As an Amazon seller, I’ve had many friends & associates over the years ask me how to make money selling on Amazon.
In the nicest possible way, my answer has always been…
“There’s loads of ways to make money selling on amazon! So just get out there & do some research to find the most suitable option for you”.
So… here’s a virtual pat on the back from me, because if you’re reading this article then you’ve taken the initiative, well done!
Something I want to address now too, before getting into the nitty gritty of this article…
Is that I’m very conscious that there’s a lot of negativity out there about whether being an amazon seller is a genuine opportunity.
Honestly, if anyone has told you that the time to become an amazon seller has passed & you’re too late to the party… then they’re wrong!
Amazon is the fastest growing platform worldwide for third party sellers like me & you, creating more & more millionaires every year.
Not only that but they’re constantly adding new ways of selling on Amazon, whether that’s through new types of selling such as print on demand.
Or by adding new marketplaces such as Amazon Australia. Amazon is here to stay!
So don’t be put off, there’s definitely still scope for you to make money selling on Amazon.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s also definitely NOT a get rich quick scheme, but with hard work & patience you can successfully make money selling on Amazon.
OH HOW RUDE! Sorry, I got so excited that I forgot to introduce myself!…
Hi I’m Sam, one of the eBusiness Boss founders. I’ve been selling on Amazon now for a number of years.
During my journey I’ve found various different ways to make money selling on Amazon, most of them I still do today.
Therefore, I feel pretty well versed to advise on:
- What can I sell on Amazon to make money?
- Making Money Selling on Amazon.
- How to start selling on Amazon FBA?
Now that I’ve introduced myself & hopefully eased any concerns about whether you can make money selling on Amazon…
Let’s dive into the juicy details of HOW to make money selling on Amazon.
I can imagine, one of the biggest questions running through you mind right now is…
What Can I Sell On Amazon To Make Money?
Honestly in terms of specific products, the list is literally endless!
You can sell anything from colouring pens to beds.
What I think will help you more, is if we look at what kind of Amazon seller you can be or what Amazon business model you can follow.
As I cover these, I think specific product ideas will start popping into your head anyway as the different models require a different way of thinking.
Below I’ve listed the main ways you can make money selling on Amazon right now:
- KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
- Merch By Amazon
- Amazon Associates (Amazon Affiliate Products)
- Retail Arbitrage
- Online Arbitrage
- Private Label (amazon vendor or amazon seller central)
You might be thinking, “okay that’s great, but most of those terms other than ‘books’ are completely new to me, I don’t have a clue what the rest mean”.
And that’s fine because I’m now going to go through each one to explain.
After covering them all, I hope that you will have an understanding of how you can use each of these methods.
And also maybe even inspire some specific product ideas to help answer the question “what can I sell on Amazon to make money?”.
The Different Ways You Can Make Money On Amazon
I’m going to cover the main 7 ways you can make money selling on Amazon, starting with…
KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
The official definition of KDP is when you “Self-publish eBooks & paperbacks for free with Kindle Direct Publishing, & reach millions of readers on Amazon.”
However, in the context of this article, I’m going to refer to a very specific & largely untapped type of KDP publishing…
Creating book cover designs!
As part of KDP, you can create what are called low content books.
By low content books I mean things like journals, diaries, planners, colouring books etc.
With low content books you don’t have to actually create content for the inside of the books, you simply use Amazon’s ready-made templates.
How you make them unique & “your own”, is by creating designs for the front covers of the books.
Essentially your task is to find a niche (e.g. diary for girls) & then design stylish book covers that you think will suit that niche.
If you come from a design background then you can do these yourself, however most sellers just hire a designers from somewhere like fiverr or upwork.
With this kind of KDP method of selling, you can create a very hands-off & relatively passive income stream.
Simply pick a niche/s, find designers to create your covers & then finally upload them to Amazon and watch the sales come in.
What’s more, you can easily list your designs across multiple Amazon marketplaces too, to capture even more sales.
You do not need to stock any books because the books themselves are stocked & printed by Amazon in their warehouses.
Whenever someone orders one of your books, Amazon just print your design onto the cover of the book type they have chosen (e.g. diary)…
Amazon then ship it off to the customer for you, take their fees & then pay you a royalty.
I’ve made this sound pretty simple & it genuinely is once you get into the swing of it.
The main thing you will need to grasp other than finding the niches & good designers, is optimising your listings to ensure they’re keyword rich.
