In this edition of “What to Sell on Amazon”, here’s the Amazon FBA product ideas I’ll be looking at:
- Travel Socks
- Leak-Proof Travel Bottle
- Leather Toiletry Bag
- Anti-Theft Messenger Bag
- Hooded Neck Pillow
Famous Dave here, back at at it again with travel stuff! Makes sense, too, ’cause I work in a company where like, literally everyone has the travel bug. It’s nuts. Like working with a bunch of Carmen San Diegos!
Or Waldos? Yeah, more like Waldos.
Taking some of the tricks I talked about in last week’s edition of What to Sell on Amazon, I’m going to see if we can take some of the suggestions from above (stolen ethically from this article on Travel & Leisure) and make those profitable… or at the very least, something similar to it.
LET’S DO ITTTTT!!!!
What to Sell on Amazon: 5 Travel Items
Remember: While I do my best to arm you with the data you need to make good product decisions, there’s always the potential that the product may not work out. This material is meant for educational and entertainment purposes. Always do your own research.
1 – Travel Socks (Opportunity 5)
What I learned with the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension Pro:
- 3,102 average units in sales per month. Holy frijole,
that’s a lot of cold feet on air planes.* Obviously, there’s some serious demand for these things!
- 1,583 average reviews. But unfortunately, supply far outweighs demand. That’s way too many reviews to try to get anywhere near this product.
- $14.25 average price. The average price might seem low, but take a look at some of the items that are boosting that average. $18.88 for a single pair of socks? I promise you socks can’t cost THAT much to make.
- FBA fees are showing $2.41. The cost to ship these buggers is pretty cheap, though.
I’m a sock lover. Love ’em! I’ve even talked to my design folks about getting socks with Greg Mercer’s face on ’em. Don’t tempt me. I’ll do it! And while there seems like a ton of competition here which would NORMALLY turn me off from a category like this, I have a new obsession with finding good opportunities within stinky ones using The Hamrick Trick.
* Editor’s note: Melissa Presti proofreads my stuff. This is what that process looks like:
Can the Hamrick Trick find a better product in travel socks?
So, if you need a refresher on how The Hamrick Trick works, basically you extract the next 4-5 pages of products in a category to find products with low reviews but high sales. Sometimes, these are products that are in the middle of Jump Send giveaways, while other times they might just people who’ve found some top secret keywords they’re leveraging for high sales. Either way, we can use Keyword Scout to do reverse ASIN lookups to see what’s up!
Let’s try it with travel socks:
About three pages deep, there’s two entries that really stand out. Interestingly, they’re both right next to each other on the 3rd page numbered 50 and 51. Both are FBA products, and both have low reviews at 2 and 0 respectively. In fact, the HUSO socks really interest me because 1) the product’s been on Amazon since April 2017, so it’s unlikely it’s going through a promotional push (although it could be having a lightning deal?) and 2) it’s got a freakin’ 3.5 average review on the 2 reviews it has.
Sadly, once I put in the HUSO socks, it doesn’t look like they’re ranking for much at all.
But how could they have so many sales? What a riddle!
Perhaps the answer lies within the top of the product’s listing?
Great hoogla moogla! There’s like, 19 different varieties of socks here of all different styles, quantities, etc. And they all share the same ASIN and for the most part the same review count, too. It used to be that Amazon gave each one its own spot in its database, but not anymore. So the data is tricky! While it might seem like just that one group is selling 240+ units per month, in reality it’s probably selling like, 12. Yeah, we wanna sell more than 12, don’t we?
Laneco, like HUSO, has a few variations to it which are muddying our figures. Interestingly, the Laneco socks pull up about 26 matches on Keyword Scout. However, The big one that stands out is the branded term “nurse mates compression.” There’s not a lot of searches for the exact matches, but it sure does pull a whole lot of broad searches.
Bidding on branded terms
Technically, bidding on a branded term through Amazon PPC is a no-no. Really, it’s a no-no for Facebook and Google, too. Trademarks are trademarks are trademarks, kids. Having said that, people still do it! Of course, if you do–I’m not saying you should–you’re likely to get a slap on the wrist by Amazon.
Reverse Engineering Popular Sellers
I won’t throw in the towel yet! Or is it travel towel? I’m going to find something within this category. So now I’m going to use the Hamrick Trick on front page top sellers and see where they’re dominating. Then I’ll cross reference those keywords to find those that fit within the realm of the 2.5 Rule. If we were to sell our “future” socks for $18, that means ad click costs need to be at $0.45 to get a healthy margin or at maximum twice that–$0.90. Anything more means we’re going to lose money.
Sadly, even our winning socks are ranking for words with tough ad costs:
In exact, only the term “wanderlust” really stands out, but it’s a branded term. And it’s already over the $0.90 mark, so we’d lose money even if we did bid on a competitor’s name.
And then, in broad it’s not much better. There’s only a handful of keywords under $0.90 and those are all pretty low search.
My friends, I hate to admit it… but travel socks probably aren’t even worth sourcing. 🙁
Verdict: Far too competitive, with barely any variations left to capitalize on. It’s a loser.
