Choosing what to sell on Amazon is easier than ever with Amazon seller tools, apps, and resources. Look for evergreen products, which are items that are relevant year-round. Check product rankings and determine where to source your product. Also, product inventory and fulfillment are essential considerations when determining the best things to sell on Amazon.
To cover expenses and maintain inventory, use Payability. They provide next-day payouts of your Amazon earnings for just a 2% fee, and you can even earn 2% back on purchases, making inventory management cost-effective. Get started with Payability today.
Best Things to Sell on Amazon
The best things to sell on Amazon are products that are lightweight, sturdy, popular, and evergreen. These types of products may give you the best return on investment (ROI), which is important given the various fees and expenses associated with selling on Amazon.
Products with the following specifications are a good place to start:
- Target sale price between $10 and $50
- Cost is 25% to 35% of your target sale price
- Lightweight, easy and cheap to ship: 2 to 3 pounds maximum, including packing materials and box
- Simple, unbreakable items that won’t crack or shatter during shipping or in use
- Evergreen items, meaning they’re not seasonal or holiday-specific
- Superior quality compared to the competition
- Expansion opportunities into complementary products
Here are some of the best things to sell on Amazon.
1. Minky Baby Blankets
Ultrasoft and lightweight, minky baby blankets sell well on Amazon. They are cheap to ship and can bundle with other baby items like baby hats, clothes, and diaper accessories.
- Average wholesale cost: $5 per unit
- Average profitability: 53.37%
- Best Sellers ranking: #1,293 in Baby and #5 in Nursery Receiving Blankets
2. Artist Paintbrush Set
Buying paintbrush sets wholesale is reasonable in cost and can be privately labeled easily. These sets are also lightweight and evergreen.
- Average wholesale cost: $7.49 per unit
- Average profitability: 53.48%
- Best Sellers ranking: #351 in Arts, Crafts, & Sewing and #9 in Art Paintbrush Sets
3. Retractable Dog Leash
A retractable dog leash wholesales at a fraction of what they sell for. They also weigh less than 1.5 pounds when shipped.
- Average wholesale cost: $2 per unit
- Average profitability: 71.07%
- Best Sellers ranking: #1639 in Pet Supplies and #1 in Small Animal Leashes
4. Luxury Pillows
Shipping pillows saves on costs, and they’re cheap to purchase wholesale. If you find a hypoallergenic pillow, that’s even better.
- Average wholesale cost: $5.40 per unit
- Average profitability: 66.46%
- Best Sellers ranking: #42 in Home & Kitchen and #1 in Bed Pillows
5. Bamboo Cutting Board
With fast-growing wood like bamboo, sourcing quality cutting boards is relatively easy and cheap. They average around 1.5 pounds shipped.
- Average wholesale cost: $1.30 per unit
- Average profitability: 69.34%
- Best Sellers ranking: #495 in Kitchen & Dining and #5 in Cutting Boards
Keep in mind that things change quickly, so the best things to sell on Amazon today might be different a year from now. Always do your due diligence to make sure a product is a good fit not just ranking-wise, but also in regard to things like convenience and costs. It may be cost-prohibitive to have Amazon handle your shipments on certain products.
Selling on Amazon Costs
There are many costs to consider when selling on Amazon. However, you can get started with less than $100 with an Individual Amazon selling account. After you’ve determined what to sell on Amazon, you’ll need to source those products. This typically requires a more substantial upfront investment since many orders have a minimum unit order. In addition to that, you’ll have shipping, packing, and Amazon seller fees.
If you want to test things out before committing to a large order, an Individual selling account can allow you to keep your costs low. This is also best if you plan on selling less than 40 items per month. You can start selling a few of the items you have around your house that are in good condition to keep costs low.
Some sellers also search the clearance aisles of their local box stores for items to sell online. This process is a lot like selling on eBay’s Fixed Price section vs selling it on auction. This makes Amazon an attractive choice considering eBay’s fees are typically 10% to 12% of each sale.
Fees to Sell on Amazon
An Amazon Professional selling account is $39.99 per month. There is no monthly fee for an Individual Amazon seller account. Individual Amazon sellers pay 99 cents per item sold plus selling fees of 45 cents to $1.35 per unit. These per unit fees vary based on the category you’re selling under.
