How to Make Money on Amazon Without Selling Physical Inventory

Feb 22, 2024



Sure, Amazon FBA remains 70% cheaper than comparable two-day shipping options, but maintaining physical inventory is still a headache, so the question on many seller’s mind is, how to make money on Amazon without selling physical products? The good news is, it’s totally possible to make money online without selling anything that you can hold in your hands. Think about the Amazon affiliate program, optimizing a product listing for other Amazon sellers, being an Amazon VA (you’d even help other sellers find products to sell online!), and much more. The point is, it’s entirely possible to make a lot of money without having to deal with storage, shipment, and actual inventory.

Dive in to this week’s blog and see how you can generate income without needing inventory of your own. Imagine yourself chilling at your laptop, enjoying your new relaxing life, without having to deal with warehousing, shipping delays, and more. Drop a smattering of localization into your efforts, and you’ll find that you can pursue this life to much success.

Keep on reading – let’s explore some of the ways you can make money on Amazon without selling physical inventory.

Understanding How to Make Money On Amazon Without Selling

The usual format for selling on Amazon is textbook: you’d find a product with a good demand, see if you can lower operating expenses by finding a good supplier, optimize your listings, and start selling. The fine print is pretty long, though…there are many obstacles along the way and so many headaches that Amazon sellers encounter.

That’s why it’s probably a good idea to explore an Amazon business that isn’t reliant on physical inventory. Let’s dive in to the ways to to make money – and how localization can help you supercharge these efforts even more. After all, you don’t have to stick to conventional routes; you can  100% make money on Amazon without selling. Let’s get into the details!

The Amazon Influencer Program: Make Money On Amazon Without Selling Your Own Products

One way to make money on Amazon without selling is through the Amazon Influencer program, which is great if you’ve got a strong social media following.

The Amazon Influencer Program is an extension of the Amazon Associate’s initiative, and enables people with a strong social following to endorse products and earn commissions on sales generated through their recommendations, with potential earnings going up to 10% per sale. Unlike the Associates Program that targets niche website or blog owners, the Influencer Program facilitates product promotion directly on social platforms.

This is one excellent way to make money on Amazon without selling – by promoting someone else’s products and let them worry about the sales! Earnings are dependent on your influence; certain categories like Luxury Beauty offer commissions as high as 10%. Also, influencers can earn through onsite commissions by creating content directly linked to Amazon product pages, thus expanding their earning opportunities without direct promotion.

Why Localization Matters if You Want to Succeed as an Amazon Influencer

Naturally, when sellers are looking for Amazon Influencers, they’re better off engaging influencers who understand the market in the areas the seller wants to improve sales in, with a strong following in their specific market. Now, let’s say you’re an American influencer who’s got a strong following of surfers in California. Would you really feel comfortable speaking to surfers in the Gold Coast? Consider things like the difference in wave height, the best seasons to surf, lingo, and so on. (Did you know that Aussie surfers are more aggressive than American surfers?)

This is where localization comes in, if you want to use the Amazon Influencer program to make money on Amazon without selling. Remember your market and appeal to them, and use your unique awareness of what they want and need. This will help you help other sellers sell much better – and increase your earnings at the end of the day.

Make Money Without Selling by Crafting Amazon Product Descriptions

Enter the agency model – whether you choose to put up your own firm, join a preexisting one, or fashion yourself as a freelancer, writing product descriptions is a great way to make money on Amazon without selling physical products.

Frankly, a lot of sellers don’t have the time to do their own copywriting, which means they’ll probably rely on whatever their suppliers sent them – and if these suppliers are from China, the text they’ll get is likely run through Google Translate and doesn’t make much sense. But to sell a product on Amazon, a well-written and well-researched product description is crucial.

If you can write well, a great way to make money on amazon in 2024 without selling physical products is through copywriting. You’d need to have a firm grasp of the best practices in copywriting and SEO in order to make money from Amazon sellers who would prefer to outsource this sort of thing.

Here’s a ballpark idea of how much you’d earn by offering these Amazon services:

  • Per Word: Freelance writers might charge anywhere from $0.05 to $0.50 per word for high-quality, SEO-optimized product descriptions.
  • Per Description: Some writers prefer to charge per product description, with rates ranging from $15 to $100 or more, depending on the length and complexity of the description.
  • Hourly Rate: Writers who charge by the hour may earn $20 to $100 or more, depending on their expertise and the specific requirements of the project.

