If you’ve heard that selling on Amazon is a lucrative online business venture, you heard right. As of 2021, the website has around 300 million registered users and 150 million Prime members. If you are wondering how much can you make selling on Amazon, then you are in the right place.
Ever since it launched its marketplace for third-party sellers to offer goods for sale, so many vendors have signed up. Back in 2020, there were around 2 million sellers on the platform already (Source: Statista).
Because many businesses have leveraged the online platform as an additional sales channel and many entrepreneurs use it as a flexible side hustle, competition has also increased over the years. Ordinary individuals seeking to be their boss or diversify their income stream have started selling goods on the website. And they’re making money from it.
But how much money can you make if you start selling on Amazon? The answer to this question varies depending on what you sell and what category you choose. You’ve probably read articles or watched videos of successful Amazon FBA sellers talking about how they’ve made millions of dollars. But general statements like that are often not reassuring.
People want numbers to work with before dipping a toe in the water. Many people want to know how much they can make from selling on Amazon before deciding to invest. And this is perfectly understandable. This is why we’re going to discuss it in this article.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how much money Amazon FBA sellers make and how you can make more on Amazon. We’ll also discuss seller software tools that can help you increase your revenues.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling on Amazon?
Monthly & Annual Earnings
In 2018, Statista conducted a survey of FBM and FBA sellers to determine how much average Amazon sellers make every year selling on Amazon (not necessarily within the first year). According to their findings:
- About 60% of sellers made less than $250,000 per year. This roughly translates to average monthly sales of $20,000 or less.
- About 12% of sellers achieved between $250,000 and $500,000 in sales per year. This means their monthly sales are anywhere between $21,000 and $42,000.
- 9% of sellers hit between $500,000 and $1m
- 8% of sellers achieved between $1m and $2m
- 7% of sellers made between $2m and $6m
- 1% of sellers had accumulated between $6m and $10m
- 3% of sellers made over $10m
Jungle Scout also conducted a more recent survey in 2021 to find out the average monthly sales of sellers. Here’s a summary of the Jungle Scout report on monthly earnings:
- 26% of Amazon sellers make below $1000 in monthly sales, which amounts to less than $12,000 in a year. 4% had no idea how much they make per month.
- Almost half of the sellers (44%) make between $1000 and $25000 per month, translating to annual sales between $12,000 and $300,000.
- About 19% of Amazon sellers make between $25,000 and $250,000, translating to annual sales that range from $300,000 to $3,000,000
- 6% of Amazon sellers make more than $250,000 as monthly sales, amounting to $3m as annual sales.
Source: Jungle Scout
How Much Profit Do Amazon Sellers Make?
It’s one thing to make a lot of sales and another to hit a good profit margin. However, the only way to earn substantially as an Amazon seller is to fix a reasonable profit margin on your products. This begs the question, how much profit do average Amazon sellers make?
Research has shown that most small businesses don’t have a tangible profit margin or become profitable within the first year, but that’s not the case for Amazon sellers.
Most sellers report high-profit margins, according to Jungle Scout’s survey.
- 68% of the respondents made profit margins above 10%
- 38% of the respondents saw profit margins above 20%.
- Only a handful had not made much profit or become profitable.
- Furthermore, over half (64%) of those surveyed were profitable in their first year of selling. Jungle Scout also made findings on the lifetime profit margin of established sellers. 42% of the respondents reported lifetime profits below $25,000, while 38% reported a lifetime profit margin of above $25,000.
From these numbers, it’s obvious that selling on AMZ has high financial potential. And if you want to be among the top earners, there are tips and strategies you need to employ, especially if you are a new seller. Let’s take a look at them.
How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Amazon: FBA Fees
Starting an Amazon business is easy, but like every other business, it involves some financial investment. You can create a seller central account for free, but you’ll need capital if you intend to become profitable and build a sustainable business. These costs are often unpredictable, but still, it is important to know what is involved before starting. So, how much does it cost to sell on Amazon?
