What is an Amazon Sales rank and How can it Help you in your business


On Amazon they do something unique and special to just their business. They assign something called a sales rank. Every product that has ever been sold at least once, will get a sales rank. Now some may get confused, Amazon’s sales rank is almost sorta backwards. A newbie may think the bigger the number means the more amount of sales…. WRONG. 

The LOWER the number the BETTER when it comes to Amazon. For example, a sales rank of 3,300 is better than a sales rank of 500,0000. The best selling product in a category would get a sales rank of 1.


The sales rank of Amazon is dynamic, they updated it almost every hour sometimes, so it fluctuates. If you take a look at a sales rank for a product at this moment, it may be possible the rank is at an all time high or an all time low. So you can’t trust it completely. 

For example, a seller of a new running shoe may have ran a promotion on Amazon, where they purchased ad placement and then it caused them to sell more. Maybe they would have gotten a sales rank of 30,000 because of it. However when they stopped the ads their sales rank dropped to 260,000.  Another thing that can affect ranking is giveaways, sometimes sellers price their products at rock bottom prices to introduce them, and get reviews. This would also cause the same fluctuation. It is important to keep that in mind when analysing a product. 

Another factor that can impact sales rank is the season. You may be analyzing let’s say Sun Screen  as a product to sell, it shows up with a low sales rank number and you may think it is great. You buy it, only to find out once fall comes along you sales plummet. There is software out there that actually show you the sales rank over the course of a year, however since we do not partner with any of those companies we 


Amazon actually has a multi-level sales rank. They have a general sales rank and also a sales rank for within the category the product applies to. Take for example a bottle of lotion, it may have a sales rank of 1,000 in the creams/lotions category. However when you look at the general sales rank it is 977,000. 

The general sales rank number is the one many focus on because that is the one that is most impressive. If a product has a low sales rank number as a whole then you got a winner. 


Amazon states that:

“Sales rank is generated based on order data and product reviews are not taken into consideration.”

This may suggest that reviews don’t really impact sales ranks. If you just take a look at some Amazon listings you can see that is is probably true, because there are products with really good reviews but a very high sales rank number, meaning not enough sales. Then you have products with very little reviews or maybe even some bad reviews but it has a low sales rank number meaning good sales. Maybe because the product is in demand and people don’t care too much about opinions. For example paper towels, some just want some cheap paper towels and they really don’t care about the reviews. They just want a good price and buy it anyway. 

That doesn’t mean your in the clear though. Customer reviews can impact a sales rank indirectly. The way that is possible is because it can affect the sales of the product in general. Let’s say for example a new product was under a promotion and had an introductory price of $5.00, everyone left great reviews because they felt the value was there for $5.00. Then the seller slowly raised the price to his ideal price point of $9.99, people purchased it because of the good reviews, but once they received the product it wasn’t worth $9.99 in their opinion, so they left a poor feedback. What happens over time is that customers see the bad feedback and purchase less, so then that indirectly affects the sales rank. Again this all depends on the product, price and many other variables.


 This isn’t business advice but I am just going to tell you what I do sometimes. When I am thinking about a product to buy from a wholesaler I do look at the sales rank, because to me it gives me insight into the demand of that item. Obviously this can be done on everything, there are many products out there that don’t even come up on Amazon or don’t even have a brand. So that would be another blog discussion entirety. To stay on topic we will refer to items that do have brands an do come up on Amazon.

Here is an example. This product I would list on Amazon.


Castor Oil Home Health 16 oz Liquid 

Here is an example. This product I would list on Amazon.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 

#101,778 in Beauty & Personal Care (See Top 100 in Beauty & Personal Care)

#179 in Massage Oils  

#26545 in Health Care Products

As you can see the low sales rank numbers above indicate that it is a strong seller in each categories. So as an online retailer I may purchase this as part of my inventory. 

Here as an example of a product I would NOT list on Amazon.


Earth Therapeutics Aloe Moisture Gloves Pink – 1 Pair

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 

#511,772 in Health & Household (See Top 100 in Health & Household)

#308 in Moisturizing Gloves

Here is a pop quiz to see if you have been paying attention. Why do you think I wouldn’t select this product as part of my inventory? Many would think the sales rank is 308 in Moisturizing Gloves so it must be selling good right? No. Moisturizing Gloves is a really refined category, and having a low sales rank number in that category isn’t necessarily impressive. If you look at the general sales rank it is 511,722 and that is pretty high which indicates to me that this may be a slow mover. Another way to look at it, is that this is just common sense. How many times a year do people buy moisture gloves? When compared to the product above that, the castor oil, that may get purchased weekly, monthly or more depending on the usage of the customer.

I hope this has been informative for you, next time you shop on Amazon, take a look at the sales ranks just for fun. You may learn a thing or two.

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