You need to write your book listing so that it includes the keywords that customers are searching for on Amazon, ensuring that you show up in the search results.
I like to model the products that are already having success by reverse engineering the competition (See Tutorial Below).
There’s various ways to find keywords for Amazon listings, some manual & some using software…
I now always use Helium 10’s tools such as magnet & cerebro because I find them the most accurate & easy to use.
Finally, with KDP I must stress that it is very much a numbers game.
The more designs you get up, the more likely it is that some of them will start to stick & start to generate consistent sales.
Not all of your designs will be successful so just keep persevering & be patient because it’s very much an 80-20 split.
20% of your designs will make 80% of your income & the other 80% of your designs won’t sell well at all.
On that note, I seriously recommend taking the time to find designers who can offer good quality but aren’t too expensive.
You need to be uploading lots of designs on a regular basis without breaking the bank…
Whilst of course trying not to compromise on the quality of the designs.
All this talk of designs & print on demand takes me nicely onto the main ‘Print On Demand’ service associated with Amazon…
Merch By Amazon
In the words of Amazon themselves “We sell your designs as Amazon products, reaching millions of customers worldwide with no upfront investment or costs to you.”
Like the methods outlined above with KDP book cover designs, Merch By Amazon works in much the same way.
We’ve actually been selling designs through merch by amazon for some time…
Ed (One of the other co-founders) has created a video to show you how we got started.
Anyway back to the process.
You create & upload designs, that are then applied to Amazon’s stock.
It started out with basic T-shirts, but now the scope of Merch By Amazon is forever expanding with more & more clothes apparel being added all the time…
As well as other cool merchandise like pop sockets.
If you start by focusing on T-Shirt designs you can use free methods like this to resize and make suitable for things like pop sockets.
Much like KDP where you don’t have to worry about physically stocking the books, the same goes for Merch By Amazon.
You can apply your designs to all of their different types of merchandise & Amazon do all the work for you.
Each time you make a sale of your design in a particular format (e.g. Hoody), Amazon then print your design onto the merch (Hoody) & send it to the customer.
Again, they take their fees from the sales price & pay you a royalty.
In terms of coming up with merch designs, there’s so many different approaches you could take.
From seasonal designs such as Christmas, Halloween and St Patricks Day….
To focusing on specific evergreen niches that sell all year round like “Dads”.
From these niches you then look for sub niches or topics that relate.
For example, for the Christmas idea you might focus on Reindeer designs.
For the “Dads” example you might focus on designs called “Dad Of The Year”.
Of course, these examples are very basic ideas, but hopefully you get the general process…
Which is to find niches & then branch off into specific designs from there.
To find inspiration for designs you just need to study the best-selling designs within your chosen niche…
Because your main role then, is to create attractive designs that better your competitors (either yourself or outsourced – fiverr / upwork)…
And then finally get your listings in front of Amazons customers.
The main way to get your products in front of the customers is to make sure you have the right keywords in your listing!
You can also use Amazon’s Sponsored Ads (PPC – pay per click) to generate traffic to your listings.
Once your designs are uploaded then you just leave them & hope the sales begin to come in.
But just like KDP it’s all about numbers…
You can’t just upload a few & expect to become rich, you need to keep getting more designs made & be uploading on a regular basis.
Remember the 80-20 ratio I mentioned with regards to KDP?..
It’s very similar with Merch By Amazon, so be patient & keep uploading, then the rewards will come!
The ‘KDP Book Cover Designs’ & ‘Merch By Amazon’ approaches to selling, both come under the ‘print on demand’ sales models.
This method of selling is becoming increasingly popular for those looking for a side project due to the low up-front cost (just designs)…
As well as the hands-off appeal of not needing to stock, pack or post inventory.
Although, next up, is arguably an even more hands-off approach than Amazon’s print on demand options, with their affiliate program called “Amazon Associates” …
Amazon Associates – Amazon Affiliate Program
For those not familiar with affiliate programs, affiliate marketing or affiliate sales then you might want to investigate further!…
Because it is an increasingly popular way to make money online.
As an affiliate, you promote a product/service that is owned by another person, company or brand.
The product can range from a physical product, to a piece of software, to a training course/service & more.
But whatever the product is, the premise is the same!
As an affiliate you will usually be given a unique link or code to share with people when you promote the product.
Whenever someone uses your link or code to purchase the product, you will be paid a commission.
