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What types of tools do private label sellers really need? Well, we’ve rounded up some recommendations on core categories for the rapidly growing seller.
Amazon sells over 200 million products. So what’s one more? Product research tools leverage science to find the perfect product when you are looking to branch out, cutting through a plenitude of possibilities, bearing in mind customer demand, competition, and margin opportunity.
Of the many Amazon tools to choose from, Jungle Scout has some big supporters, like Steve Chou of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. Their spin? Huge databases of Amazon products, together with anticipated monthly sales, seller rank and more, all exportable to CSV for even more data crunching. Together with tools for coming up with new products and competition monitoring, it’s easy to see why they’re ahead of the crowd.
Also highly recommended is Amasuite 4, that uses powerful filtering to trawl through Amazon product sub-categories. As a bonus, it also helps find both reviewers and product reviews, to improve product rankings.
Found the perfect niche and now looking to source international? Most Amazon FBA sellers use Alibaba to connect with agents, suppliers, and manufacturers, and probably also use Aliexpress for sourcing products. Aliexpress should be used as a stepping stone to try out a new product, making a small order to test the market.
But another great option (in superior English) is Global Sources, who juggle hosting huge sourcing trade shows in Hong Kong for specific categories (fashion, electronics, home goods), and running a large-scale website for online sourcing. Depending on the product, it may make more sense to try sourcing in India, in which case TradeIndia should do the trick.
International Freight and Shipping
One of the biggest obstacles to finding new sources is having to work out how to get the goods from overseas ready for sales fulfillment in America. This scares away many sellers … but as the British SAS say, “who dares, wins”.
Freight companies can be backward so it can take days to get quotes from forwarders, making it hard to compare prices. Our company Freightos launched an online freight marketplace to help you compare and book air and ocean quotes from multiple freight providers. Additionally, we recently released a freight calculator for Amazon FBA sellers in order to get freight estimates from anywhere in the world directly to FBA warehouses.
When it comes to sales fulfillment, the UPS Savings Program for Amazon Sellers is a great program. For an Ecommerce Seller that’s graduated beyond, there are literally hundreds of trucking carriers to choose from, and their rates can vary dramatically. Finding the best fit, and negotiating a discount for bulk shipping, could mean a lot of research. Shippo is a highly recommended shipping platform (API and app) that connects with leading freight forwarders at discounted parcel rates and bulk discounts. It is clearly a winning proposition, and the company has recently raised $7 million to further its goal of becoming “Twilio for shipping”.
This is probably more applicable for arbitrage sellers, who regularly need images. Expanding businesses lose the time that’s needed to get images to up to Amazon’s requirements. Fortunately, there are many cheap speedy services to that can help out. Upgraded Images is a highly recommended service. They know what Amazon is looking for in their product images, and provide high-quality images at a reasonable price.
Those on a budget should check out Up work, to connect with photographers. Similarly, those on a tight budget, looking for artwork for packaging or promotional activity, should check out Fiverr to connect with freelance graphic artists. One tip though – Fiverr sellers tend to nickel and dime on licensing images, while some have a propensity to copy material from other designers. Buyer beware!!
What seller doesn’t want to know where their competitor is sourcing from? Perhaps the competitor’s edge comes from better sourcing. Sellers branching out to a new product can save themselves the cost of a trip to China to vet suppliers if they knew where their new competitor’s product source.
It is actually possible, but cumbersome, to access public import records for free, by using the US Customs Import Data tool. Fortunately, there is a stack of companies that republish or repackage this information. Two that are highly recommended are Panjiva and Import Genius. Panjiva users can very quickly find and evaluate legitimate businesses and spot trends. Import Genius users quickly evaluate suppliers, find sales prospects and monitor competitors. Import Genius even keeps its users up with the play, sending product-relevant email alerts.
Camelcamelcamel has to be the most recommended pricing tool in this category. It returns the price of most Amazon listings, shows how that price has changed and shows the extent to which price movements have been influenced to become an Amazon seller. It also provides best seller rankings. What’s more, even users on a free account can sign up for email alerts (for when the price drops below a certain amount). But if you’re looking for automated pricing management with algorithmic bidding, look into options like SellerPrime or Feedvisor – both highly recommended services for intelligent algorithmic pricing.
Amazon has opened up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs. For astute sellers, tools like these expand those opportunities even further. No knight goes to battle without a sword; no seller should battle without the right outsourced services, plugins and SaaS platforms.