People think of Amazon as a place to buy things, but it is possible for you to also make money with Amazon. There are people making millions of dollars selling on Amazon. Good for them. But just a fraction of that would change most people’s lives. If you could use a little extra coin, then keep reading and see if something interests you.
1. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Amazon FBA is the preferred way to sell on Amazon. With this program, you send in your products to an Amazon fulfillment center. They will take care of picking and packing them for orders and delivering them to buyers. They also handle all the returns and customer service. Since most products have more than one seller, if you are an FBA seller, you are more apt to get the sale.
But of course, there are fees involved for selling this way. The most important thing to note is that Amazon charges $39.99 per month for an FBA account. You have to get the product shipped to you first from wherever you get it, which will cost a bit. Then you pay to ship them to the fulfillment center, but at a special shipping rate. Then Amazon charges you fees to work their magic, which is usually around 15%. Also, if your product takes a while to sell, there could be storage fees. But don’t worry, you can still make money. It is way cheaper than starting a physical retail business. Way cheaper! And you can't beat the traffic Amazon brings to their site every day. People are there with the intention of buying something.
Just to give you an idea of a real-world example: I purchased 10 copies of a new game for $23.50 each. By the time I added in all the shipping and Amazon fees, my costs were $42.46 each. I sold the games for an average of $62.07 each, for a profit of $19.61 per game. That is a 46% return on my initial investment. So you can easily see how money can be made on Amazon.
I am sure you are wondering where you would get your “products” to sell on Amazon. That is a post all on its own. But here are the usual sources of products:
- You can create your own product, as in something you make or have manufactured.
- You can create your own brand from products sourced from places like China. The items are then labeled and packaged with your logo and branding.
- You can buy products from wholesalers and sell them on Amazon at a marked up price. You will need a resale certificate from your state. These are usually very easy to get. This is the preferred method to find products.
- You can buy products at other stores, such as Walmart, Target or thousands of others and sell for more on Amazon. There are many software programs that can help you with this. You can find a list of them here.
- You can buy products at local stores or find items at garage sales or Goodwill to send to the beast that is Amazon.
- You can resell used books, games, and toys. This has worked really well for me.
I’m sure this all seems a bit overwhelming, but there are lots of ways to learn how to sell on Amazon.
2. Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
Seller Fulfilled Prime allows you to store your items in your own warehouse. You must ship Prime orders the same day they are ordered. Like the FBA sellers, you are more likely to get the sale over other sellers who don't have the Prime designation.
There are no fees, except you have to pay the shipping charges. So the big expense here, over FBA, would be that you need a warehouse and possibly hired help.
Amazon is very selective about who gets to take part in this program. You will need to perform with the same precision they do. The requirements to become a Seller Fulfilled Prime merchant include:
- Shipping more than 99% of orders on-time
- Offering Premium Shipping Options
- Having an order cancellation rate of under 0.5 percent
- Using Amazon Buy Shipping services for at least 98.5 percent of orders
- Allowing for all customers inquiries to be handled by Amazon
- Delivering orders with Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime carriers
- Agreeing to Amazon’s returns policy
3. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
With this option, you’re responsible for the entire fulfillment process. You are also responsible for your own returns and some customer service. You can actually lower your costs significantly with this option. But, you won’t get the sale as often as you would if you were using one of the first two options. Most buyers on Amazon only look for items that sell as “Prime”, since they get the fast and free shipping. But you will still get sales and also pay much lower fees to Amazon. This works great if you also sell other places like eBay or your own online store.
In deciding which of the three above methods are best for you, there are other considerations as well.
Use FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon):
Products are small and light
Products are fast-moving
Products are low-priced
Use SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime):
You are a multi-channel retailer
Products are heavy or oversized
Products ship in multiple boxes
Products are personalized or customized
Products are perishable
Products require traceability
Use FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant):
Products are slow-moving items
Products are heavy or oversized
Products that ship in multiple boxes
Personalized or customized items
You have free help with shipping and packing
4. Amazon Associates (Amazon Affiliates)
If you have a blog and website, you can drive traffic to Amazon by recommending products to your readers. If any of your redirected visitors buy from Amazon, you will get a commission. And it doesn't even have to be things that you recommended. If they follow your link, for a certain amount of time, you get a commission on anything they buy.
Try not to get too excited, the commissions are not that high with the Amazon Associates program. It depends on the product and category and can range from 4-15%. Still, you can earn some extra lunch money if you have a blog and a following.
5. Merch By Amazon
If you have an artistic streak, then Merch by Amazon might be for you. You can upload your artwork, choose a product that you want the artwork printed on and set a price. You can make artwork for t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and PopSockets. Amazon is always adding new printable items.
If customers order your product, Amazon handles the printing, shipping and customer service. For instance, a t-shirt sold for $25 will net you almost $12 in royalties.
6. Amazon Flex
You can join Amazon Flex and deliver products to customers in your local area. According to Amazon’s Flex page, you can earn $18 to $25 an hour as a Flex associate. Moreover, you can set your own working schedule and there are opportunities 7 days a week.
7. Delivery Fulfillment Warehouse Associate
If it's available in your area, you can apply to be a delivery warehouse associate. This is not the same as working in a fulfillment center. Your focus will be on getting packages delivered to the customer. There are both full and part-time positions available. You will be working out of one of these Amazon locations:
- Fulfillment centers
- Sortation centers
- Delivery stations
- Prime Now locations
- Campus Pickup Points
- Customer service centers
8. Amazon Work from Home
You can apply for a job as an Amazon Work-from-Home Customer Service Associate. Even though you are working from home, the position isn't available everywhere. Use the filters on the left of the page in the link below to find a job that suits you. The base pay starts around $10. There are also non-customer service positions for those with a qualified technical background. Other jobs include cloud tech account managers, engineers, advertising associates, and technical trainers. But there are lots of other jobs as well.
