Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a terrific storage solution for small and medium-sized businesses. You simply store products in one of Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres, let them handle order picking & shipping, and take advantage of the company’s customer support service.
But there’s a key question newcomers tend to ask:
What are the best items to sell on Amazon FBA?
Let’s answer this in two parts.
Part 1: What makes a good product to sell using Amazon FBA?
We’ll start by covering the criteria that determines the best items to sell on Amazon FBA. Businesses should only use Fulfilment by Amazon for products that:
1. Minimise storage fees
The bad news: Amazon FBA isn’t free. But you probably guessed that anyway.
The good news: storage fees vary based on the volume of space your inventory takes up in cubic feet, on average. So, if you’re selling big items in big numbers through FBA, your business could face colossal fees over months and years. And seasons affect charges, too.
For example, ‘oversize’ items cost £0.45 per cubic foot per day between January and September, but £0.63 the rest of the year. That might not seem like a huge increase in itself, but that’s not so easy to say when you multiply the extra £0.18p by the number of items you plan to store in one of the Fulfilment Centres.
Standard-sized products tend to cost between £0.39 and £0.91 per cubic foot per day. Again, it all adds up, but if you can prioritise smaller items which take up less space and pack them smartly, you can minimise your storage fees over time.
Amazon charges more for some standard-sized items than oversize ones as they tend to be more complex to store, but you can keep fees lower by bundling products together. Customers can make small savings if they buy in bulk, too, so everyone’s a winner.
2. Move quickly
The best items to sell on Amazon FBA move quickly. We’ve already established that you’ll be charged a daily rate for storing your goods in a Fulfilment Centre, so products will continue to cost you while they’re gathering dust.
And the price will increase the longer they’re sitting in storage, due to Amazon’s regular inventory cleanup. This takes place on the 15th of every single month, and any items which have been stored for longer than one year are subject to a long-term storage fee.
This is £4.30 per cubic foot, but media items could be charged £0.10 per unit, whichever ends up being higher. Long-term storage fees are added to your standard charges, so it’s in your best interest to prioritise fast-moving items.
3. Have high margins
Avoid using Amazon FBA to sell products with high storage rates. You might even be better off investing in your own warehouse if you specialise in large, heavy goods that cost a lot of money to deliver, especially if marketing to a global audience.
Make the most of Amazon FBA by focusing on high-margin products with low storage costs. Again, consider packaging multiple products together to make the most of the storage space you’re paying for.
4. Face minimal competition on Amazon
The best items to sell on Amazon FBA have little competition. That’s obvious enough, but sadly, also highly unlikely — shoppers can find almost anything on Amazon.
But if you can sell items with minimal competition, you’ll be likely to keep products moving through Amazon FBA at a healthy pace. This brings you solid ROI and reduces the impact of those pesky storage fees.
5. Are easy to ship
The best items to sell on Amazon FBA offer hassle-free shipping. Bigger, heavier products involve more complicated shipping arrangements, leading to higher delivery costs (particularly for international sales). This makes earning a profit on your items harder than it should be.
But smaller, lighter items are simpler to ship, even if fragile components (such as glass) are included.
6. Have a stable source
If you’re working with a supplier rather than manufacturing your own products, make sure they’re reliable in periods of high demand. Otherwise, you may be unable to keep items moving fast enough to satisfy customers.
Part 2: What are the best product types to sell on Amazon FBA?
Here’s a breakdown of the best items to sell on Amazon FBA by type:
Clothing, bags, and accessories
Clothing, bags, and accessories are categorised as standard-sized products and incur a low charge for storage at an Amazon Fulfilment Centre.
The fee is £0.39 per cubic foot per day in the low season (January to September) and £0.55 in the high season (October to December). One major advantage of storing clothes, bags, and accessories is that multiple items can fit into one modest-sized box without compromising the quality or safety of the product.
That means you can maximise the cost-efficiency of your storage space by packaging multiple types of items together, such as cheap plain T-shirts, underwear, or ties which customers are highly unlikely to buy individually.
Selling jewellery with Amazon FBA can bring high margins if you’re selling high-end pieces, as the profit will more than cover the storage and shipping fees. Sadly, Amazon takes a referral fee for jewellery sales, so keep this in mind when setting prices.
Even if you’re selling low-cost jewellery, you can still benefit from Amazon FBA if you move a large volume of units each month. Be smart with your packaging, too. Using a large box for a single bracelet isn’t cost-effective and is, frankly, wasteful.
By packaging jewellery wisely, you can get more of the proverbial bang for your buck. Consider including jewellery in a bundle with other accessories, such as selling a bracelet with a matching scarf and necklace. You’ll be charging a higher price for a light, standard-sized package that takes up little storage space.
People will always need footwear, whether that’s something smart for the office, a pair of trainers for the gym, or pumps to wear with jeans. In most cases, shoes are packaged in small boxes and are fairly straightforward to ship.
It’s easy to forget that Amazon started as an online bookstore, but it’s still a go-to solution for book buyers. Small- and medium-sized businesses can use modest packaging for shipping books to one of Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres, provided it’s robust enough to keep the contents safe.
Another great way to maximise the profitability of selling books on Amazon FBA is to bundle trilogies or series together. For example, The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight, and other successful sets are often available to buy in bundles.
Packaging standard-sized paperbacks together is a simple but effective way to increase the value of off-site storage.
Electronics and accessories
Smartphones and tablets are some of the best items to sell on Amazon FBA. The latest high-smartphones command high prices, even if you list them at the most competitive rates you can afford. Fortunately, they come in small boxes and typically involve the bare minimum of packaging.
So, if you invest in storing a large volume of gadgets in a Fulfilment Centre and achieve strong sales, the fees may barely make a dent in your profits. It’s crucial to ensure they’re secured and packaged safely while in transit, though.
Items for babies and young children
Clothing and accessories for babies and young children are typically very small and lightweight. You may be able to package multiple pieces together easily based around themes (pyjamas, T-shirts, and toys based around dinosaurs or princesses, for example).
DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs,and video games
Finally, various types of media (DVDs, Blu-Rays, and video games) can be some of the best items to sell on Amazon FBA. Even larger box sets are generally lightweight and can be packaged in small boxes. But it’s crucial to avoid excess space when preparing them for shipping, to keep the contents from moving around while in transit.
Selling any of these or similar items can help small- and medium-sized businesses keep their daily storage fees at the lower end of the scale, and have the potential to be big sellers. A major advantage of using FBA is the amount of extra time and resources you can gain when you let Amazon handle your storage and shipping.
As a result, you can focus on promoting items effectively and ensuring buyers enjoy the best customer experience. Regardless of which items you sell, though, an inventory management tool can help you to keep track of stock, avoid over-or understocking, and reduce the number of items left on your shelves for months on end. It’s why retailers are investing in inventory management software to meet the challenges of ecommerce.
What software do you use to managae inventory and ship customer orders from Amazon? Try Veeqo’s Amazon Inventory Management Software totally free for 30 days, and start delivering the experience your customers deserve.