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How to Make Money On Amazon: 14 Profitable Ways to Do It This Year

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    Chances are you’ve bought something on Amazon recently. What started as an online bookstore has become the go-to online market place for almost anything. Diapers, denim, desk lamps. You name it and it’s one click away.

    The tech disruptor isn’t just for retail anymore. Amazon is continuing to expand ways for people to make money with a wide range of services and products. We identified 14 opportunities that can put money in your pocket each month on Amazon.

    It’s not a one size fits all operation. Amazon offers steady jobs, careers, side hustles and software that will appeal to different people. This article will help you explore the diverse ways people are making money on Amazon. Let’s find a hustle that works for you!

    Sell Your Stuff (or Just Trade It In)

  1. Retail Arbitrage
  2. Anyone can sell on Amazon, including you. The key is to identify products with the highest profit margins via what’s known as “retail arbitrage”. This is simply when you buy new products and sell them for a higher price.

    Lots of Amazon sellers get started by finding items on clearance at local retail stores. It can be as simple as shampoos, teas or baby products.

    There is a special app for Amazon sellers dedicated to scanning barcodes. This lets you know exactly how much a product is selling for on Amazon and what kind of commission you can make off of it.

    There are two types of Amazon seller’s accounts. It’s probably best to start with an individual seller’s plan, which simply charges you 99 cents per product sold. You can always upgrade to a professional plan that charges you $39 a month if you move more than 40 items.

    This may sound tedious but some sellers use retail arbitrage to make a lot of money. It can be a simple side hustle or an all-out online business. Some have even been able to make it a full-time career!

  3. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
  4. If you do start moving regular inventory, you can also opt to participate in Fulfillment by Amazon (or “FBA”). FBA operates similarly to the selling account mentioned above with the caveat that you’re shipping to Amazon fulfillment centers, not a direct consumer.

    This can have perks like Amazon’s in-house management of returns and customer service. FBA provides third party-sellers an advantage over other e-commerce platforms like eBay or Alibaba.

    But Amazon fulfillment is also geared towards higher volume sellers with a steady moving inventory. Be sure to check out the Amazon FBA Fee Information page to understand if the extra fee trade-offs are right for your budding business. They even offer a helpful tool that will estimate your costs!

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  5. Trade-Ins
  6. Technology is moving so fast these days. If you’re like me, you probably have old phones, tablets and all kinds of electronics crammed into some old drawer.

    Amazon has a comprehensive Trade-In program that offers you credit for thousands of different items including electronics, phones, and video games.

    Amazon provides you an immediate offer based on the item’s make and condition and provides free shipping to send it in. You receive an Amazon gift card instead of cash, but that’s still better than letting that old phone collect dust around your house.

    Develop Original Content

    Amazon is creating new avenues for content creators to access wider audiences.

  7. Publish a Book with KDP
  8. Do you have a story you want to tell? Amazon is opening doors via its own self-publishing platform. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (or “KDP”) now allows independent writers to self-publish for free and potentially reach millions of Amazon subscribers.

    You set your price for your book and can earn up to a 70% royalty on all sales (typically priced between $2.99 and $9.99).

    Authors who opt into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program can earn additional royalties (and bonuses) and even reach a wider audience.

    This creates a “win-win” for Amazon by directly connecting new content to active readers in their subscription service. KDP offers a new way for authors to cultivate an audience that may have been out of reach via traditional publishing houses.

  9. Make an Audiobook with ACX
  10. Once you write a book, Amazon makes it easy to access even more people through its own Audiobook publishing service, ACX. This platform offers you the opportunity to record your book or choose a narrator.

    Your book will then be available for people to access on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. You can earn between a 25%-40% royalty dependent on how you elect to distribute your audiobook.

    As more people embrace streaming and Audiobooks, this is a surefire way to capitalize on your content.

  11. Narrate Audiobooks with ACX
  12. ACX provides avenues for narrators to audition and record audiobooks as well. Their Narrator application allows you to create a profile with samples of your voice.

    You can then audition for whatever books you choose by recording a few minutes of the manuscript and will receive an offer from the author if you’re the top choice.

    Typically, you’ll receive payment either by an hourly rate or a royalty share with the author. ACX also provides lessons to set up your studio or find a professional location to record.

    ACX offers a seemingly unlimited number of books to record, making this a great avenue to break into the voiceover and acting business.

  13. Monetize Your Website or Blog with Amazon Associates
  14. Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates, is an easy way to generate passive income for your website or blog. Being an Amazon affiliate means you provide links to Amazon products related to your content and earn a commission for every click-through sale.

    Let’s say you have a blog dedicated to reviewing books. You can set up an Amazon Associates account to link the books to Amazon. Voila! You earned a commission.

    This is a popular passive income generator for lots of content creators because Amazon typically accepts even the smallest blogs into the program. You also have the advantage of Amazon’s built-in customer base and huge inventory.

    We earn our living on affiliate income, Amazon included, and we do so with the affiliate marketing software called Lasso.


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    Unleash Your Creative Side

    Amazon developed new marketplaces to attract designers, artists, and artisans under their umbrella.

  17. Sell Designs with Merch by Amazon
  18. Do you have a talent for graphic design? Merch By Amazon is a platform to sell your designs as Amazon products (think t-shirts, hoodies, etc).