For instance, if you charge $50 per product description and you write two descriptions per day, you could potentially earn $100 daily, equating to approximately $2,000 per month if working full-time (20 days a month). This is a rough estimate and actual earnings can be higher or lower based on the volume of work, your pricing model, and the nature of your clients.

Localization in Product Descriptions

If you have the ability to customize your writing to suit different markets, you’ll probably be able to charge even more. If you write in English, make sure you also understand how the Canadians, Australians, and British customers communicate, what they like, and how they want to be sold to. The same can be said for European Spanish vs. Mexican Spanish; European French vs. Canadian French; Flemish vs. Dutch; and so forth. You should know that many sellers come to YLT Translations precisely for this kind of work, because our translators are all native speakers that understand what each market wants to see when they look at a product description. By localizing your approach to selling a product on Amazon through the spoken word, you guarantee your clients a higher rate of success, and therefore, the chances of you making money on Amazon in 2024 without any products of your own get much, much higher.

Make Money Without Selling Physical Products By Offering Graphic Design Services to Amazon Sellers

Many Amazon sellers make the mistake of taking quick photos with their phones and calling it a day. Or they might put something together really quickly on Canva or Photoshop, pursuing the bare minimum instead of maximizing the potential of amazing images and A+ in order to truly sell their product.

If you’re proficient in graphic design, then this is the path for you. Instead of selling your own physical products, help other sellers sell their products instead by helping them market their items through amazing images. You earn money by delivering beautiful images that communicate a product’s unique selling proposition and features in a way that appeals to the customer base. If you find clients who have several brands under their belt, then you’re much better off, because there’s a chance you’ve earned yourself a repeat customer. Graphic design is one of the most popular methods to make money on Amazon without selling, because there’s an immediate and quantifiable uptick in conversion once a beautiful set of images is uploaded to a listing.

Localizing Graphic Designs for Amazon Listings

This is where transcreation may come into play. If you’re planning to be a graphic designer for Amazon sellers in a ploy to earn money on Amazon without selling products, then it’s your responsibility to learn what each market wants to see – or at least, ask the right questions of your clients so you can localize and transcreate the images accurately. For example, a client aiming for an elegant, luxury feel might opt for black images to communicate sophistication and wealth, but the same images won’t resonate in the Middle East, where black is representative of evil, mourning, darkness, and bad luck.

Go that extra mile with your clients, and provide them with a touch of localization when you’re creating their images. It’ll resonate with them, especially when they see that your advice leads to improved conversion in different regions.

Make Money from Amazon From Home: Working in Amazon’s Customer Support

Amazon’s ongoing expansion and a staggering revenue of $574.8bn in 2023 means it’s a well-sought-after employer. Unlike the broader tech sector, which faced over 224,000 layoffs in 2023, Amazon’s robust performance is a beacon of stability for job seekers. So, if you want to make money on Amazon without selling physical products, another potential way is by working in Amazon’s customer support department.

Amazon’s got a bunch of openings in the customer service field, from delivery station associates, program managers, technical customer support managers, and more. Plus, job locations vary widely, providing ample opportunities regardless of your geographic location.

Sure, some jobs require you to go to the office, but Amazon still lists remote customer service roles. Mind you, these positions are competitive and fill quickly, so if that’s something that interests you, be sure to keep an eye on the job market and apply promptly when the opportunity arises.

Even if you’ve had no prior job experience, you can find work as a customer support representative at Amazon; you should definitely be 18 or older, computer proficient, and legally allowed to work in your location. If however you’ve got more experience – especially if you were an Amazon seller yourself – you’d aim for a higher-level position, which would have a longer list of more specific requirements. Amazon’s comprehensive benefits package includes healthcare from day one, a 401(k) with match, paid time off, and an employee discount.

Salaries for Amazon’s customer service roles vary, with entry-level positions reportedly offering an average of $16.45 an hour, though Amazon’s cited average hourly wage is $20.50. The potential for internal promotion is significant, with roles such as Customer Success Manager and Senior Program Manager offering salaries starting at $52,400 and $92,500 per year, respectively.

The Importance of Multilingual Support

This one’s a no-brainer. Amazon continues to serve a global customer base, so the demand from multilingual customer service representatives is on the rise. Providing support in multiple languages not only enhances the customer experience, but also underscores Amazon’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. Throw in an understanding of cultural nuances to tailor services to specific regions, and you’re golden.

