Advantages reach a huge audience, hassle free
Disadvantages market saturated so many low selling prices, high fees
I’m a bit of a hoarder but living in a small flat there comes a time when you need to have a good clear out. I used to sell a lot of unwanted items on ebay.co.uk but my recent selling sprees have left me disappointed with goods no longer seeming to command the prices they would have reached a couple of years ago and high seller and PayPal fees taking a large chunk of your earnings too. I started selling my books, DVDs, CDs and DS games on Amazon marketplace several months ago and have found that it has mostly been a positive experience.What Is Amazon MArketplace?
Amazon marketplace is part of the amazon.co.uk site which allows private sellers and businesses to advertise their goods for sale on the same page that Amazon sells the goods. When you click on an item for sale on Amazon and it says “X used and new available from £ “ then you know that these goods are being sold by a private seller.
There are two levels of seller accounts, the basic account which I have which has no monthly subscription or a pro seller account recommended for those who sell more than 35 items per month which costs £28.75 a month. Amazon also charges a fee for each item that you sell at a rate of 17.25% of the items selling price and also levies a charge on the postage fees it charges the seller of between 16p for a DVD and a charge per KG of weight of large household items. Vat at the rate of 15% is also charged on top of these fees, for some reason they charge Luxembourg rates of VAT I’m guessing that Amazon marketplace is registered there for tax purposes.
It is simple to set up a seller account, you do need a home telephone number which an automated number will call giving you a code to type into the website to reduce fraud and to give your bank account details so that Amazon can transfer your money directly to you but the whole process only takes a few minutes.
I have often seen items for sale for 1p on the marketplace, these are the very popular items such as bestselling books and DVDs. One of these DVDs is March Of The Penguins and just out of interest I inputted one for sale and it said I would receive only 23p if I sold it which would not cover my costs. It seems that it must only be pro-sellers that sell these items making a very slim profit on them and their fees spread over volume sales.
I will attempt to put these fees into some kind of context, a book I am currently selling for £1.76 with a fixed postal charge of £2.75 will attract a total of £1.44 in fees leaving me a total of £2.86 which will leave me a small profit after I have posted the item. A camera which I am selling for £18.50 will attract a total of £3.01 in fees which with the postage charge will give me £19.05 into my bank account. Postage is charged at a fixed rate per item, the £2.75 no matter how heavy the book. I ended up posting a cookbook the other day weighing over a KG which cost me £4.50 but a small light paperback may cost just £1 to post.
It is easy to upload your items, just go onto the page of the item you want to sell and click that you want to sell one and you will be taken to a page where you input details on condition and price and choose to ship either domestically or worldwide. There is a page where you can view your current inventory and it also tells you if you are the seller offering the item for the lowest price. The marketplace has thousands of sellers all trying to get rid of stuff and you will often find that another seller will come and undercut you a few days after you have listed your item. It is up to you whether to then drop your price or hold out and hope for a sale anyway. The positive aspect of selling on the marketplace is that you do not have to take photos of your item and upload them like you do on eBay making the whole process a lot quicker and easier.When a sale comes through you are alerted by email and then log onto Amazon to find out the details, the seller is charged when you ship the item and you alert the seller to this fact by using a drop down menu on the site. I keep my costs down by either bulk buying plastic postal bags in from Ebay where they cost roughly 5p per unit. I also buy rolls of brown paper from Poundland which will wrap around 20 books which I will then secure with heavy duty postal tape which costs less than a penny per package. I always use new packaging materials when selling on Amazon as I think it looks more professional.
The downside to listing things on the marketplace as opposed to Ebay is that you have no idea when an item will sell meaning you need to log onto your email daily to make sure you do not miss any sales. This is fine for me as I have a post office round the corner so no problem making frequent trips there but for somebody who does not have a post office so close this could be a problem.The money has always been transferred into my bank account with no problems, you can also request a payment of any amount if you have money in your account before the automatic payment is due. I would like to see the option of converting your balance into Amazon vouchers since I am dealing with small amounts of cash which tends to just disappear into my account and get swallowed by normal living expenses.
I have also bought many items on the marketplace, often you will find that other businesses such as M&M direct, CDwow or others are selling here and using Amazon as a platform to reach huge audiences. I have never had a problem with an item I have bought but I am reassured that if I did you return the item to the seller at your expense for a no quibble guarantee which is backed by Amazon for security. I have never bought a big ticket item for the marketplace because I have found Amazons own returns service to be excellent and would rather pay more for that peace of mind but savvy shoppers can pick up a bargain. Sellers have a rating next to their name where they have been rated on speed and quality of goods by other buyers so you can avoid any sellers with low feedback.You can contact Amazon for support on your marketplace transactions and there is also the auctions board of moneysavingexpert.com where sellers congregate and give advice to each other and is a good place to get advice.
Selling on Amazon is a hassle free experience and you know that by listing your goods for sale here you will reach a huge audience and have a high chance of a sale. You will pay quite a significant chuck of money in fees to use the services provided by Amazon but it is still a good way to declutter and make a little bit of cash at the same time.
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