Amazon has quickly become a worldwide sale behemoth- a far cry from its early days of selling paperback books from a garage. They have over 300 million customers in over 180 countries, and 195 million unique visitors monthly in the United States. You can now buy practically anything on amazon, from home furnishings to groceries to handyman services.
But did you know there are actually ways you can make money and earn from Amazon as well? If you’ve found most of your paycheck going to Amazon, it may be time to learn how to make money on Amazon! Read the rest of our article to see the myriad ways to make money selling on Amazon.
There are almost as many ways to make money through Amazon as there are to spend money. In this article we break down the different earning opportunities from a few categories: Selling Products or Content, Working Directly for Amazon, and Miscellaneous Opportunities.
Whether you have a specific product you are interested in distributing, or you’re just trying to find some ways to earn a few bucks from home, you’re sure to find something useful in the list below. Take a look and see for yourself how you can make money with Amazon.
Selling Products or Content
The best way to make money with Amazon is by selling on Amazon. Amazon offers potential sellers the opportunity to join their Brand Registry and solidify their brand in the Amazon marketplace. Brand Registry helps a seller access advertising opportunities, protect intellectual property and trademarks, and personalize product pages.
There are so many different tools available to sellers that we don’t have space to get into all of them here. To learn how to sell on Amazon, check out their easy and clearly-outlined process on the Amazon website. Amazon estimates that in 2018, small and medium-sized sellers made about $90,000 in sales.
If you are an established business, you can take part in Amazon Business and use a Professional Seller Membership to access better features for your products. It comes with a different fee model than the basic plan; you pay a flat monthly fee instead of a per-item fee.
Amazon presents a few different avenues for selling items that you make or produce yourself. Some of them have fairly prominent competitors, while others are somewhat innovative in the market. Keep reading to learn how to make money selling on Amazon.
If you are selling items through a brand you own, you can make use of a few different fulfillment opportunities. You can either ship items individually yourself, and Amazon will provide a shipping label, or you can join the Fulfillment-By-Amazon program to have Amazon do all of it for you.
You pay small fees for storage space and fulfilled orders, and those fees include the shipping costs. There are also per-item or per-month fees for being an Amazon Seller in general. With Amazon FBA, your customers can receive their orders through Amazon Prime if they are members, with no extra fees on your end.
2. Kindle Direct Publishing
You can actually publish and sell books on Amazon through Amazon’s Kindle brand. This is one of the best ways to earn with Amazon. If you have written content but aren’t connected in the publishing industry and don’t know where to start, start looking into Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Through KDP you can write, publish, and sell your material in a quick and direct format.
Don’t expect any kind of sales miracle though. Publishing this way can be difficult, as there will be a lot of competition and some with much better marketing than you. It stands to reason though that the more you are able to write and publish, the more you can end up earning. Writers who can tap into a specific genre and deliver in-demand content can do well for themselves too.
Once you complete your content, it only takes about 5 minutes to publish to Kindle. Then, your book will be available on all Kindle platforms within 48 hours. It is free to publish, and you can keep 70% of the royalties. You own the rights to the intellectual property, set your own prices, and can edit the content at any time. And if you want to create a print version of your book, Amazon will help with that too.
3. Amazon Handmade
You’ve likely seen the site Etsy, where people sell handmade crafts and vintage goods. Amazon handmade seeks to compete in this market with their own handmade offerings. If you are feeling crafty or already have an established handmade goods business, you could benefit from listing your products through Amazon Handmade.
Examples of some of the products sold on Amazon Handmade include paper crafts, christmas ornaments, and blankets. Amazon requires sellers to submit an “Artisan Application” which is reviewed by the company to make sure all products are actually handmade or handcrafted. It is free to list your products on Handmade; Amazon simply takes a percentage of the transaction as it’s fee upon sale. You can even use FBA for this as well, if your products are not custom-made in real time for customers.
4. Merch by Amazon
This is a really cool way to get your artwork out into the world. You upload your original art to Amazon and then work with them to create custom products for sale on the site. This can take the form of mugs, t-shirts, hats, prints, or whatever you can think of.
You can find lots of independent artists’ work on Merch, but you will also see some heavy-hitters like Disney and Marvel products as well. Because of the huge success of this platform, Merch is currently available by invite-only. You can request an invitation though and have Amazon review your work.
5. Amazon Appstore
The Amazon app store is an app store used on mobile Android devices and owned by Amazon. If you are able to develop and upload an app to the Amazon app store, you will receive 70% of the list price of the app with every purchase or subscription.