To store your products at an Amazon warehouse under Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), your fees vary by unit size and weight. These fees start at $2.41 per unit for small items less than 10 ounces and go up to $137.32 per unit for select oversized products.
Using manufacturers found on marketplaces like Alibaba, you’re buying wholesale products. These typically have a minimum unit size per order of 100 units. It’s not unusual to find products for a wholesale price less than $10 per unit. For example, if each unit is $6.37, that’s $637 in product costs alone. When using a marketplace like AliExpress to source your product, there usually isn’t a minimum unit size, so prices are typically higher―about twice the cost of a wholesale unit.
Whether you are using FBA or not, you will need to get packing supplies. You’ll use packing supplies when shipping your products to an Amazon warehouse. Packing supplies are also necessary when not using FBA because you’re shipping products directly to a customer. These supplies include bubble wrap, packaging tape, and printing labels. If shipping FBA, you will also need shipping pallets or crates. Prices range from less than $1 to $250 or more per supply.
If using FBA, you’ll need to ship your products to an Amazon warehouse. When giving Amazon the quantity, weight, and location of your product, it will tell you which warehouse to ship to. The cost to ship varies wildly by size, weight, location, and which shipping carrier you’ll use. Some Amazon sellers prefer to ship via a freight forwarder, and others prefer UPS, FedEx, or USPS. For example, shipping 17 boxes that are 12x12x20 that each weigh 18 pounds will cost around $100 if you ship it from Ohio to Pennsylvania. If you’re not using FBA, and you’re fulfilling the orders yourself, you ship on a per order basis to the customer.
Third-party Amazon seller tools include Sellics, InventoryLab, and Jungle Scout. These apps help you research which products are best to sell, how your competition is doing, keywords you should use in your product listings, and more. There are even apps that help calculate your expenses and profit. When you know your numbers, you can figure out where you can make cuts to take home more profit.
The costs associated with selling on Amazon vary based on whether you’re shipping products to customers yourself or having Amazon do it for you via FBA. You’ll need to determine if cost or convenience is the most important factor, and from there you’ll have an idea of the upfront and ongoing costs associated with selling on Amazon.
How to Find Products to Sell on Amazon
To start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to know what to look for. Your first objective is to identify what makes an item profitable for Amazon sellers. Factors to consider include ship weight, sturdiness, category popularity, competition, wholesale price, Amazon seller fees, and shipping costs. Keeping these factors in mind will help you plan for profit.
Conduct Keyword Research
To make money on Amazon, an item that’s profitably priced and easy to ship must be in-demand and found easily by Amazon shoppers. Use keyword research to determine whether a product has enough demand, and not too much competition, to be profitable.
Amazon operates much like a search engine, and keywords help get your products in front of customers who are searching for them. Many Amazon seller tools will help you do that. To conduct keyword research, a seller can use Sonar, which is a free web-based tool. These keywords tell you what users are searching for, so including similar keywords in your product descriptions expose your products to more buyers. Also, look for products low on the Amazon Best-Seller Rank (BSR).
Here’s what to look for when conducting keyword research:
- Generic products: Products that aren’t sold by big brand names or major Amazon sellers because they’ve got the buying power to out-price you
- Low BSR: Similar items that have an Amazon Best-Seller Rank (BSR) of 5,000 or lower in the main category
- Easy-to-find items: Items that customers can search for and list under multiple keywords and product categories
- High volume searches: Top product keywords with more than 100,000 monthly searches
- Some customer reviews: Similar product listings with less than 50 customer reviews
Look at Sales Ranking
Amazon allows anyone to view the most popular products based on sales using the Amazon Best Sellers list. Updated hourly, this list allows you to search by category as well as new releases, movers and shakers, most wished for items, and gift ideas. This is useful for researching best-selling items.
Here are the Amazon Best Sellers categories:
- New Releases: A page that tracks new Amazon product listings that have a trending upswing in sales. Drill down to see the Hot New Releases in specific categories and subcategories. This is useful for seeing what’s new and popular in niche categories.
- Movers & Shakers: This page shows you the items that are quickly moving up in BSR in all categories. This can indicate a hot trend or seasonal sales. Like the Best Sellers pages, you can drill down to see Movers & Shakers in specific categories and subcategories. This is useful for finding hot niche items.
