Do you want to find the best products to sell on Amazon FBA?
There are lots of different strategies for finding an Amazon winning product to sell and it can be confusing, particularly for new Amazon sellers. Sticking to our criteria can help you choose the best products and make sure you avoid costly mistakes.
We have been selling on Amazon for over 15 years and have picked up many strategies and tricks along the way. These strategies have helped us build a profitable Amazon business and we can now share these with you.
In this article, we explain how to find profitable products to sell on Amazon FBA. We also list the main selection criteria you should be using to source for FBA, and how to use tools like Keepa to find the best Amazon FBA products.
NOTE: In this article, we are mainly focused on finding the best products for Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, and Wholesale. If you are trying to find a winning Private Label product to sell on Amazon FBA, please also read this article – The Best Private Label Products to Sell on Amazon.
The Selling Guys is a reader-supported publication. We may receive a commission when you click on links in this article (at no extra cost to you). Learn more here – Affiliate Disclaimer.
- 12 Key Criteria for the Best Products to Sell on Amazon FBA
- Using Keepa to Find the Best FBA Products
- How to Calculate the Monthly Amazon Sales Volume
- Quick Checklist for the Best Amazon FBA Products
- Best Amazon FBA Products Summary
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12 Key Criteria for the Best Products to Sell on Amazon FBA
- Best Sellers Rank
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Profit Per Sale
- Size of the Product
- Gated Brands and Categories
- High-Risk Brands
- Product Value
- Low Returns Rate
- Which Amazon Categories Should You Sell In?
- Product Price History and Your Buy Price
- The Product Has Appeal Outside of Amazon FBA
- Should I Sell If Amazon Has the Buy Box?
1. Best Sellers Rank
This will vary by category, but a general rule would be to try and find products with a sales rank under 50,000 and ideally under 20,000.
If you have a product with a Best Sellers Rank under 20,000 in a popular category, you would expect to sell multiple units per day. Make sure you are looking at the overall category rank, not a subcategory rank.
We have full lists of sales ranks for the US, Canada, UK, and the EU here: Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) Charts for the US, UK, Canada and Europe.
2. Return on Investment (ROI)
A lot of Amazon sellers focus purely on ROI (Return on Investment) when selecting products. We have always focused more on the profit per product sold.
You can achieve 100% or more ROI (we have some products running at 150%) but I would probably look at a minimum ROI of 30%.
3. Profit Per Sale
You are probably best using a combination of ROI and Profit Per Sale. If you are making a minimum of $10 per sale, then that is ideal and gives you room to move when other sellers drop their pricing.
If you are only making a profit of $5 or less, then when you come to list the product, you may find a competitor immediately drops their price and wipes out your profits.
ROI and Profit Per Sale will most likely be dictated by how much cash reserves you have. If you are cash-rich, then ROI becomes less of a factor.
4. Size of the Product
Amazon products fall into two main categories – ‘Standard’ and ‘Oversize‘. If you are starting out and doing your own prep of the products, then I would stick to smaller items.
Small products are easier to handle, cheaper to ship to Amazon, and also the storage costs and fees will be less. If you need to store any in your home, then they will take up less room and customer returns will be easier to deal with.
5. Gated Brands and Restricted Categories
You have probably heard that a lot of brands or categories are gated. This means you cannot sell these products without getting permission from Amazon.
If you are a new seller, you should just focus on the products you are allowed to sell and try and make these work first. Use the Amazon Seller App or ‘Add a product’ in Seller Central to find out if there are restrictions before you buy stock.
For a full list of Amazon restricted and high-risk brands, please read this: Current List of Amazon Gated and Restricted Brands.
6. High-Risk Brands
Lots of new sellers are getting suspended for selling certain high-risk brands. These are brands that Amazon will allow you to list, but the brand owner does not want you to.
The brand owner may take action to try and get you to stop selling their products. This can include legal action or a policy warning from Amazon.
Getting your account suspended can be a disaster for sellers. Once you are suspended, it is often impossible to get your Amazon account reinstated.
If you are at all concerned that a brand might not be safe to sell, then remove it from your shortlist and move on.
It is definitely worth reading our guide before buying stock: Amazon Gated Categories & Restricted Products.
7. Product Value
I would recommend staying with products that you can write off if required. So if a customer returns the product and you have to dispose of it, then your business is not damaged too much.
