The current state of Competition as an Amazon Private Label Seller

competition for amazonI’ve talked about competition before but I got another email recently. As I read it a couple of times, it started to aggravate me a little bit. I wanted to share some thoughts and just basically be able to discuss it here. Maybe it’s therapy for me, but hopefully it will helpful for everybody else.

Basically, the gist of the email was saying, “I think the Amazon market is full. I’ve been looking at starting an Amazon business for over a year and I’m not going to do it because I think it’s too full. What are your thoughts?” I sat there and read it a couple times and I realize that because I’m self-employed for over 25 years now and I’ve been in private labeling forever and thousands of products I’ve done over the different businesses and all that kind of stuff.

I’m thinking maybe I look at things a little bit differently than some people. I don’t know, maybe, but I started thinking is the market too full? Why would he think that? I started thinking that’s not anywhere near the case, but why would somebody think that? Now I’ve been doing private labeling 25 years, been in Amazon about 2 years now.

They certainly are different now than what they were a couple years ago when I started, even before that when you could throw up almost any item and you had a pretty decent chance if you get good pictures and good copy to be able to make money off those items.

It’s never been where you just throw everything up there and you make tons of money, that’s a misnomer. However, if you run into addresses like a good business and find a good product and market two years ago, there certainly were more things available to be able to put up. There were certainly less sellers than there are now.

However, I think sometimes since we’re all kind of in the Amazon community, we link everybody in their brother, next door neighbor and cousin are involved in the Amazon business.

I mean if you really look at those of us as an Amazon community, I have no idea how many total Amazon sellers, private label sellers like us there are, but out of the total Amazon sellers of the national brands, the other things, we’re just a drop in the bucket. We just happen to be around it and see it all the time.

greenWith that said, I think really the question is and what I really what to address today is is Amazon too full? Should you put a big effort into it going forward? I say I think the answer to that is yes.

I think we’re still at the very, very beginning of the growth of where this industry is going, but I think, too, you do have to approach business a little bit differently now than maybe you did two years ago, but really not all that much.

I think if you’re trying to do some of the standard items, like whether it be a garlic press or BBQ clubs or salt and pepper shakers, some of your typical type kitchen items, some of those are saturating.

However, I think, too, you should broaden what you’re thinking in being able to go out and do things whether it be in home improvement or the scientific categories or so many of the other different things. It’s funny. I do a lot of different coaching with the people of my Head Start course community at PA Head Start.

More times than not they want me to review their product or help them with their page. Their product that they have come up with is something that I would have never thought of in a thousand years.

I’m still thinking there are literally millions of products out there, it just takes a little bit more effort to be able to do that. If you’re an optimist, you look at that say, “That’s a barrier to entry,” because I know most people won’t do the work to be creative to find those products. If you’re a pessimist like the email I got, you’re thinking you’re Chicken Little and you think the sky is falling and you’re looking for a reason of why you won’t be successful.

I’m sitting here thinking, while that person took the time to write that email, I was making money on Amazon because I looked at it with a mindset of I don’t think it’s saturated. I will adjust and evolve and do what I need to do to keep things going within my business and it’s never been stronger than what it is right now.

fenceIf you’re on the fence and you’re thinking, gosh, is Amazon too full? Should I start? Here’s some things, just some food for thought. I read an article, I think it was early January, I guess it was, where it was saying that December 15, 2015, Amazon added 3 million new prime memberships.

The article went onto say that now in the United States, 1 out of every 5 households has a prime membership. If you figure there’s typically more than husband and wife or family or something that does this together on a prime membership, what that’s really telling you is that half of the household in the United States now have access to a prime membership. What that prime membership does, of course, is lock them into buying at Amazon.

I’m sitting here thinking not at any time in my life has there ever been one type of standard, one type of structure that has held so much of the buying public’s buying power, for lack of a better phrase. It went onto say that 1 out of every 10 purchases right now is made through an online purchase, that’s Amazon and everybody, not just Amazon.

It said in the next 5 years, it probably would be 2 in 10, 20% of purchases it would grow and double to be 20% over the next 5 yeas, which I think is pretty reasonable, pretty believable that that would happen. You know, who know what will. If anything, online purchases are going to continue to go up.

One other thing we don’t necessarily think about is that more Amazon sellers come into this, for every Amazon seller and I’m speculating. I don’t know the answer to this, but who knows, how many, 100 buyers come in, 1,000 buyers come in? New people are still coming into Amazon everyday and those who are already members are changing their buying habits to buy more.

If you’re on the fence about should you start an Amazon business, I’m under the belief that right now this is, I hate the phrase, “Once in a lifetime opportunity,” but I do think this is truly a once in a life scenario where if you had the right mindset and you believed that you could go in and carve out your piece of the pie, your own real estate here, your own digital real estate, I think there’s still a lot of room left. Is it easy? Nothing’s easy. Is it doable, I think is the better question and is it doable for you?

I think those are some things you have to go through, but if you don’t want to start an Amazon business because you’re afraid that it’s too saturated, then don’t.

However, I just would implore you to think through the process and realize there’s never going to be a scenario in your life where it is more doable than starting an Amazon Private Label business. Every now and then when I do these podcasts, I kind of like to talk about some of the mindset of some of the judgment, some of the decisions and things that we make.

In reality, learning how to do the products, learning how to run and manage the business is fairly straight forward, but what will separate you as a business owner, in any business, not only at Amazon, but any business, are the judgments you make, the mindset that you have, your ability to compete, your belief that you can compete in doing things. I’ve always been pretty fortunate. I’ve had enough success to know that I can compete, more times than not and I win.

Not every time, obviously, but I’m never afraid to compete and go in because I am able to pick good markets and good products. What I look at now is a little bit different than what I did a while back.

One of the good things is you’re starting to see some software come out now that not only tells you what products are selling, but also helps you find and identify products based on certain parameters or levels of competition and things that you used to have to do manually when I started a few years ago and over the course of my career.

I just personally believe the Amazon future is bright. I’m glad we’re here. I think we’re here at the right time and right place. If successanything, I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration today to reconsider what you’re doing whether you’re thinking about getting started or you’ve leveled out and you’re thinking about scouting your business, I think you should certainly try and do that.

If you’d like to get started in selling on Amazon and creating your own Private Label products, I put together some free training for you. You can go to or you’ll see the link here on this page if you’re watching this on YouTube.

That will give you a little bit more detail on how to go about finding your markets and products and what some of the process is. As always, I appreciate you being here whether it’s watching on YouTube or listening on iTunes or reading on the blog. Thanks again. See you next time.



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Mark Scott Adams is a serial entrepreneur who has started, built and sold six businesses.  He has sold millions of dollars of physical products on and offline over the last two decades.  He is currently a speaker, author and successful Amazon Seller.  To take his free amazon sellers training click here.   To Get his free product checklist list click here


  • Christian

    July 29, 2016

    Do you happen to know of any apps or websites that show a historical sales chart for a specific product. I want to see how a product I am looking into sells through the differentime seasons. Thank you


    • Mark Adams

      July 30, 2016

      Google trends may show you categories….However realize amazon doesn’t release individual sales numbers