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Is Selling on Amazon FBA Still Worth It?

As the year comes to a close, many ask: is Amazon FBA worth it in 2022 and beyond? In short: yes. But let’s go over why. 

In 2021, Amazon’s revenue was a whopping $469 billion, up from $386 billion in 2020 — and nearly one quarter (22%) of that revenue is driven by third-party sellers! Of those third-party sellers, 89% of them use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to manage their Amazon business. 

While the competition has increased on Amazon and other ecommerce platforms, so has the demand for online shopping — 63% of consumers start their product searches on Amazon. 

In this article, we’ll explain why selling on Amazon FBA in 2022 is still worth it.

 

How much do Amazon sellers make?

This question that every new seller asks is, How much can I make selling on Amazon? Let’s look at some stats on what current sellers profit from selling products on Amazon FBA.

It is also worth mentioning that nearly 65% of third-party sellers have reported earning profit margins higher than 10% and 32% reported earning profit margins above 20%. 

Let’s see some monthly sales numbers:

  • 50% of Amazon sellers sell anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000/month
  • 13% of Amazon sellers sell $25,000-$250,000/month
  • 22% of sellers sell under $500/month

Monthly sales Percentage of Amazon sellers
Under $500 22%
$501-$1,000 13%
$1,001 – $5,000 27%
$5,001 – $10,000 13%
$10,001 – $25,000 10%
$25,001 – $50,000 8%
$50,001 – $100,000 4%
$100,001 – $250,000 1%
I don’t know 3%

Many sellers have recently begun to sell products on Amazon, and, with the power of Amazon’s supply chain and massive customer base, they are seeing early signs of success.

Sure, revenue numbers are great, but what is the profit?

I know, I know. Revenue doesn’t tell the whole story of someone’s business. You could have $1 million in sales, but you’re not making any money if your costs are over that. 

Compared to other traditional businesses such as brick-and-mortar, Amazon sellers see relatively higher profit margins. 

  • 65% of Amazon sellers achieve profit margins greater than 10%
  • 32% of Amazon sellers earn at least a 20% profit margin
  • 14% of Amazon sellers have seen lifetime profits over $100,000

Not too bad, considering many new sellers start this venture as a side hustle!

Profit margin Percentage of Amazon sellers
~1-5% 9%
6-10% 10%
11-15% 15%
16-20% 18%
21-25% 13%
26-50% 16%
51-100% 3%
Not currently profitable 8%
Don’t know 8%

These numbers are encouraging to see but it’s worth noting that 8% are not yet profitable and another 8% don’t know if they’re profitable at all. If you are unsure of your profits and losses, you can get a full financial picture of your business by using a tool such as Sales Analytics to track your performance.

  

Pros and cons of selling on Amazon

FBA is an incredible business model that allows anyone, no matter their ecommerce experience, to open an online store and list products to millions of potential customers. But as in anything, the good comes with some downsides. ​​Let’s quickly go over some of the pros and cons of selling on Amazon.

PROS

  • Access to Amazon’s loyal customer base: Amazon.com receives nearly 3 billion visits per month and has over 300 million Prime customers worldwide. As a small, single-person business, you can list products on a website that receives millions of visits per day.
  • If you use FBA, Amazon takes care of logistics: If you use Amazon’s FBA program, you will send your inventory into Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and even customer service for you.
  • Prime shipping: When sellers use FBA to fulfill their orders, your products will receive the Prime badge and have access to Amazon’s sizable Prime customer base that orders exclusively from Prime sellers.

CONS

  • Storage fees: Since you will be storing your items in an Amazon fulfillment center if using FBA, you will need to pay storage fees. There are two types of storage fees: monthly and long-term. Learning to manage your inventory correctly will help you avoid costly storage fees.
  • FBA fees: For Amazon to store, pick, pack, and ship out your orders, they must charge you a fee. FBA fees depend on the size and weight of your product. Between FBA fees and referral fees, it is typically 30-40% of your product price.
  • Easy for customers to return items: Because of Amazon’s generous return policy, some sellers may experience high return rates on their products. While it is convenient for customers, it’s a hassle for sellers.

