Amazon is a well-known retail shop online for many in the world. The main ways to make money with Amazon are selling on Amazon, book publishing and promoting Amazon products through the Amazon Associates Program.
Introduction To Amazon
Amazon started like most businesses start, from a garage or attic home office. Jeff Bezos wanted to start an online store back in 1994 to sell things online instead of in a classic brick and mortar business. He felt he was rather late to step in to the internet bubble, but still felt could make a chance.
He settled on the name Amazon, because the river the Amazone is different and exotic as well as the largest river in the world, just as he had envisioned his own online store – exotic, different and the largest.
Jeff was looking at starting out with one of the top five selling items: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. He went with books because of a deal and friendship he got with a book started with solely selling books because of the need for literature and the low price point for books. Books are also relative easy to ship.
Later on he expanded this with other product categories but also introduced a system where other manufacturers could sell through his platform to customers.
Make Money With Amazon
There are three main ways to make money with Amazon. These are:
- Selling Products On Amazon
- Publishing E-Books
- Promoting Products as Affiliate
Selling Products On Amazon
As soon as Amazon got popular as an online book selling firm, they developed a platform to sell other goods as well on the same platform. Amazon handled the sales, while the different distributors handled the shipping. This is something you can still do today.
You can certainly earn good money selling products through the Amazon online store. I would even dare to say there are more other companies selling through Amazon than there are products being sold solely by Amazon.
You Need A Product
To be able to sell something on the Amazon website, you will need a product. There are many ways one can get a product to sell on Amazon:
- Your Own Creation
- Dropshipping Products Of Others
- Buying Low, Selling High
Your Own Product
If you happen to have a product idea of your own, or already possess an own product, you have one step less to complete to be able to sell on Amazon. What you might still have to do is organize how to get enough products produced in time for the orders on demand, the material needed to produce it bought in and the many things that need to ship with a product, such as user manuals, warranty seals, product testing documents etc.
You will also have to figure out how you are going to ship your product and to which countries your product will be available. You need a shipping partner that works together with you on getting the product delivered to your clients fast and safely.
Alternatively you could start a drop shipping business and sell your drop shipping product through Amazon.
With drop shipping, you sell a product of another manufacturer, while the drop shipper does all the shipping for you. All you need is to send the orders to your drop shipping partner. You need to find a partner that wants to drop ship products for you. Sometimes an investment is needed to show your determination into selling the product.
Buying Low, Selling High
The most basic way of selling something through Amazon is by buying in a product for a lower price than the price you are going to sell it for. There are many people that do this same on other platforms too, such as EBay and AliExpress.
You could find products on EBay or other selling places and buy in a number of products for a lower price so that you can sell them for a higher price on Amazon.
Just as with selling your own product, you will need to handle all the packaging, shipping, order handling and returns as well as the customer services.
Selling On Amazon Through FBA
Instead of running your own inventory and doing the entire shipping and handling yourself, there is also Amazon FBA that does all the handling for you. Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon. Naturally the FBA services costs something, but in return Amazon will handle storage, shipping and returns.
On top of that they offer you access to the Amazon Prime system, where Prime members of Amazon can get free 2-day guaranteed delivery of their orders.
You pay a fee per the amount of storage required for your products stored in their fulfillment center and the amount of products that are being handled by them, so it is very easy to scale this type of business.
If you posses a lot of knowledge about something, you can definitely start earning money by writing and publishing E-books. Amazon has their own E-Book publishing system that doesn’t cost you anything at all to start with. All you need is your creativity and knowledge to write it down on digital paper through their publishing services.
After you have successfully written a book, you can start selling it through the Amazon website. For each product sold, Amazon takes a percentage and you can earn a certain amount. E-Books can also be printed and sold as hardcover or softcover books. Those books can also be earned on, but the cost of producing these books are higher.
There is no minimum order amount required, as everything is printed on demand – something that is much different from the real publishing world where one often needs to print a couple of thousand books at a time before having sold a single unit.
E-books are also available through the Amazon Kindle system, the digital book readers made by Amazon.
Promoting Products as Affiliate
As an Amazon Affiliate, or also known as Amazon Associate, you can promote the products that are available through Amazon on your own website or media platforms.
This is the cheapest and easiest way to start making money with Amazon, as there is barely any investment needed from your site and everything can be done by you.
You will need to apply for the program through the Amazon Associates website and be eligible to join. There are a couple of countries and even USA states that aren’t able to yet, but more and more are added in the past and coming years I am absolutely sure.
