How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory in 2023; 18 Alternative Models

Reading Time: 29 minutes

Are you intrigued by ecommerce but hesitant about dealing with inventory? If you’re a lifestyle entrepreneur or solopreneur exploring how to sell on Amazon without inventory, this article is for you. We’ll cut through the complexities of traditional inventory management and introduce you to worthy alternatives for selling on Amazon.

Imagine a market where you’re selling digital products like ebooks or using dropshipping to move goods directly to your customer—no warehouse, no stock, no hassle. This approach lets you focus on what really matters: competitive pricing, profit margins, and keeping your customers happy.

Ready to take your Amazon business to the next level without inventory woes? Stick around, as we’ll also discuss how Amazon’s FBA program is an alternative no-inventory path to your ecommerce business journey. Let’s dive into the inventory-free future of ecommerce on Amazon.

Quick Summary:

  1. Digital Products: From ebooks to audiobooks, digital products offer an easy entry point.
  2. No Inventory Required: Learn how to sell goods on Amazon without the hassle of managing inventory.
  3. Dropshipping: A popular alternative that eliminates the need for upfront inventory investment.
  4. Online Arbitrage: Buy low from other online platforms and sell high on Amazon.
  5. Self-Publishing: Write and publish your own ebooks or physical books through Amazon’s KDP and POD services.
  6. ACX Audiobooks: Narrate audiobooks for additional revenue streams.
  7. Amazon Associate: A quick way to start earning by directing traffic to Amazon’s site.
  8. Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon): While traditionally used for inventory, FBA also offers ways to sell without holding stock yourself.

How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory; 18 Alternative Selling Methods

1. Amazon Online Arbitrage

The opportunity in a nutshell

Much like retail arbitrage which I’ll touch on later in the article, Amazon online arbitrage is when you buy products at a low price and resell them for a higher price on Amazon. With online arbitrage as the name suggests, the entire transaction is carried out online.

Amazon Online Arbitrage in more detail

This excellent Amazon online business idea is great for those who want to avoid the hassle of going to physical stores to find retail arbitrage opportunities. You can take advantage of the price differences of products sold at lower prices on online stores other than Amazon.

It’s a perfect starter idea for those without a car, who are stuck at home, or who simply don’t want to deal with physical product inventory for their online store.

Although there are software programs to help you find arbitrage opportunities, it can be costly, and some people have difficulty finding enough deals that would make the cost of the software worthwhile.

Working the other way around can be more beneficial. On eCommerce sites, such as eBay, set alerts for products that have a higher value on Amazon.

If you’re looking to begin online arbitrage, a great way is by specializing in second-hand books. A lot of these used books have textbooks that can be resold at a higher value. You can buy these kinds of books cheaply on eBay and then sell them for profit on Amazon.

Another booming industry is reselling used electronics; some older models are worth a pretty penny. For instance;

This Sony DVD was sold for £67.99 on eBay.

Screenshot of Sony Combi DVD player for sale online

But on Amazon, this model sells at a much higher price.

Screenshot of Sony Combi DVD player for sale on Amazon website

How to Get Started With Online Arbitrage

Maybe you already have an interest in a niche with online arbitrage potential. If not, spend a little time researching to find a product selection group where you can exploit a price difference online.

Or for a step by step training program on all things Amazon with a particular focus on arbitrage, both online and retail, check out Jim Cockrum’s Proven Amazon Course, an affordable arsenal of tools and training to help you build your Amazon business.

how to sell on amazon without inventory - proven amazon course

2. Self Publishing Ebooks on Kindle KDP

The opportunity in a nutshell

Sell on Amazon by writing and self-publishing e-books through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Amazon KDP self-publishing in more detail

An obvious route to inventory-free selling, the Amazon Kindle e-reader gives people access to millions of books that they otherwise might not be able to read.

In the past, if an aspiring author wanted to get published, they would have to typeset their book and send it out hoping one of the major publishing houses would take them on. But now, with digital self-publishing anyone can write a book, format it for Kindle, and sell it on Amazon’s website.

E.L. James created a name for herself when she wrote and self-published 50 Shades of Grey, becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.

But you don’t need to write fiction or even a very long book to make money from self-publishing. You can earn money by selling short non-fiction ebooks via Amazon’s KDP program. Many people start by writing a short 30-50 page book on something they’re knowledgeable about—like gardening or knitting, for example.

Although you may think the topic is too small, there are still millions of Kindle users who might be interested. When you list your book with Amazon, it only takes 24 hours for it to appear as being for sale, and you get to keep 70% of the profits.

By writing and uploading multiple books, you increase your chances of making money through the Kindle KDP program. Not every book will be a bestseller, so it’s important to write shorter non-fiction guides instead of aiming for the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

How to Get Started with with the Kindle KDP Program

To get started as a published author on Amazon, read my in-depth post on how to self publish on Amazon kindle.

