How to Make Money on Amazon Without Selling Physical Products

Discover innovative ways to profit on Amazon without inventory! Learn to leverage digital products, affiliate marketing, and more to earn online

How to Make Money on Amazon Without Selling Physical Products
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Choosing your own schedule, working from anywhere in the world, having no boss to answer to…Making money online sounds pretty nice, huh? But who wants to deal with inventory management, shipping mishaps, and providing customer service to someone yelling at the other end of a phone? 

Thanks to online marketplaces like Amazon, you can start a business and make money without selling physical products. 

Between their publishing leg, trade-in program, and influencer market, there are dozens of ways to start getting paid for your ideas right now, and we’ve gathered a list of them down below for you. 

(Just don’t forget us when you’re rich and famous!) 

How Does Amazon’s Marketplace Work?

Amazon’s Marketplace is your golden ticket to reaching millions of customers in over 100 countries without ever leaving your couch. 

Here’s how it works: As a third-party seller, you list your products on Amazon’s platform, making them instantly available to the massive customer base that’s always in the mood to go shopping. 

You have two seller plans to choose from: the Individual Plan and the Professional Plan. 

The Individual Plan costs $0.99 per sale, and it’s perfect for those just starting out. The Professional Plan is a bit more expensive at $39.99 a month, but it’s great if you plan to sell a lot and scale your business. 

How to Make Money on Amazon Without Selling Physical Products

There are five main categories for making money on Amazon without selling physical products: 

  1. Info Products
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Content Creation and Curation
  4. Services and Consulting
  5. Trade-In and Recycling Programs

We’ll cover ideas from each in the next section! 

#1: Publish Your Own Books with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to publish a book and make money online

If we could scream it from the rooftops, we would, but we’ll settle for sharing everything we know about making publishing and other side hustles more accessible in this blog. 

What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Kindle Direct Publishing is a service by Amazon that lets you self-publish eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers from within a single dashboard. You upload your completed manuscript and book cover, choose your publishing rights, and set your list price. Then, boom! 

Your book will appear in Kindle stores in as little as 72 hours. You retain ownership of your content and can update it or remove it at any time. You’re totally in charge 24/7/365. The amount of time it takes to make money on KDP depends on factors like your promotion strategy, niche, reviwes, etc.

KDP also offers a complimentary print on demand service, meaning it handles 100% of the printing and shipping for you, and it only prints a new copy when a sale is made. This is better for the planet and your wallet because there’s less waste and zero upfront costs, which might not always be the case with a traditional publishing house. 

How much money can you earn from self-publishing?

Through KDP, you can earn up to 70% royalty on eBook sales. The royalty rate depends on factors like book pricing and which countries you decide to list your book in.

For some publishers, their royalty payments cover their car payment each month, and for others, it means getting a brand-new car and a down payment for a house. 

You get what you put into it!

How can you start publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing?

  • AIA Course: Take all the guesswork out of the publishing process with step-by-step videos and live walkthroughs from industry pros. 
  • Free Webinar: Learn the secrets to outsourcing 90% of the work and get a glimpse of the publishing world to see how it might fit into your future plans. 
  • Student Testimonials: Visit our Student Success Portal to hear from dozens of verified students making royalties with their very first books. 

#2: Join the Amazon Affiliate Program

The Amazon Affiliate Program is Amazon’s commission-based program. 

What is affiliate marketing?

Think of affiliate marketing as getting paid to play matchmaker and share your favorite finds. 

You get paid to promote products you love. No inventory, no shipping, no customer service headaches—just a sweet, passive income stream. 

How does affiliate marketing work?

Once you join Amazon's Affiliate Program, you get special links to Amazon products that track traffic from your content. When someone clicks your affiliate link and buys the product within 24 hours, you earn a commission.

Amazon’s tools make it easy to create these links, as well as promotional banners and widgets for your own brand or site to reach even more customers. You also get detailed reports showing what your audience is buying, which you can use to tweak your content and earn even more. 

#3: Create Custom Amazon Merch on Demand

If you’ve ever thought about selling t-shirts, hoodies, or phone cases, this is a solid opportunity. 

How does Amazon merch on demand work?

First, you’ll apply for an account and need to get approved. Then, you’ll upload your artwork directly to the portal and choose your products—shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, you name it. Last, you’ll set your prices and let Amazon handle the rest while you watch the royalties start rolling in!

You’ll also need to promote your merch on social media platforms, blogs, or apps to keep getting new eyes on your products, but with no upfront costs, it’s a low-risk way to generate income and turn your creativity into cash.

#4: Produce Your Own ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) Audiobook

Ever dreamt of narrating and producing audiobooks? Amazon's Audiobook Creation Exchange makes that possible. 

How to get started with ACX

  1. Sign Up: Create an account on ACX and link it to your Amazon account.
  2. Post Your Project: If you have a Kindle or printed book, post a new project directly from your listing.
  3. Find a Narrator: Browse the marketplace for professional narrators, review their profiles, and request auditions.
  4. Choose Your Narrator: Pick the narrator that fits your book’s tone, and upload your manuscript chapters.
  5. Quality Check: ACX will conduct a quality check. Once approved, your audiobook will be available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, earning you royalties with every download. 

