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Should you rely on Amazon as a side-hustle?

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Graphic in yellow and blue with a table on the left showing a series of listings for the same product, and a woman standing on the right

I was asked if someone could build a business selling fashion on Amazon. Why not - it's a vast marketplace. All you have to do is load up some products, and away you go.

Sort of yes, sort of no.

Search for the sort of products you want to sell. Chances are you will find a tonne of sellers pitching for the same customers. Note how similar the copy, pricing, and images are. They might be clones or run by the person.

This is the problem with online markets. They have incredible control over how your new business is presented, and it can rob you of differentiation. It's worse if you're reselling other people's products and rely on them for imagery and product information. Then you're stuck with the same content as everyone else and little to make your business remarkable.

Cue a chase to be the cheapest.

Even after you've got them as a "customer," it can be difficult to retain them. Marketplaces tend to discourage sellers from striking up direct, off-market relationships.

My view: you can set up as a seller on Amazon and push out identikit products. With competition so intense and the chance to differentiate so low, it might not produce the riches you hope for.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

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