Selling on Amazon is not free, especially if you decide to use the FBA fulfillment option. Even if you don’t, you will still have to bear the costs of inventory storage and shipping, which can be a lot. If you’re trying to save money, FBA is your best bet. Also, Amazon charges a selling plan and a referral fee regardless of the fulfillment option, but some fees only apply to sellers using the FBA service.
After creating your Amazon seller account, you must choose a type of selling account. AMZ offers two selling plans; Individual and Professional plans. For sellers on the individual plan, AMZ charges $0.99 on every sale for sellers, while professional sellers pay a flat fee of $39.99 monthly. The individual plan is best for sellers who do not intend to sell more than 40 products per month; preferably those who want to run their business as a side hustle. If you plan to sell more than 40 products in a month, the professional plan is best for you.
Referral fees are AMZ’s commission on every sale and are charged by percentage. The percentage charged varies by category and can be anywhere from 8% to 45%. All Amazon sellers have to pay referral fees regardless of the selling model or fulfillment channel they use.
Inventory Storage Fees
This fee only applies to Amazon FBA sellers. Since Amazon stores and ships orders on behalf of FBA sellers, they charge a token for storage. The storage fees are calculated based on the product’s size and weight. AMZ also charges a long-term inventory storage fee on items that stay longer than 365 days in a fulfillment center.
Amazon Fulfillment fees
Besides the storage fees, you must also factor in the FBA fulfillment charges. The Amazon FBA service is not free. So, don’t forget to factor in the costs of Amazon fulfillment when calculating the selling costs on AMZ. FBA fulfillment fees vary based on the product category, size, and weight.
In addition to the fees listed above, there may also be additional fees incurred under certain circumstances. Some of the additional fees include FBA removal order fees and Returns processing fees.
Apart from AMZ fees, you’ll have to set some money aside for product sourcing, promotions, and other unexpected costs. It isn’t easy to estimate the cost of selling on Amazon, but you can use an FBA calculator to help you.
How Much Do You Need to Start an Amazon Business?
One of the reasons most aspiring entrepreneurs are hesitant about starting Amazon businesses is that they assume that it requires a lot of starting capital. While this may be true for some Amazon business models like private labeling, some other business models like retail arbitrage and wholesale do not require a lot of capital.
A Jungle Scout survey showed the following figures based on the starting capital of some sellers.
- 17% of sellers spent less than $500
- About 12% of sellers spent between $500-1,000
- Another 15% of sellers started their businesses with about $1,001-2,500
- 21% of sellers spent between $2,501-5,000
- 13% of sellers spent between $5,001-10,000
- 19% of sellers spent over $10,000
- And 1% of sellers had no idea what their starting capital was.
The majority of sellers spent between $2,500 – $5,000 but the statistics also show that it is possible to start an Amazon business with $1,000 or less. Since most of your starting cost will go into product sourcing and Amazon FBA fees, if you start with a few products you can definitely cut down on starting capital.
Factors That Determine Seller Revenue on Amazon
There are so many factors that can affect your earnings whether you’re an experienced or new seller. All these things contribute to your potential earnings from your method of selling to your fulfillment. So, you should keep them in mind when trying to navigate your business costs and estimate profits. A few of these factors are listed below.
When you become an Amazon seller, you have the option between two fulfillment methods: FBA vs FBM. Both fulfillment methods have different effects on your potential income. To have a better idea, let’s discuss them below.
FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)
Order fulfillment is an integral part of every online business. However, Amazon allows sellers to choose their preferred order fulfillment option. Sellers who opt for FBM will have to pack and ship orders themselves. In other words, you will be the one to handle all the customer concerns, such as answering inquiries, refunds, and returns too. This is the “default” way of handling orders for all independent sellers, and this also rings true for vendors.
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Fulfillment by Amazon is a service offered by AMZ to its third-party vendors. Instead of letting the Amazon seller fulfill the orders, AMZN will offer to do all the fulfillment. What this means is that AMZN will be the one to pick up, pack, ship, and deliver the items to the customers. They will also handle post-purchase customer services such as returns, refunds, and exchanges. You have to send your inventory to their warehouse, and they will do the rest.
