How to Make Money on Amazon – 15 Killer Ways to Earn Extra Cash in 2021
If you’re worried that you’ve missed the e-commerce boat, don’t worry. It’s just getting moving.
While several e-commerce companies like Ebay, Shopify, Walmart, and Etsy can make selling products online easy, in my experience, the best way to make money online is with Amazon.
Amazon is a huge opportunity for those who want to join the world of e-commerce. In 2020, Amazon raked in $3.86 billion in revenue—over half of which was fueled by third-party sales.
But what can you do to get a piece of the Amazon pie?
There are tons of great ways to earn cash on Amazon, so to help you find what method might work best for you, this article dives into the top ways to make money on Amazon in 2021.
Let’s get to it!
1 – Sell your own private label products on Amazon.
The best way to make money on Amazon in 2021 is still through private label sales using Amazon’s Fulfillment-by-Amazon (or FBA) network. Around 71% of all Amazon sellers run their business using the private label method.
Private label is a process of manufacturing a pre-existing item (preferably, with product improvements), putting your branding and logos on it, and selling it to consumers. Sometimes it is referred to white-labeling or brand-creation. (The process has been around for years and is common in countless retail stores; Target’s Mainstays brand and Walmart’s Great Value are two examples of private label brands.)
Thanks to FBA, Amazon is able to deliver your products (typically in two days or fewer — what you likely know as Amazon Prime). This is how e-commerce business owners—like you and me— can list goods on Amazon and make money from the sales.
Amazon makes private labeling even easier thanks to a number of advantages:
- First, you can use a tool like Jungle Scout — the all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon — to estimate the sales your product will make once it’s on Amazon.
- Next, it’s easy to source and manufactures your products with the help of platforms like Alibaba or Jungle Scout’s Supplier Database.
- Finally, after you’ve created your product, you can sell it on Amazon using FBA. You don’t even have to ship your own orders!
How much money can I make selling private label products on Amazon?
Approximately $625 to $1,875 per month per product.
Over half (56%) of private-label sellers earn $5,000 or more in monthly sales, and nearly two-thirds (59%) have profit margins over 16%. Among private-label sellers who have more than a year of selling experience, 31% have earned over $50,000 in lifetime profits.
Note: To learn more about how much Amazon private label sellers spent to get up and running, how long it took them to become profitable, and what categories they’re selling in, check out The 2021 State of the Amazon Seller Report.
Where can I learn more about selling private label products on Amazon?
If you want to learn more about how to make money on Amazon with private label products, Jungle Scout offers a free course to help you get started: How to sell on Amazon FBA for beginners.
2 – Publish your own books on Kindle Direct Publishing.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows you to publish your own books on Amazon, and this is my second favorite way to make money on Amazon. (But that’s probably because I’m a professional writer.)
Then again, in addition to digital format, you can print actual copies of your book too. Amazon’s CreateSpace prints on demand!
The only catch with this option is that you usually need to write somewhat prolifically in order to find success. Though it is possible to publish one or two wildly popular books, volume is the true name of the publishing game.
The more you write, the more you make.
How much money can I make writing for KDP?
Up to $40,000 per month.
I’ve heard that some authors make as much as $40,000 per month. These writers, however, tend to be prolific and write topically to gain notice.
Once you write the material, you don’t have to write it again! Nor do you have to worry about inventory.
How can I learn how to make money on Amazon with KDP?
While I don’t know of any specific course I trust for teaching this particular method, I do trust Tim Ferriss.
And, coincidentally, the serial entrepreneur wrote an interesting article on how to become a Kindle millionaire.
It’s definitely worth a read if you want to make money on Amazon with KDP: How to make $1,000,000 selling e-books tactics and case studies.
3 – Sell wholesale goods on Amazon.
Similar to Private Label, selling wholesale involves purchasing bulk quantities of product to sell using Amazon’s FBA network.
The primary difference, however, is that you are selling other companies’ products. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about manufacturing and branding the products.
For a lot of sellers, it’s one of the most popular ways to make money on Amazon.
How much money can I make selling wholesale goods on Amazon?
Up to $3,000 – $4,000 per month.
While wholesaling on Amazon has become notoriously more difficult in the last few years, it’s still a great way to earn money.