3. Self Publishing Print Books on Amazon

The opportunity in a nutshell

In addition to Kindle books, you can also self-publish regular paperback books via Amazon print-on-demand.

Self-publishing print books in more detail

Though e-readers are commonly used, there are still people who prefer physical books. For this audience, Amazon offers a print-on-demand (POD) service to self-publishing authors.

In the past, self-publishing a paperback book was an option, but it demanded a large investment for the first print run―with no guarantees of being profitable if the book didn’t sell well.

Print-on-demand book printing only occurs after a reader has purchased your book; therefore, you never have to worry about investing anything upfront. The per-book printing cost is automatically deducted from your proceeds of the sale.

If you use Amazon Print on Demand, not only can you get your books out into the market quickly, but also be assured that you’ll never experience an inventory shortage.

At 60%, royalties for POD books are just a bit lower than those through Kindle-KDP, making it one of the most profitable products to sell on Amazon with no need for physical inventory lingering in shelves or warehouses. It costs around $1 to print a 300-page book, and paperbacks typically have a higher price tag than ebooks, since they’re physical objects.

Right now, the US, EU, and Japan are the only countries with access to Amazon’s POD service.

How to get started Self Publishing Print Books on Amazon

Start by checking out the Amazon Print-on-Demand Guide. Self-publishing groups found on Youtube and Facebook will also be able to share knowledge. Amazon runs free webinars, too, to guide you through the self-publishing process.

4. Sell No Content and Low Content Books

The opportunity in a nutshell

You don’t have to be a fantastic writer to take advantage of print on demand self-publishing. You can design and self-publish books with no content instead. Not only can you sell on Amazon without inventory, but also with minimal content!

No-content and low-content book publishing in more detail

No-content and low-content books lack, well, content.

Oftentimes people purchase these because they want to use the book as a notebook or journal. Below is an example of what a standard page looks like inside one of these types of print-on-demand books;

A blank Journal page

You can easily design a professional-looking layout for your book in less than an hour using a word processor. After that, you just need to build up the design so it’s consistent throughout the book and format it correctly for printing.

There are plenty of different ideas for no-content and low-content books. Popular designs include;

  • Children’s activity books.
  • Puzzles and games.
  • Adult or children’s coloring books.
  • Journals, diaries, and other workbooks.
  • Calendars.

The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” clearly does not apply to this Amazon business venture. The success of your sales will largely depend on the appeal of your cover design.

Creating an impactful design is crucial, so you should be prepared to invest some time and effort into it. When brainstorming ideas, think about targeting specific keywords by using keyword research tools and niches rather than producing generic notebooks; for example;

Football Notebook Journal Posted for sale online

If you’re not strong on graphic design, you can hire a designer cheaply on Fiverr or Upwork to do the job for you.

Selling no-content and low-content books is a numbers game. The ease with which you can get your product to market means there is intense competition. All you’re really selling is a blank book with a design, so it’s commonplace for people who utilize this method to upload thousands of designs.

How to get started selling no-content and low-content books on Amazon

Read my guide on making money with low-content books.

5. Sell on Amazon Without Inventory by Narrating ACX Audiobooks

The opportunity in a nutshell

Selling without inventory with Amazon Audible by narrating your or other’s KDP books and selling the audio via ACX.com.

Amazon ACX audiobooks in more detail

ACX.com is an Amazon company for authors wanting to sell an audio version of their book.

Audiobooks are growing in popularity and it’s big business. A marketing insights report states that during the forecast period of 2021 – 2027, the global market for audiobooks will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.4%.

Amazon’s Audible is the audiobook section of Kindle, and they are available on the Amazon website, as well as Apple’s iTunes.

So how to get started?

If you have written your own book as per idea #3, you can then record an audio version and release that for sale too.

There are two routes you can choose;

You can either:

  • Record the audio yourself in a home studio that meets certain audio quality requirements, or
  • Hire a sound producer (freelance audio actor) to record the audio for you.

When you enter this market, one of the great benefits you’ll find is that because you’re selling a digital product, your overhead costs are low. You only have to record your book once and then you can sell the digital file over and over again.

If however, you’re not great at writing but have a voice made for radio, you can earn by narrating books for other writers.

ACX.com is a site that pairs authors in need of narrators with voice actors, making it easier to land gigs as a freelancer. Still, you’ll need to put in the effort by pitching for work and recording audition pieces.

For high-quality recordings, you need a great microphone, sound recording software, and a place where there is no background noise.

You can be paid for audiobook narration on ACX.com in three ways;

  • A straightforward per-hour rate.
  • A share of audiobook royalties of up to 50%.
  • A combination of the two.

As far as strategies to sell on Amazon without inventory, this is one of the most lucrative.

