Product sourcing is tricky – and there’s more than one way to skin a cat. So, whatever you hear from Guru A can be miles different from what you’ll learn from Guru B. Nevertheless, it pays to be prepared. As we prepare to head over to The Canton Fair with Amazing in China, we must be clear: sellers can’t go into the fair blindly and hope to make a dent. You’ve heard the horror stories: Seller A sources an uber-popular product that everyone and their dog is selling, so competition is almost impossible to penetrate. Seller B goes the other way, and develops a product that’s so niche, there’s virtually zero market demand because customers don’t know the product even exists. Product sourcing is both an art and a science, and preparation is crucial in order to maximize your profits on Amazon.
There are several things you need to consider:
- Market demand and feasibility
- The origin of the product – which country produces it best?
- Negotiating with suppliers for COGS
- Preparing shipping
- Ensuring your operations team is robust and efficient
- Which method you’ll choose: dropshipping? Retail arbitrate? Wholesale? Private label?
It’s a needle in a haystack sort of approach – but read on, and this blog will give you a quick summary on how to source for products effectively.
The good news is, once you sign up for an Amazing in China ticket, you’ll have access to the Amazing at Home course library, so you’ll be prepared for your trip. Don’t try to go it alone – it’s too big and there’s too much at stake. There are experts who are happy to help; take advantage of the resources at your disposal.
Steps for effective product sourcing
When it comes to effective product sourcing for selling on Amazon, there are a few key points to consider.
- First, choose your product category wisely based on market demand and competition.
- Next, source your products from the correct country to ensure quality and cost-effectiveness.
- Additionally, choose the selling method that aligns with your business goals, whether it’s dropshipping, wholesale, or private labeling.
Ensure that your product is unique and differentiated from competitors, and analyze market trends through keyword research to stay ahead of the game.
Choose your product category
To choose the right product category for sourcing on Amazon, consider factors such as your unique selling proposition, overall brand alignment, operations, and profitability. Your unique selling proposition sets you apart from competitors, so think about what makes your product special. That plays in directly to product sourcing, because you won’t want to pound the Canton Fair floors for the next fidget spinner that’s likely to be sunsetted in a few months.
Ensure that the product category aligns with your brand’s values and image. Evaluate the operations required to source and sell the products effectively.
Finally, analyze the profitability of the category to ensure it’ll generate the desired returns.
In 2023, the Top 10 Categories on Amazon are:
- Home & Kitchen
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry
- Toys & Games
- Health, Household, & Baby Care
- Sports & Outdoors
- Pet Supplies
- Office Supplies
So, here comes the balance. There’s market demand for the items in these categories – but now it’s up to you to look for a product (or develop your own) that answers a need, but that doesn’t have a gazillion competitors.
Source from the correct country
The 134th Canton Fair is coming up – and there’s no doubt that China is the current leader in product sourcing – check out this blog from ARC group to understand China’s low labor costs, business eco-system, free trade systems, and more. But there are other countries that provide many benefits, as well. Check out India, Vietnam, and Mexico – they all have their different unique capabilities.
Interested in sourcing from Mexico? It’s closer to the USA, meaning the time zones aren’t as difficult to manage. Plus, Amy is already an expert at sourcing from Mexico. Check out the EvoLatam trade fair to know more.
So, yes, although we’re heading to The Canton Fair with Amazing in China in a matter of a few short weeks, don’t assume that China’s the only option for you. Part of preparing for the trip is ensuring you manage your expectations vis-a-vis the type of product you hope to source.
Choose the selling method
We attack this blog from the perspective of product sourcing and private label – but many sellers head to China with an eye on dropshipping, arbitrage, wholesale, and more. Which one works best for you? This is also part of the necessary preparation; make sure you’re armed with the info you need on the shipping methods and sourcing methods available to you so you’re better prepared to negotiate your position. Here’s a blog with all the info.
Make sure your product is unique
Amazon sells more than $1.6 million in products per day, and has more than 12 million products on its virtual shelves. How lovely it would be to grab a piece of that pie – but how in the world will you stand out with all that noise?
Your product has to be unique. You can optimize your listing and employ the best PPC strategy, but if you’re leading customers to a dead-end with a product that doesn’t make an impact or fulfill a need, sadly you’ll be leaving money on the table.
