Make money on Amazon and scale your business

Lofi Illustration of Seller Central dashboard - Net Profits

Try these tips, strategies, and tools for boosting your bottom line.

Whether you want to sell a few products here and there as a side hustle, or are thinking about adding an online sales channel to your existing business, there are many ways to make money in ecommerce. As a great place for product research and with advertising solutions that reach 96% of U.S. adults every month, Amazon can help you:

  • Launch the hottest new product in home goods, health and wellness, or another niche
  • Specialize in selling B2B or another sales strategy
  • Source products from wholesale or using another procurement method
  • Find an international audience for your handcrafted masterpieces or manufactured goods
  • Generate income by self-publishing books, live streaming video games, and more

Sign up for an Amazon selling plan to make a profit on your latest estate sale finds, ship manufactured goods and custom designs around the world, and so much more. You can even make money on Amazon without selling anything.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the different options you have for making money on Amazon, from earning passive income by recommending Amazon products, to building your own brand from the ground up.

7 ways to make money on Amazon

1. Choose a product type or specialize in a niche

What should you sell to make money on Amazon? Thinking about your interests and hobbies can be a good place to start, allowing you to draw on your strengths and capitalize on insider knowledge you might have about a particular industry. Other times, inspiration can strike when you least expect it.

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How a friends’ night out sparked the idea for a new, thriving business
Bassel and Saadia, college friends, dreamed up their business while out for dinner one night. Solemates is designed as a portable shoe for the well-heeled (when they need a little break). Bassel says once they went Prime, things “went to a whole other level.”

You might try selling a single product, or source a variety of items from different product categories. Check out this guide to finding product ideas, and get inspired by this list of successful online businesses.

Once you dive in, you might find yourself gravitating toward one category, like clothing or toys. Keep an eye on purchases and let sales analytics guide your decisions. For example, you might want to expand your catalog, or narrow it down to a handful of products—maybe even just one top seller.

2. Sell handcrafted items

If you’re a pro at sewing, woodworking, or another skill, turn your expertise into an ecommerce business. Amazon Handmade is an online community of artisans selling unique goods to a global audience. This program comes along with a fee waiver for a Professional selling plan, plus other perks for artists and creatives who want to share their work with the world.

3. Build your own brand

Building your own brand takes effort and investment, but it can pay off in customer loyalty. Plus, Amazon offers a host of tools and benefits for brand owners. If you’re ready to take the leap, or if you have an existing brand, enroll in Brand Registry to unlock automated protections for your label and more resources for brand management.

4. Create and distribute merch

Maybe you have a great idea for a funny T-shirt or coffee mug. Bring your ideas to life with Amazon Merch on Demand. This program allows you to design custom apparel and accessories on a print-on-demand basis. Products print after each sale (so you don’t have to worry about unsold stock) and ship through Prime so customers can receive orders quickly).

5. Sell B2B

If you want to sell to other businesses, Amazon Business is designed to help you reach B2B customers of all sizes. This program comes along with visual dashboards, business pricing, quantity discounts, and more.

6. Earn passive income by recommending products

You don’t need to sell products to make money on Amazon. Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, Amazon Associates, lets you monetize traffic through social media and other channels by recommending products for sale on Amazon. This affiliate marketing model allows you to earn up to to 10% in commissions.

7. Publish books with KDP

Have you written the next great novel or play? Self-publish through Kindle Direct Publishing to share your manuscript in the form of paperback, hardcover, ebooks, or all of the above. Hundreds of thousands of authors from around the world have self-published millions of books since KDP launched in 2007.

Learn more about specialty selling programs

6 strategies to drive ecommerce sales

As you decide how you want to make money on Amazon, there’s a range of ecommerce tactics you can use to grow. Here are some strategies to try as you explore different possible directions for your business—plus tips for going all in, once you’ve found what works.

1. Source the right products

How will you get products to sell to customers? You have options:

  • Resell products – Whether you have a gift for zeroing in on great vintage finds at yard sales, or a knack for scoring great deals when popular products go on sale, Amazon can be a great channel to resell for a profit. Just be sure to follow Amazon’s selling policies and code of conduct for sellers.
  • Source wholesale – If you’re planning to move lots of inventory, work with a wholesaler or a manufacturer to set up a supply chain and get products into the hands of as many customers as possible.
  • Dropship or print on demand – Don’t want to invest in procuring and storing inventory until you’re sure the product will sell? You can work with a dropshipper to send orders directly to customers after they place purchases. You might also use a print on demand solution, such as Amazon Merch.

