Learning how to make money on Amazon can be a dazing task, everywhere you look there’s “top 20 lists here” and “look how I made $xx,xxx on Amazon”, all providing helpful information but nothing really hitting the nail on the head.
Honestly when most of us are looking to utilize Amazon we’re not looking to make a few dollars a day by leaving reviews or editing descriptions. (yeah you can do that)
Maybe I’m biased because I’ve seen what can really be done with Amazon. To me there are really 3-4 ways (depending how you look at it) to make money online using Amazon.
Utilizing their Affiliate Program
Retail & Online Arbitrage
Selling your own products on Amazon
The great things about these business models is that each one caters to a different financial and personal scenario, so finding your fit shouldn’t be that hard.
Paying far more then just a couple dollars for an hours work, I’m going to be going over why these business models are actually worth your time.
If you’re going to use your time going after something, why not try to get the most out of it?
(Along with these business models and descriptions I will provide links to respective courses if you’re ready to get serious and commit)
Utilizing the Amazon Affiliate Program
Commonly referred to as Amazon Associates, Amazon’s Affiliate Program is probably one of the most popular out there.
With a product selection of over 200 million in the U.S. alone it’s no wonder why online marketers flock to it, the selection is huge!
Should you consider it?
This is great for someone who’s looking to start with a small budget (pretty much close to nothing), and doesn’t need an immediate turnover.
So if you’re looking to make some money online but the misses won’t let you drop the kids college fund on a business launch this is a good route to go in.
On top of that, Affiliate Marketing like most legitimate online opportunities does take work, but if you’re willing to put in the work now the results you’ll get later will far outweigh the work put in now.
What you’ll need to get started
You’ll need a domain, website, and a hosting platform
>>>I recommend using SiteRubix, they work with a great affiliate community and come with their own domain purchasing tool and thousands of free website templates to choose from.
Nothing that will break the bank, the monthly hosting along with training and community access is $39 a month and a domain usually shouldn’t cost you anymore then a $20 payment once a year.
They even let you try it out free for 7 days so if you don’t like it, just don’t sign up, simple as that.
What opportunity is there?
Now being one of the worlds most popular affiliate programs just doesn’t happen over night, so why do affiliates pick Amazon over other big stores?
For one, like I said earlier their selection is massive and since affiliates are given free range to promote these products (within Amazon’s guidelines), almost anyone across any niche can find some great products to promote.
They make the process pretty painless as well, something as simple as searching a product, and grabbing a link, simple and to the point.
With every purchase made through your link you’re given a percentage of the sale, with most commissions running around so multiply that buy a couple hundred sales a month and you could have yourself a good business going here.
If you’re still interested you can check out an article I wrote going over the whole process in detail, from getting signed up to making sales and everything in-between– Check it out here!
Want to give it a try but aren’t to familiar with Affiliate Marketing? Here’s a Beginners Guide I wrote to help get you started.
Retail & Online Arbitrage
Now this is something that not to many people are familiar with but has been going on long before Amazon’s day.
Retail and online arbitrage are the same in the sense except for one key difference, one is based on finding product opportunities online and the other is in retail stores. (like that wasn’t obvious)
If you’re not to familiar with what arbitrage is, it’s simply buying a product/item for a lower price, and selling it higher for a profit.
Similar to private labeling except these are other company’s brands, not your own.
Ex: You buy a stuffed animal from the Disney store for $5 on sale and then you turn around and sale it for $10, in this case on Amazon.
Why does this matter to you?
Both models are very effective and I know of plenty people who are making good profits doing both.
Some can do both, they have the ability to search online while having retail stores to go shop in also, but some of us don’t have that luxury.
For those of us that live in rural towns and don’t have access to big chain retailers online might be the better route.
Not saying that when you’re out shopping somewhere to not be on the lookout but retail shouldn’t be your primary focus.
But if you’re one of the fortunate ones that can do both, then good for you! Lets go over what it’s all about and how you can use it to make money online with Amazon.
Should you consider it?
Unlike Affiliate Marketing, arbitrage online or retail can come with a quick turnover, probably one of the fastest of the business models.
