How To Make Money On Amazon: 15+ REAL Strategies (+ start today)

How To Make Money on Amazon: 9+ REAL Strategies (+ start today)

Believe it or not, it is possible to make money on Amazon without selling anything.

In this guide, we’ll cover more than 15 ways to make money on Amazon, complete with tips to help you uncover the strategy that’s best for you and how you can get started as soon as possible.

Even if you don’t want to sell products!

How To Sell Products and Services With Amazon

amazon website

The following tactics for making money on Amazon are all about selling. While selling isn’t the only way to make money on Amazon, it’s one of the most common, and there are several different ways to do it.

Even if you don’t want to sell a physical product, read on. You may find a method of selling on Amazon that surprises you!

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New to IWT?
  • Watch Ramit Sethi host Netflix’s “How to Get Rich” 
  • Get the NYT-Bestselling book (over 1 million sold) 
  • Check out the podcast (200K plays per episode)

And join over 800,000 readers getting our Insiders newsletter, where we share exclusive content that's not on the blog:

Table of Contents

1. Sell Products With Amazon FBA

One of the best ways to make money on Amazon is to sell products with Amazon FBA.

FBA stands for “fulfillment by Amazon.” FBA is beneficial to sellers because it puts the force of Amazon’s distribution network behind your products. To sell with FBA, there are a few steps you need to take:

  1. Find and source your product. A popular way of selling products on Amazon is to use Alibaba or a similar platform to source items that you can then private label with unique branding.
  2. Become an Amazon seller. You can join Amazon Seller Central for $39.99/month.
  3. Send your products to Amazon. Ship your inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center so that they can distribute it for you.
  4. Wait for customers to buy. When someone buys your product directly from the Amazon platform, Amazon will deliver the order for you. You could always ship the products yourself to avoid extra Amazon fees, but FBA is the best way to sell products at scale.

If you can buy products for a lower price and mark them up, you can make money with Amazon FBA. 

Pros of Amazon FBA

  • Amazon handles the entire distribution process for you, eliminating the need to worry about shipping. 
  • Your products are hosted on the Amazon platform where millions of people shop every day.

Cons of Amazon FBA

  • You need to sell a physical product in enough volume to turn a profit. This can be a barrier to entry for some sellers.

To begin, register to start selling on Amazon here. Then you can sign up for Amazon FBA here.

2. Retail Arbitrage

Sourcing inventory from overseas means you’ll have to pay hefty shipping costs. Lots of sellers avoid this by leveraging retail arbitrage.

Retail arbitrage is essentially the process of buying inventory from local retailers and then selling it on Amazon for a profit.

Go to your local Walmart, Target, etc. and search for discounted products. Then simply list those items on Amazon with a markup.

You could also consider online arbitrage. Buy directly from these websites and benefit from free shipping. But usually, the best discounts are found in-store. eBay is another good source for finding cheap products to sell.

Pros of retail arbitrage on Amazon

  • It can be fun to source deals if you enjoy bargain hunting.
  • You don’t have to start with a huge inventory of products.

Cons of retail arbitrage on Amazon

  • Retail arbitrage can be time-consuming to do at scale.
  • Retail arbitrage is a popular way to sell and is, therefore, a competitive space.

3. Publish Your Own Books

Are you a good writer?

You can publish digital books through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It takes less than five minutes to publish, and your book will be available on Kindle stores across the globe in 24-48 hours.

Amazon lets you set your own prices for self-published books. You’ll earn up to 70% of royalties on Kindle sales.

You can also make changes to your content at any time when you publish a book on Amazon.

In addition to digital format books, you can use CreateSpace to publish physical copies of your book. Consider using ACX to create an audiobook that can be sold on Amazon as well.

Pros of publishing on Amazon

  •  It’s a great way to make extra money if you’ve written a book already.
  • It’s free to publish your eBook, allowing you to see your name in print without a traditional publisher.

Cons of publishing on Amazon

  • You have to be a fairly prolific writer to make money selling eBooks on Amazon.
  • You have to do all of your own marketing without a traditional publisher to help sell your book.

