Making money on Amazon means more than selling products. In fact, the online giant has expanded into multiple different areas, making it easy to find a side gig that works for you.
Whether you’re looking for an hourly wage on your own schedule, or the ability to grow your own business, Amazon is a smart place to start.
Here are 11 ways to make money using Amazon as a side hustle.
1. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Amazon largely works as a go-between for sellers and customers, and it’s actually easier to become a seller than you may think. The Fulfillment by Amazon program (or FBA for short) allows you to list and sell private-label goods.
Do some research to figure out lucrative items to sell through FBA, such as:
- Workout clothes.
- Beauty face masks.
- Baby items.
Then find a wholesale supplier to source the products and send them to Amazon.
Once you source your items, you ship them to an Amazon warehouse. When someone makes a purchase, Amazon handles the shipping logistics and can even offer Prime shipping as an additional customer benefit. Amazon also handles all of the customer support so you don’t have to.
2. Retail and online arbitrage
Another strategy for selling on Amazon is called arbitrage, which involves buying new items on clearance or at low prices, then selling them on Amazon at a higher price.
There are a number of ways to source products, including the clearance shelves of big box stores, seasonal items at popular stores that aren’t available nationwide, or even websites like eBay. You can sell your arbitrage products through FBA as well. That lets you focus on buying and listing items while avoiding the time it takes to ship.
3. Used books
Another sales niche on Amazon is its used book marketplace (remember when Amazon was just a book store?). It’s not easy to make a profit on all types of books, but there are some niches that have much higher profit margins, including:
- Comic books.
- First edition books.
- Hardcover copies.
Whenever you come across books you’re interested in (like at a yard sale or thrift store), search Amazon and see how much they sell for compared to the purchase price. Used textbooks, for instance, often sell well above $100, so there’s major potential for high-profit margins.
List your books for sale and, like other Amazon sales, you don’t have to worry about shipping each individual order. Just send it to a warehouse through the FBA program and you’ll completely avoid having stacks of books all over your house (unless they’re your own).
4. Whole Foods in-store shopping
Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 and now allows customers to place an order for delivery or pickup directly through the Amazon platform. It’s basically like Instacart for Whole Foods. As an in-store shopper, you’ll shop the store with a mobile device to prepare orders.
You’ll work a specific shift and can apply for a part-time position that fits your schedule. The average hourly wage is around $15. If you’re looking for a steady stream of side income with a fairly predictable schedule, then this grocery fulfillment job could be right for you.
You can also make money on Amazon by publishing affiliate links on your own online platforms, like your blog, YouTube videos, or Instagram feed. These links go directly to a product recommendation on Amazon. When someone makes a purchase using your link, you’ll receive a commission of up to 10%.
The signup process is easy through the Amazon.com Associates website. Basic eligibility requirements include:
- Three qualified sales in the first 180 days (can’t be personal).
- Original blog content.
- At least 10 published posts.
- Active website within the last 60 days.
Additionally, you typically earn a commission on any product placed in the customer’s Amazon cart within 24 hours of clicking through your referral link. That means you don’t just make money off the products you recommend, but also anything else someone throws in their cart at the same time.
Obviously, you’ll need an audience in order for this strategy to work, but it can be an effective way to build passive income if you already have some type of online presence.
6. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Publishing an ebook through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform is another way to earn money. Plus, once you get your ebook written and uploaded to the platform, you could earn a steady passive income.
Think broadly about topics you’d like to write about. It can be fiction or nonfiction. Do some keyword research to see what specific topics people are looking for. This is easy to do within Amazon itself. Use incognito mode on your browser (to eliminate your own search history), then select the Kindle Store department from the dropdown menu next to the search bar. Type in a word related to a topic you’re interested in and Amazon will autofill with several popular search terms. Then you know what specific areas to write about, as well as what phrases to use in your book description.
Uploading a document to KDP is simple, but consider hiring a graphic designer to create a cover for you. The cover draws potential readers in, so it’s best to get help unless you have some basic graphic design skills. Additionally, your ebook description is just as important as the book itself, so take time and fill out all the listing fields Amazon offers.
The final step is to market your ebook so people can actually find it to download. One trick is to offer it for free on Kindle Unlimited for a couple of weeks. Once you have some downloads and reviews, you can increase the price and enjoy better rankings and conversions from new customers.
7. Amazon Handmade
Amazon Handmade is the online giant’s response to Etsy. The platform works in a similar way, but is more expensive, charging 15% for each product sold. Adding items to your online shop is simple with the “Add a Product” tool. You’ll choose categories and write a title and product description. Other details include price, quantity, production time, shipping details, and images. Amazon also requires an SKU for each item, but they’ll provide one if you don’t.
On the plus side, you can list your products as Prime eligible if you’re willing to ship every business day. This feature can be attractive to customers who aren’t used to waiting for packages to arrive more than a few days after placing their order.
There are many categories you can sell under on Amazon Handmade. Some of the most popular ones include accessories, artwork, baby, beauty and personal care, jewelry, and stationery supplies. However, you’ll notice some categories on Etsy are not currently available on Amazon Handmade. These include digital downloads, food and grocery products, and electronics.
8. Merch by Amazon
Merch by Amazon lets you create products with your own printed designs. But like everything Amazon does, it removes the hassle and makes it easy for you to reach your audience and sell t-shirts and other goods.
All you have to do is upload a digital file with your graphics and choose the items you want to sell (like shirts, hoodies, and coffee mugs). Create a listing and you’ll earn a royalty on any of your products that sell. The margins aren’t huge; for example, a $15.99 sale amounts to a $2.21 royalty. But over time, those royalties add up, as do your sales from each design you upload.
9. Amazon Flex
Amazon ships hundreds of millions of packages each month, so you can imagine it takes a lot of people to deliver them all. That’s where Amazon Flex comes in. You can deliver packages in your own car and get paid hourly (up to $25). It’s a convenient side gig because you can pick your own hours.
You’ll pick up packages from an Amazon delivery station and then drive to people’s homes and deliver them. Shifts usually last between three and six hours. In addition to orders from Amazon.com, you may also make deliveries from Prime Now and Amazon Fresh.
There are some requirements on the type of vehicle you can use for Amazon.com deliveries since it will need to be big enough to hold a large number of packages. You also need to make sure you have the proper amount of auto insurance required by your state.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a way for businesses to access workers (potentially like you) who can perform “human intelligence tasks.” When you log onto the platform, you’ll see access to thousands of small gigs that you can complete for pay. However, the pay is usually extraordinarily low; in fact, it could be as little as pennies per task. You may only end up earning a few dollars an hour.
What type of work can you do on MTurk? Common gigs include transcriptions, surveys, and Google search descriptions. There are no special skill sets required. It really just requires taking the time to complete the task. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to earn some extra cash with very little effort involved, this could be a good option.
11. Amazon Trade-In
A final way to make money on Amazon is by trading in eligible items in return for Amazon gift cards. The most common eligible items include Amazon devices, cell phones, and video games. You can search on Amazon for a full list of devices. The service isn’t just limited to things that are in pristine condition. Even non-functioning items can be traded in and will later be refurbished to sell on Amazon.
Before sending a device in for trade, be sure to return it to its factory setting. Then you’ll print a shipping label from the Amazon Trade-In platform. It can take up to 10 days to have your items processed, then another two days to receive payments. If you’re a person who regularly likes to upgrade gadgets and electronics, you could earn free money to spend on Amazon by regularly making trades.
Not only has Amazon become a household name, but it’s also become a global platform with multiple ways to make money. From flexing your creativity to finding part-time work in a number of outlets, there are both options for earning short-term cash as well as developing long-term income as well.