Affiliate marketing is very popular amongst website owners, bloggers, vloggers, influencers etc as a way of monetising the audience they’ve created.
Often these people will post about the product by offering some information on it & how it has benefited them.
Then within their post they will provide a link or code for their audience to use when purchasing the product.
Also sometimes, particularly on websites, simple advertising banners will be inserted onto the webpages to advertise products.
These banners will usually be in the form of a clickable affiliate link.
This is probably the simplest example of affiliate marketing as it doesn’t require any form of written promotion, review or persuasion, it’s more of a pop-up ad.
Although this method sounds pretty straight forward you will firstly need traffic and lots of it…
If you don’t have a website with traffic you are going to need to build an audience first.
Affiliate commissions vary dependant on the product or company.
For example, Amazon offer affiliate commissions between 4-8.5% dependant on the product & how many you sell per month.
So that’s affiliate marketing summarised, but how does Amazon Associates work specifically?
If you already have a certain type of audience, for example you might be a Health and Fitness Instagram Influencer…
Then you would look through Amazon’s bank of affiliate products for things like sports equipment & supplements to promote to your followers.
However, making money through Amazon Associates has become so profitable that it’s actually attracting people who don’t already have an audience.
It’s that lucrative that people are actually solely creating blogs, YouTube Channels, Instagram accounts…
Just for the purposes of creating an audience that they can then sell amazon affiliate products to… and this might well appeal to you too!
Starting right now you could create a blog, YouTube Channel, Instagram or use any platform you wish to build an audience from scratch.
It can be something you’re passionate about!
Use your interest & knowledge of a particular topic to build an audience & then just worry about finding the related products later.
Or, as a lot of people are doing, simply find a load of good Amazon Affiliate products that relate to a niche (e.g. Cars and Motorbikes)…
Then create an audience of people who are interested in that niche.
The bigger the audience you build & the more traffic you can drive to your affiliate products…
The appeal of Amazon Associates is that you don’t have to buy or stock any inventory, like the POD (print on demand) options.
But also, you don’t have to create designs & amazon listings as you do for POD.
So actually, it’s even more hands-off & there’s no real costs either… it’s more about the time you have to invest in order to build your audience.
Therefore, if you’re already someone with a big social media following, lots of YouTube subscribers or a high traffic website/blog…
What are you waiting for?! You should definitely be finding suitable amazon affiliate products to promote to your audience.
But even if you don’t have an audience, yet you may have the time & commitment needed to grow a following…
Then Amazon Associates affiliate program can genuinely be a great way for you to make money on Amazon!
Now let’s stop & pause for a second….
We’re not even half way through this article, but hopefully you’re getting answers on how to make money selling on Amazon.
Remember at the start I told you that there’s definitely still opportunities to make money on Amazon.
If you had any doubt, then I hope you believe me now…
And we’ve not even got onto the most traditional & arguably most lucrative ways to make money on Amazon…
Selling physical products! So here goes…
Selling Books On Amazon
Let’s take it back to where it all started… Books!
Yeah that’s right, the huge online retail juggernaut that is Amazon all began as a website that you could sell & buy books on.
But don’t be fooled, that method of selling is still HUGE & many people make good money selling books.
This model is definitely a little more labour intensive than some of the others I have mentioned though, so bare that in mind.
Essentially with selling books you have three options:
- Buy new books in store & sell for a profit on Amazon
- Buy old books (second hand) in store & sell for a profit on Amazon
- Buy new books online & sell for a profit on Amazon
- Write your own books and sell them on Amazon
When doing options one & two, you are required to buy books in store…
If you are interested in learning more about selling books, you might find this article useful.
Anyway back to the process…
You need to have the amazon seller app so that you can scan books as you shop.
By using the app to scan books you can put in the cost price of the book & it will tell you what you can sell it for on Amazon.
It also calculates postage & Amazon fees so you can get a rough idea of what profit you can make.
As well as the cost price, it’s important that you put the correct “condition” of the book into the app so you get an accurate picture of the product potential.
If the book is new then you can often list it for more than a second hand book for example.
But essentially with book listings you are competing with lots of other sellers for the buy box.
This mean you often have to price the same or similar to other sellers who are selling the book in the same condition that you are.
Sometimes though you can dominate a listing if you find a particularly good deal…
If you find a good deal you can undercut the other sellers to win the buy box, whilst also making a good profit.