Check out one older video below to learn more about self-publishing compared to using traditional publishers: 

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4. Sell Wholesale Products via Amazon Business

Instead of targeting consumers, you can sell products in bulk via Amazon Business.

This is a B2B marketplace on Amazon. It provides business customers with special prices and the convenience of shopping with Amazon.

As a seller in the Amazon Business marketplace, you’ll have unique business features. For example, you’ll have the ability to accept requests for quotes. Amazon allows you to display different quality and diversity certifications on your page as well.

55 different Fortune 100 companies are Amazon Business customers. More than 50% of the biggest hospitals in the United States and 40%+ of local governments in densely populated cities buy from this B2B marketplace.

If you know a particular B2B vertical really well, you can move some serious product volume this way.

Pros of Amazon Business

  • You may be able to reach more customers than you could without the use of Amazon’s large platform.
  • The program includes access to unique features including the ability to offer quantity and business pricing.

Cons of Amazon Business

  • Amazon Business is best for established businesses, which may be a high barrier to entry.

5. Trade In Used Goods

Technically, trading in your used products won’t put cash in your pocket. However, you’ll receive an Amazon gift card, which is almost as good.

There are thousands of eligible products that qualify for Amazon’s trade-in program.

The top categories include:

  • Amazon products (Kindle, tablets, Echo, etc.)
  • Cell phones
  • Gaming
  • Books

If you have unwanted merchandise lying around the house, see if it’s eligible for a trade-in via Amazon. 

Pros of Amazon Trade-In

  • You can get rid of old stuff you no longer want.
  • You may be able to get discounts towards a future Amazon purchase in addition to an Amazon gift card.

Cons of Amazon Trade-In

  • You don’t get cash for your items, so you’ll have to spend your earnings on Amazon.

6. Join Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk (MTurk for short) is Amazon’s crowdsourcing marketplace.

The platform allows businesses and individuals to outsource tasks and processes to a virtual workforce. Things like data validation, content moderation, data entry, research, and surveys fall into this category.

If you have the time, ability, and resources to perform microtasks, then consider joining MTurk. Many tasks will earn between $0.10 and $1. They’re pretty easy to complete, so the goal is to complete as many as you can.

Some of the tasks are pretty boring and tedious. But you can work part-time on your own schedule and get paid for it. 

Pros of Mechanical Turk

  • Tasks are usually easy to complete.
  • You can often perform tasks on your own schedule.

Cons of Mechanical Turk

  • It can be difficult to scale.
  • The pay for most tasks is very low, so you have to do lots of tasks to grow your earnings.

7. Write Reviews for Amazon Vine

This is another example where you won’t actually receive any cash for participation. Amazon Vine rewards you with free products.

If you’ve already written lots of helpful reviews for products on Amazon, you could be eligible for the Amazon Vine program.

The purpose of Amazon Vine is to encourage honest, unbiased, and helpful feedback. Products are sent for free in exchange for reviews.

You’re not required to leave a favorable review just because you got the product for free. That defeats the purpose of the program. The best way to increase your chances of getting invited to Amazon Vine is by leaving reviews for Amazon products you’ve already purchased. 

Pros of Amazon Vine

  • If you already leave lots of Amazon reviews, you could be rewarded with free products.

Cons of Amazon Vine

  • The program is by invitation only, so it is difficult to get in.
  • You won’t earn actual cash from the program.

8. Create Custom Merchandise With Merch by Amazon

Do you have a clever design idea for a t-shirt or a coffee mug? Don’t have the resources to produce hundreds or thousands of these on your own?

Merch by Amazon can turn your idea into a reality.

All you have to do is upload your design. Then simply select a product type and color.

Amazon will create a product page for you. They’ll also take care of all production, shipping, and customer service. You’ll earn a royalty for every product sold that you designed.

There are no upfront costs to join Merch by Amazon. But you will need to fill out an application to be considered for the program. Not everyone will qualify. 

Pros of Merch by Amazon

  • You can express your design creativity without worrying about production and shipping.

Cons of Merch by Amazon

  • Fees may be higher than other online marketplaces.

