Every Amazon seller wants to make money but it’s not so easy now to stand out from so many competitors. A key to success is to choose a profitable product to sell. That’s truly a big puzzle though.
Whether a product is profitable or not is partly related to the supplier where you source products. Since different business models have various ways to source products, you must know clearly where to buy products to sell on Amazon.
Here, I’ll give you some inspirations concerning buying profitable products.
1. What Are the Main Business Models on Amazon?
Before analyzing where to buy products to resell on Amazon, you should know three main business models on Amazon:
- Private Label & Wholesale
- Drop shipping
- Retail Arbitrage & Online Arbitrage
Private Label & Wholesale
Most sellers choose to wholesale products to sell on Amazon if they want to run a long-term business. With the increasingly fierce competition of Amazon business these years, more and more sellers sell their private label products to increase the profit margins.
When it comes to private labeling, you can make small adjustments to the color, size, and function of the product, or even the package to better meet the customers’ needs.
Unlike private labeling, wholesaling existing products to sell on Amazon is much easier but it may relate to the patent infringement issue. And many popular brands make you encounter fierce competition and low-profit margins.
Whether selling existing products or your private label products, it requires considerable money, and you need to spend more time and energy to choose a product at the beginning. Or you may hold unsold stock inventory if choosing the wrong product.
As drop shipping sellers, you don’t have to prepare your product inventory in advance, which is easy and low-cost to start your business.
Moreover, you’re not responsible for tedious jobs like packaging or shipping products so that you can pay more attention to marketing and product search.
But due to its easy and low-cost access, you may face higher competition, which will lead to decreased profit margins because you have to lower the products’ prices to stay competitive. It’s also hard for you to control the quality of the products since you can’t inspect them in person.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s a good business model to run for the long term.
Retail Arbitrage & Online Arbitrage
Under the arbitrage model, the seller buys products at lower prices from other retailers and then resells the same ones at higher prices on Amazon to earn profits.
Selling arbitrage on Amazon is relatively simple and low-risk. As long as you buy products and list them, you can make a profit in the very short term.
Nevertheless, to be frank, it won’t help you scale your business. Sometimes, it’s not easy to find numerous profitable items. Also, you can’t control your inventory or the margins since you have to largely rely on the retailers that you source products from.
These are the three main business models on Amazon above. Check my previous blog to learn more about Amazon business models: 10 ways to do business on Amazon.
2. Where to Buy Products to Sell on Amazon Based on Different Amazon Business Models?
For private label & wholesale business
When it comes to private labeling and wholesaling products, you can buy products from domestic suppliers or Chinese factories online.
If you’d like to source products from China, here are the main Chinese online wholesale marketplaces:
- Global Sources
- Made in China
Read my previous guide to learn more details about these Chinese wholesale websites.
Some sellers from other countries like the USA and Europe etc., always ask me: Are there such wholesale websites of comprehensive large-scale factories in their countries as in China?
My answer is: No.
There are small-scale wholesalers in other countries such as many suppliers of daily necessities. Most of them source products from Chinese suppliers and then wholesale to other sellers. Here are some websites in the USA, India, and Europe for your reference.
You can see different suppliers directly on ThomasNet, who mainly sell industrial goods. If you want to compare different suppliers, click on their profiles to find their product catalog and other details.
Kinnek is a supplier directory where you can see the supplier’s information to verify if it is reliable. You can find products you want on a supplier by filtering by category.
Worldwide Brands (USA)
You can easily find information about different wholesale suppliers on Worldwide Brands. The minimum order amount of many wholesale suppliers is $500 or less. However, you need to pay to become their member first before using it.
IndiaMART is an Indian B2B website, where has a large range of products including industrial goods, clothing, jewelry, etc. It has fewer descriptions of products but it shows more detailed information about a supplier in its profile or a short video.
The suppliers on Allbiz come from all over the world including China, the USA, Russia, and more, you can filter the suppliers by country. There are also abundant categories for you to choose from including industrial equipment, clothing, building materials, etc.
Conclusion: many wholesalers on these websites are 2nd middle men or even 3rd middlemen who have no price advantage or abundant products. So, I suggest you source goods from China to run the long-term Amazon business.
And if you want to learn more about wholesale marketplaces, read my previous blog to learn about 16 reliable Alibaba alternatives worth trying in the USA, and India.
For dropshipping business
You can find drop shipping suppliers on some Chinese B2B websites such as Alibaba, DHgate, Global Sources, Made-in-China, etc. Because some trading companies could also offer drop shipping services.
Besides, there are also some commonly used drop shipping websites：
AliExpress is a B2C online platform, which also provides drop shipping services for sellers from different countries.
Plus, most orders are shipped in 7 business days and the delivery time can be shortened as there are local warehouses in the different countries.
Chinabrands is a Chinese platform that specializes in drop shipping suppliers. You can source a wide range of products on it. And they will ship out the products within 24 hours.
Spocket is a website that allows you to discover drop shipping suppliers of US/EU products. Besides, it will charge you some monthly fee to acquire access to the supplier directory.
Inventory Source gives you a free directory of drop shipping suppliers. Besides, it can integrate your supplier’s inventory to upload product data automatically and sync the order with your Amazon store.