Note that it is a lot more competitive than the private-label market—you won’t be the only one selling those products on Amazon. So it can sometimes be a “race to the bottom” on prices where the only “lever” sellers have to compete with each other is through lowering their price relative to their competitors.
Plus, the profit is all in the buy. If you can’t buy your goods for a low enough price, you won’t make money.
Still, 61% of wholesale sellers on Amazon make $5,000 or more in monthly sales—which is nothing to sniff at.
How can I learn to make money on Amazon selling wholesale goods?
Check out our guide to selling wholesale on Amazon in 2021. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can use Jungle Scout’s Product Database to sort and find worthwhile products to sell.
4 – Deliver goods for Amazon.
By now, you probably know that Amazon has its own delivery service. But did you know that you can join Amazon’s delivery fleet as a driver?
They might even pay you $10,000 to get started!
Amazon’s Flex program allows you to do just that. All you have to do is answer a quick questionnaire, download their app, and, if you’re accepted, you start making money.
Think of it as Uber, but for Amazon deliveries.
How much money can I make on Amazon working as a Flex driver?
Approximately $100+ per day.
According to Flex’s homepage, Amazon pays drivers between $18 – $25 per hour, and the shifts are typically five hours long.
I’ve also read stories that even if drivers finish their shifts early, they still get compensated for the entire five hours.
Not a bad deal for $100+ per day.
How can I learn to make money on Amazon as a Flex driver?
Naturally, the best way to learn how to succeed with Flex is through their site: Amazon Flex.
5 – Become a blogger.
Ever wanted to start a lifestyle blog, publish how-to videos or recipes, or otherwise get your thoughts and ideas published? You can make money from Amazon while doing that!
Picture this. You find a cool product on Amazon, send your friends the link, and–if they buy it–you get paid a commission. On your blog (or social media page or even in email), that link goes out to quite a few more folks, so you can make quite a bit more money in commissions.
That’s how Amazon’s Associates program works.
Amazon Associates is an affiliate program where you sign up to get special links that only you can share.
Once you share the link and a purchase is made, you earn a percentage of the sale.
How much money can I make as an Amazon affiliate?
This money-making method varies greatly in its returns.
The Amazon Associates program is probably the most popular affiliate program on the internet.
While the commission percentages aren’t particularly high–usually only 3-5%–the conversion rates and volume you receive from sharing those links make up for it.
The downside is that you need to be an internet influencer. If you don’t have a decent social media following (or blog), making a lot in sales commissions will be difficult.
How can I learn to make money on Amazon as an Amazon affiliate?
Jungle Scout offers a free course on Udemy that teaches you how to make money as an Amazon affiliate.
In fact, it’s taught by me!
It’s 100% FREE and teaches you all you need to know to monetize a blog and make money through Amazon Associates: How to monetize a blog (without being a computer expert).
6 – Flip store-bought products with retail arbitrage.
If you used to watch the U.S. version of “The Office,” you might remember the episode where Dwight bought up all the Princess Unicorn dolls around Christmas time. His plan was to sell them for $200 (or more) to last-minute shoppers.
And that, in a nutshell, is how retail arbitrage works.
Basically, for arbitrage, you go to a retail store like Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, etc. to find and buy discounted products. Then, you resell those items on Amazon at a mark-up.
How much money can I make doing retail arbitrage on Amazon?
Anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per month.
Like wholesaling, retail arbitrage has lost a lot of its luster over the last few years, as Amazon continues to make selling popular brands more difficult.
Regardless, retail arbitrage sellers can expect to make a few hundred to a couple thousand per month selling flipped products on Amazon.
Retail arbitrage is extremely competitive and difficult to scale. Many times, retail arbitrage sellers can spend the better part of a day or weekend searching retail stores for products only to come up empty-handed.
But don’t let that deter you—A lot of people start their Amazon selling journey using this method.
How can I learn how to make money on Amazon with retail arbitrage?
Jungle Scout has a great guide on selling retail arbitrage that goes over how to get started finding great products to flip on Amazon.
7 – Buy on Ebay to sell on Amazon (online arbitrage).
Frankly, I’ve never been a huge fan of retail arbitrage. It feels like a lot of work for very little return.
However, I do enjoy online arbitrage, which is very similar to retail arbitrage.
What’s different is that online arbitrage means you’re buying products to flip on Amazon from other e-commerce stores.
