Everyone has that annoying neighbor or co-worker who supposedly makes piles of money online selling their ‘stuff’ on the side. Surely they’re just hawking their used junk on Craigslist or Ebay attempting to pawn off their useless items, right? Well, chances are those tales of crazy earnings are tall ones indeed but sometimes where there’s smoke there can be fire. If you’re looking for a way to create a new online income stream with minimal risk and little competition, a true workable solution is right at your fingertips. Go Where the Prime Buyers Are If there is one word to be shouted out from high atop the mountains to those seeking extra online income streams with very little risk it would be this: Amazon! You’re probably saying “…but I don’t want to sell my stuff online”. Well, luck has it for you that’s the most common misconception in the world of online selling, especially when it comes to the Amazon platform. Leveraging the world’s largest online consumer selling platform and their established traffic to your advantage is now possible for anyone anywhere with the proper tools and techniques. And no, you’re not just selling your old junk but rather new items you can find anywhere whether it be retail, wholesale or otherwise. Would you tell me I’m crazy if I told you people on Amazon are more than willing to pay double, triple or even 5x an item’s actual retail cost simply because they can sit in their in their pajamas and have it delivered quickly? Well, its true and you can be in the game to access the 50+ million buyers willing to do this. Best part of it is you don’t need a college degree or coding skills. Heck, technically you don’t even need a computer. All you need is some will and dedication and you can make serious money online. High Traffic + Useful Data = Low Risk/High Reward When you talk about minimal risk in a new venture online, most experts agree that tapping into an already established traffic source is the best way to approach this concept. Google is the first dominant traffic source many new entrepreneurs attempt to leverage however getting access to that focused traffic for someone new is very difficult and way too costly. le Youtube is another monster traffic source many attempt to utilize for financial gains but you will required to be creative and create something, a path that many entrepreneurs don’t want to go down. Amazon however is another story. You don’t need to create lavish videos. You don’t need to be a search engine optimization wizard. In fact, many times you don’t need to do ANYTHING creative since most products on Amazon already have existing listings on their platform to piggyback off of for selling purposes. Where else can you use the dominant traffic source of willing buyers to your advantage and do it to your own growth level desire? As of 2015, Amazon provides us (for free) the one thing we all seek which is the their Best Seller Rankings (BSR) of each product listed on their platform. With these sales rankings and some organizational data provided by various Amazon gurus and secondary businesses, we more or less know not only IF an item will sell but how often it will sell depending upon the time of year. These are very powerful tools to have for online entrepreneurs and wannabes alike. If you know you can buy Product A for $10 and its selling for $40 on Amazon with a very good BSR, it doesn’t get any easier than that. What if you can get 20 or 50 of those items? The potential for financial gains is real. Having this data gives literally anyone with some business drive the opportunity to locate physical products, determine if they can make a profit on them and sell via Amazon’s platform. The Power of Amazon Prime What’s important to understand about Amazon is that as many as 50 million+ Amazon users pay $99 a year to receive what’s called Prime Membership. With Prime, any item large or small that is labeled as Prime on Amazon and purchased will be shipped within 2 business days to that Prime user’s doorstep. Most Prime members ONLY peruse listings with Prime-eligible items and are willing to pay significantly more for these items for two simple reasons. First, they get the item quickly. Second, they can return the item to Amazon directly and get a refund with no questions asked, meaning they only deal with Amazon directly and no outside entities. Prime buyers don’t want to deal with you, me or your neighbor and are more than willing to pay $99 a year plus higher purchase prices to ensure it. As a real example, Prime buyers will gladly pay $40 for a new book listed as Prime versus the same exact book sold for $20 by a 3rd party non-Prime seller simply because of the aforementioned reasons. Another very important aspect of Prime is this: only items shipped directly from one of Amazon’s warehouse are Prime eligible. Sure, Amazon is a direct seller of many of the items on the Amazon platform so those items are all Prime eligible. However, what many don’t realize is that you and I can also sell items eligible as Prime and separate ourselves from the many non-Prime sellers. How does one leverage this Prime phenomenon? By utilizing the Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA platform. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) + Prime = Winner Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is the feature of Amazon that allows any approved seller to send eligible items into Amazon’s warehouses where they will be stored and labeled as Prime eligible to buyers searching for that item online. When a Prime member eventually buys your item, it automatically gets shipped by Amazon from their warehouse and is fully managed by Amazon to ensure it is at your buyer’s doorstep within 2 business days. The key thing that separates FBA from not only Ebay and Craigslist but also Amazon’s Merchant Fulfilled platform is that once your item is in Amazon’s warehouse it’s relatively hands off for you from that point on including any future returns or customer service issues that may arise. Keeping Away the Riff Raff = Less Competition To become an eligible seller on the FBA platform you must first be an established business in the legal sense. One great thing about Amazon vs some of the other selling platforms is that Amazon makes you jump through some professional hoops to become a seller on their platform. If you’re not willing to become a true business and prove it for tax and legal purposes then you’re not a good fit to sell on Amazon. See this is a very good thing because many online sellers simply don’t want to take the time to do this and thus less competition ensues. If you’re brand new and do not have a business per se, doing so either through your own state’s website or an outside entity such as Legalzoom or one of the various online self-business establishment portals is a fairly straightforward process. Once your business is established, getting a federal EIN is the next step and again something easily done through the IRS.gov website. Once you have a fully established business you can apply to become a seller on Amazon either as a professional or individual business. Professional businesses pay a monthly fee which allows them to post as many items on Amazon as they choose whereas individual businesses must pay for each item listed which adds up very quickly for many. Once you’re on Amazon’s FBA platform, learning how to handle your inventory and manage listings does take some time but is very manageable and worth your while. Smart Decisions + Proper Tools = Predictable Revenue Stream In order to become a successful FBA seller, the art of finding discounted or very low cost items, processing them and shipping them efficiently to Amazon’s warehouses is the key to succeeding in this field. Both free and premium online tools and apps are available for sellers large and small to make these sourcing and prepping issues easier and more calculated to ensure solid profits. There are some many tools in fact that going in depth regarding them would be a whole other article indeed. In addition, the many tips and tricks successful Amazon sellers use to succeed in finding products to source is a business amongst itself. Suffice to say with all of the sales data Amazon provides us as FBA sellers along with some fantastic apps and tools to calculate fees and find highly ranked items to sell, generating real profits is a simple game of math in the end. Buy low & sell much higher and you will win find a new online income stream you can scale as you please. Using the power of established buyer traffic streams for your own personal gains will provide a real boost to your online income portfolio. Images: “SEATTLE WA – DEC 11: Amazon.com, the largest online seller, is offering customers up to $5 off their purchase of the same items scanned in any other companies’ stores on Dec 11, 2011 in Seattle, Wa/Shutterstock.com“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.