The Amazon appstore currently has over 330,000 apps and continues to grow every day. If you are an app designer or have an idea for an app, this is a great resource to consider for distribution.
6. Wholesale Sourcing and Retail Arbitrage
This one is pretty straightforward. If you have access to items sold at a discount, either through bulk member warehouses or flash sales, you can buy them and sell them at a markup through Amazon.
There’s no denying the simplicity, but it does require a substantial amount of time and upfront expense for potentially little payoff. This might be best suited to those who are experts at taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, or those who use this only for supplemental instead of primary income.
Some sellers who take advantage of retail arbitrage have found that ebay is a great way to source discount products. Ebay is no longer exclusively home to individuals reselling their used goods. You will find about 50% of listings on the site are from businesses either looking to unload archived products, sell damaged goods, or offer sales. If you have the time to bargain hunt, ebay is potentially a goldmine.
Working Directly for Amazon
Don’t limit yourself to online sales! You can make money with Amazon by working directly for Amazon. There are at least 4 different employment areas that we found offered through Amazon. But as the company grows larger and larger, the opportunities for employment may increase as well.
Amazon is becoming one of the largest employers in the United States and offers jobs all over the world. Because of the numerous different categories and services provided by Amazon, the types of jobs available are incredibly varied. You can find jobs with Kindle, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go, Prime Video or Devices.
You can also find standard job departments like Human Resources, Marketing, and Information Technology. There are jobs offered virtually, internationally, and even jobs designed specifically for students looking for opportunities to enter different career fields.
7. Delivery Driving
Amazon has begun contracting out its delivery services to individual drivers. You can become one of them! With Amazon Flex, you can use your own vehicle to deliver packages to Amazon customers. Every once in a while you can even get a sign-on bonus.
To get started, you have to be 21 years old with a valid license, vehicle, and insurance. Amazon Flex drivers pick up packages from an Amazon station and work in 3-6 hour blocks of time. As an Amazon Flex driver, you could also do delivery for Amazon Fresh or Prime Now grocery deliveries, which are done in 2-4 hour blocks. If your area offers the Instant Offer program, you would do a product delivery that is near your current location.
The scheduling is incredibly convenient. Once you are onboarded, you simply use the app on your smartphone and look for offers throughout the day that fit your schedule and location. You can even filter jobs by specific preferences that you have to make sure you are only seeing job offers that are relevant or realistic for you. Amazon does not like to advertise this as full time work, but they do advertise that you make between $18 and $25 an hour for the hours you are able to work.
Join Amazon Flex to deliver products directly to customers.
8. Amazon Virtual Jobs
There are also a great deal of employment opportunities with Amazon that don’t require leaving the house. They offer lots of remote telework jobs all over the world. You can be a customer service representative, a data analyst, or even a manger. New postings are listed all the time on their website.
9. Fulfillment and Distribution Center
Amazon is most valued for its ability to fulfill customer orders extremely quickly and efficiently. To do so, it has to maintain an incredibly complex network of sourcing, production, storage, and distribution. While there has been a great deal of controversy about Amazon’s impact on the retail job market, there’s no doubt it has opened up jobs through other channels.
Working at one of Amazon’s fulfillment or distribution centers is probably the easiest way to find employment through Amazon. The overwhelming volume of orders and the demanding nature of warehouse work means they are always searching for workers. In this job, you are responsible for finding and packaging specific customer orders to prepare them for delivery (perhaps by a Flex driver!).
Amazon recently guaranteed all employees a $15 per hour minimum wage, which means you can make a reasonable amount of money this way.
The CamperForce is one of the most unusual ways to make money through Amazon. Amazon recruits RV-dwellers to join the CamperForce and travel from warehouse to warehouse to work short-term seasonal gigs. CamperForce associates apply to work seasonal positions in predetermined locations and stay in a designated campsite with their fellow campers.
It is an incredibly in-demand job and their postings fill up pretty quickly each year. You earn Amazon’s standard $15 per hour base rate with opportunity for additional money. Work periods are generally a few months at a time, and you can earn around $6,000 easily, with little-to-no housing costs.
Amazon provides a subsidy per campsite as well as great benefits like a 401k and and overtime pay. There is even medical and pharmacy coverage available once you have worked for at least 90 days. It’s a great opportunity for those who don’t want to stay put and are looking for a bit of adventure on wheels. It’s also a great opportunity if you are retired and looking to meet up with other retired RV enthusiasts while making a little money.
Take to the road and join Amazon’s CamperForce for seasonal employment.
