10 ways to earn money from Amazon that you may not have known about

For many people, Amazon is more than just an enormous marketplace for fast shipping, convenience, and a broad selection of consumer goods. From a small online bookstore to the behemoth today, Amazon’s size has also created many opportunities for millions of people to earn extra money or become small business owners themselves.

Since its inception, Amazon has helped millions of people earn money through its marketplace. For some, Amazon has been a great way to get some money back by selling off household items. For others, Amazon has allowed them to create an ecommerce business worth millions. But Amazon’s size means it’s more than just a simple marketplace for small businesses or individuals to sell their goods.

Below is a  list of the various opportunities Amazon provides for earning extra money.

1. Selling used items on Amazon

Selling used items on Amazon is the most obvious method of making money through the site. Being the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon allows you to create your account, post the item you want to sell, and start earning cash. While the marketplace has evolved from booksellers and used goods, there’s still a market for some niche products. So long as you follow Amazon’s policies and represent your items in an accurate and precise manner, you should have no issues. The Individual account is free for all sellers.

Many sellers have turned to flipping instead of the traditional nine-to-five job. Read our article on where they source their inventory for Amazon and eBay.

While you won’t get rich selling used items on Amazon, it’s still an excellent way to earn some extra income for things that you no longer want. You’ll want to be sure to list the item with accuracy though—customers expect to receive items that are in like new condition if you sell it “like new.” Like new means that items were never used—even if they were used and still look like new, customers may end up getting a refund and keeping your item. Inaccurate listings can also result in an account suspension.


2. Join the Amazon Associates affiliate program

Concept Map with Affiliate Marketing in center

With this program, you can earn money by directing visitors who want to purchase Amazon products. This program works if you have a website, blog, or a large social media following. The best part of affiliate programs is that they’re passive income—if you already have a niche blog that is visited by thousands of people, then it takes no more work than inserting a link or two to get that affiliate income.

When you join this program, Amazon gives you affiliate links that you post. Amazon Associates enables you to earn money based on purchases made through those affiliate links. Amazon tracks purchases through those links and gives you a percentage of the sale. The more people who click on the link and make a purchase, the more money you’ll make. This passive income can lead to thousands of dollars a month for those who run successful blogs.

3. Become a third-party seller

Selling new products is perhaps the most publicized method for earning money on Amazon. Roughly half of Amazon’s sales come from third-party sellers.

Third-party marketplace sellers have grown exponentially within the past few years, and there are no signs that seller growth will slow. On the contrary, sellers, both foreign and domestic, are rushing to Amazon to capture a small share of one of the world’s largest marketplace.

What does all of this mean for online sellers? Amazon’s significant online presence has several essential considerations for sellers. First, many people who shop online will head immediately to Amazon to search for products. Secondly, the Amazon app, Amazon’s website, and Alexa all contribute to driving sales. Finally, Amazon Prime and all of its benefits encourage customers to shop almost exclusively at Amazon. Amazon’s presence also means that search engine traffic directs customers to the site.

As a result of Amazon’s size, this is the best marketplace for you to reach a broad audience no matter what kind of product you have to sell. Anyone can begin selling on Amazon, but serious third-party sellers subscribe to Amazon’s Professional Seller account. It’s $39.99 a month, but it includes a host of features you’ll need, like Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS). Read more about the differences between Amazon’s Individual and Professional account.

If you’re going to sell on Amazon, you’ll have to find ways innovative ways to remain competitive and still earn a profit. Whether that’s marketing or technology, reducing your expenses will allow you to remain more flexible during a policy change or account suspension.

One standard method of reducing overhead and increasing profits is through automation. Just like some companies use robots to reduce labor costs, you can use software automation to reduce your labor costs. For instance, repricers can eliminate the need for a worker to continually adapt pricing on inventory to remain competitive and to get sales.

4. Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon is a recent addition to Amazon’s marketplace. This service that allows artists and designers to monetize their designs through merchandise. You only upload your work, and Amazon will print and sell your merchandise on demand. While there are many print-on-demand websites, none have the reach, appeal, and recognition of Amazon.

Through this program, various designs are uploaded, and customers can browse and purchase apparel with your design on it. Since Amazon prints on demand, you won’t have to worry about inventory. Artists who have a strong following will find this service valuable since there are practically no upfront costs. You won’t need to pay for stock, printing, or even fulfillment, giving you more free time to work on your passions.

Merch by Amazon isn’t open to just anybody though. It’s an invite-only program, and you’ll have to apply if you want your designs available on Amazon.

5. Amazon Vine

Another available program is Amazon Vine, which is an invite-only group of reviewers who are given free product samples in exchange for unbiased reviews. While Vine reviewers aren’t expected or required to provide honest product reviews, there’s an implicit understanding that Vine participants who never write reviews will likely be removed from the program. That’s because Vine reviewers are invited based on the number and quality of reviews they write.

