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Sell on Amazon for free: woman working on her laptop at a cafe

Sell on Amazon for Free

2021 Update:

In order to provide ecommerce entrepreneurs with all the information they need to succeed with their Amazon ventures—from launch, to first sale, to growth and scaling—we’ve updated our content for 2021. 

This includes new data on the long-term success of Amazon sellers who launched their businesses with little to no money. Spoiler alert: selling on Amazon is still a profitable venture for aspiring entrepreneurs with minimal startup capital. Read on to learn why.  

Looking to start an ecommerce business? Check out our updated guides for How to Sell on Amazon, How to Sell on Walmart.com, and How to Sell on eBay in 2021.

Did you know that you can get started selling on Amazon practically for free? This article will teach you everything you need to know in order to get started selling on Amazon without having to open your wallet.

Then, once you’ve gotten a feel for how Amazon works, you can start investing a little more into your business.

Let’s take a look at how you can get started on Amazon for free.

 

How to sell on Amazon for free (in four easy steps)

To get started selling on Amazon, all it takes is four simple steps:

  1. Find a free product to sell. If you’re like me, chances are you have a bunch of stuff lying around your house collecting dust. Why not sell it on Amazon?
  2. Create a free Amazon account. Creating an individual seller account on Amazon costs you absolutely nothing. All you need is to give Amazon a little information and you’re good to go.
  3. List your product on Amazon for free. Amazon.com’s product database has more than 166 million products. Therefore, chances are good that whatever you hope to sell is already listed. If it is, all you’ll have to do is add your name to the list of sellers already offering the product.
  4. Ship the product when it sells. Once you make the sale on Amazon, all you have to do is ship the product to the end user.

 

Does it cost money to sell on Amazon?

While selling on Amazon can cost money, it is possible to do it without spending a dime (or, fewer dimes than you might expect). 

In fact, in a survey of over 4,000 Amazon sellers, Jungle Scout discovered that sellers who started with less cash found success in the long run. 

  • 63% of sellers who started with $500 or less have been selling for three years or longer
  • 33% of sellers who started with $500 or less earn $5,000 or more per month

Sellers who started small have a lot to say about what they’ve accomplished thanks to their success on Amazon. So far, they’ve achieved:

  • “Huge retirement savings, paid off house, buy cars with cash, travel first class.”
  • “I was able to stay home with my kids until my youngest started kindergarten.”
  • “Quit my full-time job in 2018. Tripled my income.”

So, when starting out there are two main costs you need to consider: fees and the cost of your products.

What are Amazon’s fees?

The two main fees you will need to concern yourself with are:

  • Referral fees are Amazon’s commission (usually around 15% of the sales price).
  • Individual per-item fees are flat fees you pay if you aren’t a professional seller; you will have to pay $0.99 per item you sell. 

Both of these fees are taken out after you make the sale. Therefore, you won’t have to pay them up front.

Note: There are some other Amazon fees, but as long as you start off as an individual seller — a seller who sells fewer than 40 products per month — you won’t have to worry about those just yet.

 

How to find a free product to sell on Amazon

If you’re just starting out and are concerned about keeping costs low, we recommend finding used items around your home to sell.

Used books, kitchen items, toys, and sometimes even electronics are all great items that you can find around your home. You can quickly list these items on Amazon and if they are popular enough, might sell almost immediately after you list them.

Alternatively, you could make your own products. If you have a knack for crafting and design, consider Amazon Handmade and/or Merch by Amazon

With Handmade, your product costs are the materials you use to create your goods. With Merch, aside from your time, there are no upfront costs. 

How do you know if your product will sell on Amazon?

Before you list your product on Amazon, you want to make sure that it will actually sell. Fortunately, Amazon offers a way for you to “tell the future” so to speak. Here’s how:

1. Check the product’s Best Sellers Rank (BSR)

Amazon awards almost every single product in its 166 million product database a special score called the Best Sellers Rank (BSR). Products have a BSR for each category they are listed in.

And the lower a product’s BSR, the better it sells. A product with a BSR of #1 will likely sell thousands of units per month versus a product with a BSR of #300,000 which might only sell a handful of units in the same time period.

When you are sourcing and listing your products, be sure to check the product’s BSR. You can find it on the product listing page in the Description section. If it’s low (or good), it could be a good opportunity for you to add your product to the listing to try to sell.

2. Estimate your sales

Put the item’s BSR into Jungle Scout’s free Amazon Sales Estimator, which calculates the average number of sales the product should have each month.

Consider using Jungle Scout’s all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon, which offers a full suite of solutions you can use to start selling on Amazon. 