9. Amazon Home Services

Amazon Home Services is a platform that connects customers with service professionals for a wide range of home-related services such as cleaning, handyman work, plumbing, electrical services, and more. It allows service providers to reach a large customer base and enables customers to conveniently book and pay for services through Amazon’s platform.

Pros of Amazon Home Services

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Cons of Amazon Home Services

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How to Make Money on Amazon WITHOUT Selling

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to capitalize on the e-commerce giant’s reach without ever having to deal with sourcing and fulfillment. These business models allow you to make money on Amazon without selling a physical product.

1. Affiliate Marketing via Amazon Associates

Leverage your existing website or blog by joining the Amazon Associates program.

This is a great way to make money on Amazon without selling anything. The program allows you to earn up to 10% in advertising fees from qualified purchases.

Examples of commissions by product category as of May 2021 include:

  • Luxury beauty and Amazon coins – 10%
  • Furniture, home, and home improvement – 3%
  • Lawn & garden, pets products, pantry – 3%
  • Physical books, kitchen, and automotive – 4.5%
  • Digital music, groceries, physical music, handmade, digital videos – 5%

You can view the full Associate’s Program standard fees schedule here.

It’s easy to join and get approved. Amazon also provides you with a wide range of linking tools to embed on your website.

Since Amazon is so ubiquitous these days, you end up getting commissions on all sorts of random products that people buy during the cookie window after clicking your link. If you can build high-traffic sites and get lots of clicks to your affiliate links, the earnings add up fast.

Pros of Amazon Associates

  • You don’t have to source inventory.
  • It’s easy to set up and get approved if you already have a website.

Cons of Amazon Associates

  • If you don’t already have a website that earns traffic, there is a high barrier to entry.

2. Sell Professional Services

Most people don’t realize it, but Amazon is more than just a marketplace for tangible products. You can also sell professional services through Amazon Services.

There are no upfront costs or monthly fees to join this program. You will only pay a portion of your revenue share for completed jobs based on the service type offered.

Some popular service categories include:

  • Apparel and jewelry
  • Business
  • Consumer electronics
  • Education
  • Events
  • Health and beauty
  • Home maintenance
  • Pets
  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Vehicles

Both freelancers and registered businesses can join Amazon Services. So if you have a skill that falls into one of these categories, apply online to join the network. 

Pros of Amazon Services

  • You can reach a large network of people without a website or social media following.

Cons of Amazon Services

  • You pay a commission to Amazon, which cuts into your profits.

3. Work From Home as an Amazon Rep

You can get a job working directly for Amazon from the comfort of your own home. The customer service team supports 16 languages from over 130 locations worldwide.

Many of Amazon’s employees work remotely.

You can become a virtual customer service representative and do the same. If you want to help Amazon customers while sitting in your pajamas, this could be the job for you.

Amazon is constantly updating its Customer Service Associate jobs. Check this page to see if there’s a full-time or part-time job you meet the qualifications for. Then simply apply online.

Pros of working as an Amazon representative

  • You may have access to Amazon’s employee benefits like a 401k and healthcare.
  • You can work from home either part or full-time.

Cons of working as an Amazon representative

  • You will have to apply for the job, and not everyone will meet the qualifications.

4. Deliver With Amazon Flex

You’ve probably realized by now that Amazon runs its own delivery service. I’m sure you’ve seen drivers delivering packages around your neighborhood and even to your own door.

If you’re looking for a part-time job, you can become one of those drivers through Amazon Flex.

The majority of drivers earn between $18-$25 per hour. All of your earnings can be tracked through the Amazon Flex mobile app.

As the name implies, the position is flexible. Create your own schedule with available opportunities seven days per week. 

Pros of Amazon Flex

  • You create your own schedule and only take the work that you want, making it highly flexible.

Cons of Amazon Flex

  • You need to have your own reliable car with appropriate insurance in order to make deliveries.

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Written by

Host of Netflix's "How to Get Rich", NYT Bestselling Author & host of the hit I Will Teach You To Be Rich Podcast. For over 20 years, Ramit has been sharing proven strategies to help people like you take control of their money and live a Rich Life.

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