Do you sell anything on Amazon.com?
November 7, 2010 12:45pm CST
Amazon.com indeed has its own inventory list, and they have 9 million acres of warehouse to store them. But as an individual seller, you do have an opportunity to sell on Amazon.com, and make a little profit of your own too. Have you ever tried to sell anything this website as an individual seller? Do you make good profit from it by doing so? I recently check on their charge rates, it is pretty high for me though. For every item you sell, you will be charged 15% of the face - value, and variable closing cost at the end. I just wondering what about the shipping, it wasn't clear to me at all. Do they cover the shipping cost too, or we have to take care of it ourselves too?
• United States
7 Nov 10
I sell books as well and the shipping credit you are given starts at $3.99. The best way to get around this is to request parcel shipping at the Post Office. Yes, everyone hates standing in line unless you time it right but even going to the kiosk will not let a seller break even on shipping charges. Delivery verification (lime green sticker)costs less than a dollar but it does help in tracking packages if the buyer says they haven't received it. If a buyer returns a book for a reason that is no fault of yours, they have to pay shipping costs. Hope this helps.
• Cambridge, England
7 Nov 10
I sell books on Amazon and, as you say, the charges are quite high. In Europe we pay Amazon 17.5% of the marked price plus a small fixed charge plus VAT at the European (not the British) rate of 15% on the charges. It is really very complicated and I haven't properly got my head round it! Shipping is charged separately by Amazon at set rates and is passed on to the seller (less the charges). The cost of shipping varies depending on the category and the destination. More is allowed for overseas shipping than for inland shipping. If I sell a book for £30, the customer pays £30 + £2.75 for shipping and I receive £32.75 LESS Amazon's charges. Very often I cannot cover the full cost of shipping for £2.75, so I have to make allowances when pricing the article, so that I make an acceptable profit. The charges that Amazon make are different depending on whether you are a Pro Marketplace seller or a private individual. The examples I quote above are for a Private seller. Pro Merchants must make a certain number of sales per month but they pay a fixed monthly rate. Because of this, you can often see books and CDs listed for $0.01 (or $0.01). The seller is making a profit, in these cases, on the shipping allowance because he can ship the article for less than the allowance. These very cheap items are 'make weights' which allow the person to achieve the minimum targets to qualify as a Pro Seller. I find selling on Amazon rewarding and interesting but not particularly profitable (though I do make a smal ROI). It pays to know your market well and to buy and list items which are scarce and will sell well. I have a very small list of some 60 books at the moment and make approximately one sale a month. This is fairly comparable to running a small back-street second hand bookshop. DO NOT buy stock unless you have already checked the prices for the item on Amazon. You need to be able to list it lower than the current low price and it is useless to try to compete with the Pro Sellers who may have dozens of listings of the article at one cent!