The Ultimate Guide on How to Earn Money With Amazon (15 Ways)

    I spend money on Amazon, who doesn’t? You’ve probably even heard of Honey to help save money on Amazon. But have you thought of how to earn money with Amazon? You should.

    Amazon keeps growing into more markets. We hear about a new service from Amazon almost weekly. It is now considered one of the largest retailers in the world according to the National Retail Federation. You’re even seeing a massive change in the grocery industry with their purchase of Whole Foods.

    This massive growth also presents a significant opportunity to both entrepreneurs and those just looking to make a few extra dollars to pad the wallet. I’ve documented 15 different options below and broken them into two major categories. Check out the quick guide below for more details.

    How To Earn With Amazon Quick Guide

    Work For Yourself & Earn From Amazon
    #1 – Amazon Associates Program
    #2 – Sell Items Through Amazon
    #3 – Self Publish a Book
    #4 – Trade in Stuff
    #5 – Make Things With Your Hands
    #6 – Create Artistic Merchandise
    #7 – Provide Skilled Services
    #8 – Capitalize on Social Media
    Work Directly For Amazon & Earn
    #9 – Work in a Fulfillment Center
    #10 – Deliver for Flex
    #11 – Be a Home Customer Service Rep
    #12 – Computer Based Tasks From Anywhere
    #13 – Join the Amazon CamperForce
    #14 – Join the Corporate Ranks
    #15 – Conduct In Depth Product Reviews

    #1 – Recommendation – Join Amazon’s Affiliate Program

    If you’re not familiar with Affiliate Marketing then you should definitely read up on it right here. It is my favorite method for earning money online.  The idea is simple. If someone clicks on a special link from your website and ends up on Amazon and then completes a purchase you get a cut of the sale.

    Amazon’s Affiliate Program is one of the best programs , if not the best, out there. It is a great way for any blogger or website owner to make a few extra bucks. Or if you’re up for it you can start a website from scratch to promote products through Amazon and get a cut of every sale.

    Amazon rewards their affiliates based on the the category the product is sold from. Click the image below to see a blown up version of the current breakdowns. This might help you choose what types of products you’d want to promote.

    amazon affiliate fee breakdown as of July 31 2018

    A great example of this was my first website I ever created. It was dedicated to cat care and I wrote a bunch of product reviews on toys and products I found useful for my cats. If people read those reviews and clicked the link then purchased them on Amazon I got 8% of the sale!

    Another awesome feature of this program is that it doesn’t matter if someone buys the product you’re promoting. So long as they click your link and complete a purchase then you get credit for the sale! And you get to see all the clicks and purchases coming through too. Pretty sweet deal.

    success from my first niche siteIf you’re new to Affiliate Marketing check out this guide to the best way to learn how to do it. If you’re interested in more details about Amazon’s program check out this page.


    #2 – Fancy Yourself a Salesman?

    If you haven’t bought anything from Amazon then I’d be surprised. Either way you’re probably familiar with the fact Amazon started as an online book seller back in the 90s when people were complaining about the cost of books from college bookstores and places like Borders.

    Clearly they expanded away from books and now sell a huge host of products including everything from electronics to pet food. But Amazon also enables third party sellers to sell products over their platform. Selling through Amazon is a huge opportunity and also a huge program.

    a hand out for a handshake

    No surprise, the biggest draw is the fact that Amazon is synonymous with buying things online. Millions of people surf it daily meaning your exposure to customers is massive and your investment up front is minimal.

    The process to sell on Amazon is actually pretty straight forward 4 step process:

    1. Figure out what you want to sell
    2. Choose a payment plan (you have to pay for the opportunity to sell there)
    3. Create an account
    4. Start listing your items

    There are of course additional layers of complexity to each of these steps:

    • You need to make sure your products fit into one of the selling categories on Amazon. If you’re not selling something that obviously fits in a single category you might need to get pre-approval to sell it. Check out all of the options for categorization at this link.
    • There are a couple of selling plans to choose from. If you plan to sell 40 items in a month opt for the professional plan. Each item you sell on the personal plan costs you $0.99 so it quickly adds up to that 40 dollars. All of the options for payment plans are here.
    • You’ll need to decide on how you want to handle shipping the items. You can do it yourself or you can use Amazon Fulfillment (way easier and always available). Either way Amazon then directly deposits payments into your bank account so be sure to have an available bank account for those deposits!