There are many different ways to find a unique product – The Canton Fair is definitely one of them – but make sure you’ve got your ideas all set before you fly off with Amazing in China. Product Niche Mastery is a data-driven method, why not check it out?
Analyze market trends through keyword research
Someone once said, source products around keywords. That’s one way to do it; by identifying popular search terms related to your product, you can gain valuable insights into customer demand and preferences.
Don’t just analyze according to current trends, either – check out how the product’s demand has fared in the past, and how it’s likely to perform in the future. It’s a good idea to employ a data-driven approach. Remember, product sourcing is both an art and a science, so use the science by engaging the right tools – so the art that you infuse through your own creative ideas is based on a sound foundation.
Maximize your profits: know your numbers first
Nate Ginsberg of SellerPlex talks a great deal about maximizing your profits during product sourcing. Below is a snippet of what he talks about, but it’s a good idea to head to the main blog here to watch him in action. You’ll also hear from Abe Chomali and Nater Youngchild on product sourcing – two other formidable product sourcing experts.
Run your financials before you start
To maximize your profits on Amazon, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of your financials and know your numbers from the beginning. Not knowing your numbers is a common challenge for sellers, but it can lead to overspending and missed opportunities.
Hiring a good bookkeeper with e-commerce accounting experience is crucial to knowing your numbers.
With accurate financial data, you can make informed decisions and identify areas where you can cut costs and increase profitability.
Understand shipping logistics
Mastering the intricacies of shipping logistics will skyrocket your profits and leave your competitors in the dust. Understanding the shipping process is crucial for sourcing products to sell on Amazon. Are you going to choose Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) for the convenience? Or Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) for the control?
Consider the shipping costs and timeframes when selecting suppliers or products. Efficient shipping can lead to faster delivery times, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced expenses.
Research different shipping methods and negotiate for the best rates to maximize your profit margins.
Negotiate on COGS
Now let’s talk about the next step in maximizing your profits on Amazon: negotiating on the cost of goods (COGS).
This is a crucial aspect of sourcing products to sell on Amazon. By negotiating lower rates with factories and shopping around for better prices, you can save money on the cost of goods and increase your profit margin.
Don’t overlook the power of negotiation when it comes to sourcing your products and boosting your profits.
Negotiating COGS is actually a huge reason why in-person sourcing through Amazing in China is so important – you’ll get to eyeball quality in real life. Many sellers source for products on Alibaba, which is fine and dandy, but imagine experiencing the same things your customers get to experience when they finally receive your product. That sort of thing is crucial to effective product sourcing.
Hire the right people in the right roles
Folks, at one point, you’ll have to scale upwards to make any sort of money at all. You simply can’t do it all on your own.
Unlocking the full potential of your Amazon business requires assembling a team of talented individuals who are strategically placed in the right roles.
Hiring the right people can make a significant difference in maximizing your profits. Look for individuals with the necessary skills and experience to handle specific tasks such as product research, sourcing, inventory management, marketing, and customer service.
By having the right people in the right roles, you can streamline your operations, improve efficiency, and ultimately increase your profits on Amazon.
Recognize the power of organic optimization
Realize the immense potential of organic optimization in harnessing the full power of your Amazon business. It can greatly impact your profitability. By optimizing your product listings and content, you can improve your visibility in search results and attract more organic traffic.
This means that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising to generate sales. Invest time in keyword research, writing compelling product descriptions, and optimizing your images to maximize your organic reach on Amazon.
Ask yourself, is this product prime for optimization? If you source a product that’ll rely heavily on PPC because of lack of product awareness, you might want to rethink your strategy.
What is your competition up to?
When sourcing products to sell on Amazon, it’s important to consider what your competition is up to. Don’t choose a product that has no competition, as this indicates a lack of demand.
On the other hand, avoid selecting a product with too much competition, as this can lead to a price war and diminished profits. Finding a balance and understanding the competitive landscape is key to maximizing your profits on Amazon. Go back to the section on keyword research – use those tools to help you find that middle ground between demand and uniqueness.
Don’t choose a product that has no competition, because this means there’s no demand
Choosing a product that has no competition on Amazon is like setting sail on a vast, empty ocean with no destination in sight. It may seem like a good idea to enter a market with no competition, but it actually indicates a lack of demand for that product.
