Have you ever considered starting your own business? You likely know about Amazon’s immense power as a platform for entrepreneurs to launch and expand their ventures due to its vast customer base, extensive product categories, and reliable fulfillment services.
You can start selling on Amazon without inventory and with a low, upfront cost through dropshipping, print-on-demand, affiliate marketing, FBA program, and selling digital products.
What is Amazon Inventory?
Amazon inventory refers to the physical stock of products a seller owns. This includes all items listed for sale by the seller, whether they are their items or stored at one of Amazon’s warehouses through the Fulfillment by Amazon program (FBA).
As a seller, managing your inventory carefully is critical to guarantee enough stock for customers’ orders and prevent any stockouts.
However, is it possible to sell on Amazon without inventory?
How To Sell On Amazon Without Inventory?
Here are two main ways.
The first one is to sell something that is not physical. For instance, you can sell digital products. So once a customer orders, you can send them the product online rather than shipping a physical parcel. Therefore, there is no need to manage any physical inventory.
Conversely, there are multiple ways to sell physical products without inventory. For instance, if you start a dropshipping business model on Amazon, your manufacturer will take care of the inventory and ship the order to your customers. The FBA program is similar in that Amazon fulfillment centers will store your inventory and fulfill your orders.
Now, discuss these business models in detail and see their advantages and disadvantages.
Dropshipping allows you to sell products without maintaining inventory. Instead, when a customer orders your item, you purchase it from a third-party supplier who then ships it directly to them – leaving all you need to do is promote and manage sales.
Launching a dropshipping business on Amazon is straightforward, with plenty of resources to help you get started.
Here’s how to get started with Amazon dropshipping:
- Select a Dropshipping Supplier, it is essential that you research and select a dropshipping supplier that meets your requirements. Be sure to consider factors like pricing, shipping options, product selection, and customer service when making your selection.
- Select the products you want to sell, and look for items with high demand and a healthy profit margin. You can research popular items using tools like Jungle Scout or Helium 10.
- Once you’ve selected your products, create product listings on Amazon. Be sure to include high-quality images and comprehensive descriptions to attract buyers.
- Enable dropshipping for your products. To enable dropshipping on your products, log into your Amazon seller account and select which items you would like to utilize this feature for.
- Make sales and place orders with your supplier. When an order comes in from Amazon, placing it with a dropshipping supplier who will package and ship the product directly to the customer on your behalf is necessary.
- Manage customer service and returns yourself. With dropshipping, you are responsible for handling customer service and returns yourself. This means responding to inquiries promptly, handling returns promptly, and processing refunds as necessary.
- Dropshipping on Amazon allows you to sell without the hassle of inventory or fulfillment. All that’s necessary is a quality product, an Amazon seller account, and the willingness to work with a dropshipping supplier. Dropshipping provides more freedom and scalability in your business since you can quickly add or remove products from inventory.
- Dropshippers do not need to take care of the inventory, saving the hassle to manage the inventory.
- Dropshipping helps streamline the business.
- Dropshippers can focus more on promoting the products on Amazon and conducting other marketing campaigns to drive more traffic to their Amazon store.
- Dropshipping typically results in lower profit margins than other business models.
- As a drop shipper, you have limited control over the shipping and handling process, which can affect customer satisfaction.
- Inventory management can be challenging, as you rely on your supplier to have products in stock and manage backorders.
- Increased competition in the dropshipping space means standing out from other sellers can be challenging.
- Supplier errors and delays can cause frustration for both you and your customers.
Overall, Amazon drop shipping offers the potential to launch and grow an online store without investing in inventory. However, while launching and expanding an online shop with minimal investment can be cost-effective, some risks and drawbacks must be considered before taking the leap into Amazon drop shipping.
Print On Demand
Print-on-demand is a business model that allows sellers to provide custom-made goods without keeping inventory. Rather than purchasing large numbers of items upfront, a seller can create them as ordered and have them shipped directly to their customer.
Print-on-demand is a viable option if you want to begin selling products online without maintaining an inventory of physical goods. This involves creating products that are printed only when an order is placed.
Here are the steps to get you started with Amazon Print-on-Demand:
- Research and identify a product you wish to sell. It could be a T-shirt, mug, or any other printed item.
- Choose an integration platform with Amazon, such as Merch by Amazon, Printful, or Teespring.
- Create an Amazon seller account, if you don’t already have one, create one by visiting the Amazon seller central website.
- Set Up Your Amazon Storefront, customize your store to reflect your brand and highlight products you wish to sell.
- Connect your print-on-demand service to your Amazon store. After selecting a printing service, connecting it to your Amazon store is essential so orders can be fulfilled automatically when they come in.
- Create product listings on Amazon to attract buyers, and create separate listings for each item you plan to sell. Include high-quality images and detailed descriptions to appeal to potential customers.
- Start promoting your products once your items are listed on Amazon. You can start marketing them through social media, advertising, and other channels
- Print-on-demand eliminates the need for large print runs, thus cutting upfront printing expenses.
- Print-on-demand only prints what is necessary, so there’s no need to maintain large inventories of printed materials – cutting down on both inventory and storage expenses.
