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9 Effective Tips to Earn Money on Amazon (2024)

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Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last 20 years, you’ll know Amazon as one of the largest companies by revenue, bringing in a staggering $514 billion in 2022. If you have been living under a rock, then welcome to 2023. I’d advise you not to check the news. 

For smaller retailers, this might sound pretty scary. How are you supposed to compete with the commercial might of Amazon? Well, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to. With its vast customer base and worldwide infrastructure, Amazon has become one of the world’s most prominent marketplaces. 

Viewed as a platform rather than a retailer, Amazon offers myriad opportunities for small businesses and individuals. Whether using its marketplace to sell products or publishing your own books on Kindle, there are many ways to earn money on Amazon by leveraging the gigantic, international framework set up by Amazon. Perhaps that’s why an impressive 89% of Amazon sellers are profitable. 

So, in today’s article, we will explore ways you can start earning money on Amazon, delving into some practical tips and looking at their benefits and challenges.

1. Use Fulfillment by Amazon 

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a way for small businesses to use Amazon’s infrastructure by letting them do the hard work of storing, shipping, and providing the online platform for your products. You only need to concentrate on sourcing the goods and generating sales. 

What are the Benefits of FBA?

  • Make use of Amazon’s distribution network, allowing you to distribute worldwide. You can also access benefits such as Amazon Prime’s next-day shipping for your products. 
  • Keep overheads down by using Amazon’s warehousing and storage.
  • Use Amazon’s service team to ensure you can be there for your customer 24/7—this is great for businesses with smaller groups.
  • Using Amazon this way means that your distribution, warehousing, and customer service all scale with your business, which is excellent for small but growing businesses looking to scale their business the right way
  • Gain access to millions of Amazon customers. This is especially beneficial, as so many people don’t spend time searching for items outside Amazon now. 

What Are the Challenges of FBA?

  • High fees—especially for those signing up to Amazon Prime as a seller.
  • Limited control over prices and shipping costs.
  • Limited control over customer service—relying on Amazon for customer service may not suit everyone, and some businesses may want to consider other options, such as call center outsourcing services instead. 
  • Potential for increased returns due to Amazon’s return policy.
  • Risk of having funds withheld by Amazon to cover expenses of potential returns.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is similar to FBA. However, you sell products manufactured by a third party instead of getting Amazon to handle your products. So, when you get an order, the order goes out directly from the supplier to the customer via Amazon’s delivery infrastructure. There are a lot of benefits to working this way. 

What Are the Benefits of Dropshipping?

  • Low startup costs—because you don’t have to invest in the manufacturing, the storage, the logistics, or even require a physical inventory, this is one of the most economical ways to start making money from Amazon.
  • Similarly, because manufacturing and distribution are done for you by third parties, you don’t have the headaches associated with organizing them.
  • More comprehensive product selections are also easily achievable when you don’t have to own the production methods.
  • Running a business this way is super flexible. You can run your business anywhere and work on a timescale that suits you, especially with remote tools like online screen sharing and the Amazon Seller app. 

how dropshipping works

As with all things in life, there are some challenges associated with this method.

What are the Challenges of Dropshipping?

  • Lower profit margins, primarily due to the intense competition on Amazon
  • Limited scope for marketing the products you sell.
  • Dependency on suppliers—your reputation depends entirely on products you may never even see, making it especially difficult to quality control the products you sell.
  • Inventory issues can also be a significant problem as you are removed from manufacturing. Building good relationships with suppliers is vital for this reason.
  • Market saturation—there is also a significant chance that you will sell the same products as other sellers, which can drive down prices or suppress sales.

All these factors mean that you must think carefully about pricing and plan ahead for business interruptions, such as federal holidays or disruptions to your cash flow when dropshipping on Amazon. 

3. Private Label Products

Private labeling is a selling model on Amazon that allows sellers to sell third-party products under their brand name. The practice is common, not just on Amazon but by many retailers worldwide. It is often referred to as ‘white labeling’ because of the white label that manufacturers often put on the product for the seller to fill in with their details. Own-brand supermarket products are a great example of white-labeled products.  

What Are the Benefits of Private Labeling?

