Selling on Amazon

With an Amazon Marketplace account, you can sell anything in Amazon’s catalog. The great thing is, there’s no listing fees–you only pay fees if your items sell.

This is how it works:

  1. You sign up for an Amazon Sellers account. You’ll be asked to provide contact information, as well as a payment method. Be sure to carefully read through any required agreements they present for you during this process, as they are stringent on sellers following the code of conduct. In the past, this has included the fact that only one person per household can sign up for an account.If you and your college age child, for example (or mother, father, sister, etc., living with you) both sign up for an account, they can shut both (or all) accounts for the household down.Amazon offers pro merchant accounts that tend to be less expensive in fees when a merchant sells at least 40 items per month. (The savings comes from a difference in the pricing structure offered.) Unlike the personal selling account, Amazon’s pro merchant account costs you about $40.00/month, so don’t sign up for this until you are sure you’ll be selling that much. Don’t worry–you can upgrade at any time.
  2. List your item. Make certain it is in the correct category, and the item is identical to the one in Amazon’s catalog. It is against Amazon’s policy for you to list your item under a catalog listing for one item, then explaining how it’s different in your own description. Your item must be exactly the same, even down to the color, as the one in their catalog; checking the UPC or ISBN on your item, if available, will help you make sure.
  3. Amazon will email you when your item sells.If you are registered as a standard (non-pro merchant) seller, your listings will expire within 30 days if none have sold. (You can list multiples of the identical item under a single listing.) If this happens, simply relist them. Pro merchant listings do not expire, which can be a huge time saver, if they have a large inventory listed with Amazon.
  4. Be sure to package your item professionally and ship within 2 days of the customer’s order. You must confirm shipment through Amazon’s system in order to receive the funds. During the shipment confirmation process, you will be asked to provide the shipper information (ie, USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) and the day you shipped the item. You can also add tracking info, including delivery confirmation tracking info, at this time: this is highly recommended, as customers are coming to expect delivery conformation and may give you a lower feedback score if you do not meet their expectations.

    Consider insuring your item. When I was selling on Amazon, I insured anything with a selling price of  $100 or greater. Your comfort threshold may vary from this. Insurance through USPS will protect you in case of loss, misdelivery, or damage of your shipment–check with your carrier for up-to-date information, as policies may change.Keep in mind that Amazon, as well as credit card merchant policies, may require that you obtain customer signature on items of a certain value–typically $200 or $250.

There are a lot of details to adhere to, but selling on Amazon is generally pain-free, for the most part. The most important thing is to start small until you learn the ropes, and adhere to all Amazon’s policies.

Amazon can be an excellent addition to your income. Because they don’t charge you for listing items, you don’t have to worry that re-listing fees will eat into your your profits.

Leave a Comment