Cannot start with Amazon yet? Amazon isn’t the only one you can promote products for and earn money with. Do a search on your niche and affiliate program to see many different options that are possibly available for you.
There are a number of different stores in various countries that have the Associate program as well. To be able to earn from any or all of them, you need to sign up for each of them separately. There are options to bind these all together at a later time too.
Here’s the list of sign-up pages:
- Brazil – https://associados.amazon.com.br/
- Canada- https://associates.amazon.ca/
- China – https://associates.amazon.cn/
- France – http://partenaires.amazon.fr/
- Germany – https://partnernet.amazon.de/
- India – http://affiliate-program.amazon.in/
- Italy – https://programma-affiliazione.amazon.it/
- Japan – https://affiliate.amazon.co.jp/
- Mexico – https://afiliados.amazon.com.mx/
- Spain – https://afiliados.amazon.es/
- United Kingdom – https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/
- United States – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
You can bind all the different stores through two different methods:
- Amazon OneLink
Amazon OneLink is a system released in 2017 by Amazon themselves and makes sure that you can use one link to automatically redirect the visitor to its local store and still earn money through the same Amazon program, as long as you register the different affiliate_id’s through the system.
Before OneLink there was no way to get people dynamically go to the right sales page and hence there were plugins and paid membership websites that took care of that. These plugins still exist and can still be used for this. The advantage of many of the plugins out there is that you have more control over how the different ads are being displayed on your site (size of images, ratings, prices, preview etc). Also OneLink is only useful on your website, it won’t work for links within email or YouTube for example.
As an affiliate, you will get a unique affiliate_id that identifies you. The URL’s and codes generated for each product you will link in your promotional material are therefore linking back with this affiliate id. Whenever someone clicks on this link, they will get a “cookie” saved on their PC for 24 hours. If the visitor buys something / anything from the Amazon site with that cookie active, you will get a commission paid out for a percentage of that shopping cart.
When you sign up for the program, you will have 180 days to make 3 verified sales through the platform, but do not fret, because if you don’t make those three sale in that time frame, you can simply re-apply to the program and try again for another 180 days (the worst of that being that you might need to change some links around).
How Much Can You Make As An Affiliate?
Anything from nothing up to a virtual unlimited amount of money and it all depends on your efforts and traffic/audience. That sounds perhaps vague or cliché, but it really depends on how much effort you put into your website and promotional efforts to generate a lot of sales.
You will need:
- a media channel, such as a website, a YouTube channel, Social media
- a lot of traffic on this media channel
- An Affiliate Program
- Promotional messaging
For Amazon you are not allowed to use your newsletter directly as a way to drive traffic to your promotional links. In such case you would have to drive them first through your website to your Amazon links. Not all Affiliate Programs are that restrictive and some might allow you to link them in all of your media.
A website is not directly a requirement to make money with Affiliate Marketing, but will definitely be helpful. Brands and companies are expected to have a website nowadays. A second advantage of an own website is that you will have a platform you absolutely have all the control and ownership over. Social media will change over time and their rules too, the same goes for any third party platform.
Without traffic you have no audience to sell anything to, so that is absolutely a requirement. If you do not have a medium with traffic yet, you could naturally drive traffic through paid advertising too.
The Affiliate Program such as Amazon Affiliate Associates is the program you can use to promote products on your media channel. Different programs have different rules and different commissions.
You will need to write a review or sales landing page that actually converts. This is also a very big factor in how much money you can make with as an affiliate.
An Amazon Commision Example
To give you an idea of how it works with Amazon, say I am a visitor to your site about juicing. You got a sales page about an awesome juicer I should use for my daily juices. I click on the link and go to the page with an interesting looking Philips Juicer. This juicer costs 110 USD and falls under the category kitchen and has a 4.5% commission.
I then decide to go for that juicer, but also buy some books about juicing. The books have a commission rate of 4.5% as well. The total sum changes, and you get a 4.5% of the new total.
It is therefore a good idea to promote products that have the right ticket price to begin with, because 4.5% of an item costing only 2 dollars, is just earning you a couple of dollar cents.
It has happened however with Amazon Affiliates that their visitor clicked on the link first, then waited and later on decided to something else instead of the initial promoted product. As the cookie exists for 24 hours, anything bought within those 24 hours from the Amazon store gets credited for. To give you an idea, if my wife would buy a bunch of clothing (currently a 10% rate) with a total value of 1000 USD, you would earn a whole 100 USD for that cart alone.
You can see the different commission rates below:
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