Like FBA, private labeling allows you to outsource some of the more challenging parts of the process, in this case, manufacturing. The main benefits are:

  • Sell products without having the overheads associated with manufacturing, such as production sites and machinery.
  • Avoid having production expertise or hiring people who know how to manufacture the products you sell.
  • This means you can work as a solopreneur or entrepreneur, depending on whether you want to grow your business or maintain your independence.
  • Create your own brand with your own marketing.
  • Complete control over pricing.
  • Sell a broader range of products than you could produce yourself.
  • By spending your time on marketing, you can build a brand that people trust, which drives sales.

What Are the Challenges of Private Labeling?

While you lose many of the headaches from manufacturing, some substantial challenges are associated with private labeling. 

  • Lack of control over the production process.
  • It can be challenging to find reliable quality suppliers.
  • Often, suppliers willing to sell to you are already selling to other private labelers on Amazon, meaning your products will be sold next to identical products. Customers often find this suspicious, which can damage your reputation as a brand.

4. Buy and Sell Wholesale

Much like FBA and private labeling, wholesaling can be a great opportunity for sellers to make money on Amazon without having the hassle of manufacturing or distribution. All you have to do is have the money to buy in bulk and get selling. Sounds simple, right? 

How to Get Started With Wholesale Shipping

  • Try to find in-demand products with lower competition—although that’s not always as easy as it sounds!
  • Focus on lower-value, faster-moving products, as it will help your cash flow.
  • Avoid perishable goods—you don’t want them to spoil if a product line doesn’t sell.
  • Attend trade shows to network with people in your chosen industries.
  • Sign up for industry publications to try and find opportunities to buy wholesale when they are cheaper.
  • Try online resources like Alibaba’s manufacturing directory and online B2B directories.
  • Once you have relationships with suppliers, build on them. Consider going out to meet regular suppliers. These relationships often turn into new opportunities.

5. Publish Your Book With Kindle Direct Publishing

Unsurprisingly, Amazon, which started as an online book store (remember those days?), has spawned the world’s largest self-publishing platform. When it comes to publishing, no one else even comes close to the potential market offered by Amazon.

How to Get Started With Kindle Direct Publishing

It’s surprisingly simple to self-publish with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

  • Register your account with KDP here
  • Upload a (well-formatted) manuscript.
  • Design and upload a cover.
  • Once the book is live, set a price for your book.
  • Select the regions for publication.

use kindle direct to earn money on amazon

How to Maximize Your Earnings

While publishing on KDP is as easy as falling off a log, earning money as an author can be more challenging. I can offer some top tips, though, from one writer to another. 

  • Get your manuscript professionally edited. It doesn’t matter how well you think you have self-edited your book; you will undoubtedly miss something. Professional editors are worth their weight in gold—and I’m not just saying that to please my boss!
  • Similarly, build a group of trusted readers who can beta-read your book before publication so you can see what the public is likely to think before you make the plunge.
  • Take the time to create an eye-catching, professional-looking cover for your book too.
  • If you can’t afford an illustrator to produce something original, there are a host of AI tools, such as stocking.ai, which can help create an image for your book. 
  • Spend time promoting your book. It takes time and effort to get your book read. Unfortunately, writing the great American novel was just the start. 
  • Encourage readers to post reviews. Honest, positive reviews can significantly boost the chances of other readers seeing your book, thanks to the magic of the Amazon algorithm. 
  • Consider running limited-time promotions to boost your downloads. If you can get higher on the best-sellers list, even for a specific sub-genre, the number of readers you get can snowball. 

6. Sell Your Art Through Amazon Merch on Demand

Merch on demand by Amazon is another great way you can make money as an artist. It is a print-on-demand service that allows artists to design and sell your work, printed on a range of products, such as tee shirts, hoodies, and bags. 

  • Create your unique design, or hire designers to create artwork for you.
  • Upload your designs to Amazon and choose the merchandise you want to sell. 
  • Earn royalties on every product sold with your design.
  • As an added bonus, this is financially risk-free, as there are no upfront costs to pay—you can only make money when you sell with Amazon Merch, not lose it. 
  • Although, of course, you’ll only make money if you sell with Amazon Merch, so consider promoting your merch through other sources, such as social media. 
  • The biggest risk here is having a design flagged for infringement and having your account suspended.

