When it comes to selling on Amazon, sellers face this problem of product research on Amazon. No doubt every seller understands the importance of Amazon FBA product research technique because it’s a crucial step, it’s definitely the biggest factor and one of the key components of succeeding on Amazon.
That’s why we invited a real expert, an Entrepreneur, Amazon FBA Seller & Mentor, Brian Noonan.
You can always find Brian on Facebook.
Don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel!
01:05 How to do product research on Amazon?
03:28 What are the key elements of finding the right product?
04:59 What products to avoid?
06:12 Find your product in the niche you’re passionate about
12:08 Brian’s story
01:05 How to do product research on Amazon?
There’s several different places you can go if you’re just getting started with Amazon, you know, product research is going to be your first step.
So first, you need to just get a little bit of an understanding about what Amazon FBA is, you know, E-commerce is booming right now it’s one of the best times you can start to become an Amazon seller and private label is really the business model that I have the most passion around. However, I’ve also done Amazon handmade, Amazon FBA and merchant fulfilled, Amazon online retail arbitrage. So there’re other ways you can sell on Amazon. So just understand all the different ways to sell on Amazon, including, you know, wholesale model, private label model, online retail arbitrage. Pick which one works for your budget in the beginning.
And then the next step is if you do want to go for private label, or actually any method you go with any selling avenue, the next step is product research. And product research, when it comes to finding products, you know, you can go to like, there’s so many places to go with product research, I think probably the easiest that people turn to are some of the big software companies to start product research like Helium10, Jungle Scout, they go there to enter some filters and get product ideas back to them. That’s definitely kind of the path of the least resistance and where you can get started. That’s super simple and a lot of people already have Helium10, or Jungle Scout, or another software subscription. So that will come along with that subscription.
But then there’s also places I like to look like Etsy and Pinterest, wished.com There’s also QVC, which is the largest United States online shopping channel, and they bring a lot of innovative up to date, and premium products to their market. And so you can go qvc.com just like you would go to Etsy or pinterest.com and get product ideas there. There’s just so many different ways to find products.
03:28 What are the key elements of finding the right product?
I think it would depend on a little bit about your budget, what’s the budget that you have to start out with? I personally like to sell products just kind of getting into the requirements of what I look for, for validating that the product is good. I personally like to sell products on Amazon that sell for over $50 but a lot of people aren’t able to start with you know over $3,000 or more for their first batch or first order of inventory. So it really depends on your budget, but I like to look for products that sell over $15 on Amazon so there’s enough profit left over after we pay for the product, the shipping, the packaging, and FBA fees. And then is there a certain category you’re passionate about? Do you have experience in the healthcare field maybe you work in health care or as a teacher and you see products in your everyday job right now that you could look up on Amazon and get ideas but some of the best categories I think arts crafts and sewing is a really good category home and kitchen, kitchen and dining tools and Home Improvement home decor those types of products and categories I found the most opportunity has made the most money.
04:59 What products to avoid?
I’ve got a list of products that you should just not sell including bamboo charcoal bags, baby shower party gifts, and baby milestone blankets and photo props, reusable silicone food storage bags, rope laundry baskets for baby, there are so many products that I’ve just seen cheeseboards It doesn’t mean you cannot sell these products, they are just extremely saturated and extremely hard to sell those types of products. And then also, those are just some I know from experience, but if you don’t know about those, there’re certain categories that I personally would avoid including lighting products need approval, topical products, including lotions, serums, creams, supplements pills. For your first product, those types of products are going to be a little bit too difficult to get approval to sell in, and then automotive is restricted. And I personally don’t like baby or pet supplies, not saying there are no good products in those categories. Just personally I don’t sell baby or pet supplies.