The ideal price range you should be looking at is about $10 to $40, with a profit of $10 to $20. When you are more experienced, you can aim for higher-value products. I would try to avoid going over about $100 per item when purchasing stock.
PRO TIP: Some products increase in value once they are no longer manufactured. Buying these products gives you a built-in safety measure if your stock does not sell as expected. You know that if you leave them at the FBA warehouse, they will eventually sell for a good profit.
8. Low Returns Rate
Some products have returns rates of 10% or more. Returns cost you time and money, so you need to avoid these. Particularly avoid products that cannot be fixed up and resold once the customers have opened them.
The way some products are packaged means customers will have to damage the packaging to even take a look at the product. You need to avoid these as they will have to be disposed of or sold at a loss if the customer returns them.
Look at the reviews on a product and avoid buying a product with less than 4 stars. You should also avoid complex technical products.
PRO TIP: Aim for tough, well-packaged products. They are less likely to get damaged in the Amazon FBA warehouse or in transit to the customers. You will, therefore, avoid complaints, negative feedback, and A-Z claims.
9. Which Amazon Categories Should You Sell In?
Most people start with Toys. Toys are simple, low value, and usually have a low returns rate.
You should also consider the ‘Home & Kitchen’ and ‘Office Products’ categories. Electronics can be a profitable category, but you tend to get more returns and problems.
Although this is strictly business, having an interest or passion for the products you are selling will give you an advantage in the marketplace. You will have more of a ‘feel’ for the products and therefore be better at spotting good deals and dealing with customers.
10. Product Price History and Your Buy Price
When you are sourcing products for Retail Arbitrage, you should use Keepa charts to check the average selling price over the last 6 – 12 months.
Check that you can source the product at a price that will allow you to at least break even at the average selling price over the last 6 months.
“Always check Keepa and CamelCamelCamel for the full pricing and sales rank history before purchasing.”
A lot of new Amazon FBA sellers will get caught out by a temporary price increase, which gives a false impression of the profits they can potentially make from a product.
When initially analyzing a product, it may be showing a profit of $5 or more. However, by the time they come to actually list the product on Amazon, the price has returned to its normal range and they can actually be making a loss.
11. The Product Has Appeal Outside of Amazon FBA
This is not always necessary, but it is a bonus if your product will easily sell on other platforms like eBay or in other Amazon marketplaces. This means if the product fails to sell on Amazon as you expected, you will still have options to clear your FBA stock.
US sellers should look for products where they can make a profit on Amazon Mexico or Amazon Canada, for example. For UK sellers, it’s an extra safety net to source FBA products that will sell on the other European Amazon marketplaces.
12. Should You Sell a Product if Amazon Has the Buy Box?
People often ask us if they should avoid selling the same products as Amazon. Amazon will share the Buy Box, so don’t be put off if Amazon is also a seller.
If your price and seller metrics are healthy, then Amazon will share the Buy Box. Sometimes they will even share the Buy Box when your product is more expensive if you have good metrics and have been selling for a while.
Your main competition to consider is from other FBA sellers. If you use Amazon FBA to sell your products, then you can normally be about 10% more expensive than non-FBA sellers and still win the Buy Box.
PRO TIP: Use the ‘999’ trick to find out how much stock Amazon has. This is a good indicator of whether they will share the Buy Box. Try to add ‘999’ units of the product to your basket and it should show you how much stock Amazon actually has. If Amazon has over ‘999’ units, then it’s probably better to avoid this product.
Using Keepa to Find the Best FBA Products
The Keepa Chrome Extension is a must-have tool to help you find Amazon FBA winning products. Keepa can help you with sourcing for Amazon retail arbitrage and online arbitrage. It can also provide valuable data for any type of Amazon seller to help you monitor pricing and analyze products.
If you are trying to find the best products for FBA, then I would look at the Keepa price, stock levels, and sales rank for the product you are interested in. We tend to look at these stats for the last 6 months.
The three main things you can evaluate to find the best products are:
1. Price. Look at the Amazon price and the new price of other FBA sellers. Does the price change often and could you take advantage of this? Does the price increase a lot at Christmas? If so, you could buy this product into stock ready to sell at the inflated price. As an Amazon FBA seller, Q4 (Christmas) is often a bonanza, so make sure you are prepared.
