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how can you make a profit selling books on amazon?

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In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2013 11:38:47 BDT
gille liath says:
It's fair enough for them to charge the market price, otherwise they're driving private shops out of business. Unfortunately they don't seem to have much idea what the market price is, and they get carried away sometimes. It's not unusual for them to charge more for one of the cheap 'popular' editions than it costs new.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2013 09:38:00 BDT
I Readalot says:
Quite agree, it seems that charity shops have become 'the' place to shop nowadays for those who can well afford new stuff and celebs seems to take pride in using them, what they don't realise is that they are only helping to increase the prices so that the less well off can't afford the stuff anymore! The prices of the books have become ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2013 08:04:51 BDT
Miss Smith says:
'Charity' shops are more expensive than buying off Amazon these days!! Unless your lucky to find one of those rare charity shops that don't charge silly prices for their books and wares.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2013 07:58:42 BDT
Miss Smith says:
Good point!!! I've often thought that to be the case. I have cancelled an item after it had been 'dispatched' after not receiving the item 2 weeks later I contacted the seller and he calmly told me 'don't worry I'll track it with Royal Mail'....mmmmmm I never heard a thing nor got charged! I think this is DEFINATELY the case.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 20:01:48 BDT
Ethereal says:
Sounds heartfelt .. ?!

Posted on 10 Oct 2013 19:52:13 BDT
gille liath says:
Since this thread has resurfaced: I've been wondering why there are sometimes long and unexplained delays between 'despatch' and an item's arrival. Any seller going to admit to saying something has been despatched when it hasn't - maybe to prevent cancellation?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 19:39:18 BDT
L.P.Barrett says:
As a book seller I find the idea that anyone can afford to send a book to someone for one penny to be utterly insane. It can't be done, whether it is on the website or not

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 07:03:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Oct 2013 07:31:22 BDT
Ethereal says:
I think when you buy 'used' anything, because the items don't come from Amazon, who only allow sellers to advertise on their site, the seller has to pay postage and packing and therefore passes that cost onto the buyer, or they'd lose money and it wouldn't be worth their while. So I've found it's sometimes cheaper to buy new with free delivery than used and pay postage, always wise to check (doesn't sound like it in this case though).

Posted on 9 Oct 2013 22:51:43 BDT
king says:
Just bought a book that said 23 used at 1p but when I clicked on this it came up with a price of 1.94.Why is this when I requested free delivery service ?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Aug 2013 11:57:11 BDT
Thank you for your comments.I buy a fair amount of new books which I generally read once and then give to a charity shop.Friends have suggested selling on Am but after your sensible comments I won't bother,too much hassle..

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2013 09:36:27 BDT
Speaking as an individual who sells on Amazon from time to time - I have had the experience twice where I have sold a book on Amazon only to discover I've sold it a car boot and forgotten to cancel the listing... That makes it very unavailable for shipping.

Posted on 5 Aug 2013 15:27:23 BDT
Can says:
That's it, I will now be removing my books for sale on Amazon. With the limiting shipping costs of £2.80, plus the expense of wrapping and taking to the post office, plus the fees, and the cost of my wasted time in adding to the books to the website in the first place, I am paying for the privilege. I am not a charity, but would prefer just to take my books to my local charity shop from now on. :-(

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013 14:24:46 BDT
poppetzz says:
I have taken my books off Amazon because I am finding that I am making a loss with every postage especially to Europe. Cheapest postage £7.85 for a hard back book. I would love to know how others manage to make any money.

Posted on 12 May 2013 18:35:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2013 18:37:07 BDT
At last someone has explained how people make money from Amazon selling books for 1p, they are "Power Sellers" I asked this question years ago and got no sensible answer.

No one has mentioned libraries who now not only have books to borrow but also e-books(though not kindle-compatible ones) and e-audio. They are aslo a good source of cheap second hand books

Posted on 11 May 2013 17:59:07 BDT
Little frog says:
Sorry, I have obviously lost the plot here. Why do you all want to "make" money out of your books, etc.? Just enjoy them and then pass them on to friends, family or, maybe a little more difficult for some of you, to those less fortunate than yourselves - via a charity (maybe a shop or direct)?? Just a thought!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2013 17:45:04 BDT
CraggyDVD says:
They probably make a small profit on postage, although with the increase in rates recently, even that's very tricky.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2013 17:39:46 BDT
CraggyDVD says:
Completely agree. I don't like e-bay personally. It's very much pot luck if something sells ( rarely does in my experience ) and unless you start at 99p auction you incur listing costs so you can end up out of pocket. This can seriously mount up with multiple items. Then again I am wary of listing valuable items for 99 pence in case there is only one bid !
Amazon at least is free to list although their commission is very high, seems to be anything up to 30 per cent, in practice.

However, if you have something very rare or unique, it's a seller's market. I was clearing out old VHS tapes several years ago and had a particular one, ( I won't say which ) that I saw was "currently unavailable" on Amazon and had never been transferred to DVD or other media. Being a cheeky so and so I listed it for £ 110.00. Believe it or not it sold within a week ! Amazon took a chunk of commission though..............

Like you I don't bother listing anything that other people are selling for 1p. There's no point.

Posted on 11 May 2013 10:28:23 BDT
I have found text books go very well and anything that is out of print, you can really name your price if someone really wants it.
I forget heavy books unless they will fetch at least £12 and certainly don't bother listing much under £3.
It is a lot of effort to list, pack and post and then you don't sometimes make enough to cover a couple of hours in the town car park!
We have a local place that pays you so much per kg for books, it is only about 10p! but if you have loads it could add up.