Let’s say you take on the role of a customer service representative. You’d know that speaking to German customer would be different when speaking to Japanese customers. That awareness is a surefire way to earn money without selling – and likely to get you a promotion sooner than later.

The Role of a Virtual Assistant in Amazon Selling

Here’s another way to make money on Amazon without selling products – be a virtual assistant. Nowadays, VAs know the end to end of running an Amazon business, from communicating with Seller Central to research on which products to sell on Amazon, and even copywriting and graphic design. VAs have become imperative to any seller that hopes to scale up; it helps the seller offload tasks to free the seller up to concentrate on growth.

Now, the salary of a VA will vary depending on many different factors:

  1. Experience Level:
    1. Beginner VAs might earn anywhere from $3 to $10 per hour, especially if they are still learning the ropes of Amazon’s platform and the specifics of the tasks they are required to perform.
    2. Intermediate VAs, with a good grasp of Amazon’s ecosystem and proficient in tasks like product research, listing optimization, and basic customer service, can command hourly rates from $10 to $20.
    3. Expert VAs who can handle more complex tasks such as PPC campaign management, advanced SEO, detailed analytics, and strategic planning for Amazon stores, might earn $20 to $40 per hour or more.
  2. Services Offered:
    1. VAs offering specialized services such as graphic design, copywriting for listings, or in-depth market analysis can often charge higher rates.
  3. Geographical Location:
    1. VAs from countries with a lower cost of living might charge less than those from countries with a higher cost of living due to the differences in living expenses.
  4. Working Hours:
    1. Full-time VAs might have a fixed monthly rate as opposed to hourly rates, ranging widely from $500 to $3000 per month, depending on their level of expertise and the complexity of their tasks.
  5. Clientele:
    1. Working with established Amazon sellers or agencies can also influence earnings, as they may have more resources to pay for experienced VAs.
  6. Freelancing Platform:
    1. The platform through which a VA finds work can also impact earnings. Platforms like Upwork or Freelancer might take a percentage of earnings as a fee, but they can also help VAs find consistent work.

Nevertheless, the best part about being a VA is that work is constant. There will never be a lack of clients; almost every Amazon seller knows that in order to make a profit, certain tasks need to be delegated, so a professional and effective VA is worth their weight in gold.

Navigating Marketplaces with Localization Strategies

A VA leveraging localization can significantly increase their effectiveness and add incredible value to their clients’ businesses.

1. Understanding Local Market Trends:

  • Market Research: Conduct detailed research on local market trends, consumer preferences, and seasonal demands specific to the regions your client targets. This enables you to tailor product listings and marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Competition Analysis: Analyze local competitors to understand their strategies, pricing, and customer engagement. Use these insights to advise your client on how to differentiate their products and approach.

2. Localized Product Listings:

  • Language Adaptation: Ensure product titles, descriptions, and keywords are translated accurately and appealingly for the target audience. Use local dialects or slang where appropriate to make the listings more relatable.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Adapt content to respect cultural norms and values. Avoid potential taboos or cultural missteps that could alienate potential customers.

Although we must provide a disclaimer – the reason why YLT Translations only hires native speakers is because only native speakers can do this 100% right all the time. Even people who speak the language as a 2nd or 3rd language will have incomplete awareness of a market’s wants and needs, which is why going to the locals for this sort of work is best.

3. Customer Engagement and Support:

  • Multilingual Support: Offer customer service in the local language. Being able to communicate effectively in the customers’ native language enhances trust and credibility.
  • Cultural Understanding: Tailor communication style to reflect local customs and etiquette. This includes understanding local holidays, festivals, and any regional specifics that could influence customer interactions.

4. Local SEO and Marketing Strategies:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Use localized keywords and phrases in product listings and content to improve visibility on Amazon and search engines within the target region.
  • Social Media and Marketing: Develop marketing campaigns that resonate with the local audience, considering popular platforms, influencers, and types of content that are more engaging in the specific market.

5. Compliance and Legal Requirements:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Stay informed about local regulations regarding e-commerce, taxes, shipping, and product standards. This ensures that all listings and business practices comply with local laws, avoiding potential legal issues.
  • Payment and Shipping: Understand local payment preferences and ensure that the most popular local payment methods are available. Also, adapt shipping options to include local delivery services and ensure shipping policies are clear and in line with local expectations.

