How to Sell on Amazon Without Inventory: 4 Best Methods for Sellers




Selling items online can be a lucrative opportunity, but it often comes with challenges like high startup costs and significant risk. Learn how to sell on Amazon without inventory by outlining methods that allow you to start selling without holding physical stock. This approach reduces financial risk, lowers initial costs, and offers greater flexibility in managing your business.

One effective way to sell on Amazon without inventory is through dropshipping. This method allows you to list products on Amazon and have your suppliers ship them directly to customers. Another popular option is print-on-demand, where custom products are created and shipped only when an order is placed. Both methods eliminate the need for inventory, making it easier to get started.

You'll also learn about strategies like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for selling eBooks and using affiliate marketing to earn commissions by promoting products. Each method has its benefits and challenges, offering various options to find the best fit for your business. By understanding and applying these techniques, you can start making money on Amazon with minimal upfront investment and lower risks.

How Do I Start Selling on Amazon With No Money?

To start selling on Amazon with no money, you can use methods like dropshipping or print-on-demand. These approaches let you list products without holding inventory. When a customer buys an item, your supplier ships it directly to them, so you don't need to invest in stock upfront. 


Additionally, you can explore selling eBooks through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or earning commissions via affiliate marketing. These strategies require minimal or no initial investment, making it easier to start your business.


Try these effective methods:

Method 1: Dropshipping on Amazon

Dropshipping on Amazon allows you to sell products without holding inventory. You list items from suppliers, and they handle product storage and shipping.

How to Dropship on Amazon?

  • Find Suppliers: Identify reliable suppliers using platforms like AliExpress or Oberlo. Ensure they offer quality products and timely shipping.
  • List Products: Use product listings that include detailed descriptions, features, and high-quality images. Optimize for keywords to improve visibility.
  • Manage Orders: When customers place orders, forward them to your supplier. They then ship directly to the customer. Track orders to ensure timely delivery.
  • Compliance: Follow Amazon's dropshipping policy. You must be the seller of record, meaning invoices and packing slips must show your information, not your supplier's. Regularly review and adhere to Amazon’s dropshipping rules to avoid account suspension.

Method 2: Print-on-Demand (POD)

Print-on-Demand (POD) is a great way to sell on Amazon without holding any inventory. You can use a service like Amazon Merch on Demand to handle everything from printing to shipping your products.

To get started, create an account on Amazon Merch on Demand. Once you're approved, you can upload your custom designs. These designs can go on various items like t-shirts, hoodies, and more.

Steps to List Your Products:

  1. Create Your Design: Use graphic design software to create appealing designs.
  2. Upload to Amazon Merch on Demand: Log in and upload your design files.
  3. Set Your Price: Choose a price that covers all costs and leaves you with a profit.
  4. Publish: After review, your items will be listed on Amazon.

Amazon takes care of printing, packing, and shipping each order. You don't need to store any products yourself.

Benefits of POD Include:

  • No Inventory Risk: You don't need to purchase products upfront.
  • Scalability: Effortlessly increase the number of products you offer.
  • Automation: Focus on creating designs while Amazon handles fulfillment.

Useful Integrations:

To expand beyond Amazon, consider integrating with tools like Printful or Printify. These platforms sync with Amazon to automate the listing and order process.

Print-on-demand is a flexible and low-risk way to start your e-commerce journey on Amazon.

Method 3: Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to publish their books directly to Amazon, without the need for a traditional publishing house. KDP allows authors to create and sell both eBooks and print-on-demand books, with the option to earn higher royalties through the KDP Select program. 

Key features of KDP include:

  • Free publishing: No upfront costs or inventory orders are required.
  • Full rights retention: Authors retain full rights to their books.
  • Easy formatting and marketing tools: KDP provides tools for formatting and marketing books, including free file conversion, sales tracking, and promotional tools.
  • Royalty rates: KDP offers up to 70% royalties for eBooks sold in certain countries and 60% for paperbacks.
  • Print-on-demand: KDP allows authors to publish print books without holding inventory, with Amazon printing and shipping books as they are ordered

How to Create a Free KDP Account?

First, create a free KDP account. Go to the Kindle Direct Publishing website and sign up. You'll need to enter basic information, including your name and tax details.

To publish an ebook, prepare your manuscript. Write or format your text using tools like Microsoft Word. Save it in a supported format, such as .docx. You can also use the Kindle Create tool to make your book look professional.

Next, design your cover. You can use the KDP Cover Creator, which provides templates and easy-to-use design tools.

Upload your manuscript and cover to your KDP Bookshelf. Follow the step-by-step prompts to complete the upload. Enter book details, including title, author, and keywords to help readers find your book.

For paperbacks, KDP also has an on-demand printing option. You just prepare and upload your manuscript and cover. Amazon will print and ship copies as customers order them.

Set your publishing rights and pricing. Decide whether you want to enroll your book in KDP Select, which can increase its visibility.

Important tips:

  • Edit thoroughly to ensure your book is error-free.
  • Choose engaging titles and covers to attract readers.
  • Promote your book through social media and author websites to boost sales.

Method 4: Amazon Associates Program

The Amazon Associates Program allows you to earn money through affiliate marketing by promoting Amazon products and earning commissions.

Assessing Supplier Reputation

Before promoting any product, it’s important to assess the reputation of the supplier. Research the credibility and past performance of suppliers. Check customer reviews, ratings, and feedback on Amazon.

Look for consistent positive reviews and high ratings. Reliable suppliers often have good return policies and excellent customer service. Verify if they have a track record of timely and accurate order fulfillment. Evaluating these factors can ensure you promote quality products, increasing trust and credibility with your audience.

