June 28, 2023
min read
Written by: 
Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt
Online Retail

How to Sell On Amazon Without Inventory [Guide]

Consider the countless times you've experienced the convenience of shopping on Amazon, the unrivaled ecommerce titan.

There's nothing quite like the comfort of your home, where you can effortlessly browse the website, adding items to your cart with a simple tap on your smartphone or a few keystrokes on your computer.

But you know what's equally delightful?

It's the possibility of venturing into the realm of Amazon selling and unlocking the potential for substantial income and the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, all without the burden of demanding inventory management.

So, if you want to learn how to sell on Amazon without inventory, keep reading!

Exploring Alternatives: How To Sell on Amazon Without Inventory

When it comes to selling on Amazon, many successful third-party sellers have followed a tried-and-true blueprint:

Research a product ➡️ Purchase inventory in bulk ➡️ Run product ads ➡️ Make sales and generate revenue.

While this approach has proven effective for numerous entrepreneurs, only some possess the inventory management skills or the necessary budget to acquire, handle, ship, and store physical products.

Recognizing this limitation, Amazon has opened doors for third-party sellers to create and sell products without needing inventory!

If you're interested in this approach, here are several options to consider:

  • Enroll in the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program.
  • Explore dropshipping as a method for product fulfillment.
  • Utilize a combination of FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) and third-party logistics (3PL) service providers.
  • Venture into selling digital products.
  • Become an Amazon associate.

Let's delve deeper into each of these alternatives to gain a better understanding.

1. Amazon Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)

When it comes to fulfilling orders without the hassle of inventory management, Amazon FBA is a trendy choice among sellers.

With Amazon FBA, sellers ship their products to Amazon's warehouses, where the inventory is stored, and Amazon handles all shipping processes.

This fulfillment method is convenient for customers, as they can place orders and have their products shipped directly from Amazon.


How It Works

Embarking on your FBA journey is a straightforward process that doesn't require elaborate preparations:

1. Sign up for an Amazon seller's account to familiarize yourself with your specific selling plan's fees and monthly costs.

2. Configure your FBA settings and preferences within Amazon's seller account portal.

3. Create detailed and compelling listings for your products. 

4. Adhere to Amazon's packing guidelines to ensure your products are adequately packaged and labeled for shipment. 

5. Stay current with Amazon's routing and shipping requirements by consulting their current list.


Pros and Cons

✅ Access to Amazon's vast customer base increases visibility and potential sales.

✅ Amazon handles fulfillment, shipping, and order management, saving time and effort.

✅ Leveraging Amazon's brand recognition means customers expect fast shipping and exceptional customer service.

❌ Fees can impact profit margins, so it's crucial to calculate and assess the financial implications.

❌ You may need additional investments for packaging and labeling supplies to meet Amazon's standards.

2. Dropshipping Method 

Dropshipping is a fulfillment method where sellers operate without maintaining inventory. 

The key advantage of dropshipping is that it eliminates the need for significant upfront investment, as you buy products after you sell them.

Although, there are potential drawbacks, such as finding reliable suppliers and the possibility of shipping delays.

How It Works

The process is relatively simple: you create listings for the products you want to sell on Amazon, and when a customer makes a purchase, you order the item from your supplier, who then ships it directly to the customer. 


Pros and Cons

✅ It eliminates storage costs and concerns about product damage.

✅ You can offer a broader range of products since your inventory does not limit you.

✅ Expanded customer base by selling through various channels, including Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, your online store, and social media platforms.

✅ You can run your business from anywhere since the manufacturer or wholesaler handles online transactions and fulfillment.

✅ The absence of upfront inventory investment allows you to scale and grow your business at your preferred pace.

❌ Finding unique products can be more challenging due to increased competition in the dropshipping space.

❌ Selling products you don't have in inventory may result in lower profits as many sellers usually offer the same products, leading to price competition.

❌ The shipping duration can vary depending on the supplier, which may make customers dissatisfied.

Before starting your dropshipping business:

  • Select a profitable niche.
  • Perform comprehensive research on your competitors.
  • Find a reliable and trustworthy dropshipping provider.

3. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) or Third-Party Logistics 

Vendors who choose Amazon FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant) are responsible for independently managing inventory, packaging, shipment, and customer services.

With FBM, you either dropship items or utilize third-party inventory solutions since Amazon fulfillment centers won't store and process your merchandise.

Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are crucial in inventory management, including storage and shipping.

Key components of a 3PL service include:

  • Inventory management and warehouse storage
  • Collection, receiving, and inspection of goods
  • Pick-and-pack services
  • LTL (Less Than Truckload) and FTL (Full Truckload) shipping solutions
  • Reverse logistics capabilities

How It works

1. First, you choose to operate as an Amazon dropshipping store or leverage 3PLs to handle logistics and fulfillment.

2. Create a storefront on Amazon and list your products.

3. The dropshipping supplier, print provider, or 3PL handles the logistics when customers make purchases.


Pros and Cons

✅ Freedom to create and design products, focusing on marketing efforts.

✅ Partnering with quality 3PLs allows adaptability during seasonal peaks and scalability.

❌ Moderate to high startup costs, including inventory purchases and service expenses.

❌ Ensuring quality control can be challenging.

❌ Limited control over stock and product distribution.