It can even be done with no more of an investment of a couple hundred dollars or even a hundred, I’ve even heard of people starting with as little as$50 and scale from there.
But there is some risk involved, since you’re going to have to invest before you see a profit, you do risk losing money if you don’t gauge the opportunity correctly prior to buying the items.
So if you’re looking for a quick turnover and are okay with investing a small amount of money to start, this could be something worth looking into.
How you can utilize Amazon to build this business
When doing this it helps to have a trusted store front to put your products up for sale, being why Amazon fits in the equation perfectly.
They have established themselves over the years as one of the most trusted and highest converting e-commerce stores to ever exist, making them ideal for your business.
Now with using Amazon’s services you can go two ways, you can sell as FBA or Merchant.
FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon)- This is when you send you’re inventory to Amazon and they package, store, and ship your products to the customers with each purchase. (for a fee of course)
Merchant- This is when you, the seller, packages, stores, and ships the item yourself, but you are using Amazon as the selling platform.
Obviously FBA would be the wiser choice here, but that is entirely up to you.
Now I wish it could be as simple as finding a product and selling it online for twice as much, in a nutshell it is, but there’s far more to it then just that.
Typically you are going to want to find product opportunities first before going to Amazon, you can read store magazines, shop sales items in store, and look for deeply discounted products.
From there you would go to on Amazon or use the Seller Central App and check to see what the products are selling for on Amazon.
If they’re showing to be at-least double the price, and are showing to be selling a fair amount of products, you might have something here.
You can then go and check the fulfillment fees using the Amazon FBA calculator, where this will take into account all the required fees that will come accustomed with selling this product on Amazon.
From here you can decide if the profit margins are sufficient enough to go forward with.
Retail Arbitrage Fast Track
Now that was a very vague summary of how the whole process works, and I know there are still some holes in there, so I’ve included a video below that will hopefully clear some things up.
In the video is Christie Nachtrab, a stay at home mom that made over $100,000 in sales in her first year doing this accompanied by Matt Clark the CEO and co-founder of Amazing.com.
Hopefully this cleared a few things up for you, Christie really does have an amazing story and is an active mentor within Amazing.com.
She personally created Retail Arbitrage Fast track, teaching thousands of members how to create successful retail arbitrage businesses from the ground up.
If you’re not familiar with selling on Amazon, don’t freak out!
This course is specifically designed for the beginner entrepreneur, Christie does a wonderful job at breaking it down into easy to follow modules and action steps to keep you on track.
Sharing the same concept as retail arbitrage except instead of finding your product opportunities in-store, you’re finding them online.
Typically you’ll visit sites like Disney, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, retailers essentially and you’ll browse the “clearance” or “on sale” section.
The reasoning for this is you want to get products for as low as possible to ensure you have a healthy profit margin, so when stores have these special deals you need to act on them.
You’ll find products that are on sale, go to Amazon and check to see what they’re selling for (you want to look for the exact item that first shows in the results).
You want to see it selling for at-least double before looking into it, if not, move on.
Once you got the showings of a good opportunity you can then use software extensions such as Keepa (Google Chrome Extension) to track the price of the product over the past few months to ensure it didn’t recently spike up.
If it’s showing to be consistent now you need to know the volume at which it’s selling, I personally use camelcamelcamel.com to do this.
This is a great tool to see how much a product is selling to see if it’s worth pursuing, and to also know how much to inventory to purchase.
If it’s only selling 3 per month and you buy 200, it’s gonna be a while until you turn a profit.
Retail Arbitrage Academy
I wish I could sit here and explain the whole process, but that would easily double the length of this article. So here’s a video that will hopefully clear some things up for you.
In this video you’ll see U.K. brothers Andy and Eddie Robertson, talking about how they turned a 200 dollar investment into a $100,000 in monthly sales empire, using online arbitrage.
Note: the video is pretty lengthy so if you’re short on time you should probably read on and pin this page to refer back to later.
If you watched the video by now you should have a pretty good understanding of the opportunity at hand.
Andy and Eddie both personally created Retail Arbitrage Academy to teach people how they built their empire so you can do the same.
