to get here the first time or if you’re a seasoned veteran sharpening the tool, good on you for focusing on education as you build your business. Let’s jump into it.
What to Avoid?
When honing in on your product, you’ll want to avoid the following:
This is intuitive, but glass can easily break. If you are sourcing from overseas, your products are likely shipped on a boat that has been floating through the ocean for the greater part of a month. This is another risk that I highly advise avoiding.
Categories with Large Brand Names
If you are just starting out, it’s important to remember you’re not Nike. You didn’t get into online business to become a massive corporation, nor do you want to compete with them. The amount of time it would take to compete with recognizable brands (Nike, Garmin, Sony, Apple, etc.) is much better spent bringing multiple products to smaller niches in the same time it’d take to rank against a major brand.
Over-Saturated with Sellers/Vendors
This includes both typically third-party Amazon FBA sellers who found the opportunity earlier and Chinese wholesalers who sell directly on Amazon. If it seems too obvious, you’re likely not the only one who’s seen the opportunity (and unfortunately speed is not on your side).
Highly Scrutinized Categories
Without the expertise, you are subjecting yourself to high scrutiny. This is because a tech product can fall into the “doesn’t work properly” in many different ways. This leads to high returns and negative reviews. This outcome would kill a product line and leave you thousands in the hole. Bad reviews are also difficult to turn around as a product with low reviews typically sells less than a product with no reviews.
Boxed Virtual Products
Take a virtual product that’s already selling and customize it to an audience you are targeting. When doing this, it’s important to remember NOT TO RIP OFF another’s product. This can lead to legal trouble and is never a good business practice. That said, slightly altering any product gives you the right to create a unique offer for it. Think about what your favorite product is missing or what else you have learned on the topic and TAKE ACTION.
Anything that is put in the human body is subject to extra regulation by Amazon (and potentially the FDA) before being approved to sell. Unless you have experience in consumables, this is a strenuous process you are better off avoiding early on in your FBA seller career.
IF you are set on selling consumables (i.e. you found the perfect pre workout formula), you should source from within the US.
- Being subject to US regulation means an overseas manufacturer will not be familiar with the rules.
Competition with Many Variations
Typically, products with many variations only exist in popular markets. If sellers are willing to invest in second, third and fourth variations for a product, smart money would say they’ve been successful for some time in the market. Avoid mature markets and niches and look for ones where there’s room to develop. Use your creativity to find your place in the market.
Note: if a handful of sellers have two or three variations – you don’t need to write off the market. Simply use this as a guideline to scan Page One to determine how many of the top products within the market you are targeting have multiple variations.
Living in a tech world where new tech flies off the shelf, this may seem counterintuitive. Even though there is an abundance of tech products, do not look to start your business by jumping into a popular technology niche. This is due to the fact these niches are:
LOOPHOLE for Selling Tech Products:
Though I highly recommend staying away from complex tech products, there are solutions to still sell in the tech market.
Accessories for Popular Products
The majority of your favorite tech products come with a slew of accessories to follow them. Think of the iPhone. If you we’re to try and sell iPhones… ohh boy. Not past 2015 with any margin. BUT, with the iPhone comes:
- Car phone holders
- Portable chargers
- Light up phone cases
- Phone straps for exercise
- Wireless charging stations
- Many, many more into the thousands…
Now, most products won’t have as long of an Accessory List as the iPhone, but if you get creative with your favorite tech products you can find a suitable accessory niche for a business of your size.
Recommended Product Research Tool
We recommend the following tools for Product Research:
1. Helium 10
2. Viral Launch
We hope you are enjoying this portion of the Amazon FBA Training here at FBA Global. Though Product Research gets its fair credit, I cannot emphasize the importance of taking the time to truly find a product that doesn’t have any “weeds” growing from it. These weeds can come in the form of an over-saturated market, seasonality or even falling into an expensive PPC average bid price category. As you launch products, note any issues with your current portfolio so that you do not make the same mistake twice.
No matter where you are on your Amazon FBA journey, be sure to remember the importance of mindset in the process. You will go as far as you believe so do not let the small hurdles get you down. I believe in you and you better do the same.
If you have comments on what to avoid during Product Research or Amazon FBA Training questions in general, please reach out and I’m happy to help directly! Connecting with Amazon FBA Sellers is rewarding and always where I learn most from so don’t hesitate to use your resources in the field.
All the Best Soldiers,
From Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica