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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / How to Make Money on Amazon: 5 Best Ways

Ecommerce platform guide

How to Make Money on Amazon: 5 Best Ways

How to Make Money on Amazon: 5 Best Ways
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

14 min read

Amazon has dominated the online retail market for almost a decade now. Since surpassing Walmart in 2015, Amazon has continued to expand into new markets and establish itself as the biggest online marketplace in the world.

a graph with numbers and textSource: ECDB

So it’s no surprise Amazon’s revenue has hit a record high.

a graph of growth in yearsSource: Statista

If you want to tap into the billion-dollar market, this article is for you. We’ll cover the 5 best strategies on how to make money on Amazon in 2024.

Why sell on Amazon?

Before we get into how you can make money through Amazon, let’s cover why Amazon is a good place to be.

Global reach. Amazon’s vast customer base provides access to millions of potential buyers worldwide.

Ease of use. The marketplace offers user-friendly tools for setting up and managing your store, simplifying the selling process.

Brand exposure. Even for those who have standalone online retail stores, Amazon can be an effective way of boosting product visibility and gaining more customers.

Customer trust. Amazon’s reputation and customer service policies are well-known, so there’s an inherent trust with buyers, encouraging sales.

Analytics and insights. Access to valuable data and analytics helps sellers track performance and make informed decisions.

And now, let’s get into the actual strategies to make money.

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The first way you can make money on Amazon is by selling custom print-on-demand products. The main advantage of selling products with an on-demand partner like Printful is that you’re not taking any financial risks. All products are made only after they’re bought, so there’s no unsold inventory. Ever.

How to do it on Amazon

Here are the steps to get started: 

  • Research the market. Identify popular POD niches and look for gaps in the market or underserved audiences that you can target with your products.

  • Choose your niche. Focus on specific audience segments and consider factors like interests, demographics, and buying behaviors to determine the best niche for your products.

  • Pick a POD supplier. Choose a reputable print-on-demand service provider that offers high-quality printing, reliable fulfillment services, and a profitable pricing strategy. 

  • Select products. Do product research to find trending products or items that suit your niche.

  • Create unique designs. Develop original artwork by using design tools or hiring freelance designers.

  • Set up your Amazon seller account. If you haven’t already, sign up for an Amazon Seller Account and complete the registration process. 

  • List your products. Start selling your products on Amazon and optimize listings for visibility.

  • Promote your listings. Use social media, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and other channels to promote your own brand and attract potential customers.

  • Monitor performance. Track the performance of your POD products on Amazon, including sales, customer feedback, and helpful reviews to adapt your product offerings, pricing, and marketing strategy.

Successful example

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon

The brand Troll Co. is a great example of a print-on-demand store because they:

  • Offer evergreen print-on-demand bestsellers (e.g., hats, tees, hoodies)

  • Make it easy for customers to connect through a clear mission statement

  • Have a diverse range of designs

If you don’t know which products to start with, go for tried-and-true wardrobe staples like custom t-shirts or custom hoodies.

Similarly to POD, dropshipping on Amazon involves selling products without the need to manage inventory. When customers make a purchase, you source the items from wholesale sellers, who then ship them directly to the buyer. This method allows you to avoid the complexities and costs associated with stocking products the way you would with a retail store.

a woman using a laptopSource: JungleScout

Dropshipping vs. print-on-demand similarities and differences

Similarities:

  • Both methods involve selling products without maintaining inventory

  • Sellers can start with minimal upfront investment or risk

  • Fulfillment and shipping are handled by third-party suppliers

  • Sellers can operate their businesses remotely, without managing physical storage or production facilities

Differences:

  • Dropshippers sell pre-existing products; POD offers custom-made items

  • Dropshipping typically offers non-customizable products

  • POD specializes in customizable items like apparel and accessories

The cost of dropshipping on Amazon

Amazon dropshipping fees (called referral fees) vary by product type. You must consider that Amazon charges fees as a % of the total price, so the actual fee amount will vary considerably depending on the item’s overall cost. If you’re working with small margins when dropshipping Amazon products, this could eat into your profits.

Why do it on Amazon?

Vast customer base. Amazon has billions of visitors every month, providing sellers with access to a large and diverse customer base.

Trusted platform. Amazon is a trusted ecommerce platform with a reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction, which can enhance the credibility of your dropshipping business.

Fulfillment services. Amazon offers fulfillment services like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), allowing Amazon sellers to store inventory in Amazon’s warehouses and leverage their shipping and customer service infrastructure.

Prime members. Sellers can tap into Amazon Prime’s vast member network who love fast and free shipping, increasing the appeal of their products.

Global reach. Amazon operates in over 50 countries, offering sellers the opportunity to reach customers worldwide and expand their market reach.

Successful example

a screenshot of a computerSource: Amazon

OLANLY is an Amazon dropshipping brand that sells bathroom mats, rugs, shower curtains, and other items for home improvements. Here’s why this brand is a successful dropshipping store example:

  • Has a lot of ratings, and the overwhelming majority are highly positive

  • Resolves any issues fast

  • Lets customers connect with their values thanks to their backstory 

If you want to start dropshipping but don’t know where to start, check out our article on dropshipping products with a high profit margin.