- Print-on-demand allows for rapid printing and shipping, so books or other materials can be produced and distributed much more quickly than traditional methods.
- Print-on-demand offers customization of each printed copy, such as different covers, paper types, and bindings.
- Eliminating overprinting eliminates the need to produce extra waste products like packaging material.
- Print-on-demand can be more expensive per unit than traditional printing methods, particularly for small print runs.
- Print-on-demand may not provide the same range of paper and binding choices as traditional printing processes.
- Print-on-demand products may not have the same consistent quality as traditional printing methods, particularly if they are produced using lower-quality equipment.
- Some publishers may not offer print-on-demand options for certain books, restricting certain titles’ selection.
- Print-on-demand often has lower profit margins compared to traditional printing methods, particularly when books with lower sales volumes.
While not the only option, print-on-demand can be advantageous for businesses wanting to offer personalized products to customers without maintaining physical stock.
However, it should be noted that print-on-demand is just one of several methods available for selling items on Amazon without maintaining inventory.
If you opt for print-on-demand to sell on Amazon, the Amazon Fulfillment Centers can still take care of the printing and shipping for you. This eliminates the need to manage inventory, send products out, or handle returns – Amazon will handle everything.
Affiliate marketing has become a go-to method for entrepreneurs looking to make money online. It enables individuals to promote products or services and earn commissions when customers purchase through their unique affiliate link.
For example, affiliate marketing could be ideal if you want to sell on Amazon without investing in inventory.
Consider affiliate marketing when you want to sell on Amazon without stock. This is a method whereby you promote other people’s products and earn a commission when someone purchases through your affiliate link.
Here are the steps to begin Amazon affiliate marketing:
- Sign up for the Amazon Associates program to earn commissions from Amazon products. You can do this at no cost by visiting their website to sign up.
- Choose a niche or topic to promote. Pick something you are passionate about with an engaged audience – from fitness to cooking or travel.
- Once you’ve selected a niche, explore products on Amazon that are relevant to your audience using the Amazon Associates dashboard.
- Create content around the products, create material that promotes the items you’ve selected, such as blog posts, videos, social media updates, or email newsletters.
- Share Your Affiliate Links, when creating content, include affiliate links so people can click through to Amazon and make a purchase. You can track clicks and earnings using the Amazon Associates dashboard.
- Create an Audience, in order to be successful with affiliate marketing, you need to build an audience that trusts you and is interested in your niche. You can create valuable content, connect with your followers on social media platforms, and build an email list.
Affiliate Marketing Advantage:
- One major benefit of affiliate marketing is its low entry requirements. Unlike other forms of online marketing, there’s no need for large upfront investments, and potential affiliates can begin earning commission on sales almost immediately after signing up.
- As an affiliate marketer, you have access to a much wider audience than traditional forms of marketing and advertising. Your affiliates are free to promote your products however they please, making it simple for you to reach more customers with various promotional tactics.
- When done correctly, however, affiliate marketing can be highly profitable and efficient in driving more traffic and sales through your website or app.
- Affiliate marketing offers the benefit of being highly trackable and measurable. Utilizing analytics tools such as Google Analytics, you can gain invaluable insights into how successful your campaigns have been at generating leads and sales from affiliates.
Affiliate Marketing Disadvantages:
- Despite strict regulation from networks like Clickbank or ShareASale, fraudulent activity continues to occur among some affiliates and merchants alike, which can erode trust between all parties involved in a transaction.
- Although advances in technology have made tracking conversions simpler than ever before, it’s still not 100% accurate due to factors like browser discrepancies or ad blockers, which obscure the complete picture when analyzing performance metrics like clicks-to-conversion rates or ROI (return on investment).
- With such a low barrier of entry, anyone with basic internet skills can become an affiliate, making it extremely challenging for merchants who rely on them for their business growth and success rate over time to identify quality partners.
Affiliates can promote products and services without needing a website or any upfront investments. However, it should be noted that affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme; success requires hard work, commitment, and patience for it to work.
Selling Digital Products on amazon
Selling digital products on Amazon is the best way to make money online without investing in inventory since there are NO physical products. Digital products can range from printables and e-books to downloadable audiobooks and videos, music, or artwork – all delivered immediately after purchase. Once a customer places an order, you send the digital versions to them rather than shipping the physical items.
Here’s how to start selling digital products on Amazon:
- Before you start selling digital products on Amazon, you must choose what product you want to sell. Some examples of digital products that sell well on Amazon include ebooks, software, online courses, music, and videos.
- Once you have chosen the type of product you want to sell, it’s time to create your digital product. This could involve writing an ebook, creating a video course, developing software, or creating a music album.
- To sell on Amazon, you need to sign up for a Seller Account. You can do this by going to the Amazon Seller Central website and following the instructions. You will need to provide some personal and business information and banking and tax information.
- Once you have a Seller Account, you can add your digital product to Amazon. To do this, you must create a product listing with a title, description, pricing, and other details. Ensure your listing is clear and concise, and use high-quality images to showcase your product.
- When setting your price, consider the value of your digital product and the pricing of similar products on Amazon. You can also use Amazon’s pricing tools to help you set the right price.