Someone new to this line of work can expect to earn $100 per finished hour of audio recording, though if you are blessed with a rich and pleasant-sounding voice, top earners can make as much as $500 per recorded hour.

How to get started Narrating and Selling Books on Audible

Read my guide on how to make money with Audible.

6. Become an Amazon Associate

The opportunity in a nutshell

One of the easiest routes to get started selling on Amazon without inventory. Make money by sending shopping traffic to the Amazon store as an affiliate marketer.

Amazon Associates in more detail

Referring web users to eCommerce pages and receiving commission payments when they make a purchase is called affiliate marketing.

One of the largest global programs for this activity is run by Amazon, who call it Amazon Associates. Promoting any of the millions of products available on Amazon via your website traffic is an easy way to monetize your site.

The affiliate’s commission is generally 3-5% of the product’s sale price, but it can be as high as 12%, depending on the category. One of the great benefits of Amazon Associates is that you earn a commission on everything a shopper buys for 24 hours after they follow your affiliate link.

If you are promoting Yoga Mats and a shopper buys some Yoga Pants, then you receive a commission payment for both items. Anything else they purchase within 24 hours will also generate passive income on Amazon for you.

Obviously, to make money from home with Amazon, web traffic is necessary; you need people viewing your content. But what kind of content should it be?

You can use any method you like to create content! Bloggers can explore a favorite topic in greater depth, while those who prefer video streaming can launch a YouTube channel.

Keep in mind that it might take some time to build an audience for your content once you’ve chosen your niche. In the meantime, launching social media accounts associated with your primary content will help divert people to your website or blog.

How to get started as an Amazon Associate

Check out my guide on how to make money as an Amazon affiliate.

7. Become an Amazon Influencer

The opportunity in a nutshell

Similar to becoming an Amazon associate, another great route to selling on Amazon without inventory is to become an Amazon Influencer.

Simply promote Amazon products for an affiliate commission as an Influencer via your Social Media accounts.

Amazon influencer in more detail.

Influencer marketing is now big business. In just a few short years, it’s gone from an easy way for celebrities to earn extra dollars from product placement to a global industry worth an estimated $5-$10 billion annually.

Screenshot of Jalissa Queen Profile

Why do influencer marketing strategies work? According to numerous market research, it meets that popular social proof, which has a big impact on online buying decisions. Before shoppers spend money online, they look for things like reviews from other customers.

Influencer product recommendations are a type of social proof. When an influencer endorses a product, their audience is more likely to trust the recommendation and make a purchase.

You don’t need to be famous to become an influencer―all you need is an engaged following who respect your opinion on a topic. Influencing is predominantly done through social media channels.

If you have a sizable audience on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, you could potentially be accepted to the Amazon Influencer Program (AIP).

With affiliate commissions, you make money by promoting other people’s products. The AIP is similar to the Amazon Associates program, but with a few key differences. For example, some social media platforms (like Instagram) don’t allow users to post affiliate links.

To get around this issue, the AIP gives influencers their own page on the Amazon marketplace. Influencers can select which products they want to feature on their page and then share a link with their followers. When someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase through Amazon, the influencer will earn a commission from that sale

There are a couple of points to be aware of with this Amazon money-making idea.

  1. You aren’t guaranteed to be accepted into the program, which is still relatively new.
  2. Making a decent income will require a large following or a small dedicated following with lots of high-priced products to promote.

How to get started as an Amazon Influencer

Read my guide on how to make money an Amazon influencer.

8. How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory With Merch by Amazon

The opportunity in a nutshell

Sell t-shirts, hoodies, and coffee mugs printed on-demand with your own designs.

Merch By Amazon in more detail

Although printing-on-demand has been around for decades, it is only recently that the technology has become widely available and accessible to businesses of all sizes- from small business start-ups to big-name brands.

Screenshot of merch by amazon

With the internet, companies providing on-demand services have become more prevalent. In 2015, Amazon decided to join these ranks by launching Merch by Amazon.

With this opportunity, you can earn money by simply creating a design; it could be something as simple as text or a more creative piece of art. After choosing the product you want to sell with your design printed on it, list it for sale on Amazon.

A key advantage of print-on-demand is that there’s no need to manufacture products upfront and pay for a bunch of inventory – meaning you can focus solely on designing.

The Merch by Amazon service is currently only available to those who have been invited. However, it is still possible to request an invitation on the homepage. Keep in mind that you will need to make a strong case for yourself in order to be accepted into the program.

Remember that competition will be stiff, so your designs really need to stand out from the rest if you want any chance at success. Keep in mind that your designs cannot violate anyone else’s copyrighted material, or Amazon may take down your design with no prior notice.

If you’re looking to sell T-shirts and other products emblazoned with YOUR design, Merch by Amazon is likely the best service for you–especially if you have an existing audience from platforms such as YouTube. People usually feel more connected to a community when they purchase merchandise, so selling through this platform gives customers a sense of belonging to something larger.

