7 Products Amazon Sellers Should Avoid and What to Do if You’re Already Selling Them

Are you trying to pinpoint what to sell on Amazon? Some products are certainly better to sell than others. In this article, we will share products that you should avoid selling and what you can do if you are already selling them. When you check the stats for which products will make bank, make sure to also keep in mind the product’s sustainability and ability to be the center of your brand story. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, building a brand is essential to your business’s longevity, customer loyalty, and more, so you’ll want to make sure your products reflect that.

Many eCommerce sellers see themselves as plain old sellers who just sell whatever they think will make loads of cash, but that mentality is limiting and not to mention exhausting. When you’re careful about selecting your product offerings to reflect your brand, people will stick around longer and you’ll ultimately be more successful.

Here, we will share various ways you can pivot into selling different but related products that fit with your brand. We want to empower you with knowledge of what you’re up against and the best ways to mitigate your situation.

If you are currently selling any of these products, don’t fret and read on!

7 Products That You Should Avoid Selling

Fidget Spinners; No matter how satisfying they are.

Fidget spinners were a big moneymaker at one point but then the market crashed. Fad and seasonal products may generate many sales short-term or during specific times of the year. However, it may not be cost-effective when you have to invest resources into sourcing seasonal products that only sell for a short period of time. There is also the challenge of handling excess or obsolete stock once the fad fades. 

Tip: Avoid fads and seasonal products if possible. If you are already selling a fad product, find ways to tweak or update your products to make them more timeless. For example, some sellers have updated their fidget spinners to include the finger poppers all the kids are playing with nowadays.

Cell Phone Cases; No matter how common.

They quickly become outdated because new models are constantly coming out. You will likely have an excess inventory of cases that are outdated and will be harder to get rid of. An additional factor to consider is that people often order the wrong phone case size and then will leave a negative review as a result. To top it off, this category is one of the most competitive on Amazon. 
Tip: Unless you can come up with something remarkable, you should avoid selling from categories that are over-saturated, like cell phone accessories. Already sell phone cases? Find a way to stand out and do your due diligence to research how much inventory to order.

Milestone Blanket; There are other ways to celebrate a milestone.

Another example of a niche in which there are many sellers carrying milestone blankets that look pretty similar to each other.

Tip: Differentiate your products from other sellers so you are not selling the same product as everyone else. Improve the product, add a feature, fix a problem or bundle it with something else. If you are selling a milestone product, make your blanket unique and of value, for example, better materials, color change, stain proof, etc. 

Disposable Coffee Cups; I know, surprising!

The price point and sales are fantastic, but again it is very difficult to differentiate and make your product stand out. Coffee cups are generally pretty similar and it is harder to stand out amongst the others. 

Tip: Offer your products for a cheaper price or with a unique feature. 

Lock Pick Set; These get tricky.

Lock picks are often restricted and need special permission to sell. Amazon doesn’t want any liability on its hands and since you can use lock pick devices for crime, Amazon restricts selling them. 

Tip: Do your research beforehand and check out Amazon’s restricted products lists. Sometimes things that look innocent, like sky lanterns, are prohibited to sell on Amazon.

Vitamin C Products; There is so much out there.

So many brands on Amazon sell Vitamin C products. To successfully launch a new Vitamin C product you’d have to offer special discounts daily to stimulate and increase your sales. Not to mention that competition is so intense that it’s difficult to compete with those big brands out there and it would cost you a small fortune.

Tip: You can always do some quick research using various tracking tools to see how saturated a product is on Amazon and stay in the know. If the category is over-saturated, find ways to stand out among the others. 

Clothing with Size Variations; Don’t end up in the Amazon return dungeon.

Products that come in size variations could be a big hassle to deal with due to constant returns and exchanges. Don’t get caught in the Amazon returns dungeon, unless your products are niche enough.

Tip: If you have the option, create unisex fits. Or narrow down your size inventory.  It will be a lot easier to manage, and a lot less inventory to buy. 

Wrapping up: 

There you have it, those are items you want to avoid selling and strategies you can use if you do sell them. In summary, If your product idea is unique, you’ll see Amazon product sales take off. This happens when sellers see a market need and create a feature that no one else has, or is marketing the product strongly. By making small changes, you can scale your business to the next level. 

Nothing is black and white and marketplace product trends are constantly evolving. Rather than getting discouraged, utilize this information to create a growth-minded business plan to stay ahead of the game. Also, don’t forget to stay on top of the latest research tools. Making small changes to your products can be a real game-changer, and if you want award-winning advice, reach out to us for a strategy session.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Ptex Group, the Let’s Talk Business podcast, and the Let's Talk Exits podcast and blog. He's been dedicated to building brands and advising business owners for the past 20 years. More recently, he has started educating and advising within the Amazon seller and e-commerce entrepreneur space.

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