Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace housing millions of buyers and sellers. Given the sheer size of the platform, setting up a digital shop on the smiling A can prove to be extremely lucrative. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, there’s one very important question that leaves many scratching their heads: what items can I sell on Amazon as a new seller?
Amazon allows you to sell items in 30+ product categories. These include Automotive & Powersports, Baby Products, Beauty, Books, Camera & Photo, Cell Phones & Accessories, Collectible Coins, Consumer Electronics, Entertainment Collectibles, Fine Art, Grocery & Gourmet Food, Health & Personal Care, Home & Garden, Industrial & Scientific, Major Appliances, Musical Instruments, Office Products, Outdoors, Personal Computers, Pet Supplies, Sports, Sports Collectibles, Tools & Home Improvement, Toys & Games, Video Games, Watches, and more.
Despite the abundance of choice, we’re interested in products and categories that are beginner-friendly and sell the most—and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this blog.
Top Selling Product Categories on Amazon
What Items Should You Sell on Amazon?
What Products Cannot Be Sold on Amazon?
Best Products to Sell on Amazon in 2021
How to Find Products to Sell on Amazon
Tools to Do Your Own Product Research
We sat down and analyzed the most recent Search Terms reports for the US for 2021 to find the best-selling product categories on Amazon.
For those of you who don’t know what Search Terms report is, it’s a spreadsheet compiled by Amazon using millions of data points that shows you the most popular products on the Amazon marketplace during a given period. This report is only available to sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry program.
Most searches on Amazon are in the Electronics category. And while it has products with good profit margins and high search volumes, it’s mostly dominated by Amazon itself. Not something that you’d want to get into as a new seller.
Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry is one of the more appealing categories. Filled with active wear, socks, T-shirts, shoes, and fashion accessories, this niche is a bit crowded, though. However, if you can market something unique or give your own spin to an existing product, you are definitely in for a treat.
The Home & Kitchen category contains many top Amazon sellers due to its high-profit margin (the average being 23%), selling scope, and a wide variety of low-hanging products to choose from. This is one category in which it’s easier for new sellers to make a mark.
People love shopping in Beauty & Personal Care which means that some of the hottest items are present in this category. Although major brands are known to occupy top spots, getting into this category is relatively easy.
Fun Fact: Books were the very first products to be sold on Amazon. The Book category is continuously growing and is filled with plenty of opportunities. There are no limits here. You can also try Kindle self-publishing where you can start as an aspiring writer (and make big bucks), or simply find cheap classics and resell them on your account.
The Toys and Games category is another popular one with high demand. Whether it is birthdays, festive seasons, or any special occasions—it sells all year round. However, like the Beauty & Personal Care category, this category is often dominated by big brands.
Pet owners love indulging their pets with premium products and gifts. This makes Pet Supplies a very lucrative niche to sell in, that is, if you can offer high-quality items at a reasonable price. Shoppers are likely to pass over products with lower-than-average review ratings
With many governments throughout the world easing travel restrictions, the Sports & Outdoors category is bound to experience a spike in demand. And where there is demand, there are plenty of profits to be made.
The Baby category is evergreen. The industry itself is always growing, introducing new and innovative products for parents to purchase. But be wary, if you want to sell in this category, some products may require prior approval from Amazon.
And there you have it; the bestselling categories on Amazon in 2021.
Before we move on, here’s an important disclaimer: just because certain categories are popular, it doesn’t mean that you should start selling in them. Remember that popular categories will always feature tougher competition.
So which products should you sell on Amazon?
There is no universal criteria for choosing an item to sell on Amazon. Each seller has their own interests, goals, and budget. That being said, here are a few things you should look for when selecting your first product to sell on Amazon:
The monthly search volume of the main keyword of your product should be 5000 or above (It could be less if you’re planning to sell small-dimensional items)
Try to find a product with a minimum monthly average revenue of $10,000
Average unit sales > 300 per month
The average reviews for the sellers should be less than 500
A selling price of $20 or more is recommended. Exceptions can be made for SnL items.
Profit margin > 20%
Sales should be evenly distributed and not dominated by one single seller
Try to choose a product that is lightweight and easy to ship
Make sure the product doesn’t require approval from Amazon
Amazon places a huge emphasis on customer safety, care, and convenience. Any product that is potentially harmful to use, may require special checks before it can be listed on the marketplace. We call these gated or restricted products.
Ideally, you want to avoid selling gated items. Amazon offers plenty of options to choose from without worrying about the selling restrictions. These products mostly fall into the following categories:
Camera & Photo
Cell Phones & Accessories
Home & Garden
Tools & Home Improvement
Baby Products (may have sub-category level restrictions)
Health & Personal Care (may have sub-category level restrictions)
Pet Supplies (may have sub-category level restrictions)
Toys & Games (may have seasonal restrictions)
Some products cannot be sold on Amazon at all. They are banned or prohibited, especially if you do FBA. Examples include:
Animals & Animal-Related Products
Composite Wood Products.
CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices.
Lock Picking & Theft Devices
Real Property or Real Estate
Photo blocker sprays or license plate covers
Car seat heating pads
Drugs & drug paraphernalia
And any other item that does not comply with your local state laws
Amazon has recently introduced the ‘Handmade’ program as an alternative to Etsy. The Handmade store is available for artisans from over 80 countries, allowing sellers to sell homemade items to millions of customers.
