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What to Sell on Amazon FBA? (Beginner Ideas)

Finding what to sell on Amazon FBA shouldn’t be challenging as Amazon has a catalog of over 12 million products. And if you add products from Amazon marketplace sellers, the number shoots to 350 million.

The only issue you might have is choosing that winning product with reasonable demand and less competition. This guide explores the different product options you can start with as a beginner.

Key Takeaways

  • The kitchen and Home category is the best and fastest-selling product category for most beginner FBA sellers.
  • Beginners should avoid highly competitive, perishable, seasonal, and regulated product categories.
  • Conduct competition analysis and market research, assess profit margins and pricing, examine BSR (Best Sellers Rank), and factor in product size and weight.

Criteria for Choosing Products for Amazon FBA

Product research is the most crucial step in your Amazon FBA journey because you want the right product that many customers need without falling into the mix with tough competition.

Here are five criteria to quicken your search.

Competition Analysis

Amazon is a fiercely contested platform with multiple products trying to attract the same audience’s attention. Therefore, you’d want to target a product with the least competition possible.

For example, if you search for “kitchen knives,” you get over 9,000 search results.

amazon kitchen knives search results

This shows that the niche is populated, so standing out from competitors will be challenging. However, you can find a niche within a large market, which narrows down the competition.

For instance, if you refine your search using the keyword “kitchen knives set with blocks,” you get 1,000 search results.

amazon kitchen knives set with block search results

As you can see, the product belongs to the same niche but faces less competition.

Additionally, the individual searching for “kitchen knives” is not as specific in their intent. 

They may be looking for a cooking knife set, holder, or cooking knife cuisine art.

Conversely, the second searcher is more inclined to buy the product due to their distinct preferences.

This means you’ll achieve a high ranking for the targeted keyword and generate sales by offering a product with stronger purchase intent.

In short, don’t cast your net too wide when doing competition analysis. 

Refine your searches to reduce the number of competitors. Then, you can identify their product listing strategy, marketing tactics, fulfillment process, and pricing approach.

Demand and Market Research

helium 10 demand and market research

Market research offers critical insights into the demand and seasonality of products.

There’s a notion most beginners have that they should trust their guts about a product. 

Amazon FBA doesn’t work that way.

A product’s success depends on the target market – the higher the demand, the more it’s ready for selling.

You can start your market research by checking out products with many reviews and sales. This gives you an idea of the product’s popularity.

But you must go deeper to determine the product’s seasonality as some products record high sales in some parts of the year. For example, Christmas trees are only popular during the festive season. You can’t sell them mid-year.

Luckily, you can use Helium 10 to conduct product research. The tool makes it easy to get accurate product data to help you make insight-based decisions.

Profit Margins and Pricing

According to Study by ZonGuru, an excellent net profit margin for Amazon Sellers should be between 15% and 25% per product.

So, the product you choose should be flexible to meet the margin, even as prices fluctuate occasionally.

However, this doesn’t imply that you should focus solely on expensive products. 

The optimal approach is refining your product sourcing strategy, which entails seeking budget-friendly suppliers and streamlining your inventory management processes.

A helpful strategy involves sourcing products directly from manufacturers or negotiating with suppliers to secure a price that enhances profit margins.

You can use tools like Helium 10’s Alibaba integration or AMZScout Supplier Check to find the best manufacturers/suppliers for your products.

Checking Best Seller Rank

The Amazon Best Seller Rank (BSR) measures hourly changes in how well a product is selling on the platform.

A product with a lower Best Sellers Rank (BSR) is preferable, as it indicates higher popularity with more sales than a product with a higher BSR.

Targeting products with a BSR of above 20,000 is recommended if you’re in a popular niche. 

If you’re in a tight niche, a BSR of above 5,000 would do.

However, BSR only compares products in the same category and subcategories. 

This means a product may have multiple BSRs depending on the categories and subcategories it belongs to.

For example, the product in the screenshot below has three BSRs in various categories:

  • BSR of 672 in the Tools & Home Improvement
  • BSR of 7 in the Outdoor String Lights
  • BSR of 13 in the Indoor String Lights.
amazon best seller ranking

To check the BSR of a product, go to the product’s page and scroll down to the information section.

amazon product information

Product Size and Weight

Amazon FBA determines its fees according to the dimensions and weight of a product. 

The larger and heavier the product, the more you’ll pay.

There are two sizes you must consider:

  • the standard size, which weighs less than 20 pounds after packaging and typically costs less.
  • oversized products, which weigh more than 20 pounds and cost more.

As a novice Amazon seller, it’s logical to begin with smaller and lighter products.

After all, attempting to sell larger items without establishing a solid foundation in Amazon FBA can lead to higher expenses.

Top Amazon FBA Beginner Category Ideas

Having learned how to identify the most suitable products for Amazon selling, let’s explore examples of products to consider within various categories.

