Welcome to the world of Amazon side hustles, where the possibilities for making money work for just about everyone. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a full-time employee looking for some extra income on the side, a stay-at-home parent, or a college student, an Amazon side hustle can provide you with a flexible and lucrative source of extra income.
If you’re worried that you need experience or up-front cash to get started, keep reading. Many successful Amazon sellers started with no experience or capital.
Amazon built their company by making it as easy as possible to do business with them, and this philosophy carries over into their business opportunities. They provide a wealth of free resources to guide you and make it simple to get started.
In this blog post, we will dive into ways you can kickstart your Amazon side hustle and start making extra money now.
What is an Amazon Side Hustle?
In short, an Amazon side hustle is simply using the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace to make money. Amazon offers a multitude of avenues for individuals to monetize their skills, knowledge, and creativity.
Why Start an Amazon Side Hustle
Many side businesses offer financial independence, flexibility, and the ability to work from anywhere. Amazon’s side hustles add to those benefits access to their massive customer base, a mobile and desktop user interface you are probably already familiar with, and proven methods for selling even if you don’t stock inventory or make anything.
Plus, you don’t have to limit yourself to any single avenue. You can stack affiliate marketing with being an Amazon Influencer. You can stack selling Handmade goods with uploading creative graphic designs to sell on t-shirts and mugs.
Let’s look at nine ways to make money on Amazon.
1. Merch on Demand
Creative types will appreciate the approach Amazon takes to this channel for selling your original graphic designs. You focus on making and uploading captivating artwork, and Amazon takes care of the printing, shipping, and customer service.
When customers can choose your designs on t-shirts, mugs, and accessories, you get paid monthly royalties. It’s easy to get started by signing up on the Amazon site or app. You’ll need your bank account and routing numbers and your SSN or tax ID number.
2. Selling Handmade Goods
If you've got a talent for crafting, Amazon Handmade provides an excellent platform to showcase and sell your handmade goods. To launch this side hustle, first set up an Amazon selling account, then complete an application which asks about your products and business. Amazon requires this to ensure quality and true artisan level merchandise.
You may think Etsy is the site of choice for shoppers looking for original crafts, but Etsy does not have Amazon’s massive customer base. Amazon also rewards Handmade sellers by waiving the professional seller’s fee (versus charging other sellers about $40 a month).
3. Reselling Books
If you love to hunt for rare books in your spare time, this could make for a low key Amazon side hustle. Amazon makes reselling books you find at used books stores, thrift stores, or in your Grandma’s basement easy to list once you set up your seller’s account.
Successful book flippers often use the ScoutIQ app while they’re out shopping to find out what the book retails for on Amazon and compare it to the purchase price. The app even calculates your bottom line profit by first factoring in your monthly fee to sell on Amazon.
4. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Have you always dreamt of becoming a published author? With Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can turn your passion for writing into a lucrative Amazon side hustle all while working from home.
On KDP, you are publishing your original book directly on the digital reader platform, so when subscribers buy it, you get a commission. The challenge is that first you have to write a book, but it doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece. E-books on how to do Pilates or become a better knitter qualify as books.
It may take awhile before your books start to sell, but Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the most popular self-publishing platforms because it helps you reach the broad base of Amazon customers.
5. Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
If you're interested in selling physical products but prefer to outsource shipping, Amazon FBA is designed for you. Once you figure out what types of products you want to sell and where you’ll get them (from a supplier, from your own shopping, etc.), you list them on your seller site.
Amazon processes the payments, stores and ships the merchandise, and even manages the customer service. As the seller, you get the benefit of Amazon’s customer base, reputation, and logistics to ship products fast.
Another popular method for making money on Amazon is dropshipping. This business model means you buy the product, promote it, and provide an online storefront. But when a customer places an order, you send the order to the dropshipper to handle the shipping.
Since the product is stored and shipped by the dropshipping supplier, you don’t have the hassle or space requirements to maintain an inventory. And you can leverage the power of Amazon's massive customer base.
