Guest post by Darren DeMatas, Co-Founder of Ecommerce CEO
When it comes to online money-makers, it doesn’t get much bigger than Amazon. Luckily for any entrepreneur looking for a new way to generate income, Amazon is an easy way to get started. They offer a variety of ways for you to share the wealth using their platform. You may be surprised by how easy it is to be an Amazon best seller or otherwise generate significant income on Amazon.
There are many ways to make money on Amazon, whether you’re selling something or not. Whatever skills or resources you have at your disposal, here are some ways that Amazon can help you to generate income.
Amazon has made 344 billion US dollars gross market value on the online marketplace worldwide since it launched in 1994. No ecommerce site makes as much money. In 2017, sales on the Amazon Marketplace accounted for an estimated 20% of total ecommerce sales in retail.
There is money to be made on a variety of online shopping platforms, but Amazon beats out the rest as the biggest and arguably the most versatile option, whether you’re selling or generating income from products and services.
Amazon’s customer trust is exceptional. As many as 89% of US customers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than another ecommerce site. In its relatively long history as an online marketplace, Amazon has become a standard for building trust with its customers and growing long-term loyalty.
If you are looking for a way to make money online reliably for the foreseeable future, Amazon probably has a good option for you.
How to Make Money on Amazon
1. Affiliate Marketing
One of the most straightforward ways to make significant money on Amazon without selling anything yourself is as an Amazon affiliate. Amazon’s affiliate program is truly a giant in the Amazon money-making world.
If you have reach online, whether it’s through a website, blog, or because you are community moderator, you have the capacity to make money as an Amazon affiliate. All you need to do is recommend products on Amazon in a product category that appeals to your audience.
If your audience follows the affiliate link and makes the purchase, you will earn a commission. Generally between 4% and 10% of the product’s purchase price goes to the Amazon affiliate. Being part of the Amazon affiliate program is incredibly easy, and it can be highly lucrative.
- Opportunity to make a lot of money without selling anything yourself.
- Easy to get started and maintain.
- All you need is an online audience to begin generating income.
2. Amazon Handmade
If you thought Etsy was the only place to sell quality handmade goods, think again. On Amazon Handmade, you can sell clothing, jewelry, accessories, art, and other artisan goods.
Amazon Handmade will give you a custom URL, making it much easier for all of your customers to find your shop. Amazon makes things more convenient and affordable for handmade sellers than for other selling accounts. You’d have to pay $39.99 a month for a professional selling account, but this fee is waived for handmade sellers. Just pay a 15% referral fee on your total sales price.
- Perfect for makers of artisan goods.
- Don’t pay fees to Amazon unless you earn on Amazon.
- Custom URL with your subscription.
3. Amazon Merch
Do you consider yourself an artist or designer? Amazon Merch might be right for you. Even if you are not an expert, you may be able to make great designs that make money on this platform, as long as you are up on cultural trends and have basic design software.
You can sell t-shirts, hoodies, and lots of other things carrying your designs. You won’t have to pay anything to sell your merchandise on Amazon. Amazon takes responsibility for printing, shipping, packaging, and supporting the customer.
All you have to do is create your account, upload your design and price, and write your description and color. You get a royalty on every design that you sell. What you make depends on how much the product sells for and how much it costs at Amazon to sell it.
- Free to upload and sell products on Amazon.
- Get your design on products without having to make or ship products or handle customer satisfaction.
- Unique product page on Amazon for your designs.
Related: How Does Merch By Amazon Work?
4. Kindle Direct Publishing
Are you a writer, or do you have access to a team of writers? Getting your work published no longer requires the attention of a publishing house. Kindle Direct Publishing lets you publish Kindle books on their platform.
70% of royalties on overall sales can go to you. You aren’t limited to just digital kindle book options on this platform. Hard copies can be printed as well. Prolific writing is key to making money in this area.
A couple of bestsellers will do wonders, but you really need to create a steady stream of content to succeed in Kindle publishing. Furthermore, your work will need to sell itself or you’ll have to handle all marketing since there’s no agent or publisher to help you get the word out.
- 70% royalty on sales with little or no initial investment other than the book itself.
- Potential for very high income for prolific writers.
- Hard copy and digital prints available.
5. Fulfillment by Amazon
An Amazon FBA business isn’t as well-known an option when it comes to making money on Amazon. Still, it’s an excellent way to make money without worrying about shipping or customer support.
Your products are stored in an Amazon warehouse, where they can make you money on the Amazon marketplace without you having to do anything once the products are shipped. Amazon Prime takes advantage of this program to get products to customers faster.
Using the Amazon FBA program, you send your items to an Amazon Center and let them take care of delivering. Customers wouldn’t even know the difference, which is why so many people haven’t heard of this program.
As the Amazon FBA seller, you will be charged by units, depending on weight and size. You also pay a storage fee monthly if your inventory does not sell. Depending on what you have to sell, an Amazon FBA business might be a much better option for you than direct selling on Amazon.
- Make money from the products you sell without the hassle of packaging and shipping to individual customers.
- Very low-cost as long as your merchandise doesn’t sit on the shelves for too long.
- Great way to work for brief periods and take off in between.
6. Amazon Mechanical Turk
If you just want to make a little bit of extra money without having to start a big project, attract an audience, or sell anything, the Mechanical Turk project might be right for you. This is one of the easiest types of Amazon work to get involved in with few initial investments.
This program lets you become one of the remote workers in Amazon’s vast army. Your tasks can involve participating in surveys and moderating and validating content.
It’s not a way to get rich fast, but you might make as much as $15 an hour or more, and you can easily fit these tasks in around your other pursuits. For people looking for a simple way to earn a couple of extra bucks on the side, this might be just the right program for you.
- Make money doing small tasks around your other activities.