Jungle Scout includes the following tools which can help you build your Amazon business:

  • Product research tools to help you quickly find profitable products to sell on Amazon
  • Keyword Scout to help you find high-performing keywords
  • Supplier Database to help you find manufacturers to create your products
  • Alerts that notify you about changes to your listings, reviews, or when other sellers price their products lower than yours

3. Estimate how fast your product will sell

Once you know your product’s BSR and the average number of monthly sales that product makes, simply divide the average number of monthly sales by 30. 

The result is the number of times per day that product sells on Amazon. 

So if you sell a product that sells 10 units per day (300 per month), chances are pretty good that your product will sell the first day you list it.

 

How do I create a free Amazon account?

First, learn all you need to know about how to create an Amazon seller account.

And then, when you’re given the choice between the professional seller account and individual seller account, choose the individual seller account.

If you choose the professional seller account, there will be a $39.99 subscription fee. As an individual seller, there is no monthly subscription.

 

How to list a product on Amazon for free (in three quick steps)?

As mentioned above, almost every product you could possibly think of can be found on Amazon. 

So, unless you are selling a brand new product that has never been seen before, such as a handmade product or a product you manufactured, all you need to do to list a product on Amazon is find the existing product’s listing.

And the fastest way to do this is to simply go to Amazon just like you would if you were shopping.

1. Find the product’s page on Amazon

In the search bar, type in the product that you wish to sell. You can give a description of the product or you can type in the product’s UPC (or ISBN if it is a book). You may have to scroll through the search options to find the exact product that you hope to list.

2. Click the ‘Sell on Amazon’ button

Once you find your product, on the right side of the screen just below the product’s Buy Box, you will see a gray button that reads ‘Sell on Amazon.’

Sell on Amazon for free: Amazon listing

3. Enter in your product’s information

After you click the button, Amazon requests the following information about your product:

  • Condition: If you are selling a new item, the condition is New. Otherwise, use Amazon’s condition guidelines to determine the quality of the used product you are selling.
  • Price: Unless your product is in better condition than the others listed, likely, you want to offer the lowest price available. Usually, Amazon gives you a price suggestion that would make your price the lowest.
  • Quantity: How many copies of the product do you have for sale? If you have only one, you can leave this blank. Otherwise, enter the total.
  • Fulfillment method: How will you send the product to the customer once it sells? There are two ways to do this which we describe below.

After that, click ‘Save and Finish.’ Usually, your product appears on the product’s listing page within two hours.

 

How do I fulfill/ship a product once it sells on Amazon?

Okay, you’ve made a sale! Now what? Time to ship.

And although you can’t really “ship for free” with Amazon, there are a number of things you can do to keep costs down. 

Here are a few tips:

1. Use packing materials you already have

If you’re like me, you probably have tons of boxes lying around — probably even Amazon boxes! Reuse those boxes, plus any packing contents that came with them, such as air pillows, packing peanuts, or shredded paper. Just make sure you don’t have old labels on the boxes and that they are in good condition. 

2. Sell lightweight and small products

The smaller the product you sell, the lower your shipping costs will be. This is especially true with products like books and media products. Thanks to USPS Media Mail, you can ship a book that weighs less than 1 pound for less than $3.00.

3. Use Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program

Did you know that Amazon will actually hold your products for you and ship them once they sell? Amazon does this as part of their Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

Not only that, but the cost for Amazon to do this is often less than what it would cost you were you to do it yourself.

Plus, Amazon deducts the shipping costs from your funds as if it were a fee. That way, you can get around having to spend money out of pocket to ship the products you sell.

All you have to do is ship your products to Amazon and Amazon handles it from there.

 

Are you ready to start selling? Check out Jungle Scout’s options,
which include access to Academy training content reserved for Jungle Scout members,
to help you get up and running:

 

 

50 comments on “Sell on Amazon for Free

  1. Me and my wife would love to becoming or own Amazon sellers…But we just don’t know how to get a good start…Is there anything you have to help us get started…It would be much appreciated….thank you….we don’t have a website and don’t know how to start one.

  2. Wonderful information. Thanks a lot.
    In Pakistan people are charging too much money to share this info to the innocent public, who is already very excited as Amazon has started working in Pakistan now.

  3. Hi Team,

    What is the lowest amount of capital needed to start an FBA?

    I really need to start an online business.

    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Victoria,

      You can start with free items such as used books. Used books are a great way to start selling on Amazon as you can get them from many sources. Check out our post on selling books.

  4. Do I follow these steps exactly? For example, Should I create an Amazon seller account before I purchase my jungle scout account or vice versa?

    1. Hi Vicent,

      I suggest setting up your Amazon account before anything else. You can do both at the same time to begin your product research but sometimes the account set up takes a little time.

  5. Have you ever heard of a company wanting to partner with you on your account while they do all the product listings? They usually have a start up fee of upwards of 15,000 dollars. It this legit or a scam?