Negotiating Terms with Suppliers

Aligning with trustworthy suppliers can also involve negotiating terms. This includes the commission rate you’ll earn and the types of promotional materials they provide. Look for suppliers willing to offer higher commission rates.

Ask about exclusive offers and discounts, and if they will provide banners, images, or other marketing aids to boost your promotions. Clear communication helps in setting up a mutually beneficial relationship. Additionally, understanding their shipping and support policies is crucial, as this affects customer experience and your reputation as an affiliate marketer.

Finding Profitable Products and Niches

Finding profitable products and niches is key to selling on Amazon without inventory. Start by identifying a niche that has demand but isn't overly competitive.

Keyword Research

Using keyword research tools like Keyword Explorer helps you find popular search terms related to your niche. This can guide product selection and inform your product listings by ensuring you include relevant keywords.

Market Analysis

Tools like Seller Sprite can analyze market trends and suggest lucrative niches. Seller Sprite’s Opportunity Finder highlights products with high demand and low competition, making it simpler to choose profitable items.

Product Listings

Once you identify a niche, optimize your product listings. Use compelling product descriptions and high-quality images to attract customers. Accurate listings reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction.

Demand and Competition

Evaluate the demand and competition for each potential product. High-demand and low-competition products are ideal. Check competitor listings to see what they're doing right and how you can improve.


Tips for Success

  • Consistency: Regularly update product descriptions and keywords to stay relevant.
  • Quality Images: Use multiple images to show your product from different angles.
  • Customer Reviews: Encourage reviews to build trust and credibility.

Creating and Optimizing Your Amazon Listings

To create an Amazon listing, sign in to Seller Central. Navigate to "Inventory," then click "Add a Product." Fill in all necessary details like product name, brand, and category.

Use relevant keywords to help buyers find your product. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can assist in finding the right words.

High-Quality Images

High-quality images are essential. Use clear, well-lit photos. Show the product from different angles. Use images that are at least 1000 pixels in height or width for the zoom feature.


*Read our guide on Amazon Image Requirements for more insights.

Compelling Product Descriptions

Your product description should be clear and engaging. Highlight the benefits and features of your product. Use bullet points to list key features. Write in short sentences to keep it readable.

Amazon SEO Tips

Your title, description, and keywords affect search rankings. Include important keywords naturally in the title and description. Avoid keyword stuffing, which can hurt your ranking.


Advantages and Challenges of No-Inventory Selling


  • Lower Initial Investment: Selling without inventory means you don't need to buy stock upfront. This can save you a lot of money.
  • Flexibility: You can offer a wide range of products without needing to store them. This lets you adjust your product offerings easily.
  • Reduced Risk: Not holding inventory minimizes the risk of unsold stock. You don’t have to worry about storage costs or damaged goods.
  • Easier to Scale: Since you don’t handle physical products, you can scale your business more easily and quickly add new items to your store.


  • Supplier Reliability: Your business depends on suppliers delivering products on time. If they fail, it can hurt your reputation.

Solution: Choose reliable suppliers and maintain good communication. Having backup suppliers can also reduce risks.

  • Customer Service Issues: Handling returns and exchanges can be complex when you don’t manage inventory directly.

Solution: Clearly state your return policies and work closely with suppliers to resolve issues promptly.

  • Quality Control: You’re not inspecting products yourself, so there can be quality inconsistencies.

Solution: Test products periodically and get customer feedback to ensure quality standards are met.

  • Shipping Times: Longer shipping times can be an issue if your supplier is international. 

Solution: Make customers aware of potential delays and consider choosing suppliers with faster shipping options.

Selling on Amazon without inventory can offer great benefits, but it's important to be aware of and prepare for potential challenges. This approach can save money and reduce risk but requires careful management of suppliers and customer service to succeed.


Selling on Amazon without inventory is a powerful way to run a business with less hassle. You have several methods to choose from, such as dropshippingprint-on-demand, or partnering with suppliers.

These strategies allow you to focus on marketing and customer service while avoiding the complexities of inventory management.

Setting up an Amazon Seller account and optimizing your product listings are crucial steps. Clear, engaging product descriptions and high-quality images can significantly improve your conversions.

Consider using the Amazon Associates Program to earn commissions by promoting other brands' products. It's a simple way to start if you prefer not to handle shipping and customer service.

For deeper insights and further guidance, explore resources like Seller Sprite. They offer valuable tips and methods that can help you succeed in inventory-less selling.

Starting today can put you on the path to financial freedom and flexibility. By leveraging the tools and strategies discussed, you can build a thriving business on Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Selling on Amazon without inventory involves alternative methods like dropshipping, print-on-demand, and affiliate marketing. These methods enable you to operate without holding physical stock.

Can you dropship on Amazon?

Yes, you can dropship on Amazon. To do this, you list products from a supplier on Amazon. When a customer buys a product, the supplier ships it directly to them. You don't need to handle or store the inventory yourself.

How does print-on-demand work on Amazon?

Print-on-demand on Amazon allows you to sell custom-designed products without holding inventory. You create designs and list them on Amazon. When a customer orders, a third-party service prints and ships the product directly to the customer.

How much can you earn with Amazon Associates?

The Amazon Associates program lets you earn commissions by promoting Amazon products. You earn a percentage of the sale when someone buys through your affiliate link. Earnings depend on the product category and the volume of sales generated through your links.

How do I start selling on Amazon with no money?

To start selling on Amazon with little to no money, you can use dropshipping or affiliate marketing. These methods require minimal upfront costs. You create listings or promotional content without needing to invest in inventory.

Do I need my own products to sell on Amazon?

No, you do not need your own products to sell on Amazon. You can use dropshipping, print-on-demand, or affiliate marketing. These methods let you sell or promote products from other suppliers and businesses without creating your own products.


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