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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 20 Oct 2009 12:10:37 BDT
Paula says:
I was thinking of buying Sharon's ebook,I wondered if it was worth it or will it just be another £77 down the drain?
Paula

Posted on 28 Sep 2010 18:33:01 BDT
Technetium says:
Sell a paperback book for £1 and you make on average £0.23 pence profit...

If you factor in the £0,86 amazon charges per sale, 17.25% of total sale value on top, the £2.75 postage minus the £0.49 they charge you as a as a postage fee and factor in the average cost of £1.50 to post a paperback using royal mail + the cost of a padded envelopes from somewhere cheap like 'The Range' or 'Poundland', you are making around 23pence on a book you sell for £1, which is the most you'd expect to make from an average second hand paperback.

Not worth the time it takes to list it. Unless you have something like a text book or a rare item which holds its value its far better to donate to charity or set up a book exchange at your place of work or a local pub/donate to a hospital library etc

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Sep 2010 19:44:05 BDT
monica says:
You mention £ .49 as a postage fee--does the buyer's excess postage payment go to amazon or to the seller? I don't often buy from amazon, not even the penny books, because of the postage: it's £4 for each book (to Ireland), seller's postage for a paperback is usually only a bit over £2, and it's often cheaper to get a new book from Book Depository. . .

Posted on 28 Sep 2010 21:14:25 BDT
Technetium says:
Amazon has fixed prices for postage and packaging, I believe they charge the buyer £2.75 for books, they keep 49pence purely as additional profit on top of the 86pence+17.25%of sale price they charge the seller. They then pass the £2.26 left to the seller to cover postage and packing. It would barely cover P&P but apparently some people make a few pence on the sale and sell volume to make a few ££'s I was simply pointing out that if you sold a paperback for £1 within the UK, e.g. a cost of £3.75 to the buyer once postage was factored in, you as the seller would see 23pence on average return... not worth the effort. Might as well donate them to charity or freecycle them locally for people. Obviously if you've just read the latest best seller and want to immediately sell it on in good condition you can get a few quid, text books sell well as do rare books and out of print but your typical £6.99/£7.99 paperback will only net you pennies. Amazon charges seem ridiculously high, but then they have a monopoly.

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 22:29:36 BDT
I sell mine of Ebay- usually when there's a no fee day/weekend. I always put them on for £2.00 with the absolute minimum postage fee to cover my costs (usually £1.80). I have never had a problem in selling them and find that people appreciate a respectable postage price. The few that don't sell, go to the charity shop or I take them to work for my colleagues to pick through and share.

Posted on 14 Oct 2010 09:11:59 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I sell my no longer wanted books - either on eBay or on Amazon. It's a bit hit and miss though I always get at least a few pence out of the sale and most of the time a lot more than that. If you're selling books you've read just after they come out then then you can often get back what you paid for them even after you've paid postage and Amazon fees. I sometimes buy a book from eBay read it and sell it on Amazon for a profit!! Just depends what people want. I must admit I usually set my price and don't alter it even if other people put lower priced books on because eventually yours rises to the top of the pile.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2010 09:43:26 GMT
I stopped selling books. It just wasn't worth it. I finished my novel and am now selling it on Kindle. I still buy books second hand from Amazon.
Ann.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2010 17:04:27 GMT
Green100 says:
Hi,where did you manage to get the e book from (sharon Fussell) ?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2010 17:48:07 GMT
R. Barnes says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2010 17:52:06 GMT
R. Barnes says:
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Posted on 10 Nov 2010 20:57:17 GMT
monica says:
Free box of Rennies and copy of Phenomenology of Mind to first person who can properly and rapidly say 'dyspeptic dyslexic' 5 times.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2011 07:31:37 BDT
the moral was pretty simple!! the chap made 50 quid less at least.

Posted on 30 Mar 2011 07:46:05 BDT
Karen Lowe says:
Some good advice there. I don't bother with ebay for books because of the fees. At least with Amazon you only pay when you sell. I'm happy to put some in the charity bag. And once a year - do a table top sale in yr local school/village hall. Books usually do well if they are well priced and it's always an entertaining morning chatting to other people.
I did once get an amazing £35 on ebay for an out of print craft book which two people desperately wanted (it was a gorgeous book) but that is the exception.
Now I have my kindle, I don't buy many paper books, which is one of its advantages!

Posted on 30 Mar 2011 08:50:47 BDT
I take a lot of my books I want to get rid of to a secondhand bookstore that gives me a 50% credit to exchange for books. Or I donate them to a charity.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2011 22:38:17 BDT
P. Tyler says:
I bough a book on amazon for a penny, postage etc was £2.80. Turned out the book was a different edition to the one I was after; the bookshop offered to take it back for the penny but wouldn't pay any postage. So I kept it, but I'm thinking that their postage costs couldn't have been that high (very small book, 2nd class postage and one padded envelope) so these firms are making their money from overstating postage costs.