06:12 Find your Amazon product in the niche you’re passionate about
Whether you’re into maybe sports and fitness and you are subscribed to a lot of Instagram channels or Facebook pages or Facebook groups in the health and fitness space, maybe you like working out or you like health and fitness you know USB rechargeable blenders. On your Instagram feed your Facebook feed, you’re probably constantly seeing ads. As far as products people are trying to sell you know, there you can get some ideas, you don’t have to necessarily be passionate about the product that you’re going to be selling. However, it is required if you want to be successful, whatever product you do find that you do take the time to look into the product. What is the product? What problem does it solve? Who’s the target customer who’s buying this product? Is it moms and dads? Is it males and females? Is it an older demographic look into their social media pages related to products and brands in that space? Facebook groups you can get some good information. So it is required that you do that kind of research to validate who your target customer is. And then, of course, kind of the basic is reading the negative reviews, we’ve got to find out what’s wrong with the product, and how we can improve it.
08:17 What kind of numbers should you look at to validate the product?
I think that’s super important. Because the numbers aren’t there, if there’s not at least one or two sellers of that product on Amazon making at least $5,000 or more in revenue, I won’t look at going into that product, I just need some basic data that shows me that there’s good demand for the product.
So I typically, if you think you found a product idea, the next step is to type in that product name or keyword on Amazon’s platform under all departments, pull up that product category or opportunity the name of the product, type it in, and then you’re going to need to run your X-ray, Chrome extension, some extension, whether that’s Jungle Scout or Helium10 is what I use x-ray. And there is going to give you all the most important information like how many sellers of the product are there. How many reviews do they have? Are they all making roughly $3,000 or less? Are they all making roughly $5,000 or more on the first page? What price are they selling it at? What type of seller is it? Is it an FBA seller? Is it Amazon the company selling that product? What’s the price point? How long have they been selling? How many reviews do they have? All of those certain criteria are super important to validate the product is a good one.
09:39 How long does it take to go from product research to launching the first product?
Yeah, so I know for me when I first got started, I first ever learned about Amazon it took me a probably on the last six months when there wasn’t necessarily because I couldn’t find a product. But for me, it took me to launch my first private label product and save the 2600 US dollars, I needed to launch that product to save that amount of money from my day-to-day job living paycheck to paycheck, it took five or six months to save that amount of money. So I know for a lot of you out there living paycheck to paycheck, maybe you don’t even have a job right now. It’s okay, if it takes you longer than let’s say the one month which is you know, two to four weeks, which is kind of the standard range for doing product research and kind of validating you think you found a good product. But if it takes a little bit longer, that’s okay, too.
Typically, I think if you have help, if you have somebody helping you, walking you through the process, someone you can bounce your questions off of, or get validation on certain points, you should be able to find a product within about two weeks that should be kind of your goal is to be having 123 good product ideas already found invalidated. The numbers look good, there’s not too much competition. The product isn’t too saturated, there’re ways you can improve the product, and then start reaching out to suppliers about two weeks.
And then for contacting suppliers and getting quotes and asking about the customization, the differentiation, how my ideas or how I want to make the product better. That’s going to be anywhere from two to five weeks for that process of manufacturing, ordering a sample, getting the product to your house, starting production anywhere from two to five weeks is typically the lead time two to five weeks for a manufacturer to manufacture the package, send samples, do the packaging, do the improvements. Package label all your products for about 500 units is about two to five weeks. And then for shipping. Right now see shipping DDP is really our only option. And that’s going to be an additional three to six weeks, they could go a little bit quicker, you may have air shipping, if you’d like to get quotes on that, that only takes about one to two weeks. But the minimum I’m going to say a minimum four to six weeks to launch a brand-new private label product right now.
12:08 Brian’s story
So about two and a half years ago, I came across Amazon, people right on YouTube. And that’s one of the reasons I started my YouTube channel was I learned so much from watching other people who were sharing videos about how they were flipping products or sharing videos about how they were making their own products. In the case of Amazon handmade or doing online retail arbitrage going out to the local thrift store or a retail store or using walmart.com or jet.com finding products at a discount, and then flipping them on Amazon. That’s a great way for beginners to not only start with a limited budget but also a great way to learn the process.
