Let's admit it.
We're in the Amazon ecosystem whether we like it or not.
Amazon is such a deadly beast of a company and it reaches millions of buyers every day.
Beyond that, tons of other businesses have also sprung from it.
The behemoth has given the ability for thousands of ambitious people to earn their first dollar online.
Not only is Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world but many of their stakeholders and partners have participated right alongside the gains.
I'm not just talking about venture funds or stock market investors here...
I'm talking about regular people like you and me generating hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on Amazon.
Today, I'm going to go over a few popular and a few unknown ways of generating income from Amazon.
1) Earn Affiliate Commissions By Being An "Amazon Associate"
"Amazon Associates" is the affiliate program Amazon started in the mid-90's and is still going strong today.
It's allowed thousands of site owners and influencers to monetize their content by recommending products found on their platform.
As you'll soon learn, this model is a lot easiest to start and the amount of ecommerce spending that Amazon controls is ginormous.
Consider this picture I took of an unboxing video on Youtube:
As you can see from the image, the bottom of the videos have a few affiliate links.
Each time someone clicks on those links, a "cookie" is dropped into their browser so that if this person purchases something on Amazon, the affiliate will be rewarded.
To give you an idea of what we're working with, here's an image of Amazons commission rates.
What do you think?
At first, the rates look terrible, but if we dig deeper we'll learn a different story...
1) Amazon has very high conversion rates.
The average conversion rate for a top 500 ecommerce site is 3.32%.
The average conversion rate for someone on Amazon without a prime membership is 13%.
Conversion rates for Prime members is a staggering 74%.
Yes, you read that right.
2) They have everything.
Hence the book titled "The Everything Store".
Products ranging from the latest gadgets to food not found anywhere else.
With the purchase of Whole Foods recently, expansion is definitely still on their minds.
3) 50% of all online purchases occur with Amazon. So why not work alongside them?
We decided to ask our CEO, Dom Wells, to chime in and give his experience with the Amazon affiliate program:
Human Proof Designs
Becoming an Amazon affiliate changed my life.
Back when I started building income-generating websites, the first product I started seeing success promoting was in the kettlebell niche.
More specifically a video training series.
Then all of a sudden my income dropped!
The vendor decided to stop selling the product and I was out of something that worked well for my audience.
Luckily, my other site in the shaving niche started to pick up traction. Even though the commission rates were lower than my kettlebell product, this site soon exceeded my expectations and earned a lot more.
That's when I realized how big Amazon was.
It's easy to see how influential they are today.
But back then their small commission rates weren't attractive at all.
In fact, before switching to Amazon, I was promoting my shaving site using ShareASale and other private affiliate programs.
Then I decided to try Amazon after seeing so many success stories and despite the lower commissions, I made way more conversions and my overall income went up quickly.
That's when I sold my first website too. I wrote all about it here and it's the story of taking my site from 0 to selling it for $25,000.
2) Private Label Physical Products To Sell Online
This is the second most popular option for those looking to build a business off of Amazon.
And one thing I really like about private label sellers is that they aren't thinking only about how to make money on Amazon, but they're using it as a starting point to lift off into other channels after.
In a very simplified process, these sellers take a popular product with low ratings and reviews and add their own twist to it.
Doing this by manufacturing the product after doing all the research and then becoming a "third party seller" on Amazon.
You could either highly customize a product or build what's known as a "me too" product.
Me too products require ordering that's already in the market and putting your own branding on it.
Both options will work, however, creating your own unique product will always add a certain defensibility into your business.
The main downfall with this income stream is that it requires a lot of capital to start.
You have to spend a lot of money to research the product, create it, ship it to your warehouse, send it to Amazon, spend money on ads, etc.
We reviewed Amasuite here because it's quite useful as an affiliate product as well.
Before we go on, I've invited an FBA expert to share a few tips about Amazon selling.
Let's see what Emmanuel has to say:
1.) Use niche finding tools like Junglescout and Scope - Before you jump head first into a niche, do your research!
Tools like Junglescout and Scope check your competitor's sales rank and give you an estimate of how much money is made monthly in this niche.
Is there enough to go around?
Is there too much competition? Find the sweet spot.
2.) Sign up for Brand Registry - Trademark your brand and then register for Brand Registry.
This permits you to protect your listings from editing by 3rd parties (although not from 3rd parties selling the listing), gives you access to Enhanced Brand Content editing, and allows you more advertising options.
3.) Learn about Amazon SEO - Instead of banking on making all your sales from marketing campaigns and off-site promotions, learn about Amazon keyword SEO.
Get organic ranking on Amazon search terms and get free traffic and sales to your listing.
3) Utilize Retail Arbitrage For Physical Products
Right now, there's a lot of people running around with barcode scanners on their phones rummaging into garage sales, searching eBay, and visiting local stores.
This is known as arbitrage.
It's the price differences between a product available in one place and the same product available in another place.
Then capitalizing on that price difference.
People doing arbitrage may buy the entire shelf if it's on sale.
Hence the reasons why some stores only allow you to buy a maximum amount of something because it's their "loss leader" in a sense.
This isn't nearly as attractive as private labeling because you still have to compete with others in the "buy box".
Whereas if you have a private label brand then you own the rights to sell it completely.
