How to use Keepa and CamelCamelCamel, is a regular question that arises within our eBusinessBoss community.
Both tools are big players in the Amazon selling world, so I thought it was about time I shared my experiences with both.
I’m Sam, one of the founders of eBusinessBoss.
During my Amazon seller journey I’ve had experience in Private Label, Arbitrage and a little bit of Wholesale.
Regardless of which one of these Amazon seller models I’ve been working within, Keepa and CamelCamelCamel have been the go to tools for me.
So, I thought it was about time I spoke about them and why they’ve been so useful.
If you’re part of the Amazon seller community, then I’m sure you would have heard of Keepa and/or CamelCamelCamel at some point.
There seems to be a lot of confusion around how to read Keepa or how CamelCamelCamel actually works.
Within this article I’m going to cover both of these pain points.
I’ll then go over how to use and understand both of these tools.
Towards the end i’ll give my views on which tool I prefer, you’ll find this in the “Keepa vs CamelCamelCamel” section.
Oh and I’ve got an added BONUS for you…
At the very end of this article I’ll tell you all about free alternative you could be using to save yourself some money.
Yer, that’s why i no longer use them…
In case you hadn’t heard, Keepa and CamelCamelCamel now charge for some of their services.
Right, let’s jump into it.
Amazon Product Research
First of all, before we get going, I wonder what you think is the most important contributor to becoming a successful Amazon seller…
To be honest it’s very subjective question and there’s not just one factor.
But if I was pushed for an answer, then i’d say the most basic thing you need to suss out is how to identify the right products to sell.
In order to give yourself the best chance of finding these winning products, you need to perfect your amazon product research process.
There are so many variables that I look at when deciding on potential products, however the two most important factors are…
- Is there strong demand?
- Is there enough profit in it?
Amazon Sales Rank
To find out if a product is selling well, you can refer to the Amazons sales rank.
If you’re already selling on Amazon then you’re probably well versed on what the Amazons sales rank is and what it tells you.
But for those that don’t know, essentially Amazon assigns every single product with a sales rank that is relative to the category that it is in.
The sales rank number tells you how well the product is selling in comparison to other products within the same category.
Whereby the lower the number, the more sales the product is making.
If a product in the Sports & Outdoors category has a rank of #1, then that means it is selling more units than any other product in that category.
It’s worth noting that categories differ in size…
Which means a product ranked #1 in Sports & Outdoors might sell more (or less) than a product ranked #1 Beauty.
Generally speaking, a product with a rank below #5000 in any category is a good private label product opportunity.
Whilst a product with a rank below #100,000 in any category could be considered as a good arbitrage/wholesale product opportunity.
If you are interested in how we find hot private label product opportunities you might find the following video useful.
Amazon Sales Price
So that’s how you can roughly work out if a product is selling well, using basic Amazon data.
But what about profit analysis?
Well, when looking into whether a product is going to be profitable enough for you, you need to take away all of the costs from the Amazon sale price.
You’ll then see what profit you will be left with.
As a general rule for private label, I am looking for a profit margin of 30%+, whereas for arbitrage/wholesale I’m happy with 10%+.
But is this data enough?…
Quite simply, NO!.. because both of these data points (current Amazon Sales Rank & Sale price) are only telling you the current state of affairs.
By using these data points alone, the rank and price that you’re basing your decisions on is only ever to be live data.
This means you don’t actually know if this is a true reflection of its sales and price performance over time.
In order to make an informed decision on whether a product is truly a viable option, you really need to know it’s HISTORY!
Amazon item price history and sales rank history
This is where software like Keepa and CamelCamelCamel come in so handy…
because they offer you HISTORICAL data so you can see whether a product’s Sales and Price have been consistent over time.
Both pieces of software put all of this data into easy to understand line graphs.
How to use Keepa and CamelCamelCamel
When analysing the graphs, I’m always looking for the amazon price comparison to have been consistent across its lifetime.
Why?.. Well, Because it shows that the profit you can make is going to stay roughly the same.
For example, if a products price has stayed between $8.99 and $9.99 over a prolonged period…
Then as long as you can make your baseline profit margin (e.g. 30%) on its lowest price of $8.99…
Then you can feel relatively safe going with this product.
Likewise, with rank, I am looking for it to have been relatively steady over time with a line that is as close to flat as possible.
The less jumps up and down that the line has, the more consistent the sales have been.
However, it’s not enough to just look at a product’s rank or a product’s price as two separate entities.