Check out our article on print-on-demand sites for artists to learn more about Amazon Merch and other sites to help you earn money on Amazon as a freelance artist.  

7. Become an Amazon Affiliate

Amazon affiliates are creators and influencers who promote products on Amazon by using affiliate links. A small percentage goes to the creator or influencer when people buy products by clicking these links. This can be an excellent way for people with a public platform to make money from Amazon without spending on inventory. 

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate

  • Sign up for the Amazon Associates Program here.
  • During the sign-up, ensure your website, page, or blog complies with Amazon’s terms of service.
  • Once approved, you can begin creating affiliate links to products to share with your audience.

 

Promoting Affiliate Links

  • Sell products you know and genuinely approve of—this will come across when you come to promote the product.
  • Remember to promote your links. As a creator or influencer, you may not want to be a salesperson, but unless people know the links are there, they will never click on them.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to improve the visibility of your content. The YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram algorithms are all-powerful and demand SEO keywords to feed their never-ending hunger for Keywords.
  • Run paid promotions for your videos, pushing you to the top of people’s news feeds, “for you” feeds, or watchlists.
  • Remember to monitor your performance before and after campaigns to ensure you’re on the right track with your promotions.
  • For a more detailed look into how to make affiliate links work for you, check out our in-depth guide on how to make money with affiliate links

8. Sell Hand-crafted Items on Amazon Handmade

Set up in 2015 as a rival to Etsy, Amazon Handmade is a great place to sell hand-crafted artisan goods. Again, this is an excellent place to sell without worrying about distribution and a great way for creative people to make money with Amazon’s eCommerce marketplace.  

  • Register as an Amazon Selling Partner here.
  • Follow the surprisingly simple, streamlined process for listing your items.
  • Bear in mind that there are fees for signing up as an Amazon selling partner, even if you don’t sell anything. Make sure you have products ready before you register!

How to Stand Out in Amazon Handmade 

Amazon Handmade caters to people looking for the best quality handmade goods, so it’s essential to ensure that your items stand out. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd. 

  • Use high-resolution, high-quality images.
  • Spend time creating detailed descriptions to showcase the time and effort you spent making your items.
  • Describe the story behind each item and how it’s made—buyers love the personal touch.
  • Outstanding customer service is a must for hand-crafted items. Again, people come to you for that personalized feeling, so excellent communication and little extras go a long way to building your reputation. 
  • Use social media to promote your store and your craft. Videos of you working and explanations of what you do are fantastic.
  • Remember, with handmade items, you’re the unique selling point! 

9. Become a Contractor on Amazon Mechanical Turk

While technology and AI have come on leaps and bounds, plenty of tasks still require a human. Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk) is an online marketplace where you can sign up to sell services as a human to businesses with small micro-tasks that they need doing. This can involve data validation, completing online research, or participating in surveys. 

The tasks are usually short  (in fact, they are known as micro-tasks), meaning you can pick and choose your working hours to suit you. You can also work from anywhere worldwide—start a business from home or earn while sitting on a beach in Barbados. 

How to Earn Through Micro-Tasks 

  • Sign up for the Mechanical Turk here
  • Browse through the Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) uploaded by companies
  • Each task should clearly say what work is required and how much the company will pay. Assignments range in complexity, with payments reflecting the difficulty of each job
  • Try and focus on tasks you can complete quickly and efficiently
  • Maintain a high task approval rate to build a positive reputation
  • Seek qualifications that will grant you access to higher-paying tasks
  • Experiment with different tasks to see what suits you the most. 

Which One’s for You?

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of opportunities to make money through the Amazon platform. Whether you want to start your own retail business without some of the traditional problems associated with new startups, or you are a creative person wanting to get your products or books out there, there is something out there for you. You might just find the perfect job that lets you do what you want, in the way you want.  

 

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Written by Alex Skinner

at Millo.co

Alex Skinner is a Content Strategist at Millo and a founder of Keystone Digital Services. A man of the people, Alex, is a: binge watcher, music creator, basketball player, food cooker/taster, party hoster, conversation starter, and a deep cut reference maker. Want to talk about anything? Talk to Alex.

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