SaleHoo is a supplier directory for drop shippers or wholesalers. It can also automate your drop ship store. But you need to become their member before you use it.
In addition, you can choose an agent to help you such as Jingsourcing who can provide this service for drop shippers all over the world.
Take note: I find that someone dropships products from eBay, Etsy, etc., to sell on Amazon. Why don’t I introduce such B2C websites to you? The reason is that it is purely speculative trading. Besides, it is not permitted by Amazon to purchase products from another online retailer and have that retailer ship directly to customers.
For arbitrage business
For retail arbitrage sellers, you can source various products on sale from the local retail stores.
These retail giants will liquidate some products with still high demand, so it is a great way to buy a large quantity of them to resell to the customers.
Here is a list of physical marketplaces for your reference where you can find cheap products:
- Sam’s Club
- Big Lots
- Office Depot
- Micro Center
For online arbitrage sellers, the sourcing process is as simple as retail arbitrage. You can search for different online marketplaces to find discount products. Here are different online websites for your reference:
General daily necessities
Clothing & Shoes
Health & Beauty
|Bath & Body Works||Rite Aid||The Vitamin Shoppe|
|CVS Pharmacy||Lowe’s||Hobby Lobby|
Sports & Outdoors
|Dick's Sporting Goods||REI||Academy|
|Bass Pro Shops||Backcountry||Sierra|
Office & School Supplies
|Best Buy||Staples||Office Depot|
3. How to Find Profitable Products to Sell on Amazon?
Many sellers are very blind to choose a product, for example:
- Make decisions absolutely based on how you feel, and just browse the website casually anyway.
- Copy other competitors, and choose any category that people have praised.
- Glance over the forum posts, and test the water because someone has sold well.
Without careful research, once you choose the wrong product, everything is going to fail after that. So it’s necessary to spend time on product research at the beginning of your business.
4 things you must take note of when you find profitable products
- Don’t pursue large market demand excessively
- Know how many competitors have bought the same products as you
- Keep away from infringement products
- Find a supplier who is willing to support your business
Don’t pursue large market demand excessively
Before you decide on a product to sell, you need to do complete market research. That is to say, you should find how many customers need this kind of product.
Usually, a product in high demand may have quite high competition. For instance, almost everyone needs the mobile phone case nowadays, but it is a very competitive category, and it has been monopolized by the big sellers. It is hard for you to share this cake with these big sellers.
Know how many competitors have the same products as you
You should search for the product directly on Amazon to check the volume of the results. It determines how many sellers you’ll compete with. Also, you can find out how these listings are by checking their reviews, sales, ratings, and prices.
Keep away from infringement products
Amazon is strict about intellectual property. Once you got a complaint of infringement, you may be blocked from selling it on Amazon. So before choosing a product, it is best to contact the brand owner to help you get approval to sell a gated brand.
Find a supplier who is willing to support your business
You need a rapport and strong cooperation with the supplier to help you develop your business. If you work with an illegal or low-quality supplier, the quality of the products will be limited, which makes you fail to keep your customers.
Use Amazon ranking lists to find profitable products
It is meaningful for Amazon new sellers to take advantage of Amazon ranking lists for reference.
Here are 5 ranking lists on Amazon that you can use:
- Best Sellers
- Amazon Movers & Shakers
- Hot New Releases
- Most Wished for
- Gift Ideas
Then, how to use these lists to find a profitable product? I’ll give you an example.
First, find a category that you’re interested in or familiar with and look through what kinds of products are on these ranking lists. But remember not to stay in the large category for a long time, which needs abundant capital and resource.
I’ll take the baby activity centers as an example.
When I look through the best sellers in baby stationary activity centers, I find a special product like this, which has only 103 reviews but ranks 37 on the list.
Next, I use its keyword to search on Amazon, and I find that most of the listings also aren’t competitive, either.
Then, let’s check the suppliers. The price of this toy on Alibaba is about $1.56-$3.20. You’ll acquire different prices according to your order quantity. With the information combined with other fees of it, you can calculate its profit margin roughly.
After that, use Google Trends to analyze the keyword and search for its market demand. Finally, you can decide according to your personal situation after excluding the patent infringement issue.
All in all, I just provide an idea to choose a product. If you’re a new seller with no idea at all, you can try to find a product in the same way.
Moreover, what other things you should focus on when you look at these top 100 products on the ranking lists?
Materials & Colors
Analyze the materials of the product, which will affect the costs and feasibility. Besides, you should also consider which color of the products is popular among the customers.
Be careful of picking a product with too many reviews, or you may face fierce competition. Too many reviews mean a great number of sales. For instance, 100-200 sellers of the same product all have many reviews, which means you can hardly compete with them as a new seller.
Nowadays, many sellers choose to sell private label products on Amazon. It is a great strategy that you can try. Here is my insightful guide about Amazon private label (20mins read) for you to start your private labeling business.
We are Jingsourcing, a leading sourcing company in Yiwu, China. We’ve helped many Amazon sellers to source or customize various products from China at very competitive prices. If you need help, please feel free to CONTACT US.