Selling on Amazon presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses alike. With millions of active buyers, Amazon offers a vast marketplace to showcase and sell your products. However, not all products are suited for this platform. Knowing which products to avoid can save you from potential legal issues, financial losses, and damage to your seller reputation. This blog will delve into the types of products you should steer clear of when selling on Amazon, helping you navigate the marketplace successfully and sustainably.


Reasons to Avoid Selling Groceries and Commodities on Amazon:

  • Customers often choose Amazon for groceries based on price, leading to slim profit margins.
  • Competing on price makes building a sustainable business challenging.
  • Commodities like staple items (rice, dal, pulses, almonds) have similar prices everywhere.
  • Selling these items on Amazon involves additional costs like commission, courier charges, and storage fees.
  • Groceries and commodities should be avoided, but value-added products can be sold.


Reasons to Avoid Selling Electronics on Amazon:

  • Consumers hesitate to buy electronics from unknown brands due to trust issues.
  • Established brands invest millions in R&D, ensuring quality and reliability.
  • Many Chinese manufacturers provide subpar products that may lead to negative reviews.
  • Building trust with customers in the electronics category is difficult for new sellers.
  • While established sellers can succeed in electronics, newcomers are advised to avoid it.

Products With Variable Size

Reasons to Avoid Selling Products with Size Variation:

  • Products with size variations, like apparel, result in a high number of returns.
  • Return percentages can significantly impact profit margins.
  • Customers often choose sizes based on photos and previous purchases, leading to sizing issues.
  • Even with size charts and videos, customers may not follow recommendations, increasing returns.
  • The return percentage remains high, affecting overall profitability.

Fragile Goods

Reasons to Avoid Selling Fragile Products:

  • Easily breakable products can be damaged during shipping and handling.
  • Sellers have limited control over how courier services handle fragile items.
  • Fragile products are prone to breakage during transit, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Selling non-fragile items reduces the risk of damage and ensures customer satisfaction.

Perishable Products

Reasons to Avoid Selling Perishable Products:

  • Products with a short expiry date (less than six months) should be avoided.
  • Perishable items can pose challenges in managing inventory and avoiding expiration.
  • Longer expiry dates offer flexibility in managing inventory and minimizing waste.
  • Selling non-perishable items ensures a smoother and more sustainable selling experience.


Prohibited and Restricted Products

Amazon has strict guidelines on prohibited and restricted products. Sellers must adhere to these rules to maintain their accounts in good standing. Violating these policies can result in suspension or permanent bans. Here are some key categories to avoid:

1. Hazardous Materials

Products classified as hazardous materials (hazmat) pose safety risks and are heavily regulated. These include items like explosives, flammable liquids, and toxic substances. Even common household products like certain cleaning supplies can fall under this category. Always check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Amazon’s hazardous materials guidelines before listing any product.

2. Counterfeit Goods

Selling counterfeit products is illegal and strictly prohibited on Amazon. Counterfeit goods not only violate intellectual property rights but also damage consumer trust. Amazon employs robust measures to detect and remove counterfeit items, and sellers caught selling such products face severe penalties, including account suspension and legal action.

3. Recalled Items

Any product that has been recalled, either by the manufacturer or a government agency, is not allowed on Amazon. Selling recalled items can pose serious safety risks to consumers and result in significant legal consequences for the seller. Always stay updated on product recalls relevant to your inventory.

Seasonal and Trend-Driven Products

While seasonal and trend-driven products can yield quick profits, they also come with inherent risks.

1. Seasonal Products

Products tied to specific seasons, such as holiday decorations or summer gear, have a limited selling window. Overstocking these items can result in significant losses if they don’t sell within the season. Additionally, predicting the exact demand for seasonal products can be challenging.

2. Trend-Driven Products

Trend-driven products, such as fidget spinners or viral gadgets, can generate rapid sales but tend to have short lifespans. Investing heavily in trending items can backfire if the trend fades quickly, leaving you with unsellable stock. It’s crucial to balance trend-driven products with evergreen items to maintain a stable revenue stream.

High-Competition Niches

Entering high-competition niches can be daunting, especially for new sellers. These markets are often dominated by established brands with significant resources.

1. Saturated Markets

Products in saturated markets face intense competition, making it difficult to achieve visibility and profitability. Categories like phone accessories, fitness gear, and generic apparel are examples where breaking through the competition can be particularly challenging.

2. Low-Profit Margins

In high-competition niches, profit margins can be razor-thin due to price wars and high advertising costs. Competing on price alone is unsustainable and can erode your profits. Instead, focus on differentiating your product through quality, unique features, or superior customer service.


Products with High Return Rates

Certain products inherently have high return rates, which can erode profits and complicate inventory management.

1. Clothing and Footwear

Apparel and footwear often face high return rates due to sizing issues and personal preferences. Managing returns can be costly and time-consuming. If you choose to sell in these categories, ensure you offer clear sizing information and high-quality images to reduce the likelihood of returns.

2. Electronics and Gadgets

Electronics and gadgets are prone to returns due to defects, compatibility issues, or buyer’s remorse. Providing detailed product descriptions, user manuals, and robust customer support can help mitigate return rates. However, be prepared for the logistical challenges that come with handling returns in these categories.


Products with Complex Regulations

Products subject to complex regulations require careful compliance to avoid legal issues and penalties.

1. Children's Toys

Children’s toys must meet stringent safety standards and certification requirements. These regulations vary by country and include factors like choking hazards, lead content, and phthalate levels. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties and product recalls.

2. Health Supplements

Health supplements are regulated to ensure they are safe and accurately labeled. Sellers must comply with regulations regarding ingredients, health claims, and labeling. Misleading claims or non-compliant products can result in significant legal consequences.


Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Issues

Protecting intellectual property is a critical concern for both sellers and Amazon. Listing products that infringe on intellectual property rights can result in severe repercussions.

1. Trademarked Items

Selling items that infringe on trademarks, such as unauthorized branded products, can lead to legal action and account suspension. Always ensure you have the proper authorization to sell branded items and avoid listing counterfeit goods.

2. Copyrighted Content

Products that infringe on copyrights, such as pirated books, movies, or software, are strictly prohibited. Intellectual property owners actively monitor Amazon for such violations, and infringing listings are swiftly removed. Ensure you have the rights to sell any copyrighted material you list.



Selling on Amazon offers tremendous opportunities, but it also comes with significant responsibilities. Understanding which products to avoid is crucial for maintaining a successful and compliant business. Steering clear of prohibited and restricted items, high-risk categories, and products with complex regulations can help you build a sustainable and profitable Amazon business.

By focusing on high-quality, compliant products and staying informed about Amazon's policies, you can minimize risks and enhance your chances of success. Remember, the key to thriving on Amazon is not just about what you sell, but how you sell it. Prioritize customer satisfaction, compliance, and strategic planning to navigate the marketplace effectively and achieve long-term success.

    6 replies to "Which Products Should You Avoid Selling on Amazon?"

    • Afsal khan

      Excellent advice given to small and new enterpreneurs in digital marketing. Expecting
      More advice and instructions to enhance the product sales and branding in short period.


      understood Mr. Aman, Thanks.

      • Nur Alam Mullah

        I have taken training from you but it is not working in Amazon.

    • Amit k Singh

      Yes but we do find these product on Amazon , because someone is selling them , may be at lower cost. So we should sold those items which can give us some good return.

    • Deepa

      Good information. Thank you.

    • Geetha

      Yes That’s nice information for new sellers

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