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Five years ago I started university. I enrolled on a teacher training course, the hardest part was finding affordable books. Forget the snotty noses, loud children or lobbed pencils, a book under £20 was unheard of, well until I discovered Amazon Marketplace. I spent many days trawling my local bookshop and internet sites. I even stumbled across Ebay, the prices were good but I could never get the book I wanted.
I was fairly new to internet shopping and was not keen on trying it. I returned home from uni one day with a long list of books I needed to buy. A mate of mine mentioned Amazon.co.uk so I signed up. I was unsure of the whole thing at first and buying online was a new concept. My Visa Electron card was useless on most sites but worked on Amazon so I bought several books.
They arrived a few days later, well packaged and in pristine condition. I was a little disappointed however as I had spent quite a lot and had wanted secondhand books at a fraction of the price. I spent a few weeks discovering Amazon and stumbled across Amazon Marketplace. The concept of buying from private sellers was a little alien to me and I considered it to be more of a carboot sale based on mutual trust. My experiences however were very positive and the transaction we without any problems.
SO WHAT IS AMAZON MARKET PLACE? ---------------------------------------------------------
Amazon Marketplace basically gives you the opportunity to buy and sell new, secondhand or refurbished goods. If they are listed on the site then it's easy to list your own product.
HOW DOES IT WORK? --------------------------------
If you wish to buy an item from Amazon Marketplace the small link titled 'New and Used' will take you to the items listed by MarketPlace sellers. Items listed by Amazon.co.uk are brand new but if you want to get a good deal and you search under the
link 'New and Used' you can find the items at a fraction of the price. I have found this most useful when buying books for my own personal use, as I do not care so much about the quality.
If you wish to sell an item, its as simple as buying. A simple search will bring up all the items listed on Amazon.co.uk. You have to choose the item that best matched your own and list yours under that item. It will then stay on the site for 60 days. If within this time your item is sold, then you will receive an email telling you this. If your item does not sell you can re-list it on the site.
I have never had any trouble buying from Marketplace, in fact buying through Marketplace has been more pleasurable than buying direct with Amazon as my items have always arrived on time.
Like Ebay there is a ratings system so if a seller has poor feedback I can avoid them and not risk losing my money.
I am almost always able to find items I require on Amazon and part of this is due to the excellent links made from Google. I can't say that my thoughts are "look at Mazon" when I need something but somehow links from search engines always takes me there. Only the other day I was looking at novelty hen night items and stumbled across Amazon Marketplace items several times.
I decided to start selling my stuff on Amazon after realising that I needed funds for my wedding. Unfortunately carboot sales are rarely the place to sell specific items such as teaching books and Amazon was the best market for my textbooks.
As the conditions of my books were varied I needed to price these and describe them accordingly. The edition numbers also gave me headaches as the ISBN said one thing but the book said another. One I got around this issue selling was so easy.
When selling it is important to consider the selling fee as a book too highly priced with inevitably remain unsold, but you do not want to lose money. The price you list your book for will not be the price you receive so it is important to consider your situation once Amazon have taken the 86p completion fee and 17.5% sale fee off. I usually sell books so I get £2.75 back for postage costs and this is usually enough to cover postage for average sized books.
I find that selling books via Amazon marketplace is better. I am able to sell my books at a higher price and can guarantee an income, but Ebay is rather unreliable in the sense one book could go for 99p and the next for £20.
Once sold Amazon will send an email confirming this and I then have 2 days to post the item. I find that this is much better governed than Ebay so as a seller I have more confidence as a buyer.
There is also the rating panel where I receive positive ratings for my fast dispatch time, effective communication and honest descriptions. As a seller I want high ratings so I work harder, I suppose its like writing reviews.
At first I was rather put off by the payment system but since becoming a seller on Ebay last month I much prefer this system and can get my funds transferred direct into my savings account meaning I am saving for my wedding rather than spending it.
The payment is basically paid into my Amazon account then transferred to my bank account on a 14 day cycle so I know that within a fortnight I have money in my bank account.
SO IT ALL SOUNDS GREAT --- ARE THERE ANY ISSUES? ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------
I often find when buying that I pay quite a lot for postage and a similar item on play.com or Ebay is of a better value but I suppose that shows that with careful shopping around you can get a good deal. On the other hand the fixed postage price dos not always work out as many of my teaching books are very heavy and cost a lot more than £2.75 to post so in some cases I lose a little money, but I would still say its better than Ebay or the traditional carboot sale method.
As a seller it's very useful as I can display all my unwanted books and if they don't sell I do not miss out on any money. I can keep them on there for as long as I wish but obviously if it fails to sell after 60 or more days I will cut the price but a £1 or more and usually shift it soon after.
At first I was very stingy with my prices not wanting them to go but with a wedding to save for and a shelf full of stuff gathering dust it makes sense to sell all my unwanted items, as long as I don't replace the gaps with new stuff.
Other than that as far as the website goes I find it easy to navigate around my seller page and find it relatively easy to list new products. I did have a few teething problems at first with my email blocking Amazon's emails which had potential to be quite damaging to my ratings but once noticed I was absolutely fine. It is important however to keep your inbox free as the sold notification will arrive via email and if your inbox is full or on a high security setting you will not know the important information required for dispatching your item.
The help pages are useful although I would rather find out as I go along. I picked it all up pretty fast so it must be rather easy. I have also been one of the lucky ones who has had no trouble with Amazon, on the other hand I have had a few issues with Ebay. My mate on the other hand has had nothing but trouble with Amazon and a very good time with Ebay. I suppose it's a case of luck and careful planning when buying. Do not buy from someone with low feedback or if something seems fishy or it seems too good to be true it probably is. Just use your judgement wisely and you should be fine.
Give it a go, you may earn yourself some good cash. What maybe junk to you is another persons treasure.
When i buy some paperback books or cds i find the postage makes the price too high at times
Frailfrost 22.04.2008 12:39
Great review! An E from me. I too bought all my uni textbooks from there rather than from the shop on campus which sold them at double the price. Bargain! Lucy x
jesi 21.04.2008 22:12
as a purchaser l have found the marketplace quite helpful ~ l'm not so good at leaving feedback, however as the 'my account' area is much harder to navigate than eBay; l'd love to sell on here, but cannot post items quicker than once a week
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