Amazon is a trillion-dollar company. That’s with twelve zeros!
It’s really not that surprising with all the offerings they provide. Amazon is where you can get just about get everything. When you need a gift for your friend, or when you want to watch your favorite movie or even when you do your grocery shopping, Amazon is your go-to.
Related: 51 Great Side Hustle Ideas
And the best part about your go-to retailer is they offer you a few ways to make some of your own money back! From selling products to delivering products, we will share the top ways people are making money via Amazon.
Check out all these ways you can make money on Amazon.
Publish Your Own Book
If you always dreamed of being a writer, go for it! You can publish your own books with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
KDP allows you to publish e-books as well as paperback books while keeping ownership of everything that you write. You can manage all of your publishing, whether digital, print or even audio in Amazon’s platform CreateSpace. CreateSpace offers on-demand publishing and the ability to track sales and as well as historical data in their dashboard.
How Long Does it Take?
If you are new to KDP, we suggest taking advantage of the in-depth KDP Jumpstart guide. This guide walks you through the entire publishing process from setting up an account all the way to publishing and pricing your work. Not only does this guide help you with publishing your work, but it includes resources like insider tips and webinars to help you be successful.
The best part about self-publishing is not only can you publish on your own time, but it only takes about 5 minutes to publish your work. Once you familiarize yourself with the process, of course.
About two days after publishing, the floodgate opens to millions of people; make sure you are prepared for the world to see it. The good news is you do have the ability to go back and make edits if your published work is digital.
How Much Money Can I Make?
KDP and CreateSpace are both free, but Amazon does take a piece of your earnings. They keep approximately 30% on the e-books and 40% on paperbacks, but that’s okay, you are still making money and controlling your creative work.
With Amazon KDP, there is no limit to the amount of material that you publish, so, in theory, the more you write, the more you make. Since you dictate the price, earnings are very subjective. Some writers generate a few hundred extra dollars a month while others are making multiple thousands.
Sell Products on Amazon
Did you know you can sell things on Amazon? Of course you did. The majority of America has an Amazon Prime account, so if you have a product to sell, take advantage of their massive digital audience.
Here are some basic things to know about selling products on Amazon:
Selling on Amazon Isn't Free
The first thing that you need to know about selling products on Amazon is that it is not (completely) free. There are two pricing options for Amazon sellers: Individual and professional. If you plan on selling fewer than 40 items a month, Amazon recommends signing up as an individual. With this plan, you'll pay amazon 99 cents per item, plus "referral fees and variable closing fees."
If you think you're going to sell more than 40 items per month, then it makes sense to upgrade to the professional plan. The professional plan costs $39.99 a month, but you don't pay the 99 cents per item selling fee (but you still pay referral and closing fees.
Be Prepared for Approvals
Amazon manages quality control for specific product categories, which may include paying an extra fee. Approvals typically take 3 business days, and you will receive an update via email.
(Most) Products Need a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
Most products need a global trade item number, which is the number located under the barcode of your products. Some items could be exempt.
There Are Two Main Fulfillment Options
There are two ways to fulfill orders: ship the products yourself or have Amazon ship them for you. If your moving a lot of products, it makes sense to consider having Amazon ship items for you, this is called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). FBA can be more expensive, but it's basically completely hands-off.
Those are the basic things you need to understand about registering to sell on Amazon. Now that that is out of the way, let's walk through the basic steps of making money by selling on Amazon.
Step 1. List your Products
You can list products in two different ways. First, you can add products that are already on Amazon and create yourself as an optional seller (i.e., how many items you have available, product condition and shipping methods).
The other way you can list your products is to create a brand new product. This will require you to present the UPC/EAN and SKU information (barcode information). Then you will need to write a description of the item, including the title, details and pricing.
Step 2. Sell your Products
Once all of your products are listed, it's time to market them. Marketing is a completely separate topic, so we won't get into it here. Once something sells, Amazon fees are taken out of your bank account, and you are notified by email the payment went through correctly.
Step 3. Ship your Products
Once you are notified by Amazon that someone has purchased your product, you will need to ship the item to the buyer. This is why we recommend using FBA so you can continue to sit back and relax once your products are listed. Otherwise, you will need to go to the Post Office or UPS and ship the items yourself.
Step 4. Get Paid for you Products
The whole reason you set up an account on Amazon, was for this step, GETTING PAID! Amazon will send money directly to your bank account and update you as soon as payment is sent.
Become an Amazon Affiliate or Influencer
Are you a savvy social media guru with a popular blog site?
You can become an Amazon Affiliate and use that skill to your advantage. All you have to do is promote products that fit in with your blog’s theme and content by linking to them, and you can earn a commission. Every time someone clicks on one of your affiliate links and purchases an item, you can get as much as 4%-8.5% of the sale.