Generally speaking, when it comes to books, the most common route for sellers is to sell second hand books.
Mainly because of the crazy low prices you can buy them from in charity shops, yard sales & book stores.
Saying that, there’s certainly opportunities out there for selling new books too.
You can sometimes find new books, either in store or online, that are on sale.
Again, these can prove very profitable & the bonus with these is that you can normally purchase more than one.
Whereas with second hand books, although usually better cost prices, there’s usually only ever one of any particular book available.
You can buy books online and usually when buying books online, it’ll be new books.
Although of course through sites like eBay you can sometimes find very cheap second hand books.
Shopping online can really speed up the process…
You can usually search through a stores website catalogue much quicker than you could walk round a whole bookstore.
This also means you can check a lot more stores too.
When doing this, you need to refer to Amazon’s sales rank data to see how well the product sells (lower rank = more sales)…
Again make sure you use Amazon’s calculator to work out profit potential.
This kind of book selling falls under the “Arbitrage” model which I will cover more specifically shortly.
With this approach, book sellers tend to have a very wide inventory.
By wide inventory I mean they buy many books but in low quantities, as opposed to buying lots of one particular book.
Typically, a book sellers Amazon inventory will comprise of hundreds or thousands of listings with each listing only having one or two books in stock.
This model can be scaled to become a full-time income…
However the majority of Amazon books sellers tend to do it alongside their job as an extra source of income.
The sourcing of books can be quite time consuming, as is the listing of lots of different books onto Amazon.
But the profits you can make, particularly on second hand books, can be very impressive!
Unlike the POD (Print On Demand) methods, you of course have to stock, pack & post the books.
This means that if you’re doing all this yourself (Merchant Fulfilled) you need space to store them.
You also need the materials to pack & post…
You can ease this strain, albeit at a cost, by using the Fulfilled By Amazon (Amazon FBA) program which stores, picks, packs & posts your goods for you.
I will cover this in more detail later.
I very briefly mentioned “Arbitrage” above, so let’s dive into that a bit further now.
Making Money On Amazon With Retail Arbitrage
Retail Arbitrage is when you buy a product from a shop & sell it on for a profit.
The product is not yours, it will be owned by another person, company or brand…
Okay, but what makes Amazon retail arbitrage so popular?
Amazon arbitrage appeals because it pretty much guaranteed that Amazon will have a ready-made listing for any product you can find in a store.
So, if you go into Walmart & see a Lego set on sale for $10, you can bet that the same product will probably be available on Amazon for more (e.g. $30).
With this model you don’t have to go to the trouble of creating & ranking your own listings, like private label sellers do (covered later).
You simply list your product on an already existing Amazon listing.
Similarly to books, with retail arbitrage you can sell second hand or new goods.
Unlike books, most sellers opt to focus solely on new products, because a second hand toy doesn’t have quite the same appeal as a second hand book.
The name of the game with retail arbitrage is to capitalize on sales & clearances that are happening in stores.
Regular trips to the likes of Walmart & Target, or Tesco & Argos in the UK, are a must for retail arbitrage sellers.
When roaming the stores, as you do with books, you scan the products with the Amazon seller app.
The goal is to find a product with a good sales rank & decent profit.
Just like Amazon book selling, with retail arbitrage you generally want a wide inventory with low quantities of lots of different products.
Spread the net wide!
As you’ll be dealing with physical products you need to consider the storage, packing & posting implications when doing retail arbitrage.
Unlike books, with retail arbitrage you can end up with much bigger items that take up more space & cost more to pack/post.
So it’s not just whether you have the time to shop for products that you need to account for, it’s whether you have space to store the goods too.
Most people start out from their homes, using spare bedrooms or garages, before moving onto getting their own small storage unit or using a prep service.
Again you can make use of Amazons FBA program which most people do as they scale.
You can see why retail arbitrage is a popular starting place for most Amazon sellers who want to sell physical products.
The ease of being able to pop into your local store & pick up profitable products, is a very low barrier to entry.
You don’t need to buy large quantities & therefore start-up costs are very low.
Also because you’re selling other people’s products, you don’t have to worry about things like trademarks, certification, insurance etc…
This is something you need to take seriously when creating your own brand of products!
For some, the retail arbitrage model is perfect for their lifestyle & it provides a healthy additional source of income alongside their work.
It can of course be scaled to become a full-time job, however it is much harder to do so due to the labour intensive nature of having to physically go & shop in stores.