And, in my opinion, Ebay is the best place to find those products.
How much money can I make on Amazon with online arbitrage?
Approximately $200 – $500 per month.
Online arbitrage, while easier than retail arbitrage, suffers from the same major issues that its retail counterpart does:
- You’re very limited in options;
- There is a lot of competition;
- And it’s hard to scale.
Still, I earn roughly $200 – $500 per month doing online arbitrage on the side.
When I used to focus solely on textbooks, I could make as much as $205 per day!
How can I learn to make money on Amazon with online arbitrage?
A couple years ago, I wrote an article for Medium, detailing exactly how to perform online arbitrage using Ebay.
Not much has changed about the process since I wrote it, so it should come in handy: How to make $200/day with online arbitrage.
8 – Work from home as an Amazon rep.
Amazon is quickly becoming one of the largest employers in the world. Following their purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, Amazon now has approximately 650,000 employees.
Naturally, not all of those employees work at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
In fact, many of Amazon’s employees are remote employees who work from the comfort of their own home.
How much money can I make on Amazon as a work-from-home employee?
Around $30,000 per year, as a full-time rep.
The income you make as a work-from-home employee with Amazon depends on the position.
Doing a quick look on Google, it looks like most of the jobs offered are in data entry and customer service.
Furthermore, Amazon established a $15 minimum wage in 2018. So, at the very least, you could make $30,000 per year as a full-time, work-from-home Amazon rep.
How can I learn how to make money on Amazon as a work-from-home employee?
A Google search will help you find Amazon jobs. But, if you prefer, you can also go straight to the source: Amazon.job – Help us build earth’s most customer-centric company.
9 – Join the Mechanical Turk program.
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace.
Amazon has a little program with a funny name called Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Whether its data validation, research, or participating in surveys, Mechanical Turk works as a hub for outsourced tasks.
While the name might imply artificial intelligence, Mechanical Turk is actually the combined efforts of hundreds (and thousands) of remote workers like you.
How much money can I make on Amazon with the Mechanical Turk program?
Approximately $120 – $200 for a 20-hour workweek.
Mechanical Turk is a little more low-maintenance than some of Amazon’s work programs, so it pays a little less.
Nonetheless, online reports say that Mechanical Turk workers can still expect to make between $6 to $10 per hour.
How can I learn to make money on Amazon with the Mechanical Turk program?
Just like their jobs and Flex program, the best place to learn more about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program is through Amazon itself: Amazon Mechanical Turk.
10 – Handcraft your own items to sell on Amazon through Amazon Handmade.
If you’re creative, Amazon Handmade may be the spot for you!
By invitation only, Amazon Handmade allows artisans to craft and sell their own goods using Amazon’s platform.
Obviously, this method takes a bit more work to stay on top of your orders, since you would be producing them yourself. But, the exposure Amazon offers your brand is massive.
Amazon Handmade can really help a large audience discover your unique products.
How much money can I make selling handmade products on Amazon?
Upwards of $30 per day.
A few people I spoke with noted that Amazon’s fees are higher than some of their competitors, like Etsy and Ebay.
However, Amazon brings a much larger audience, so it balances out.
63% of Handmade artisans earn over $1,000 per month in sales.
How can I learn how to make money on Amazon with Amazon Handmade?
Jungle Scout has a great article on this topic. We go over in-depth on how to get started selling on Amazon Handmade, along with the best categories to sell in.
11 – Sell your own shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and more through Merch by Amazon.
Have a clever idea for a shirt or coffee mug, but don’t want to spend the money to create hundreds of them?
Then Merch by Amazon is for you.
Merch is a print-on-demand service that allows you to upload designs into Amazon’s database. Then, those designs can appear on shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, hats–whatever you want!
When a sale is made, Amazon creates the item for you, ships it, and you make money.
How much money can I make on Amazon through Merch by Amazon?
This money-making method varies greatly in its returns.
According to Merch by Amazon expert, Merchantpreneur, a seller can expect to make $1.50 per product they have listed through the Merch platform.
Unfortunately, Amazon has limited the number of Merch products that sellers can carry at any given time to 50 designs.
How can I learn how to make money on Amazon through Amazon Merch?
The team at Merchantpreneur has a good handle on Merch by Amazon. Their numbers are realistic and provide reasonable expectations.
