How to Make Money on Amazon: Top 5 Strategies Ranked

Amazon is expected to have more than $400 BILLION in revenue in 2021.

Numbers like that might have you wondering how to make money on Amazon so you can carve out a piece of that pie for yourself.

We’ll start this post going over the top 5 ways you can make money with Amazon, ranked based on how much potential we see in each option.

  1. Sell things on Amazon (following the Stairway to 7 Figures for product sourcing)
  2. Start a niche site and monetize it via Amazon’s affiliate program.
  3. Write books and sell via KDP.
  4. Deliver via Amazon Flex.
  5. Design shirts to sell via Amazon Merch.

We’ll go over each of these below. After the main list, you’ll find a list of additional strategies for making money on Amazon that you may want to explore as well.

1. Sell things on Amazon.

Selling on Amazon isn’t as hard or expensive as many people think.

Selling things remains the best way to make money on Amazon.

Over 50% of sales that happened on the Amazon platform in 2020 were from 3rd party sellers, which means people like you and me.

A lot of people think that making money on Amazon by selling things requires you to have your own product to sell. You don’t.

In fact, we strongly recommend against “private labeling” your own product when you are first getting started. There are many benefits to private label, but people who want you to start out with their $5000 course conveniently leave out some of the risks.

Like the huge start up costs and picking a product before you have any experience selling on Amazon.

The truth is that you can get started selling other people’s products – products with proven demand and existing sales pages on Amazon – then work up to your own products if and when you are ready.

Location of Amazon Buy Box on desktop product page (right)
Here is an example of a “Third Party Seller” selling a Stanley Powerlock measuring tape.

We’re selling several millions every year, and the vast majority of that comes from selling other people’s products that we source via retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, and wholesale.

Here is a great guide about what to sell on Amazon and how to source it.

Here is a more general overview of how to sell on Amazon.

2. Start a niche site.

Amazon’s affiliate program (called Amazon Associates) is a great way to make money if you have a source of traffic to monetize.

Amazon’s affiliate program is as simple as signing up and driving traffic through your links.

The way it works is you earn a percentage of every sale that occurs after someone clicks one of your links to head to Amazon. This is why so many blogs feature product recommendations and links that direct you to Amazon. They are earning money for referring you.

If you decide to head down this path, be aware that unless you already have a blog that is earning traffic, it will take a long time to earn decent money. Most people won’t start seeing earnings worth talking about until they are 1 to 2 years into their project.

While this may be longer than you want to wait, we still decided to include it here for two very important reasons:

  1. The long-term income potential is extremely high.
  2. Once you do the work to get everything set up, you will continue earning money for a long time into the future even if you take extended vacations.

To be successful on this path, you need a niche to target. In other words, you need to find a community of people that will want to listen to what you have to say about a certain topic.

If you are interested in going down this path, we recommend working with either:

3. Write and sell books via KDP.

KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s a way to publish and sell eBooks via Amazon.

While this isn’t a great fit for most people, it can be a great way to earn money if you enjoy writing.

It’s also a good way to diversify your income streams if you have a niche site. (It’s actually something we plan on exploring before the end of 2021.)

Most people are not able to make a living off just one book – success with KDP often means writing a good deal of books. That’s why we only recommend considering this path if you really like writing.

4. Deliver via Amazon Flex.

Depending on where you live, Amazon Flex can be a decent way to earn money with Amazon.

If you prefer steady pay over creating your own business, this could be a good fit for you because they pay you twice per week for the deliveries you have made. According to Amazon, most drivers earn between $18 and $25 an hour.

That’s not bad, but you have to keep in mind that you have to supply your own car, and you are not getting reimbursed for things like fuel, maintenance, and depreciation on your vehicle.

Flex isn’t available everywhere, and they are only “actively recruiting” in a portion of the places it is available. Here is a list of cities Amazon is currently recruiting drivers for.

If your city is not listed, you can still download the Flex app and apply. That way they will notify you as soon as a spot opens up that you qualify for.

5. Design shirts to sell via Amazon Merch.

Amazon Merch is a “print on demand” service where all you do is upload designs for t-shirts. Amazon handles all the rest, including printing the shirt and delivering it.

The process for uploading designs for Amazon Merch is easy.

Here are the steps involved with creating a shirt to sell:

  1. Create the design.
  2. Upload the design to Amazon.
  3. Choose a shirt type and color.
  4. Set your price.
  5. Write a short description.

Some people report huge earnings with Merch, but your success will depend on many factors – especially the quality of your designs and if you have any traffic to send towards them.

Read more and apply for the Merch program here.

Other Options For Making Money On Amazon

The 5 options listed above are what we believe offer the most potential, but there are numerous other ways to leverage Amazon to earn an income.

Here is a list of every other option for making money on Amazon we are aware of:

Let us know in the comments what strategies you’re most interested in or if you know of other ideas that should make the list!

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