If blogs are too cumbersome and time-consuming for you, become an Amazon Influencer instead and enjoy the same benefits as an Affiliate using your social media account.
How Long Does it Take?
Becoming an Amazon Affiliate is quick and easy if you already have a website that meets the standards for the Amazon Associate program. Basically, you can’t promote any x-rated, misleading or illegal activities. You can read more about the requirements if you are wondering if you qualify.
Once approved, you can start adding affiliate links on your site. What does that mean? It means if you are writing a blog post about your favorite skincare products, and there are a few on Amazon, you can link them with a unique identifier. Then if one of your loyal followers purchases your favorite rose water witch hazel, you get a kickback. Beauty products are one of the top percentage pay outs at around 10%. Amazon offers anywhere from 1-10% back with affiliate link purchases.
For the Amazon Influencer program, it is similar, but you get your own unique URL on Amazon to send your followers to items. The same idea with purchasing and promoting products, but instead of it being within a blog post, it is hosted on an Amazon page. This program is available to users on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and is based on your audience engagement (i.e., how many followers you have and how much they click on things). Don’t worry, if you do not quite have the audience volume yet, you can apply again once you do!
How Much Money Can I Make?
For Amazon Affiliates and Influencers, the revenue is dictated on the two things. How many items are you presenting and how big is the audience you are reaching. Some Amazon affiliates and influencers are making thousands of dollars each month while others make $50. This also depends on the category of items you are promoting. Like we mentioned earlier, beauty products pay out 10% while video games only payout 2%.
At the end of the day, these programs are solely numbers based. The more products you promote, the bigger your chance of earning more money. If nothing else, you can share with others what is working for you and hope it does the same for them!
Deliver for Amazon
Have you ever wondered how Amazon gets those same-day deliveries out? They do it with people like you!
The Amazon Flex program employs drivers all over the country to pick up items from Amazon delivery centers and local stores and deliver them to customers within a few hours. Right now, this is only offered in a few cities. If you don’t see your city on there, you can add it to their ‘interest list,’ and hopefully, it will pop up soon. Here are the 9 cities you can deliver in right now:
- Austin, TX
- Champaign-Peoria-Springfield, IL
- Chicago, IL
- Fort Collins, CO
- Greater Seattle Area, WA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, ME
- San Francisco, CA
- South Bend, IN
In order to become a driver, there are a few qualifications:
- Must be 21+
- Have a vehicle to deliver packages that meet the Amazon requirements - in some locations a bicycle with a basket is a viable transportation option
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must have car insurance
If you meet all of these qualifications, download the app and you can get started. The Amazon Flex app is like most apps and compatible with an iPhone and Android phones, but there are some minimum requirements for specific devices.
The minimum requirements for Android’s are:
- Android 6.0 or higher
- RAM Memory 2GB or higher
- Camera with flash
- GPS Location Services
- SIM card
The minimum requirements for iPhone’s are:
- iOS 11 or higher
- iPhone 5s or newer
How Long Does it Take?
So now that you know you meet all of the qualifications and have downloaded the app, you might be wondering what type of deliveries can I do? There are four different ways you can deliver for Amazon Flex.
- Amazon - For regular Amazon delivery, you pick up orders from an Amazon delivery station and then drop off orders to the customers. This delivery session lasts anywhere from 3- 6 hours.
- Amazon Prime or Amazon Fresh - This delivery option is similar to regular Amazon, where you pick items from a delivery center and drop off to customers. But, the orders are just for groceries or household items. This driving session lasts 2 - 4 hours.
- In-Store - In-store deliveries require drivers to go to a local grocery store or other local stores to pick up orders for the customers. This shift also lasts around 2-4 hours.
- Instant - The instant delivery option is only available in certain locations and a quick delivery. This shift is 15-45 minutes and close to where you live.
How Much Money Can I Make?
Most drivers make $18-$25 per hour. The rates vary based on location, but Amazon will always pay at a minimum of $15-$19 per hour. You can also earn tips, and drivers will keep 100% of the money.
One thing to note, if you finish your shift early or late, you will still get paid for the block that you agreed to deliver. (ie. If you are delivering for Amazon Fresh and finish all of your deliveries in 3.5 hours you will be paid for the full amount).
Amazon pays out drivers on Tuesdays and Fridays. The money should show up in your account 1-2 days afterward, including the tip money.
Amazon, however, does not foot the bill for your gas, tolls or other incidentals.
It’s a simple and convenient way to make money. When you are ready to work, you open the app and pick a block of time that works with your schedule; then, your assignments are sent to you in the app.