2. Stock Levels. Do other sellers run out of stock? If Amazon or other sellers regularly run out of stock, you could also take advantage of these periods and sell your FBA stock at a higher price than normal maximizing profits.
3. Sales Rank. Best Sellers Rank is a good indicator of how many units of the product will sell each month. In most categories, you want a product under 20,000 BSR.
Keepa is also great for setting price alerts, which can reduce your workload and means you don’t have to be constantly checking products. You can get an automated alert when the product goes over or under your set price. You can then buy low and sell high when doing Amazon to Amazon flips.
How to Calculate the Monthly Amazon Sales Volume
Only Amazon really knows the exact monthly sales figures for each product, but fluctuations in Sales Rank on Keepa can give you a good indication.
We also recommend using free tools like the Jungle Scout Estimator for both Retail Arbitrage and Private Label Amazon product research.
I would treat these estimated monthly sales with some caution. There are many factors like selling price, number of sellers, FBA vs FBM, time of year, stock levels, and seller rating, which will dictate the number of units you actually sell.
Doing the Opposite of Other Sellers to Find FBA Products
Ok, bear with me. Most new sellers are probably choosing their Amazon FBA products based on the criteria listed above. If you are a new Amazon seller, I would recommend sticking to this.
If you can make a profit using these initial methods, then you can think about looking at more expert strategies.
However, if you are confident and already have some experience selling online, you could do the opposite to everyone else. After all, going against the tide can often result in some niche opportunities. For example, not many sellers will want to deal with large bulky products or high-value electronics. This creates an opportunity for those sellers that are prepared to do it as there is less competition and larger profits.
Quick Checklist for the Best Amazon FBA Products
- ✅ Best Sellers Rank under 50,000.
- ✅ Return on Investment (ROI) over 30%.
- ✅ Profit Per Sale (PPS) over $10. If you are making less than $5 on an order, you can easily find your profits wiped out by competitors lowering their price.
- ✅ Size – smaller the better. Avoid ‘Oversize’. Smaller products will mean cheaper shipping and also cheaper storage. This all impacts on your bottom line.
- ✅ Avoid Gated Brands or Categories – it is best to avoid them until you are more experienced.
- ✅ Avoid High-Risk Brands – any doubts then avoid.
- ✅ Value – between $10-$40 is the sweet spot.
- ✅ Products that will maintain value or increase in value rather than becoming obsolete.
- ✅ Low Returns Rate – look for an Amazon review rating of at least 4 stars.
- ✅ Categories – start with Toys, Home, or Office and build from there.
- ✅ Buy Price – ideally below RRP/SRP or the average sale price over the last 3 months – and still be able to at least break even.
- ✅ Wide Appeal – bonus if you can sell on other platforms like eBay.
- ✅ Low Seasonality – you can sell all year round, not just one season like Halloween or Christmas.
- ✅ Simple Products – best to avoid glass, lithium batteries, fragile items, or complex products.
Best Amazon FBA Products Summary
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to choose a product to sell on Amazon. Being successful selling on Amazon means using the right tools to find the best products and then using the right strategies to sell those products.
We have a full guide to the best sourcing tools here. You will probably need at least one of these tools or you may struggle to get started and waste a lot of valuable time.
Hopefully, the checklist and criteria above will help you focus in on sourcing winning Amazon FBA products.
If you have any suggestions for other strategies or product criteria not mentioned, please take the time to post a comment below. This will help fellow Amazon sellers make the right choices.
You are also very welcome to join our friendly and supportive Amazon Seller Facebook Groups:
Amazon Selling for Beginners – for those starting their Amazon selling journey.
Amazon FBA Masters – for more experienced Amazon sellers.
A full list of gated and restricted brands: Current list of Amazon Gated and Restricted Brands
If you are looking to find a Private Label product to sell, please read this: The Best Private Label Products to Sell on Amazon.
Good luck and Happy Selling!
Article By James PercivalFounder and Lead Editor of The Selling Guys
James has been selling online for over 15 years. He has focused mainly on Amazon selling but also has experience of selling on eBay, selling globally, building ecommerce sites and much more.
He still runs a very successful ecommerce business but decided to help other sellers to make money online through ‘The Selling Guys’ website and the ‘Amazon Selling for Beginners’ Facebook group.
He has 3 children, two dogs and a (now missing) cat.