The question, “How much can you make from selling on Amazon” relies greatly on your shipping costs. You might not think it’s too big, but these costs add up little by little. Using FBM, you must ship your products via your chosen courier. And if you are sending items one by one, individual shipping costs can greatly increase. However, with FBA, you use AMZN’s courier network and delivery system.
You don’t have to go out in the middle of the night to find a courier to ship your items. AMZ can easily fulfill your orders and even offer free delivery to your customers, which can further improve your conversion rates.
Now, this is where things can get tricky. Although FBA has a lot of positive things going for it, one simple fact remains: it isn’t free. So if you are wondering how much you can make if you start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to first calculate Amazon FBA fees. There are corresponding Amazon fees for everything that FBA offers, such as storage, packing, bubble wrapping, and shipping. So, if you are wondering how much you can make from selling products on Amazon, monitor your fulfillment costs.
Are these Amazon fees going to be bigger or smaller compared to your FBM costs? Should you just do everything on your own instead of relying on AMZ? To answer that question, you need to calculate your costs using this FBA Calculator.
What Is The Best Selling Method?
Don’t just ask yourself the question, “How much can I make if I start selling on Amazon?” if you want to make a profit. Before everything else, choosing the best-selling method that works for you is important. Some selling methods can earn big but are harder to execute. Others are easier to start but don’t give a bigger payout for each sale.
To help you get a good idea of how much you can make from selling on Amazon, below are some of the popular selling methods:
Retail arbitrage is a selling method where vendors purchase their products at a meager price. After that, they sell them on AMZ at a good profit margin. The term might initially sound complicated, but it’s easy to understand. In layman’s terms, retail arbitrage can also be called “reselling.”
Many sellers using this model often find products to sell in discount retail stores. If you have a Walmart or Target in your local neighborhood, that is a good place to find products with lower prices. Also, online marketplaces like eBay can be a great alternate source of low-priced products.
Private Label Selling
In private label selling, vendors re-brand generic products to sell them under their own brand name. First, you need to find a manufacturer that can create the products you want to sell. Then you ask your manufacturer to add your brand, packaging, and logo to your products.
Private label has become a popular selling model because it gives sellers more control over manufacturing costs. With this method, profit margins can be adjusted by reducing costs. This can be great for those who want to sell something unique and build their brand following.
In dropshipping, the vendors don’t stock up an inventory. Instead, what they do is act like a middleman between the manufacturer and customers.
So, how does dropshipping work? It’s fairly simple. First, when a customer purchases from your store, you take their order and record it. Then, you’ll forward this order directly to your manufacturer, often overseas, to cut costs. Upon receiving the order, the manufacturer will then fulfill this order by sending the product under your name.
So, you are just marketing a product while adding up your markup. Once a customer buys, you will forward this purchase to your supplier and get your markup from the sale. Because of this, you are not required to maintain a stock room full of your inventory to sell. This can save you a lot of money in the long term since you aren’t putting out a large upfront capital. And this can also determine how much you can make selling on Amazon in the long run.
Is Selling on Amazon Still Profitable in 2023?
Amazon generated $514.0 billion in 2022 as opposed to $469.8 billion in 2021 and the largest share of this revenue came from third-party sellers. This shows that the Amazon marketplace still has massive potential for third-party sellers who know how to milk it.
Over 64% of sellers were profitable in their first year of selling and you could be one of them too if you use the right strategies for success on Amazon. We have listed a few tips to help increase your chances of making money on Amazon.
How to Make Money From Selling on Amazon
When it comes to how much money sellers make on Amazon, the possibilities are endless, but you have to do what it takes. Making a profit is the sole reason for setting up an Amazon business, so if you’ve decided to sell on Amazon, you’re probably wondering how to make money selling on Amazon. Here’s how top Amazon sellers make money on the platform.
Set up a private-label business
Selling private-label products is a great way to make money on Amazon, especially for sellers who want to build a brand. By selling private-label products, you can step out from the general market and carve a space for yourself in the marketplace. As long as you sell in a profitable niche and provide quality products, you can make good cash selling private-label products on AMZ.