Posted on 21 Mar 2013 05:55:55 GMT
Miss Smith says:
Morning L.P. Barrett - I understand what your saying and that is why I think you have to sell alot of books/music etc to cover the loses. The thing is, Amazon allows people to sell things without a big initial layout - a shop for example has to pay out tens of thousands for stock, someone to work there, rates, electrics, shop fittings, insurance yada yada yada so when you weigh up the ease of seeking on here its probably worth it and like I said - its Amazons excellent customer service that keep people coming back. Our shops cost a fortune to run and we have to account for that with our prices but with competition all around, including the Internet you can't make much profit anyway but certain stock you get a deal on and it helps offset the items your not making much or anything on. if its not profitable then don't do it but if you don't do it then there's less competition which means the prices go up and thats great for those lucky sellers until people see how well they are doing then they want to jump on the band wagon. We are cheaper than alot of our competitors yet people still shop there & we are told our service is better so what can you do. It's the discount shops who sell everything that are the bain of our lives but that's just how the world works - there are sharks in every sea & good luck to them, nowt wrong with healthy competition to keep you on your toes, grounded and (for the customer....) prices down.

Posted on 21 Mar 2013 05:25:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2013 05:35:29 GMT
Miss Smith says:
Hi Monica - a lot of people on this thread are sellers stating that it costs more to send the books they've sold than the price they are allowed to charge and SOME books I can quite believe that that is the case but not all - Ive bought some paperbacks and flimsy knitting and riding books which I don't imagine cost much at all but then I've purchased some real thick hardbacks. I don't buy anything on eBay these days as I find they charge more than it really costs for p+p which is fine if it still works out cheaper but ive also been ripped off quite a few times and had no come back on dodgey items, suits with cigerette burns, 1 shortie brake lever instead of 2 etc etc.
I have no problem with Amazon making a profit - That's just business - the sellers want to make a profit also and they get the bonus of people like me who will only buy from Amazon as they trust the site. Amazon do all the advertising, promoting, web maintenance, customer care etc etc and they do it so well that people come and mostly stay. They are overheads that most people either have to do themselves at the expense of their own time or pay someone else to do which individually would cost thousands but collectively a few quid. I look at the cost of a book as a whole - book + p&p and they are still cheaper than any shop so to my mind that's a bargain and that's naturally where I'll choose to purchase it from.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2013 23:30:55 GMT
L.P.Barrett says:
On postage, I mostly loose. I sell mostly hardback books, and at £2.80 a book, I'm usually eating into my selling price to send it. I do also sell music, so I get some back, which does not really seem fair. The last two items I sold were a small music book, postage £1.20, so i unwillingly made £1.60, the one before that was a big hardback book on sculpture where i could not get the packed weight down enough and cost me £8.80, a loss of £7.00
I prefer the Ebay system where you can specify your own packing prices up to £6.00 and providing you are honest allows you to offer the book for what you think its actually worth instead of having to bump up the price to avoid loosing out.
And believe me, if YOU resent amazon taking its percentage out of the packing price...................................

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2013 18:30:37 GMT
monica says:
Miss Smith, the main reason I try to avoid buying from this site is that I *do* feel I'm getting ripped off for P & P. Unless it's recently changed, postage is at least £4/book to Ireland and rarely have I received a book ordered here whose postage came anything like that much. (And knowing that a portion of the postage is going to amazon rather than to the seller, I resent it all the more.)

Posted on 20 Mar 2013 13:50:23 GMT
Miss Smith says:
And you can find almost anything here without having to plough around the shops (sadly not good for the high street I grant you). But its those reasons mentioned above and here that bring footfall and increase potential to sell.
I personally think that you need to sell alot of books on here and accept that as much as you can make a profit, there will be times when you won't - therefore I would think you'd have to look at it over the course of a year (for examply) and see how it all panned out.

Posted on 20 Mar 2013 13:45:03 GMT
Miss Smith says:
Hello everyone - I know I'm biased here as I am not and never have been a seller on Amazon BUT, I am an avid fan and purchase as much as I can via Amazon. The reasons for this are many:- I know I wont get ripped off for p+p (personally I'd be amazed if EVERY book costs over £2.80 but I still don't think paying £2.80 is unreasonable), I also get bargains - most of the books here are cheaper than other book shops even including p+p and most importantly....Amazon do an amazing job with their customer service, all problems are ironed out quickly and efficiently which means I trust this site 110% hence why I will aways purchase from Amazon where possible for anything and EVERYTHING!

Posted on 7 Jan 2013 18:18:35 GMT
Having read all the comments on this post, it would seem that we are are all in agreement on the following:-

1. We seek to recycle / upcycle or freecycle the books we no longer have use for rather than throwing them away or storing them up in the attack

2. Amazon makes it virtually impossible to even break even and cover the postage on a book due to their charging system which eats into the postage.

I therefore wondered whether anyone had made an effort to express this concern with Amazon. Granted one or two people making a complaint or even offering the feedback won't change the state of play but what if all the book sellers like you and me were to email Amazon and express to them the kind of comments we made above - I believe it is possible to make a difference. Sometimes, all we need to make things happen is to take action. Even if it is something small, it can gather momentum.

So to take my own advice, I will personally send my email to Amazon with a link to this post asking them to reconsider their charging in the interests of the environment and their sellers who, let's face it, add a considerable input into meeting the demands of their buying public especially when it comes to the second hand books market. Here goes to making a change.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  66
Total posts:  99
Initial post:  9 Jul 2009
Latest post:  11 Oct 2013

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