    #3 – Self-Publish a Book

    If you’ve ever thought to yourself ‘I’ve got a story to tell and I might be the next Shakespeare.’ then you might want to consider this option. Actually, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a story either, it could be a how to book or a work of non-fiction. Self-publishing a book is a great option if you’re an expert on any particular topic.

    As an added bonus you get several options for publishing publishing to Kindle, print or audio. You can see them in detail here, but a quick summary of each is below.

    Publishing to Kindle is totally free. Many authors out there (like Will Wight for example) only publish their books to Kindle and have seen excellent success doing so. It only takes a few moments once the book is written and it becomes available to all Amazon customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia within 2 days.

    The royalties are excellent at up to 70% of the set price, you can see the breakdown here. As an added bonus you maintain all ownership of your book and you can publish updates/new editions as you see fit..

    Another excellent option is an Amazon Company called CreateSpace. CreateSpace dubs itself the home of indie publishers and says:

    “With CreateSpace you can easily access tools, quality printing, booksellers, eBook distribution, and marketing strategies so that you can generate more opportunities than you imagined – all while building your following of readers.”

    Royalties through CreateSpace are great at up to 80% of the price you decide to sell your book at.

    Are you hiding a voice similar to Morgan Freeman’s from the world? If so then you might want to jump on the Amazon Audiobook Creation Exchange. Here you get access to publish audio books through Audible, Amazon and iTunes. While you can and should narrate your own book you can also let someone else do it if you hate the sound of your own voice. Check out this section of the site to read up on options for payment.


    #4 – Trade In Stuff You No Longer Need

    If you’re anything like me you probably have a ton of stuff around your house that you bought and no longer use. Want to de-clutter your house and also make a few bucks?

    Check out Amazon’s trade in program. It basically allows you to scan through items you no longer need and trade them in for an Amazon Gift Card. Extra bonus if you originally bought the item on Amazon, it’ll actually directly show you those items and their specific value.

    a screen shot of Amazon trade in items and values

    If you didn’t buy the item on Amazon you can take a closer look by searching out specific items. The most common things you’ll find are electronics like gaming consoles, Kindles, phones, tablets and smartwatches.

    But don’t let that stop you from searching, at one point I went on an adult coloring book binge and hardly used half the books I bought. Just recently I traded them in for a few extra bucks toward my next purchase.

    As an added bonus you won’t have any shipping fees either direction (in the case an item is rejected).

    Check out your own personal trade in page here.


    #5 – Make Things With Your Hands

    If you’re into arts and crafts then Amazon Handmade may be a great opportunity for you. Amazon Handmade provides significant exposure for you to sell items that are made at home or made by a small business.

    Sound similar to Etsy? That’s cause it is. The key difference though is that you’re actually required to prove that your items are in fact hand made. And they have to be made by a small organization or group. Less than 20 people is the cut off.

    Products also have to call under one of these main categories to quality: home, pet supplies (toys/treats), jewelry, beauty and personal care, party stuff, accessories, baby accessories, toys, games or sporting goods.

    Note the application alone takes 30 minutes on average to complete and may up to 6 weeks for Amazon to complete the review. There are definitely a few other things worth considering before you decide to complete the application:

    • Amazon charges 15% commission and a $1 minimum referral fee.
    • Handmade products don’t show up in Amazon’s main search engine.
    • The application process can be difficult and requires high quality product photos.
    • Other hand crafted sites like Etsy provide better metrics around what customers are looking at.

    someone making a handmade clay pot

    This is a simple overview of the process you’ll end up going through if you decide to move forward with Handmade:

    1. Register to sell on Amazon
    2. Create your artisan profile
    3. Setup your shop
    4. Start selling

    See if Amazon Handmade makes sense for your small business. It does have one huge benefit, the sheer number of customers that shop Amazon on a daily basis.