They even went to the extent of sharing some of the hottest websites out there for finding deals, what tools they use, and how they scaled their business.
So if you want to check it out click that snazzy call to action to the right there to get inside Amazing.com and get started– Check it out here!
Selling your own products on Amazon
Now last but not least, my favorite form of making money online with Amazon, selling your own products.
When I say sell your own products I’m not referring to cleaning out your bedroom and posting it all onto Amazon, I’m referring to private labeling you’re own products and selling them as your own unique brand.
For those of you not familiar with this, this is when you source from a supplier (typically in China) you purchase a bulk amount of products and you have them label these products using your brand.
Like any other product out there, you notice how everything says “Made In China” on it?
Even with big brands, sure they might have tweaked it a little, but all they did was source from a supplier, changed it a bit, and slapped their brand on it. You can do the same thing!
Should you consider this?
This business model isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re serious about building a thriving online business, this might be it.
By now we’ve covered Affiliate Marketing, Retail Arbitrage, and Online Arbitrage, all having typically low start up investment involved with typically low risk.
Sorry to say, this isn’t like the others, the usual start up for a business like this can run in the thousands.
Typically anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 for inventory alone, and that’s not including shipping, marketing, and product returns, so add and extra $1,000 on top of that.
BUT the return on your investment can be substantial if you do it right. I know of many people who are pulling in anywhere from $100,000 a month all the way to an upwards of $1,00,000 in monthly sales.
But if you’re someone who is a little tight on cash this should be something you should put off until you’re a little more financially stable.
The opportunity is there you just have to know how to catch it.
So in light of that, lets go over how we can do this…
Selling on Amazon- The Basics
To sell on Amazon you’re going to need a few things, first off being a Seller Central account, this is an account where you can add products, manage inventory, etc… it’s important to say the least.
Second being you’re going to need something to sale, now you can source here in the U.S., but most go with China, preferably Alibaba.
They’re a huge online database of suppliers in China, you can find almost anything in their database, so it’s a great place to start.
Third, you’re going to need an established brand with a secured domain and no known trademarks.
Along with all this you’ll need a great marketing strategy, customer service assistants, and a pretty good idea of where you want to take this business.
How to learn the process- Brand Genesis
Probably one of the best online educational courses I’ve ever seen Brand Genesis is pushing the boundaries of online business creation education.
Created by Amazing.com’s CEO Matt Clark, Brand Genesis is an interactive live training of a real online business that’s projected to hit $100,000 in monthly sales by the end of 2016.
Yea, I said it live! He’s going to bring you on the inside of how this business was built, from the beginning to the $100,000 mark.
He built this business to finally show people this can be done!
Not only was this business started in mid January, he also took it up a notch by:
Giving himself only 1 hour a day to work on the business
A limited inventory budget
Building the brand in a market where he has no contacts or resources
All this to make it as close as possible to a beginner in online entrepreneurship.
With every episode you’ll be brought in on at a live look at this business along with action steps to take to follow along with the building of this business.
You’ll be brought along for every success and failure, all to show you what it takes to build a successful online business.
If you want to learn more you can check it out by clicking the link to the right there or the picture below– I want to learn more about Brand Genesis. From here Matt should clear up some questions you might have, I’m sure there’s a lot!
This is an opportunity I don’t think you want to miss out on, so much in fact, I’ll be taking the journey right along with you!
I have my own physical products business already, but the value in this course was something I couldn’t see passing up!
Wrapping things up…
Well a few thousand words later and we’re here! I hope you found this article helpful and decide to take action!
There are some great opportunities out there especially with Amazon, and people are changing their lives everyday going after these opportunities!
Don’t sit on the sidelines and just hope it happens one day, take action! Even if you just create some free accounts or sign up for the free trials, any step forward is progress and that’s awesome!
Until next time,
P.S. We have a serious Taco Bell addiction and the affiliate links on our site lets us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!
An ex-broke college student turned online business owner, Tyler is a regular poster on Broke College Solutions. Usually taking a more creative approach to making money while in college he is our go-to guy for making money online.