It’s vital to analyse both sets of data alongside one another, so you can see how the two relate and affect each other.
That’s what is especially powerful with these two tools because you can view the rank and price both on the same graph, to see if they correlate.
Generally speaking, when looking at both lines together, I am hoping to see that both have stayed relatively flat.
This shows that the product sales rates are predictable and the sale price is consistent.
When you have a product that you can rely on to bring in similar sales day in and day out, with the same profit margins… well that’s just perfect.
They’re the sort of products you build the base to a successful business on.
Hopefully you can see the value that these two pieces of software provide.
If you can interpret the data correctly, you can make fully informed decisions on whether you should pursue a product or not.
To help you put some of this content into visual examples, please take a look at the Keepa and CamelCamelCamel graphs below.
This section is going to run you through everything you need to know about Keepa.
How to use Keepa
Let me show you how to read Keepa charts…
In this Keepa graph you can see the products price history represented in the blue line and then the sales rank represented in the green line.
The left-hand side shows the price and on the right you’ll see the rank.
As you can see over a 3-month period the product went from around the $100 mark, briefly up to around $240…
Before coming back down and staying fairly consistently around the $160 price point.
With regards to the rank over this same period, it began at around 15,000 and increased into the 30,000’s…
Where it continued to go up-and-down between 25,000-75,000.
What this tells me is that although the price did plateau around the $160 price for a while (which shows some consistency)
It still had a lot of variation early on which suggests a potentially volatile product price. Especially when you consider the whopping difference of $140!
So, for me this would be a product that I would avoid based on the price history alone.
In addition, the sales rank data is also not consistent enough for me to consider this product a viable option.
If a products rank has a range of 50,000 it means that one day you could make a handful of sales, but then you might not make another sale for days/weeks.
That just doesn’t appeal to me, I’m all about steady products that I get consistent daily sales from.
Also, from a private label angle, the fact that this products lowest/best rank was around 15,000, is another reason I wouldn’t be interested.
Even if its rank was consistently around 15,000, that just wouldn’t be enough sales volume for me…
I like my products to sell at least 10 a day.
So more often than not, those “10 a day” products need to have a consistent rank below 5000, possibly 10,000 in the bigger categories.
However, this products data is not all doom and gloom…
If I saw this data from an arbitrage/wholesale point of view, then the product would be something I would still consider.
The rank stayed consistently below 100,000 and the price started to show consistency more recently.
So I’d possibly stock up on a low number of units and take a run at it.
Before moving on to CamelCamelCamel I want to mention one more important point…
You should really be selecting “Year” or “All” on the right hand side of the Keepa graph.
Well, because it gives a better picture of the historical data.
Although 3 months gives you a decent idea, it’s always better to view at least a years’ worth of data if possible.
For obvious reasons, the more data you can see, the better picture you can paint.
You can also check for the potential “seasonality” of potential products, this might effect your purchasing decision.
You might look at selling a beach tent for example…
You check it’s 3 months data on Keepa for June, July and August and think that it’s a great product.
However, you could very well miss important data from September to May where the beach tents sales drop right off.
This product for obvious reasons sells more in the summer.
I highly recommend you get the full picture of the products history before you make any decisions.
Within this section i’m going to cover everything you need to know about CamelCamelCamel.
How to use CamelCamelCamel
So, how does CamelCamelCamel actually work?
Let me explain using the above screenshot as an example.
The above CamelCamelCamel chart only shows the price history, not sales rank history.
First of all, that’s because CamelCamelCamel (unlike Keepa) don’t give you the option to show both on the same graph, they show them on different tabs.
But also, fairly recently they made sales rank data unavailable to anyone with a free subscription…
For now let’s just focus on the price data.
After an initial high price of around $350 it steadily crept down to the $300 mark where it stayed relatively consistent for around 6 months.
The graph highlights the value of seeing more of a products history (9 months here as opposed to 3 months in the Keepa graph above)
Because although the price took a pretty steep decline early on, for 6 months it sat at a fairly even level.
If you could make good profit on the product selling between $275-$300 then this product could be of interest.
Before proceeding further I would look at its price history in the last year and across its lifetime.
By now it should go without saying that I would analyse the products sales rank history in conjunction with this price history…
In order to decide on the products true potential.
Hopefully now you are getting a better understanding of how to use Keepa and CamelCamelCamel.
But do you actually need both of them?
