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.
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!