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Stay away from companies like that. Do the work yourself and use that money to launch your own products.

  6. I like the information you provided. However when I attempted to sign up for the individual seller account (following all the appropriate links) they still want to charge for a professional seller account. I have emailed them to clarify the question for me….we shall see.

    1. Hi Dan,

      Request that they refund you for the pro account, they’ll usually do it if you didn’t use your account yet.

  7. I want to sell on Amazon, I dont have a product but would love to sell exercise related item, how do I go about getting a supplier and manfature to get what I want. I would like to start of with stretch bands…then go from there

  8. Good afternoon,I just finished reading your article.It was very informative and it encouraged me to look into doing business online. My only issue might be that I live in Israel and I’m not sure how that works considering the Post office’s over here are not like the ones in the states. There are courier services but they are more expensive.I would like to get your thoughts on this. Your response is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

  9. Hi,
    I wanted to sell some of my audio CDs on Amazon, but when I made an Amazon account it wasn’t free, they asked for a monthly subscription of £25…. is there anyway I can sell without the subscription fee??? (I am selling in the uk).

    1. You can downgrade your account to an individual account, which is free. You can then contact seller support and request a refund for the pro account since you never used it.

  10. Great article I’m wanting to get my feet wet so to speak I noticed it u said selling items around the house but only certain items can b sold used i.e books but u can’t sell used clothing was jus wondering which items used can u sell?

    1. Hi Brandi,

      There are some items you can sell used on Amazon. Such as books, electronics, etc. Read through Amazon’s terms about selling used items to see which categories are allowed.

      Most used products such as clothes are best for ebay.

  11. Hi Dave,

    I would like to know if opening an individual seller account requires any official business documents like trade license or office or anything. Or is it just register your account and go to business? Please advice.

  12. Hi iam an entrepreneur and wanted to sell me handmade ,natural soaps I need help in this like marketing advertising and everything I wa ted to sell me product through Amazon and wanted to make my brand name what help you can do for me

  13. I also want to sell some used items lying around in my house. I live in Hong Kong. Are there any big problems if I want to sell on Amazon and ship the items outside of America and directly from Hong Kong? Please help.

  14. Hi There, I have been a collector for years so I have hundreds of books, some in multiple quantities and brand new and over 1500 cds, which are mostly used. From what I have read. It seams this is a great opportunity for me to get into Amazon and start getting my feet wet, while making some money before I get into other products that I need to purchase to sell and I had one question.

    I have multiple of a book that has a BSR of 5,803,682, which translates to 40 sales per month or 1.3 sales a day. I understand this is not huge, but if Amazon is selling one a day and I price mine lower, am I assuming correctly that I should sell it in a month?

    1. Yes, that is correct to assume. Though, you will have a better chance of beating Amazon in the buy box if it was Prime.

      Are you going to be selling the books as new or used?

  15. Is it possible to have a manufacturer ship the items I want to sell to Amazon and when items sell amazon send manufacturers their money, then send me my money.

    1. Hi Amelia,

      What you are describing is dropshipping. We have a few guides on that in our blog!

      You list items on Amazon, once something sells you tell the manufacture or supplier to ship the items, and then you get paid by Amazon when the item ships.

  16. Good morning, I have a lot of used children’s toys and clothes mainly boys. Will I still be able to sell my items even though they are used? Everything is in good to excellent condition. I am extremely eager to sell the items I have. What do I have to do to start selling the items?

    1. Hi Diana,

      Thanks for the question! You are not allowed to sell those items as used on Amazon. Used toys and clothing are best for marketplaces like eBay, offer up, let go, etc.

      I hope this helps!

  17. I’m trying to start selling as an individual but it is saying I have to pay the 39.99 a month instead of the unit sold option. Is this new??

  18. Hi Dave, enjoyed your article and key points for getting started selling on Amazon. I am green in this area. I want to get started for little money if you get my meaning. I have been out of work since August 2019 due to bad knees. I want to do this right but I don’t understand this concept of finding products to sell on Amazon. Am I looking on Amazon for these products or some where else? Please help!

    Robert

    1. Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the comment! I suggest starting with books. Look around your house to see if you have any old books lying around. Look them up on Amazon and take a look at the sales rank, as stated in the article. Also, there is a lot of great resources on Youtube about this topic.

      You can easily find used books very cheap at thrift stores or even for free on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, etc.

      I hope this helps!

      Brian

  19. Hi Dave, very helpful tip, I want to start selling on Amazon but I want to try with little money. How may I contact you for additional assistance?
    Thanks

  20. Good article. Amazon will accept to sell indian products from India to USA.? Can you answer this question?

    1. Hi Satyanarayana,

      Of course! You’ll still need to go through the normal process, but there’s no reason why products made in Indian factories wouldn’t be available to sell on Amazon.

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