Did you know there are three different ways to make money selling on Amazon? What started as an online bookstore has helped revolutionize e-commerce where almost anything can be shipped directly to your doorstep. And, it’s not just physical products that Amazon sells. With their Kindle eBook platform, authors have been able to self-publish easier than ever before. Just about anybody can make extra money online with Amazon.
Selling Method #1: Individual Seller
Amazon can be a great way for anybody to sell college textbooks, DVDs, or anything that will fit into a box. With Amazon, sellers who are auction-averse can list all items with a fixed-price without a listing fee. This means you are not out any money if your item does not sell. Unfortunately, Amazon charges a seller fee ranging from 8% to 15% on most products. eBay, more or less, charges a 10% fee on most items. As Amazon is one of the most visited websites in the world, enough sellers are willing to pay the premium as a “cost of business.”
The one challenge with selling third-party is that you will need to undersell Amazon after their shipping fees. As their current minimum order to qualify for free shipping is $25, you will have the most success at selling items below this price point to attract shoppers. If most shoppers are a few dollars short, they are more likely to spend a few extra bucks to get another item in return instead of giving Amazon “free money” to only receive a single item.
If you are an author, publishing your own work can be downright difficult. Amazon breaks down self-publishing barriers with Kindle eBooks and CreateSpace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. You can price your ebooks as low or expensive as you desire although Amazon has “incentivized” authors to strategically price their books to make an income on volume rather than price.
Amazon keeps 35% of the selling price for all eBooks priced $9.99 or below, but, will keep 70% of the selling price for all books priced higher than $9.99. If you are considering to sell your book for about $15, it might be beneficial to price it below the $9.99 mark as you will get more money in your pocket because you get to keep 70% of the selling price compared to 35%.
Selling Method #2: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
One of the latest raves for DIY e-commerce has been a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). If you have shop 3rd party listings on Amazon often, you might have seen a little message in the product listing that has the words “Fulfilled By Amazon” and qualifies for free shipping. That is one of the products that is enrolled in the FBA program. Individual sellers that want to sell in volume but do not have the warehouse or shipping capacity can have Amazon store and ship their items to them.
To Seperate or Not
FBA services come with an assortment of fees, but it can be a great option when your garage or apartment can no longer hold all your inventory. One decision you will need to make with FBA is if you want to keep your products separate from the general supply or not. You have to pay a small fee per item if you decide to have them stored separately, but it can be less stressful in the long run.
Depending on the product you sell, the Amazon warehouse worker might not grab your specific item if it doesn’t have a unique tag on it. For example, if you’re selling a few copies of a used DVD set. If the other used DVD is of the same quality, it isn’t a big deal. But, if your DVD is listed in “Used-Very Good” condition, but the DVD shipped has a huge scratch across the disc bottom, you will have to be the one to eat the cost and poor feedback.
Even non-FBA sellers can occasionally ship the wrong item. Have you ever received a book from a volume seller with multiple quantities of the same items that mentioned it will have minimal tears or marks? When it arrived, it seemed more like it should have been in “Acceptable” condition instead of its listing as “Very Good?” By paying the additional fee, you will not have this issue.
Rates for FBA items are about $1 per item that is purchased, plus additional fees for weight and storage. However, be aware that rates are subject to adjustment.
Selling Method #3: Affiliate Links
It’s possible to make money with Amazon without you having to list and ship a product. If you own a website or blog, you can earn a commission by referring your site visitors to Amazon to make a purchase. There is some “fine print” to Amazon affiliate links, most notably certain states do not permit their residents to make affiliate marketing income from Amazon links. A majority of states allow Amazon affiliate links, so most likely you can qualify for this program.
What is affiliate marketing?
If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, you are essentially a “middleman” between the buyer and seller. As an example, let’s say you blog about personal finance and getting out of debt. As recommended reading, you suggest that your readers buy a copy of a book written by Dave Ramsey on Amazon. When a reader clicks on that link from your website that contains a unique referral code, you will get a commission on the item. If the reader makes a purchase at Amazon within 24 hours, you get a small commission on everything they purchase.
After those 24 hours, if they only purchase the book, you get a 4% commission. But if they buy the book and a new watch, you get a commission on both items. If they don’t buy the book, yet they buy something else, you get a commission on those items. The more items you sell on a regular basis, Amazon will pay you a slightly higher commission.
Amazon knows to pay you for the shopping trip because the link on your website has a tracking id on it. To get the link, you have to go to the Amazon listing and click the “Get Link” button. You can copy and paste the text into your website where desired.
If you have seen an Amazon advertisement on a website (either text or image), chances are it is an affiliate link. Amazon most likely didn’t pay to have that product advertised at the location, although the website will earn a small income if you make a purchase through that link.
Amazon links can be an easy way to monetize your own website and earn a little side income. In fact, there are some bloggers that have an “Amazon site” exclusively dedicated to selling products listed on Amazon.
All of the above options are great ways to earn a little extra money. I encourage you to do further research to find what option best suits you.