In our warehouse, we create a lot of Amazon product pages. I am always interested to see what rank a new product achieving its first sale will receive. Knowing how to read this information will help you make more intelligent buying decisions.

In this example, we created a bundle in the toy category. Since we created it, there were no other sellers, and no sales rank history of any kind. When the first one sold, for a short period of time the ranking was displayed on the product page –  2,181,642. That is a pretty good indicator of active listings within the particular category. After the rankings recalculated, the new rank was posted – 66,291. So after only one sale, EVER, it achieved a 66k ranking. That places it squarely in the top 2% of the category.  Does this begin to make you wonder about the toys that you have been buying to resell? But it gets better…

After 6 more weeks, a second one sold. The rank had climbed back up to 269,602. So let’s think about this: A toy that has only ever sold ONE time, and has not sold any for the last six weeks, is ranked at 269k. This is within the top 7% of the category. Before we move on, let me make a suggestion right here: Do NOT buy a toy ranked at 269k and think that it might sell. It might, but it might not. Clearly, it is not selling well. Let me make another suggestion – STOP listening to people who claim that the top 10% of a category is a sure bet.

But what about that 66k toy that I’m looking at you ask? Well, it can only be at 66k for a couple of reasons. Either it is a brand new toy that just sold it’s first one, or it is a toy that used to sell better but has stopped, for some reason. Either scenario doesn’t offer a lot of promise.

So let’s continue. After the second sale in 6 weeks, the new rank – 26,419. Please look at that number and remember – This item has sold twice in six weeks and is ranked at 26k! This is in the top .7% (less than the top 1%) of the toy category. Two total sales – EVER, and it broke into the top 1% of toys.

Please note, these sales took place in Q2, and are not necessarily representative of sales rankings in Q4. But empirical evidence is hard to argue against. Also understand, a sales ranking is a picture in time. Do not make buying decisions based on sales ranking alone.

I hope this study helps you to make you a more informed buyer.