Amazon. It’s one of the biggest ecommerce websites in existence – a behemoth in almost every marketplace you can think of, from books to clothing to gadgets. But the platform offers far more than just diversity in its range of products. It also offers many different ways to make money—some of which you may not even be familiar with.
In this article, we’ll explore eight different ways to make a profit on Amazon.
Note: Many of these methods are already working for aspiring entrepreneurs like you. It just requires consistency and a little work to see your first few bucks. Once you get a hold of what’s working and what isn’t, it gets easier to make money on Amazon.
1. Sign Up for Amazon Handmade
Just like Etsy, Amazon Handmade lets artisans sell their own handcrafted goods online, including clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
To become an Amazon Handmade seller, you need to complete an application form, which lets you describe the nature of your work and production process.
Handmade is a blessing for pro and aspiring artisans looking to reach Amazon’s large customer base. Those approved even get a custom URL to go along with their Artisan profile, making it easy for their customers to find their shop.
Plus, Amazon won’t charge you anything to join the program and list your products. While you’ll need to create a Professional Selling account that usually costs $39.99 a month, even that fee is waived for Handmade sellers. The only fee you’ll need to pay is a 15% referral fee on your total sales price.
Apply here: Amazon Handmade
2. Become an Affiliate
A simple way to make money on Amazon is to become an affiliate. If you run a blog, website, or even moderate a community, you already have an audience. By recommending interesting and high-quality products (found on Amazon) to your audience, you can earn a referral fee for your efforts.
Depending on the item, you can get anywhere from 4 to 10 percent of the product’s price when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link. Amazon lets you become an affiliate for just about anything. If you write in-depth reviews about books, for instance, you can include referral links for titles in the “Books” category on the Amazon marketplace.
You can even include links to products that help enhance the reading experience, such as slippers and blankets for getting cozy.
Here are the three steps you’ll need to follow in order to become an Amazon affiliate:
Once you get approved, you can select from millions of items to refer to your customers. Success, however, will depend on your ability to create stellar content, as well as how much value you’re providing to your subscribers and readers.
Apply here: Amazon Associates
3. Try Merch by Amazon
If you’re good at design, you may be able to generate a decent income by selling T-shirts and other similar things through Merch by Amazon. The platform allows you to sell your artwork as Amazon products at no cost to you.
Here’s how to use it:
- Create an account via the Merch by Amazon webpage
- Upload your design and set a price
- Select a color and write a description
Once you’ve done all of that, your shirt will go live on the Amazon marketplace.
A benefit of using Merch by Amazon is that Amazon takes the responsibility of packaging, shipping, printing, and providing support to the customer.
As for the income, the company will pay you a royalty on every design sold. The payout will depend on the product’s cost and tax as well as Amazon’s expense for the services they provide.
To see current royalties on sweatshirts, hoodies, etc., visit this resource
Pro Tip: You don’t necessarily need to be a design expert to make money with Merch by Amazon. As long as you’re following pop culture trends, you should be able to come up with decent artwork. Design software such as Canva and Photoshop will allow you to create typography and design that looks good on a shirt. Additionally, you can follow the best practices of Amazon on design size, types of design, and product testing.
Apply here: Merch by Amazon
4. Earn Through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Another easy way to make money on Amazon is to publish your own digital books on the platform.
You can get up to 70 percent royalties on the overall sales. Also, you can print hard copies of your books through Amazon’s CreateSpace service.
The only barrier to making money with Amazon KDP is that you have to publish interesting books in a large volume. Although it’s possible to earn with a couple of best-sellers, volume is the key to success in the publishing game.
Moreover, don’t forget to consider the following aspects:
- Book cover
- End material
- Independent landing page
You also need to be mentally prepared to endorse your book, as there’s no publisher or agent at your disposal.
The best way to promote a self-published book is to give out free copies. In addition, you can run some Facebook ads to provide exposure to the title. Leaving a link to your book’s Amazon page at the end of your email can also be a smart way to promote your work to others.
Apply here: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
5. Sell Via Amazon FBA
If you want to make money on Amazon without having to worry about customer support, packing, and shipping, then you sign up for Amazon FBA.