9. Amazon Warehouse Fulfillment Associate
Amazon fulfillment centers are in almost every state and new ones open all the time. Fulfillment associates can earn $15 per hour or more. Work inside an Amazon warehouse includes selecting, packing and shipping customer orders. If you like a fast-paced, physical position that gets you up and moving, then this would work for you. Work a set, full-time schedule. Shift options include overnight and days, and usually at least one weekend day.
10. Self-Publish Kindle eBooks
You can self-publish eBooks through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. For books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, you earn 70% of the purchase price. For books priced outside that range, you earn 35%. Think about what things you know that other people might pay to know. If you are an artist, you could publish a collection of your work. Your book could also be fiction or you can write about something you are passionate about.
11. KDP Print Books
If you’re already creating a Kindle book, it makes sense to add a paperback version as well. Amazon has this covered with an in-house print-on-demand service called KDP Print. As the author, you will earn a 60% royalty before deducting printing costs. You’ll need to create a separate book file and cover for your paperback. KDP Print books are handled through the same author dashboard as Kindle books.
12. Amazon Audiobooks
If your book is suitable for audio consumption, then this is another way to make a nice royalty. It will also make you look more legit if you have audio, Kindle and paperbacks to offer your customers. Amazon created the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to make it easy for authors to create audiobooks. There you can find narrators to produce your book for you or upload your files if you’re doing it yourself. Self-published authors generally earn 20%-40% royalties through ACX. How much you make depends on the distribution options you select and how your producer is paid.
13. ACX Voice Over Acting
If you have a soothing voice, then you are in luck. You can narrate books for others who need audiobooks recorded as an audiobook narrator and producer. If you know your way around audio engineering equipment and software, this might be a good fit for you. You will make fixed-price bids on projects that authors post on ACX. Or you can opt to take a share of the audiobook royalties when it sells. In both cases, you’ll submit your audition and compete with other narrators.
14. Amazon Handmade
If you are a craftsman or an artisan, you can apply to Amazon Handmade. Think of it as Amazon’s version of Etsy. You control your own prices and can ship out your products yourself. The fees are much higher than Etsy, as they charge 15% commissions and a $1 minimum referral fee. Amazon is also very selective about who they allow into the program.
The Handmade program is open to Artisans who make:
- Baby Products
- Beauty and Personal Care Products
- Shoes and Handbags
- Home Products
- Outdoor and Home Care
- Jewelry and Watches
- Kitchen and Dining Products
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery and Party Supplies
- Toys and Games
15. Amazon Selling Services
Selling Services allows assemblers, house cleaners, handymen, etc., to sell their professional services to Amazon customers in their area. If you’re adept at fixing a leaky faucet, cleaning, landscaping or organizing, then you could find work here. It is Amazon’s version of Angie’s List. If you are matched with a customer who uses your services, Amazon will take a 15 – 20% cut of the transaction. They are also selective in who they choose and you will need to have general liability insurance.
The Amazon CamperForce program brings together a community of enthusiastic RV’ers. Amazon hires campers for a variety of seasonal opportunities. They allow you to choose from seasonal assignments in a variety of locations. Your responsibilities will be in the areas of picking, packing, stowing, and receiving. Sometimes Amazon will cover your campsite fees and may even pay for some of your utilities.
17. Amazon Trade-In
Amazon will pay you for used books, games, DVDs, Kindle devices, tablets, cell phones, and other products. This option won’t earn you any cash, but Amazon is willing to pay you with an Amazon gift card. All you have to do is gather your items, and Amazon will give you an estimate of how much you will earn for it. They give you a free pre-paid USPS or UPS shipping label too, so all you have to do is package up the item and send it off. If you’re in the mood to purge, check out what your items are worth to Amazon.
18. Amazon Alexa Skills
Alex Skills are the commands used by Amazon’s popular Echo devices. You can build special Alexa voice apps, called “skills.” As a skill developer, you can set your own price and earn 70% of the revenue when users buy it. For example, Nick Schwab created a free ambient noise skill. He now has 10,000 paying customers for a premium subscription version, priced between $0.99 and $1.99 a month.
There is also an Alexa Developer Rewards program to encourage developers to build out the ecosystem of skills that already exist.
19. Amazon App Store
Amazon Developer Services and Technologies allows those so inclined to write apps to sell them on Amazon. This includes:
- Amazon Alexa – as mentioned above, get paid for creating Alexa skills
- Amazon Dash – get paid for creating reorder experiences for Amazon devices
- Amazon AppStore – develop Android apps and games for Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablet, and mobile platforms
20. Amazon Mechanical Turk
You can join Amazon Mechanical Turk to help others with tasks that require human interaction. Tasks include data entry, transcription, categorizing, and image recognition. This is not exactly high on my list of recommendations as it has a sweatshop mentality. And there are some users who seem to know how to game the system. But if you are sitting at a mindless job doing nothing, why not make some coin?
21. Twitch Streaming
Experienced video gamers can earn serious money broadcasting their games live on the Amazon-owned Twitch.tv. Twitch streamers make money with a share of the site’s subscription fees, advertising on their channels, donations, and selling merchandise to their fans. The most popular players are estimated to be bringing in $300,000 or more per year!
What’s your preference for making money via Amazon? Feel free to hit the add comment button!