How to Make Money on Amazon in 2021 | 16 Doable Ways To Make Money Online

With over 5,000 monthly search volume and 1.7 billion search results, how to make money on Amazon is among the top searched for terms associated with making money online

Search volume increase and coverage for such a topic are not surprising amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people accustomed to the traditional offline daily grind are now eyeing the digital landscape as an alternative income source. 

How Much Could You Earn From Amazon?

 

photo-of-profit-being-calculated

 

As Amazon continues to dominate the eCommerce industry, more and more entrepreneurial-minded individuals are enticed to make money on Amazon. Many online sellers view Amazon as a viable avenue to make money online

In 2020 alone, 62% of newbie Amazon sellers experienced a notable profit increase. According to Jungle Scout, most Amazon sellers make at least $12,000-$300,000 sales per year, translating to $1,000-$25,000 monthly sales. 

Therefore, substantiating the earning potential on Amazon, and that is just on product selling alone. 

How to Make Money on Amazon | Sellers and Non-Sellers 

If you are one of those opportunity online seekers diligently probing steps on how to make money on Amazon, here are 16 feasible ways to help start improving your cash flow this year.  

Amazon Selling Opportunities to try

When it comes to online selling, Amazon offers numerous opportunities for sellers. If you are more inclined to sell products online than offer your services to Amazon, then you should try the following Amazon selling activities:

  • Amazon Private Label 

Amazon private label is a common approach for Amazon FBA sellers. In fact, it is estimated that more than 70% of sellers are using this business model to profit from Amazon. 

Many sellers utilize this method because the processes involved are newbie-friendly and easy to follow. To summarize the steps involved, (1) you will need to find a low-cost product, (2) apply your own brand and product improvements, and then (3) sell it on Amazon. 

Generic items come from third-party manufacturers that are widely available online. To access inexpensive and reliable third-party items for your Amazon inventory, you can check Alibaba.com.

You can make money on Amazon using the private label method by selling third-party manufactured items for higher prices after some improvements, including rebranding. 

Pro Tip: When checking for inventory items to use for Amazon private label, try starting with small & light products to reduce shipping costs. 

  • Sell Wholesale on Amazon

Another reliable approach on how to make money on Amazon is selling wholesale goods either as an Amazon FBA or FBM seller. 

As its name would suggest, the wholesale approach involves purchasing branded products in bulk directly from suppliers or manufacturers. What makes wholesale on Amazon different from private label is that there is no need for rebranding because you sell other companies’ branded products as your inventory items.

Pro Tip: When selling wholesale, make sure that you do thorough research. Include the brand owner or your potential supplier in your research and not just the product you would like to sell. Know the specific requirements set by suppliers or brand owners. 

In order to be easily approved by brand owners, make them feel that you intend to order in bulk and would like to be a long-term partner. Prepare your wholesale license or otherwise known as reseller’s permit in some states.

  • Amazon Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage is a form of buy and sell. This approach involves scouting for clearance or discounted items in physical retail stores and reselling them for a higher price on Amazon. 

Selling arbitrage products is not a problem for sellers immersed in retail arbitrage. Arbitrageurs can leverage the brand power of their chosen items to influence consumers easily. 

Although Amazon has no definite guideline for retail arbitrage, sellers are still obliged to follow product and category brand restriction guidelines. Some of the presently gated Amazon categories include the following:

  • Watches
  • Fine Art
  • Jewelry
  • Gift Cards
  • Collectible Coins 
  • Major Appliances
  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Automotive & Powersports

Pro Tip: To increase the profitability of Amazon retail arbitrage, always see to it that items you purchase from retail stores yield at least 50% profit. 

When checking brick-and-mortar stores, never miss their toys, stationery, electronics, and clearance sections for items you can easily flip online. Ideal sources for retail items are your usual choice shops, dollar stores, outlet malls, and liquidation shops. 

  • Amazon Online Arbitrage

If you have been searching online about how to make money on Amazon FBA, then online arbitrage might be the right business model for you. It is one of the popularly used online selling methods because of its simplicity and convenience. 

Unlike retail arbitrage, online arbitrage does not require you to travel around and check physical stores for clearance and liquidations. All you need is a computer and internet connection to search online retail stores for potential inventory items. 

Since you are dealing with retailers, you are not forced to buy in bulk or large quantities. This somewhat lowers the risk and the needed capital to start your own Amazon online arbitrage business. 

Pro Tip: If the idea of making money online is still new to you and you would like to try online arbitrage, remember to have patience at all times. This will be handy, especially when you are overwhelmed with the numerous products listed online.

Try to scrutinize items before ordering them. Carefully read product descriptions and customer feedback since you cannot physically check the item’s quality. 

Make a test purchase to determine the quality of the item and your supplier’s fulfillment service. Some of the reliable sources for Amazon online arbitrage include but are not limited to Walmart, Sears, Target, and Best Buy. 

  • Amazon Handmade

If you are an artisan and wondering how to make money on Amazon, then you should check-out Amazon Handmade. Handmade is an artisan-only community on Amazon dedicated to artists and crafters. You can make money on Amazon with your own work or DIY projects. 