This program allows you to provide quality reviews for products listed on Amazon. Increased marketplace competition has meant that honest, unbiased reviews are worth thousands of dollars. The Amazon Vine tag that accompanies these reviewers signals to customers that these reviews are unbiased and credible.

Honest product reviews are a critical factor in a marketplace filled with review manipulation. Consumers almost always buy the highest rated product, so good product reviews are worth a lot of money since they drive sales, more reviews, and higher product placement.

6. Handmade at Amazon

Making craft jewelry

This marketplace is a direct competitor to the likes of Etsy. Like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon allows you to sell handcrafted and artisanal products. Handmade at Amazon is great for local artists and artisans who want to gain access to the millions of Amazon customers.

Some of the common handmade products typically sold here comprise of jewelry, home and kitchen, clothing, and shoes. You’ll need to apply and have your products reviewed and approved before selling through Handmade at Amazon. Be sure to read through Amazon’s FAQ to learn more about what the approval process entails.

7. Amazon Professional Services

Many people don’t know that they can sell their professional services through Amazon. If you have a skill and you want to earn some extra income, then this service is for you. Skilled professionals such as handymen, assemblers, installers, and computer technicians can earn extra income advertising their services on Amazon. Ever see that “Include installation” button on Amazon? Customers who choose that option are directed to local professionals who will complete the installation for customers, providing the customer with a complete experience from start to finish.

Amazon allows professionals to sell their services directly to consumers in their area of specialization. This service is also designed in such a way as to allow these professionals to see jobs in their area. Many new professionals can gain new clients through Amazon and reduce the need for advertising through traditional means.

8. Amazon Mechanical Turk

One little-known service is Amazon Mechanical Turk. This program is essentially an army of humans who complete tasks that computers or artificial intelligence can’t complete. For instance, people may be required to solve Captchas or complete surveys. These are usually tasks that can’t be automated away. People could be answering surveys or tagging images.

Through this program, many companies can access a large, on-demand workforce to complete simple, but labor-intensive tasks. Whether that’s categorizing pictures, answering questions, or translating works, companies can quickly outsource their jobs quickly and efficiently.

If you join Amazon Mechanical Turk, you’ll be paid pennies for tasks, but those tasks can be finished quickly. The benefit is that you can work at your own pace. For instance, you may receive just three cents for solving a Captcha, but if you solve ten captchas a minute, you’ll earn $18 an hour.

There are other high-paying tasks too. Translation or transcribing works can pay a few dollars, and surveys may pay even five or ten dollars. For many people, the tedium of the work may not be worth it, but it’s an excellent way to earn extra income. Or it’s a unique way for students to make some money.

Developers, on the other hand, have the opportunity to leverage this service so that they can be able to develop human intelligence models. The army of workers and quick turnaround time can provide a host of data for developers. Companies can also use the MTurk API to gain access to thousands of high quality, global, and on-demand workers. As a result, businesses will be able to engage in processes more quickly and at a severely reduced cost.

9. Amazon CamperForce

If you own an RV and love to travel, then Amazon Camperforce is an excellent opportunity to earn a little cash while you do what you love. This seasonal assignment starts in early Fall to December 23rd and has you traveling and working in Amazon fulfillment services. You’ll have to apply ahead of time, but you’ll receive good benefits such as paid campsites and bonuses for completing the season.

CamperForce employees are seasonal workers who pick, pack, stow, and receive. If you’re familiar with this work and love the outdoors, it’s a great opportunity to earn some money.

One additional benefit is that the skills you’ll learn as a CamperForce employee will translate directly to other Amazon warehouses. You’ll have an advantage if you apply at any one of Amazon’s warehouses across the nation.

10. Amazon Flex

Delivery van going down street

Amazon’s Prime delivery promise of 2-days has resulted in millions of subscribers. But Amazon didn’t stop there: it now offers 2-hour delivery in select cities. If you happen to live in one of the supported areas, then you can apply to become an Amazon Flex driver. Amazon claims that Flex drivers can earn $18-25 an hour, depending on the number of deliveries and tips received.

If you’ve ever had a 2-hour delivery, then chances are it delivered by an Amazon Flex driver. In addition to the rate that Amazon pays, Flex drivers also receive tips. What 2-hour deliveries mean for Amazon is increasing market share and more Prime subscribers. What it means for customers is more convenience. For those seeking work, it’s more opportunities to earn some income.

The job works just like Uber or Lyft—if you’ve driven for those ride-sharing services, then you’ll have an idea of how Amazon Flex works. You can be your own boss and set your own hours.

Amazon isn’t just a place for you to spend your money. Making money on Amazon can be a reality for many customers as well. Participating in one or more of the programs listed above can give you a little extra income for that hobby, pay for that vacation, or even liberate you from your 9-5 office job. Why not give one of those opportunities a try today?