Trader Joe’s customers are the most satisfied customers in America, according to a study by Market Force in 2013. There are only about 350 Trader Joe’s locations across the United States, some states don't have any stores, and loyal customers are turning to Amazon to get the products they love. Trader Joe’s website does not offer online ordering – so customers must either go to a physical store or use a third party marketplace like Amazon to get their Trader Joe's fix.
Clever Amazon sellers started listing Trader Joe’s products a few years ago. Basically, resellers visit local Trader Joe’s stores, purchase items to sell, rework the products into bundles or multipacks, list the items on Amazon, and then ship to the customer when an item sells. Although they have a basic product line with many well-known favorites including Speculoos cookie butter, ginger snaps, and Mango! Mango! gummy snacks, there are different products regionally that aren’t available across the country. For example, Georgia has more items in their stores with pecans than other states might see. Trader Joe’s also experiences stock-outs where some favorites aren’t available in stores and are back-ordered from the warehouse, so customers turn to Amazon and pay a premium for those items if they don’t want to wait for the store to receive new stock.
Some sellers use FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon, and ship items to an Amazon warehouse where Amazon then fulfills the order when placed by the customer. Items in Amazon warehouses are eligible for Prime shipping. As of December 2013, Amazon currently 16 million Prime customers.
So, what Trader Joe’s products are customers buying on Amazon?
Most popular items include:
Coffee and tea
Cookies and crackers
Nuts and seeds
Rice and pasta
According to the Market Force study, Trader Joe’s has such high customer satisfaction because “The chain ranked first on atmosphere and fast checkouts, and second on cleanliness, courteous staff, and merchandise selection and accurate pricing.” Selection and price may be two factors that spill over to Amazon, unless it is a hard to find product and a third-party seller has set the price too high for the market to bear.
Keep in mind that just because a Trader Joe’s item is listed on Amazon for an inflated price does not mean it will necessarily sell for that price. Eager Amazon sellers sometimes see dollar signs without doing the pricing research. Many Trader Joe's items are Add-Ons and cannot be shipped on their own - the customer must purchase additional qualifying items to complete checkout. But Amazon is a convenient way for Trader Joe’s lovers to get the products they want, when they want them, delivered to their door.