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Amazon seems like an unstoppable force at this point. For many of us, Amazon is the first place we turn when we’re looking to buy something online. But in recent years Amazon has expanded into a lot of different markets, including some that you’re probably not aware of.
Of course, this means more revenue for Amazon. But Amazon’s remarkable growth has also opened up doors for anyone who wants to make money.
My wife and I experienced this first hand in 2015 when we built a part-time business that generated $100,000+ per year in profit just from selling on Amazon (keep reading for more details on that).
A lot of these opportunities are perfect as side hustles. They offer plenty of flexibility so they’re great if you’re just looking for some extra money. Some of them also give you the potential to grow it into a full-time income.
→ If you’re looking for ways to make extra money, be sure to see my list of 125+ side hustles.
There are a number of different ways that you can make money with Amazon, and in this article we’ll take a look at ten of the current possibilities. It’s likely that even more possibilities will arise in the near future.
Amazon Associates is Amazon’s name for its affiliate program. You can sign up for Amazon Associates and use affiliate links to send visitors to Amazon, and if the visitor makes a purchase you’ll earn a referral commission.
Amazon was one of the pioneers of the affiliate industry and theirs is still one of the most (if not the most) popular affiliate programs in the world. With so many different products being sold on Amazon you can promote just about anything you can think of.
One of the perks of affiliate marketing is that you won’t need to deal with things like inventory, upfront costs, and customer service.
The commission that you’ll earn will vary depending on the category of the product that is purchased, but generally it is around 4%. This may seem like a low percentage, but keep in mind that Amazon converts a high percentage of visitors into buyers because so many people are already loyal customers. Also, the visitor doesn’t need to purchase the exact product that you are promoting. After they click through your affiliate link, you’ll earn commissions on any product they purchase from Amazon during the next 24 hours. This is great because many people will click through your link, and then wind up buying something totally unrelated. And you still earn a commission for it!
Amazon Associates can be used with websites and blogs that cover just about any topic (be sure to read their terms when you’re signing up). A lot of people create niche websites for the specific purpose of making money with Amazon Associates. Just about any blog can make money from Amazon Associates, so it’s definitely worth some attention if you already have your own website or blog.
I’ve been an Amazon Associate for several years now. The money I make as an affiliate doesn’t make up a huge percentage of my overall income, but I do get paid a few hundred dollars every month. And one of the nice things is, I haven’t done much to earn this. Most of my referrals come from a blog that has some occasional links whenever a product is mentioned in the blog content.
→ If you want to learn more about how to create a niche website and make money with Amazon Associates, please see my Complete Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Website.
Retail Arbitrage involves buying products at one retail store (or website) and re-selling them for profit. With this business model you’ll find great deals at a variety or retail stores and websites and research to see how much you can sell the same product for on Amazon. If you’re able to sell it for a decent profit you buy the sale or discounted item and then list it for sale on Amazon.
If you know how to do it, retail arbitrage can be a great business model. The problem is that it involves a learning curve, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you can lose a good bit of money in the process.
Fortunately, there are some helpful resources that will walk you through the process. Jessica and Cliff have been running a six-figure Amazon business for a few years, and they run Amazon Boot Camp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about running a retail arbitrage business. They also offer a 7-day free email course that gives you a really good introduction.
Private labeling involves creating your own brand. You’ll have a manufacturer who creates products with your logo and brand name on them. This is a very popular approach, and this is how my wife and I built a six figure business very quickly.
There are several reasons to love selling private label products on Amazon:
Many people who sell private label products on Amazon do it part time, but you can also turn it in to a full-time business if you want to.
→ If you’re interested in learning more about how to do this, please see my Complete Guide to Selling Private Label Products on Amazon.
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While you can sell new items on Amazon, you can also sell used items (excluding some categories that don’t allow used products). Many people make a nice income by buying cheap items at flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, and auctions, and then re-selling them for a profit at sites like Amazon and Ebay.
If you like to write, one of the best ways to make money is to sell books or e-books on Amazon. With Amazon’s Kindle program it’s very easy to create and sell your own e-book on any topic that you can imagine. With Amazon’s huge market it’s possible to make a significant amount of money this way. Read this article from one successful author/seller.
It’s possible to make money with Kindle with or without your own existing audience. Of course, if you already have a blog or email list that you can use to help get your book launched quickly, that will help.
Amazon also offers CreateSpace for self-publishing printed books. You can learn more about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and CreateSpace here.
Merch by Amazon is a great opportunity for designers, or anyone who is willing to outsource design work. Through this program you can upload your own designs and select the products that you want to sell (like t-shirts for example). When someone purchases your item Amazon will handle production, shipping, and customer service… and you’ll get paid.
With this business model you won’t have to deal with inventory and you’ll have no upfront costs. You’ll still have control over the pricing and the exact products that you sell.
→ Want to see a success story? Here is a podcast with Elaine, who made more than $50,000 in profit in one year selling t-shirts, and working only 10 hours a week.
With Amazon Flex you can make $18 – $25 per hour delivering packages to customers. Best of all, you can set your own schedule and working hours.
Flex is currently available in 50 cities, but I imagine that number is likely to expand pretty quickly.
You can learn more about Amazon Flex here.
Have you ever heard of Amazon Home Services? I hadn’t, until recently. Through Amazon Home Services customers can get services like house cleaning, furniture assembly, handyman services, lawn mowing, and more. That’s right. You can pay Amazon to have your lawn mowed.
That means there are opportunities for people like you and me to provide these services and make money. You can learn more about the opportunity here.
There is an application process that you’ll need to go through, but once you are approved Amazon will send you work. You’ll need general liability insurance, and if you’re a trade professional (like a plumber or electrician) you’ll need to be licensed.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work the needs human intelligence. Businesses can sign up as “requesters” so they can hire people like you and me to do small tasks for them. Most of the tasks take just a few minutes of your time, and in some cases you may be able to do several tasks in one minute. Tasks can be things like brief surveys, data verification, and simple research.
The amount you make will vary from one task to the next. Some tasks will not be available to you until you’ve reached certain milestones, like completing 100 tasks. So at first your income may be lower, but more opportunities will be available to you if you stick with it.
In general, you’re not going to get rich with Mechanical Turk. But if you’re looking for a flexible way to make some supplemental money from home on your own schedule, it can be a good option.
Of course, Amazon employs a huge number of people in its warehouses and corporate offices, but they also offer some remote employment opportunities. If you go to Amazon.jobs and click on “remote career opportunities” you’ll see the work-from-home jobs that are currently available. At the time I’m writing this there are 244 jobs listed, with many of them involving customer service.
Of these ten options, which ones are a good fit for you? I’ve personally used two of these methods (Amazon Associates and selling private label products).
Disclosure: Information presented on Vital Dollar and through related email marketing is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. Please see our Disclosure for further information.
I've been working in internet marketing full-time since 2008. I started VitalDollar.com to share from my experience and to help others who want to improve their own financial situation. You can read my full bio here.
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