Selling Stuff On Amazon: A Step-By-Step Guide

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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!

Why Amazon?

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!

Pre-List Checklist

  • 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!

selling on amazon - a walkthrough
With a very few exceptions, Amazon will provide a link to sell yours if you have the item you were searching for.

STEP 1: List the condition of your product

Select Condition

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!

selling on amazon - condition note

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!

Pricing the product

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

Regular or Expedited 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.

  1. Login to Amazon and respond to the order thanking the buyer. Let the buyer know that you are preparing his order.
  2. Prepare the item, make sure you’ve included everything and mail it
  3. 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!

Amazon Commissions

Though the commissions aren’t the most straightforward, I wouldn’t call it unreasonable either.

amazon commissions
Amazon charges commissions ranging from 6%-25% of the item, along with a fixed and variable closing fees.

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 calm.
Be accommodating.
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.

Shipping Internationally

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!

FAQ

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.

My Thoughts

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!

Trivia

If you look closely at Amazon’s logo, you’ll see an arrow that goes from A to Z indicating they sell everything from A->Z!meaning of amazons logo
Bet you didn’t notice that!

Follow up!

Click here to get started! Why postpone a moneymaking opportunity?!


48 thoughts on “Selling Stuff On Amazon: A Step-By-Step Guide

  1. I never realized it was so much easier to sell on Amazon. It’s such a hassle to sell on Ebay I always put it off. I will try Amazon. Thanks for the post.

    • I used to sell on eBay before Amazon opened up! It’s been ages since I visited eBay.

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask Dave! It really is very simple to sell on Amazon!

      • Thanks for detailing the process for us! I’ve been putting off selling some items on ebay because I’ve heard they charge so many fees. Do you think you make more profit via Amazon? It does sound easier!

  2. That’s interesting. I usually sell on Craigslist these days, but that has it’s own problems. The buyers are very flaky. :)
    I’ll keep Amazon in mind the next time I need to sell something online. Thx!

    • So true RB40! Some ‘potential’ buyers take your time for granted in Craigslist!

      If the item is of the haul-away variety, I use Craigslist. But if it can be shipped, Amazon Marketplace is my first choice!

  3. Great post! I love selling a lot of things on Amazon, especially books, CDs, and DVDs. It is so quick and easy!

    • You said it right Robert – quick and easy!

    • A friend of mine has hundreds of dvds. His wife used to work at Blockbuster. Sounds like we should put our heads together and put them on amazon. thanks, any tips. we’ll price them right, but how do people find us?

      thank you, kaal

  4. Very informative post. From time to time, I buy items at Amazon.com because the prices are much cheaper than the ones sold with the retail stores. They provide free shipping when you meet the minimum.

    I have not tried selling anything online at any online stores such as eBay, Amazon.com or Craigslist. I guessed, I just do not want to deal with selling anything yet. Most of the stuff that we do not need are either donated to an organization or to someone I know who needs them. But selling at Amazon.com would definitely be a great option if ever I decided to sell something.

    • You should give it a try! Start with eBay, then CL and then Amazon – you’ll appreciate Amazon more!!

  5. I sell on Amazon all the time, and I was actually going to write a post about it. I sell a lot of books, and one thing that seems to make mine sell over others is I list that the item is from a smoke-free home. (which is very important for books.)

    I don’t know about other items, but if you are a certain type of seller with Amazon (not sure the details), you can list books that are not already for sale. You upload your own picture for the item.

    Feedback is incredibly important with Amazon. One negative can really hurt a small seller so you really need to offer exemplary service.

    Great post moneycone!

    • Thanks for the tip on books from smoke-free homes ET!

      You can list unlisted books if you are a pro seller which involves monthly fees.

      For individual sellers, I don’t think Amazon provides this option. I’ll update the post to make that clear. Thanks for the info!

      You are absolutely right about feedback! Especially for more expensive items, a good feedback is key.