7. Retail Arbitrage and Online Arbitrage
Instead of ordering products from a dropshipping supplier, bargain hunters might enjoy scavenging for products to buy and then resell on Amazon. Retail arbitrage and online arbitrage are strategies that involve finding products at a lower price and reselling them on Amazon for a profit.
To maximize your earnings, you need to get the products at the cheapest price, and it can take some work to figure out how to do that. Many free resources can guide beginners through proven techniques, and you get to curate a collection of products that meets your unique criteria for good merchandise.
This means you can build your brand around a niche like organically grown clothing fabrics or gadgets for tech lovers — whatever you’re great at spotting!
8. Amazon Associates
Being an Amazon Associate helps you earn passive income through affiliate marketing. Affiliates simply include a link to a product on their blogs, websites, or social media profiles/posts. When shoppers click on the affiliate link, it takes them to the product on Amazon, and you earn a commission if they buy.
Here’s the really cool part. Even if the shopper doesn’t buy the exact product you wrote about, you still get a commission on anything they purchase on Amazon for the 24 hours following the moment they clicked your link. The more shoppers you convert to buyers as an affiliate, the more you earn.
This isn’t an overnight cash cow. First, you need to have a platform with enough followers and influence for people to be reading and clicking on your recommendations. So, think of this as an extra way to make money on the hard work you’re already doing as a blogger or social influencer.
9. Amazon Influencer Program
If you have a strong online presence and a dedicated following, becoming an Amazon influencer can be a smart bundle with the Associates program. You post a video review of a product and get paid a commission when customers buy it after watching your video.
It may surprise you to know you don’t have to be on camera for these videos. Check out reviews on YouTube and you’ll find hundreds that never show the reviewer, but instead show the product with narration.
This side hustle requires an approval process, because Amazon needs to know you are already an influencer before they’ll pay you for reviews. Even if you’re not sure if your following on social media is big enough, you can apply as often as you like with no penalty.
How to Start an Amazon Side Hustle
Feeling inspired? Channel your energy into some critical initial tasks:
Decide which side hustle you want to try.
This determines if you need a seller’s account or if you need to sign up to be an associate or influencer.
Choose your seller’s pricing plan (if you’re going to sell something) or sign up to be an influencer or affiliate. On the individual seller’s plan, Amazon charges you $0.99 on every item you sell. On the professional plan, you pay a monthly fee around $40 a month regardless of how many items you sell. Review Amazon’s pricing page for a summary of selling fees.
Set up your seller account. You’ll need your business name, bank account info, and SSN or tax ID number handy.
Associates/Influencers: Sign up to be an associate or influence on desktop or mobile Amazon app. Make sure your website or social media profile is ready for review first.
Final Words on Amazon Side Hustles
An Amazon side hustle can open up a world of opportunities for those looking to make money online, but it’s not an overnight process. Take advantage of the resources Amazon offers like how-to videos and step-by-step guides.
Think about whether you want to start a business you can grow into a full-time job or just make some extra cash in your free time. Reselling books could work for either goal, but selling handmade goods only works if you have the time and creativity to make the product. Being an affiliate marketer or influencer requires you to first have a successful blog or channel to promote and review products, whereas you can get started in retail arbitrage today.
When you set realistic goals, start small, and prioritize good business practices over high volume at first, you’ll build a foundation to unlock your financial potential with an Amazon side hustle.
Amazon FBA statistics from Jungle Scout show that 17% of Amazon FBA sellers average $1,000-$5,000 in monthly sales, and 54% make anywhere from $5,001 to hundreds of thousands. By starting with a small number of products and honing your skills at writing helpful, clear descriptions that include keywords for search engine optimization, you can build a winning Amazon FBA strategy.
Well, it depends on the business model you choose – some require less capital than others. For instance, Kindle Direct Publishing or Affiliate Marketing can be started with a minimal budget. However, Amazon FBA or retail arbitrage might require an upfront investment so you have enough product to sell.
Like any business, the more time you put in, the more likely you are to succeed. However, one of the perks of a side hustle is that it can be done in your spare time. You can decide how much time you can and want to invest.