Normally someone who does retail arbitrage successfully, tends to get a taste for what Amazon selling is all about & how much money can be made.
The pathway then often leads to Online Arbitrage, Wholesale &/or Private Label selling…
Which is generally where the bigger profit margins & full-time income opportunities can be found.
Online Arbitrage is exactly the same as Retail Arbitrage, except you’re sourcing your products from online retail stores instead of going into shops.
If you’re looking for immediate sales, then just like books & retail arbitrage, you can buy a product today…
And have it selling on Amazon in just a few days, it’s really that simple!
There are some key benefits to online arbitrage, as opposed to retail arbitrage, that i’ll outline below…
Speed: You are able to search through online stores much quicker than you can walk around a store.
More Options: Due to everything be at the click of a button, you can move from Walmart’s website over to Targets in a matter of seconds. This means you can cover a lot more stores & products, to find the best deals.
Buy More: You’re no longer limited to what you can fit in your trolley or your car.
You can order as much as your storage facility (home, warehouse, prep center etc) will allow.
Cashback sites: There are cashback sites available where you can check your purchases for even further discount options.
Some of these cashback tools now have chrome extensions too so that you don’t even need to leave the product page to check.
Sourcing Sheets: There are services out there where companies will provide you with sourcing sheets that have ready-made deals on.
It couldn’t be simpler as they give you the store link for the product & a link to the Amazon listing it relates to.
You then just buy the ones you want & sell them on Amazon for a profit.
VA’s: In order to scale their online arbitrage business, many sellers will hire Virtual Assistants at a low rate.
Often they’re hired to do the sourcing because trawling through online stores to find products is a time-consuming task.
Software: On that note, another huge time saver with regards to online arbitrage is the introduction of product sourcing software’s.
They automatically search through stores & find you products that you can sell for a profit on Amazon.
Two of the biggest players are Tactical Arbitrage and FBA Wizard.
As with retail arbitrage, you can only really take online arbitrage to a certain level before it hits a ceiling…
Certainly if you’re just doing it all manually on your own.
The reason I say this is because of the time it takes to manually go through online stores & cross reference with the related amazon listing.
Doing it this way you can definitely create a nice additional income stream, but a full-time income it might not be as realistic.
To achieve a full-time income, you need to outsource tasks, namely the sourcing of products.
Then after that you should look at outsourcing the prepping of products.
That’s where sourcing sheets, VA’s & Software’s come in handy because it saves you lots of time.
If you are thinking about hiring a VA you might find the following video useful.
For prepping, you can either hire someone in house or use a prep service.
All of this outsourcing costs money & eats away at your profit margins, but it is the only way to grow your online arbitrage business.
Having done online arbitrage, I can honestly say that you can definitely make money from it.
The only thing I will say, is that because profit margins typically range between 10-30% you really have to be spending a lot in order to see a lot back.
So unless you have a large pot of cash ready to go, or you’re willing to use loans or credit cards in order to see long term growth, then it might not be for you.
But if you’re someone with a large amount to invest in Amazon selling, then I’d say your money is better spent elsewhere.
Namely Wholesale or Private Label where the profit margins are generally better.
Making Money With Amazon Wholesale
Amazon Wholesale selling is similar to arbitrage in that the products are not yours…
You are selling products that are manufactured by another company or brand.
Another similarity is that you do not have to create listings for your products, as you are wholesaling products that already have listings on Amazon.
You just sell on an already existing listing.
In some cases you can and will create a listing from scratch but only if there is a business need for it.
Essentially the process is the same, you’re looking to find products that you can flip for a profit on Amazon.
Except rather than getting these products from retail stores (in store or online), you’re getting your products from wholesalers or the manufacturer directly.
If you can strike up a relationship with the manufacturer of a product/brand directly then this is where you see the best profit margins…
However this is extremely rare so for this article lets focus on dealing with wholesalers.
With wholesale, like arbitrage, you can source products by either going into their wholesale stores or shopping on their online stores.
Additionally, you can look through their brochures or ask to be emailed lists of their available products.
In the Amazon wholesale game it’s all about building relationships with Brands, distributors and wholesalers…
Whatever methods you choose, you can easily find products that you can sell on Amazon for a profit.
To validate the choices you make you should follow exactly the same process we’ve talked about.
By using Amazon’s sales rank data you can check if a product sells & then use the Amazon calculator to check for your profit potential.
