Selling on Amazon is a great way to make money from home. Here’s some essential information about selling on Amazon to make the most of your profits.
How to fix your price
You can set absolutely any price for your item you like. What you ask will depend on the recommended retail price of the product, what Amazon are selling it for, if there are any other sellers selling it and what they are asking for it.
Do some research before you choose your product. It’s clearly an advantage to ask less for your product than other sellers are if possible – though Amazon buyers don’t necessary go for the cheapest seller.
Amazon differentiates clearly between ‘new’ and ‘used’ products in their listings. So if your product is used bear in mind you will usually have to sell it for less than the equivalent new item.
Selling for 1p… what’s all that about then?
One of the slight drawbacks of the Marketplace system is that it does attract sellers who price their products, mainly books, for 1p. They’re what some sellers call ‘bottom feeders’. They make their profit solely on the postage credit. Although you can do this if you want – and it can sometimes be useful for building lists of buyers who are interested in particular products for future use – it’s generally best avoided, at least initially. Try to avoid products where competitors are selling at 1p and focus on more profitable product areas instead.
Collecting payments. With Amazon, you don’t need to collect and process payments yourself. So you don’t need a credit card merchant account, or have anything to do with PayPal or wait for cheques.
Marketplace sellers have to use Amazon’s inbuilt payment system. With this system Amazon collects payment from the buyer and credits your bank account less their fees every 14 days. This, in fact, is one of the best features of selling on Amazon. Buyers like it because they don’t have to send money or credit card details to people they don’t know.
Running your Amazon account.
Another good feature of selling on Amazon is that there’s no complex admin to do. When your item sells, Amazon will send you a ‘Sold Dispatch Now’ email to notify you and give you the buyer’s address so you can send their purchase. All you have to do is make sure you dispatch the item to the buyer within two business days.
One important point. Amazon have recently introduced a ‘Charge When Ship’ system. This means that your payment will only be processed once you have notified them that the item has been sent. Don’t forget to do this, or you won’t get paid!
If you want to change a listing, cancel it, add new stock or refund a customer for something they want to return you can manage everything in ‘Your Account’.
What about shipping costs? This is a very important aspect of selling on Amazon. When you sell a product Amazon automatically charges the buyer for shipping at a standard rate and pays what they call a postage credit into your account to cover it. The postage is a fixed amount depending on the destination and the shespeaks product concerned and is set by them. Unlike eBay, Amazon Marketplace sellers can’t fix their own postage charge. So, it’s important to ‘do your sums’ at the planning stage to ensure you make a profit after adding your postage credit and deducting the true cost of postage and packing.
Note that as well as the product referral or closing fees Amazon also charges a (fairly small) closing fee on the postage charge.
Feedback. A bit like eBay, Amazon has a feedback system too and gives a star rating to sellers which shows in your listing. But here’s another advantage – you’re not pushed to give feedback like eBay. So a lot of buyers don’t bother, or if they do the feedback they post is pretty bland. This means it’s easier to get up and running and compete on Amazon when you don’t have any glowing recommendations to rely on.
Sellers can leave feedback on buyers but you don’t have to and most sellers don’t bother – that’s all time saved to spend on something else.
Selling charges. Lastly, remember to factor Amazon’s selling charges into your selling price. ‘Sell a little’ sellers using Marketplace pay an 86p per item fee, plus a closing fee of 17.25% of the sales price (11.5% for electronics and photo items) for each item sold. ‘Sell a lot’ or Pro Merchant sellers pay one monthly fee of £28.75 no matter how few or many items they sell plus the closing fee of 17.25% of the sales price (8.05% for electronics and photo items).