Have you been bitten by the Amazon bug and are hoping to make it as a private label seller? There’s been a lot of hype about how going Amazon private label will make you rich. But it’s not THAT easy to find a lucrative niche and brand a fast-selling product successfully. Making it at Amazon private label is an art form – here are some strategies that you can use in order to growth hack yourself to private label success in the long-term.

Find the right product to sell

The biggest success factor of your private label business is your product. So, how do you find a great product to private label and sell? Think about the following product criteria when doing your research:

1. Cost and price point of the product
2. Logistics of shipping the product
3. Competition
4. Private labeling/branding potential of that product.

Here’s how to find something good to sell:

  • Find a niche within a niche – and stay clear of all the ones people do on popular Amazon growth courses (fitness, pets etc). Use an Amazon keyword research tool like
  • Sonar to help broaden your understanding of your niche and find new products to potentially stock. (Remember, private label isn’t always the best option).
  • Know of a seller doing well? Go spy on their other products; they might be onto something. AmazonBasics also often enter lucrative niches, so follow their scent trail to find other products that are likely to sell.
  • Be weird and different – offer products that people really need and can only get from you – be super-specific with your targeting.
  • Product dimensions have a big impact on shipping costs – try to keep your products within the right dimensions (18 x 14 x 8 inches is the standard size). Here are some more tips on finding the ideal Amazon product.

Compete for the top spot

Private labeling takes other people jumping on your listing out of the equation, but you’re still competing with the entire Amazon market. In order to grow your private label sales you have to compete for the best product spot.

  • Add a feature or functionality to your product that no other seller offers. It could be a new color, a safety feature, or an add-on. Just slapping on a new logo does NOT make for a new product – be more ambitious.
  • Going for a generic product that loads of other sellers are selling is not a way to grow a long-term business. You have to either sell the best or the cheapest version of your product – you’re better off going for best.

Work with Amazon to please customers

Amazon is very protective about its brand; Amazon cares about customer satisfaction more than anything. Want to be liked by Amazon? Work with them to satisfy customers and increase your chances of success as a seller.

  • Be consistent and offer great customer service (make sure that deliveries are always on time, get good seller & product reviews, and maintain healthy stock levels). All this will help you build a trusted seller profile that Amazon will be happy to share with its customers.
  • Get to grips with Amazon SEO to be discovered by your target market and maximize your product’s potential.
  • Fulfilment by Amazon is so worth the investment – your fulfilment services can’t compete with Amazon’s robots and flying warehouses. Plus, people are drawn to the convenience of Prime – sending your products via Amazon means that you’ll enjoy a sales uplift.

Get more out of your suppliers

Suppliers will literally make or break your business, so make sure you work with the right ones!

  • China is always great place to invest in with loads of awesome deals for ambitious sellers. Some Asian market products are slowly gaining a foothold over here (like facemasks and matcha tea), so don’t be scared off by cultural or language barriers.
  • Working with domestic suppliers can also be an advantage, but it does depend on your niche; and whether you can get a good price from domestic suppliers.
  • Find suppliers who can offer you more than one interesting product so that you can invest more in them over time. You’ll get a better service if you become more valuable to their company.
  • Trust your gut – look at retailer catalogs and supplier directories for any wacky or interesting products that pull you in. Don’t just go off what people are already doing – think about what you can do next.
  • Always negotiate – even in the beginning. You’ll be able to get them to put their minimum order quantities down, or be more flexible with shipping. Always try to negotiate a better deal – there’s pretty much always wiggle room on pricing.

Leverage industry knowledge

Industry research is a great way to grow faster than your competition. Become an expert in a product, and you’ll be the go-to guy for your customers.

  • Sell something that you already know well, and save yourself time and money. (Or spend time intensively researching a niche before you dive in). Use your industry knowledge to write better product pages.
  • Dealing with a familiar product means that you can make smarter buying decisions, write better product copy, and generally serve customers better.
  • A product that you know and use yourself is more likely to hold your interest and keep you engaged with the business. It might even lead to an interesting side project – who knows?

Get wise with your capital

You will need startup capital to help you buy stock and scale – save up some money before you kick off your Amazon business.

  • Look for investment wherever you can, or save up on the side while your work. You need to have a financial buffer zone to be safe. Calculate your profit margins accurately and always factor in a worst-case scenario. What if you can’t shift your stock? Can it still be liquidated (and at what cost)?
  • Think about expansion carefully. It can be tempting to try to get in as many orders as possible, but you’ll be hit by the administrative burden of fulfilling all those orders.
  • You might be better off investing your time and money in high-ticket, less frequently bought items instead.
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin and immediately jump on other marketplaces like eBay and Rakuten as well – there are a lot of tax implications that come with selling abroad. Domestic market, or one market, is probably best to start off with. Test out other channels cautiously.

Invest in branding

Want to be serious about your business growth? Why not grow a brand while you’re at it?

  • Private labeling is not something that people get into with the view of building a solid brand, so investing in a great brand concept might make you more competitive in your vertical.
  • Remember, private label is the first baby step on the journey towards a brand. A real brand is more than just slapping a logo on a product: eventually you’ll be investing in a website, branded copywriting, custom designs etc.
  • Sound overwhelming? Branding doesn’t need to be expensive – you can get a good logo and solid label designs from freelancer sites for not a lot of money at all. What counts more is the idea and messaging behind the brand, as well as your customer service commitment. No one will know whether you got your logo done on Fiverr (unless it really looks like it cost a fiver), but people can tell if you haven’t put any thought into it.

Beware of the easy win

There are loads of tools, software, and resources that claim to be the ‘key’ to Amazon seller success. You have to be cautious about anything that seems too good to be true – it often is.

  • All these expensive tools and courses are often a way for other sellers to monetize what they’ve learnt – but their lessons may not work for you.
  • Anything that promises astronomical sales in a matter of days is probably not a viable way to grow your brand. If it was SO easy, everyone would be millionaires.

Where are you headed?

Think about what your goals are as an Amazon seller. What is your five year plan? Where do you want to end up?

  • Do you want to end up selling directly to Amazon? It’s possible, but it’s also a long road to take – if it’s something you want, invest in a cohesive seller brand.
  • If your Amazon private label is going well… Why not go fully private label and open up an online store on as a side hustle? Ecommerce in 2017 is all about embracing multichannel, and it would give you a chance to potentially diversify and futureproof your brand.
  • It’s hard work – don’t enter the Amazon game lightly. Make sure it’s something you really want to do. Read around the topic, listen to expert podcasts, and get clued up on your niche.

Hopefully you’ve got some new strategies to help you grow. Start small, work hard, and you’ll be fine. What is your main business goal for 2017?

Written by EcommerceTips
Patrick Foster, ecommerce coach & entrepreneur.