 

Is it too competitive to sell on Amazon? 

While the competition has increased over the past couple of years, selling on Amazon can still be profitable for new sellers, as you learned above. In fact, if you sell in the US marketplace, it is considered the least competitive Amazon marketplace.

In any business you decide to pursue, there will always be competition — and competition is good because it means there is a market for your products. 

Nearly 600,000 new sellers will have signed up to sell on Amazon this year. Yes, that is a vast number of sellers but remember that Amazon’s market share continues to grow every month, quarter, year — however way you want to look at it. 

So while more sellers may make things more challenging for existing sellers, you won’t necessarily be stealing sales from each other but sharing a much larger and growing customer base.  

If you are a new seller, don’t just jump into a product without doing any research or just because it is “popular.” Take your time and do the proper product research needed to be successful in ecommerce and Amazon. 

 

How do I learn to sell on Amazon?

There certainly is a learning curve involved to navigate Seller Central efficiently. It isn’t surprising that 35% of Amazon sellers say they need more training and that 24% are confused about how selling on the platform works. 

For all the opportunities available to entrepreneurs, the thought of selling online can be daunting: 26% of sellers are concerned about competition, and 33% are intimidated by the process of selling online. 

Seller resources

Fortunately, countless Amazon sellers have achieved success on their own, with the help of excellent educational content available online — and a lot of it is free. On Jungle Scout’s Free Resources page, for example, you can find a wealth of quality content such as blog articles, reports, and videos; and more robust work such as our complete, in-depth guide on How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners in 2022. Once you’ve gained traction and can set aside the budget to continue your seller education, you can level up and take courses, hire a coach, and attend industry events. 

Here are other valuable resources from Jungle Scout:

 

What does it take to sell on Amazon?

You know how much money you can potentially make, but how much does it cost to start your Amazon business? Not only will it require an upfront monetary investment but also an investment of your time.  

MONEY

One of the biggest questions asked here at Jungle Scout is, “How much money should I start with?” While most sellers (69%) started their Amazon business with around $5,000, 32% started with less than $1,000, and 16% started with under $500!

If you plan to launch your own private label brand, yes, you will need to start with more money. But if you want to start earning money as soon as possible, retail arbitrage or wholesale are great options for smaller budgets. 

How did sellers fund their business?

When first starting an Amazon business, 82% of sellers chose to bootstrap their business or use personal savings to start. If you don’t have much to begin with, I recommend bootstrapping (this means you start with a small amount of money and continue to reinvest) or personal savings. 

Using credit cards or loans is risky for a new seller because it will be challenging to pay back what you owe if you purchase poor inventory. Having said that, 9% of sellers borrowed money from a family member, 18% used a credit card, and roughly 14% received some type of business loan to start. 

How long did it take them to turn a profit?

Amazon sellers are profiting much sooner compared to a typical small brick-and-mortar business. While it may take the latter 2+ years to turn a profit, 20% of Amazon sellers reported it took less than 3 months to turn a profit. No, Amazon is not a “get rich quick” scheme, but it is quite possible to start profiting early.

This is not the case for every seller, though. For sellers launching their brand, it may take a bit longer to start seeing some profit. 22% of sellers stated it took 3-6 months, and 10% reported it took roughly 1-2 years before turning a profit. That is common for a private label product, especially during the launch phase. 

Sellers are spending money on promotions and advertising to help get the ball rolling on their listings. 

 

TIME

To successfully sell on Amazon, you need to put in the time it takes to be successful. If you are consistent, you can quickly launch your first product within 3 months, just like 55% of other Amazon sellers have done. 29% launched in less than 6 weeks!

Don’t feel like you need to get up and running that quickly, though. 14% of sellers took 6 months to a year to launch their Amazon business. 

Go at your own pace and what makes you feel most comfortable.

How much time do sellers spend per week on their business?

