How to Make Money on Amazon

Chris Cerny

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. Millions of people shop on Amazon every day – but not many people have considered how to make money on Amazon. The online retailer offers many ways to earn some extra dough through the website.

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How to Earn Money on Amazon

There are many ways to earn money on Amazon, from the Amazon Affiliate program to selling or reselling items on the site and everything in between. Some of the most popular methods include:

  • Amazon Affiliate Program
  • Fulfillment by Amazon
  • Sell items yourself
  • Dropshipping through the site

By providing all of these options, Amazon allows you to either create your own business or choose an alternative. This is great for the people who want to use Amazon as a side hustle, regardless of the amount of time they have to dedicate to their new venture.

Amazon Affiliate Program

The Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the most well-known affiliate programs out there. It’s also one of the simplest way to make money on the site. If you have your own website, blog, or even manage an audience in a chat room or on social media, you can sign up for the program. This is a way to take part in the website without having to sell your own products.

When you sign up with Amazon Affiliates, you make money by suggesting that your audience buy a certain product (through Amazon). If your audience purchases the product through your link, you can receive up to 10% of the item’s cost in advertising fees. Furthermore, Amazon allows you to be an affiliate for any category and provides multiple different ways to link the product.

Fulfillment by Amazon

Another way to earn money on the site is by selling items through Fulfillment by Amazon (or FBA). Amazon FBA allows you to buy products from other sites and send them to a fulfillment center to be sold via the Amazon platform. This means that your products will be stored in the fulfillment center until a customer decides to purchase one of your items.

Once a customer adds one of your items to their cart, Amazon takes control of the entire process, including shipping. It’s important to note that Amazon does charge various fees throughout this process, although it’s possible to reduce the cost by shipping the products to your customers yourself. If you’re not sure which method is better for you, Amazon does provide an FBA calculator to allow individuals to calculate their maximum earnings potential.

Selling Items Through Amazon

This sounds similar to selling items on Amazon, but there’s actually a distinction between the two. If you find it’s easier to gather, promote, and sell items yourself, then selling items on Amazon may be better for you. However, this method requires you to have merchandise in your possession. Through Amazon, you can sell almost anything you can think of.

One of the ways you can sell through Amazon is as a third-party vendor. This method is contingent upon your having the items to sell in your possession and knowing what types of products people want. It’s almost important to check Amazon and see if the same product is already being sold. If it is the case that you’re selling an identical or near-identical item to one already on the site, you’ll need to check out the competition (namely, the prices).

Once you decide how to forge ahead, you can sign up as an Amazon seller. Be prepared to spend some time going through each step carefully, as Amazon requires you to create various documents and lay out the process for how you plan to ship the item once the transaction goes through.

Once the legalities are out of the way, you’ll need to send the product data to Amazon. They’ll get you listed on the site and then you can start selling.

Note that being a third-party seller on Amazon isn’t necessarily easy – the process takes time and practice to run smoothly. Therefore, if you’re going to dive in as a third-party vendor, be prepared to dedicate the necessary resources to be successful.

Mechanical Turk

A final way to be successful on Amazon is by completing tasks Mechanical Turk. This is a service platform that allows people to post work requests to be completed at a specific price. The tasks are called Human Intelligence Tasks, or HIT, which Amazon customers ask to be completed. These tasks are anything from taking surveys to content validation.

Mechanical Turk allows you to complete these tasks at your home at your own time. Many of the actions will earn anywhere between $0.10 to $1. So, the goal is to complete as many as you can. Also, the amount of money you can make depends on the number of tasks you complete.

Even though some of the tasks may be boring and tedious, the payout is worth it. Mechanical Turk is probably the best way for people who have basic computer skills and a little extra time to make a few quick bucks. Amazon will pay you directly as well if you live in the U.S.

How to be Successful on Amazon

Another important question when selling on Amazon is “How do I be successful?” Though it may seem similar to “How do I make money?” they are two extremely different queries.

A few considerations when aiming for success on Amazon include:

  • Focus on making a profit
  • Take advantage of Amazon’s Influencer Program
  • Use Retail Arbitrage
  • Look into Mechanical Turk

Not only does each of these assist in you in making money on Amazon, but any one of them may be critical for your success, as well.

Making a Profit on Amazon

Even though making money on Amazon may seem easy, it really isn’t because you’re not making money until you turn a profit. To make a profit on Amazon, there are several things you can do to start, such as:

  1. Dropshipping with FBM
  2. FBA for items sold outside of Amazon
  3. Amazon Private Label

These will help you be successful on Amazon and make a profit quicker. Once you’re signed up with Amazon, each of these is easy to branch into.

Dropshipping with FBM

Dropshipping with FBM is slightly different than FBA, which I talked about earlier in the article. This allows you to sell products that are not necessarily on Amazon and make a profit. You can add revenue by selling non-stock or custom items that you dropship to customers. While this can be a quick way to make a profit, it’s important to note that rates do change constantly depending on the product.

Amazon Private Label

Another way to make a profit is through Amazon Private Label, or Amazon’s Accelerator program. Through this program, you can sell a product line specifically on Amazon and only on Amazon. This is an incentive for manufacturers to create these product lines to be sold exclusively under Amazon’s brand.

Amazon will help you throughout the whole onboarding process. If you don’t know what products to sell, Amazon will help you by creating product testing and customer feedback. You will be able to benefit from a bunch of marketing tools that you only get as a part of the Amazon Accelerator program.

Amazon’s Influencer Program

Have you ever wanted to be a social influencer? Amazon has a program for that (duh!). This program is very similar to the Affiliate program we mentioned earlier, and it can be incredibly beneficial in helping you become successful on Amazon.

To get started with the influencer program, all you need to do is create a page. You can promote products to your followers, and if they buy anything, you earn money. The difference between this and the Affiliate program is that you use a “vanity” link (a link that is easy to remember).

To qualify for Amazon Influencers, you need, at a minimum, a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account. Amazon will look at your metrics and determine if you’re a good fit. It will also look at the content you post to determine your fit.

Retail Arbitrage

Buying offline and reselling on Amazon is another way to be successful. This is also known as retail arbitrage. Getting started in retail arbitrage is not that hard – it’s about as difficult as buying items on other sites or in a store. All that retail arbitrage requires of you is to purchase products from Walmart, Target, etc. and resell them online for a profit.

Using retail arbitrage to make money on Amazon has many advantages. For instance, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of ordering products from foreign countries. Retail arbitrage also minimizes some contemplation since you can choose the items you want to sell while you’re at the store. Many people spend their time looking through deals for the items they believe they can sell at a markup.

To figure out what to sell, once more, you will need to check out Amazon’s website. Specifically, you need to check their FBA calculator which helps you see what to sell, Amazon’s fees, etc.

How to Make Money on Amazon: Final Thoughts

Although most people think that the only way to make money with Amazon is through selling products, this is not true. Everything from dropshipping products to selling products from a big-box retailer is available for people who want to earn a few extra bucks. This article covers a few of the basics to help jumpstart the process.

Amazon is a great side hustle for many people because of its simplicity. However, like most side hustles, you need to find what is right for you.

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Chris Cerny
Chris Cerny is currently a student and intern based out of New Jersey. He has written many articles for Financial Professional. He has been investing his money in the stock market for the last 3 years.