A key benefit to wholesale is that you can usually get a much cheaper price for a product than if you were to buy it from a retailer.
The reason for this is because the wholesalers buy the products in such mass amounts that their costs are lower which means they don’t need to charge as much.
You’ll also need to buy a lot more in terms of quantity.
Compared to retailers who are probably buying from wholesalers themselves & adding their profit on top.
Wholesale also appeals because the supply of the products is more consistent.
Unlike arbitrage where you’re often buying ‘deals’ & therefore when the deal ends the product is no longer profitable…
With wholesale, the cost price should always be consistent, or even better it should hopefully get lower as you build supplier relationships & negotiate a lower price.
It is a more sustainable method of sourcing/purchasing because you’re able to make consistent orders & grow your inventory more steadily.
The goal with any type of Amazon selling is to have consistent selling products that you can replenish over & over.
Whether that’s a KDP book cover design or a wholesale barbie toy.
The reason people often start with arbitrage though is the lower up-front costs.
Despite the positives of wholesale, you do often need more up-front capital to get going due to wholesalers requiring a minimum order quantity.
Whereas with retail/online arbitrage you can start with as little or as much as you want.
Other than costs, again consider your storage circumstances…
With wholesale you’ll often receive pallets worth of stock at any given time.
Until you have the facilities to handle this, or you’re using a prep centre, then this method may not be for you.
I know this is probably a lot to take it, but stay with me!
So far, we’ve covered all but one of the ways you can make money selling on Amazon.
But there’s a reason I’ve left Private Label until last & that’s because it’s probably the most complex, yet arguably the most rewarding.
Selling Private Label Products On Amazon
Private label selling is when you source a product from a manufacturer, but you then apply your own brand & packaging to it.
For example, I might source a generic frying pan from a manufacturer & brand it under the name “Big Sam’s”.
It’s then my own private label product despite me not manufacturing it, because it’s under my “Big Sam’s” brand.
I would then ensure my brand is somewhere on the product, but if not then certainly on the packaging.
I would design packaging to suit my product, in this case a frying pan, so something like an image of a big chef on my packaging…
This would be in keeping with the “Big Sam’s” brand character & also the kitchen niche my product/s are in.
As you can see, you can very quickly create something of your own from a very generic product, that can be easily sourced & manufactured.
With private label, as opposed to the arbitrage & wholesale models, you own the asset that generates the income.
This means that you are not at the mercy of losing a good selling product because it’s just no longer available (from retailer or wholesaler).
Even in the unlikely occurrence that a manufacturer of your private label product goes bust…
It’s almost a certainty that there will be another manufacturer out there who can supply you with the same product.
With private label, you have a lot more control over your inventory.
On that note, you also have total control over the listings themselves!
When comparing this to the other physical product models where you’re competing on the same listings with other sellers…
With your own private label listings, no other seller can sell on your listing.
Instead, your competition is in the form of other people selling similar products e.g. other frying pan listings.
The onus is on you to make your product perform or look better, instead of just being the cheapest seller.
There is a reason why a trusted brand can charge a higher price than somebody that’s unknown…
Having your own branded products & your own amazon listings means you have:
- More accountability
- More upfront costs
- Total responsibility for marketing & promoting the product to customers
What do I mean by accountability?…
Well first of all, the branding.
When branding your own private label products, you need to ensure that you are using a name/logo that is trademark free.
Then once you’ve found a name you like that is trademark free, you need to trademark this brand name to protect it.
You can do this yourself or pay for a trademark attorney to help you.
Another massive thing you must do with private label products is make sure you get them certificated.
Certification can be quite pricey but without it you are running huge risks, not just legally but also with regards to Amazon shutting your listings down.
If a problem occurs with one of your products, Amazon will often shut you down.
If you can’t prove to them that you have the correct certification for your product, they will not make it live again.
Also, if there were ever any issues with your products causing people harm…
By having certification to show product safety, you can protect yourself from expensive law suits.
In relation to protecting yourself, insurance is also vital for private label sellers!
As I’ve just said, if there’s a problem with the product it’s your responsibility and no one else’s.
It is your own product, not another brand like Lego’s, so you need to make sure you take out specific insurance to support this kind of selling.
What about the upfront costs, why are they more?
With private label, you are often dealing with manufacturers/suppliers from the far east via Alibaba.
These suppliers will often have very high minimum order quantities, often no less than 500 units.