Like many of these “how to make money on Amazon” methods, they tell us that it’s by no means a “get rich quick scheme.”
Instead, it’s all about hard work and dedication: Merchantpreneur: How much money can I realistically make with Amazon Merch?
12 – Trade-in unwanted items with Amazon’s Trade-In program.
While not technically a way to make money on Amazon, Amazon’s Trade-in program does allow you to exchange unwanted items for Amazon credit.
If you’re a nerd for ordering things on Amazon like me, then this is a great way to find additional resources to purchase more products on Amazon.
I like to use it to turn in old books I’m no longer reading, or care to own.
How much money can I make with Amazon’s Trade-In program?
This money-making method varies greatly in its returns.
Again, Amazon’s Trade-in program isn’t so much a way to make money as it is a way to earn credit by exchanging old stuff.
But, for the most part, I’ve seen Amazon give roughly 25% of the product’s original retail price as credit.
The biggest drawback to this program is that Amazon doesn’t want just “any old junk.” They are selective about what you can trade-in.
Often, they are looking for high-demand products with low supplies. (For example, in my experience selling books, textbooks, and niche non-fiction books are usually in high demand. So they might not take a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham, but they might be interested in a copy of Information Architecture by O’Reilly Publishing.)
Furthermore, the products need to be in very good (or better) condition.
How can I learn how to make money with Amazon’s Trade-In program?
Everything you need to learn about trading in your unwanted goods can be found on Amazon’s Trade-in program homepage: Amazon Trade-in: get paid for your used items.
13 – Offer your services through Amazon Services.
Amazon isn’t just a platform for e-commerce. They’re jumping on board the gig economy, too.
Essentially, Amazon Services allows entrepreneurs to sell their services online.
So, if you’re a plumber, a lawn care specialist, a dog walker, or a piano teacher, Amazon Services can help connect you to people who want your help.
How much can I make offering services through Amazon Services?
This money-making method varies greatly in its returns.
The sky is the limit! What you make is what you ask for, if the market is willing to pay it.
Yes, it is competitive. But with the right attitude and determination, you can scale your service-based business quickly using the Amazon services platform.
To learn how to make money with Amazon Services, check out their homepage.
It gives you the information you need to get started, as well as all the requisite application forms: Selling your professional services on Amazon.
14 – Do seasonal work for Amazon with CamperForce.
Did you know that Amazon has a force of full-time RVers who help with seasonal rushes?
It’s called CamperForce, and it brings together a community of enthusiastic RV-ers. Long story short, you can drive around the country, work a quick job in an Amazon warehouse, get paid, and then head to your next RV vacation destination.
As a CamperForce associate, you’ll be able to choose your assignment(s) based on your availability, and from a variety of locations. As for responsibilities, they fall into the categories of picking, packing, stowing, and receiving.
How much money can I make as an Amazon CamperForce associate?
Around $600 per week, as a full-time seasonal associate.
All of Amazon’s warehouse associates earn a minimum of $15 per hour. But for CamperForce workers, Amazon also pays for RV campsites.
And because they are Amazon employees, CamperForce associates benefit from Amazon’s 401k, health insurance, and other bonuses too.
How can I learn to make money on Amazon as a CamperForce associate?
Amazon’s CamperForce homepage tells you everything you need to know about the program: Amazon CamperForce.
15 – Work in one of Amazon’s fulfillment/distribution centers.
Finally, this is one that’s been in the news a lot lately: working in one of Amazon’s massive fulfillment centers.
Amazon associates pick, pack, store, and ship products for Amazon and its first- and third-party sellers.
How much money can I make working in an Amazon fulfillment center?
Around $30,000 per year, as a full-time associate.
Amazon’s warehouse associates earn a minimum of $15 per hour. They also receive benefits from the company.
How can I get a job as an Amazon warehouse associate?
You can learn more about becoming an Amazon warehouse associate and apply on their jobs page: Amazon.job – Help us build earth’s most customer-centric company.
Hope this article helps!
So there you have it. Fifteen killer ways to make money on Amazon.
I’d go as far as to say that there are probably even more ways than the 15 I have listed (for example, dropshipping might be more your style), but for now, this list should get you started on the right path.
If you know of additional ways to make money on Amazon, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Good luck!