Maximize your profit margins
Many sellers focus on increasing their top line (revenue) but neglect their bottom line (profit). If you want to be a successful seller, you need to focus on maximizing your profit margins. Here are some strategies you can use:
- Your product should be priced twice as much as it costs to manufacture or purchase. This way, you can still make a decent profit even after deducting FBA fees and other expenses. You must be careful not to price your products too high; otherwise, potential customers will go to your competition.
- Improve your Amazon business efficiency by finding ways to cut costs. You could do this by finding a manufacturer who will produce your products at a lower cost or asking your supplier to ship your goods directly to Amazon’s Fulfillment Center. If you do not use FBA to fulfill orders, you should consider doing so, as FBA has lower shipping costs for sellers.
- Focus on growing a profitable Amazon business in the long run, not just short-term profits. One way to do this is by launching new products and expanding your offerings. Of course, you will need thorough product and market research before launching a new product. Also, focus on products that sell quickly and generate high sales volume, even if the profit margin is not so high.
- Choose the right products for your business model. You’ll have to decide if you want to sell new products or used items. Remember, many people shop on Amazon, so regardless of the option you go with, there’s an audience for you.
Don’t take product marketing lightly
Yes, Amazon gets a lot of traffic and gives your products a wider reach, but don’t assume that customers will stumble on your products. You have to be proactive about being visible to shoppers. One of the best ways to promote your products is through Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) Advertising. Amazon PPC targets shoppers who are already browsing for products on AMZ.
You can also take advantage of social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, and email marketing platforms.
How Much Time Do You Need to Invest in Your Amazon Business?
Scaling an Amazon business does not require much time, especially if you use Amazon software to execute major business processes like product research, keyword research, and listing optimization. An Amazon business is one of the best passive income sources which means that you do not need to invest so much time and energy before making money on Amazon.
A Junglescout survey of Amazon sellers showed the following results:
- 76% of sellers spend less than 20 hours per week on their businesses
- 22% of sellers spend less than four hours per week
- 31% of sellers spend between 4-10 hours every week.
- 23% of sellers spend between 11-20 hours per week
- Another 10% spend 21-30 hours on their businesses weekly
- 7% spend about 31-40 hours every week
- 2% spend between 41-50 hours
- Another 2% of sellers invest between 51-60 hours in their businesses
- 3% of sellers spend over 60 hours per week
Can I Register to Sell on Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh is AMZ’s grocery shopping and delivery platform. Shoppers can shop for groceries on this platform, then select a two-hour delivery window and have the items delivered to their doorstep.
Before now, third-party sellers could sign up to sell on this platform, but that is no longer the case.
Since third-party sellers can no longer sign up to sell on AMZ Fresh, AMZ manages the business through its Whole Foods subsidiary and employs drivers to deliver customer purchases. These drivers get paid and rewarded via Amazon Fresh Tips. Amazon Fresh Tips is AMZ’s way of letting customers reward drivers through their AMZ Fresh account. This way, customers pleased with the service and order delivery can anonymously leave tips for the drivers.
So, how much should you tip a driver? Typically, the website is set to add a $5 tip to your order automatically. You can leave it at this, or if you’re impressed with the driver’s service, you can increase the tip amount. We recommend leaving tips amounting to about 10-20% of the cost of your order.
Are you still wondering how much you can make selling on Amazon? The numbers don’t lie. Anyone can still become profitable on Amazon; Amazon is still a great place to start making money online and starting an Amazon business is always a great idea. However, once you become an Amazon seller, you’ll need to invest enough time and effort to leverage Amazon seller tools. Then you’re sure to build a sustainable and successful Amazon business.
There are many aspects of selling on AMZ that can only be done effectively with seller tools. From product research to finding target keywords, optimizing listings, PPC management, and other daily operations. You should invest in software tools that will support you in performing these tasks.
One of the best tools you should get is Zonbase, an all-in-one software tool designed to help with product research, keyword research, listing optimization, PPC management, and more. If you still want to know how much can you make selling on Amazon, start by utilizing this powerful tool.