In addition, you need to consider the shipping costs of your products (sea or air freight).
This means up-front costs of private label are definitely higher!
With the arbitrage models, you can literally start by picking up one product from your local store if you wanted to.
But also, even wholesalers tend to allow much lower order quantities…
In the tens, rather than the hundreds or thousands.
So, if you have haven’t got a budget of at least a few thousand dollars/pounds, then perhaps private label might not be the best approach for you to start with.
As you might have starting thinking, with higher order quantities comes the need for more storage space.
More often than not, private label sellers will have their own warehouse space, use a prep centre or…
Send their products straight into Amazon’s FBA warehouses (which I’ll cover later).
All of this of course costs more money.
How do people find my product?
Once your trademark, certification, insurance & order is all sorted, it’s then all about generating the sales.
But this is where the hard work really starts…
Unlike the arbitrage & wholesale listings where you’re selling on a listing that is already visible to the customers & generating sales.
With your own private label listing the onus is on you to create a listing from scratch.
You need to make the listing visible & desirable for customers, so that it ultimately converts to sales of your product.
To do this you need to do keyword research properly! The following video will show you the process we follow.
You need to ensure that your listing has the relevant keywords that customers are searching for in relation to your product.
For example a title for my frying pan might be “Big Sam’s Frying Pan – Non-stick Frying pan with detachable handle”.
To support this you would also set up Amazon Sponsored Ads (PPC – pay per click) to target relevant keywords too.
On top of written content, your Amazon listing will also need a good quality main image & then 6 other images that market your product too.
If you have a design/photography background you might do these yourself, but often sellers hire someone from fiverr or upwork.
The final & most crucial aspect of selling your own private label products is the launch.
Quite often the launch will determine the long terms success of your product/listing.
The purpose of your product launch is to try to generate as many sales as you can in the first 1-2 weeks.
It’s all about sales velocity in the early stages!
The reason for this is because this tells Amazon’s algorithm that your product is good & worthy of being seen by their customers.
They then push your product to the top of the search results that relate to the keywords in your listing e.g. “Frying Pan”.
Some sellers try to manipulate Amazon’s algorithm further by providing specific links to buyers that contain certain keywords.
When someone buys using one of the keyword links, it can help the product to rank for those keywords quicker.
In addition to sales, the other vital part of a successful launch is obtaining 5-star reviews.
You might achieve high-volume sales in the first 1-2 weeks & start ranking for keywords, but you’ll only remain there if you can stay appealing to customers.
With Amazon, the main lure for a customer is the review rating!
If your product is 5 stars then it will generally stand a really good chance of staying at the top of the search results & also convert much better…
Resulting in more sales!
You might be thinking…
“Okay this all sounds great & makes sense.
But how on earth do I generate these early sales & reviews.
Especially if I’m starting out with a new product/brand from scratch?”
I could write a whole other article on various ways to do this, but some options are…
Amazons Early Reviewer Program: Amazon will Promote your product to their bank of customers, they will then follow up until you have the agreed number of reviews.
Influencers: Promote your product to their audience. Either at full price or discounted.
Build an audience: Build your own audience via email lists or social media.
This tends to come later on though, so not particularly relevant for a first product.
Paid advertising: Promote your product via Google or Facebook ads. Either at full price or discounted.
Amazon Sponsored Ads: Bid very high on certain keywords with Amazon PPC.
Having an audience outside of Amazon makes obtaining reviews much easier…
It’s much easier to follow up with customers that have purchased your products to ask for a review.
Amazon do allow you to follow up with customers but in no way can you try and incentivize a postive review!
You can use your email follow up sequence to start building a relationship with the customer.
Whatever methods you choose to use when doing a private label product launch, just ensure they are within Amazon’s Terms of Service.
This is normally the stage where sellers can slip up, break the rules & get their account shut down without even really getting started.
On that note, you should avoid asking your customers for reviews if you have given them the product for free or at discount.
Amazon may see this as incentivizing a review which is against their terms of service.
However, having email campaigns in general is vital in helping you to get reviews from your normal full priced sales.
A lot sellers will use automated email follow up sequences with the aim to build a relationship and generate natural reviews.
With the hope being that they will then leave a positive review.
That’s essentially Amazon Private Label in a nutshell.
I’d love to go into more detail on all of this, but I really need a whole separate article to discuss the intricacies of being a successful private label seller.