- Most Wished For: This tracks the item that registered Amazon users are saving to their wish lists. It doesn’t show purchases, but still gives you an idea of what customers like.
- Gift Ideas: Products that users purchase as gifts show up here. This page is a good indicator of best sellers within niche categories for many specialty, seasonal, and holiday-related items.
Where to Source Products to Sell on Amazon
Many Amazon sellers source their products from manufacturers like Alibaba and AliExpress and through wholesale buyers’ markets. Whether you’re looking for a private-labeled product or something custom-made, you’ll want to read the reviews of each manufacturer and take into account what the total costs are and whether there’s a minimum unit order required.
Here are a few places to source your products to sell on Amazon.
With millions of merchants and businesses, Alibaba handles the most ecommerce business in the world. While headquartered in China, anyone can buy from them wholesale. They’re ideal for Amazon sellers who want to source quickly. Alibaba has a feature where you submit a single request for quotes and receive many quotes in return, allowing for a quick turnaround.
You may contact each source and negotiate terms. Otherwise, you can place your order right from the quote dashboard. Many buyers request custom orders. It’s important to note that typically, the minimum order is 100 units of a given product. Alibaba also has resources to help you learn all about the product sourcing and importing process.
Alibaba owns AliExpress and operates similarly, except there is no minimum order size. Buyers typically pay more than with Alibaba, since these aren’t wholesale prices. If you only want to purchase one unit, you can. Many users find AliExpress to be a lot like the Wish app, which still has incredibly low prices. Amazon sellers who want to test a niche idea or product before going full scale will appreciate AliExpress’ low costs without a large unit commitment.
3. Wholesale Buyers Markets
There are wholesale buyers’ markets and dropshipping catalogs that focus on every industry imaginable, from pet products to healthy living to hardware. The most numerous and accessible markets and catalogs are those catering to home, kitchenwares, gift, fashion, baby, and accessories categories. A popular wholesale buyers’ market is AmericasMart, which is in Atlanta and open year-round. Dropshipping catalogs like Doba allow you to search for suppliers in a single catalog.
Wholesale buyers’ markets and dropshipping catalogs are great places to find private-label opportunities, trending items, and new product releases for anything you’d like to sell. Usually, in the case of wholesale buyers’ markets, you just need a doing business as (DBA) certificate and state sales tax certificate to gain entry, but always contact the market office first. Many buyers’ markets require proof of business ownership like a company check and even pictures of a physical store or ecommerce website.
Tools for Finding What to Sell on Amazon
There are many tools you can use to help you sell on Amazon. These tools can track your profits, help with managing inventory, and monitoring your competition. The Amazon seller apps we recommend start at $39 per month, and the cost typically increases based on your annual Amazon sales.
Amazon Seller Apps
Cost to Use
$39 to $419 per month
$57 to $317 per month
$40 to $49 per month
Profit tracking and calculator
Bar Code Scanner
iOS, Android & web
iOs, Android & web
*Pricing determined by annual sales.
You may need to try out different Amazon seller apps to find the one that works best for your situation. Otherwise, you may want to try a combination of apps to accomplish what you need.
How Selling on Amazon Works
Amazon is an online marketplace where you can sell physical goods that you’ve created or purchased as a wholesaler to buyers. These buyers are typically located in the country you’re selling from as there are many different international locations. For buyers, it’s similar to purchasing products in a big box store like Walmart or Target in that there are many different brands available. Instead of buying in the store, customers purchase them online.
It’s important to note that when a customer makes a purchase on Amazon, they’re often buying directly from a merchant vs from Amazon themselves. They’re buying from Amazon directly when purchasing products like Amazon Echo or Amazon Fire.
Some merchants ship products themselves or through a dropshipper, which means that a manufacturer ships the product for them. Another option is for Amazon to ship the product to the buyer via FBA. As a seller, you’d typically ship a pallet of your products to Amazon, and they’d store it for you until someone makes a purchase.
