How to Make Money from Home Selling on Amazon

Nowadays it’s exceedingly common to have a side hustle. You might drive for Uber or walk the neighborhood dogs with Wag. But what if you want to learn how to make money from home without ever leaving home? And what if you want to turn that side hustle into a full-time gig?

There are plenty of opportunities to make money online: becoming a blogger, taking surveys and freelancing are all viable options. But as online shopping continues to boom in popularity, why not take advantage of a huge customer base (310 million active customers and counting!) and start selling on Amazon?

How to Make Money Online: Become a Successful Amazon Seller

As one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world, Amazon is ripe with money-making opportunities for the average person, let alone an experienced entrepreneur.

A quick internet search will show you tons of success stories from past and present Amazon sellers as well as ample selling advice. Many make it seem all-too easy, but don’t be fooled and jump in blindly – you could be making a seriously expensive mistake. Running a business takes work, even if you’re the sole employee and currently setting up shop from your couch.

So before you get into the selling game, take the time to examine your opportunities. Decide what you want to sell and how you want to do so. Consider this post as Step 1 in your market research. Let’s get started and look at some of the excellent options available to you!

Sell Items from Around Your Own Home

When you’re deciding how to make money from home, have you considered what’s around your home? Turn your old clutter into cash! Stop hassling with garage sales and start selling online with Amazon instead. Many Amazon sellers find that selling their used goods, mainly books, CDs and movies, is a great way to make extra money from things they no longer want or need. 

This method is probably best completed through Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) program. You won’t have to worry about any of the logistics of sending products to customers. Instead, you’ll send the items you want to sell to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers and they’ll handle everything from there. Sounds pretty good, right?

When you’re deciding which items to part with, here are some good guidelines to follow:

  • Steer clear of products that typically don’t have a high selling price. Any items that would sell for less than $4 won’t have a high enough margin to cover your costs.
  • Try to find items that will have a higher selling price, like any collector’s items or special edition books, old toys, antiques, etc.

This will require some research. Amazon is helpful in that once you get your account up and going and add items to your inventory, it’ll give you an estimate on potential revenue. From here, you’ll have a much better idea of the feasibility of selling these products.

Amazon Refurbished: Another Excellent Option

If you have the ability to sell used or refurbished items on a large scale, the Amazon Renewed program can also be a good way in how to make money from home. This venture is better suited for people who already have some Amazon experience as there is an application process. You also have to meet certain requirements in order to be admitted into the program.

Before your application is approved, you must be able to provide proof of sales volume and meet quality standards. Once you do so, you’re able to sell items as “Certified Refurbished.” One of the many benefits of this program is that you’ll face less competition since it’s so selective.

If you’ve already established a relationship with a manufacturer, you may be able to expand your product line to include open-box, refurbished items. And just like with sourcing any other product, you need to do your market research to find the right product, i.e. something with high demand and low competition.

Sell Branded Merchandise with Amazon Merch

If you have design experience, this one’s a no-brainer. But the great thing about Merch by Amazon is that you don’t have to be an established artist – aspiring designers can find success here, too.

With Merch by Amazon, sellers upload a design, select a product, style and color, and add a product description. Amazon will generate a listing for you, and your branded merchandise will soon become available to Amazon’s ginormous customer base.

Compared to other selling methods, Amazon Merch requires far less planning and attention. Once your design is submitted and approved, Amazon handles the production, shipping and customer service of the merchandise. Products are only printed after a sale, so you won’t have to manage inventory or worry about unsold items.

Source: Amazon

Other benefits of Merch by Amazon are:

  • All products are Prime eligible.
  • There’s no upfront costs: Amazon charges the customer when an item is sold and takes out production costs and fees from the sales price, leaving you with the remainder as a royalty payment.
  • Merch by Amazon is non-exclusive, meaning you retain the rights to your design so you can sell merchandise on other sites with the same design.
  • New items are being added as time goes on – it’s not just t-shirts anymore; as you progress in your merch business, you’ll be able to offer a larger number of designs and add designs to different types of products, like sweatshirts and PopSockets.

Regardless of the product, all designs submitted to the MBA program must adhere to Amazon’s Content Policy guidelines.

The downfall is, due to the immense interest in the program at this time, interested sellers must submit an application detailing their background and experience in order to be considered.

Shop Around with Retail Arbitrage

This method of selling is similar to what we just discussed but can be done on a much larger scale if you devote the proper time and energy. Instead of selling items that you already have at home, retail arbitrage involves buying marked down products at retail stores (or even on other online retailers) and then reselling them for full price on Amazon.

