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  • Amazon Selling Tips: Listing your item

    Last month, I explained how you can sell your possessions on Amazon.com Marketplace, and promised to share some tips gleaned from my three years of selling there. Here’s the first set of tips, on listing your items. (Sorry it so long, Sam!)

    • Read Amazon’s explanation of how the Marketplace works. Be sure you understand what fees are involved, how shipping credits work, and what your responsibilities are. Decide whether you can meet the obligations imposed, especially shipping items within two business days of the order.
    • Decide what you want to sell. Unless you have a Pro or Subscriber account, you can’t create a listing, so your very first step should be to make sure the item you want to sell is listed on Amazon.
    • Next, check other sellers’ prices and decide whether the item is worth listing. At this point, you should decide what profit will make the item worth selling. When I first started selling on Amazon, I was on maternity leave after my first son’s birth, and getting to the post office was easy. So as long as I made any profit, I listed my items. But these days, with time at a premium, I only list things that will make a profit of $5 or more. You can see what profit you’ll make before you complete the listing – on the page where you confirm the listing, Amazon lists the price, fees, and the total you will receive. Don’t forget to subtract your shipping costs from the total to determine your profit.
    • Set your price. Are you pricing your item to sell, or are you pricing your item for maximum dollar? If it’s the former, set a price at or just below the lowest competitor’s price. If it’s the latter, you’ll need to look at the competitors’ prices for items in comparable condition.
    • Give a detailed and accurate description of the condition of the item. As a buyer, I like to see that the seller is letting me know exactly what to expect. I have avoided some big-volume sellers because they provide no description, and I believe that I have sold many items despite my comparatively low volume because I list specific details, such as a tiny bent corner on a paperback, or a scratch on a CD cover.
    • Complete your listing and put the item in a safe, easy to locate place. Be sure the item remains in the same condition you described in your listing, and that you can find it easily when it sells. I keep all of my items for sale in a bag under my desk. The kids know not to go there, it’s easily accessible, and I know exactly where all of my items are.

    Those are my selling tips – please add your own in the comments. And stay tuned for my tips on what to do after your item is sold.

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