How to get started with Merch by Amazon

To get started, head over to the Merch by Amazon page to request an invite.

9. How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory by Dropshipping

The opportunity in a nutshell

By creating a product listing on Amazon, you can cut out the middleman and sell directly to consumers. Once you receive an order, the third-party will ship it straight to your customer.

Amazon Dropshipping in more detail

With dropshipping, you act as a middleman between a manufacturer/distributor and customer. You list products for sale on a marketplace, then when you make a sale, you purchase the product from the manufacturer/distributor who ships it directly to the buyer. You earn money by charging the buyer more than what you pay for the product.

Before you can dropship on Amazon, you need to do your product research. Look for an in-demand item that doesn’t have a lot of competition. When you’ve found the type of product you want to sell, find a manufacturer/distributor who supplies it.

Verify that they offer dropshipping and find out their per-unit price for using this service shipping directly to a third party customer. Based on this price information, create a listing on Amazon with pricing that reflects your cost plus desired profit margin while also including the shipping fee.

Dropshipping has a low barrier to entry, so many people are in competition with one another. Those who succeed make good profits.

Some advantages of dropshipping are that you don’t need to manage manufacturing and you can start with little money. However, some challenges may include working hard to generate sales or getting accustomed Amazon PPC advertising.

Be wary of long shipping times when dropshipping from China-based manufacturers/distributors – your customers may have to wait several weeks for their purchase. Additionally, since you won’t see the product before it’s sold, there’s always a chance the finished product won’t meet the quality standards set by the manufacturer’s sales images.

How to get started Dropshipping on Amazon

Many products sold by dropshippers on the Amazon marketplace are found on the Aliexpress website. Browse the website to discover products you’d like to sell.

You will need to do some detailed product research on Amazon before committing to a listing. JungleScout has a good post about the dropshipping model and also has the best tool for product research.

Also read my guide on how to dropship on Amazon.

10. Start a Consulting Services for New Amazon Sellers

The opportunity in a nutshell

While not strictly selling ‘on’ Amazon, if you’ve previously been an Amazon online seller and would like to generate an income without investing in inventory, selling your experience as an Amazon seller to help those just getting started on the platform, could be a lucrative avenue for you.

Consulting Services in more detail

With the internet’s help, it has become increasingly easier to sell consultancy services. If you have significant experience selling on Amazon, you can use that knowledge to market and sell your professional consulting services

With an opportunity such as Amazon, where there is always someone new trying to break into the market, you could make a living by acting as a consultant. Your value would be in your ability to show them how to use the platform quickly or help them avoid making common mistakes.

There are several different areas you might offer a service;

  • Some people will want an introduction to the platform and need low-level assistance to get up and running.
  • Some sellers will already be active on the platform but are having difficulty getting sales, so they will want help optimizing product listings.
  • Other sellers may be doing OK, but they want to take it to the next level and understand the ins and outs of PPC.

The amount of necessary expertise for each scenario varies, so there are plenty of opportunities to enter this market, even if you can only help those launching on Amazon for the first time.

Screenshot of Amazon Cousultancy Services

(Image Source)

As a consultant, you will need to demonstrate professionalism. Your clients will want to see tangible results if they are paying you for your expertise. So you should consider putting together some consultancy packages that explain in detail what your clients can expect.

How to get started as an Amazon Consultant

You could dip your toe in the water with a simple Fiverr gig, but to land serious clients with the promise of ongoing work, you’ll need your own website that communicates your value proposition.

Or approach one of the Amazon FBA course programs and offer your services as a consultant to their students for a cut of your income.

11. Sell Your Own Online Amazon Course

The opportunity in a nutshell

Rather than selling your experience one to one as a consultant, package up your knowledge into an online video course and sell to many.

Selling an Online Course in more detail

If you’ve previously built your own business on Amazon either via FBA, arbitrage, merch, etc, or have worked with a successful Amazon business owner and have gathered the relevant expertise, you can easily package up your knowledge into a step by step video course and sell online.

Using online platforms such as thinkific.com or podia.com and your mobile phone and computer, you simply record & upload different modules covering all aspects of preparing, launching and growing an Amazon business.

If you already have an audience of some kind you could sell the course on your own website or social media platform. If not, use sites like udemy.com or skillshare.com to promote and sell your program.

An online course is a great way to monetize your skills and expertise to teach others how to build their own business using Amazon. On the downside, you do need to stay updated with the latest platform or regulation changes and be constantly updating your videos to reflect any new information.

Screenshot of Complete Amazon Guide with step details on Everything you need to know
Jim Cockrum – Proven Amazon Course

How to get started making money with your own online Amazon course

Read through my step by step guide to building a 6 figure online course.

