Amazon Side Hustles – How to Make Extra Money on Amazon

Introduction

With over 6 million global sellers who themselves sell north of 160 million products across the world, Amazon has become the number one spot for e-commerce on the web. What’s even crazier, though, than the vast number of sellers and products being sold on Amazon is the relatively short time most of these sellers put into their e-commerce businesses per week. Many Amazon sellers actually spend less than 20 hours per week on their business, and a large number of those make more than most 9-5 office employees.

The question, then, is this: Is selling on Amazon just a simple side hustle, or is it a lucrative full-time job? Read on to find out the answer to this question which may very well convince you to quit your current job and immediately become an Amazon seller.

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What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is any form of employment or income-generating activity that is supplemental to a person’s main job or career. It’s often a great way to earn extra money doing something you love outside of the basic 9-5 grind.

The overall draw of a side hustle is the hope of earning more money doing something you’re passionate about. However, a little-known fact is that a side hustle can provide a sense of personal growth and feelings of accomplishment, too.

How to Start an Amazon Side Hustle

When choosing to start an Amazon side hustle—which is a fantastic way to earn extra income for a much-needed vacation—you’ll want to know how to get one started ASAP. Check out the quick steps below to find out:

Step 1. You’ll first want to choose an Amazon niche you’re either interested in or know a lot about. Make sure you take the time to properly research both the market demand and competition level for your chosen product.

Step 2. Next, you’re going to have to source products. These can be products you create yourself, or ones that you source from a manufacturer like Alibaba or AliExpress. Keep in mind that when sourcing your product, you ensure that it’s high-quality before purchasing.

Step 3. Now that you have your product, it’s time to set up your Amazon seller account. Choose either an individual or professional seller account and create your seller profile.

Step 4. Listing your products is the next step in the Amazon selling process. Here, you’ll want to create effective and compelling listings that draw customers in, as well as informative product images and competitive pricing. For this last, we recommend using our own Amazon pricing strategy.

Step 5. Even though your listing is written, you’ll still need to optimize your Amazon listing with SEO keywords in your product title, bullet points, and description. This will help boost the chances that your product will be seen by more Amazon customers.

Step 6. Take the time to choose if you want to fulfill orders yourself through Amazon FBM, or have Amazon do the heavy lifting for you with Amazon FBA. We recommend the latter but take the time to research both yourself before deciding.

Step 7. Once your fulfillment method is chosen, it’s important to then consider utilizing advertising tools like Adtomic that will help promote your listings, driving even more traffic to your products.

Step 8. After a customer purchases one of your products, you’re not done yet! Instead, the customer service that buyers experience plays a key role in determining whether or not they’ll become repeat customers. You can even request Amazon reviews from these happy customers which will further boost visibility on the site.

Step 9. The final step—to analyze and adapt—is actually never-ending, but don’t let that dissuade you from becoming an Amazon side hustler. While monitoring sales performance, customer feedback, and market trends can be challenging at first, you’ll soon get the hang of it if you push through.

How to Make Money Selling on Amazon

Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade

By using just an Amazon selling account, you can easily apply to join the popular Amazon Handmade program that will allow you to sell your very own handcrafted items to millions of interested online shoppers. However, you’ll need to complete an initial Artisan application before you’re allowed to join. This application proves that your goods are handmade by you and not purchased elsewhere and then resold by you.

When your application is approved and you gain access to the worldwide Amazon marketplace, you can stand to gain a huge profit from this relatively simple side hustle. Keep in mind, though, that Amazon will take a 15% referral fee per sale.

Merch on Demand

Merch on Demand

If you’re a graphic designer or simply someone who knows what looks good in the ever-changing fashion landscape, Merch on Demand may be right for you. With this program, aspiring Amazon side hustlers can create their very own products with unique designs and then sell them for a profit on the e-commerce site. However, not all requests to join are accepted. 

If you are accepted, though, the succeeding process is simplicity itself: just upload your unique artwork to Amazon, select the product you want your design to be featured on (t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, etc.), and then have Amazon print and ship the item to your customer.

The best parts of Merch by Amazon? There is no upfront cost and you’ll receive a royalty after every successful sale.

Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP

With Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can create and publish your very own book on Amazon without having to deal with a publishing company.

Not only will your new book be available digitally, but it’s also possible for your book to be available in a physical format.

There’s a downside, though, if you want Amazon KDP to be profitable as your side hustle: you’ll have to write and publish very frequently. This is because, on Amazon, the number of books you write is far more important than the quality of those books.

Amazon Affiliate Program

Amazon Affiliate Program

Yet another way to earn money with your Amazon side hustle is to join the Amazon Affiliate program. Here, you’ll be required to promote the projects of other brands while earning a commission every time you do so via the Affiliate program.

To promote products from other sellers that are already being sold on Amazon, you’ll definitely want to start a blog, YouTube channel, TikTok account, or another account on one of the many social media platforms.