    #6 – Put Your Artistic Side to Work

    Ever seen someone wearing a shirt that really isn’t very funny and you’ve got a better idea in your head? Enter AmazonMerch to the scene. Now you can go and create that shirt with pretty much zero overhead.

    So long as you’ve got a decent portfolio handy you should have no problem getting approved. Note they don’t just let any Joe Schmoe off the street into AmazonMerch, you’ll have to request an invite and then provide your background and experience.

    a representation of a graphic tee shirt

    Once you’re in you upload your high quality images and select your product and color and you’re off to the races. You get to the choose the price and also the amount of money you want from each sale (royalties for those in the know). Keep in mind the more you request the more the prices go up, checkout a rundown of what you earn based on price here.

    As an added bonus you don’t have to worry about production, shipping or customer service because that’s all in Amazon’s court. Sound similar to the old Cafe Press websites you used to stumble onto from time to time? That’s cause it is similar, it is just Amazon’s streamlined version.

    If you want to read more about selling your artwork through Amazon Merch then check it out here.


    #7 – Put Your Unique Service Skills To Work

    As Amazon continues to broaden their horizons they’ve also started moving into the local service market. Any form of trade can apply to be a member of the Amazon Services program. This includes things like handymen, plumbers, electricians and even house cleaning services.

    One of the big perks is that you don’t pay anything to join this network. Amazon instead opts to take a percentage of service rendered by you. This is normally between 15-20% of the cost.

    Amazon Services can be a perk by exposing you to a totally new audience that normally wouldn’t use your services, but it could also hurt you if people that use your services start requesting you through Amazon instead of your traditional scheduling process.

    You can read more details about Amazon Services here.


    #8 – Have a Big Social Media Following?

    If you’re already at the helm of a social media empire you’re probably already monetizing it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the new Amazon Influencers program.

    The key benefit here is that you don’t need a blog or website for this opportunity, only an engaged following on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and or Instagram.

    You do have to apply to prove your following, but once approved you will be provided with a virtual storefront. That storefront is something you can modify and personalize to highlight all of the products you love.

    multiple social meda apps on ap hone

    Once your page is created simply share it on social media with your new vanity and you will get a cut of every sale made through your store. If you think this sounds similar to an Amazon Storefront for your own web business you’re right. The key difference here is Amazon hosts the storefront so you don’t have to build any infrastructure to take advantage of this program.

    While similar to the Amazon Associates program there are a few additional features for Influencers that aren’t available through the traditional program:

    • You can share your Page URL within emails (Yay!)
    • Fashion Influencers may be able to get product gifts, sponsorships and more.
    • You can share Amazon coupon codes on social media

    The commission rates are said to be similar to Amazon Associates. And if you have an Associates account, this two can link up for easy reporting. Note the program is still by application only at the moment (it just came out recently). It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re already part of the Associates program you get the added perk of combined reporting. Sorry, I can’t show you what it looks like as I don’t have a large enough social media following to apply yet!

    If you have a strong social media following and don’t like the idea of building websites then it is a great option to consider. You can find the application here.


    #9 – Work as a Fulfillment/Warehouse Associate

    So far we’ve mostly talked about selling items or helping Amazon sell items that other people produce. That’s my personal favorite way to make money through Amazon, but you can also simply work directly for Amazon.

    Amazon is expanding massively right now and to accommodate their new services like Same Day Delivery and 2-Day Shipping they need to have more fulfillment centers closer to major population centers.

    More fulfillment centers means more jobs available in those fulfillment centers. While Amazon does in fact include some automation through robots they still largely staff many warehouses with we humans. This means there is pretty much always demand for fulfillment/warehouse associates to ensure facilities like these run smoothly.

    Do keep in mind this is a relatively physical job. You’ll need to be able to lift heavy boxes or pull pallets on a pallet jack and you might have to use equipment to get yourself up to the top of the storage facility to bring down boxes.