12. Sell Your Music on Amazon Music

The opportunity in a nutshell

If you’re a musician, a fantastic way to sell on Amazon without inventory is to sell your sweet sounds on Amazon music. Simply upload your media files and distribute across Amazon for people to purchase and enjoy!

Amazon Music in More Detail

Amazon music is a digital art platform for listening to and purchasing music. It is one of the largest and most popular music streaming services in the world, with millions of songs available to stream or download at any given time.

Artists can upload their own music to Amazon Music in order to reach new audiences and make money from their work, while listeners can access a wide range of content from both major and independent artists.

Amazon music is incredibly popular, with millions of people listening to it every day. This is largely due to the wide range of content available on Amazon, including everything from mainstream pop and rock songs to niche genres like electronic music and indie folk.

In addition to its popularity among listeners, Amazon music also has a strong following among artists, with many musicians choosing to sell their music on Amazon in order to reach a wider audience and make money from their work.

Screenshot of sample amazon music

How to get started with Amazon Music

If you want to upload and sell music on Amazon, the easiest route is to use Tunecore, and follow these steps:

1. Sign up for a Tunecore account by visiting the Tunecore website and clicking on the “Sign Up” button. You will need to provide your name, email address, country of residence, and payment information in order to create an account.

2. Once you have created your account, login and click on the “Upload Music” button to begin uploading your music files to Tunecore. You can either upload individual tracks or whole albums at once depending on what works best for you.

3. Once your audio tracks are uploaded to Tunecore, they will be reviewed by their team of experts to make sure that they meet all of the necessary quality and licensing requirements. You will be notified via email once your tracks have been approved.

4. Once your music is ready to go, you can start selling it on Amazon through the Tunecore platform. Simply click on the “Sell” button for each track or album you want to sell, select Amazon as your sales channel, and enter any additional information required by Amazon such as a product description and pricing details.

5. That’s it – you can now sit back, relax, and start making money from your music on Amazon.

13. Sell on Amazon FBA

As an Amazon FBA seller you don’t have to physically hold onto inventory so I couldn’t write this article without mentioning this opportunity.

The opportunity in a nutshell

The Amazon FBA program provides fulfillment services to third-party sellers. The basic premise is, that you create or private label your own product, store it in Amazon’s warehouse, and they will ship it directly to the customer as a sale is made.

However, you will need to purchase and send plenty of inventory to the Amazon warehouse, so from a financial investment point of view, you do need to make a significant upfront investment into inventory, even though you don’t physically have to hold it.

Explanation of Fulfilment by Amazon

Amazon FBA in More Detail

You don’t have to be a big corporation to sell products on Amazon. Any adult can apply to become a third-party seller, and reach the millions of shoppers that use the Amazon Marketplace every day.

You can use the Amazon platform in two ways. The first is a bit like eBay, you list products for sale which you keep stock of at home; except after you make a sale on Amazon, instead of shipping it to the customer, Amazon does that for you, and only charges a small selling fee.

The preferable way to start selling on Amazon is by signing up for their Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) program. With this service, Amazon takes care of all the logistics for you, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business.

Not only can you store your products in an Amazon warehouse, but they will also ship the product to your customer for you after a sale is made.

The FBA program provides entrepreneurs with multiple benefits, including:

  • The ability to operate their business from any location globally without needing to organize their own warehousing.
  • Being relieved of responsibility for shipping and logistics so they can focus on business growth.
  • The ability to access the millions of customers that use Amazon Marketplace

How to get started with Amazon FBA

Read through my mammoth post on how my husband & I built a 7 figure Amazon business, download my free business starter checklist and take action!

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

14. Get Accepted Into the Amazon Accelerator Program

The opportunity in a nutshell

Build a private label business selling products under your own brand with the chance of your selling as one of Amazon’s ‘own brands.’

Amazon Accelerator in more detail

In 2022, Amazon expects to achieve around $25 billion in sales of its own branded products.

But have you ever wondered how Amazon finds the time to design and develop all these various products in so many categories?

The short answer is they don’t. What Amazon does instead, in many cases, is choose products designed by third-party sellers which already have strong sales.

In the past, Amazon has been accused of stealing designs from successful sellers. But Amazon also actively works with third-party sellers to bring designs as an Amazon ‘our brand’ product.

Screenshot of different amazon private brands logo

Obviously, having your product be selected as an ‘our brand’ on Amazon will significantly help your business. However, you may be wondering how you can get noticed by Amazon at all.

The Amazon Accelerator program is one way to join, which commits you to the possibility of Amazon buying your brand and then making you a supplier. This also means losing control over your IP because Amazon can make all future decisions about your brand and product, including taking over production.

However, on the brighter side, joining provides you with an array of tools that test, launch and market new products.

How to get started with the Amazon Accelerator Program

Head over the signup page for the Amazon Accelerator program.