And if you had to choose one, then which tool is best?…
Let me answer this question.
Keepa vs CamelCamelCamel
Straight off the bat, I’m going to be transparent and say that I’m an advocate of both pieces of software and have used both over the years.
I always used to cross reference the data between the two tools to ensure I wasn’t missing anything.
But I will forgive you for thinking, “don’t they both do the same thing though?”.
Yes pretty much and in my opinion you only really need to use one.
As I progressed over the years, I stopped using CamelCamelCamel altogether in favour of Keepa…
Purely based on the functionality.
I prefer the way it looks, but mainly the fact you can see various data points on the same graph, rather than flicking between tabs.
In addition, I found that Keepa tracked more products, to the point that I don’t remember finding a product on Amazon that Keepa didn’t have data for.
So that’s why Keepa is my preference!
Anyone who has ever asked me which is best, I’ve always just advised them to use both for a while and then stick with the one they prefer.
But one thing is for sure, you definitely should be using at least one of them in order to do proper product research!
What happened to CamelCamelCamel & Keepa?…
They are no longer FREE!
The Amazon seller community was seriously rumbled when the news broke (me included)
A little while back Keepa and CamelCamelCamel revoked free access to certain data points, namely the vital sales rank data!!!
Both of the main amazon price checker chrome extensions decided to introduce paid subscriptions…
But can you blame them?
I don’t think so, the information they were providing to thousands of sellers, all for FREE… was invaluable.
So why shouldn’t they profit from all their hard work?
Now, although I can understand why they’ve started charging for these features, that doesn’t mean I’m a paying customer of theirs…
Don’t get me wrong, if there wasn’t free alternatives out there that worked well, I would definitely pay for my favoured Keepa!
Without access to the data Keepa provides, I genuinely couldn’t make informed product decisions.
Thankfully though, I’ve found a FREE alternative that not only matches what Keepa offers, but provides extras on top too.
Now, it’s no secret I love Helium 10 and all of their insane tools.
I could go on and on about them all and how they help us run our Amazon business on a day to day basis…
I won’t because that’s not what you are here for, if you want to read that I’ve written a full review on Helium 10 (see the link below).
Anyway for now we will stick to the chrome extension because it has been a perfect free keepa alternative.
Helium 10 FREE Chrome Extension
I could just tell you that Helium 10 is the best replacement for Keepa and leave it a that.
But because I’m nice, I thought I’d do a mini Helium 10 chrome extension review to show you how it works and why I use it.
Every time you go onto an Amazon listing, once downloaded the Helium 10 extension graph appears just below the bullet points.
Just like the green line on a Keepa graph, the pink line on the helium 10 graph shows the rank history.
The blue line, like Keepa, shows the price history…
You have the options to see 24 hour, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days or All Time history.
If you’re a Keepa fan like me, then this is the perfect free replacement as it does everything Keepa does…
But what’s more it has other cool features too, that Keepa doesn’t have.
With the FREE Helium 10 chrome extension, you still get access to the handy Inventory levels, Xray and Profitability Calculator tools.
These give you a much greater understanding of the product. Leading to better product choices!
Inventory levels simply tells you how many units of the product the seller/s has in stock.
This isn’t really that important for private label sellers.
But it is really good to know for all you Arbitrage and Wholesale sellers as it helps you decide how many units of the product you should buy.
If you’re competing on a listing then it’s vital to know how much stock your competitors have…
This way you can do the calculations to ensure you don’t overstock on the product.
What is Helium10 XRay?
Helium 10 Xray is similar to Jungle Scout’s extension.
It shows you the products Revenue, Best Seller Rank, Price and Review level…
All in a quick and easy snapshot.
If you’re on a listing, you can click on the Xray tab at the top of the graph, or click the extension and then click “Xray”.
Below is an example of a beach tent listing, with four different variations on the same listing.
Here you can get a really quick glimpse at all of the key data you need to see, in order to verify if a product is worthy of going on your shortlist.
When you use this real time “live” data alongside the graph, oh baby…. that’s when the magic happens.
Using Xray, you can build a firm idea if the current sales and price are appealing.
But then by cross referencing this with the graph, you can see if the historical data stacks up too.
This gives you the full picture!
What’s also great about Helium 10 Xray is the ability to use to it to analyse a page of many different listings.
You can do this on a sellers storefront or on a category.
It’s most commonly used when you’ve typed in a particular product in the Amazon search bar.