Our final few earning opportunities include neither direct selling nor direct employment. They are interesting avenues for making money, and we were surprised to discover some of them. Amazon has been taking advantage of their huge platform to use individuals to fill in the remaining gaps in their services. The opportunities below range from product linking to carpentry, proving that the sky really is the limit these days.
11. Amazon Associates
If you have a blog or website, you can include customized links to Amazon products on your posts and receive a commission every time someone purchases something. It can be considered a form of advertising revenue. The more popular your website is, and the more traffic it receives, the more likely you are to earn money from these links.
You should know that Amazon wants you to already be an established presence online before becoming an Associate. If you are applying with Instagram, for example, you will be expected to have at least 500 followers. You have to apply to join the program. Once you do, your application will be reviewed by the Associates team. They will look at all of the sites and pages you have documented to check for quality of content and level of engagement.
You will be expected to direct a certain amount of sales in your first few months in order to pass the trial period. You will also need to follow legal requirements and identify yourself as an Amazon Associate with your posts.
12. Mechanical Turk
Mechanical Turk is an innovative approach from Amazon that allows people to pay one another to complete quick tasks. Amazon calls it their “crowdsourcing marketplace.” The idea behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is that not every task can be automated. If you need a text translation to be reviewed for correct regional slang, that’s not something you can really trust to a computer program in most cases.
A quick look on the site shows a really wide range of potential tasks. Such tasks include things like transcribing audio files, translating French, and answering survey questions. For employers, this is a money-saving way to hire very temporary intellectual labor without nearly as much paperwork and overhead cost. For the ‘employees’ however, don’t expect this to net you a full-time salary.
Most of the tasks are pretty low-paying, some even going down to 3 cents. If you have extra time on your hands and are looking for a way to make some fun money with a little variety, this is definitely worth trying out.
13. Amazon Trade-In
With Amazon Trade-In, you can earn Amazon credit by trading in your unwanted purchases. This is as good as income since you can buy practically anything you need with Amazon credit. The trade-in system is automated through the website. You enter the details of your product, including the condition it is in, and receive a trade-in value offer. Amazon sends you a prepaid shipping label.
If they receive your product and it is rejected for trade-in for any reason (like if it does not match the listed condition), they will return it to you free of charge. There’s really no risk to this. If you have used devices lying around, like video game consoles, e-readers, tablets, books, and so on, you should definitely give it a try and see what you can get! It’s better than letting it sit around collecting dust for no money!
14. Amazon Services
Amazon Services makes it easy to attract clients to your service-based business. Customers can sign into Amazon looking for different kinds of home services, like house cleaning, landscaping, and floor installation. If you have a business or ability to provide these services, you can list them with Amazon and be connected directly to your customers. This platform also utilizes a rating system so customers see how other customers have enjoyed your services.
It is free to join as a service-provider, but you must come equipped with liability insurance with a limit of 1 million dollars per incident. If you are a tradesman, such as an Electrician, you need to show valid licensing or certification as appropriate. Amazon will also run background checks on your business and employees before connecting you with any customers.
A really interesting component of this program is the use of the app. A service-provider like yourself can log into your seller account on the app and quickly see which jobs have been posted in your area. The interface offers an easy way to keep track of your jobs and fill any gaps that you have in your schedule quickly. You simply “claim” the posted job or “dismiss” it from your feed.
List your handyman services on Amazon Services.
Final Thoughts on Making Money with Amazon
We hope you have found some useful earning opportunities for making money on Amazon from our list. In today’s gig economy, there are more and more ways to earn money from the comfort of your own house and on your own schedule. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a college student, or trying to start your own business, Amazon has a lot of promising opportunities for earning money.
To summarize the earning opportunities that were outlined above, if you are wondering how to make money with Amazon, you can 1) Sell your own products, like handmade crafts, published books, or private-label products; 2) Sell products made by others, such as through wholesale sourcing or retail arbitrage; 3) Upload your own art for sale as Merch; 4) Work directly for Amazon through their Jobs portal (driving for Flex, working virtually, as a warehouse employee, or joining the CamperForce; 5) Receive affiliate link commissions through your web-presence; 6) List your services through Amazon Services; 7) Complete small tasks with Mechanical Turk; 7) Trade in your used goods; or 8) Develop and sell an app on the Amazon Appstore.
Among all of those different categories and opportunities, the possibilities are almost endless. And you aren’t limited to just one of those! A motivated earner can sell through several different platforms, work directly for Amazon, and trade-in their used goods in their downtime. And maybe over time you will start to earn more from Amazon than you are spending on their products!