Do You Need a Niche to Start Selling Successfully on Amazon?

by Lisa Suttora on August 3, 2011

Ever since I introduced our new 2-part series  on “How to Integrate Amazon into Your Business Model”, the #1 question I’ve received is about what to sell on Amazon…

“Lisa, I’m interested in selling on Amazon, but I don’t have a niche.  (Or my niche is not represented on Amazon.) Do I need a niche FIRST to sell successfully on Amazon?”

It’s a really good question and the answer may surprise you…

You  don’t need a niche to start selling successfully on Amazon.

In fact, waiting to find the perfect niche before opening an Amazon sales channel will only delay your success.

Products First, Niche Second

When you start selling on Amazon, think of it from a product based standpoint.  You are bringing product to the Amazon marketplace, supplying in-demand inventory to their customers.

Your primary goal with inventory is:

1. To determine what Amazon buyers want to purchase

2. Source that product

3. Look at the margins

4. Make the decision to list

For example,yesterday I sourced some Monster High Dolls to sell on Amazon. This is a super hot brand of dolls that will be a best seller at Christmas. In fact, I talked about the popularity of Monster High Dolls in my recent 2011 Hot Holiday Products: Sneak Preview interview  on eBay Radio.

Using Arbitrage Sourcing, I picked up a few new styles of  MH dolls, some brand new doll sets, and the hot off the presses doll accessories. I also found a new offshoot product line from Monster High.

Because I know these are extremely popular toys, I sourced with the intent to turn them over quickly and make a profit.

I didn’t spend time weighing whether or not this is a good long-term niche to get into.

For now, I’m going to capitalize on their popularity, sell them on the world’s fastest growing marketplace and get this revenue stream going while I consider my next move.

If You Already Sell In a Niche

If you already sell in a niche on eBay or from your own website, the first step is to determine whether or not those products can be sold on Amazon as well.

Anytime you can sell the same inventory on more than one marketplace, you’re leveraging the sourcing work you’ve already done.

For example, if you sell Nachtmann vases on eBay, you can also sell that same inventory on Amazon.

Listing your inventory on eBay and Amazon gives you the opportunity to get your inventory in front of millions of new customers and increase your sales on existing products.

If you sell in a niche that is not represented on Amazon, you’ll need to start with the first scenario I outlined – looking at selling on Amazon from a product based standpoint.

You can then build out your niche from there, or continue to source as a “Deal Scout” looking for great inventory to sell in multiple Amazon categories.

Move Fast, Sell Quickly

Unlike a website which requires considerable financial investment, a pre-established niche, SEO and content marketing (and that’s just to get you started) the purpose of selling on Amazon is to take advantage of the millions of customers flocking to Amazon’s global sites every day, snapping up products at record rates.

Hockey great Wayne Gretsky said “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

The ecommerce puck is definitely at Amazon. With a 51% growth rate, their fastest growth in 10 years – the 3rd party merchant market places now represents a staggering 36% of all products sold.

Amazon is not a magic button or the only place/way to sell online. But it is the fastest growing ecommerce marketplace and is clearly dominating ecommerce sales.

The smart business owner can’t ignore this sales channel.

Channel Advisor CEO Scot Wingo recently said:

“This quarter provided more mounting evidence that Amazon is essentially running away with market share in e-commerce.

Consequently, we believe retailers urgently need to think of an Amazon Strategy – partner, compete, co-opetition?  Amazon is becoming so big and growing so fast, you almost can’t afford not get on this train.”

I agree with him 100%.

What is your Amazon strategy?

If you’re ready to “skate where the puck will be”, I’ll show you several different Amazon strategies in my new 2-part audio series “How to Integrate Amazon into Your Business Model.

You’ll learn how to fast-track your success,  including a way to free up your time, sell more products, and take advantage of the Amazon Revolution!

You’ll also learn the latest tips, strategies and tactics for selling on Amazon. Including insider information from the recent  2011 Amazon Sellers Conference!

There is an Amazon Revolution happening! And you need to be a part of it!

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