15. Use FBA with the Amazon Wholesale Model

The opportunity in a nutshell

Sell high-demand branded products in bulk on Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon Wholesale in more detail

Most third-party sellers use the private label method, but the Amazon wholesale model is different. With this method, instead of designing and manufacturing your own product brand in China, you buy already existing popular branded products directly from the manufacturer to list for sale under FBA.

The Amazon Wholesale model is distinct from the arbitrage version mentioned in Ideas #1 & #17. With online/retail arbitrage, you find discounts on a limited number of products at online or physical stores. However, with Amazon Wholesale, you buy pallets of goods at wholesale prices.

Since you are selling items that come from existing brands on Amazon, the competition can be tough to beat. Since price wars occur often, margins usually stay low in this market niche.

In order to make a profit, you need to negotiate a lower price when buying your stock in bulk from the manufacturer. The cheaper you can get the product, the more money you will make down the line.

If you sell existing branded products, you don’t have to create listings or produce photos. You can use the listing that is already created and piggy-back off its ranking. However, some wholesale sellers like to improve the listing when it doesn’t rank well.

Profit margins are often slim for Amazon Wholesale sellers; as a result, some of them utilize both the FBA and FBM models and process order fulfillment themselves to generate a slightly better return than just relying on FBA.

For this reason, many people who do the Amazon Wholesale model have their own space to store product in large quantities. To truly make this a model in which you don’t need any inventory you’d need to rely on FBA and get the products shipped directly to the Amazon warehouses.

How to Get Started with Amazon Wholesale

To get started with the Amazon Wholesale model, read through this excellent Jungle Scout article on selling wholesale on Amazon.

16. Sell on Amazon Handmade

The opportunity in a nutshell

If you don’t want to buy or invest in any inventory but are a crafter and make your own products then Amazon Handmade could be for you.

Amazon Handmade in more detail

Following the success of Etsy, Amazon has launched a space for those that handmade artisanal products to sell their wares. Called Amazon Handmade, it requires a strict application process to ensure that the products you sell are genuinely handmade.

Screenshot of Amazon handmade Landing Page

There is a straightforward fee pricing structure for sellers, the only fee charged to sellers is a flat referral fee based on the selling price of 15%.

You can sell all manner of products across several different categories, including artwork, baby products, clothing, bags, and jewelry. But you can’t use Amazon Handmade to sell digital products like e-books or any technology and electrical items.

Once you are accepted to the Amazon Handmade program, you are assigned your own vanity URL to list your products for sale.

You can increase traffic to your product page by sharing it on social media or writing about it on a blog. You can also promote your products to sell on Amazon using Amazon advertising services.

An advantage of selling handmade items opposed to, say, factory-made products is that you can design a multitude of objects but only produce them when you receive a customer order. This system enables you to maintain control over costs and not have to financially invest in inventory from the beginning.

Because you offer a handmade product that is high quality, your customers are investing in your skills and the fact that your product is exclusive. Therefore, they should be content with waiting until after you have finished making their purchase.

Some sellers have noted that the fees on Amazon are quite a bit higher than the ones charged by similar sites such as Etsy. However, Amazon has much higher traffic volumes, so this may be something you are prepared to live with in return for the increased exposure.

How to get started Making Money with Amazon Handmade

To get started, head over to the dedicated page for Amazon Handmade. For further information and a comparison with selling on Etsy, check out my guide on Amazon Handmade vs Etsy.

17. Retail Arbitrage

The opportunity in a nutshell

Similar to online arbitrage, this opportunity is close the bottom of this list as there is physical stock involved, although you can limit your exposure and minimize costs. The basic premise of retail arbitrage is to flip branded products for profit that you find discounted in brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Retail Arbitrage in more detail

You don’t have to limit yourself to selling only your own private label products as an Amazon FBA seller. You can also sell branded products that you purchase at a discount from large retailers like Walmart or Target.

Retail arbitrage is understanding the relationships between supply and demand. For example, a bigger store may have too much of an item in stock or need to free up space in their warehouse, so they lower the price significantly.

You can buy more than one of that item and send them into Amazon’s Warehouse for sale through FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).

One thing to be aware of is that you won’t be able to sell every discounted item you find. Some brands restrict the reselling of their products on the Amazon platform. Plus, when you initially start selling on Amazon, you are limited to certain categories until you have built up a track record.

So before you buy anything to flip with FBA retail arbitrage, check that you have permission to sell it with the Amazon Seller smartphone app. You scan a product’s barcode to see the selling price on Amazon and if you can resell it.

There are a couple more caveats to this method, too. You are not guaranteed to find bargains every time you go looking for them. And delivering sizeable returns requires you to visit multiple stores to buy multiples of stock, so it’s a fair bit of work.

But, retail arbitrage is an accessible entry method for selling on Amazon without having to spend thousands investing in large chunks of inventory.

