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Amazon side hustle: man at desk, working (Photo by Manny Pantoja on Unsplash)

Side Hustle or Full-Time Job? Selling on Amazon with Whatever Time You Have

Amazon has an estimated 2.6 million sellers selling more than 160 million products globally. The majority of those sellers, however, spend fewer than 40 hours per week selling on Amazon. And while some sellers have other jobs, others earn income from their Amazon businesses alone. 

So is selling on Amazon a side hustle or a full-time job? And how much time and money does it take for Amazon sellers to be successful? We’ll dig into the data to uncover the details.


How many sellers sell on Amazon full-time?

At Jungle Scout, we surveyed more than 1,000 Amazon sellers and learned that 21% of Amazon sellers earn income from their Amazon businesses alone.

Still, that means the majority of Amazon sellers are otherwise employed — many with full-time jobs. In fact, 37% of sellers work full-time jobs while still selling on Amazon, including those sellers putting more than 60 hours per week into their businesses!

Amazon sellers by employment status:

  • 37% work a full time job (40+ hours per week)
  • *21% exclusively sell on Amazon to earn income
  • 18% work part-time jobs (1-39 hours per week)
  • 5% of are retired
  • 4% are stay-at-home parents
  • 3% are full-time students
  • 3% are not employed, but looking for work
  • And less than 1% are disabled

We also learned that 54% of Amazon sellers own their own company/companies (beyond selling on Amazon), while another 23% do freelance or gig economy work. 

For 29% of Amazon sellers, their business is a hobby.


How much time do Amazon sellers spend on their businesses?

The majority (72%) spend fewer than 30 hours per week working on their Amazon businesses. 

  • Fewer than 4 hours: 13%
  • 4-10 hours: 24%
  • 11-20 hours: 20%
  • 21-30 hours: 15%
  • 31-40 hours: 10%
  • 41-50 hours: 9%
  • 51-60 hours: 3%
  • Over 60 hours: 6%

So, does more time mean more income?

What follows is a breakdown of the time spent by sellers on their Amazon business each week and the percentage of those sellers who take only an income from Amazon.

  • Of those working fewer than 4 hours per week on their Amazon businesses, just 4% earn income solely from those businesses.
  • 4-10 hours/week: 12%
  • 11-20 hours/week: 18%
  • 21-30 hours/week: 30%
  • 31-40 hours/week: 32%
  • 41-50 hours/week: 31%
  • 51-60 hours/week: 42%
  • 61+ hours/week: 34%


How many hours should you spend on your Amazon business?

Because people and businesses choose to sell on Amazon for widely varied reasons, they may also want to invest different amounts of time and effort.

But if the goal of a seller is to invest in Amazon as a means to earn money, the general rule is you get out what you put in. 

In fact, we know that the most profitable Amazon sellers, and those with the greatest lifetime sales, spend more time on their businesses than other sellers. 

The data below segments sellers by the number of hours worked each week and then the largest percentage of lifetime earnings among those segments.

  • Sellers working fewer than 4 hours: 73% have earned under $100,000
  • 4-10 hours: 60% have earned less than $100,000
  • 11-20 hours: 39% have earned less than $100,000
  • 21-30 hours: 34% have earned less than $100,000
  • 31-40 hours: 26% have earned less than $100,000
  • 41-50 hours: 21% have earned between $100,000 – $500,000
  • 51-60 hours 20% have earned between $100,000 – $500,000
  • 61+ hours: 18% have earned between $1,000,000 – $5,000,000


Not enough time to spend? Get the right tools.

We asked Amazon sellers what they thought the biggest contributors to their success on Amazon was. 

Among all sellers, the top answer (for 37% of sellers) was time to commit to their businesses! 

A close second (for 35%), however, was having the necessary tools and information to help them be successful.

What tools do time-strapped sellers need?

Sellers said the biggest focus for their Amazon business is finding a product. In fact, 55% of sellers who spend fewer than four hours per week spend their time looking for a product, as do 45% of sellers who spend 4-10 hours in their business.

Those who spend more than 10 hours per week on their business told us that they spend most of their time managing PPC. However, finding products and getting product reviews are just as important.

Jungle Scout — an all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon — has tools that will cut the time it takes you to run and maintain your Amazon business significantly.


How can I get started with Amazon as a side hustle?

If you decide to start selling on Amazon as a side hustle or a full-time business, try to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week to get started.

If you don’t have as much time to spend in your Amazon business, make sure you:

If you have more than 10 hours per week per week to spend in your business, make sure you:

Where to get the right tools and information for Amazon.

For product research, we recommend that you get Jungle Scout — an all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon. Not only will you get access to the Jungle Academy which has detailed videos on product research, but you will also have access to five tools that help with product research.

For Amazon PPC, Jungle Scout also offers Keyword Scout which can help you find keywords for your keyword campaigns.

And to get reviews, the Jungle Scout Extension has a feature that adds a “Request a Review‘ button to all your listings. Jungle Scout also has an email follow-up system to encourage reviews from sold customers.



2 comments on “Side Hustle or Full-Time Job? Selling on Amazon with Whatever Time You Have

  1. Very good read! I purchased an Amazon course in April of this year. I got lazy and fell off. Now, I am trying to get back Into it. I suppose I am hesitant because I feel I won’t be able to do it on my own. The course I paid for talks a lot about Jungle Scout. Any words of encouragement for me? I’m not a newbie to online selling but Amazon is a whole new beast compared to eBay. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jon,

      Yes, selling on Amazon is a lot of work and can be a big learning curve, but it is worth it if you can figure out which products sell well for you. Give it a try but start small. You can sell just a couple of items to get a feel for it. If you sell on eBay, you can then easily list your products as Fulfilled by Merchant and ship orders yourself.

      Give FBA a try as well. Setting up a shipment in Seller Central is easy once you get the hang of it.

      This business can be done on your own, that’s how many sellers start. Take your time and learn but don’t be afraid to jump in.


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