Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.
From selling online to pursuing a more traditional job in customer service or package delivery, Amazon offers a variety of ways to make money. As the largest online marketplace in the world, Amazon sellers have access to 300 million customers worldwide. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, consider a new side gig, part-time or full-time position with Amazon.
How to sell on Amazon and make money
If you want to see a product, go where the customers are. As an Amazon seller, you get access to millions of customers. While the competition between Amazon sellers is fierce, if you can find a way to set yourself apart, it’s possible to make money. More than half of the units sold in Amazon stores are from independent sellers.
Become a wholesale seller
Wholesale selling involves purchasing products in bulk from a brand or manufacturer and then selling the products on Amazon to customers for a profit. For instance, you might negotiate a bulk deal with a brand to buy shoes for $5 per pair. You can then turn around and sell these shoes for $8 on Amazon.
To become a wholesale seller on Amazon, you need to set up a seller account and decide which product you want to sell. You might also need to get a business license and sales tax permit.
Once you have your business set up, you can simplify your tax filing process by using E-File to submit your sales tax returns to the relevant state authorities.
Try retail arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is when you purchase branded products from a retail store at a discount and then sell them on Amazon for a profit. At first glance, retail arbitrage might sound the same as wholesale selling, but there are important differences.
With wholesaling, you purchase products directly from a brand. With retail arbitrage, you buy the products from a big box retail store like Walmart or Target. With wholesale, you negotiate a bulk price for the items. With arbitrage, you simply buy the products at a discounted price.
With an Amazon selling account, you can submit an application to join Amazon Handmade. Using Amazon Handmade, you can sell your handcrafted goods to customers all over the world. Before you can join, you have to complete an Artisan application and audit process to prove that your goods are genuinely handcrafted. While Amazon Handmade gives you access to the Amazon market, there is a 15% referral fee deducted each time you make a sale.
Sell your designs
If you have an eye for design, consider applying for Merch by Amazon. Using Merch, you can create products with your own designs to sell on Amazon. To start selling, you need to sign up for Merch on Demand. Not all requests are accepted. If you are accepted, the process is simple: you upload your artwork and select a product type (products can range from t-shirts and hoodies to tote bags and phone cases), then Amazon prints and ships your product. There is no upfront cost, and you earn money through royalties.
Sell with Amazon FBA
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) allows Amazon sellers to store and ship products directly from Amazon warehouses. If you live in a small apartment or you simply don’t want products filling up your garage, Amazon will store your products for you. This means you can purchase more items and potentially grow your business faster. Additionally, Amazon will pick, pack and ship your product to your customers. This saves you time and allows you to put your efforts into expanding other parts of your business.
Get started to sell on amazon with these 6 tips
To find success as an Amazon seller, there are some important tips you can apply to help optimize your sales.
- Select a niche. To focus your products and set yourself apart from other Amazon sellers, select a niche. (A niche is a small part of a larger market.) Maybe you want to specialize in luxury bags or handmade leather sandals. You can conduct product research to better understand if there is product demand and how much you can potentially make.
- Do your research. Once you’ve selected your niche, it’s important to take a look at what your main competitors are doing. Consider what products they are selling, how they price their products and what marketing strategies they use to sell.
- Use competitive pricing. Competitive pricing on Amazon is truly a balancing act. You want your prices low enough to remain competitive but you also need to ensure you’re making a profit. When coming up with a pricing strategy consider the price of your items, shipping costs as well as coupons or discounts.
- Optimize product descriptions. Your product description is important. It helps to determine your visibility in Amazon’s search results and can convince customers to buy from you. To improve your descriptions, provide key product details, use keywords and keep it simple.
- Take good product pictures. First, ensure you are following Amazon’s image guidelines. Then, you can work on optimizing your pictures by using high-quality images that are truly descriptive of the product. Including a variety of photos taken from different angles helps give customers a better idea of the product.
- Only sell quality products. If you want positive reviews and repeat customers, you must ensure the quality of your products.
How to make money on Amazon without selling
If selling isn’t your thing, that’s no problem. Amazon also offers a range of non-sales-related opportunities.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk, known as (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace where you can go to find different virtual human intelligence tasks (HIT) that you’re paid to complete. Tasks involve a range of data processing and analysis problems such as identifying objects in a photo or video, filling out market research or survey data or transcribing an audio recording.
To begin, you need to create a Worker account on MTurk. Your account is then reviewed, and you can expect an outcome within three business days. How much you can make on each task is determined by the requestor.
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn a commission by promoting a company’s products or services. For instance, many websites or blogs will include links to favorite or recommended products or services. When you click on the link and make a purchase, the website or blog owner earns a commission. Using Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, also known as Amazon Associates, you can start to monetize your traffic.
You have to apply for the Associate’s program. To increase your chance of acceptance, Amazon wants to see a website full of original content that is available to the public. There are specific requirements outlined for websites, mobile apps and social networks. If your application is accepted, you can share products with your audience using Amazon’s customized linking tools and start to earn commissions. How much you earn depends on the product category and commission income is paid approximately 60 days after the end of the month it was earned.
Self-publish with Amazon Kindle
With Kindle Direct Publishing, you can self-publish an eBook or paperback for free. Once you’ve written your book, the publishing process takes less than five minutes, and you can expect to see your book posted in Kindle stores around the world within 72 hours. You get to keep control of your book rights and make changes to your book at any time. You also set your own list price. When it comes to making money, you earn up to 70% in royalties on sales.
Join the Customer Service team
If you want to help Amazon customers solve their problems and ensure they have a positive experience, consider joining Amazon’s customer service team. You can find work from home as well as on-site opportunities in a variety of fields. Amazon is always updating its customer service job opportunities and it’s easy to apply online.
Deliver with Amazon Flex
If you’re 21 and own a vehicle, you can earn money by delivering Amazon packages. One perk of driving with Amazon flex is you get to decide when you want to work. You can plan your schedule by reserving blocks of time you want to work in advance or on the same day. Blocks range from 2-4 and 3-6 hours, depending on the type of deliveries you make. You will also need a valid driver's license, required insurance and an iPhone or Android smartphone to get started.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is making money on Amazon realistic?
With a variety of different positions and sales opportunities, it is realistic to make money online with Amazon. You can sell your own products as a wholesaler or through retail arbitrage or start a side hustle delivering packages or through Amazon Mechanical Turk.
How long will it take to earn an income on Amazon?
How long it takes to earn money depends on how you plan to make money on Amazon. Establishing yourself as a seller on Amazon could take months or longer. As a delivery driver with Amazon Flex, you can expect to get paid within a few days. Flex processes payments on Tuesdays and Fridays via direct deposit. You should see the deposit the following day.
What items make the most money on Amazon?
When trying to find an item that will make money on Amazon, look for ones with wide market appeal, such as electronics or books. You also want to look for items that aren’t in a very competitive field. To get an idea of the best-selling products on Amazon in different categories, you can check out Amazon’s Best Sellers page.
What Are Amazon’s Restricted Categories?
Amazon provides an extensive list of restricted products. Examples of restricted product categories include: alcohol, animals, pest control products and pesticides, and tobacco and tobacco-related products. Within these categories, Amazon outlines examples of permitted and restricted listings.
How does Amazon business financing work?
Amazon Lending is a loan program that provides business financing to eligible US small and medium-sized businesses. Eligible businesses can borrow up to $2 million in business funding. This is an invitation-only program. If you are eligible, you can apply for funding through your Seller Central account.
The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.