Selling electronics on Amazon can be a profitable but seemingly daunting task. Electronics is one of the most competitive and cutthroat niches on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Nevertheless, this fierce competition proves value for the electronics seller.

If you’ve been considering selling electronics, you want to be fully equipped with the pros, the cons, and the ways to navigate the electronics world.

Why sell electronics on Amazon?

Electronics is one of the most exciting markets to get into. It’s constantly changing with new and trending items always at the forefront of Amazon’s bestseller lists. With virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even interconnected home security systems, you’re having a direct impact on your consumer’s quality of life.

Selling electronics pushes your business to have a prime spot on the wave into the future in both entertainment and technology.

Moreover, there are a lot of growth opportunities. The electronics sector is constantly changing, which means your business can consistently be expanding in tandem. You can start with one product and then sell ten other complementary products to add to your portfolio. It’s an easy market to upsell and bundle.

Plus, electronics are a global trend. What’s big in America is usually big in other countries as well. This gives you the opportunity to expand to new markets if you desire.

How To Sell Electronics On Amazon laptop showing amazon page selling electronics

What are the concerns of selling electronics?

Margins with electronics come in around 9% for positive earnings, but a number of companies have negative earnings and cash flow. This is because it’s such a competitive market with so many rival products.

Moreover, companies generally have to cushion their margins due to returns, theft, and damage, which are more common in electronics than other categories. Returns and claims can have a strong impact on the bottom line.

There is also always the concern of authenticity with selling electronics. China has a reputation for producing electronic knockoffs—though this is in majority a myth. Some companies produce knockoffs, but it’s easy to not work with these factories if you do your due diligence. Most electronics factories in China are legitimate; you just need to know how to find the right one.

Find the right electronics supplier with our Supplier Assessment. We will help you find legitimate sellers and then assist in obtaining samples, negotiating price, and drawing up quality-driven contracts.

How do you sell electronics legally?

Selling electronics is unique because there are a lot of regulations attached to them. These regulations come from the government, the brands, and with Amazon.

Government Restrictions

The government has cracked down on what kinds of electronics can and can’t be sold online, especially with a number of concerns in the past (like hoverboards catching fire).

Make sure you know all of the restrictions and regulations for your product in particular. You’ll want to be aware with the Federal Communications Commission’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to learn more about what you can sell legally.

A number of states have e-Waste laws as a means of protecting the environment and local residents. Thus, manufacturers or Amazon sellers are responsible for registering their electronic products with the state before they can be lawfully sold to any consumers in that area. This means that even if you are located in California, if you want to sell a product to someone in New York, you need to register your product for New York as well.

Learn more about these eco laws with Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse. You can see the selling and landfill bans by state or map.

Branding Restrictions

Additionally, a number of electronics companies, like Apple and Sony, have a severe hold over their brand. They restrict anyone from selling their products unless strictly authorized (and distributor status is rare in many cases).

This means you don’t always have access to the products you want to sell. Attempting to sell these products could leave you in hot water with regards to patent concerns and Amazon suspensions.

Learn more about how to lawfully import products from China here.

Amazon Restrictions

Amazon has some restrictions on electronics as well. There are notoriously a lot of electronics scammers on the internet. Thus, Amazon has cracked down to ensure all of their sellers and products are legitimized.

We’ve listed Amazon’s prohibited items below. Too often electronics sellers begin to source their goods—only to find out later that the products are prohibited. When it comes to electronics, the details are important.