You can start out with just one of these strategies, or try a combination. Get inspired and learn more with this guide to inventory management.

2. Take advantage of fulfillment solutions

The processes that go into fulfillment—picking, packaging, shipping orders, and handling returns—can consume valuable time and resources, especially as you scale. Luckily, you can fulfill orders on your own, outsource fulfillment, or do both.

Fulfillment by Amazon might be the right choice for your business model if you’d like to send inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers. With this method, specialists can store, pack, and ship orders on your behalf. Through FBA, you can also incentivize customers with:

  • Free, two-day shipping through Prime
  • Free returns
  • Customer support
Did you know?
Amazon’s fulfillment fees can save you money
Amazon’s fulfillment fees are 30% less expensive on average than slower standard shipping methods and an average of 70% less expensive than comparable two-day shipping alternatives.

3. Set competitive prices

Do you have a pricing strategy? Do some research by scoping out the competition for products you’d like to sell. This is especially important when you first list products, but sales can benefit in the long run if you set up a system to conduct pricing research on a regular basis, going forward. Dedicate some time to analyzing prices for similar products in Amazon search, or use our Automate Pricing tool to automatically set prices across your portfolio based on current demand.

4. Optimize to connect with more shoppers

To connect your offerings with more potential customers, use SEO best practices to help product listings rank in search results for shoppers. Basic search engine optimization involves targeting specific keywords in product titles, bullet points, and other parts of the product description.

Pro Tip
Use A+ Content to enhance content

Show customers what products are all about by adding high-quality visuals, your own branding, and more with A+ Content. A+ Content can generate up to 93 times more unit sales, drive up to 64X more clicks, and result in up to 48 times more impressions when advertised together with Sponsored Products.

5. Advertise and offer special deals

Depending on the products you’re selling and your ideal audience, sales tactics can be a great way to boost your bottom line. Here are a few ideas for driving sales on Amazon:

  • Cross-sell or up-sell – Cross-selling is where you help the customer find products related to the one they want to buy. For example, someone purchasing a phone might also want a phone case. Up-selling is where you recommend a premium version of a product or an upgrade, such as an add-on.
  • Run product listing ads – “PLAs” are typically cost-per-click ads, meaning you only pay when shoppers click on them. In the Amazon store, you can run several types of PLAs, including Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.
  • Offer deals and coupons – You can entice customers with digital coupons and promotions. Two common types are Lightning Deals (random deals that appear throughout the day) and 7-Day Deals (short-term promotions that last a week).

To land on the Amazon Deals Page, try promoting your offerings with seasonal sales, or run deals for holidays and shopping events such as Prime Day. Learn more in this guide to ecommerce marketing.

6. Focus on audience engagement

Where does your audience hang out? What’s the best way to reach them? Ecommerce gives you several unique options as you answer these questions.

For one, after someone interacts with your brand by purchasing a product, you can follow up with customers via email and invite them to leave product reviews. Amazon offers email templates to help you shape the customer journey to improve sales.

Good reviews can be a powerful way to establish trust between your brand and shoppers. On Amazon, you have the chance to receive high-impact reviews through Amazon Vine.

If your customers spend time on social media, it might be worth investing in social media marketing. You can hold contests, post trivia, and use other interactive ways to show people products and channel traffic to visit your online store. If you want to take it to the next level, social selling through a destination like Amazon Live is a way to do product reveals in real-time, give customers tailored product suggestions, and more.

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Watch
8 tactics for your full-funnel marketing strategy
In this breakout session from Amazon Accelerate, an Amazon Ads specialist will guide you through eight advanced tactics to build a strategy that covers every stage of the funnel—awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty—for a template to improve your marketing strategy.

Tools and programs to help you scale

Signing up for Amazon’s Professional selling plan comes with access to a host of programs and tools to benefit your business—whether you’re already established in ecommerce, still in your first 90 days of selling online, or considering selling in the Amazon store for the first time.