Posted on 19 May 2011 17:32:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 May 2011 17:33:55 BDT
Uzume says:
I have the same issue with Amazon, they want to charge me £1.18 in fees for a book I listed at £0.01. The postage costs are being used to bulk their profits and I will be left with £1.40 total for postage, packaging, petrol to take it to the P.O etc. Total rip off! I have cancelled all of my book listings and will not use Amazon again until they stop adding the postage cost to the total sales price before they take their cut. Totally unfair, postage fees should not be included in their equations! Even eBay don't fiddle things that way! I have tried to raise the issue with them but they keep sending me the guidelines for selling and fees and won't answer my questions. Shoddy customer service to sellers!!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2011 17:36:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 May 2011 17:39:02 BDT
Uzume says:
@P.Tyler You have pretty much pointed out another problem with Amazon's awful fee system.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you have also suffered due to the fees issues rather than the book seller themselves. Your small book may not have cost the full £2.80 P&P, however, when sellers post large books which can cost £4+, we still only get £2.80 P&P, plus for the £0.01 book, the charges Amazon levy include postage. Therefore, they would have paid at least £1.18 fees on a £0.01 book. Amazon will not address this problem and we all suffer as a result!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2011 22:46:26 BDT
LEP says:
The only way I reckon that you COULD possibly make a profit, would be to buy a book cheaply from a charity shop, making sure that it is clean and in good condition and possibly sell it for more on AMP.

Posted on 4 Aug 2011 14:34:17 BDT
L.P.Barrett says:
I sell books for a living, or at least part of a living. There is no money to be made selling really common books, no matter where you sell them, its just a pure waste of time. And spotting, buying and reselling expensive books is not easy, requiring a lot of specialist knowlege, and sometimes nerves of steel ( I have paid up to £100 for an individual lot, and spent £700 in one evening in the auctions, and I am just small fry ) That said, I have sold one book for £1100, and several for £400+.
I really have no idea why people sell books for 1 penny. They have vast stocks and use price-dropping software to make theirs the cheapest, if two people using the same software sell the same book it will end up at 1p. Quite stupid, especially if it costs more than £2.80 to post
I sell stuff on Amazon, but if it will not make a clear profit of at least £3.00 I just don't bother, the bin is closer than the post office.

Posted on 23 Aug 2011 17:54:22 BDT
monica says:
I'm sorry that my question is off-thread, but I'm putting it here because sellers have posted here, and I'm hoping one of them might have advice.

The last two books I've ordered from this site are, I've been told by their sellers, suddenly unavailable: one seller gave a rather convoluted explanation re shelving, different storage areas, and ended by blaming amazon.uk, and the other simply said the the book was 'unavailable for shipping'. This has happened once before. What all three now-unavailable books had in common was that they were listed at a considerably lower price than other copies with other sellers.

When sellers receive an order do they compare the price of the book ordered with what other sellers are asking? (Of course what's happened to me might be coincidence, but it seems just as likely that the seller decided to get more money for the book than I would have been paying.) Because it's so disappointing to find that a listed book at a listed price has disappeared, do you know of any way to forestall a seller withdrawing a book (if that is what's happening)? If I see a similar bargain in future, do you reckon it would be of any use to verify its availability with the seller, mentioning in vague terms problems in the past with orders being fulfilled, before ordering the book? Thanks for anything you have to say about this. . .

Posted on 23 Aug 2011 19:15:39 BDT
Hi Monica, you could try contacting Amazon Customer Service. I had a problem with an order recently and I wrote to the seller and to Amazon. The person who responded for Amazon appeared very sincere in their response, and I do not know if their was any contact between Amazon and the seller behind the scenes but the situation was resolved very quickly with both the seller and Amazon e mailing me.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2011 20:38:44 BDT
monica says:
Thanks, N.A. Spencer. You're right, amazon are very good at dealing with queries and complaints. I'd decided not to bother getting in touch with them, though, because unless those books show up on sale at a higher price--& I imagine amazon has some sort of system to ensure that that can't happen any time soon--I've no way of proving, nor amazon of finding out, that this is anything other than a strong coincidence. . .

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2011 21:48:46 BDT
Monica, you're not the first that this has happened to, I remember somebody posting the same situation a while back. It a shame that the seller could not honour the price they quoted. I suppose the only way you can react is by not using those sellers, but that does not get you your books. Good luck in finding the books you wanted.

Posted on 24 Aug 2011 22:43:40 BDT
Garscadden says:
The other thing to do is to give the seller a low rating (1* presumably). They are unable to fulfil their side of the deal, then they should be rated as low as it goes (imho).

Posted on 25 Aug 2011 20:21:09 BDT
monica says:
Thanks to you both. It's interesting to know that this might not be a rare thing to do--I suppose it's like bait & switch without the switch.

Garscadden, good idea; I'd forgotten than unfulfilled orders can be rated. I'm off to rate ye now, powell's chicago usa and wonderbooks usa. . .
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  68
Total posts:  103
Initial post:  9 Jul 2009
Latest post:  4 Jan 2015

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