Saturday, August 24, 2013

Preparing a Shipment for Sale by Fulfilment by Amazon is not only a bookstore it is a wonderful opportunity for you as an online retailer to enjoy a possible source of income.

I have been a retailer with Amazon for several months now. Mostly selling textbooks from my recent college courses, but also purchasing some items for resale.

For me Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is the easiest method to get my stock to Amazon's customers with little hastle and a great deal of potential profit.

Saturday : Shopping day. I will visit a goodwill or thrift store looking for new stock. I use a good local library too, they have a bookshelf for unwanted donations which they sell for just $1.00. My wife and I visit goodwill stores such as the Salvation Army too, choose a fairly prosperous part of town to buy from goodwills. The more affluent the neighboring districts the better the stock in the goodwill.

I buy several books, some fiction and a few inexpensive textbooks. One textbook in particular on the History of Western Civilisation catches my eye for just 30 cents. Later I find the same book advertised at $40 on Amazon sell your copy pages.

Saturday night when I get home I log onto to see what prices are being asked by other sellers on Amazon. Averages are around $3 or $4 per book from non FBA sellers but some like that textbook are priced much higher.

I assess my books according to the Amazon guidelines. I ainm to buy Used Like New or Used Very Good. No Highlighting on pages, all pages fixed in the book, no margin notes or other writing in the book if possible. The history text was only good on the scale, cover creasing and a tear to the front piece but for 30cents still a bargain worth over $5 to my assessment.

I then set my prices. I aim for pricing like with like so I look for the same quality of book  sold by an FBA seller and price at least the same price as they do or a if there are several FBA sellers in the same area sell at the mid price. ( A book at the same quality selling for $5 from one seller and $6 from a second I price $5.50 )

Why not sell lower you may ask?

Lower prices are often counter productive on Amazon buyers want low prices, yes, but they also want quality. Pricing too low suggests to the buyer that the quality is not there and so stay away from the lowest price sellers.

You also really don't want to start a price war with other Amazon sellers. You force them to cut your margins and they will do the same to you. They may have deeper pockets than you and cutting margins means the seller with the deepest pockets wins.  Let them keep their margins and price accordingly then everyone wins.

Sunday. I set aside about an hour to prepare a box for shipment. With about twenty books to process, entering the stock into the Amazon website takes about forty-five minutes, after a little practice, all you need is to enter the quality, your seller number and a price and quantity you are shipping.

Pack the box carefully and tightly so books cannot move. Print out the required packing slip and put it inside the box on top of the books. Seal and print-out the Mailing form. This is a barcoded address label and UPS shipping label complete with barcodes and tracking numbers. I also make a second copy of this information for my records.

I choose to have Amazon pay for shipping initially, they will charge your credit card in about five days or take payment from your sales, but a thirty pound weight package can be shipped via UPS for only $14, a vastly reduced charge when compared to usually shipping rates.

All you need to do then is take the packaged books to a UPS collection point or give the package to a UPS driver. UPS will collect from your home or office but that does incur a special charge not covered by Amazon and is not worth the expense.  If you are receiving a delivery via UPS anyway the charge is also waived.

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