Product Category #1: Home and Kitchen

44% of Americans meal-prep, according to a study by Myprotein. In short, almost half of all Americans use home and kitchen appliances.

This is good news for Amazon sellers as it signifies a growing demand for home and kitchen appliances. That’s why 35% of brands on Amazon are in the home and kitchen category.

So why do many brands find solace in this area?

  • Low barrier to entry: Amazon has many restrictions on various product categories. On the other hand, the home and kitchen niche lacks restrictions, allowing you to begin immediately.
  • Lots of product ideas: Numerous unresolved problems persist within the home and kitchen niche, with existing products often lacking efficacy. This creates an opportunity to introduce innovative solutions that captivate audiences facing similar challenges.
  • Limited industry requirements: The home and kitchen category isn’t subjected to much scrutiny from government agencies and regulatory bodies. This is unlike other categories like food and health supplement, where you must get approved by the FDA.

Product Category #2: Baby and Child Care

More parents are becoming aware of their baby’s hygiene and health. 

They need more utility-driven, high-quality, and premium baby products to meet their needs.

That’s why the industry has been on a growth trajectory for several years.

us baby products market

Amazon has listed over 40,000 products in that niche to keep up with demand. 

So, it’s a viable niche to focus on as a newbie in Amazon FBA.

amazon baby and child care products search results

An important point to note is that the baby and healthcare category is sensitive as it targets a hyper-sensitive market.

Parents of a newborn typically experience a mix of excitement, curiosity, and a strong desire to ensure the best care and comfort for their baby. In addition, they’re looking for affordable, high-quality, and robust customer service.

But their main concern is the product’s safety. No one wants to use a product that would harm their child.

Hence, your product research should extend beyond profitability

The paramount factor to verify is whether the product you intend to sell complies with the regulations and requirements established by these regulatory agencies:

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which protects the public from unreasonable risks from consumer products.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that regulates baby car seats.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which protects the public by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of a wide range of products related to food, drugs, medical devices, vaccines, biological products, cosmetics, and tobacco.

Product Category #3: Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is a vast industry worth USD 4,332 Billion globally.

Since Amazon is the largest retailer, many Amazon FBA sellers specialize in this category to sell millions of health products.

Nevertheless, health and wellness products don’t necessarily require you to sell medications. 

The niche is broad, with numerous subcategories boasting a low barrier to entry.

Some of these include:

  • Weight loss products
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Make-up and beauty products
  • Baby and childcare,
  • Skin and hair care

The only challenge with the health and wellness category is the presence of many branded products that don’t give room to third-party Amazon FBA sellers.

So, beginners must put in twice the effort to find the perfect product without stiff competition.

But if you’re a medical professional with no Amazon selling history, you can leverage your expertise to get products that target a unique audience. This will also open doors to select manufacturers and suppliers.

For example, a pharma tech company developing a new medicine is more likely to collaborate with an experienced healthcare professional who is new on Amazon than an experienced Amazon seller who isn’t a medical expert.

Product Category #4: Pet Supplies

You’re in luck if you’re a pet owner interested in entering the Amazon FBA business, as it’ll be easier to sell products you have experience with.

The best part? The pet supplies niche on Amazon is huge.

Studies show that Americans spend $124 billion a year on pet care

That’s equivalent to buying 1,258,883 Tesla Model X cars!

The pet supply is another industry with many subcategories that you can target. 

Here’s a brief breakdown.

  • Health Supplies: Pet parents want their furry friends to be healthy and are willing to spend significant amounts on pet health care products.
  • Toys and Accessories: 24% of pet parents buy toys for their puppies and kittens several times monthly. Whether you’re considering puppy rings, plastic rolling balls, ping-pong balls, or dog treat toy balls, there’ll always be a market for them.
  • Pet food: Premium and high-quality pet foods are critical for maintaining pets’ health. Likewise, manufacturers are developing a broad range of products to cater to different breeds.

The table below gives you product ideas for each sub-category in the pet supply niche.

Category Product Ideas
Dog Supplies Grooming, carriers and travel products, health supplies, feeding supplies, diapers and potty training, dog collars, and leashes.
Cat Supplies Toys, treats, apparel, grooming supplies, health supplies, collars, leashes and harnesses, carriers and strollers, memorials, and funeral supplies.
Pet Bird Supplies Cages, health supplies, carriers, and toys.
Horse Supplies Grooming, pest control, blankets, health supplies, boots, toys, and farrier supplies.
Fish and Aquatic Pet Supplies Automatic feeders, aquarium, health supplies, and aquarium supplies.

Product Category #5: Electronics and Gadgets

Amazon’s electronics and gadgets category was launched two decades ago, just four years after the eCommerce platform started.

Over time, the category has dramatically shifted due to technological advancement. 