This is a relatively easy way to make some extra cash, and some people even turn this venture into pretty lucrative businesses. The catch is that you always have to be on the lookout for new items to sell.

How do You Find Products to Sell?

One way to obtain inventory is to check with retailers, both brick and mortar stores and online. Many retailers will mark down products when they have a surplus of stock and not enough shelf space to store them.

A number of different scanning apps are available to help you identify good deals and profitable products. After you scan the item’s barcode, the app will estimate your anticipated profit. You’ll get tons of useful info without having to make a single purchase!

One of the more popular scanning apps is the Amazon Seller App. This is offered for free to those who purchase a Professional Seller Account on Amazon. Many other apps require a monthly subscription for pretty hefty prices.

On a personal note, AJ, Viral Launch’s Manager of Customer Experience, recently started his own retail arbitrage venture. He’s currently making around $300 for just a couple hours’ worth of work! Check out the video below to see how he does it and hear more from Viral Launch CEO Casey Gauss. 

Start a Private Label Business

If you’re interested in selling long-term, the private label market is where you want to be. Unlike retail arbitrage, private label doesn’t depend on your ability to go out and continuously find products to sell. Instead, you source a product from a manufacturer, package it with a unique business logo, and send it to customers either by yourself or through FBA.

This isn’t to say that the private label business is a walk in the park. It does require a large initial investment and much more research. You’ll also need good communication skills and a thorough understanding of how Amazon works. But once you get the hang of it, a private label Amazon business can turn into a major money maker and full-time career.

We recommend using a product research tool to help you identify high-opportunity markets. Look for those with high demand but with low competition. And remember, we’ve got plenty more tips for sourcing a successful Amazon product!

Start Making Money!

While it will take some hard work, especially initially, making money from home is definitely possible. Just remember, success never comes without some commitment on your part. Think about your goals and which Amazon selling method aligns best with them. Then take these ideas on how to make money from home and start your business!

If you know you’re ready to take the plunge and start selling on Amazon, Viral Launch is here to help. Speak with one of our experienced Amazon coaches or sign up for our creative services to start your journey on the right foot. We’re here to help you succeed!

How to Make Money Selling on Amazon: 5 Tips for New Sellers

Wondering how to make money selling on Amazon? It’s the the million-dollar question! After all, you’re probably not starting to sell just for the fun of it. You want to see a profit in order to make the venture worth your time, energy, and investment.

The best part about selling on Amazon is that virtually anyone can do it. You don’t have to be an expert in business or branding to get started. By now you’ve heard countless Amazon seller success stories, things like, “I’m making upwards of $50,000 a month”, or “I turned a $600 investment into $60,000.”

Many of these successful accounts are coming from people with no previous selling experience. Whether you’re trying to turn your side hustle into a full-time business or just looking to supplement your income, there truly is serious money to be made selling on Amazon.

Despite the growing competition, it’s not too late to start selling! That being said, there is also no guarantee that you’ll make a killing. So what is there? A great opportunity. And it’s one you shouldn’t pass up if you’re prepared to put in the work.

Like any other business venture, there is risk involved. But the rewards can be huge, even life changing. After working with over 8,000 brands to run more than 35,000 launches, Viral Launch knows exactly what it takes to succeed on Amazon.

Based on our data and experience, we’ve put together 5 tips every new seller needs to know and understand in order to cash in on the opportunity at hand. For even more tips, take a look at our video series on How to Sell on Amazon. Get started with the first video below, and follow these 5 tips to get going with your Amazon Journey!

Tip #1: Understand How Amazon Works

We know joining the world’s largest eCommerce storefront can be intimidating, especially for beginners. But if you want to know how to make money selling on Amazon, you have to understand how to sell on Amazon in the first place.

Many third-party sellers list products on the platform and sell them for a profit. Some buy these products directly from a manufacturer, while others buy up products at retail stores for a discount. Every Amazon sellers looks for market demand and then offers a product to compete for shopper purchases.

In order for people to find the products that they list on the platform, sellers use SEO tactics to improve their products’ search ranking. Most sellers use keyword placement, sponsored ads, and targeted sales to boost their search ranking on the site. For shipping, many sellers use Amazon’s FBA program to ship their product. It guarantees 2-day delivery to shoppers, and provides a competitive advantage over other products.

