Selling books on Amazon is a great way to make some extra money. I actually even know a couple of sellers that do it full-time. Whether you are interested in selling books that you already own or actually want to start a business selling books, Amazon is a great way to do it. Before you start, however, there are some things you need to know.
First of all, I will tell you that the simplest and easiest way to sell books on Amazon is to make a list of all the books you have, pack them up, and ship them to Amazon under their Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. Not only does this relieve you the hassle of storing books all over your house, but when one does sell it is Amazon’s job to locate it and ship it (and deal with the customer). Buyers also have a better incentive to buy your books when you sell them through FBA because Amazon offers their PRIME buyers FREE Shipping!
There are, of course, fees that you will have to pay Amazon for keeping the books in their warehouse and shipping them for you, but many sellers think it’s worth it. If you aren’t quite to that level yet or simply want to get your toes wet and see if you like handling and selling books, you can always list them for sell on Amazon on your own.
If you have never sold anything on Amazon before, you will first need to create a seller account. The process is similar to registering on eBay. You provide them with your email address, select a password and give them a credit card number that they will keep on file for you. You also give them your bank account information so that when a book does sell , they can send you the payment. Keep in mind that it will take a couple of days for them to confirm your account, so you can’t just sign up and start selling.
Once you receive the email that you are registered on Amazon, you can start selling your books. Simply enter the ISBN number or type in the title of the book. This is where the fun begins. You will quickly notice that people sell the exact same book for completely different prices. You will see a book selling for a few cents and then you will see the exact same book selling for an incredibly high amount. I have found in my experience that it is best to list in the middle unless my book appears to be in superior condition compared to the others, or there are only a few of them listed for sale.
Now that Amazon knows the title of the book, you must determine it’s condition (Very Good, Good, Poor, etc.) and it’s price. Amazon allows you to write a brief description of the books condition, so do this as well. As an example, you might mention that it has someone’s name written in it or that the book has no dustcover. Since you don’t get to post a photo of your book on Amazon, you need to describe it as accurately as possible. Once your book goes “live” that’s all there is to do until it sells. When it does sell, Amazon sends you an email and you ship the book. Once they know you have shipped it, you get paid!
Still, you know its not all sunshine and unicorns right? Well, there are a couple of things about selling books on Amazon that I don’t like. The biggest is that regardless of the size of the book, Amazon only charges the buyer a certain amount for shipping and they will only reimburse you a certain amount for the shipping too. That means that you are going to be out some money if the book is heavier than a normal book because the shipping cost is going to be higher.
The other thing that I don’t really care for is that Amazon buyers just don’t much seem to like giving Feedback. If you are use to biting your nails until your buyer at eBay gives you Feedback, you’ll bite your fingers right down to the nubs waiting on Amazon buyers to give it to you. In the end, just don’t let yourself worry about it and keep on selling.
This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the co-host of popular weekly eCommerce Podcast FBARadio.