Once this happens, they’ll ship it out via FBA. You’re paying a bit more to have Amazon pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service to your buyers. These rates vary by the size of each unit but start at $2.41 per unit for small items less than 10 ounces and go up to $137.32 per unit for special oversized products. There are also inventory storage fees that vary based on the season. These fees start at 48 cents per cubic foot and go up to $2.40 per cubic foot for the holiday season.
To sell on Amazon, you need to have an Amazon Seller account. There are two types of accounts that you can have as a seller. The Professional selling account costs $39.99 per month and also has a per-item selling fee. These fees vary by the category you’re selling in. You should use a Professional account if you plan to sell more than 40 items.
If you plan to sell less than 40 items per month, you should use an individual Amazon Seller account. There’s no monthly fee, but you pay 99 cents per item plus referral fees and variable closing fees. This might be a good option if you’re planning on cleaning out your closet or garage, as there is an Amazon marketplace for used goods.
Who Selling on Amazon Is Right For
There is more to selling on Amazon than just throwing up a listing and hoping for a sale. You’ve got to factor in the time it takes to source products, make your listings, market your listings, and fulfill orders. Not only that, but you’ve also got to factor in any customer service issues such as disputes and returns.
Selling on Amazon works for businesses that are:
- Expanding online: A brick-and-mortar business that already has adequate profit margins and a unique product may find quicker success
- Desiring increased exposure: An established ecommerce seller may attract more buyers when selling their products on Amazon
- Committed for the long-haul: Selling on Amazon is not a get-rich-quick scheme as it takes fine-tuning, testing many product ideas over time, and careful attention to detail
- Willing to put in the work: If you’re not an already established business, it’s going to take work and commitment to source and list your products. You’ll also need to figure out shipping, inventory, and customer service
If you’re ready to sell on Amazon, it can be a great way to make money and learn how to sell online. There are many different resources and tools available to help you with your Amazon selling journey.
How to Fulfill Your Amazon Orders
There are two main ways to fulfill your Amazon orders. These are FBA and merchant fulfilled network (MFN). Each fulfillment option has its benefits and drawbacks—cost and convenience being the most prominent differences between the two.
How Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) Works
To use FBA, you will need to ship your products to an Amazon warehouse for storage. Shipments are typically done on pallets and often come from freight forwarding companies directly from your supplier.
You will pay an inventory storage fee based on the season your items are at a warehouse. FBA storage fees start at $.48 per cubic foot and go up to $2.40 per cubic foot during the busier holiday seasons. You will also pay a fee for Amazon to pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service to your buyers. These fees start at $2.41 per unit for small items less than 10 ounces and go up to $137.32 per unit for special, oversized products.
While the fees are more expensive than if you were to fulfill the orders yourself using MFN, you are paying for convenience. Two-day Amazon Prime shipping is one of the most attractive features in allowing Amazon to fulfill the orders for you. By using FBA, buyers also know what to expect when it comes to customer service and may feel more comfortable purchasing from those sellers.
Amazon sellers who don’t have the capacity for storage, inventory management, and customer service in-house should use FBA. If cost is the biggest concern, Amazon sellers should consider MFN.
When to Use MFN
A seller who uses MFN will need to manage every aspect of the fulfillment process. Storing and managing inventory, picking products, packing the orders, and shipping them out are all part of the fulfillment process. When a seller uses MFN, they also are responsible for any customer service issues that arise, including returns and damaged goods.
However, MFN doesn’t have any Amazon-imposed storage fees as the seller is storing its own inventory. It’s important to note that MFN sellers are still charged a monthly selling fee plus a per-item selling fee for the ability to sell on the Amazon marketplace.
For Amazon sellers who have a Professional selling account, they may be eligible to fulfill orders using Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). This is still a type of MFN, but customers get two-day Prime shipping. It is still the responsibility of the Amazon seller to ship within Prime guidelines, and you must qualify for SFP by completing a trial period. This trial just shows that you’re meeting the Prime fulfillment and customer satisfaction guidelines. Once you pass the trial, the Prime badge will display to customers on your products.
Pros & Cons of Selling on Amazon
Figuring out what to sell on Amazon is one of your first steps to getting started in this ecommerce marketplace with millions of shoppers. While there are many buyers, there are also numerous sellers. You’ll need to remain competitive and keep your expenses in check to be profitable.
