How To Start An Online Store With No Inventory and Still Make Money

Make money with no inventory?  How does that work?

You’re probably wondering how I make money on my website without having an actual store. Before I started my online business, I wondered the same exact thing.  How do people who just write about things make money?  Where is their inventory?

It’s called Affiliate Marketing and I am targeting this post towards those who do not want to carry inventory for their online business but still would like to monetize. 

Read my post How do I start my online business ~ 8 starter steps if you want to get step-by-step tips on how to start an online business. 

Affiliate Marketing, I believe, is pretty revolutionary. The concept allows someone to create a website/online business, promote a product of their choosing and receive percentage payment for the product sold.

What that means to you is:

  • No inventory
  • No expensive overhead
  • No shipping cost

Affiliate Marketing sounded pretty good to me. I wanted a business where:

  • I do not have to spend a ton of money
  • I do not have to store the product
  • I do not have to spend money on shipping
  • I do not have to stand in line at the post office

The last benefit on the list is so true for me. I had an Ebay store where I sold Hong Style Milk Tea kit. When an order came through, I had to put together the tea kits, print out labels and box up the product. Then, I had to lug the packages to the post office and stand in line. Have you ever been to the post office and it doesn’t fail – there are only two people working at any given time when there’s 20 people deep waiting for help. That was a painful! I do not miss that.

The steps to sign up:

Getting back to Affiliate Marketing. Essentially, Amazon is the first affiliate site which I signed up for. Amazon has a pretty easy sign up process. I basically filled in name, phone number, my website URL, and tax information.

How to start an online store with no inventory


How to start an online store store with no inventory
This is where you create your new user name and password.

How to start an online store with no inventory
The steps to complete.

Amazon also requires you to create an “Associates ID/Tracking ID. Here is a screen shot explaining the purpose of the Tracking ID:

How to start an online store with no inventory

How does Amazon pay out?

Amazon has a detailed section regarding compensation. I’ve included a link to their section to explain the procedure. It’s a little too wordy to put in my post so here is the link to the FAQ page.

Amazon Compensation Page

All in all, when someone clicks on the Amazon ad within your website and fulfills the purchase, you get the percentage of the sale.

Shown here are the Amazon percentages

How to start an online store with no inventory

How to start an online store with no inventory

Is Amazon worth pursuing as an affiliate?

I think for the beginner Affiliate Marketer, it is worth pursuing. If you are starting out, Amazon has an easy sign-up process and they usually don’t cherry pick affiliates. Also, some other key features about being an Amazon affiliate are listed below:

Buyers trust Amazon

Amazon offers reliable delivery, reasonable shipping cost (Prime is awesome), professional packaging and better than average review system (although sometimes the reviews are too good to be true.)

Amazon has almost everything you can ever want

How to start an online store with no inventory

Just today, my friend Kathleen was telling me about a gadget called a Toas – Tite. When Kathleen was a kid, her mother used this gadget to make what is similar to “hot pockets.” Mom would take two slices of bread, fill it with fillings and use the Toas – Tite to crimp the two slices of bread around the filling. Homemade “hot pocket.” As we were talking about it, she said. “You probably can find it on Amazon.”

So I went on Amazon and searched for Toas-Tite“. Of course Amazon had it. I had no idea this gadget existed and it dates back to 1949. So retro! How cool is that? Who doesn’t want a home made hot pocket! Just think about all the fillings you can use for it. I’m going to order one and use it for my after – Thanksgiving leftovers. Yum!

Commissions are more attractive for higher value products

If you look on the payout list, there are some products that have a higher percentage.  Depending on your niche, choose a product with a higher percentage payout and promote it relevant to your post.

How to start an online store with no inventory

What do you mean relevant to your post?

Ok, suppose that your broad niche is about “How to take care of cats.”  This is too broad so you have decided to narrow down your  broad niche into “How to take care of exotic cats.”

In order for your products to be relevant to your post, you need to write about exotic cats and promote products that are related to your niche ~

  • vitamins made for exotic cats
  • food made for exotic cats
  • accessories made for exotic cats
  • services geared towards exotic cats

I always strive to make genuine recommendations by being a product user and knowing my subject well.

Writing genuine recommendations earns trust and a better conversion rate. Conversion means money in your pocket. That’s why you’re in business, right?

Remember too, people usually buy more than one item on Amazon and this could significantly bump up your earnings.

Best thing as well – You make a commission even if your customer ends up buying a product other than the one you have promoted.

So, if they click on a link of the Persian kitty book but decide to buy a camera instead, you still get a commission for the camera. You can make money for products you haven’t even write about! Coolest thing ever!

**Warning** – you cannot have family members that reside with you order from your links. Amazon forbids this and will ban your account if this occurs.

Holidays at Amazon are big money

If you promote your products well, then the holiday seasons are boom times for you. Again, find something that is relevant to your niche and promote the heck out of it.

Amazon has tools that are easy to implement into your website

After you sign up, you will be able to look up the product of your choice and copy the HTML code from Amazon’s affiliate site. Do a copy and paste into your website’s text code area and voila, your affiliate product shows up. That product is associated with your Associates ID # and Amazon keeps track of your sales through that number. (Take a look again at my Toas-Tite link above.) For example, if you click on the Toas – Tite and purchase, I get paid a percentage.


Now that you have set up your Amazon Affiliate account, do this very important step!

Get training to learn how to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Learn about the customer buying cycle
  • Find relevant products to promote
  • Build loyalty and trust

Having a website and affiliate ads without the knowledge will make it a steeper climb for your success.

Training with Wealthy Affiliate is the key!

When I started, I took to Wealthy Affiliate’s training like there was no tomorrow. In my honest opinion, I could not have done it on my own. I attempted to but I felt like there was always a dead end to my own efforts.

Also, I urge you to read my Wealthy Affiliate review to get a better understanding about the stellar training platform. After you read it, you will understand why I feel so strongly about utilizing Wealthy Affiliate’s training.

Here is a bonus video to help understand, “Understanding how to make money online.”

Affiliate Marketing is not the wave of the future – it is now.

There are billions of people looking for products right now. Just imagine just having a sliver of that. I’d like a little piece of that market to be mine. How about you?

Thank you again for visiting Liberation 2035 and learning a little something about “How to start an online store with no inventory and still make money.”  As always, I appreciate your comments and insights. Feel free to do so in the leave a reply section.

Blessings to all,



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