Once you get your business up and running, you still need to put time into managing it. If you utilize FBA to handle all order logistics, you could reasonably spend less than 10 hours per week on your business, like 43% of sellers do. 

In the beginning stages, you will likely be spending more time on your venture. 13% of sellers spend 21-30 hours per week on the business while 19% have gone full-time selling on Amazon and are working nearly 40 hours or more.

The time you put into your business depends on what you want out of it.  

For more information on what it takes to sell on Amazon, check out our State of the Seller Report.

 

So, is Amazon FBA worth it?

Yes, Amazon is competitive. It takes a decent amount of time and money to start, and contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of venture. Navigating an Amazon FBA business requires learning, perseverance, and hard work. But is it worth it? Ultimately, that answer is up to you, but we say yes.

In our opinion, there are far more upsides to selling on Amazon than downsides. Will every seller who launches a product on Amazon be successful? Probably not — but if you put in the work, constantly improve and learn from your mistakes, you will be successful at selling on Amazon. 

Anyone can do it. Why can’t you? 

Do you have any more questions about selling on Amazon FBA? Let us know in the comments!

Want to know more about how Jungle Scout can help you find a profitable product to launch on Amazon? Click the “Learn More” button below!

20 comments on “Is Selling on Amazon FBA Still Worth It?

  1. Selling on Amazon is not as simple as it used to be. To be successful on Amazon these days, you need to be strategic about the products you sell and how you price them. You also need to be prepared for changes that could come down from on high at any time.

  2. Does your product research tool take into consideration returns and PPC ad spend? Unfortunately, returns and ad spend can easily make a product unprofitable.

    1. Hi Adam,

      The Keyword Scout tool will give you an estimate of the cost per click per keyword but cannot estimate the monthly costs of PPC or returns. That is impossible to provide as it depends on your product listing quality, conversion rate, daily budget, keywords targeted, and much more.

      For instance, products in the clothing category have higher returns rates, but for other categories, the average return rate can be anywhere from 1% to 5%. But of course that depends on the quality of your product and the accuracy of your listing.

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      It depends on how many units you want to create yourself. I suggest signing up for Amazon Handmade if you will be selling products you design and fabricate yourself.

  3. Where can I find info on what is trending, or for instance what people are searching for on google? How can I find something that has potential for good profit?

    1. Hi Yevgeniy,

      You can use Google Trends to figure out what is currently trending online. It is a free tool offered by Google. Once you find something trending, you can use tools such as Jungle Scout to figure out the competition, demand, and profitability for selling on Amazon.

  4. I’m worried abut amazons return policy. Sin ce they are so magnanimous in having a 15-20 day return policy, the possibility of using a product n returning it back within the timeframe is high.
    For handcrafted home decor products, the return policy should be 2 days max.

    1. Hi,

      That is just the cost of doing business on Amazon, unfortunately. If you see a high return rate, figure out what the problem is and try to fix it so other customers don’t have the same issues.

  5. Hi Brian,
    What is the best way to find a FBA coach that I can trust? Many of the coaches have a ton of marketing tools and it makes me feel like the catch and hook situation. I need someone honest and genuine. Is there some sort of FBA database to search for the right coach. Please help, looking for answers.

    1. Hi LaNette,

      There are quite a few Facebook groups dedicated to Amazon sellers. I would look in some of those to see if the admins of the pages offer coaching. Many seem trustworthy and don’t come across as the “guru” types you see on Youtube.

  6. I really like to start sell on Amazon. I me d help with the process. But there are so many scammers and lying people. Out there. Do you have any affordable course on showing how to start.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Jungle Scout does have the Academy which is available with any level Jungle Scout subscription. You can also check out our Youtube channel that has lots of great informative videos about how to get started.

  7. Which type of product we can sell on amazon. I am from India and want to start my business as a seller on amazon. please suggest which kind of product can sell on amazon india or usa.

    1. Hi Rinku,

      Well, unfortunately, no one is going to tell you what to sell! We have tons of great content on product research and how to find a profitable product to sell on Amazon. Check them out! 🙂

      Brian

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