3. Amazon’s affiliate marketing program

Amazon affiliate program, known as Amazon Associates, allows individuals and businesses to earn commission by promoting Amazon products on their websites, blogs, social media platforms, or other online channels. 

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Sign up. To become an Amazon Associate, you need to sign up for the program through the Amazon website. The process is free and straightforward.

  2. Choose products. After signing up, you can browse through Amazon’s vast selection of products and choose the ones you want to promote. You’ll receive a unique affiliate link for each product you select.

  3. Promote products. Once you have your affiliate links, you can promote them on your website, social media profile, blog posts, email newsletters, or any other online platform where you have an audience. You can use text links, banner ads, or product widgets provided by Amazon.

  4. Earn commission. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on Amazon within a certain timeframe (typically 24 hours), you earn a commission on the sale. The commission rates vary depending on the product category, ranging from 1% to 10%.

  5. Track performance. Amazon provides tools and reports to track your affiliate links’ performance, including clicks, conversions, and earnings. This data allows you to analyze which products and promotional strategies are most effective.

  6. Receive payouts. Once you reach the minimum payout threshold (usually $10 or $25, depending on the payment method), Amazon will issue your commission payments through direct deposit, Amazon gift cards, or checks.

If you want additional information, visit Associates Central to find info on reporting, payments, account information, and more.

Why do it on Amazon?

First, Amazon has an extensive range of products, offering Amazon Associates ample opportunities for potential earnings. Second, its reputation instills trust among consumers, potentially bolstering your sales. Third, navigating the platform is seamless, thanks to its user-friendly tools for tracking sales and refining strategies. Plus, Amazon offers competitive commission rates and streamlined payout processes, making it an appealing option for affiliate marketers. 

Successful example

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Swim University

Swim University is part of the Amazon Associates Program and promotes Amazon products on its website about pool care, maintenance, troubleshooting, and equipment. It’s easy to navigate, has a ton of valuable resources on the topic, and (although it’s an affiliate site) isn’t a cash grab.

The 6 takeaways other affiliate marketers can take from Swim University:

  • Provide value. Offer high-quality, helpful content to build trust and credibility.

  • Integrate links seamlessly. Blend affiliate links naturally into content for a better user experience.

  • Educate and empower. Create comprehensive guides and resources to establish authority.

  • Be transparent. Clearly disclose affiliate relationships to maintain authenticity.

  • Optimize user experience. Design your website for easy navigation and engagement.

  • Diversify revenue. Explore other monetization methods to reduce dependency on your affiliate income.

An example of how Swim University has included affiliate links in a post that also educates people on how to vacuum their pool.

a poster of a pool vacuum gearSource: Swim University

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If you’re skilled at sewing, woodworking, or other crafts, Amazon Handmade is an online platform where artisans showcase their creations to a worldwide audience. Anyone who wants to sell their handmade goods can join the program and turn their passion into an ecommerce business.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon

The steps to start selling on Amazon Handmade:

  • Create an account. Sign up for an Amazon Professional seller account if you don’t already have one.

  • Apply for Handmade. Apply to become a Handmade seller through the Amazon Handmade website.

  • Provide information. Complete the application by providing information about your products, production methods, and business.

  • Review process. Amazon will review your application to ensure that your products meet the Handmade criteria for craftsmanship and authenticity.

  • Approval. Once approved, set up your Handmade storefront by creating product listings and adding details like product descriptions, prices, and high-quality images.

  • Set up shop. Customize your Amazon store with branding elements, including your logo and banner.

  • List products. Add your products to your Handmade storefront, ensuring they meet Amazon’s listing requirements.

  • Start selling. Once your listings are live, start promoting your handmade products to attract customers and get sales.

How much it costs to sell on Amazon Handmade

Joining Handmade, creating your shop, and listing products is free. Handmade sellers only pay a 15% referral fee once they make a sale.

During registration, you will register with a Professional selling plan that provides you with Handmade-specific tools and support to grow your business. While the Professional selling plan costs $39.99 per month for an Amazon seller, this monthly fee will be waived for approved applicants after the first month.

Why do it on Amazon?

Joining Amazon Handmade offers artisans the opportunity to showcase their unique creations to a global audience, benefit from waived fees for a Professional selling plan, and access tailored support and perks designed for artists and creatives.

Successful example

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon

Lifetime Leather Co. is a brand that specializes in hand-made leather travel goods and accessories. They’re made in the US and take up to 10 days to make.

In the seller’s profile, the brand has included behind-the-scenes photos of their workshop in Arizona.

What other brands can learn from the Lifetime Leather Co. store:

  • High-quality product images. The storefront features clear and professionally captured images of the products, allowing customers to see the details of each item.

