What our Amazon clients taught us about the products YOU want to avoid selling
The Amazon market offers so many opportunities that sometimes it is easy to get carried away and forget that it is a bit of a jungle out there. We want to give you some survival tips so you can make the most of your Amazon journey without getting in trouble for selling problematic products.
Avoid selling handmade or custom products
Amazon is a mass market. If you want to sell niche products you should go for a niche market like Etsy or run your own Shopify store. We had a meeting with a potential client who was designing and sewing custom lingerie. She had a Facebook page where clients could place their orders but wanted to check what opportunities Amazon can offer for her business so she booked a consultation with us.
She showed us pictures of her products, which stood out clearly – sexy, cute and unique. However when we explained how Amazon works, how many pieces she should have in stock and what marketing strategies should be used she realized that her target audience wasn’t the Amazon client. She didn’t want to switch to mass production, lose her creative control and sense of ownership.
Be careful with cosmetics and personal care products
The average Amazon consumer is biased towards Chinese products and no other category has expressed this more clearly than Health & Beauty. If you want to launch a cosmetic product you should start from scratch and spend time (and money) finding the right technologists, developing the formula, applying for certificates, designing the right packaging and worrying for transportation.
We worked twice with such clients before learning our lesson. The first time our clients developed tanning bronzers from scratch. By the time they were ready, it was winter. Now imagine the marketing! The second time a client wanted to sell his tattoo aftercare that didn’t have the relevant certificates. Cosmetics more than any other products on Amazon is put under a lot of scrutinies.
Don’t waste your time and money on oversaturated product opportunities
Most Amazon workshops teach people to replicate trendy Amazon bestsellers so every newly converted Amazon merchant would follow this approach. This means that every product spawns competitive product listings which try to improve the product quality or add perks.
With every new listing your chance of developing a profitable and competitive product in this category decreases.
One of our clients had a bitter experience with Amazon following the boom in the scratch map category. Since this was a passion project of his he spent months sourcing, testing and designing his dream map. In the meantime, the costs of the materials went up and the Amazon scratch map category was flooded with new listings to the point where new sellers didn’t stand a chance.
Think twice about products which can’t be marketed the good ol’ way
Sex sells but sex toys are another thing. They are a lucrative Amazon product idea which would surely capture a lot of attention. The problem is that advertising your brand of sex toys brand requires not only fantasy but also the use of creative marketing strategies outside of the traditional channels, which also need to comply with Amazon’s policies.
You wanna know how we know? Well, a long time ago we helped a client develop their own brand of high-quality silicone sex toys and we were amazed to find we couldn’t run Amazon ads or use any e images or language, which could suggest their purpose. Don’t believe us yet? You might want to look up personal massager in amazon.com then.
And now you know how to relieve stress properly!
Seasonal or specific products are a killjoy
A lot of sellers are tempted to invest in seasonal products but forget that would sell well when it is the right season. Some time ago a client of ours launched mirrored swimming goggles, which looked great and really stood out against the competition. At first, we couldn’t understand why Amazon clients stood idle and the product sold few pieces until a few months in when sales really picked up.
The problem with these swimming goggles was that they were mirrored so you could not use them indoors. You could pretty much use them only on your beach holiday by the sea in fact. Once the summer holiday season was open they became a big success with Amazon clients. Now, if only we could have a summer all year-round…
For the love of sanity, please keep out of patented products
Patented products are the forbidden fruit of the Amazon jungle. A good and cheap knock-off of a popular product can bring you a lot of revenue but it comes with a lot of trouble. Once you start generating a lot of sales you would inevitably attract attention from the owners of the original product. They will then get help from Amazon and their lawyers in order to take you down.
Do you think we should add something to the list or do you need help with your product? We love hearing from other Amazon enthusiasts so don’t be afraid to get in touch.