Competition is a sign that there is a market for the product and customers are actively searching for it. So, don’t be afraid of competition, embrace it as a validation of market demand.
Don’t choose a product that has too high competition, because you’ll end up in a price war
Avoiding products with excessively high competition is crucial, as it can lead to engaging in price wars that ultimately diminish profit margins and hinder long-term success.
When there are too many sellers vying for the same customer base, it becomes challenging to differentiate your product and maintain a competitive edge. Remember the garlic press, the barbecue gloves, and the fidget spinner?
Instead, focus on finding a niche or subcategory with moderate competition, where you can offer unique value and attract loyal customers.
Rely on the experts to help
Amy is here to help. Plus, the Amazing in China trip will feature mentors and networking events to help you hear it from the best. These people have failed, so you don’t have to; they’ve excelled, so they can share their secrets with you.
Amy Wees: Product Sourcing Expert
If you’re looking for expert guidance on product sourcing for your Amazon business, Amy Wees is the go-to person.
As the founder of Amazing at Home and an experienced Amazon seller, inventor, and consultant, Amy has the knowledge and expertise to help you find profitable products to sell. She’s spoken around the globe on product sourcing – and she’s at the tip of innovation, using AI tools to simplify the process. She’s also the forerunner of The Mexico Trip, and a consultant for many Amazon sellers looking to scale their businesses up the proper way.
Whether you’re a beginner or an established brand, Amy’s private label course, ‘Concept to Launch,’ and her top five tips for product research will set you on the right path to success. Remember, you get access to her product sourcing courses with every purchase of an Amazing in China ticket to help you get thoroughly set for The Canton Fair.
Amazing in China will help demystify the Canton Fair
We’re talking about a space the size of several large airports with more than 60,000 vendors. That’s massive. Trying to navigate that on your own is pretty much looking for a needle in a haystack.
Take the courses before you go to prepare yourself
Get ready to level up your game and make the most out of your trip to the Canton Fair by taking Amazing at Home’s highly recommended courses before you go.
These courses will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the fair, find reliable suppliers, and make informed decisions.
With access to Amazing at Home’s product research and sourcing course library, you’ll be equipped to maximize your China product sourcing potential and propel your Amazon business forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I determine the demand and competition for a product before sourcing it for Amazon?
To determine the demand and competition for a product before sourcing it for Amazon, you can use market research tools like Zonguru, Data Dive, Jungle Scout and Helium10. These tools provide insights on sales trends, competitor analysis, and keyword data to help you make informed sourcing decisions. Head over to our resources page for discounts on these popular tools.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when sourcing products for Amazon FBA?
Common mistakes to avoid when sourcing products for Amazon FBA include a lack of product differentiation, engaging in price wars, having a unique design without a patent or copyright, and pricing products incorrectly.
How can I ensure the quality of the products I source before listing them on Amazon?
To ensure the quality of products you source before listing them on Amazon, thoroughly inspect them for any defects or damage. This will help avoid customer complaints and unsellable stock, ensuring a positive buying experience.
What are the best technology and automation tools available for market research and maximizing profits in product sourcing?
The best technology and automation tools for market research and maximizing profits in product sourcing on Amazon include Jungle Scout, Inventory Lab, Helium10, camelcamelcamel, Amazon Scanner App, SupplySpy, and the Amazon FBA calculator. In the concept to launch course, we also teach you to use non-Amazon tools for your market research to ensure you’re getting a broad variety of data.
What are the different inventory sourcing methods available, and which one is best suited for beginners or established brands?
The different inventory sourcing methods available include dropshipping, wholesale sourcing, retail, and online arbitrage, selling your own products, liquidation and auctions, and using virtual assistants and sourcing agents. The best method depends on your business’s needs and goals.
In conclusion, sourcing products to sell on Amazon requires careful consideration and strategic planning. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively source profitable products and maximize your profits.
Stay informed about your competition and rely on experts in the field to guide you. Remember to be mindful of your expenses and use technology and automation tools to streamline the sourcing process.
With these strategies in place, you can set yourself up for success on Amazon. So, head on over to the 134th Canton Fair with your head and heart in the right place – through adequate preparation, ready for the experts to guide you toward profitability!
Don’t forget to grab your tickets for Amazing in China before it’s too late – the fair is right around the corner!