Making money

How to Make Amazon a Profitable Side Hustle

Last year, Amazon’s revenue was an impressive $241.545B. If you’re an online seller – or aspiring to be so – then that’s a pie that you definitely want a piece of. You’ve set up your account, gathered your inventory, posted your listings, but you’re still not making many sales.

So, what’s the problem? Each income channel on Amazon has it’s own specific list of tactics that will help increase visibility and drive up profits. The online microcosm requires its own set of digital marketing tactics to make your shop a true success.

Fortunately, we’ve broken down the main ways to make money with Amazon, and how to excel in each. Whether you’ve already started your business or now, these pathways have infinite potential for granting you a secondary income.



   How to Succeed at…Amazon Arbitrage 


Arbitrage is a classical business model that has thrived for centuries. It’s the practice of buying something for cheap and reselling it at a higher rate. This is the most popular route on Amazon, so there’s considerable competition.

Here are some tips for getting ahead.

Buy What Sells

Never go into selling blind. The Amazon Sellers app is available for iOS and Android and gives you loads of useful insight. You can search how popular the item is, the recommended retail price and how likely it is to sell fast.

It also lets you manage your inventory with ease, giving you a simple overview of your products, activity and feedback metrics.


Optimize Your Inventory 


The key to success is to find items that will sell, which you can markup considerably. Here are some ideas for finding profitable inventory.


  • Retail

A great tactic is to find discounts and merchandise in your local area. If you look for products that can’t be found elsewhere, then you have a good chance of creating a monopoly on Amazon. Alternatively, you can hit clearance sales and discount stores to get great deals on everyday items, which you can resell for full price.

  • Online

Another option is to find inventory online. Many sites exist where you can buy wholesale items for cheap. You can then resell them as individual products and make a profit this way. You can also try using price comparison apps to get discounts online. 

  • Amazon FBA

If you don’t want the added workload of shipping your products, then you can use the Fuelled by Amazon (FBA) initiative. You send your inventory to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they handle the rest. One advantage of this is that you can offer free Prime delivery, which will bump your product listings up the ranks considerably!


How to Succeed at…Amazon Resale


Many sellers overlook the idea of selling old household items on their store.  While Amazon is not eBay – you’re not allowed to sell used clothing and jewelry – there is potential for second-hand sellers.

Here are some options: 


  • Used Books


While used clothing is a no-no, used books are entirely fair game. You can use apps – like BookScouter – to find out how much books are worth. So if you’re someone who tends to hoard books, you may have a treasure trove at hand.


  • Re-Gifting


We all know the feeling; someone gives you a gift that you’re never going to use. Instead of hurting their feelings, you can turn the item into hard cash. As long as any clothes/shoes/jewelry still have the tags on, then they’re eligible for sale.  

  • Trade-In Program

Alongside the selling platform, Amazon also runs a trade-in program where you can send in books, DVDs and electronics in exchange for credit on your Amazon account. They’ll even send you a free UPS label, so you don’t have the pay for postage.


While Amazon resale strategies are not the most profitable option, they are a great way to sort through your clutter and turn it into some petty cash.



How to Succeed at…Amazon Art & Handcrafts


Amazon now runs Etsy-style market place that allows artists and creators to make money and sell via the platform. You can choose to ship the orders yourself or have them fulfilled by Amazon FBA.


Regardless of how you manage orders, Amazon takes a 15% cut of the profits. There are also extra fees if you do use FBA. Despite the charges, Amazon Handmade gives you access to one of the biggest online market places around, so provides adequate potential to turn over a good profit. 



Very few sellers can succeed simply from uploading items and hoping they sell. You also have to invest in an advertising strategy. Amazon actually offers sponsored advertising to help promote your work. They will target your ads to appropriate users and will bump your rankings in search results.

You can also advertise separately on search engines like Google and Bing, and also on social media platforms.


Keywords are perhaps your most powerful free tool. Hitting the right buzzwords means you’ll appear in the right searches and people will be more likely to buy. You have 250 characters available on Amazon, so you need to use them wisely.

See this full article for a full list of Amazon keyword tips

Multiplatform Selling

If you’re an artist then you don’t want to be tied to Amazon specifically. Audiences want the opportunity to invest in your brand, so giving them options to do so may increase your sales. Try creating an active social media presence, or even develop your own website. You can also try selling on multiple platforms, such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy, as it will increase your overall reach. 


How to Succeed at…Amazon Authors


Amazon Authors allows you to self-publish via Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard. Currently, there are over six million books on Kindle, so finding a way to start out is essential. 



  • Develop an Audience


If you’re a writer, having your own blog is an essential tool. You can give people a taster of your work, get them engaged and curate your own email list. Having an audience that is already engaged will increase your sales potential. 


  • Build a Content Portfolio


Alongside your own blog, try and build an off-site content portfolio. Find sites with a similar niche and offer to write an article for them. Not only will it increase your visibily, but add back-links to your blog and you can increase your Google ranking. 


  • Make Your Launch an Event


Don’t just launch your book one quiet evening – make it an event. Promote the launch on your site, create events on social media and make sure you post regularly in the lead-up to the big date. Creating preliminary hype will increase your initial sales. 


  • Invest in Advertising


Paid advertising is a necessary investment. Amazon offers internal pay-per-click advertising, which we’ve mentioned above. However, you can also pay for greater reach on your social media posts. Be sure to run beta-tests on your adverts and delete the ones that fail to gain traction. 


Currently, you’ll earn 75% of all sales, as long as you price your books between $2.99 and $9.99. You also receive royalties whenever someone reads your book via Kindle Unlimited; the exact amount is dependent on how many pages are read. 



Make Money & Guarantee Profits with Amazon


Amazon has a wide variety of side hustle opportunities. However, you need to make sure you’re employing tactics to stay ahead of the game. Researching what’s currently available on Amazon, what sells well and how to employ conventional marketing techniques will help you get ahead of the game. 

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