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An Expert’s Guide on What Not to Sell on Amazon



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My name is Eric Walsh, and I am a 7-figure Amazon seller dedicated to sharing my knowledge with aspiring sellers, leading them to the same financial and personal freedom I have attained with Amazon. After years of selling experience, my fair share of failures, and eventually, great success, I have learned a lot about what products tend to sell well and what products flop, especially for beginners. Here’s a list of products I recommend against selling: 

  1. Cell phone cases
  2. Though I have had success with cell phone cases, they are truly a nightmare to sell. I highly recommend against offering them. There are a couple main reasons for this: 
  • They quickly become obsolete and outdated because there is always a new model coming out. You’ll have an excess of unsellable inventory that you’ll likely never get rid of if you’re not paying very close attention to the quantities you’re ordering. With new iPhone models coming out pretty much every year, you just created yourself a ridiculous number of SKUs and overhead.
  • Many people don’t have a clue what model iPhone they actually have. A customer may think they have an iPhone 11, but in fact, they have an iPhone 11 pro, so they receive a case that doesn’t fit. This leads to negative reviews like, “The wrong item shipped,” even though it wasn’t your fault—they just didn’t pay attention to the listing! They return the case and you’ve lost out on the shipping; hence you’re losing your margin every time. If this happens often, your account may start to get flagged and your listings deactivated for negative customer interaction. 
  1. Products with size variations

I wouldn’t recommend selling anything that has size variations—t-shirts, pants, shoes, cell phone cases, etc. An alternative: Sell a hat that comes in red, blue, black, and white. Because it’s a unisex hat and one size fits all, it’s a lot easier to manage, a lot less inventory to buy, and there’s a very low risk of it become obsolete in the future.  

  1. Electronics

If you are a beginner just starting out selling on Amazon, avoid selling electronic items. Even something as simple as a small, battery-operated meat thermometer. My mom purchased one of those for the turkey this past Thanksgiving, and the product she received did not work, so naturally, she returned it. Now the seller has to go after their supplier to get their replacements out of China (or wherever your supplier is located), they’ve lost the money on shipping and returns, and they’ve received negative reviews. Electronic items are simply not worth the headache for beginner sellers.

  1. Heave or oversized items

Heavy or oversized items can be much more expensive to ship and can take a long time to arrive. You have to have all of the fees calculated when it comes to Amazon storage. These are obstacles I’d recommend beginners avoid when they’re just starting our selling on Amazon. You want to minimize your risk and maximize your reward, especially as a beginner.

  1. Fragile items

Finally, beginner Amazon sellers should avoid selling fragile items. Don’t bother selling a wine glass or something breakable that can be damaged. These items require more money for extra packaging, and no matter how well you package it, it could get knocked around inside the UPS or Fed-ex truck and break during shipment. If customers do get the item intact and then it breaks when they wash it, they can report back to Amazon that it arrived already broken (trust me, this has happened to me many times). 

In my Genius Academy Masterclass, I teach my students that once you become a seasoned pro who understands all the ins and outs of successfully selling on Amazon, you can begin to sell these products. I called this strategy “going against the grain.” Once you learn how to make ordinary, everyday products successful, you can apply this strategy to the more complicated products, doing what most or others are not willing to do, hence “going against the grain.” I’m certainly not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t sell these products, I just don’t recommend any beginner start there.  

Now that you know what not to sell, you’re probably wondering what TO sell. Remember, before purchasing any product from China, you need to make sure that you can sell under its category within Amazon. For example, if you were to sell a product in the toys category, it may need to be certified by a facility in the United States, and you’ll then need to provide that certificate to Amazon before you can become authorized to sell the product under that category. Before investing any money, make that you contact Amazon to ensure you can sell that product and know the steps involved to make it happen. 

My biggest recommendation to beginner Amazon sellers is to research and do your due diligence. If you try to take shortcuts, you may lose. Selling on Amazon can give you a massive amount of income and freedom, but it isn’t a get rich quick scheme—it’s a real business and needs to be approached as such.

This seems like a lot of information to take in, but learning from an expert makes becoming a successful Amazon seller much simpler. As a 7-figure Amazon seller, I have advanced knowledge of all the small details that may get lost in translation for a beginner just starting out. My Genius Academy Masterclass teaches aspiring Amazon sellers not only how to find homerun potential products, but the step-by-step process of how to make sure you are doing it all within Amazon’s guidelines and don’t run into any technical roadblocks on the way to success.

If you want to build a passive income that can lead to total financial freedom as a successful Amazon seller, sign up for Eric Walsh’s Genius Academy Masterclass here.

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