How would you like to get rid of your old stuff and get paid for it? Toys, DVDs, gadgets, books, CDs… everyone’s got a few! But instead of junking them or even worse, letting them collect dust, why not sell them from the comfort of your home? With Amazon Marketplace, you can!
1. Amazon is the world’s largest market place! If you have something to sell, chances are that there is someone willing to buy!
2. Unlike eBay you don’t have to pay a thing if your item listed doesn’t sell and you can relist your item as many times as you like
3. You don’t have to spend time on taking pictures of your product
4. You have less chances of getting scammed on Amazon. Amazon has a much better reputation than eBay/Paypal when it comes to protecting sellers (and buyers)
Listing An Item – A Walkthrough
I’m going to use an old iPod as an example. Let’s say you have an iPod that’s seen some wear, but in working condition. You bought an iPod Touch and you would like to get rid of this relic!
- Before anything, check if the product works! If you haven’t used it in a while, don’t assume it will!
- Check the condition of your ware. Note any defects, cosmetic or otherwise
- Gather everything that came with the product. Cable, manual, charger etc. Note anything that’s missing
Find Your Item On Amazon
Next, goto Amazon.com and search for the exact model. If there are multiple versions, you need to find the exact one. Remember, you cannot sell anything that’s not already listed on Amazon (unlike eBay). But then Amazon sells everything from the mundane to the really bizarre, so chances are you’ll find what you are looking for!
STEP 1: List the condition of your product
Amazon offers five choices: New, Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable and (even!) Unacceptable. Though these terms are subjective, Amazon has clear guidelines on how to decide. Read these guidelines carefully.
STEP 2: Sales Pitch!
What you add here shows up with the item description when listed. This is your 2000 character sales pitch! What to write? First, be honest. List any defects the product might have. If you don’t have something that came with it, let the buyer know. Scratches? Let the buyer know!
Next highlight why the buyer should buy from you! Here are some ideas: promise a fast shipment (and follow through!), offer free shipping, sweeten the deal with freebies! For the iPod example above, maybe you never used the headphone that came with it – mention it! Original packaging, if you have it, mention it! If you used a case or a screen protector, mention that as well.
STEP 3: Price It Right!
If the price is right, your product will sell!
The main reason items don’t sell on Amazon is not because there aren’t buyers, but because the price isn’t right.
To find the right pricing, first look at how many other sellers are there. You can find this by clicking on the used link. If you list it less than the lowest used price, your chances are pretty high that your item will sell! But you should look at the existing listings to see which one is closest in condition to what you have. Compare apples to apples! Price yours slightly lower than that.
For example if your iPod is in good working condition and someone’s listed a broken iPod for (obviously) a really low price, you shouldn’t list your item for less than that!
TIP: Even listing yours a cent less than the lowest listing makes a difference! (Buyer psychology!)
STEP 4: Select Shipping
Either you can ship to the customer direct yourself and deal with any customer support issues or let Amazon do that for you! For an additional fee, Amazon offers what’s called Fulfillment Service. You ship your product to Amazon. From that point, Amazon takes over and you get paid if the product sells.
You can choose to ship via standard shipping which means your item should reach the buyer within 4-14 business days or via expedited shipping where the item is expected to reach the buyer within 6 days.
Amazon provides a reasonable shipping credit for both. If the actual shipping cost is more, you need to factor that into the price.
STEP 5: List!
If you already have a seller account, your item will be listed if not, you’ll be given a chance to register. Review and list! Your listing should appear in a few minutes!
Post Sales: Your Item Has Sold!
That’s the most exciting email you can receive from Amazon! Everytime an item sells, Amazon sends you this email.
Now, here’s what you need once an item sells.
- Login to Amazon and respond to the order thanking the buyer. Let the buyer know that you are preparing his order.
- Prepare the item, make sure you’ve included everything and mail it
- Goto Amazon again and let the buyer know that you’ve shipped the product. There will be an option for that. You must do this to get paid!
That’s it! Your payment will arrive in a few days!
Though the commissions aren’t the most straightforward, I wouldn’t call it unreasonable either.
Dealing With Customer Issues
No matter how careful you are, there always will be unreasonable customers. I’ve also noticed, if you price a product really low (you just want to get rid of it and really don’t care about getting a fair price), the expectations are really high!! Just my experience!
But here’s what you can do to diffuse a potentially angry customer.
Be prepared to accept an item back.
Apologize if it is indeed your fault.
Put the buyer at ease.
If you think the customer is behaving unreasonably, don’t let the customer know, but let Amazon know!
Most Popular Items
Some items sell pretty quickly and some might take forever! I’ve had items listed for a few years before it sold! But then, what do I have to lose by just keeping it listed!
Consumer electronics sell fairly quickly. Laptops might if you price it right. There are just too many sellers out there!
Books, especially if they are old popular paperbacks, are really slow moving. Of course I’m generalizing here, but this should give you an idea. Although, technical books, if current, sell pretty quickly.
The best way to check is to see how many sellers are there for an item and what is the popularity of the product. The season matter too! If you are closer to a gift-giving season, you have a better chance of a sale.
Amazon does provide an option to ship internationally. I usually stick to domestic. The shipping credit Amazon provides barely covers the actually cost, plus you have to deal with additional customs paperwork. Stick to domestic market if you can.
Dealing With Scammers
Invariably you will get emails from scammers who might ask you to ship to a different address or ask you to take payment bypassing Amazon. Don’t even bother responding to these emails!
What happens if my item doesn’t sell?
If your item doesn’t sell, Amazon will send you an email notifying you that listing has expired with an option to relist. There is no fee for this. As far as I know, there is no limit on how many times you can renew.
I can’t find the item I’m looking to sell on Amazon, how do I list it?
You can’t! If it isn’t listed, you cannot sell the item on Amazon. eBay or Craigslist would be better alternative
I can find the item I’m looking to sell, but I don’t see the link to sell it as used?
Some items are restricted from being resold. Good example would be cell phones.
Will my email address be exposed to potential buyers?
Nope. Amazon doesn’t reveal the ids of either the buyer or the seller
What if a buyer doesn’t leave me a feedback?
Feedback is optional. You can gently nudge the buyer to leave a feedback, but a buyer is not required to do so.
How do I deal with negative feedbacks?
The best way to deal with negative feedback is to work with the buyer. Your second option would be to contact Amazon.
An I item I had listed a while ago sold, but I don’t have it anymore. What now?
You can issue a full refund and state why you are unable to ship.
Can I do partial refunds to settle disputes?
Yes. Amazon provides you with an option to do partial refunds as well. Amazon’s commissions will be adjusted based on the final price.
Selling stuff on Amazon is a great way to de-clutter AND get paid for it! If you have the item ready to ship, it takes less than 15 minutes to get listed on Amazon! Great way to make money out of junk! I’ve sold all kinds of stuff on Amazon since the time Amazon introduced this option! From printers to laptops, to game consoles to books! If it is in working condition and easy to ship out goes the item, in comes the cash! Made quite a bit of money over the years!
I prefer Amazon over eBay, since eBay’s reputation has really gone down lately. eBay has a lot more scammers lurking when compared to Amazon. To list an item on eBay involves a lot more work and can cost you if the item doesn’t sell.
Craigslist has all the issues eBay has (though Craigslist as a company is a steller company!), but I need to worry about personal safety!