    The job on the top of the list is in Thornton, Colorado and boasts pay of $14.25 an hour and a boatload of other great benefits you normally see included in white collar jobs or at unionized locations:

    • Health care benefits
    • 401(k) with a company match
    • Holiday and overtime pay
    • Paid time off
    • Maternity and paternity leave benefits
    • Restricted Stock Units
    • Employee discounts
    • Amazon’s Career Choice Program, which helps cover tuition
    • Flexible work schedules

    You do need to be 18 and you do need a GED/High School Diploma to apply.


    #10 – Need Flexibility And Don’t Mind a Drive (or a ride)?

    Check out Amazon Flex. A lot of Amazon’s jobs are focused on ensuring packages get into boxes, but someone has to actually deliver the boxes. Flex is an Amazon delivery partner and enables you to deliver orders to customers.

    Amazon’s biggest claim to fame through Flex is that you get to set your own schedule. Can only work a few hours a week, no big deal! Flex is for you. Want to work full time? Flex could also work for you!

    You’ll definitely want to consider the following

    • There are a couple of restrictions around the vehicle you’re allowed to use for delivery as well.
      • First off, motorcycles and scooters aren’t allowed at all.
      • Second, if you’re delivering Prime Now orders you can use any car (urgency = any method is acceptable).
      • If you’re delivering traditional Amazon orders then you have to have at least a midsize sedan.
      • Bikes are workable in certain places, so you can take a look if that’s an option for you! Exercise and a few bucks, not bad right?
    • Background checks are pretty much a necessity for any job these days. They are for Flex as well. Expect a couple of days from your application through to completion. The longest I’ve heard is five days.
    • You’ll need a relatively recent smartphone because you’ll need the Amazon Flex app. If you’re concerned your phone isn’t up to snuff check out the spec requirements here.
    • Do keep in mind you don’t get reimbursed for mileage on your car, parking during deliveries or even tolls from the pickup to drop off location.

    As of writing this (July 31, 2018) Flex is recruiting in the following areas:

    • Bristol (CT)
    • Dayton
    • Grand Rapids
    • Nashua (NH)
    • NYC & Long Island
    • Milwaukee
    • Pittsburgh
    • Raleigh
    • Rochester
    • San Francisco Bay Area
    • Greater Seattle Area

    If your location isn’t yet on the map then you can signup for the wait list and get notified when it comes online by clicking ‘My Region Is Not Here’ on the Flex Page.


    #11 – Work for Amazon Customer Service From Home

    Amazon is constantly recruiting new employees for all sorts of positions, corporate offices included. All of their job listings are available right here. That being said, if you’re looking to work from home and not follow the typical 9-5 schedule then this is a great option.

    Just like the CamperForce option, Amazon of course brings on seasonal workers when it gets extra busy. This is typical around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in particular. But positions do open up on a relatively consistent basis given the nature of the work.

    Customer service associates are primarily responsible fork working with with customers to help answer questions, and solve issues Think things like:

    “My package says it is delivered, but it isn’t here. Can you you help me find it or send me a new one?”

    As with any service related position you’re going to need to be able to put on a game face and be patient with people even when they may not be so patient with you. Amazon is known for their amazing customer service after all.

    a home office to work virtually from

    While these jobs do open up all over the place you’ll likely need to speak fluent English no matter where you work. This is because most of Amazon’s business is done in English. Interested? Here are a few other things you’ll need to make this work:

    • A high school diploma or GED
    • A year of customer service already under your belt
    • Basic phone skills
    • The skills to use either a laptop or desktop computer
    • A reliable and speedy internet connection

    Amazon sends you everything you need to do the job other than the internet connection. They also give you paid online training to get you ready for your new position. Not a bad deal at all! So check out their remote jobs section on their jobs website right here.


    #12 – Got Spare Time At Home? Consider Mechanical Turk.

    Mechanical Turk is basically a task outsourcing platform for people. If someone needs a job done they can pop on Mechanical Turk and and post work requests for specific prices. Think UpWork, but less specialized.

