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How to Determine if Your Product Category is TOO Competitive


I've been selling on Amazon for about a year, but I'm still pretty small scale and learning a ton. I've had a few products take off and a number of products that haven't been that successful no matter what I try. I have a lot of new products I'm going to be launching over the next few weeks and I"m trying to determine if I continue to invest into some of my slower movers with potential but low sales or if I refocus all of my efforts into my new products which based on my unicorn smasher research should have much more success.

Specifcally my initial assortment was mostly running armbands. They were inexpensive to get into and get my feet wet. I've had a good amount of success with my Note 4 version and my S6 version, but have been unable to get any real traction on my iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 5 version. I always haven't had much luck with the running belts I've been selling. These pages are pretty old at this point and never really caught fire. The margins are thin and I don't really want to keep investing in them because I'm not sure they will ever really take off.

So what does everyone think? Do I refocus my efforts entirely on my new products and just sell through my remaining inventory in these products or is there still hope that they can break through and become winners?

I've provided a link to my seller page if you would like to see my assortment. Sorry I'm not sure how to shorten the URL.


  • I personally recommend to fail fast and fail often.

    If you honestly feel that you have put in just as much effort on the iPhone products as you did to the Samsung and the iPhone products are taking up too much of your time then what is stopping you from moving on?

    How much time have you spent on trying to make the iPhone products successful compared too how much time it would have taken you to bring a more viable product to market?

    Also, there are tons of URL shorteners out there. My personal favorite is

  • I always opt to ditch what's not working and scale what does. If you aren't optimistic about the iPhone versions (a super competitive niche to begin with) and are already planning on launching new products, your efforts are better spent on what is currently working and what you believe will work in the future.

    In addition to Unicorn Smasher, here are some more resources on how to evaluate products:

    AWESOME StartupBros Guide

    Incredibly Thorough, Multi-Part Guide by Shopify on Finding and Evaluating Products
  • dswederdsweder
    edited January 2016
    Hey @BPN03

    I would take a closer look at your product and see if it is a "commodity". If it is a commodity then ranking in the top of your category is important for success. The iphone accessory market is really saturated and unless you are really differentiated it may be good to move out of it.

    There is some great information on this thread that may help you frame the no-go decision on your product mix better.

    @Travis_Jamison goes into detail on three things

    1. Page rankings
    2. Go and No-Go decisions
    3. When and if to stop using promotions.

    Good Luck.
  • Thanks everyone for the resources. Some of these seem like they could be extremely useful. As for why I've kept trying to make these work I think it's just inexperience. I like the fail fast and fail often mantra. I may need to start moving faster.

    Thanks again!
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