Provide Your Services
The Selling Services on Amazon program collects job requests from all around the country. If you are a plumber, electrician, handyman, or any other service industry professional, you can find and book jobs through Amazon. You can find requests local to your area and choose whether or not you would like to accept them. Amazon Selling Services does a lot of quality control, and the contractors are hand-selected, so that you can trust the work and safety is the best option in your area.
In order to work for Amazon Selling Services, you must qualify, like every other Amazon program. The requirements for Amazon Selling Services are:
- Fill out an application and verify your business
- Complete a background check for your business - if you are going to work in any in-house services you must also pass a personal background check
- Provide the proper licenses and authorizations to fulfill services. These licenses and authorizations and standards where you live to operate a business by law in your area.
- Hold general liability insurance with specific coverage up to 1 million dollars.
How Much Money Can I Make?
Money made depends on the project you complete. The nice part about Amazon Selling Services is there is no monetary commitment to sign up for the program, but Amazon will take a 15%-20% commission from any of the completed work.
The rates vary depending on the services you complete. Amazon Selling Services offers different rates to pre-packaged services as well as recurring services.
- Pre-packaged Services - This service option gives customers a price range before booking for services like TV mounting, furniture assembly, or moving assistance. For services, up to $1,000 Amazon will take 20%. For services, over $1,000 Amazon takes 15%.
- Recurring Services - Any services that are placed on a recurring plan Amazon takes 15%.
Amazon pays contractors on a regular basis, similar to the delivery service. They deposit money every 14 days and will notify you once a deposit has been made via email.
How Do I Get Jobs?
You can get work in two different ways through the Amazon Selling Services. The first way is offer-based, which the customer requests your service and gives you 3 different timeframes that work for their schedule. These rates are set by the contractor upfront, and you will be notified by email when someone books services and again when you confirm your availability to complete the service.
The second way to get jobs with Amazon Selling Services is a claim-based job. This is where a customer selects a service and pays a select price set by Amazon based on location and type of service, but does not select the contractor. The customer can choose one time that works for them to complete the work; then, this information is sent to everyone contractor that qualifies for the job in the area and pick up the job via email or the app.
Amazon Selling Services is an excellent option for handymen and service professionals for many reasons. You do not have to worry about sourcing leads, will keep you busy throughout the entire week and the best part, you can walk away at any time. There is no time commitment for contractors. So if you want to take a vacation, go for it! You can come back to the app at any time and pick back up.
Work From Home
Amazon has a large remote workforce. And they always have job openings. Periodically, Amazon hires reps that handle mostly data entry and customer service for about $15/hr.
Make sure to keep checking back and searching the portal to see when the next rep positions open up. Amazon offers full time, part-time and seasonal opportunities. Like most job boards these days, Amazon has a robust list of filters to maximize your searching requirements.
Amazon also offers Mechanical Turk as an option. Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing work program where you can complete microtasks – things like data entry, transcription and research for money. The Mechanical Turk website connects employers with everyday people who are willing to do these small, repetitive tasks for cash. These types of jobs offer you complete control over your schedule, time commitments and the ability to complete tasks in your pajamas. One HUGE warning about MTurk: most jobs only pay pennies, so don't expect to get rich.
If you are on the look-out for a new job and you are in the engineering and technology field, Amazon is hiring right now! Create a worker account and start checking out what is available.
Trade-In Your Old Tech
You can trade-in your old items and get paid with Amazon gift cards. The Trade-in program accepts Amazon devices, electronics, video games, books and more.
OK, so technically a gift card isn’t the same as getting paid, but Amazon pays for the shipping, so you might as well redeem it and then use the gift card on whatever is in your Amazon shopper cart right now.
The dashboard on Amazon allows you to search by category to see if your items qualify for a trade-in. Each type of trade-in has different requirements, make sure and read about the conditions they must be in before submitting. If your item(s) qualify for a trade-in, Amazon will provide you with a prepaid label and directions on the timeframe in which to send your items to them. If for some reason your item does not qualify they will send it back to you, free of charge.
Once you mail in your trade-in items, they should be processed within ten business days, but Amazon will keep you updated along the way. You will not know the amount of money you will receive until Amazon has had a chance to review your trade-in item. They will email you once they receive your item, update you if it is accepted or not and then process the giftcard payment.
Clearly, there are a lot of ways to make money on Amazon. Put your skills to use, sign up, and cash in whether you want to write a book, sell products, deliver or trade-in tech products that have been sitting around your house. Making money with Amazon will help offset all the money you are spending with them already!
Here are the basic ways to make money on Amazon:
- Publish a book with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
- Sell products by starting your own store.
- Become an affiliate or an influencer.
- Deliver for Amazon.
- Sell your services.
- Trade in your old tech.