The estimated average profit for the Amazon Handmade category is around 26%, which is relatively higher than other Amazon categories. Therefore, making it an ideal category to venture into if you want to make money online

Pro Tip: Amazon has set some limitations when it comes to Handmade. To avoid issues, be sure that the item you plan to create falls under these categories:

  • Home
  • Baby
  • Artwork 
  • Clothing
  • Accessories 
  • Toys & Games
  • Pet Supplies
  • Sporting Goods
  • Shoes & Handbags
  • Kitchen & Dining
  • Jewelry & Watches
  • Outdoor & Home Care
  • Beauty & Personal Care
  • Stationery & Party Supplies 

If the category is not listed above, it means that Amazon prohibits the sale of such items in their Handmade store. Just remember that anything you sell on Amazon Handmade must be hand-assembled or altered; all must be handmade and not mass-produced in a factory.  

  • Amazon Merch

Another alternative to private label is Merch by Amazon or Amazon Merch. It is a good way to make money on Amazon without spending a large sum of cash. Amazon lets you sell your product designs without upfront costs. 

Amazon introduced this concept to help those content creators and artists sell merchandise through Amazon. Amazon Merch process involves uploading your design or artwork, adding product descriptions and color options.   

Once you have completed the initial steps, Amazon will create a product page. From production, shipping, and customer service, Amazon will take care of it. You will earn through royalties for product purchases.

Pro Tip: From T-shirts to coffee mug designs, you can take advantage of Amazon Merch. Just remember that your design image should be in a PNG format of 15” x 18” with 300 dpi.

Additionally, it would be best to order a sample before publishing your product for shoppers to see. This will allow you to check whether your design fits your product’s attributes.

  • Amazon Direct Publishing

If you do not have the artistic skills to make money via Amazon Merch and are still pondering on how to make money on Amazon, perhaps you have the literary prowess to make money online via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

You can either choose to publish an eBook or a printed book via Amazon KDP. When you publish your work on Amazon, you will receive royalties from your work.

The royalty rate for printed books as of September 14, 2021, is divided into two: 

  • 60% for Standard Distribution
  • 40% for Expanded Distribution

To calculate the royalty, Amazon is using this formula – royalty rate times the print book’s listing price, minus the printing costs. To illustrate, below is an example of how royalty is calculated for printed books:

Standard Distribution:

(60% Royalty Rate x List Price) – Printing Costs = Royalty

Ex. (0.60 x $14.99) – $4.45 = $4.54

Expanded Distribution:

(40% Royalty Rate x List Price) – Printing Costs = Royalty

Ex. (0.40 x $14.99) – $4.45 = $1.55

On the other hand, for eBooks, you can choose either Option A – 35% royalty or Option B – 70% royalty. 

If you choose Option A, the calculation would be 35% of the listed price without VAT. Option B would be 70% of the listed price, still without VAT but minus the delivery costs. Take note that the delivery cost may vary depending on the file size. 

Pro Tip: To increase the marketability of your book, you need to generate excitement among readers. You can engage the curiosity of shoppers by creating a compelling cover for your book.   

Along with stimulating a full-sized image for your cover and interesting thumbnail, you should also write an absorbing description of your book. You can also include video trailers to advertise your book. 

  • Amazon Trade-In

As part of Amazon’s goal of building sustainable products to benefit the planet and its customers, the Amazon Trade-In program was introduced. If you are in the United States, you can take advantage of this program and receive an Amazon Gift Card in exchange for eligible items. 

Amazon-certified recyclers will process trade-in devices. Your used or old devices will be restored, resold, or recycled depending on their quality or condition.

Some of the commonly traded items include video games, cell phones, and Amazon devices. Go to the trade-in store and select the device category to receive a trade-in offer.  

With Amazon Trade-In, you sell your used items to Amazon in exchange for a gift card with monetary value or a pre-loaded amount. You can use this card to purchase items on Amazon. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to use high-quality packing materials when sending your trade-in items to Amazon. This will avoid damaging the item and the possibility of being rejected by Amazon.

When it comes to the limitation of trade-in orders, the maximum allowable value is $1800. If you have items that exceed such value, you should create multiple trade-in orders.

Amazon Non-Selling Activities You Can Try 

If you are not that confident with your Amazon selling skills and you are still searching online how to make money on Amazon without selling, you should explore these alternative income sources below:

  • Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex helps you make money by delivering goods for Amazon. It is just like an Uber service, but rather you are working for Amazon.

If you have a 4-door, mid-sized sedan, or larger vehicle for package deliveries, you can start earning extra money. According to Amazon, most Flex drivers earn around $18 to $25 an hour. 

Another key feature of Amazon Flex is that you are not required to work the whole day. You can work only when you like to by reserving work blocks in advance to suit your availability. 

Pro Tip: 

To start your Amazon Flex journey, you should first download the application via the Apple Store or Google Play. Your smartphone should be an iPhone 6 or newer, and it should be running on iOS 13 or newer.