  • Detailed product descriptions. Each product listing includes thorough descriptions that highlight key features, materials used, and dimensions, providing customers with comprehensive information.

  • Positive customer reviews. The storefront showcases positive reviews from satisfied customers, which can help build trust and credibility with potential buyers.

  • Customization options. Some product listings offer customization options, allowing customers to personalize their purchases, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

With Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can self-publish e-books or physical books for free. Simply write your book, and publish it in under 5 minutes. Within 72 hours, your book appears in Kindle stores globally. You retain full control over your book’s rights and can update your content anytime. Before you can publish, you must set up a KDP account.

E-books

a screenshot of a book storeSource: Amazon

Publishing e-books on Amazon through KDP allows you to reach a vast global audience with little effort. The process is streamlined: you upload your manuscript, set your price, and your e-book is available worldwide within 72 hours. This platform also enables you to retain complete control over your rights, with the flexibility to update your content at any time.

If you want to maximize your e-book’s exposure, it helps to join the Kindle Unlimited program. Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service where readers can access a vast library of books for a monthly fee. When your book is part of Kindle Unlimited, you earn revenue based on the total number of pages that subscribers read.

To be included in Kindle Unlimited (KU), you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your Kindle e-book in KDP Select. This exclusive arrangement with Amazon lasts for 90 days and automatically renews, but it requires your digital book to only be available through Amazon during the enrollment period. 

While this exclusivity might limit distribution channels, the trade-off often includes increased readership and higher potential earnings through Amazon’s extensive reach and additional promotional opportunities like Kindle Countdown Deals or Free Book Promotion.

E-book royalties

Amazon offers 2 royalty options for each of your e-books: 35% or 70%. In essence, the 35% option is simple and flexible, allowing sales across different platforms without additional fees. The 70% option, while offering a higher percentage per sale, requires Amazon exclusivity and involves extra fees that can impact your overall earnings. You should choose the royalty model based on how you want to distribute and what costs you’re willing to pay.

35% royalty rate

How it’s calculated: You earn 35% of your book’s selling price, minus any tax (VAT).

Formula: Royalty = 35% x (Selling Price - VAT)

Key features:

  • No deductions for delivery costs

  • You can sell your book on other platforms as well, not just Amazon

70% royalty rate

How it’s calculated: You earn 70% of your book’s selling price, after subtracting taxes (VAT) and a fee based on the book’s file size (delivery costs).

Formula: Royalty = 70% x (Selling Price - VAT - Delivery Costs)

Key features:

  • You must sell your book exclusively on Amazon

  • You might earn more per book, but there are fees for the file size of your book, which can reduce your earnings

  • Your book might be part of special promotions, but it must be priced at least 20% lower than any physical version of the book

Physical books

a screenshot of a bookSource: Amazon

Selling physical books on Amazon through KDP allows you to publish paperback and hardcover versions without upfront costs. Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works:

  • Upload your content. You start by uploading the manuscript of your book to the KDP platform. You also need to create or upload a cover design that fits your book.

  • Set your price. You decide how much your book will cost. Amazon will provide guidelines on pricing based on the book’s specifications, like page number and size, but the final decision on the list price is yours.

  • Amazon sells your book. Your book gets listed on Amazon’s websites around the world. When customers buy your book, Amazon handles the transaction, prints the book, and ships it to the customer.

  • Print-on-demand. Amazon uses a print-on-demand model to handle sales. This means your book is printed only when someone orders it. There’s no need for you to print and store any physical copies yourself; Amazon takes care of the printing each time a customer makes a purchase.

  • Earn royalties. For every book sold, you earn royalties. The amount is based on your list price minus the printing costs and any applicable fees. The royalties you earn vary, depending on factors such as the marketplace and the specifics of your book.

  • Manage your book. You can make changes to your book’s details or pricing at any time through your KDP account.

Physical book royalties

Your royalties from physical books will depend on the book type you sell, interior, trim size, page count, listing price, and the marketplace your book’s bought from. You can calculate your royalties using Amazon’s Printing Costs and Royalty Calculator.

a screenshot of a web pageSource: Amazon

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How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?

When selling on Amazon, there are 2 costs you must take into account: the price of a selling plan and the referral fee.

Amazon offers 2 selling plansindividual for $0.99/month or professional for $39.99/month.  Each plan comes with a package of tools and services and provides access to a group of optional programs and tools.

a screenshot of a receiptSource: Amazon

In addition to the selling plan, you must pay referral fees that vary depending on the category. For every item sold, you’ll pay a percentage of the total price or a minimum fee amount, whichever is greater. The fees range from %5 to %22.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon

Time to put this knowledge to use and earn money

To make money online, you must choose a platform that has a good balance of traffic, revenue potential, and competition, depending on how much time and work you’re willing to invest. Amazon’s audience is huge. So is the competition. Selling on the world’s biggest marketplace will be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

To succeed on Amazon, you must equip yourself with knowledge, realistic expectations, and a willingness to experiment. You’ve got this! 

author

By Karlina Rozkalne on Apr 26, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.