How to Zig when everyone else Zags

Being an Amazon Seller myself, I’ve recently noticed a great deal of advertisements telling me how I can make millions of dollars in profit on Amazon without quitting my day job or buying inventory or seemingly any effort at all.

Sounds a bit like a pyramid scheme, right? When you keep hearing about “an amazing opportunity” like this, it either makes you nervous because you could be missing out, or nervous because so many people are caught up in a Gold Rush mentality.

Not surprisingly, all the Amazon FBA Gurus out there usually push the same process & strategy. It's easy to conclude that many people will start selling the same products and using the same techniques as everyone else.

The current trend is private labelling, using Amazon FBA. The common process outlined in these courses/webinars/eBooks is:

  1. Identify high-selling products using BSR (best seller rank), triangulate this with competitiveness of other players by looking at the number of reviews.

  2. Only consider selling products which are lightweight, not breakable, within a certain price range, and have mass-market appeal.

  3. Find a manufacturer in China using Alibaba. Make some small changes to an existing product that they already make, such as color, to 'differentiate' your product.

  4. Import and sell the product via FBA.

Obviously this is a simplification of the process, but I outline it here to point out that most of the "goldrush" that's currently happening is by people following this process.

So why not think outside the box and try things that others are not?

  1. Instead of looking at Chinese factories on Alibaba, why not look at manufacturers in a country other than China who can make you something different? And, as an added benefit, avoid having your product ripped off by your Chinese manufacturer.  

  2. Instead of only considering small & light products, why not look at items which are larger, more complicated, and heavy? Those can still be very profitable, but most other people are scared of selling them.

  3. Making your own product is different to what most people are doing.

  4. Instead of looking only at mass-market consumer products that millions of people use everyday, why not look at un-sexy niches like industrial products or medical durable goods? I bet you that most people don't think of those when dreaming up what private label product to sell. But those are billion dollar industries with low price elasticity.

Is there an Amazon FBA goldrush? Certainly. Will those sellers who are creating basic, "me-too" private label products using the same methodology as everyone else going to have a sustainable business to run in a few years? Unlikely.

Even more reason to dance to the beat of your own drum. If you actually contribute something valuable and unique in the marketplace, people will respond.