You can get to learn the ins and outs of trading on the platform, it requires little money to start, and you can use it as a way to build up some capital to launch another Amazon business.

How to get started making money from Amazon with Retail Arbitrage

To get started, register as an Amazon seller for your local marketplace, download the Amazon Seller app, hit the shops, and start scanning.

Also check out this very comprehensive retail arbitrage guide from the team at JungleScout.

Retail Arbitrage is one of the best Amazon side hustles for raising funds to move into the more profitable FBA model. If you’re looking for step by step training on how to get started with this opportunity, check out Jim Cockrum’s Proven Amazon Course, an affordable arsenal of tools and training on all things Amazon with a particular focus on arbitrage, both online and retail,

how to sell on amazon without inventory - proven amazon course

18. Trade Unwanted Items on Amazon Trade-In

The opportunity in a nutshell

Earn credit to spend on the Amazon store by trading in old, unwanted items.

Amazon Trade-In in More Detail

While technically not a way how to sell on Amazon without inventory, the Amazon Trade-in program is a way to earn credit to spend when shopping on Amazon.

The trade-in service only accepts certain items, which may differ depending on the country. For example, amazon.com marketplace users can trade in cell phones, Apple AirPods, books, and console games.

While on the amazon.co.uk site, you can only trade in Amazon devices like Kindle and Echo. So you will need to check first on your local Amazon website for what you can currently receive credit for.

With an understanding of what each marketplace will accept, you can begin a side hustle using a kind of arbitrage model. You can continuously monitor the Facebook local classified listings to see if there are potential trade-ins at a price where you could turn a profit.

You can also check out local thrift stores, boot sales, and garage sales for trade-in items at a reasonable price.

If you have old eligible products to trade in, Amazon will give you credit that you can use for other purchases on the site. You could also spend your Amazon credit on groceries and save your regular currency for other expenses like starting up another business.

How to get started

To make a start, check the Amazon Trade-In page for your local Amazon site to see what sort of items Amazon is currently accepting in your region.

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory: Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Ease of Setup: Learning how to set up an Amazon seller account is straightforward, letting you get started with selling without a hitch.
  2. Amazon Prime Eligibility: Utilizing Amazon FBA for dropshipping or reselling makes your products Prime-eligible, attracting a larger customer base.
  3. Sell Other People’s Products: You can learn how to sell other people’s products on Amazon through techniques like dropshipping or affiliate marketing, reducing the need for your own inventory.
  4. Low Start-Up Costs: Knowing how to start Amazon selling without inventory means you avoid significant upfront costs related to manufacturing or stocking products.
  5. SEO and Keywords: Amazon provides tools to help you integrate relevant keywords, making your products more visible to potential customers.

Cons

  1. Limited Branding: Amazon storefront bio examples may show some customization, but your branding options are restricted compared to running your own website.
  2. Dependency: Embracing only on “how to Amazon sell” in this method makes you reliant on Amazon’s ecosystem, which could be risky if policy changes occur.
  3. Competition: The best things to resell on Amazon are often also the most competitive, requiring you to spend more on marketing.
  4. Shipping and Dispatch: If you opt for FBA, you have to follow Amazon’s guidelines on preparing for dispatch, which may be stringent.
  5. Fees and Commissions: While you might be looking for the best way to sell on Amazon, remember that FBA and other third-party services come with fees that can eat into your profits.

How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory – Summary

Amazon is a force to be reckoned with and an incredible opportunity for you to build a business off the back of.

You don’t need thousands of dollars or thousands of units of inventory to generate a lot of income on the platform. The Mikkelsen Twins as an example have made well over seven figures selling self published and audible books on Amazon.

For myself and my husband building an Amazon FBA business resulted in life-changing income and financial freedom and there’s no reason it can’t do the same for you.

Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful and have identified plenty of ways of how to sell on Amazon without holding any inventory.

Now, go make it happen!

How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory – FAQ’s

How to sell on Amazon without selling products?

Amazon isn’t just for those who have products to sell. One fantastic alternative is Amazon’s affiliate marketing scheme called Amazon Associates. Essentially, you can make money by steering folks toward products available on Amazon. If they make a purchase, you can earn a commission that goes up to 10%. It’s a solid way to cash in on your social media following or website traffic without having to sell a single product yourself.

What is the Amazon FBA platform and how does it help in selling products online?

Amazon FBA, which stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, is a platform that lets sellers store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Once a sale is made, Amazon takes over by packing and shipping the product to the customer, even handle customer service support. This allows sellers to focus on growing their business rather than getting bogged down by logistics. Customer reviews can be crucial in this business model.