Say you typed in “beach tents”, you’d then click the extension and the Xray button.
You will then be presented with all of the valuable data (Revenue, Best Seller Rank, Price and Review level).
But for a whole page of results instead of just one listing.
These results essentially show you all of the best selling “beach tents”.
This tool is especially important for private label sellers because if you’re investigating a potential product…
You need to look at more than one version of that product.
There’s not much point in looking at one beach tent, you need to look at how beach tents as a whole tend to perform on Amazon.
Ask yourself the question, Is there demand for this product type?
If, when you Xray a page of results, there’s more evidence of other good selling beach tents at a good price…
Then it starts to look like a good option (REMEMBER beach tents are not a product I would sell as they’re seasonal).
On the other hand….
If from the Xray results it looks like there’s only one or two good sellers, then it might be a red flag and need more investigation.
Especially if there’s just one seller.
For example, there might not actually be that much demand on Amazon for beach tents.
There might be one beach tent listing with an attractive helium10 line graph (consistent low sales rank and a consistent profitable price).
But there may be a good reason why it’s the only one…
- It could be a specialist version, possibly a patented product, that makes it stand out.
- It’s sales could all be coming from external traffic (not amazon searches).
- It could be a very well know brand, so people are actually searching for that brands specific version of the product.
- It could have a much better review ranking (are the reviews legitimate?).
Essentially what I’m saying is, I highly recommend using the Xray tool alongside the graph.
Mainly to qualify whether a product with an attractive graph, is just a one hit wonder or not.
Use Xray to see if there are at least a couple of other similar products selling well at a good price.
As this would indicate there’s scope for a new seller (like you) to get of piece the pie too.
The two tools used side by side are a lethal weapon, that means you’re much less likely to dive into a product that isn’t right.
Revenue Calculator & Profitability Calculator
So you’ve found a good product… But are you going to make any profit?
Without knowing this your amazon product could prove to be an expensive hobby.
Above I’ve entered the sales figures into both sides of the revenue calculator…
MFN stands for Merchant fulfilled where as FBA stands for fulfilled by amazon.
If you want Amazon to fulfill the item for you (FBA) you are obviously going to pay more in fees.
I’ve entered the rest of my associated fees above and at the bottom you can see the net profit that i’ll be left with.
The Helium 10 chrome extension also offers free use of both of these tools, i think there is a limit on how many times you can use them though.
Both give you the chance to do some quick maths on the product page to see whether the product is profitable.
The only difference is that the profitability calculator offers a few more data fields, to give you a more accurate calculation.
This is great because you can use the graph and Xray to see if a product sells…
Then use the calculators to see if there’s enough profit in the product.
It’s an all in one product sourcing tool!
Conclusion – Keepa, CamelCamelCamel or Helium 10?
Hopefully you’re now clear on how to use Keepa, CamelCamelCamel and Helium 10.
I want to remind you that I’ve been a user of both Keepa and CamelCamelCamel for years!
I can’t stress enough how important they’ve been in aiding my product choices.
After using both together for a while, I then moved over to solely using Keepa due to preferring it’s functionality and wider product database.
However, when Keepa and CamelCamelCamel decided to start charging, I decided to look elsewhere just to see if there were any other alternatives.
Had I not found the FREE Helium 10 extension, I can honestly say I would have paid for Keepa because of how vital it has been to my product selection decisions.
Thankfully, not only does Helium 10 match Keepa in terms of it’s Sales rank and Price data history (which is why I got it in the first place).
But it also offers other great free tools such as Inventory Levels, Profit calculators and most importantly Xray!
Whereby you can combine the information from all of these tools, to work out whether a product sells enough and if it is profitable enough…
Which were my two main points at the beginning of this article!
Does it sell?
Is there enough profit in it?
Well, with the Helium 10 extension you can find the answer those questions!…
It’s literally the perfect tool when it comes to amazon product selection.
So for me, unless you are happy to pay for Keepa or CamelCamelCamel, then switch over to the Helium 10 free chrome extension.
You get a graph that’s equal to Keepa’s (if not better).. as well as a ton of other helpful tools..
This will take your product selection and Amazon business to the next level!
Want to know more about Helium 10?
Then check out our full Helium 10 Review article where Nick goes through everything it has to offer.
If you’re interested in how helium 10 compares to a few other options you might find this article useful.
Thanks for popping by, I really hope this has been useful.
Good luck with your Amazon product selection!
SamTags: Amazon Software Comparison