To begin with a 3PL solution, research your target audience and reputable third-party logistics companies in your area.

Consider the expected volume of your business and the features and shipping services provided by different 3PL providers.

4. Selling Digital Products

Selling digital products has become a preferred business model for many Amazon sellers due to its potential for passive income and the absence of inventory-related hassles.

The most popular approach is offering digital versions of books.

Still, this category can encompass other products like downloadable audiobooks, printables, art prints, music, etc.


Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the go-to option for selling eBooks on Amazon.

This program lets you sell digitally uploaded books or use print-on-demand (POD), like journal pages, coloring books, calendars, etc.


While POD involves minimal upfront costs, selling eBooks through KDP is more cost-effective and offers publishers up to 70% royalties.


The success of eBooks depends not only on their quality but also on effective marketing strategies to garner attention and recognition.

Adherence to Amazon's strict eBook guidelines is crucial, encompassing book covers, formatting, content, and metadata standards.

Plagiarized content is strictly prohibited and can result in a ban from the Amazon platform.

Digital Art

Selling digital art and earning royalties is another avenue on Amazon.

Merch by Amazon creates product pages and prints designs on various items.


Simply create an exceptional design that resonates with people, whether for a mug or a t-shirt and submit the digital file.

Amazon handles the inventory management, ensuring the availability of the physical items, and incorporates your designs into them.

Getting approved for an MBA may take time, as you'll need to provide a preview, website, or portfolio showcasing your products.

Amazon may reject your application initially, but perseverance pays off, as royalties from digital art can generate a steady stream of passive income.


To avoid rejection, familiarize yourself with MBA guidelines. 


You can sell music on Amazon through various platforms, including Amazon's proprietary TuneCore and DistroKid.

These services distribute and promote songs on platforms like Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, and TikTok.


How It Works

1. You can offer eBooks on KDP, digital art on MBA, or music on TuneCore or DistroKid.

2. Create the necessary accounts on the chosen platforms and await approval if required.

3. Once the subscription process is complete, prepare and upload the digital products for ecommerce.

4. Customers can buy and download items immediately. The funds are then transferred to your bank account through various payment gateways, depending on the platform.

Pros and Cons 

✅ Low startup costs depending on the digital product.

✅ Control over pricing and profit margins.

✅ Higher potential for creating your own private label business.

❌ Selling digital products may require specific skills and talent.

❌ Extra marketing efforts to gain visibility and drive traffic.

❌ High competition exists, depending on the niche.

5. Amazon Associate Program

One of the simplest ways to start selling on Amazon without inventory is by becoming an affiliate marketer and earning money by directing online shoppers to the Amazon store.


You can typically earn a commission ranging from 3% to 5% of the product's sale price, with possible rates as high as 12%, depending on the product category.

The advantage of Amazon Associates is that you receive commissions for the promoted product and any other items the shopper purchases within 24 hours after clicking your affiliate link.

How It Works

You've probably seen countless videos where someone is showcasing their "Best Amazon finds" or even just showing how they clean their house.

Of course, all the products used in the video are linked in the bio.

This method provides an opportunity for passive income generation on Amazon.

For example, if you promote your new bullet journal and a customer purchases it with other items, like stencils or pens, within 24 hours, you will receive commissions for all those items. 


Pros and Cons

✅ Easy entry, accessible for beginners.

✅ With millions of products on Amazon, you can promote and earn commissions from a wide range of options.

✅ You can choose your preferred content creation method, whether blogging, video streaming, or other forms of content creation.

✅ Your earning potential as an affiliate marketer can increase as your website traffic grows and your audience expands.

❌ Commission rates are relatively low compared to other affiliate programs or direct sales.

❌ To generate income, you must drive significant web traffic to your content, which can be challenging and time-consuming.

Establishing a loyal and engaged audience takes time and consistent effort, requiring patience and persistence.

❌ Affiliate marketing is widespread, leading to a highly competitive environment. 

❌ As Amazon handles these aspects, you have limited control over the products, pricing, and customer experience.

Wrapping It Up

Determining the appropriate fulfillment method depends on your specific ecommerce objectives.

If you have limited funds and are just starting, dropshipping can be a suitable choice as it requires minimal investment.

However, as your business expands, you might find it beneficial to incur additional expenses and opt for either a 3PL company or Amazon FBA. 

These options offer advantages such as efficient inventory management, convenient shipping services, and exceptional customer support.

And to support your expansion efforts, Myos offers quick and easy funding that is especially beneficial for Amazon sellers.


Myos helps Amazon sellers get funding up to £2.5m and accelerate growth without requiring any ownership stakes in return!

Depending on your business goal, you can choose between the following options:

1. Purchase financing allows you to finance your future orders with your manufacturer, where we take care of the deposit and balance payments for you.


2. Stock financing uses your existing inventory as collateral to fuel your store growth. Take the extra capital and invest in any expansion strategy, such as marketing or new product launches.


With Myos, there are no credit checks, tedious paperwork, or even personal guarantees.

With only goods as collateral, use additional funding and focus on what's essential to your growth.

So, sign up with Myos today and discover how we can help skyrocket your business!

Keep Learning

4 Best Amazon Financing Options (Zero Investment Solutions Included)

Cash Conversion Cycle for Amazon 2023

What is Amazon Stranded Inventory and How To Fix It?

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