Six Product Types to NOT Import and Sell

These are my personal rules that I stick to when I’m looking for a product to import. Don’t let this set of criteria confuse you. These are not set-in-stone ground rules. I know many people who have been successful with a product that breaks at least one of these rules. I am simply showing you my thought process. If you find a product that fits one of these categories and it is a good product and one you feel confident you can market, then by all means make an exception.

·      Nothing “oversized” by Amazon’s standards. The reason is because oversized products take up more space and can be heavier. This will cause shipping prices to be much more expensive. Furthermore, if you sell via Amazon FBA, they limit your inventory storage to 500 units and charge ridiculous storage fees. While this creates a great barrier of entry against your prospective competition, it may offer too many obstacles for someone just starting out.

·      No electronics. Many of my colleagues are making a killing with electronic items. I just prefer to minimize the number of returns or defective products I will encounter, so I recommend establishing yourself before going this route.

·      Nothing breakable. Use your best judgment about what’s breakable. I try not to choose products that are prone to damage during shipping.

·      No consumables (supplements, skin care, etc.). We are talking about importing here. Many other countries don’t have the same standards as we do for consumables and the FDA adds a new layer of challenges in customs.

·      Nothing that comes in varying sizes or colors. Now, this is a tough one. I actually have a product that comes in varying colors, but starting out, simple is better. In the beginning you’ll probably only be able to afford one color or size, so you may lose out to your competition if they have more of a selection.

·      Try to stay away from anything with moving parts. For the same reason I stay away from electronics and breakable things, I simply want to minimize returns of damaged and defective goods.



Anthony Lee