Killing it in the Amazon Marketplace

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If you’re not ready or not confident enough to set up your own online store, that doesn’t mean that the wonders of the internet are necessarily closed to you. On the contrary, without any special skills or tools, you can tap into perhaps the biggest marketplace in the world.

If you shop on Amazon, you’ll have noticed that when you search for something, not all your buying options are from Amazon itself –

killing in amazom marketplace

killing in amazom marketplace

you might be offered alternate suppliers selling the same or similar things at different prices, possibly even selling second-hand versions. This is the Marketplace and it’s open to traders of any size. Naturally, you’ll need to pay something to Amazon for the privilege – everyone pays a completion and referral fee for each item sold, while those selling more than 35 items a month also need to pay a small monthly subscription. But with immediate access to Amazon’s millions of visitors, that can be a small price to pay.


Getting started

Getting set up is quick and straightforward. But before you go leaping in, do some research. Check out your likely competition to make sure that what you’re charging is competitive. Not that price is always the be-all and end-all; things like your trading history and rating can also count in your favor  as will the condition of the item if you’re selling something second hand. But when all else is equal, most people go with the cheapest.


The other thing you need to do is use the fields at your disposal – ie product name, description etc – to their full extent. Use all the space available for the title and include as many keywords – ie the sort of terms people are going to be searching for – as you can, without making the whole thing unreadable. You never know what each individual will be looking for in a product, so give as much information in the description as you can – but try not to go over about 200 words.


Cementing your reputation

Once you start selling, make sure you fulfill any orders you receive quickly and efficiently – source some good quality postal packaging products to ensure your goods arrive with your customer safely and use a reliable courier to make any deliveries. Buyers on Amazon are used to saying what they think about sellers, and positive reviews not only look good to other potential customers, they may also make your goods appear higher up a page of search results.


Branching out

When you’re up and running successfully on Amazon, you may find you’ve gained the confidence and knowledge to take the next step and start your own eCommerce store. It’s really easy if you use something like WordPress, which has a great number of themes that can make your estore look incredibly impressive and totally professional – and you still don’t need any specialist knowledge!



You can also use the Amazon Marketplace to advertise your own estore – just select the terms you want to focus on and when somebody searches for them, your ad will come up as an option. The ad itself is created by Amazon using text and images supplied by you when you sign up. Even better, you only have to pay anything when someone clicks on it! In other words, you’re only paying for genuinely interested shoppers keen to investigate what you have to offer in depth.

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  1. my last lot of books on amazon didn’t sell at all! and i priced them cheaper than anyone else! ebay has sold a bit better, One problem on amazon is that major sellers can get very cheap delivery (then make money on delivery charge and charge 1p for the book) where individual sellers make a loss. Have bough second hand from amazon but rarely managed to sell. auctions better if you want to move the stuff – but prepared to accept variable price. for cheap paperbacks use bookcrossing or freecycle – not worth trying to sell them! Though occasionally bundling together a whole collection by the same author will do ok on ebay.

  2. The reason people still pay for books (and if anything, Kindle’s market share is only increasing – there are not less people buying books) because books enrolled in KDP are only free temporarily. If a book is really worth its value, I believe people will still pay for it. I don’t see it as a zero sum game (‘I want book X, but this different book called Y is free, so I’ll get that instead’) – I think if people want it, they’ll still be willing to get it, especially at Kindle prices.

  3. buys your second hand DVDs, CDs and video games in bulk. To get a quote just enter a UPC number to an item. They will buy everything you have in one unbothered transfer. You receive a free shipment label that you use to put on your box. Expect your funds by check or Paypal within a couple weeks after shipping to these guys. Additionally they will pay cash not credit. I furthermore welcome that they buy ALL DVD and CDs, where Best Buy and Amazon are can reject up to 1/4 of your items. Long term buy prices are certain to fluctuate so you should check and compare prices before selling.

  4. Well I’ve been selling books on Amazon Marketplace for several years now. The vast majority of my books, those which I order new that is, I’ve read once and sell and they are near perfect in condition. I certainly haven’t made a profit from any of them. For a start other sellers bid you down in price and if you don’t comply, then your books don’t sell. The only way you may make a small profit is if the postage doesn’t cost as much as you make on it from Amazon. However, the postage rates have increased twice now and Amazon haven’t altered the rates.So why do I sell them via Amazon, you might ask? To be honest, I don’t think that there is any profit to be made in second hand books any way. If they are second hand then people expect them to be 20p or something similar and are unwilling to pay much for them. This applies to car boot sales or anywhere else. At least I get a bit of money for them this way. Otherwise, it means donating them for nothing to a local library or charity shop.I’ve stopped bothering with those that register as only 1p – I’d rather give them to the library.

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