- Optimizing your product listing can help your digital product rank higher in Amazon’s search results. To do this, use relevant keywords in your product title and description, and make sure your product listing is well-structured and easy to read.
- To generate sales, you need to promote your digital product on Amazon. This can be done through Amazon advertising, social media, email, and other digital marketing strategies.
- Once your digital product is live on Amazon, you need to manage your sales. This involves monitoring your sales metrics, responding to customer inquiries, and providing customer support.
- Amazon will handle the payment processing for your digital product sales. Payments will be deposited into your bank account every two weeks.
Advantages Of Selling Digital Products On Amazon:
- Amazon has a massive audience, which means that your digital product can reach many potential customers.
- Setting up a Seller account on Amazon and uploading your digital product is relatively easy.
- Selling digital products has low overhead costs since you don’t need to worry about inventory or shipping.
- Selling digital products can be a perfect way of passive income.
Disadvantages Of Selling Digital Products On Amazon:
- The large audience on Amazon also means that there is a lot of competition, which can make it difficult to stand out.
- Amazon charges fees for selling on the platform, which can consume your profits.
- Amazon controls many aspects of the selling process, including pricing and customer data, which can limit your control over your business.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
FBA requires inventory but to a certain level. The FBA program is a service the online retailer offers that enables sellers to store their stock in Amazon’s warehouses and have it shipped directly to customers.
This is an ideal choice for those who don’t want to invest in inventory handling upfront since they can take advantage of Amazon’s reliable shipping services without handling any logistics themselves.
Starting an Amazon FBA business has therefore become a popular option.
If you want to start selling on Amazon without worrying about inventory or fulfillment, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) could be the ideal solution. In this process, you send your products directly to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, which take care of storing, packaging, and shipping them out to customers.
Here are the steps to get started with Amazon FBA:
- Choose the items you want to sell, and look for products with high demand and a healthy profit margin. To research popular items, use tools like Jungle Scout or Helium 10.
- To prepare your products for shipment, you must label them with barcodes, package them securely, and send them to the appointed Amazon fulfillment center. You have two options: do this yourself or hire a third-party prep and ship service.
- Create product listings on Amazon, once your products are in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, you can create product listings there. Be sure to include high-quality images and detailed descriptions to attract buyers.
- Enable FBA for Your Products. To take advantage of FBA for your items, log into your Amazon seller account and select which items you would like to utilize this feature on.
- Amazon takes care of the rest. Once your products are in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and Fulfillment by Amazon is enabled, Amazon takes over. They’ll store, package, and ship them directly to customers when an order is placed.
FBA sellers can store their inventory in one of Amazon’s warehouses and handle the order fulfillment part of Amazon. When a customer orders an item, Amazon will pick, pack, and ship it directly to them – leaving you free to focus on promoting and managing sales without worrying about fulfillment or shipping. This simplifies things significantly since Amazon handles everything else for you.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Advantages:
- FBA products are eligible for Prime shipping, a huge benefit as it attracts more Amazon Prime customers to purchase items.
- Products fulfilled by Amazon are more likely to reach the Buy Box, leading to increased sales.
- Amazon takes care of all customer service issues, such as returns and refunds – saving sellers time and resources in the process.
- Amazon ships faster and more efficiently for customers, leading to faster shipping services for customers.
- Sellers can utilize FBA to fulfill orders from multiple sales channels like their website or eBay.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Disadvantages:
- FBA fees can be expensive, including storage, fulfillment, and long-term storage charges. Sellers need to consider these when calculating their price and profit margins.
- Sellers may have less control over their inventory and shipping process since Amazon handles these aspects.
- FBA limits sellers’ options to customize packaging and inserts, which can benefit branding and marketing campaigns.
- Sellers are accountable for ensuring their products adhere to Amazon’s policies and regulations, which can be time-consuming and complex.
FBA may have its drawbacks, but it’s an ideal way to sell on Amazon without worrying about inventory management or shipping. Amazon FBA sellers can reach a wider customer base, offer faster deliveries, and take advantage of other features like Prime eligibility or multi-channel fulfillment. Even if there are downsides, FBA still remains an effective way to sell on Amazon without worrying about managing inventory or shipping.
There are various ways to sell on Amazon without owning any inventory or without paying much effort into managing inventory. Whether you opt for dropshipping, using print-on-demand services, affiliate marketing, FBA, or selling digital products, each option has its own advantages and drawbacks.
You must know the pros and cons of each option before determining which one works best for your business. Then, with the right strategy in place, launching an Amazon business without investing in inventory could be a successful venture – good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sell on Amazon if I don’t have a product?
Is there a minimum inventory to sell on Amazon?
A: No minimum inventory is required to sell on Amazon. You can use drop shipping, print-on-demand services, or affiliate marketing to start selling on the platform without needing to purchase any inventory.
How much money does it cost to sell on Amazon?
A: The cost of selling on Amazon depends on your chosen selling method. Generally, dropshipping, print-on-demand, and affiliate marketing models are more affordable than FBA. You should also consider any fees associated with selling on the platform, such as subscription or referral fees.