How to Sell on Amazon without Inventory 2024

Make money on amazon with no inventory

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There's a lot of misinformation on the web about selling on Amazon without inventory. Typically it's advice that revolves around drop shipping. The problem is that Amazon does not allow traditional drop shipping and the process will almost always lead to your account suspension. So, in this article, I'm going to show you the ways you can sell physical products on Amazon without having any inventory on hand. 

This means...

  • Fewer overhead costs
  • Less capital required to start
  • Less manual labor (prepping, packaging and shipping)

I'm breaking the inventory free methods down into four groups. 

  • How to sell products on Amazon without needing to hold the inventory physically yourself or needing to handle and process it.
  • How to sell products on Amazon using on demand methods (Merch, KDP).
  • How to sell products on Amazon with Amazon to Amazon flips (using a white hat compliant method). 
  • How to get paid by promoting or reviewing other people's products on Amazon (the Amazon Associates program and Amazon Influencer Program).

Ready? Let's get into it starting with the best option. 

How to Sell on Amazon without Inventory: Online Arbitrage + Prep Center

This is my favorite model and its by far the highest profit potential . Online arbitrage is the process of buying products from 3rd party retailers online and then listing them on Amazon so customers can buy them at higher prices. 

Prep Center Flow

These 3rd party "sources" could be any website that sells physical products. For simplicity, imagine popular sites like Target, Walmart or HomeDepot. 

Finding these profitable products (we call them "leads") is the difficult part. 

You can do it manually by scouring the web for items and manually checking the price differences and subtracting the fees for shipping using a free Amazon fee calculator.

There are also paid tools like Tactical Arbitrage and Seller Amp that make the process easier and more automated. 

Tactical Arbitrage scans over 950+ 3rd party websites and compares the prices to Amazon. You filter the products and buy the ones that have profit. 

Tactical Arbitrage view

Example of Tactical Arbitrage dashboard. The items shown can be bought from 3rd party websites and sold on Amazon at a profit.

We teach how to do it step by step in our program OA Challenge if you're interested, but there is also tons of great free content out there on YouTube and there are dozens of online arbitrage experts over on Twitter who provide free information on selling on Amazon daily.

How to Sell on Amazon without Inventory: Merch and Print on Demand Books

You can sell t-shirts without needing manufacturing gear or holding any inventory thanks to Merch By Amazon.

The process is simple and can be incredibly profitable if you learn the tricks and tactics. Amazon can also go beyond t-shirts. You can make things like coffee mugs, pop sockets and more. They handle the production, packaging and shipping while you earn money for your design.

To get started with Merch By Amazon, click the link here.

Print on demand books work in the same way. Instead of uploading images, you write books. They can be full length books or short "low-content" books (think planners, journals and workbooks).

I wrote my book Evergreen Affiliate Marketing and self-published it using Amazon KDP. I've sold 1,000s of physical books and they are only printed after a customer orders them. I don't handle refunds or ever see the book myself. It's fantastic. 

Amazon KDP Earnings

How to Sell on Amazon without Inventory: SellerRunning Amazon Compliant Drop Shipping

As I've said already, traditional drop shipping on Amazon isn't allowed. It leads to cancelled shipments and authenticity complaints since the seller doesn't have full control of the supply chain. 

Seller Running is different. It's a tool that allows you to buy products from one Amazon marketplace and list them on another that has a higher buy box price.

When the item is ordered, it is sent to their built in prep company that verifies the product for accuracy and authenticity. 

Dropshipping vs- seller running

You net the profit. 

This method is amazing and I write about it in much greater length here

Conclusion

My favorite way to make money on Amazon without ever seeing your inventory is through online arbitrage and a 3rd party prep company. If you want to sell items that are created by Amazon once they've been ordered, consider the Merch by Amazon program or the Amazon KDP program. These allow you to sell physical goods like shirts and books but they are only created once they've been ordered. You never see the products unless you order them for yourself. 

Good luck in your make money online journey!

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