Specifically, this program works by having you, the Amazon influencer, find a product that you really like on Amazon, share the link with your social media followers or through your blog, and then have your customers purchase it. Once they do, you’ll earn a commission.

You can probably imagine that, if you already have a huge social media presence and join the Affiliate program, you’ll receive a huge amount of money very quickly whenever you share an Amazon product with your followers. While this is true, it’s still possible to attain an Amazon seller salary in this way even if you are just starting out, although it will be a little more challenging.

How Many Hours Do Amazon Sellers Work?

You may be surprised to find that most of the current Amazon sellers—around 64%—spend less than 20 hours per week on their Amazon business. Take a look below to see the full percentage breakdown of how long Amazon sellers work:

  • Fewer than 4 hours: 16%
  • 4-10 hours: 28%
  • 11-20 hours: 20%
  • 21-30 hours: 13%
  • 31-40 hours: 12%
  • 41-50 hours: 6%
  • 51-60 hours: 3%
  • Over 60 hours: 4%

The above information proves that you can absolutely have a thriving Amazon business without putting in 40 stressful hours per week. What’s more, the longer you stay selling on Amazon, the more skilled you’ll be, meaning that you’ll be required to put even fewer hours into your business!

Average Earnings of an Amazon Seller

It can be argued that most Amazon sellers are successful, as many of them earn at least $1,000 per month in sales, while some expert-level sellers make upwards of $100,000 per month in sales. Furthermore, 40% of all Amazon sellers make $1,000-$25,000 every month, which most likely means that they earn anywhere between $12,000 and $300,000 in yearly sales.

Even though there are plenty of different ways to make your Amazon side hustle profitable, by far the most common method is to launch a private label product while ensuring that you fulfill it via Amazon FBA.

The relatively inexpensive Amazon FBA selling method—even after considering all the selling fees—is still a great way to both save money and expand your Amazon FBA side hustle.

This is because, through FBA, Amazon will store your product, find it when a customer orders it, pack it up, and ship it over to them. Without FBA, you would have to do all that yourself, cutting into the time you want to spend on other aspects of your life.

Different Types of Side Hustle with Amazon FBA

Wholesale Selling

If you choose wholesale selling as your Amazon side hustle method, you’ll need to purchase your products in bulk from either a brand or manufacturer. Once this is done, the next step is to simply list the products on Amazon and sell them to your customers for massive profit.

In order to become a wholesaler on Amazon, you’ll first want to create a seller account and choose which product you want to sell. Depending on your unique circumstances, you may also need to obtain a business license as well as a sales tax permit.

Retail Arbitrage

This Amazon side hustle method involves purchasing products straight from a physical retail location at a discounted price, and then reselling them on Amazon for a higher price than you originally bought them, netting you a profit.

The main difference between retail arbitrage and wholesale is that you are buying your products from a physical retail store; no negotiating is needed. All you need to do is find products on sale, buy them, and resell them. Simple as that.

Private Label Selling

Similar yet distinct from wholesaling on Amazon, FBA private label involves selling a product with your own branding rather than another manufacturer’s product.

Within this side hustle category are two further subcategories: rebranding generic products and manufacturing a completely new product.

When it comes to generic items, an overwhelming amount of private-label sellers purchase them through wholesale distributors. Unlike the wholesale method that sees you selling branded products, you’re instead offering a generic product with your own unique branding attached.

Amazon Vine

Product Reviewing

This flexible Amazon side hustle gives those who utilize this method the chance to share their opinions, help other Amazon customers make informed purchasing decisions, and earn a pretty penny all at the same time.

When product reviewing on Amazon, it’s also very possible to occasionally receive free products through Amazon Vine. Keep in mind, though, that these products aren’t just free for the sake of being free. Rather, they’re sent to you so that you might better review the product to provide the best opinion possible.

Is Reselling on Amazon Worth It?

Yes, reselling on Amazon is worth the time and effort you put into it—which is different than simply earning passive income on Amazon. However, without both time and effort, you’ll find it much harder to succeed. You’ll also need to find cheaper products on sites other than Amazon, purchase them, and then resell them for a profit on Amazon itself.

When first starting, reselling products on Amazon can seem like an insurmountable task but, by using key strategies for success, you can ensure that you’re prepared for any eventuality that e-commerce selling might throw your way.

Conclusion

When overcoming analysis paralysis and taking the plunge with an Amazon side hustle, you’ll need to think about the financial aspect as well as the emotional aspect of every item you research. If you find a product that you absolutely love but isn’t financially viable, you’ll save yourself time, money, and stress by putting it down and discovering one that is both financially lucrative and an immediate best-seller on Amazon.

Remember: even though this is a side hustle, it still requires focus and dedication to not only survive but thrive in the world of e-commerce. Who knows, you may even wind up quitting your day job while getting back hours of your work week at the same time!

author-photo
Copywriter

A dedicated copywriter with nearly 4 years of experience, Josh works with Amazon sellers and helps his clients succeed on the platform.

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