6. Feedback and Continuous Improvement:

  • Customer Feedback: Monitor and analyze customer reviews and feedback from the localized markets to identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to make continual adjustments to product offerings, descriptions, and customer service practices.

7. Use of Localization Tools and Resources:

  • Localization Tools: Utilize tools and software for accurate translation, keyword research, and market analysis that support localization efforts. Collaborate with local experts when necessary for translations and cultural insights.

By leveraging localization, a VA can significantly enhance the market reach and success of their client’s Amazon store. It not only improves customer satisfaction and engagement but also positions the brand as attentive and respectful to local customers’ needs, potentially leading to increased loyalty and sales.

Make Money on Amazon Without Selling with Ghostwriting for Kindle Direct Publishing

Here’s another way that you can make money on Amazon without selling – especially if you’re a good writer. Go be a ghostwriter!

Ghostwriting involves creating written content like eBooks, which are then published under someone else’s name. Here’s how you can leverage this opportunity:

1. Understand the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Platform:

Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s KDP platform, which allows authors to self-publish eBooks and paperback books. Understanding the ins and outs of KDP is crucial for effectively formatting and submitting the eBooks you write.

2. Identify Your Niche:

Choose a writing niche or genres, such as fiction (romance, mystery, sci-fi) or non-fiction (self-help, business, health, and wellness), where you have expertise or interest. Specializing in a specific niche can help you produce high-quality content and build a reputation as a skilled ghostwriter in that area.

3. Build Your Portfolio:

Create a portfolio showcasing your writing. If you’re new to ghostwriting, you might start by writing a few sample chapters or short eBooks to demonstrate your writing style and capabilities.

4. Market Your Services:

Promote your ghostwriting services through freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Reedsy, where authors look for ghostwriters. You can also use social media, content marketing, and networking to reach potential clients. Joining writing groups or forums can also connect you with authors who need ghostwriting services.

5. Set Your Rates:

Determine your pricing structure. You can charge per word, per page, or a flat fee for an entire eBook. Your rates should reflect your experience, the complexity of the project, and the time it will take to complete. As a ghostwriter, you might earn anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per project.

6. Work with Clients:

Once you land a client, work closely with them to understand their vision and requirements for the book. Clear communication is key to ensuring the final product meets their expectations. Use tools like Google Docs for real-time collaboration and feedback.

7. Focus on Quality and Deadlines:

Deliver high-quality, engaging, and well-researched content. Meeting deadlines is critical in maintaining a good reputation and securing future ghostwriting opportunities.

8. Optimize for SEO and Keywords:

Understanding Amazon’s search algorithm and incorporating relevant keywords can help the book rank better, increasing its visibility and sales potential. Although you’re not publishing the book yourself, offering advice on keywords and SEO to your clients can add value to your services.

9. Understand Rights and Agreements:

Typically, ghostwriters surrender their rights to the content they create, meaning you won’t receive royalties from book sales. Ensure you have a clear contract outlining terms, payments, deadlines, and rights before starting the project.

10. Ask for Testimonials:

Positive testimonials from clients can bolster your credibility and help attract more work. Ask satisfied clients to provide testimonials you can use on your website or freelance profiles.

11. Continue Learning:

Stay updated on trends in self-publishing, writing, and marketing within the Amazon ecosystem. Continuous learning can help you offer valuable insights to your clients, making you a more sought-after ghostwriter.

By following these steps, you can build a successful career as a ghostwriter on Amazon, creating content that resonates with readers and supports authors in bringing their visions to life, all without having to sell any products yourself.

Cultural Sensitivities in Ghostwriting

Understand localization so you can connect with diverse audiences by adapting content to reflect specific cultural and regional preferences. This will help broaden the market reach, making books more accessible and appealing across different geographies, but it will also deepen reader engagement by ensuring authenticity and relevance in the portrayal of places, customs, and dialogues. By tapping into niche markets and avoiding cultural missteps, ghostwriters can improve the visibility and success of their work, thereby attracting a wider range of clients and projects.

Make Money on Amazon Without Selling Physical Inventory – Go Print On Demand with Amazon Merch

Custom-designed merchandise on Amazon represents a compelling opportunity for creators, designer, and entrepreneurs to tap into the possibilities offered by Amazon without having to deal with the headache of physical merchandise. Merch by Amazon, or Amazon Merch, is a print-on-demand service that allows creators to upload designs, set product listings, and let Amazon handle the rest – from printing to shipping to customer service. Amazon Merch is an ideal model for anyone looking to monetize their creativity without the upfront costs associated with physical inventory.