With FBA, you can have Amazon care for your stock and deliver it to your customers. All you have to do is send your items to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
The advantage of FBA is that customers can’t tell the difference between shopping directly from Amazon and purchasing from an FBA seller.
What Products Should I Sell via Amazon FBA? While it’s best to sell items that you are passionate about, you also want to make sure there’s enough demand for the products you intend to sell. Use an Amazon keyword research tool to get an idea of which products are high in demand. Also, take note of Amazon Best Sellers and Amazon Most Wished For lists as they can help you identify what people want.
As an FBA seller, you are only charged a per-unit fee, which depends on the weight and size of your item. There’s no fee for packaging, shipping, or handling to ship your items. You can learn more about the current FBA fee structure here.
Other than that, there’s a storage fee that needs to be paid since your products are being kept in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. A monthly fee is charged from sellers who have an inventory in a fulfillment center at the month’s end.
You can use this FBA calculator to see how much revenue you’ll make via Amazon FBA.
Apply here: Fulfillment by Amazon
6. Complete Tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon‘s Mechanical Turk program works as a gateway for outsourced tasks.
Once you become a part of Turk’s army of remote workers, you can complete tasks like content validation, content moderation, and survey participation to make money on Amazon.
Essentially, Mechanical Turk was the by-product of Amazon’s efforts to cut down time-consuming tasks into smaller gigs.
Although the program doesn’t pay much for completed tasks, most of them can be done quickly. Also, it gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace. For example, you may get 5 cents for completing a survey, but if you complete five surveys in a minute, you’ll get $15 an hour.
It’s worth mentioning here that Mechanical Turk works best for U.S. citizens, as Amazon credits payments directly into their accounts.
For workers outside the U.S., payments arrive in the shape of Amazon gift card credits.
Apply here: Amazon Mechanical Turk
7. Buy Offline, Sell on Amazon (Retail Arbitrage)
This method involves visiting retail stores like Target and Walmart to buy products at a discounted price and then reselling those products on Amazon for a profit.
Many people who make money on Amazon through retail arbitrage avoid the cost of importing products from a foreign country. You’ll see them heading directly into stores and loading up on products they intend to mark up and sell. As a result, many of them spend a lot of time sifting through deals and clearance items at their local stores.
To figure out what you can sell via retail arbitrage, the fees charged by Amazon, and rules for specific items, consider using the FBA Revenue Calculator. It’s an app that lets you scan barcodes via your device and provides useful detail such as the recommended price to charge for an item and Amazon fees.
With all that said, retail arbitrage isn’t for everyone. The process involves a lot of research, and you’ll need to drive to retail locations to pick up items. If you have a vehicle at your disposal and are good at picking items for cheap, then it might return you a decent income.
8. Sell a Professional Service on Amazon
Did you know that Amazon also lets skilled individuals sell their services online?
Whether you’re a guitar teacher, a math tutor, or a carpenter, Amazon Services can put you in touch with people who require your help.
The program charges no monthly subscription, advertising, or startup fees. However, you need to have General Liability insurance with a $1,000,000 (U.S.) cap per occurrence. This information needs to be provided when you register for Amazon Services.
Another important thing is that service providers need to pay a revenue share to Amazon. This depends on the nature of the service and the final service price. Here’s what you’ll need to pay for pre-packaged and recurring services:
In a nutshell, this is one of the easiest ways to make money on Amazon, provided that you’re able to pass a business background check as part of the application. For services provided to homeowners, technicians are also required to undergo background screening.
Apply here: Amazon Services
9. Create a Private Label Brand
This is one of the most profitable opportunities on Amazon.
As a private label seller, you order a particular item from a manufacturer, put your logo and branding on it, and then list it on the Amazon marketplace.
The benefit of selling products under your own brand is that you have complete control over your listings, and you can even apply for Amazon Brand Registry to protect yourself from counterfeiters.
To learn more about private labeling, read our actionable tips to create a private label brand on Amazon.
Adopting one of the methods above and being consistent can open up a generous revenue stream to pay for an upcoming vacation or even free you from the confines of that 9 to 5 cubicle.