2020

The State of the Amazon Seller

Insights from 1,046 Amazon sellers. Explore the key findings here and download the full report for more.

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More than half of Amazon’s $280 billion revenue in 2019 was fueled by its third-party sellers. This segment comprises a wide range of sellers — from budding entrepreneurs to small and mid-sized businesses to major global brands — all leveraging the world’s largest retail platform to build their businesses.

So how do Amazon sellers make up such a massive portion of the Amazon machine?

Jungle Scout conducted a survey* among thousands of Amazon sellers to drill into their sales and profits, the diversity of the market, and the critical challenges and concerns Amazon sellers are facing in 2020 and beyond.

Download the full report

Selling on Amazon in 2020 is

Profitable

86%

of Amazon sellers are profitable

While just 40% of other small businesses have achieved profitability, more than double the rate of Amazon sellers have done so.

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New Amazon sellers are earning between $26,000 – $810,000 per year in profits.

67%

Amazon sellers are profitable within their first year selling

61%

Sellers say their Amazon profits increased during 2019

92%

Amazon sellers are planning to continue to sell on Amazon in 2020

Selling on Amazon in 2020 is

Diverse

How are products sold on Amazon?

From individual entrepreneurs to small businesses to major global brands, Amazon sellers have different ways of using Amazon’s global platform to reach consumers.

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Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): A method of selling on Amazon in which a seller (or a seller’s supplier) sends their products directly to Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon then stores the inventory and ships it directly to the customer (often through 2-day Prime shipping) and manages customer support.

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM): A method of selling on Amazon in which a seller lists their products on Amazon, but manages all storage, shipping, and customer support themselves (or through another third party).

Private Label: Create own product label/brand
Wholesale: Buying products directly from a brand or from distributors with extra stock in order to sell on Amazon
Retail Arbitrage: Buying discounted products through retailers to sell on Amazon
Online Arbitrage: Buying discounted products online to sell on Amazon.
Dropshipping: Buying products directly from a manufacturer who fulfills the order and ships directly to the customer
Handmade: Creating/crafting own products to sell on Amazon

* See full report for all 27 product categories

Respondents could select multiple answer options. See full report for all product categories.

Although more than half of Amazon sellers have fewer than 10 active product listings, one in five (21%) has 100 or more products on Amazon.

Selling on Amazon in 2020 is

Diverse

Who are the third-party Amazon sellers?

There is no single type of Amazon seller. Amazon sellers represent a wide range of skill sets, backgrounds, and characteristics.

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While the majority of Amazon sellers (57%) are between 25 and 44 years old, more than a third of sellers (35%) are over age 45.

*See full report for all location data.

*See full report for all location data.

Sellers are largely educated. The majority (68%) have a bachelor’s degree or higher; more than a quarter (26%) have a master’s or higher. Still, sellers prove they don’t need higher formal education to build careers selling on Amazon; 14% have a high school diploma/GED, and 3% have no highschool or higher education.

More than half of Amazon sellers (54%) have other work outside their Amazon businesses; in fact, 37% have full-time jobs (40+ hours per week). More than a third (37%) of sellers earn income from Amazon sales alone.

54%

have other work outside their Amazon businesses

37%

have full-time jobs (40+ hours per week)

37%

earn income from Amazon sales alone

54%

own their own company/companies (other than selling on Amazon)

23%

have freelance or gig economy work (driving for Uber or nannying)

Top 5 Reasons for Selling on Amazon

“I’ve always wanted to be self employed and financially free!”
“I am a homeschooling mom who wanted to help boost our household income.”
“I was retired and wanted something to do to keep me occupied and learn new skills at the same time.”
“I want to reach more market segments through e-commerce.”
“I want time and financial freedom. I also want to earn money to pay debts and student loans.”
  • 5. Additional Income People want to earn supplemental income to enrich their lives. 18%
  • 4. Business Expansion People and businesses want to add a new sales channel. 20%
  • 3. Curiosity People want to explore an exciting business opportunity. 24%
  • 2. Flexible Work People want to be able to live, work, or travel anywhere in the world. 41%
  • 43% 1. New Employment People are looking for new employment/income to replace their current jobs.
“I’ve always wanted to be self employed and financially free!”
“I am a homeschooling mom who wanted to help boost our household income.”
“I was retired and wanted something to do to keep me occupied and learn new skills at the same time.”
“I want to reach more market segments through e-commerce.”
“I want time and financial freedom. I also want to earn money to pay debts and student loans.”

Selling on Amazon in 2020 is

Challenging

What challenges do Amazon sellers face in 2020?

money into bank

86% of Amazon sellers think Amazon is a good company for consumers

58% of Amazon sellers think Amazon is a good company for sellers

The authority of Amazon

76% of sellers are concerned about Amazon shutting down their account without reason

53% say Amazon sells its own products that directly compete with the seller’s

46% of sellers are concerned about Amazon protecting their privacy and security

China

68% of sellers are concerned about Chinese suppliers selling their or similar products at lower costs

Tariffs

57% of Amazon sellers are concerned about the impact of tariffs on goods from China

47% of sellers have had to pay more for their products due to higher tariffs on goods from China, and 34% have in turn raised the prices of their products.

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Tariffs: Nearly half of Amazon sellers (47%) have had to pay more for their products due to higher tariffs on goods from China, and 34% of sellers have passed on those costs to their customers with higher prices.

Explore all the data

In this report, you’ll find:

  • Full Amazon seller demographics
  • Amazon product category breakdown
  • Sales and profit data, including “million-dollar sellers”
  • Capital, time, and other investments to start selling on Amazon
  • Amazon seller pain points and 2020 focus areas
  • Segmented data, including seller breakdowns by:
    • Business model type
    • Demographics, including gender
    • Size of Amazon customer by sales volume
    • More as requested!

In this report, you’ll find:

  • Full Amazon seller demographics
  • Amazon product category breakdown
  • Sales and profit data, including “million-dollar sellers”
  • Capital, time, and other investments to start selling on Amazon
  • Amazon seller pain points and 2020 focus areas
  • Segmented data, including seller breakdowns by:
    • Business model type
    • Demographics, including gender
    • Size of Amazon customer by sales volume
    • More as requested!

*Methodology

Between November 14 and December 10, 2019, Jungle Scout surveyed 1,046 experienced Amazon sellers who have more than a year of selling experience and at least one live product listing.

Respondents represent 93 countries, all 14 Amazon marketplaces, and all relevant Amazon product categories. They are ages from 18 to 80+, as well as all genders and levels of education.

Using the data

Jungle Scout is the leading all-in-one tool for selling on Amazon, with the mission of providing powerful data and insights to help entrepreneurs and brands grow successful Amazon businesses.

We encourage you to explore Jungle Scout’s State of the Amazon Seller Report and to share, reference, and publish the findings with attribution to “Jungle Scout” and a link to this page.

For more information, specific data requests or media assets, or to reach the report’s authors, please contact us at [email protected].