But for me, I knew my goal all along was to build a brand, I wanted to build a brand that I could eventually sell off one day or brands. And so about two and a half years ago, I launched my first product, my first private label product, it was in the baby category. And I can share what the product was because I’ve shared it on my YouTube channel. It’s a baby handprint and footprint picture frame kit.
I spent $2600 to launch that first product all in for all the costs all the shipping and packaging. But the problem is I didn’t differentiate well enough. I put my brand on the packaging, but not the product. And I just thought I could get away with even though the reviews look low on most of the main competitors. It didn’t look too competitive as far as how many reviews do these sellers have? And can I come in as a new seller and start to take some of their sales and build up my reviews. I thought that would be a lot easier than it was and I just launched the same exact product as the other sellers. It was a white picture frame clay, a white picture frame with clay. And I expected it to just make me $10,000 a month and it just doesn’t ever go like that. And that was a huge learning experience. So avoid baby and pet category at all costs. No I just you don’t have to avoid. You don’t have to avoid baby or pets. But super important that you do differentiate your product. You’ve got to stand out you’ve got to give the customer some reason to choose your product because they’re just going to go by the competitors if you don’t have some advantage or some added value.
I’ve launched eight products. So far, my second product was in the home decor space. My third product was in the arts and crafts space. After my third product, I was able to quit my job. And a lot of people want to, you know, just sell one product and be able to quit your job. And yes, that’s possible, you can make you know enough profit depending on how much you make from your day-to-day job. But more realistically, it’s going to be one, you have two or three or four products being launched on Amazon, you’re selling them, and they’re each bringing in, you know, a few thousand dollars per month in profit. At that point, I quit your job. So I’ve gone on to launch eight products. I have two registered brands on Amazon, one in the home decor home in kitchen space, and one in the tools and Home Improvement space. And I was just fortunate enough, most of my products have had steady demand all through COVID-19. And through this pandemic, I haven’t been really negatively affected because I chose products that people needed. Regardless of you know what’s going on. I don’t sell any travel accessories, or wedding gifts, or baby shower products. So I’ve been pretty fortunate there. But I’m always looking at launching new products. And my two registered brands that I’m continuing to build out our home decor and tools and home improvement.
You guys will be good as you start to do product research and you get the hang of things and reaching out to suppliers and ordering custom samples, it’s always the first one that takes the longest and is the hardest because you’re brand new, you don’t know how the process works. And especially if you don’t have anyone helping you. It can take six months. Now I’m able to find a product in just a couple of days really.
And I’m so accustomed to what I have to say to my supplier, what I need the custom sample to include and look like what’s the target price looking sourcing the product for four. So really, the only delays now for me are waiting for the product to come across the ocean on a boat. For sea shipping, DDP is really only the most reasonable shipping wise shipping cost wise going on a boat with steep sea shipping DDP. So that’s really the only thing that holds me up as far as being able to launch products quickly. But I continue to just build out my brands and eventually want to sell one or both of them in one to two years.
And just one thing I do want to just emphasize is do expect for it to actually take four to six weeks minimum, to go ahead and launch a private label product, it can go a little quicker than that. But you really will just have to kind of enjoy the process of doing research, like you said, and kind of looking at your competitors seeing the opportunity there.
You know, I find products all the time that the sellers are making so much revenue. And I just see so much potential there. So fall in love with the process of doing research and, and be nice to your suppliers. You know, we just had a Chinese holiday that I think it was the Harvest Moon holiday. So when you’re talking to your suppliers, you know, wish them happy holidays or happy festival and start to build a relationship with them. They like to have buyers of their products that they can connect with and build a relationship with. That’s super important. And then of course, once you launch the product and start making money, that’s all the best part. But enjoy all the steps in between.