If you want help finding a profitable product to sell on Amazon have a read of this article.
But hopefully you now have enough info on Private label selling, in addition to the other models, to decide which avenue you want to go down.
Before moving on to the next section about Merchant fulfilled or Amazon FBA, I just wanted to briefly explain what Amazon Vendor is.
The majority of the private label topics I’ve covered relate to YOU selling the product, particularly the “How do people find my product” section.
But as a private label seller you can also simply sell your products to Amazon in bulk for them to sell on your behalf.
In this instance you act as more of a supplier/manufacturer rather than the third party seller.
So in my frying pans example, you would get it all branded up as “Big Sam’s” & sell bulk amounts to Amazon, who will then sell the product to their customers.
The reason this is less appealing is because you won’t make as much money from the products as you would by selling them yourself.
Amazon will not pay you the same amount you’d make, they are a business after all.
Although you don’t make as much profit, some prefer it as it requires less effort because there’s no need to list, launch & sell the product yourself.
Generally speaking, Amazon Vendor tends to appeal to sellers who are already selling/distributing their products on other platforms & are used to this model.
If you are planning on doing this i’d say don’t put all your eggs in Amazon’s basket – They could stop ordering from you at any time.
If you’re a new private label seller starting from scratch then the usual route is to go on your own & create your own listings.
Wow, so that’s it, we’ve covered all the main ways you can make money selling on Amazon.
Your mind might be very fussy right now with all that information but hopefully you’ve now got some clarity on the direction you want to take.
Before concluding, there just one hot topic that I need to touch on…
How To Start Selling on Amazon FBA
I have to cover Amazon FBA because it can put all of the above into context, especially when it comes to selling physical products on Amazon.
As mentioned earlier FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon.
If you do not use FBA then you come under the Merchant Fulfilled (MF) bracket.
Merchant fulfilled is where you (the seller) stock your goods, as well as pick, pack & post the products out to customers as orders come in.
With Amazon FBA you send your products into Amazon’s warehouses where they store them for you.
Then, each time a product is ordered they will pick, pack it & send it out to the customer.
When your products are FBA, they also become eligible for the Amazon Prime delivery badge which is of course more appealing to their customers.
So not only can FBA be more convenient for you, but it can improve conversions & sales due to the Prime delivery options too.
Of course, it goes without saying, Amazon’s FBA service comes at a cost & it’s up to you to way up whether that cost is worth it for you or not.
Most sellers these days, regardless of the model (Books, Arbitrage, Wholesale or Private Label), tend to opt for FBA.
It can remove the time bottleneck from your business, when you consider the storage, packing & posting of products.
If you’re spending your time doing that, then its using up valuable time you could be spending on the real money-making aspects…
Such as sourcing new products or optimising your listings.
Unless you already have the infrastructure & facilities in place (why would you if you’re just starting out?) then FBA is a must if you want to grow your business.
Can I Make Money Selling On Amazon?
I didn’t honestly intend for this article to be as long as it is, but I certainly feel that we have covered all bases.
There you have it that’s how to make money selling on amazon…
Hopefully, you can see there’s tons of ways you can make money selling on Amazon & now feel ready to start your journey!
Essentially, the trick is to pick an Amazon seller path that suits you.
Do you want to…
- Sell your own designs (print on demand) – If so… Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Book Covers & Merch By Amazon
- Promote other peoples products for a commission – If so… Amazon Associates Affiliate Marketing
- Sell other physical products owned by other brands – If so… Books, Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage & Wholesale
- Sell physical products under your own brand that you own – If so… Private Label
Deciding on which is the best route to take, has so many contributing factors.
It could be based on your interests or passion.
You might be a creative person who wants to come up with designs (POD) or your own branded products (private label).
Or you might have to base your decision on the time, money or facilities you have available.
Alternatively, what could be most important to you is what you hope to get out of it financially…
Do you just want a bit of additional income, or are you looking for full time income & beyond (to be a millionaire)?
I could go on and on, but hopefully if you’ve read this far you’ve been able to answer a lot of these questions as we’ve covered each Amazon selling method.
I’ve tried to remain impartial in terms what I believe to be the best choice, because it’s all very personal!
But whatever your personal circumstances, one thing is for sure…
YOU CAN MAKE MONEY SELLING ON AMAZON! So what are you waiting for? Get started!
Thanks for reading & I hope it’s been of value. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.
All the best on your Amazon journey.