Even Amazon introduced its electronic tools like Amazon Astro, Kindle readers, and Alexa.

So why focus on electronics and gadgets? Two things:

  • People will always want devices like smartphones, electronic toothbrushes, or headphones to improve their quality of life.
  • Electronics and gadgets have a wide profit margin if you get the best products with considerable sales volume.

While choosing gadgets to sell on Amazon, don’t start with large products like TVs or printers. Remember that size and weight affect your Amazon fees. Start with small gadgets like cell phones, audio devices, watches, cameras, etc.

Another essential thing to remember is the product’s compliance with Amazon policies. 

The platform prohibits the selling of gadgets that can enable illegal activities.

For example, you shouldn’t sell gadgets blocking radio signals, like WiFi jammers, GPS, or radar jammers. Similarly, steer clear of digital music players that encourage music pirating.

What Product Categories Should Amazon FBA Beginners Avoid?

While there are countless opportunities on Amazon, not all categories are beginner-friendly. Below are a few products that you shouldn’t start with.

Highly Competitive Products

One of the most common pitfalls for beginners on Amazon FBA is diving into overcrowded markets. You’re up against established sellers, and the fierce competition can make gaining visibility, establishing a foothold, and achieving sustainable sales challenging.

You might be tempted to lower your product price for an edge, but competing solely on price can lead to slim profit margins.

Some of the most competitive categories include:

Category Reasons for Competitiveness
Home Decor
  • Constant changes in home design trends
  • Lots of established brands
Books
  • Many established authors and publishers
  • Complexity of listings
  • Inadequate resources for marketing and promotion
Fashion and Apparel
  • Changes in styles and trends
  • Inventory management challenges

Highly Regulated Products

Some products on Amazon are restricted from every seller. You must go through the Amazon ungating process to get the green light. This often involves providing compliance documents and following set guidelines.

While these products may have high demand and profit potential, the complexities of adhering to regulations can overwhelm beginners.

For instance, specific categories require you to be an established seller on Amazon to gain access. Others may require proof of registration with the governing bodies that regulate that category in your country of residence. Below are examples of the highest-regulated products.

Category Regulation Challenges/Reasons
Pharmaceuticals
  • Complex regulatory processes
  • Requires FDA approval
  • Requires proper licensing
Brand Items (e.g., Apple, Nike, etc.)
  • Ensuring product quality
  • Improving consumer trust
Firearms
  • Stringent regulations in many jurisdictions
  • Liability concerns
  • Navigating legal requirements

Perishable or Fragile Goods

Dealing with perishable or fragile goods can be a logistical nightmare for beginners. A little mistake can lead to spoilage, damage, and customer dissatisfaction. Furthermore, ensuring proper storage conditions and safe transportation can be costly and complex.

As a beginner, you might lack the resources for specialized storage, handling, and shipping processes, affecting perishable items with a limited shelf life.

The last thing you want is for your customer to receive stale items because you didn’t do proper storage. Below are a few examples to avoid.

Product Type/Category Reasons to Avoid
Fresh Produce
  • Requires strict temperature control
  • Requires quick fulfillment
  • Demands careful handling
Glassware
  • Susceptible to breakage during transit
  • Might result in multiple customer dissatisfaction
  • Increased risk of delivering damaged goods
Fresh Flowers
  • Highly perishable
  • Demands careful handling
  • Difficulties in maintaining flower freshness during shipping
  • Challenges in managing inventory

Seasonal or Trend-Dependent Items

Entering product categories highly dependent on seasons or trends can be risky for beginners.

While these items may experience surges in demand during specific times, they can also lead to inventory issues and reduced sales during off-seasons.

Furthermore, balancing inventory levels to meet peak demand without oversupplying during slow periods requires specialized skills.

Here are some products and categories that spring to mind:

  • Halloween Costumes: Halloween costumes see a surge in demand in the weeks leading up to October 31st but have minimal sales the rest of the year. Managing inventory and predicting trends can take time and effort.
  • Fidget Spinners: Fidget spinners were a craze for a brief period, but their popularity waned just as quickly. Sellers who stocked up too heavily on these trend-dependent items faced losses when the trend faded.
  • Back-to-School Supplies: Back-to-school items like backpacks and stationery show a sales spike before the school year starts. As a beginner, you may find it challenging to accurately predict demand and compete with established sellers during this brief period.
More Guides from RevenueGeeks

Should You Start an Amazon FBA Business?

Amazon FBA allows you to make passive income that may even scale into a full-time income.

The only catch is getting a winning product with good profit margins.

As a beginner, you’ll likely try multiple products before you get that winner, even though some people are lucky on their first try. But the rule of the game is to keep researching, testing and optimizing till you crack the code.

And don’t forget to check out premium tools like Helium 10 (get free trial here) to aid your product research, listing, inventory management, and other aspects of your Amazon FBA business.

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