As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

How to Sell Just About Anything on Amazon.com

This article was written by in Internet. 10 comments.

Selling books and other items on Amazon is a tried and tested way to get rid of stuff around your home. You can even start a side business selling on Amazon.If you’ve been an Amazon fan from the beginning, you know used books is what got the company started. Of course, you can now buy and sell nearly anything on Amazon. And there are multiple ways to make it happen. Here’s how to get started selling used books and other items on Amazon.

If you’ve been an Amazon fan from the beginning, you know used books is what got the company started. Of course, you can now buy and sell nearly anything on Amazon. And there are multiple ways to make it happen.Here’s how to get started selling used books and other items on Amazon.

Here’s how to get started selling used books and other items on Amazon.

Selling Used Books and Textbooks

Amazon is still a great place to get rid of your used textbooks after your college courses are over. But you can also use it to offload novels, self-help books, and pretty much any other books that are cluttering up your bookshelves.

Becoming an Individual Seller

One option for selling books on Amazon is to become an individual seller on Amazon. This gives you more flexibility to set pricing for your used books. To do this, follow this quick video tutorial. In essence, you’ll follow these steps:

  1. Create an Amazon account.
  2. Create an Amazon Marketplace individual seller account.
  3. Search for your books by title or ISBN.
  4. When you find your books, list their condition, and set up your pricing.
  5. When your books sell, print off the shipping labels and ship them to the buyer.
  6. Rinse and repeat each time you want to sell another book.

The individual seller route is more hands-on. It requires you to list your own items and manage shipping on your own. However, you’ll get more bang for your buck. As long as you sell fewer than 40 items per month, you won’t have to pay for a monthly sellers’ plan. But you’ll pay $0.99 per item plus referral fees and closing costs when you make a sale.

What if you want to make a business of purchasing high-quality books at thrift stores and garage sales and reselling them on Amazon? This is still a viable side gig option if you know what you’re doing. But in this case, you’ll want to pay for a professional Amazon Marketplace account, which costs $39.99 per month, plus referral fees and closing costs.

Amazon’s Buyback Program

The Textbook Buyback Program works similarly to trading in books at your college’s bookstore. You’ll only get a small percentage of the book’s original price — and that’s if your books are still in great condition.

But the buyback program makes it easier to offload your books. You won’t have to deal with multiple shipments or pricing them on your own. It works similarly. You sign up for an account, search for books by ISBN, and set their condition.

When you get done with several books, you’ll print off a free shipping label to ship them to Amazon. When your books are processed, you’ll get an Amazon gift card for your books.

Selling Other Items on Amazon

While Amazon started out as a book marketplace, it’s now a way to get pretty much anything you want. And it’s also a way to sell anything you might want.

Selling other items on Amazon is similar to selling books. You can trade in some items through the buy-back program for a small amount of money back. Or you can sell items independently to make more money.

When you sell independently, you can ship items directly from your home. Alternatively, you can ship larger packages to Amazon for their Fulfillment by Amazon program.

Most people who turn selling on Amazon into a side business opt for the professional-level account. But once you get that account, you should understand the three main ways to sell items on Amazon:

Selling Used Items

The most common used item on Amazon is books. You can sometimes find other listings with used or refurbished items available at a discount rate. Picking up books at garage sells to sell on Amazon at a profit is one way to turn this into a side business. If you’re interested in more broadly selling used items, such as clothes and household decor, selling on eBay may be a better option, though.

Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying new-but-cheap items at one retail store to sell somewhere else. Some people make a full-time living out of retail arbitrage on Amazon, though it’s more commonly a side business.

In essence, you’ll buy items at a deep discount to resell on Amazon. Think about the heavily discounted items you can find on the sale shelves at big box stores or drugstores. Even discounted items from specialty stores like TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning are ripe for arbitrage.

It’s possible to make a living out of retail arbitrage on Amazon. But you have to know what you’re doing. You need to know, for instance, if the items you buy will sell in a reasonable amount of time. That’s especially true if you’re paying fees to keep them in a warehouse through the Fulfillment by Amazon program.

But once you get the basics figured out and understand what tools you need to make this work, it can be a profitable side business.

Private Label Selling

If you want to sell your own products on Amazon, consider private labeling. With private labeling, you get your products directly from the manufacturer and then put your own branding on them. You can sell these products new on Amazon and often turn a great profit.

Private label selling involves more up-front costs since you have to buy products from the manufacturer. But it can also be a great way to cater to a niche market and keep the sales coming without having to constantly shop retail sales.

Is Selling on Amazon Right for You?

Selling used books and other items–new or used–on Amazon can be a great option for many.

Maybe you’re just looking to get rid of some things around the house and to make some money doing it. Use an individual seller account to list the things you want to sell. You may not make a ton of cash, but you can make a bit of money selling things you no longer want or need.

If you’re looking for a viable side business or a business you could turn full-time, selling on Amazon might be what you need there, too. Some Amazon sellers can make a profit in an astoundingly short amount of time. With the right approach, you could, too.

So how about it? Have you ever sold on Amazon before? Will you try it in the future?

Published or updated August 2, 2017.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

Read related articles from Consumerism Commentary

avatar 1 Anonymous

Flexo’s list of titles make Doobie’s brain hurt.

avatar 2 Anonymous

I’ve had great results selling used books and graphic novels on Amazon. DVDs, VHS and CDs tend to not sell as well (maybe its just my taste) but I always use Amazon for books and donate it if it’s either not worth it (like if 15 people are selling the same book for a penny) or if it doesn’t sell after 6 months.

avatar 3 Luke Landes

That’s my plan as well — some of the other books I was looking to sell where abundant on Amazon for $0.01. I’d be better off donating those to a library.

I thought about selling CDs online, but I’m not sure if that worthwhile.

avatar 4 Anonymous

Selling CDs on Amazon is definitely worthwhile. You just have to be careful what you sell. If copies are currently selling for under $2, it’s not worth selling. But I have many CDs that sell for $6 or more, which is much higher than you would get at a B&M store. I’ve been pleasently surprised at the number of $15+ Cds I’ve sold also.

IMO, Amazon is much better than Ebay for selling CDs, for a few reasons.

1) item stays live for 60 days. Ebay auctions are only 7 days.

2) Payment is instant. No waiting for Paypal or checks to reach you. As soon as someone buys an item, the money is immediately in your “seller account”. (It takes about 3-4 days to transfer to your bank.)

3) I’ve had bad luck selling on Ebay. My theory is that people often look to Amazon to buy a CD, and just happen to find the used CD link. People don’t seem to go to Ebay to look for music.

avatar 5 Anonymous

Anybody heard of half.com? Yes, they are now owned by ebay, but they’re not auctions… I do all of this purchasing/sales there. Is Amazon as good for the deals?