Perfect Launch

Get off to a strong start with the Perfect Launch playbook—a set of five programs shown to increase sales in Amazon stores. Sellers who adopt all five in the first 90 days of selling in the Amazon store are 5.2 times more likely to generate $100,000 in first-year revenue compared to Amazon sellers who don’t complete Perfect Launch.

Through Perfect Launch, you can earn 5% back on the first $1,000,000 in branded sales. Perfect Launch also unlocks over $50K in potential benefits and new seller incentives, which can include credits for cost-per-click advertising, discounts for storing and shipping inventory, and more.

lofi illustration of AB testing campaign results

Experiment with A/B Testing

What content works best? With A/B Testing, you can find out by comparing different versions of titles, images, and other parts of a product listing.

Streamline with ecommerce automation

Amazon provides sellers with automated technology for inventory management, tracking sales and orders, responding to customers, and other essentials. Simplify and automate daily tasks to keep your business running smoothly, such as marketing workflows and analytics reporting.

Process payments

Payment processing is a key part of providing customers with a seamless shopping experience. Amazon provides a suite of tools to help you with processing payments, such as Amazon Seller Wallet, which lets you manage Amazon store proceeds, convert funds, and more.

Additionally, Amazon Pay offers shoppers the trust and convenience of Amazon for your online store, while Amazon Currency Converter in Seller Central lets you sell globally and get paid in your local currency.

Pro Tip
Manage your business on the go with the Amazon Seller app
The Amazon Seller app lets you manage payments, analyze sales, find products to sell, and more—all from your mobile device.

Educational materials

Seller University is home to over 3,000 courses on topics from improving customer service to understanding intellectual property policies. You can also visit the Selling Partner blog for stories, tips, and helpful articles about selling in Amazon stores.

Strategic Account Services

Strategic Account Services connects you with a designated account manager for tailored advice based on your business needs. Work together with your Amazon advisor to get started with your Amazon account, grow your business, and succeed selling online.

Ready to make money online?

In ecommerce, small steps can make a big difference when it comes to attracting visitors and converting them into repeat buyers. Try the solutions we’ve covered in this article to get shoppers to place purchases and return to your brand again and again.

Whether you’re already established online or looking to increase sales by adding an ecommerce channel to complement your brick-and-mortar store, you can sign up for a seller account and start making use of these features and more selling programs.

FAQ: Making money with Amazon

Q:
How profitable is selling with Amazon?
A:
Selling with Amazon can be very profitable. More than 65,000 U.S. sellers had over $100,000 in sales in 2020. The number of U.S. sellers that surpassed $10 million in sales increased nearly 40% that same year (see the Amazon Small Business Empowerment report for these and other stats).

Factors that can influence sales include the types of products you sell, what selling channels you choose to use, and whether you use ecommerce tools like Automate Pricing and Fulfillment by Amazon that can help drive traffic and increase sales.
Q:
What should I sell on Amazon to make money?
A:
Books, beauty products, appliances, fine art—you can sell almost anything in Amazon stores. Exploring product categories within Amazon search can be a good way to get a sense of the possibilities. You can also mine the Best Sellers list for product ideas. If you find yourself drawn toward a particular niche, industry, or product type, Amazon’s specialized selling programs can help you expand your reach and connect with your intended audience.
Q:
How do I make money reselling in Amazon stores?
A:
Reselling products can be lucrative if you’re knowledgeable about certain items, have inside knowledge with a particular industry, or if you love researching market trends. For the potential to share products with the 300 million customers who shop Amazon stores worldwide, be sure to follow guidelines for selling on Amazon, including getting prior approval for certain product categories.
Q:
How can I make money with Amazon without selling products?
A:
There are options. Recommend products through affiliate marketing with Amazon Associates. Build apps. Stream your games live. Check out this list of more ideas for making money on Amazon.
Q:
How can I make money recommending Amazon products?
A:
Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, Amazon Associates, allows you to share recommendations for Amazon products with audiences on social media, your own website, and other channels. When people click to follow links to Amazon products, you can earn a commission. Use this method of monetizing traffic to earn up to 10% in associate commissions.

Daisy Quaker
Daisy Quaker
Daisy Quaker is a Sr. Marketing Manager at Amazon who’s driven by helping entrepreneurs and brands discover opportunities to reach more customers through Amazon stores. She also enjoys the outdoors, art museums, and good food.