Before you can set up your business as an Amazon seller, you need to have a product to sell: something that you can easily keep in stock, that you can sell for a decent profit, and that you can grow your business with.
While the hardest part is picking what kind of product you want to sell, and therefore what business you want to be and what shipping methods you can use, there’s a step that comes right afterwards that most people struggle with: how to source the products you want to sell on Amazon.
Here are five ways to source products to sell on Amazon, without running the risk of stocking something that won’t sell.
Deciding what to sell on Amazon
Sourcing products comes at the very end of a long look at what’s available. Different products will sell at different rates and successes depending on what’s currently popular, but there are a few things you can stock that might be a little more likely to sell well. Stationery, beauty products, and home goods are all vast categories that have a rapid turnaround rate – however, if you don’t have a product in mind, there are some tips you can use to make your life easier:
- Keep an eye on trends. The changing weather will usually herald a whole bunch of people heading onto Amazon to stock up on their seasonal favorites, and while this is a risky strategy, it can definitely pay off in the short term.
- Stick to a classic product. Some products will never go out of style, and these are the products you can start off selling for an easy profit. Think chargers for your electronics, pens and notebooks, pet goods, and homeware.
Once you have your product category in mind, it’s time for the next step: figuring out where to find your products.
- Clearance sales at your local stores
Just because the stock didn’t move in your town doesn’t mean it won’t go on Amazon, so clearance sales are a great beginner way to source products to sell on Amazon. Opt for things that might have a longer shelf life – such as home goods, certain types of beauty products, and clothing – rather than seasonal items which can quickly stagnate if you miss their selling period.
- Liquidation stores
This is especially true for cosmetics, but sometimes products that are discontinued or difficult to find will have a higher sales rate on Amazon as consumers try their best to find their old favorites before they’re fully removed from the market. Liquidation stores will have the products available at a cheaper price than buying them at retail rates. The downside of this strategy is that you might be waiting a long time for a popular product to be discontinued, and hanging onto stock for that long might be costly for the beginner seller.
No room to stock your products yourselves? There’s a way around that: you can opt for dropshipping instead. Dropshipping means that you’re selling a product on Amazon that belongs to a third party. This third-party seller will usually be located in a different country, and any sale you make on your Amazon will then be passed along to your supplier, who ships the product directly to your consumer.
- Direct sourcing
If you want to create your own uniquely branded products, which definitely has a distinctive benefit, you might want to look towards sourcing your products directly from the manufacturer. You can usually purchase your products for a much cheaper price per-unit, and you can have custom goods tailored to your brand so that you’re offering something to the consumer that they can’t get anywhere else.
Products can be found at trade shows, but there are also numerous online retailers that offer product development, and some can even take care of the logistics for you – however, this route may be a little more expensive.
- Private labeling
Similarly to direct sourcing, private labeling means that you get the goods directly from your manufacturer – they’ll be generic goods, but the manufacturer can then label them and process them underneath your own unique brand. This opens up a lot of opportunities for products, too: you can private label almost anything, including kitchen tools and pet supplies. Finding private label products is also a lot easier than you’d expect, but you do need to do a little research on wholesale and direct-source suppliers. This is an excellent resource for brands who want to expand what they stock but don’t really want to go the way of developing new products themselves.
Sourcing products to sell on Amazon is a long process that involves a lot of research and time. If you need further guidance, or you already have your product but you don’t know what to do with it, drop us a line – we’re always happy to help guide new sellers down the right path.