    You simply submit original designs and select the products where your design will be featured. Amazon manages all aspects of the business process, including production, shipping, and customer service.

    Using the Merch platform provides some significant advantages for entrepreneurs.

    Amazon prints products on-demand, so you don’t carry any upfront risk of unsold inventory. All Merch products are made available via Amazon Prime, so you’ll have access to millions of potential customers and benefit from expedited shipping.

    Amazon also provides analysis to help you increase revenue by understanding what designs and products are selling the best.

    Every item sold earns a royalty depending on its costs. Royalties for standard t-shirts, for example, range between 15%-35% depending on the price point.

    While Amazon maintains a good portion of the revenue, it’s hard to complain given the low risk and barriers of entry. The platform has proven so popular that Amazon is now requiring applications. Be sure to hone your best design and apply for an invitation today!

  19. Market Your Crafts with Amazon Handmade
  20. Amazon Handmade is the company’s marketplace for artisanal products. This platform is tailored to solo artisans or small collectives that make their own, hand-crafted wares.

    Think of it as Amazon’s answer to Etsy. The marketplace is only open to specific product categories including artwork, baby goods, beauty/personal care, clothing, accessories, home goods, and jewelry.

    Amazon Handmade accepts new artisans by application to ensure the integrity of the products and establish confidence for Amazon customers. This platform allows them to leverage the efficiency of mass production while still maintaining the unique qualities of their craft.

    Amazon charges a simple 15% referral fee for most sales made on the platform. Check out our deep dive on Amazon Handmade for more information.

    Sell Your Labor

    Amazon is revolutionizing e-commerce but it still relies on a wide variety of manual labor to keep its operations going. Amazon offers a range of employment options to support its operations and connect people to labor to support their needs.

  21. Move Products at an Amazon Warehouse
  22. The Amazon Warehouse is where the action happens. Amazon’s insanely high inventory and cross-country demand mean warehouses are seemingly popping up everywhere.

    These jobs aren’t for the faint of heart. They typically require more physically demanding work, including heavy lifting and machine operating, to get packages out the door.

    If you think this work is in your wheelhouse, you simply need to be 18 years old and have a high school degree (or equivalent) to apply. Amazon’s minimum wage is set at $15/hour, which can be nice earnings depending on where you’re living.

  23. Deliver with Amazon Flex
  24. Amazon’s market dominance and rapid delivery guarantees for Prime customers led to the introduction of Flex deliveries. Amazon Flex is intended to supplement Amazon’s traditional mail carriers and support it’s quick turnaround services like Prime Now, AmazonFresh and Amazon Restaurants.

    Similar to ride-share, you operate as an independent contractor. You simply need an app on your phone and can set your schedule on-demand. Owning your car is required in most places, but there are a few exceptions for bikes.

    You can earn between $18-$25 per hour depending on several factors like your location and deliveries. If you like the idea of a side-hustle but don’t want to chauffeur strangers via car-share, Flex might be worth a look.

    Check out our deep dive on Amazon Flex to see if it’s right for you.

  25. Get a New Marketplace for Your Skills or Business
  26. Amazon Services is another sector Amazon is embracing beyond traditional retail. The Services platform connects professionals like contractors, electricians and house cleaners to local jobs in their area.

    Most professional jobs simply require some basic insurance coverage and proof of your professional license (e.g., electrician, general contractor, etc). They also offer smaller-scaled opportunities including bicycle mechanics and fitness instructors.

    There are no upfront costs to participate. You simply pay Amazon a percentage of your payment that’s scaled based on the price and type of work. Many professionals are finding this as a convenient way to fill gaps in their schedules or pick up some extra work.

  27. Discover Work-From-Home & Virtual Careers
  28. The work-from-home movement is changing the way people think of careers. Amazon is embracing it by offering a wide variety of virtual career opportunities.

    Running a business of this magnitude requires way more than coders.

    Amazon offers an assortment of virtual opportunities including sales, human resources, accounting and, of course, software and engineering. They even offer a variety of part-time and seasonal jobs.

  29. Take Advantage of Credit Card Perks
  30. The simplest way to make money on Amazon is by taking advantage of the Amazon Rewards credit card perks. Amazon’s very own credit card offers 3% cashback on all your Amazon purchases. And those rewards jump up to 5% cashback for Amazon Prime members.

    This doesn’t mean you should start filling up your cart to unlock cash rewards. We never want to see people in credit card debt.

    But, if you’re like me, a Prime membership goes hand-in-hand with using Amazon for everyday necessities and last-minute gifts. Getting 5% cashback is a simple perk that sweetens each deal.

    Make Money With Amazon Today

    Amazon seems to be rolling out new ventures nonstop. With opportunities for simple side hustles, steady jobs, and life-changing careers, Amazon is a great resource for money-making opportunities. Don’t hesitate to start earning with your new gig today!

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Mike Uberti - Contributor Mike Uberti is a personal finance writer, researcher, and municipal government policy analyst and project manager. His passion for the almighty dollar was sparked by a graduate course he took in college. Since then, he's used that knowledge to successfully fund his education, buy a home, and save for retirement. Mike received a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley and lives with his wife in Oakland, California. In his free time, he contributes to his IRA.
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