    Each task is called a Human Intelligence Task. They’re referred to as HITs for short. They are mostly work that must be done on a computer. You can think of jobs that range from quality control on data that has already been input to tagging items in photos to data cleanup.

    The primary reason Mechanical Turk surfaced is because many companies need one time help and they don’t want to onboard an employee (or interview for one no less) for a task that only needs to be done one time. They mostly let Mechanical Turk take care of it for them.

    a computer keyboard

    Do note that just like many other platforms you’ll have to prove yourself before you can get to the higher paying tasks. So this means you might have to knock out some menial labor before you can get to the ones that pay closer to say $15 bucks an hour.

    Depending on the amount of time you have available you can do quite well for yourself. PennyHoarder here wrote about a gentlemen that has averaged about $500 a month. I wouldn’t count on it to replace your day job, but it’ll certainly help you make a few ends meet if you’re strapped for cast.


    #13 – Do You Enjoy Traveling and Earning Money?

    If you happen to love to travel and you’re up to travel near an Amazon facility then this might be just the gig for you.  The general idea is that based on the location you’re willing to travel to you might be able to land yourself a season job!

    How you might ask? Through Amazon’s CamperForce program! It basically pays RVers’ camping fees and some utilities at certain sites through the busiest season of the year for Amazon. If you’re not already aware, that’s sometime in the fall the tail end of December.

    The type of work varies by specific location, but it can include “picking, packing, stowing and receiving.” The wages are pretty solid hourly wages and at the right location you might earn up to $14.50 an hour plus the camping fees and additional bonuses.

    several rvs in a rowAs of writing this there are numerous facilities available in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Check out more information on it right here.

    Some reviews of this program aren’t awesome. MarketWatch has an article talking about it here through republishing permissions from NextAvenue.org.


    #14 – Work for Amazon Corporate

    Amazon has grown leaps and bounds recently. You’ve even probably heard they are in the process of selecting a city to build their 2nd North American HQ in. The list is down to about 20 cities right now!

    With this growth there have come numerous job opportunities at Amazon’s corporate offices. Amazon is of based in Seattle, but there are satellite and regional offices springing up all over the place.

    You may have previously thought Amazon wasn’t worth applying to because you didn’t want to move to Seattle. No longer is that the case. Amazon has jobs in most major American cities (and several international cities). Check out the jobs page for a comprehensive list.


    #15 – Product Reviews Through Amazon Vine

    If you like writing product reviews to tell people about your experience then Amazon Vine could be a way for you to earn rewards. This one doesn’t provide dollars mind you, but you can still acquire all sorts of awesome products

    Amazon’s most trusted reviewers can join the invite only program called Vine Voices. Basically, they send out free products to these trusted reviewers in exchange for a high quality review left on the site. You have to already exhibit a pretty extensive set of reviews and they have to be considered ‘helpful’ by the community to be considered. Reviews will be tagged looking like this.

    a vine voice review tag

    If you are already reviewing your best bet is to start with products that have no reviews. Products with a large number of reviews are hard to earn helpful votes on because the best reviews have already floated to the top.

    My personal opinion is that instead of writing reviews on Amazon you’re far more likely to earn a return by writing extremely high quality reviews off of Amazon and using affiliate links to drive traffic to Amazon instead. To learn more about Affiliate Marketing and how to build your own site check out this article.


    Wrapping it Up on How to Earn Money With Amazon

    As you can see there are a bunch of different ways you can go about earning money through Amazon.com. They range from using your own hard earned special skills in a trade all the way to simple data entry.

    Each method has pros and cons and you’ll want to weigh them before you decide to pursue any in depth. That being said a few of my favorites are the Amazon Associates program as well as Amazon Mechanical Turk.

    I like Mechanical Turk because you can quickly earn a few bucks to either fill out your wallet and pay some bills or you can spend quite a bit of time with it and set yourself up to invest in a bigger project or side business if you desire.

    If you have any experience with any of the methods please do go ahead and share the details below in the comments! I’d love to hear how others have gone about it and their personal experiences.

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