2 – Leak-Proof Travel Bottle (Opportunity 5)
What I learned with the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension Pro:
- 698 average units in sales per month. Great sales! Not too crazy high that every seller in creation are going to run to the listing, and not too low that it’s not worth our time. We might double-check for seasonality just to be on the safe side, but hey… people travel year ’round, right?
- 113 average reviews. A little bit higher than I like, but not terrible. Could be close to something decent here. Plus, if you look, there’s a few sub-20 reviews here. They’re paid, but hey, we’re going to be paid, too, aren’t we?
- $13.61 average price. This is kinda where things stink a little. That’s a low, low price to be competitive with. Going to have to do some digging to see if we can find versions that are better for making moolah. Looking down the list, there’s one set selling for $19.95 and doing about 211 units per month.
- FBA fees are showing $3.17. I checked the fees on the larger bottle and it’s still considered “low” despite being bigger than the others.
Okay, so it’s not knocking my socks off–haha, get it socks? awww… I’m sad again that one didn’t work–but at least there’s a window of opportunity here in the larger version of the product. But is that way with all of the larger versions?
Filter Amazon’s products by price
So one way you can look at Amazon’s search results is to filter it all by price. Most of the time, Amazon won’t let you do this unless you pick a category. The majority of the listings here seem to fall into Beauty & Household, so that’s where I’m going to look. Then I’m going to stick in the price point that Greg loves: $18-50. You can find do this on the side column.
Here’s what Amazon coughed up:
Okay, so our volume went way down. But price jumped up to $22.04 and reviews stayed around the same. Of course, there’s also a pretty strong correlation between reviews and sales here. So before we get too excited about selling hundreds of these things from the get go, you should probably organize the list by review count and remove anything that’s got more than 20 reviews.
Yeah, low reviews equals low sales. Especially with a product like these. But why?
Consider this: you’re about to go on a trip from the US to somewhere out of the country. It’s pretty hard to bring liquids on planes, and you want to make 100% sure that your expensive hair products, etc makes it through. So you’re not going to want to trust some rando Amazon product with 0 reviews, right? After all, it could be a fraud. And even those with just a few reviews might seem suspect.
Having said that, notice which one is really crushing it on there with only 9 reviews:
Notice the big ol’ “TSA approved” right in the front? That seller is smart, and knew that overcoming shopper fears right from the start would boost their sales.
So I think we might have an in here. Let’s see if we can make a similar product and make it profitable!
How much will these cost to manufacture?
Oh heck yes. These buggers are cheap, too. Alibaba’s throwing out sample products priced around $1.00 or less at the lowest up to $4.00. I’m going to want a low MOQ (more on that in a sec), so I’m going to go with a $3.00ish price point.
How many units would we need to order to compete?
I’m basing my future sales off the “TSA approved” product, so I’m going to play it safe and order only 300 to start plus recommended giveaways. Putting “travel bottles” into keyword scout, there’s a whooooole mess of high search volume keywords tied to travel bottles. I don’t want to go crazy and go for one of the mega big ones. Instead, I’m going to target “travel toiletries” and make sure to put in my product’s title just behind “TSA approved.” According to Keyword Scout I need to give away 14 a day for 7-7 days. I’m going to pick up another 200 of ’em to give our order an even 500 units.
According to OnPallet.com, we can fit only 340 of these onto a single pallet. Boo! That means, we’re going to need two pallets to get things going. So I’m probably looking at about $900 per pallet. That adds another $2.64 to our price point. Yucko!
What will our profit margins be for this product?
Using Keyword Scout to reverse ASIN lookup the “TSA approved” model product, looks like this guy is ranking well for some interesting keywords (I’m totally crushing on this seller, by the way… they know their stuff). One of those keywords is “shower lanyard.” Who knew? Plus, nearly all his exact and broad keywords are under our maximum PPC bid (about $1.00) and plenty are under the 2.5% mark, too. Plus, there’s three pages of exact PPC goodies below $0.50 (our 2.5 mark) under the lookup for “toiletry bottles.” I think it’s safe to say ads will probably come out to 25% ACoS then.
Okay, so Amazon’s taking 15% plus $4.71 for FBA fees (our model product is heavier than the rest). And our cost is an ugly $6.24 thanks to its size. I’m confident we can hit 25% ACoS with this bugger, so that leaves us with $1.04.
One more thing to consider
Health & Beauty, Beauty & Household, etc. are not easy categories to sell in. There’s a whole lot of gating to get there. But if you can find an edge kinda like this guy did, you might have a chance to make it. However, there’s “plenty of fish in the Amazon sea” so you’re probably better off looking over in easier categories.
Verdict: this one could be good, but it’ll take some tricky moves to get there. You’re better off finding a different product. This product is mostly a loser.
To be continued…
Okay, this article is getting a little long! I’m already at 2,000 words here, so I’m going to continue it in Part 2 which should be out on Monday. There’s a couple more products from that Travel & Leisure list that’ve got me excited (looking your way hooded travel pillow), so be sure to tune in then.
Of course, if you’re just finding me for the first time, be sure to check out the other entries in this blog series:
If you have any questions or product suggestions, feel free to email me direct: [email protected].