Heck, even with a website earning affiliate commissions, you're a bit better off in terms of the workload.
Arbitrage in no walk in the park!
One thing that I like about this opportunity is the ability to get into the physical products space with a trusted company and learn the ropes of getting your product moving in Amazon.
4) Dropshipping with a Fulfilled By Merchant Account
Dropshipping is where you sell physical products without the need to hold inventory.
Here's the catch:
Instead of holding inventory and creating a Shopify store, you create your store on Amazon itself. It's still a monthly subscription, but it's minimal compared to amount of exposure that you'd get.
For sellers, there are two main ways to deliver a product to an Amazon customer.
Amazon FBA is when the product is delivered through Amazon's warehouse and Fulfilled by Merchant is when you're delivering the product to the customer yourself.
Through your own logistics.
With dropshipping, when an order from an Amazon Customer comes through, you'll tap your manufacturer with the shipping details and they will send it for you. You're simply the sales person.
5) Sell Handmade Goods with Amazon’s "Etsy Competitor"
Amazon handmade is a marketplace where customers have access to thousands of handcrafted goods from Artisans around the globe.
With Amazon handmade, you as the seller are able to sell physical products that you've created with your own hands.
In reality you can really only sell as many goods as you create personally so it's not as scalable.
I know that many of the goods on Etsy aren't actually handmade though.
As a side hustle, sure. But are you going to be able to sell the entire business in general? I'd say no.
6) Sell T-Shirts With Merch by Amazon
This is another cool opportunity for regular people to sell something that's extremely simple that nearly everyone wears.
Merch by Amazon gives sellers the ability to create t-shirts that Amazon sells but they do not own.
Here's a look at the royalty structure, which is really just the fees Amazon charges you. As the creator, you set the list price and Amazon takes their cut and you keep the profits:
At the moment there is a waiting list to join the program because of its popularity.
Of course, there are a lot of people applying because it's such a simple way to get started online.
7) Have a physical service? Become a Partner with Amazon Home Services
This is a program that helps people who aren't quite handy and directs them to trusted vendors. It's mostly used to help Amazon customers with installing whatever they bought from Amazon.
These services don't have to pay an upfront cost or chase leads.
Amazon vets these services and applies their stamp of approval and of course, they make money as the middleman too.
Jeff Bezos really loves to leverage the Amazon network. It's impressive.
8) Do Tiny Jobs on Amazon's Fiverr Competitor, Mechanical Turk!
This is a really really neat side business that Amazon has.
It's a platform that's very similar to Fiverr except they really focus on micro tasks.
By that, I mean that each task is performed by hundreds of people.
When someone asks for a job to be done, the posting is revealed to every participant on the platform and thousands can contribute.
You can do everything from surveys, writing, organizing photos, and more.
There's an interesting story of why it's called "Mechanical Turk" too.
In the 18th century, there was a touring show where a human-like dummy would play chess and win against several prominent members of society. Later on, it was revealed that a person was hidden beneath the cabinet of the chess board and was controlling the movements of the dummy.
Black magic from back in the day is just technology now.
9) Become a Self-Published Author
Amazon has another unique service called Kindle Direct Publishing that allows authors to self-publish their books.
This means that nearly anyone can publish a book and have direct access once again, to Amazon's cherished customers.
Now authors don't have to go through a major publisher and wait months to promote their book. They can publish the book immediately, brand it, and launch the book themselves on Amazon.
It gets even better:
Amazon has another service that is attached to their Kindle Network which allows a customer to print an eBook on demand!
10) Be a Voice Actor for Amazon’s Audio Creation Exchange (ACX)
I devour tons and tons and tons of audio books.
One opportunity that nearly anyone can participate in is the ability to be a voice actor. Tons of authors really need this and also there's demand for it.
Amazon's ACX platform allows voice actors to bid on potential audio books for which the voice actor can benefit from either front-end compensation or royalties on the back end.
Some even get both. It depends on the deal you make with the author or publisher.
11) Write a Script & Sell a Movie to Amazon Studios
Now we're really getting out there.
This opportunity is not nearly as lucrative as affiliate sites or private labeling but there is a lot of cash on the table too.
We're talking $200,000 for each script that Amazon will purchase off of you.
The terms have changed recently and Amazon Studios doesn't explicitly offer that amount publicly, but hopefully it's still around that price.
The other direct benefits are distribution. Your film gets into international film festivals through it's Amazon Video Direct platform.
12) Create an Android App for Amazon’s Appstore
There's still an opportunity in the apps market.
Although it's getting harder to stand out from the crowd, independent app makers are still making a living.
The Amazon app store only accepts Android apps, for obvious reasons.
So if you want even greater access to Amazon's customer base this is an opportunity to earn direct sales and also ad revenue.
13) Become Part of Amazon’s Delivery Network
I really do believe that in the future Amazon will be as competitive with it's own logistics network as the big boys like FedEx, UPS, DHL.
As a driver, you can join Amazon Flex and earn income by delivering products to their customer's doors.
This is only available in certain cities and is listed here.
Now that you have a full view of what's possible with Amazon, which one are you gravitating towards?
Is it creating apps, selling T-shirts, or delivering packages?
Let us know below in the comments!