B: Interestingly, you can even use Amazon FBA without inventory of your own by leveraging dropshipping or retail arbitrage. This makes it one of the versatile ways to sell on Amazon. However, it’s crucial to consider FBA fees when developing your pricing strategy for your products, as these can eat into your profit margins. Overall, Amazon FBA provides a streamlined approach for offering FBA products, saving you time and potentially boosting your sales.

Can you sell on Amazon without fulfillment?

Selling a product on Amazon isn’t tied exclusively to using their fulfillment services, like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). Instead, you can opt for FBM, which stands for “Fulfillment by Merchant.” In this model, you’re in control of storing, packing, and shipping your products directly to the customer.

FBM gives you more hands-on involvement in your business operations, which could be a great fit if you’re keen on managing your own inventory and shipping processes. However, keep in mind that you’ll also be responsible for customer service related to shipping and returns, which could add to your workload.

By choosing FBM for your business, you can save on Amazon’s storage and fulfillment fees, but you’ll need to factor in your own costs for these tasks. So, weigh the pros and cons to decide if this is the right path for you. Either way, the choice is yours, and both

Do I need to purchase inventory to sell on Amazon?

No, you don’t have to stock up on inventory to start selling on Amazon. There are alternative business models like offering digital products—think ebooks or audiobooks that customers can download. You can also opt for a dropshipping approach, eliminating the need for you to manage inventory or worry about storage fees.

Dropshipping also allows you to sidestep many of the responsibilities associated with shipping and customer service, as third party logistics providers can handle these for you. This model can contribute to a thriving online business while still delivering quality customer service and high customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re managing your own products or relying on dropshipping, Amazon’s fulfillment centers offer another path to take some of the shipping and customer service load off your shoulders. Ultimately, the route you choose will depend on your business goals and how hands-on you wish to be with inventory and customer relations.

How can I start selling print on demand products on Amazon?

You can absolutely venture into selling print on demand items using Amazon’s platform. This approach eliminates the need for physical inventory. You just focus on creating compelling designs, and those designs get printed onto products whenever a customer makes a purchase.

One of the biggest advantages here is the potential for good profit margins. Since you’re not holding inventory, you avoid storage costs, allowing you to price your products competitively. Plus, each time a customer purchases one of your print-on-demand items, it could boost sales for your entire product range.

Leveraging Amazon’s vast customer base can provide a significant lift to your print on demand business. By focusing on ways to provide excellent customer service, you can not only meet but also exceed expectations, thereby increase customer satisfaction. All in all, selling print on demand products on Amazon can be a lucrative and customer-friendly way to expand your business.

What is a third-party fulfillment center and how does it work?

A third-party fulfillment center is an external facility that takes on the roles of inventory management, storage, and shipping on your behalf. Often utilized by Amazon FBA sellers, these centers are responsible for storing your items, fulfilling orders, managing returns, and keeping an eye on inventory.

These centers integrate smoothly with Amazon Seller Central, allowing you a centralized dashboard to manage reselling on Amazon. Whether you’re involved in dropshipping and FBA, or sourcing products from reliable suppliers, a third-party fulfillment center can simplify your operations.

A third-party supplier often offers an array of services that extend beyond just shipping and storage. They can also help you tap into multiple sales channels while maintaining product quality. Overall, using a third-party fulfillment center can be a strategic move to streamline your business operations and focus on growth.

Can I sell digital versions of products on Amazon?

Yes, selling digital products such as ebooks and downloadable audiobooks is a popular way to sell on Amazon without maintaining physical inventory. This eliminates the need for warehouse storage and inventory management.

How does dropshipping work on Amazon?

Dropshipping allows you to sell products on Amazon without ever touching the physical inventory. When a customer orders a product from your Amazon listing, that order is automatically sent to a third-party dropshipping service, which then takes care of fulfilling the order.

This approach simplifies your selling process significantly. There’s no need to worry about tasks like “Amazon preparing for dispatch,” as the dropshipping service takes care of these logistical details for you.

For those wondering, “Can I sell products on Amazon this way?” the answer is yes. However, if you’re looking for more control or added features, Amazon FBA help resources are available to guide you on how to become Amazon FBA certified. This could offer a more comprehensive solution for your business, but dropshipping remains a viable, inventory-free alternative.

Do I need my own warehouse space to sell on Amazon?

You definitely don’t need a personal warehouse to become a seller on Amazon. The platform’s FBA program, as well as third-party fulfillment centers, can manage your inventory and handle the shipping for you, eliminating the need for your own storage space.

By opting for these services, you can direct your focus toward reaching potential customers and ramping up your marketing efforts. You won’t have to stress about holding inventory or managing shipping logistics, freeing you up to encourage customer reviews and respond to customer inquiries.

Moreover, using Amazon FBA gives you the added advantage of making your products available to Amazon Prime customers. This not only can boost your sales but also provides an avenue for valuable customer feedback, helping you continually improve your offerings and customer experience.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

View All Comments

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap