Advantages Sell and buy at good prices. No listing fees or cheques to bank!
Disadvantages High fees, minor recurring technical problems, some items not listed.
There can't be many web users who haven't bought something from Amazon, or browsed their website at some time. In the past few years, Amazon have expanded from simply selling books and CDs into electrical goods and computer software. I was chatting to a friend about Amazon the other day, and was surprised to learn that he didn't know he could actually sell on Amazon, as well as buy from them... so I got my Ciao head on and decided to write a little intro.I've been selling on the site on-and-off for about 18 months, alongside normal eBay selling, so this op will probably have a bit of an 'angle' to it - i.e. a comparison of the Amazon Marketplace and eBay Buy It Now system, and the pros and cons of Amazon over its' main rival. I'll also approach each section from the perspective of buyers AND sellers.
When browsing on Amazon, you may see a link that says 'Used from £9.99", or 'Used and New from £9.99' (obviously my £9.99 price used here is an example!). These links indicate that third parties - companies, customers or international sellers - have the same item that they wish to sell.
--> BUYING: HOW DOES IT WORK?
You can investigate the alternative sellers by following the Used and New link. Amazon presents you with a list of sellers who are offering the product, together with their prices and a brief description. It's important to read the description each time, as there are different categories and classifications - New, Nearly new, Very good, Acceptable, etc - and if you're going for anything that's not 'New', you'll probably need to know what kind of condition it's in. For example, does your CD have any serious scratches? And has an over-enthusiastic student scribbled notes in a Uni textbook?One thing buyers need to be aware of are postage charges and estimated delivery dates. One the one hand, you'll never be able to benefit from combined postage with Marketplace, since it's rare for the same seller to offer two items you want. As Amazon now offer free second class delivery for orders over £25, new items often work out cheaper than used if you're going to spend enough to qualify. Of course, this won't apply if your Marketplace price is very very low, and an obvious saving over the Amazon price.
But at the same time, if Amazon is out of stock, you may be able to get the item New from a third party seller who can deliver within the week. I'm writing this op two weeks before Christmas and time is pressing - many of the ideas I've had for friends and relatives' presents are out of stock at Amazon but in stock in the New & Used section. Marketplace sellers are required to post items within two days, so this can be a real advantage. Just watch out for USA sellers, as there are lots of them, and some do not make it obvious where they are located. Posting a CD or book by Airmail is likely to take 10-15 days, so be prepared for that.--> SELLING: HOW DOES IT WORK?
Selling on Amazon is relatively easy, depending on what you're getting rid of.Books are a doddle - simply search for the ISBN number (usually near the barcode) and Amazon will present you with the book you own.
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