Dead Zones- Best Seller Rankings To Avoid
One of the most important metric used in the Amazon selling business is Best Seller Rank, or BSR. You can find them listed on all items at the bottom of a sales page under ”Additional Information” (usually listed here, see image 1).
The reason BSRs are so helpful is because we can use them to research how well each product sells in its particular category at any given time. So, if we are searching through that big list of products that our suppliers send us, we can use these numbers to quickly make a solid decision on purchasing the right inventory.
The key is: the smaller the BSR the better a product sells. For example, if I have a Batman action figure ranked at 5,000 and a Hot Wheels toy car that is ranked at 6,000, then the Batman action figure will theoretically sell faster/more than the Hot Wheels toy car. Remember, the faster we sell, the better our Return On Investment.
Sounds simple right? Well, not quite. We aren’t done yet.
Now, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say, “OK, I will not buy any product that is listed below a BSR of 5,000.” Yes, that would be easy. However, remember when we were discussing parent categories earlier? Well, this is where these categories come into play.
A BSR of 5,000 might be excellent in a category like Toys & Games where there are hundreds of thousands of products being sold monthly. But, in a category such as Camera & Photo, where there isn’t as much product diversity, that rank of 5,000 isn’t as excellent all of a sudden. Once a category’s BSR gets to a certain number, the product just won’t sell (quickly enough, or not at all). Once a product reaches that point, it‘s in a "dead zone." The trick is to know about where these dead zones occur in each category and that is what this post is all about!
To the left, you will see a table with each parent category on Amazon and where their dead zones are located. Any number provided on that table constitutes the sales threshold of that specific category.
For example in the Software category, if you find an item that has a BSR anywhere from 1-1,140, you can expect some level of sales per month from that product. Any number above that 1,140 rank, you are in that category’s dead zone and should not expect many sales (if any at all). We did not include data on the “Books”, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry”, “Kindle Store”, and “Wathces”” categories for various reasons. Click HERE to find out why.
Be advised that these BSR dead zone numbers will change over the long run (years) depending on the number of items that are selling well in the market. This change tends to happen over the long term rather than the short.
The final thing to be aware of is that these numbers constitute expectations, not reality. So, if you have a BSR that happens to fall under one of these thresholds, please be sure to continue your research on whether or not that specific product is in fact profitable for you to buy (REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE PROFITABLE!). We use these numbers as a bench mark to start the research process or eliminate a product BEFORE spending too much time on it.
How does each category compare to one another? How do you think this might effect your decisions when purchasing product or finding suppliers?
In part two of our discussion on using Best Seller Rank, we will discuss comparing dead zones and number of sales per month to how many sellers there are to determine purchase volume.
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