Familiarize yourself with its policies and learn the steps to get started and all fees associated with selling before even making your first move. Did you know there’s also taxes to be dealt with? Do your research, don’t just jump in as it’s very easy to make an expensive mistake.

Learn the ins and outs of the Amazon platform or you’re going to be operating at a disadvantage right from the start. Understand how the process works and the different types of selling and fulfillment options available to you — will you be doing self fulfillment or Fulfillment by Amazon? Use all resources available to you to learn as much as you can.

Tip #2: Find the Right Product

There may be hundreds of millions of products for sale on Amazon, but how many are actually making any money? Choose products that will move, not just sit stagnant and end up costing you money. Consider the following before you choose a product to sell on Amazon:

  • Knowledge of the Niche: While you may be tempted to pick some new-age electronic device or an Amazon bestseller, stop to take into account your familiarity with the product and its intended buying pool. If you don’t know anything at all about it, do you really want to be tying your potential profit to it?
  • The Market: It’s simple supply and demand, really. Will there be enough interested buyers to make selling the product worthwhile? Although this can be hard to judge at times, more obscure items usually don’t move enough to result in a healthy profit. For sustained profitability, explore markets that are always strong, like sports & outdoors, baby items, tools, or office supplies. Make sure there’s enough volume to meet your desired income goals.
  • Fads: Keep in touch with trends to see what the latest-and-greatest item is and capitalize on it, just like Brock Johnson did with solar eclipse glasses back in the summer of 2017. Fidget spinners are another great example of a fad that went viral and made some sellers a lot of money. But remember, fads die off just as quickly as they came up, so timing and inventory management are crucial. For those that ordered way too many fidget spinners and engaged in price wars with Chinese competitors, the result wasn’t so lucrative.
  • Competition: Check out similar products on Amazon and see who your competitors are. Competing against national brands typically isn’t advisable as brand recognition and loyalty still rings true even on Amazon. Chances are you aren’t going to outsell a big, nationally recognized brand. This isn’t always the case, but the risk is very high.

 

Your initial manual research will eliminate many products, but there’s still going to be a huge product pool to choose from. How do you keep narrowing it down?

Amazon Product Finders

Automated product finders are beneficial to use because not only do they streamline the process, they also give you great product insights. These research tools allow you to see competitor prices, monthly sales and more. Get everything you need to make informed selling decisions and find profitable products much faster.

The Viral Launch Product Discovery tool can help you find a multitude of high-potential products that meet your unique wants and needs. After inputting criteria like your desired monthly sales, selling price, review count, and monthly revenue, it provides you with a comprehensive list of products, keywords, brands and categories that match your search parameters. See your sales potential before you even get started!

 

 

Learn more about what Product Discovery can do and find profitable Amazon products.

For beginners, it’s best to start small with one or two products and maximize your profit potential by adding more as you go and gain steam. Selling on Amazon is a cash game, as money is often tied up in inventory. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

It’s also important to:

  • Take advantage of the holidays, Cyber Monday and Prime Day specifically
  • Check Amazon FBA’s list of categories and products requiring approval to be sure your product isn’t restricted or requiring additional fees, performance checks or qualifications
  • Find the right (i.e. reliable) supplier
  • Differentiate your product whenever possible — while keeping a competitive price — in a crowded market

Amazon is an eCommerce giant that continues to grow in size and popularity, as evidenced by the numbers in its 2017 Annual Report. Online shoppers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon — there is a huge marketplace of buyers available, and that means ample opportunities for sales.

Set yourself up to succeed by analyzing the market and determining all barriers to entry. Selecting the right product for you helps minimize risk and eliminate pain points before they end up hurting your bottom line.

Tip #3: Have a Solid Business Plan

As you continue to discover how to make money selling on Amazon, it’s beneficial to establish your own business goals right from the start. Is this a side hustle or a full-time venture into online retail? Your business plan will make your profit margin that much more important.

Similarly, are you going to be a one-hit wonder, or are you in this for the long haul? Since you’re likely going to sell multiple items once you get the selling bug, be sure your business is scalable so you can grow with the market and not be left behind.

Knowing why you’re selling and what you want to accomplish will likely change your approach. Take a good hard look at your plan and be sure all business partners are on the same page right from the start.

Understanding your selling model is equally important. There are several different approaches, all with their own fans and critics.