Pros of Selling on Amazon
Here are the benefits of selling on Amazon:
- Easy to get started: To start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to create a sellers account, upload a product listing, and either ship your products to a warehouse or wait for orders to come in and ship them yourself. You will still have to market your products, but getting started with Amazon is faster than creating your own website and warehouse
- It’s the place to sell: Amazon has 95 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States alone, and 56% of shoppers come to Amazon first when looking for a product
Cons of Selling on Amazon
Here are the drawbacks of selling on Amazon:
- Competition: With millions of products, you are often in competition with others selling the same products. The same holds true for Amazon—it has recently begun selling its own private label products
- Marketplace fees: Amazon controls seller fees, and as long as sellers continue to profit from selling on their platform, fees can and do increase at Amazon’s discretion
- Unscrupulous sellers: Sellers can hijack your Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), which is a way for sellers to game the Amazon system. Counterfeit products get sold under a legitimate ASIN, and any negative reviews get attributed to the legitimate product under the ASIN
- Amazon owns the customer: When selling on Amazon, it is merely a one-time transaction between you and the customer. You don’t own the relationship—Amazon does. This means that if you want to market to them for additional products, you can’t
Selling on Amazon is considered a long term strategy rather than a get-rich-quick scheme. With the right tools, resources, and commitment, you may be successful as an Amazon seller.
Alternatives to Selling on Amazon
If you aren’t ready to compete in the Amazon marketplace, there are other ways for you to sell your products online. Marketplaces like eBay and Etsy have been around for a long time and allow you to sell relatively easily. Also, Alibaba recently started allowing U.S. merchants to sell globally from its platform.
Here are some alternatives to selling on Amazon.
Considered the grandfather of marketplaces, eBay started in 1995 and has more than 25 million sellers. To sell effectively, you’ll want to make sure you’re marketing your products well.
Designed specifically for handmade goods, Etsy is an excellent place for creatives to showcase their artisan products. While you can sell products for more than $50, the majority of sales are less than that and have a higher chance of becoming an editor’s choice. This is where Etsy editors showcase their favorite picks.
There are 10 million Alibaba buyers in 190 countries, and now U.S. small businesses can take part in that business-to-business (B2B) selling process. Best of all, sellers maintain their customer relationships rather than being between the marketplace and buyer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About What to Sell on Amazon
This section includes the most frequently asked questions about what to sell on Amazon. If you don’t see your question, head over to our forum, and post your question there. We have a whole team of industry experts who answer questions from small businesses every day.
Is it profitable to sell on Amazon?
There are no guarantees that you will profit at all by selling on Amazon. While it’s important to know what to sell on Amazon, a recent study shows that using FBA sellers increased their sales from 30% to 50%.
How much do Amazon sellers make?
There is a possibility that you won’t make anything selling on Amazon. Your skill, determination, and resources will determine your success in selling on Amazon. Your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to make a certain dollar amount. Rather, it should be how much profit can you keep.
By being strategic and planning for profit, you can keep more of the sales you make on Amazon. However, according to a study done by Jungle Scout, 23% of sellers make $156 per month or less if they’ve been in business less than 18 months and 50% make up to $2,449 per month. For those who’ve been in business for longer than 18 months, 23% make less than $979 per month, and 50% make up to $11,999 per month.
Are business licenses needed for selling on Amazon?
While you don’t necessarily need a business license to sell on Amazon, it’s good practice to get one. A business license can help you do things like getting bank financing, purchase a home, protect your liability, and collect taxes.
Can I make money on Amazon without selling?
If you don’t want to become an Amazon seller, you can be an Amazon Associate. These are affiliates that earn money when they refer someone who makes a purchase or signs up for a free trial of things like Audible and Amazon Fresh.
Selling on Amazon can be a rewarding endeavor for those looking to get into ecommerce selling. To be profitable, you’ll need to pick the best things to sell on Amazon while keeping an eye on expenses. Whether you fulfill the orders or have Amazon do it, there are easy ways to keep expenses down.
Selling on Amazon is easier using Payability. Payability provides next-day payouts of your Amazon earnings for just a 2% fee, and you can even earn 2% back on purchases, making it a very cost-effective way to cover expenses and stay stocked up. Get started with Payability today.