If you are using an Android smartphone, it should be running on Android 6.0 or newer with at least 2GB RAM, camera flash, SIM card, and GPS location service. 

  • Amazon Virtual 

Amazon Virtual is another answer to your question on how to make money on Amazon without selling. This program is a work-from-home experience offered by Amazon. The good thing about these virtual location jobs is that they are not confined to the United States alone. 

Depending on their needs, Amazon opens positions in other countries. Currently, some of the locations with open positions include Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, and The Netherlands.

Some of the popular choices for job seekers include data entry and customer service. It is estimated that the salary for a representative is around $30,000 per year, or roughly about $16-18 per hour for a full-time representative.  

Pro Tip: In order to pass the interview for any Amazon virtual job opportunities, you should come prepared. The majority of the questions are behavioral-based, which means interviews include situations or challenges in the past and how you handled them.  

Recruiters highly suggest expressing your answers following the STAR format: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Practice answering some questions using this format to help improve your confidence.

  • Amazon Affiliate Program 

Another way of making money online is via the affiliate program. You need to create content on your website or blog page and use Amazon’s link-building tools to direct audiences to Amazon product pages. For each qualifying purchase, you can earn commissions. 

If you are a YouTube content creator, you can also earn commissions every time you recommend items on your video. You can create shoppable collections of Amazon products grouped into kits via kit.co. You can post the link to your collection in your YouTube video description. 

Pro Tip: For your blog content or vlog topics, always make sure you follow trending topics. Incorporate the proper use of keywords on your articles along with appropriate tags. 

Make your content highly interesting and informative to engage audiences. Encourage your readers or viewers to share your content online for increased viewership. More viewers or readers means more visits to Amazon stores. 

 

  • Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical Turk is another alternative on how to make money on Amazon without selling. MTurk is a crowdsourcing marketplace dedicated to individuals or businesses, known as requesters, who outsource their tasks to a dedicated workforce. 

You can be part of Amazon MTurk and start making money online even without a website or YouTube channel. Some of the commonly outsourced tasks include but are not limited to research, moderating content, data deduplication, processing, analysis, and so much more. 

However, other  MTurk tasks will not require any special set of skills. These tasks are typically small digital tasks. You can get paid after completing simple tasks while performing them during your spare time. 

Pro Tip: You should avoid penny tasks to generate significant cash flow. As much as possible, disregard low-paying hourly rates. 

Always maintain a high approval rating by following specific instructions. Although some tasks are very simple, never skip a single instruction provided. If you cannot follow a simple instruction, then your approval rating might decrease. 

  • Amazon CamperForce

The Amazon CamperForce program is another avenue for making money online if you are not interested in Amazon FBA. Joining this program means working in Amazon’s sophisticated fulfillment centers. 

Some of the tasks include handling customer orders, such as picking, packing, and shipping. The tech giants boast of their technological and safe work environment. 

CamperForce associates normally receive around $15 per hour and $120.00 weekly for campground expenses. This is a good option if you are interested in seasonal employment. 

Pro Tip: This type of employment is ideal for mobile RVers. Amazon is particularly looking for individuals who have their own RV. Your availability and willingness to move from one camp to another would be highly favored. 

  • Amazon Influencer Program

If you are an online influencer or content creator, you can take advantage of the Amazon Influencer Program. You will recommend Amazon products to your followers and earn commissions from each qualifying purchase.

Pro Tip: To qualify for this program, you need to have an active social media account such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram. Some of the metrics for evaluation include your number of followers and other engagement metrics. 

Bonus Income Source

  • Promote Third-Party Seller Tools

Although this is not within the direct scope of Amazon, it still answers your query on how to make money on Amazon without selling. Promoting seller tools is a great opportunity to obtain freebies, money-saving discounts, or simply make money online. 

Some third-party seller tools offer commission, referral fees, or huge product discounts. All you need to do is refer their tools or services to Amazon sellers. 

Some of these Amazon seller tools and services include repricing softwares, product sourcing, product listing, price scanners, and feedback apps. 

Pro Tip: Before recommending any Amazon seller tool to your peers or sellers, be sure to do your due diligence about the software. This can help you answer some of the basic and on-the-spot questions of potential clients. 

  • Amazon Consulting Business

When you have the knowledge or expertise to help Amazon sellers improve their business, some sellers start their own Amazon consulting services. You can offer unique strategies and fresh ideas to Amazon sellers to help them increase their sales or customer engagements.  

For example, if you have in-depth knowledge of the product listings function, you can offer your services to help sellers improve their product listings. An estimated fee for a listing specialist is around $25-200 per listing.

Pro Tip: When it comes to the eCommerce industry, be open to change and innovation. 

Listen to new ideas from other industry experts and learn from their novel concepts or approaches to help your consulting business stand out from your traditional competitors.

Essential Success Tip  

If you take the time to explore the entirety of Amazon’s ecosystem, you can surely find numerous avenues through which you can earn money. However, beyond monetary concern, you should always prioritize the quality of your products or services. 

Never forget that Amazon is the epitome of good customer service in the eCommerce industry. Hence, customer satisfaction should likewise be embedded in each of your business transactions. 


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