I started selling on Amazon several years, ago. I always knew that Amazon was the go to place to buy low-cost, good used books and CDs. However, it didn’t dawn on me that individuals could sell there until I was looking for a way to get rid of some of my own used college textbooks, unwanted DVDs, and music CDs. For a very long time, I assumed that only larger booksellers were permitted to sell merchandise on Amazon.
Why sell on Amazon?
The biggest incentive for selling there is that Amazon.com is a huge, well-known high traffic website. Amazon takes care of their customers and have worked hard to build up a base of millions of trusting, satisfied customers. Customers know that Amazon offers an A-to-Z Guarantee Program, so that they can file a claim or get a refund if there is a problem with their purchase.
If you pick a good selling niche, there is the potential to make hella money there. I have found that certain merchandise sells rather quickly on Amazon as compared to similar ecommerce sites, like eBay. As a matter of fact, Amazon is giving eBay a serious run for their money and takes a big chomp into the ecommerce market share. Although, most merchandise doesn’t usually sell immediately after listing, books, computers, and consumer electronics seem to be the more popular and quicker selling categories.
It is very easy to get started with selling stuff on Amazon. Find something to sell by doing some research on products that sell well and how to price the product. Next, determine what type of selling plan suits your needs. You can get the registration process going in minutes by having a phone number, valid credit card and bank account. After completing these steps, you will be ready to create product listings. As always, it is a smart idea to read the terms of service before beginning the registration process and selling anything.
Individual Selling Plan vs. Professional Selling Plan
Individual selling plans don’t carry any upfront or monthly fees and it is more suited for low-volume selling. A variable fee and closing cost are charged after a sale is made. Amazon places limits on how much sales can be made through an individual selling account. I think the limit is somewhere in the area less than 40 items sold per month and $600 in sales. Plus, there is a $.99 per item charge on each item sold.
The Professional selling plan costs $39.99 per month but you get so much more with this selling plan. It is a plan intended for high-volume selling (more than 40 items per month). The usual referral fees and closing fees are charged after a sale but there is no $.99 per item charge with this plan. Sellers are able to customize their shipping rates (on certain products) with a professional plan. There is also greater access to bulk listing tools and other enhanced features.
Whenever an item is sold, Amazon handles the payment processing and transaction. The seller never sees the customer credit card or banking information. Amazon deducts their fees and costs from the payment and deposits the money into the seller’s payments account.
What is the difference between Merchant Fulfilled and Amazon FBA?
Individual sellers can sell things on Amazon Marketplace and take care of storage, packing and shipping of orders and customer service for themselves. This is called merchant fulfilled selling. But, few people know that there is a great program called Amazon FBA, which means fulfilled by Amazon. With FBA, Amazon takes care of customer service, storage and fulfillment of merchandise on behalf of merchants.
The merchant ships the inventory to an Amazon warehouse location. After that, Amazon pretty much handles the rest. It is beneficial to the merchant because, this frees up lots of time for the merchant to do other things, like work on marketing strategies and sourcing of products.
One advantage that an Amazon FBA seller has over a Merchant Fulfilled seller is this: All orders listed through Amazon FBA sellers are eligible for either Amazon Prime shipping and Free Supersaver shipping. Basically, when a customer purchases from an Amazon FBA seller, they can get their order shipped to them at no additional cost. Amazon Prime is a subscription service offered to customers that gives them some perks like free, unlimited 2-day shipping of orders. Free Supersaver, standard shipping is offered on orders totaling $35 or more.
Just in cases you were wondering Amazon FBA services does come with a cost. So you will need to factor in whether it is worth it for some merchandise.
Most of the merchandise categories on Amazon requires that the product be new and not used. There are some exceptions. You may sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and some electronics.
You could start off like I did by looking for stuff in your garage and closets to sell. I am talking about those things that have been taking up space and collecting dust for years. When you are ready to scale up and make more money, you can ask family members if they have any things that they don’t want. Tell them that you’d be happy to take their “trash” off their hands. You can also find things to sell on Amazon at liquidation sales, estate sales, garage sales, thrift shops, Craigslist, etc.
I read a story about this dude who made a lot of money by dumpster diving and selling the stuff he found on eBay and Amazon. Now, I am not suggesting that you hop inside of a dumpster with all that stinking filth and risk a nasty Staph infection. I am saying that you’d be shocked at how much good stuff people set out curbside and just outside of dumpsters.