Let's face it, Amazon is brilliant at making it incredibly easy for you to make a purchase. This is especially true with their one-click purchasing via their mobile app, and their tempting free shipping offers. Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, if you could figure out how to make them pay you on a regular basis? Here are six ways to make the online retail giant do just that.
1. Join the Amazon Affiliate Program
If you own a website, blog, or even moderate a discussion group, you have the opportunity to join the Amazon Associates program and earn revenue by directing visitors to Amazon products. Depending on the product, you'll earn anywhere from 4%–10% if the click results in a qualifying sale. It works by Amazon giving you a unique referral url that you post on your site or blog. Then when someone clicks on the embedded url, the referral is tracked, and results in you getting paid if it ends in a purchase.
As with any affiliate program, your mileage will vary depending on how "ready to buy" the people you send to Amazon actually are. The key is to provide value on your site or blog and a reason to make a purchase. For example, if you run a blog dedicated to photography, start by doing a weekly in-depth product review of new digital cameras and accessories and include Amazon referral links in your review. The review should always be an honest assessment and provide content that is better than anything else on the subject. If you oversell, or come off as fake and commercialized, your readers will see right through the facade and click elsewhere.
2. Sell Items on Amazon "Handmade"
The braintrust at Amazon recently launched Amazon Handmade, a service that allows you to sell your handmade wares to the Amazon audience. Currently, for a 12% referral fee, you can sell your handmade jewelry, home products (artwork, baby bedding, bath, bedding, furniture, home décor, kitchen & dining, lighting, patio, lawn & garden, storage & organization), party supplies and stationery on their platform. While Amazon hopes this new service will eventually become an Etsy killer, it currently offers artisan sellers a large number of potential buyers for a reasonable cost. If production capabilities have you concerned, don't fret, as you can set your own production time (up to 30 days) on every product you make. Also, it's worth noting that product UPCs and professional photos are not required to get started.
3. Publish an eBook
By registering for free with Kindle Direct Publishing, you can have your ebook published on the Kindle platform within five minutes and appear in Kindle stores worldwide within 48 hours. Gone are the days of cut-throat book publishing where rejection letters are the norm. You can now publish your novel or amazingly helpful "how-to" guide online and earn up to a 70% royalty on your sales. Plus, you get to keep complete control of your publishing rights and have the ability to set your own pricing. Amazon will even help you format your ebook to optimize it for Kindle users. Also, you can opt into the Kindle Owners' Lending Library so Prime members can borrow your ebook, and in turn, help you gain even more exposure.
4. Become a Third Party Seller
If you shop at Amazon regularly, you've probably noticed that while the majority of items are fulfilled directly by Amazon, some items are actually sold by third party sellers. If you have a niche product for sale, or perhaps are an artist and have artwork you're trying to move, becoming a third party Amazon seller provides an excellent opportunity to reach the masses.
You have the option of signing up for the individual plan, which is great if you plan on selling 40 or less items per month, or the professional plan if you plan on selling more. With the individual plan, you pay a flat $0.99 selling fee per item sold, plus a referral fee in the 8%–15% range of the product's selling price. With the professional plan, you pay a flat $39.99/month with no per item selling fee, but still have to pay the referral fee.
While the 8%–15% referral fee may seem steep compared to other online selling programs, the large customer reach you'll have by listing your items on Amazon can easily make up for the higher fees. If you really want to step up your game, you can have Amazon fulfill all of your ordersby having them store, pick, pack, and ship on your behalf. This is a fantastic way to let potential customers utilize Amazon's customer service department as well as have your items become eligible for Prime two-day shipping.
5. Sell Your Original Content
Another smart way to get paid by Amazon is to sell your original content like DVDs, books, MP3s, CDs, and video downloads directly on their site. This is done via CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, and it works by paying royalties whenever your product is sold on the Amazon platform.
For example, if you've produced your own music and designed your own artwork to go with it, CreateSpace will turn it into a "retail-ready" CD with full-color inserts, jewel case, and printed disc face. They'll even assign a free universal product code (UPC) to your CD and sell it directly on Amazon.com, which means it'll be eligible for Prime two-day delivery and incredible consumer exposure. Royalties vary by product category, and range between 40%–60% of the retail price.
6. Get Paid for Small Tasks via Mechanical Turk
By completing small online tasks via Amazon Mechanical Turk, you have the potential to earn a decent chunk of change. Examples of popular tasks include looking at an image and describing it in 10 words or less for a 10 cent payment, and a semi-detailed product review for a quick $2.50. While many of the tasks are low-paying, they can add up fairly quickly if you have the patience to wade through the riff-raff to find the better paying tasks. If you work at a job that has regular short delays — a customer service rep jumps to mind — Turk could make for a great way to fill those breaks with tasks that pay.
7. Score Discounts for Amazon Reviews
Another cool way to essentially let Amazon pay you is to create an account at Snagshout. The site is completely free, and works by giving you access to a large marketplace of extremely discounted Amazon products, in exchange for an honest review of the discounted products you buy. We're talking discounts that range from 50% to 90% off the original retail price. Surprisingly, some of the items are actually free or only cost 99 cents. You simply shop like you normally would, then after the item arrives, you'll be asked to leave an honest review of the product. By doing so, you'll gain access to another plethora of highly discounted items. If used correctly, you'll be getting "paid" via huge discounts on items you'd hopefully be purchasing anyways.
While some of these tips require more up-front work than others, they all have the potential to be lucrative. This is especially true if you have a blog in place and can incorporate affiliate links into your content, or have inventory ready to sell directly to Amazon customers. In any case, the time has come for the folks at Amazon to start paying you on a regular basis.
This article first appeared at Wise Bread.