Here’s the story of how I’ve made more than $200 on Amazon.com — and with very minimal effort.
If you’ve ever purchased anything on Amazon.com, you’ve likely noticed that some items are sold not by Amazon, but by another seller.
While some of these sellers are online versions of brick-and-mortar stores, many are everyday people just looking to get rid of the books their kids have outgrown, books they’ve read, and books they’ve found when cleaning out that pile in the garage.
I moved in August and once again came across a box of things from years ago when I was earning my teaching credential — including several textbooks and anthologies.
Why did I move these things, AGAIN? Should I dump them? Donate them? Where could I sell them? After all, I’m a single mom and can always use the extra cash.
I’d always assumed selling on Amazon was process reserved for businesses — with official licenses and everything. NOT TRUE.
Within about 10 minutes of investigating, I was registered at sellercentral.amazon.com.
What the what?! Yup. It was that easy.
The process for selling a book is simple:
1. Decide if you want to be an individual seller, or a “professional” seller on Amazon.com. The difference is how much you pay in fees. As a pro, you pay a flat rate per month, no matter how much you sell. This would be cost-effective if you’re selling a lot of stuff. As an individual, you pay per transaction — $.99 plus 15 percent of the sale price.
3. Add your merchandise. Adding books is as easy as typing in the ISBN number, most often found on the UPC code.
Really, it’s that easy.
Amazon.com will ask you what condition your book is in (new or various conditions of used), and then show you what the going price is for that book in that condition. You can choose to match the current low price, or put in a price of your own.
Amazon charges the buyer $3.99 for basic shipping, more for expedited shipping. All are flat fees charged to the buyer no matter where you ship from or where it’s going. And you can choose to not allow certain types of shipping, like international, or overnight. When you sign up to be a seller, you do have to agree to ship within two business days.
So here’s the scenario:
I had the book “Teaching Children to Care: Classroom Management for Ethical and Academic Growth.”
I classified it as “Used – Like New” and priced it at $17.99 plus shipping.
The buyer selected regular shipping ($3.99), and paid a total of $21.98.
I get an email alert that it has sold, I print the packing slip, put it in an envelope and take it to the post office where I paid $2.96 to ship it at book rate.
Then I go online, mark it as “shipped” and the buyer gets an email that their book is on the way.
-$5.04 Amazon fees
= $13.98 profit for me
Amazon.com holds all your money for 14 days from the date of purchase in case the buyer wants to return the item for any reason.
Then they initiate a weekly transfer of all my eligible funds right to my bank account, it’s like getting a second paycheck!
And like everything on Amazon, buyers can go online a rate you. The system back-end is remarkably easy. I can go online anytime and see what has sold, make a listing inactive, see my totals, or change my preferences.
In less than three months, I’ve made $274.20 selling old books, this translates to about $210 after you subtract shipping costs.
Sometimes I sell 4-5 books in a week, other times only one.
So really, what are you waiting for?