If you still want to sell on Amazon, but are disinterested in dealing with inventory, then this is a great option for you. Experiment with various designs and products to see what resonates best with your target audience. Produce catchy slogans, unique artwork, or branded content. Each sale earns you a royalty, with Amazon setting the base price for each product and the creator determining the margin on top. So, not only does this model minimize risk, but it offers scalable potential without the logistical nightmares of traditional retail.

Creating Globally Appealing Merchandise Designs

The global reach of Amazon offers an unparalleled opportunity to target diverse markets without worrying about international shipping and handling. Leverage localization to tailor your designs and marketing strategies to specific regions, cultures, and languages to expand your customer base. Custom-designed merchandise on Amazon provides a low-barrier entry – and a flexible and lucrative way to make money on Amazon without selling any physical inventory themselves.

Earning Commissions with Audible Free Trials

Earning commissions through Audible free trials presents an intriguing way to make money online without the hassle of physical inventory. Audible, an Amazon subsidiary, is a leading provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, offering a vast library of digital content. The platform runs an affiliate program that rewards individuals for referring new members to its service, specifically through the promotion of Audible’s free trial offer.

You could say that this option is similar to being an Amazon Influencer. Audible will provide affiliates with a unique referral link, which they can share through their website, blog, social media channels, etc. When someone signs up for an Audible free trial using that link, the affiliate earns a commission. You don’t need any upfront investment in product stock or fulfillment logistics; you just need a digital platform and an audience interested in audiobooks and spoken-word content.

The free trial offer is an attractive proposition for potential Audible subscribers, as it usually includes one or more free audiobooks and access to exclusive audio content. Once the trial period ends, subscribers can choose to continue their membership with a monthly fee, providing them with ongoing access to Audible’s extensive library. For affiliates, this means the potential for earning commissions by simply introducing their audience to Audible’s rich world of audiobooks, which can be a compelling offer for book lovers, commuters, and anyone looking to enjoy literature in a more accessible format.

Localized Marketing for Audible Promotions

As with any form of marketing, it’s important to localize your approach when you act as an Audible affiliate. Enhance the effectiveness of your promotions by ensuring that your content resonates deeply with the target audience.

  • Understand local preferences so you can highlight audiobooks and Audible features that align with regional tastes
  • Be sensitive of cultural nuances and language to ensure that promotions are both respectful and appropriate. You might want to translate your marketing materials into each local language.
  • Leverage local channels and influencers, who can guide their followers on how to make the most of the free trial, all in a way that feels personal and culturally attuned
  • Align Audible promotions with local events, holidays, or festivals. For example, start selling tropical travel audiobooks during the peak of European winter, when people are planning their next vacations while freezing their toes off in the bitter cold. Create special offers, themed audiobook collections, or limited-time discounts on memberships to coincide with local events, to make the Audible subscription more appealing.

Conclusion: Make Money On Amazon Without Selling Physical Products – Anyone Can Do It!

Folks, finding innovative ways to generate income on Amazon without the complexities of physical inventory has become incredibly attractive. It’s totally possible to monetize your digital footprint through Amazon’s diverse platforms, from being an Amazon Influencer to optimizing product listings for others. The question is, what’s your strength? There’s something out there for everyone. It’s incredibly appealing to earn money without leaving the comfort of your laptop. Furthermore, by incorporating localization strategies into your efforts, the potential for success skyrockets, enabling a truly global reach and deeper connection with diverse audiences.

Stumped on how to proceed with localization? YLT Translations can help. Our expertise in translating and localizing content ensures that your efforts resonate more profoundly with your target market – we can help you embrace the diversity of the global market, paving the way to success, allowing you to tap into previously unreachable segments of the Amazon marketplace.

Embrace the future of online entrepreneurship by exploring the endless possibilities of making money on Amazon without the need for physical inventory. Remember, your efforts, when combined with the power of localization provided by YLT Translations, are not just multiplied—they’re optimized for success in a global marketplace. Whether you’re totally sick of selling physical products, or looking for another Amazon business to take on that isn’t heavy on logistics, we hope this blog was able to help – and don’t forget, localization can supercharge your efforts, when done right!