Advantages Easy to use, easy to follow instructions, clears the clutter
Disadvantages Some of the fee's are high
During my student days, I spent many hours on Amazon buying all of the books I needed for my course because the prices that I got offered through this website were much cheaper than my local bookstore or any high street retailer. It wasn't until a few months ago that I rediscovered all of these books and was debating whether to take them for recycling when I came across the Marketplace on the Amazon website. For those people who are not aware, Amazon.co.uk is one of the biggest online stores and they offer everything from books and DVDs to computer games and more recently jewellery and shoes. The marketplace aspect of this site is for people like you and I who have lots of unwanted books, computer games and DVDs who want to sell them on to other people and make a little of money back on our purchases.So, I found myself with piles of books ranging in genre from Chick Lit to Historical reference books so I decided to use the marketplace to offload these books onto someone else who could enjoy them as much as I had done.
The marketplace section of the website is set out so that everything you need to see and read is in front of you. From the main Amazon website you just need to click on the 'Sell your stuff' link which will take you there directly. On the left hand side of the screen are all of help topics with easy to follow instructions set out under different topic headings. I found this to be really useful when I began to sell my items because I had never done it before and the instructions themselves were easy to follow and understand. On the main screen page is a little information about Amazon and what the marketplace is all about and to the right hand side of the screen is further help with any queries you might have where you are given the option to contact Amazon directly.When it comes to selling your items using the marketplace you firstly need to be over the age of 18 and you need to register with Amazon to set up your account. The registration process is very easy and you need the following information to do that:
To list an item you firstly need to search for the book/videogame/DVD/video etc that you wish to sell. I have tended to sell just books and a few DVDS, but when it comes to books you should ensure that you locate the exact edition and to do that I use the ISBN number located inside the book, or at the very least if the edition you are listing is no longer available on Amazon, you can do what is called 'making a note' in the general comments section to alert anyone thinking of buying your book that it differs to the one shown.Once you have done this you need to consider how much you wish to sell that item for and one of the good things about the marketplace is that Amazon will give you an indication of the lowest price available for an item in the condition that you are advertising yours, for example if your book is brand new and never read Amazon will tell you of similar prices of that same book being sold by other marketplace users. So, when I am selling a book I always try to either match this price or make it a few pence less. The reason for doing this is that it will push your item to the top of the queue for anyone searching for the item.
One of the positive aspects of listing popular or hard to find books are that there is always someone wanting to buy them. The downside of that are the competitive prices, but you have to be shrewd to sell your books on and in my case I wasn't so interested in making money from them, just getting rid of them to make space in my room.
Selling your books or whatever item you choose to sell via Amazon is totally free. Your listing (the things you are selling) will show for a total of sixty days, after which time an email will be sent to you informing you your item is unsold and is coming to an end and you will be offered a chance to re-list the item. Again, if you do wish to re-list, I would suggest making the item a lower price for a quick sale if you are determined to sell the item.
As a seller there are a few things which you are responsible for and one of those things is your commitment to dispatch the item within a few days of it being sold. If you are not able to achieve this, for example if you are away from home for any reason, you must update your "Holiday Settings" meaning your books will not be listed until you are available to fulfill the orders, you can also contact the buyers to let them know their items will be delayed and hope that they understand. Another commitment you must make to Amazon is that your email address is always up to date.When you make a sale, you will receive an email, which runs to three pages, breaking down the sale item, the charges and fees and at the bottom of the email is a delivery label which you can use and attach to your jiffy envelope to post your item.
Since I started selling my books during the month of February I have sold approximately 25 books and in total I have made over £50 in total. A lot of my items are close to their expiry date for listing, but because it isn't costing me anything to have them there I will re-list them at the appropriate time and continue to do so in the hope I sell them.Earnings from your sales, less fees and commission are swept into your designated bank account every couple of weeks automatically and that bank account is the one you listed with Amazon during the setting up of your sellers account. You can go in and manually transfer the money over as and when you feel the need too, but to be honest I tend just to let Amazon do the work every two weeks. At all times records of your monies are kept within your account so that you can double check your earnings are going into your bank account and to date I have received every penny I have earned.
As someone using Amazon, you can also buy items from Amazon Marketplace and doing this is just as easy as buying from the main site itself. If you use Amazon quite regularly, you will notice a small box on the right hand side of the item offering you a New and Used item for sale. If you click on the used button, you will be able to see all the sellers offering that item, with a summary of the asking price, condition, seller feedback and delivery restrictions. Then if you decide to take this option you continue to make your selection as normal through the checkout route and make your purchase but please note that there will be additional costs because you won't be given the option of free delivery for example.As with EBay, It is useful to other potential customers that if you do make a successful purchase, that you leave feedback for the seller, as this starts to build up a profile of that seller and how reliable they are. Unfortunately not all buyers do go back and do this - I have sold just over 25 items, but haven't got all of the feedback which in itself quite annoying because I always dispatch my items on time with the correct postage on and it would be nice to have 100% feedback for everything I have sold for other potential buyers to see. It is also good to ensure that you package your item carefully to ensure it will not be damaged on route.
When it comes to disputes and refunds, sellers and buyers are left to resolve issues between themselves although Amazon will step in for example if an order is not fulfilled. The one thing I have learnt from other sellers is that communicating with your buyers is essential. As soon as an item of mine is sold and I receive the relevant email, I will always email my buyers and I advise them that I am dispatching the item and by what method I am using and make a point to ask them to leave feedback on my account once they receive the item. One guaranteed way to stop potential fall out is to get a Certificate of posting at the very least, or send recorded delivery even. I had one buyer who complained he never received an item and I was able to track it myself using Royal Mail and when the dispute was sent to Amazon themselves I was able to prove the item had been posted and had been signed for, therefore Amazon knew that I had done my duty of care and my part in the dispute came to an end.Selling through Amazon is very safe because everything is done through the Amazon Payments system meaning the seller does not get any of your details other than the address of where to send an item to, only Amazon do. Likewise as a seller, you are not given any of the buyer's information other than their address; the money they give to you comes through Amazon and is shown as an Amazon credit.
Amazon Marketplace is to me has been a lifeline in getting rid of books that I no longer need to keep and have no desire to re-read and the same can be said of the few DVDs that I have also sold. Maintaining your Seller account is relatively easy because of the alert system in place with Amazon and once your item is listed you don't have to play any further part in the marketplace until your item is sold or is being offered for relisting, the rest of the time you just sit back and wait. So for me, as someone who is a busy person with work and home life I do not constantly have to log into my account to check the status of anything. In the time that I have been selling my items I am pleased with the earnings I have made because I had intended to recycle some of them or send them to a charity shop. When dealing with transactions, again this has been really straightforward because everything is done for you and your responsibility lies with packaging up the item and dispatching it through the post office to its new owner.So all in all I like Amazon marketplace, it is user-friendly and the FAQs is constantly updated to help you with any queries and with the one dispute I have had to date it was sorted out with relative ease. So as long as you stick to your commitments with Amazon and play by the rule book your time as a seller should be really easy to manage and whilst the fee's are quite hefty, I am happy to pay them because selling items is made really easy and not time consuming which I found with EBay and everything you need to know can be found with relative ease using the FAQ section. So, I do recommend you try this option for selling your unwanted books, DVDs and in some cases videos to see how you get on with it yourself.
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