Popular Amazon Selling Methods

Some of the most popular ways to sell on Amazon are:

  • Retail Arbitrage: Purchase a product for a low price at a discounted rate from a retail store, boutique or wholesaler and resell it for a higher price
  • Wholesale: Buy items directly from the manufacturer and resell under the manufacturer’s brand
  • Private Label: Purchase products directly from the manufacturer and sell them under your own brand
  • Merch By Amazon: Apply for the program to be able to upload a design and sell your product like you would on Etsy 

You’ll also want to dig deeper into the pros and cons of FBA vs. FBM. With FBA, you’ll qualify for Amazon Prime shipping, be able to win the Buy Box more often, and not have to worry about fulfilling your own orders.

On the other hand, you’re held responsible for paying FBA fees, and it can be more difficult to track your inventory. With FBM, you’re directly in control over your inventory but held responsible for its delivery. Determine your method to simplify the selling process and focus on developing a successful and scalable business model.  

Tip #4: Optimize Your Listing

When new sellers are figuring out how to make money selling on Amazon, many often believe it’s only the product that matters. But in fact, there’s so much more in play here.

Since online shopping takes away the physical experiences, like touch, smell and ability to pull something right up to your face for closer inspection, your listing copy and photos need to display and describe the product in great detail to bridge the gap.

Both are extremely important for selling success and are key ways to hit your desired sales targets. After all, you only get paid when someone buys something! And that makes listing optimization and using the right Amazon keywords crucial.

Professional Listing Optimization

Professional copywriting and photography services help new and experienced sellers alike. Putting your listing copy and photos in the hands of experts like those at Viral Launch not only minimizes the work for you, it ensures your listing will be optimized in a way that maximizes your ranking and purchasing potential.  

Viral Launch also offers seller software like Keyword Research, a data driven Amazon keyword tool that determines relevant, high-ranking keywords for your product and category.

 

 

See the most relevant high-volume keywords for your product and find the low-hanging fruit with high-opportunity keywords that your competitors aren’t targeting in their listings. The better you position your product with high-ranking keywords, the more you’ll boost your visibility. In the crowded Amazon marketplace, visibility is everything.

Tip #5: Increase Your Product Ranking

Even if you find a great product and optimize your listing, you still aren’t going to get sales unless you can rank. High-ranking products are the ones appearing on Page 1, and that’s what Amazon shoppers are looking at. In fact, this 2017 buyer behavior study indicated that 70% of Amazon customers don’t move past the first page of search results! 

We covered how crucial using relevant, high-volume keywords is for your rank ability, but reviews also matter, although their future is a bit murky at the moment. Positive reviews make it more likely people will purchase, and sales have been shown to benefit ranking.

If Lady Luck is on your side, everything might naturally go your way. But chances are you’re going to have to work at improving your ranking, and there are things you can do to gain a competitive edge.

Giveaways

Targeted giveaways – called launches here at Viral Launch – are done to project your listing to Page 1 for a major keyword, with the end goal of increasing your organic sales.

We usually recommend running a giveaway for 7-10 days. This allows Amazon to recognize the sales but still limits the number of items being given away.

PPC

Pay Per Click, or PPC, is a type of sponsored ad. Set a daily budget and bid on a click price to have Amazon post your listing as an ad for targeted keywords. You won’t pay anything unless the ad is clicked on by a shopper, but note that someone can click on your ad and still end up not purchasing.

Once your ranking improves, an optimized listing and good reviews can help you maintain it.

Recap

Perhaps the main lesson in learning how to make money selling on Amazon is you have to do your research and give this venture your full attention, at least at first. 

New Amazon sellers have a lot of decisions to make and work to do. Take the time to consider the following and make the best choice for your business:

  • Selling Plan: Individual or Professional
  • Product: Conduct market and keyword research to make the best choice for you
  • Fulfillment: Determine how in depth you want to be involved in order fulfillment
  • Price Point: What will optimize your sales velocity
  • Listing: Make your listing be seen by the most shoppers possible

Don’t expect to be an expert right away. Use the many resources and software available to you to make smart business decisions. Decide before your first launch if selling will be a side hobby or the primary source of your income.

Once you get going, even if your listing is ranking well, there’s no guarantee it’ll stay that way. Continually check up on the competition and research the market to determine what buyers want. Staying profitable may include adjusting your price point or even making changes to your physical product.

Here at Viral Launch, we encourage you to never settle and keep striving for greatness. This can be in your everyday life or your entrepreneurial pursuits. For more on how to sell and make money on Amazon, subscribe to our blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.