You won’t need to subscribe to a professional selling plan to sell Handmade products. Instead, there is a 15% referral fee per unit sold. Currently, Amazon Handmade accepts products in the following categories and sub-categories:
Beauty & Personal Care
Shoes & Handbags
Home & Garden
Outdoor & Home Care (Pro Tip: Candles are getting extremely popular lately)
Kitchen & Dining
Stationery & Party Supplies
Jewelry & Watches
Toys & Games
Due to the global COVID-19 situation, Amazon has stopped accepting applications for hand sanitizers and face masks. These measures ensure the safety of customers and prevent price gouging.
To quote Amazon:
“We have implemented more stringent requirements to sell these products in our store and as a result, your offers have been removed. We are not accepting applications to sell these products at this time.”
Based on what we’ve discussed so far, here are a few good product recommendations to help you get started on Amazon.
Note: Please note that these recommendations are only there to give you an idea of how an ideal product should look like.
Product Category: Tools & Home Improvement
Potential profit margin: 31.36%
Sandpaper is one of the best items to sell on Amazon. It has a monthly search volume of 22,223 and average monthly sales of 2000 units. More than two sellers in the top 5 generate $10,000 in sales per month.
Five sellers in the top 10 have less than 1000 reviews. The price of the item is higher than $20 when sold in packs. The top 5 sellers have an average profit margin of 31.36%.
These stats show that sandpaper has got quite a potential for earning.
Product Category: Musical Instruments
Potential profit margin: 38.7%
Within the Musical Instruments category, “guitar wall mount” has a monthly search volume of 23,097 coupled with an average monthly sales of 953 units. More than two sellers in the top 5 generate about $10,000 in sales per month—all signs pointing to a viable product.
More than five sellers in the top 10 are earning $5k per month, while three sellers in the top 10 have less than 1000 reviews. This product can be easily sold for $20 or above. The top 5 sellers have an average profit margin of 38.7%.
With the right sourcing and logistics in place, a guitar wall mount can be an excellent product.
Product Category: Electronics
Potential profit margin: 32.95%
Third on our list is a product from the Electronics category. It has a monthly search volume of 61,231 and average monthly sales of 5000 units. More than two sellers in the top 5 have about $10,000 sales.
Five sellers in the top 10 are earning $5k per month, while four sellers in the top 10 have less than 1000 reviews. The average profit margin of the top 5 sellers is 32.95%. You can sell this product at $20 or higher by niching down.
Product Category: Home & Kitchen
Potential profit margin: 27.7%
A burger press is a perfect example of an unassuming product with massive potential for sales. It has a monthly search volume of 29,603 and average sales of 2500 units per month. More than two sellers in the top 5 generate more than $10,000 in sales.
Overall, this product has more than five sellers in the top 10 earning $5k per month. Their average profit margin is 27.7%. Selling a stainless steel burger press would allow you to price your product higher than $20 and compete with sellers that have fewer reviews.
You’ve got your recommendations, well-defined criteria, and a picture of what an ideal product should look like. But how do you go about finding it? Well, that’s what we are going to discuss in this section.
There are several ways to search for products on Amazon, many of which are free.
For example, you can go to Amazon’s Best Sellers page, look at the top-selling products, and see if you can find an opening.
Similarly, you can check the Movers and Shakers page. This has products that have had the most significant increase in sales rank. While you are at it, check the Most Wished For categories on Amazon to get an idea of items in demand.
Another method you can use is Amazon auto-suggest. Simply type a few letters in the Amazon search box and Amazon will show you product recommendations based on the most popular searches. Finally, you can look at sites like eBay, Alibaba, Aliexpress, etc. to discover more product ideas.
Still can’t find a winning product? You can use paid product research tools.
Product research tools help you analyze product demand, seasonality trends, and sales potential with just a few clicks.
What are some popular tools you can use for your product research?
Helium10 is an all-in-one tool that shines most in product/keyword research and ranking. It also includes features such as BlackBox that assist you in sourcing the right products. Using the Chrome extension Xray, you can then validate product ideas.
Jungle Scout is an A-Z seller tool. Opportunity Finder filters the Amazon database for “high-ticket” items. The Chrome extension extracts essential information regarding your niche, such as estimated daily sales, revenue, reviews, and competition.
The AMZScout product research tool features an intuitive interface. It lets you see product sales data within seconds. Each item is ranked based on a 1-10 opportunity score along with a summary of the competition, demand, and review ratings.
Viral Launch is another excellent solution to verify your product ideas. Its numerous features include Product Discovery that helps you find the bestselling items using keywords of your choice. A Chrome extension called Market Intelligence gives a success score out of 5 along with access to historical trends.
Certain product categories are overrun with sellers making it difficult to earn decent profits. You cannot just sell any product and expect to hit a home run. It’s imperative that you offer value to your customers by sourcing the right products and make data-driven and informed decisions.
We hope this guide helped you set on the right track for your product hunting journey. To gain further clarity on the subject, check out our Amazon Product Research guide. Best of luck!