How To Sell Electronics On Amazon prohibited symbol

Consider Amazon’s prohibited items below:

  • High frequency transceivers outside ARS bands
  • Products that affect traffic signals
  • Products that interfere with radio communications like cell, GPS, laser, PCS, radar, or WiFi jammer and radar shifters
  • Products without serial number
  • Power amplifiers for CB radios
  • Products that gain access to cable or satellite TV without permission like blocker devices, DSS emulators, programmed smart cards, smart card programmers, or guides on “how to” descramble gable
  • Class IIIB lasers (like laser projectors with emissions above 5mW)
  • Class IV lasers (industrial lasers)
  • Children’s toys with Class II lasers or higher
  • Video game controllers and devices that replace existing tech in a game
  • DVD duplicators
  • Modified Blu-ray players
  • Jail-broken or unlocked phones
  • Cell phone unlocking devices
  • Cell phone with bad ESNs (electronic serial numbers)
  • Modified micro SIM cards
  • Wireless devices (microphones) that operate in 700MHZ broadcast band
  • Decorative products and lights not compliant with 16 CFR 1120.3©
  • Extension cords not compliant with 16 CFR 1120.3(d)
  • Certain streaming media players
  • Any USB-C cable or adapter not compliant with “USB Implementers Forum Inc.” specifications

You’ll see a pattern here. Don’t sell items that encourage illegal activity, are outdated or expired, and are not traceable. This is often why selling used electronics can become a legal gray area.

What electronics should you sell?

If you’ve decided to sell electronics, it’s crucial that you choose the right product. Because technology is constantly changing, you want to ensure that the products you choose will work for several months at a time. You don’t want to pick a product that will go obsolete in 9 months, leaving you with unsold inventory and low revenue.

Furthermore, one concern for sellers is that electronics usually have a large minimum order quantity. This means that if you choose the wrong product, you’re stuck with 1,000 units in your inventory until you can find out what to do with them.

When choosing your initial product, consider future products as well. What other electronics would complement this? Upselling is huge in electronics, so you should take this into account when selecting your products. It’s a much better idea to choose to sell a video game console and all the possible video games than a singular type of USB adaptor.

To get you started on your electronics product selection, check out Amazon’s current electronics best sellers. Some common types of electronics to sell are:

  • Home security systems
  • Video games and accessories
  • Radar detectors (must be certified by FCC)
  • Scanning receivers and radios (FCC)
  • Low-power radio transmitters
  • Extended coverage high frequency transceivers
  • Cordless telephones (FCC)
  • Class 1 lasers like CD players
  • Class IM lasers like DVD players
  • Class II lasers like barcode scanners
  • Class 3R lasers like laser light show projectors
  • Video game controllers

Product choice is crucial in the electronics market. Don’t do it alone. Work with Ask Idea Sourcing for a comprehensive product assessment based on market trends, customer behaviors, and your brand portfolio.

How do you source electronics?

Where do you get the electronics to sell?

Some people buy used electronics and “flip” them. We don’t recommend this for Amazon because the risks of selling an outdated or broken item are high. Plus, the margins are low. People don’t want to pay full price for a refurbished item when they can buy a new one for just a little bit more.

Instead, there are two key ways to source your electronics legally and risk-free: private labeling and distributing.

If you want to sell a completely unique product, then you need to manufacture one. Often this means you’ll need to build your own invention and patent it. It could also mean that you produce a product with an open patent. In this case of private label, you want to ensure you choose the right manufacturer who will create legal, quality products and has the capacity to grow with you.

You can also choose to distribute products. You don’t have to worry about patents or infringement. You gain permission directly from the company to sell those products. This allows you to have instant brand recognition and marketing for your pre-made product. You’re also not worrying about logistics or operations because the company can help you manufacture that product. However, you usually have less control over your potential expansion, which can be limiting for most Amazon sellers.

Contact us to learn more about sourcing electronics.

The Bottom Line

Electronics is a competitive, restricted industry. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell in the electronics category. In fact, you can see immense profits if you:

  • Choose the appropriate product.
  • Ensure legality and mitigate restrictions on that product.
  • Find the perfect manufacturer of that product.

Ultimately, if you want to sell electronics, you need a sourcing partner to ensure legality every step of the way.

Contact Ask Idea Sourcing to start sourcing and growing your electronics business today.