#5: Become an Amazon Virtual Assistant

Looking for an easy gig that works with a busy schedule? Work from home and help Amazon sellers grow their businesses, handling tasks that save them time.

What does an Amazon virtual assistant do?

As an Amazon virtual assistant, you'll manage inventory, handle customer service, help with product listings, and manage marketing efforts like ads and social media campaigns. Your work lets sellers focus on growing their business and scaling faster. 

#6: Offer Your Professional Services Through Amazon Home Services

Amazon Home Services offers a way to connect with customers who are looking for help with assembly, cleaning, handyman work, and more.

How to get started:

  1. Get Licensed and Insured: Make sure your business meets Amazon's requirements and passes a five-point background check for customer security.
  2. Sign Up: Join the Amazon Home Services platform and get approved to start listing your services.
  3. List Your Services: Use clear descriptions and competitive pricing to attract customers.
  4. Manage Jobs: Use the platform to see job requests and choose the ones that fit your schedule. 
  5. Stay Organized: Use Amazon Seller Central to manage services, automate communications, and handle payments.

11 More Ways to Make Money Without Selling Products on Amazon

Still reading? We appreciate you. 

Enjoy 11 more ideas for making money online! 

#7: Writing Amazon Product Descriptions for Amazon listings

  • Draft engaging and detailed product copy. 
  • Get paid to flex your writing skills and help products shine!

#8: Explore Amazon's Trade-In Program

  • Exchange your Amazon trade in for Amazon gift cards that can be spent on anything in the store. 
  • Popular items: old electronics, books, and games
  • Declutter and earn money for items you no longer need!

#9: Develop Amazon Skills for Alexa

  • Create interactive skills for Alexa and tap into the smart home market.
  • Publish skills that entertain, educate, or assist users of all ages. 
  • Get paid to think outside the box!

#10: Offer eCommerce Automation Services

  • Help sellers automate tasks like inventory tracking, price monitoring, and order processing.
  • Make their lives easier while earning a decent chunk of change!

#11: Deliver Packages with Amazon Flex 

  • Amazon pays drivers to deliver packages on their own time. 
  • Get paid to drive around and explore your city!

#12: Work as a Dropshipper

  • Partner with suppliers to send products directly to customers.
  • No inventory, no hassle—just smooth sales!

#13: Become an Amazon Explore Host

  • Host virtual tours, classes, or shopping trips from anywhere in the world.
  • Share your expertise and get paid for fun experiences!

#14: Participate in Amazon's Remote Career Opportunities

  • Find remote roles in customer service, tech support, or corporate positions.
  • Work from anywhere and be part of the Amazon team!

#15: Create Alexa Blueprints 

  • Design custom Alexa skills for businesses or personal use.
  • Sell or license your creations and watch the income roll in!

#16: Join Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

  • Complete small tasks online for quick cash.
  • Perfect for earning money in your spare time.
  • No degree required!

#17: Be Part of the Amazon Influencer Program

  • Share your favorite products on social media and earn commissions.
  • Turn your online influence into a money-making machine!

Is It Hard to Start Your Own Business on Amazon?

Starting a business on Amazon is a lot easier than you might think! 

With Amazon’s user-friendly platforms and resources, you can get up and running in as little as a few hours, and they all link back to your main Amazon account, so you won’t have to worry about juggling one thousand different passwords. 

The trick is to start small. Do your own competitor and product research first and take advantage of Amazon’s support. You don't need a huge budget or a warehouse full of products to unlock a new income stream. You don’t even need a college degree for most of the ideas on this list. 

What do you have to lose? 

How to Earn Money from Amazon for Beginners

If you're new to the Amazon game, don't worry! There are plenty of beginner-friendly ways to start earning money. 

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Amazon Associates Program: Share product links and earn commissions on sales through your referrals. It’s as simple as promoting items you already know and love. 
  2. Kindle Direct Publishing: Got a story to tell or expertise to share? Publish an eBook and earn royalties with each sale. (If only there were a blog dedicated to helping people accomplish this…hmmm…that’s right! You’re already here!) 

Can You Make $10,000 a Month Selling on Amazon?

Making $10,000 a month might sound really far-fetched, but there are tons of Amazon sellers and self-publishers doing it (even with no experience whatsoever). 

Just ask Michael, an Aussie who went on to start making even more than that even after his first book was unsuccessful and totally flopped: 

Here’s how they do it:

  1. Find a Niche: Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here! Choose a market or product that already has some demand and has a proven track record for selling. 
  2. Optimize Listings: People absolutely judge books by their covers…and photos and descriptions. Keywords are your friends!
  3. Take Advantage of Amazon’s Free Tools: Amazon wants its sellers to succeed because successful sellers create happy customers, and happy customers keep coming back. Let them help you! 

No one is going to just walk up to you on the street and hand you $10,000 (if you know someone who will, can you send them our way?) 

All businesses and side hustles take time and effort. It’s just a matter of whether you’re willing to put in the work now to secure a much easier future, or if you’d rather grind forever and ever without actually ever seeing the fruits of your labor. The choice is yours! 

Why not try something new? Your success story could be just around the corner!

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