- Doesn’t require you to establish a following or make or sell products to make money on Amazon.
- Tasks are generally simple and fun.
Want Pro Tips for Selling on Amazon?
7. Retail Arbitrage
Have you ever seen a really great deal at your local Big Box store like Walmart and thought that the price of something was very good? Stocking up on discounted products can make you money if you utilize retail arbitrage.
Retail arbitrage allows you to take advantage of discounts offered by big box stores to make a profit by selling those products on Amazon. By taking advantage of clearance deals, coupons, etc, you can make a significant percentage of income for many products.
Using the FBA Revenue calculator, you can use your smartphone to scan barcodes to determine whether any given item is worth selling on Amazon. It takes a lot of work to succeed in retail arbitrage.
If you think you can make it just by picking up clearance items when you happen to see them, you’ll probably find yourself disappointed. However, if shopping for bargains is a thrill for you, you may find that you can actually make (and not just save) money.
- Make money by shopping and reselling, not making anything yourself.
- Take advantage of your knowledge of local deals.
- No special skills or large initial investment needed.
8. Sell a Service
Amazon product selling or advertising isn’t the only way to build an income on Amazon. If you have a service to offer, you can also make a good income in an Amazon store. Whether you tutor musical instruments or a school subject, Amazon can help you connect with clients.
You won’t have to pay for advertising or start-up fees, and there’s no monthly subscription. All you need is general liability insurance with a $1,000,000 occurrence cap and a cleared business background check.
Services provided to homeowners also need background screening. The share to Amazon depends on what service you provide and how much you make. If you don’t want to deal with advertising your services, making a website, etc. by yourself, Amazon can take some of the work out of it.
- Sell your services where all of your customers are looking: on Amazon.
- Make your services available without all of the hassles of a website and advertising.
- Only pay if you make money.
9. Make a Brand
Choose a product you love, order it from the manufacturer, put your brand and logo on it, and you’ll be a brand seller. List your product on Amazon at whatever price seems competitive to you. As an Amazon seller of your own brand, you have total control over your products.
You can apply for brand registry with Amazon to protect your private label product from counterfeiters. It’s hard to compete on Amazon, but if you have a product that has unique value or you have an edge in the market, you can make a lot of money by selling branded products on Amazon.
You’ll likely find being a professional seller on Amazon to be very reasonable. The seller central makes it easy for you to manage your Amazon seller account. For anyone who has managed a retail store, the difference will be a delight.
If you know how to effectively write product descriptions to compel buyers, take great pictures, and offer a superb product, you may rapidly gain popularity on Amazon. Trying to find products to sell on Amazon requires a fair amount of research.
- Total control of your product and its price.
- Opportunity for substantial income if manufacturing prices are substantially lower than retail prices.
- As your brand gains popularity, your profits can snowball.
10. Be a Wholesale Seller
For the products that most people and businesses need, Amazon can often offer the most competitive prices, largely because of their network of wholesale sellers.
Wholesale sellers buy products at a discount because they are buying very large quantities. They can then afford to sell those products at the most affordable possible prices on Amazon.
This tends to be a competitive industry where wholesale sellers outcompete each other with the lowest possible bottom line prices. You may not be able to make a significant income unless you have your own warehouse space to store products so you won’t have to rely entirely on the FBA program and storing products in Amazon’s warehouse.
- Opportunity to make large amounts of money with a single lump investment.
- Passive income between bulk purchases and shipments.
- Not necessary to advertise or build a website, just price items as low as possible.
11. Online Arbitrage
Online arbitrage works in the same way as physical arbitrage, except you’ll be purchasing things online instead of in person. If you love shopping for great deals, but you don’t want to run around to retail stores, this can be a great option for you.
Generally, eBay is the place to go when you are looking for the lowest priced goods. By staying on top of bidding, you can get products for much lower than their retail value.
You can then sell these products at a higher value on Amazon. You may be able to turn around inventory very quickly since you’ll be able to offer a very competitive rate on Amazon because you saved so much buying on eBay.
- Make money with relatively low investments and fast turnaround.
- No need to make anything or develop a following to generate income.
- Everything can be done from home without needing to run around retail stores.
12. Amazon’s Trade-In Program
You might not be able to make money with the Amazon trade-in program, but you will be able to get Amazon gift cards. Since pretty much anything can be bought on Amazon, it’s as good as money to most people.
This can be a great way to make a little bit of extra money by keeping an eye out at local garage sales or anywhere you can get used items for very low prices. You can get as much as 25% of the product’s original retail price as the credit.
Amazon tends to be selective about what they take, so you’ll probably get better at it as you participate. Niche items or those with fewer suppliers are often in higher demand. Luckily, these are just the sort of items you may be able to find very affordably at a garage sale or on eBay.
- Earn Amazon gift cards, not cash, for objects that you trade-in instead of selling.
- Earn as much as 25% of the original retail price products that you turn in
- Niche items are in higher demand
13. Amazon Influencers
Amazon Influencers is an affiliate program that is distinctly different than the Amazon Associates. Amazon Influencers promote products on social media. If you have a strong social following, rather than a blog, website, or forum, the Amazon influencer program may be right for you.
Approved influencers get a unique URL on their own Amazon page to show off the products that you recommend to your followers. Whenever your followers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter buy one of those products, you’ll earn a commission. The trick is to identify which products each audience member might be a potential customer for and market appropriately.
- Requires only a social following to earn an income
- Custom storefront with your own URL on Amazon
- Easy to earn a passive income as long as you maintain your social media
Get Started Making Your Fortune Online
If you’ve been dreaming about how to make money on Amazon, you may be surprised by just how easy it can be. Whatever kind of Amazon business you want to run, you can establish a great profit margin with little more than an Amazon account as your initial investment.