  6. That was a very helpful post. I don’t know why it’s never occurred to me to sell on Amazon. That is definitely going to change in the future!!! :)

  7. I’ve never tried Amazon but I definitely will now. Great instructions.

  8. [...] Cone has a Step by Step Guide to Selling on Amazon. This was interesting to me because I’ve sold a couple books on Amazon but I’m [...]

  9. Great write-up! I’ve seen used stuff being sold on Amazon, but I never tried to sell via that channel.

    Since readying your article, I just might give it a try in the future though!

  10. I have aware about selling via amazon after see the sell here button. However, I have no clue about how I utilize it and now, thanks to this article, I have knew.

  11. Excellent post, MC. I’ve done EBay, and I find it’s a bother listing the items. I’m going to give Amazon a try for some of the better books I have.

  12. This is just what I needed, clear cut info and a kick in the pants :) I think I can do this! Thanks I’m printing it out! And sticking it in my next round up.

  13. I never noticed the A to Z thing, I mean I did, but I guess I never put two and two together. As far as selling on Amazon, great guide! I actually prefer it to eBay when I have time to get the highest price for my item. Especially since if you undercut by a penny you will show up as the lowest price and buyers will take that penny difference. I also like that they changed their payment procedure so that now I can pus deposits into my checking account whenever I’m ready not on a two week basis like they had it before.

  14. Awesome walk through. I’ve bought from individual sellers on Amazon in the past and didn’t have any problems with the products. I haven’t sold anything myself before because I usually just take things to Goodwill. I’ll have to give this a try next time I declutter!

  15. Moneycone, I can’t believe I’ve never thought of selling on Amazon….I’ve just always defaulted to Ebay and Craigslist…..but the auto-listing seems a heck of a lot easier. I’m actually going through a major effort at the moment to sell a lot of used junk around the house so I’m definitley going to pick out some items to list on Amazon.

    On a separate note, I love the detail you provide in all your posts….if you ever feel like guest posting on my site, drop me a line.

  16. Great tutorial I was looking for a way to get rid of some this stuff I got but I have heard so many bad things about ebay that I ruled things of that nature out and stuck to affiliate product only. But this post for some reason make me want to give it a run with amazon thanks.

    • eBay involves a lot of work before listing an item in my opinion. I prefer Amazon since all I need to do is enter the item’s condition and price. No listing fees and I can list as many times I like.

      If an item is sold, the money is deposited directly to your bank account. Unlike eBay no PayPal as an intermediary.

  17. Great step by step Amazon How To. I need to sell some junk myself. Will have to give this a try. Have you considered writing a book? Your How To articles are top notch!

  18. Incredibly informative. I have never sold anything online but it sounds like Amazon will be the place to go should I decide to do that. I am almost motivated to clean my closet as a result of this post.

  19. Tis may seem odd, but I have never even considered Amazon to sell personal items. I use craigslist, then ebay. This post has just opened my eyes to a bigger marketplace.

  20. Wow, I hadn’t thought of selling items on Amazon! I’ll definitely try that! Thanks for the instruction.

  21. I typically find that Amazon is much better for buyers, and eBay is better for sellers. I sold a few things off of Amazon, but the commissions were so high, that I barely made any money at all.

  22. I love to buy from Amazon. Now that you have listed the tasks for selling out I will be trying that as well!

  23. Really cool post. I have seen used stuff on Amazon but never thought of using it like Ebay.

  24. Hello all,
    I need some help from experts here..

    The final stage of the selling process where you put up account details n phone number.

    I need someone to tell me exactly how to input a UK phone number..

    number: and ext:

    This is where i have been stuck cos it says invalid mobile number.. i need this asap

    Thanks

  25. Good Work – a pleasant overview. Do you have more? The unpleasant side also? There’s a ton more to it, in fact, I believe Amazon is reluctant to publish a comprehensive manual instead of tidbit pages.

    New & will be testing Amazon. Prefer to learn prior to otherwise mistakes.

    E-bAy will smash a seller and only offers empty & false safeguards to protect sellers from unreasonable buyers. Does Amazon make a seller accept financial, psychological, and storefront losses based on a buyers whimsical box check-marking?

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