If you want to become a book reseller or just have lots of books lying around, consider selling them on Amazon. It’s an easy way to hand out great reads and make a profit while you’re at it.
Signing up as an Amazon seller takes a few steps and comes with rules, so it’s best not to go in blind. Before joining Amazon’s marketplace and selling your used books, get to know what it all involves.
Learn What You Need to Sell Your Used Books on Amazon
Firstly, you need to create an Amazon Seller account as an individual or professional. Since you’re setting up a business, take every precaution to keep your Amazon account secure.
If you’re already a customer, you can start the process with that information. Otherwise, provide your business or other email address. It’s very easy to make adjustments later, even changing your Amazon account’s email address all over again.
To sell on Amazon, you also need:
- A chargeable credit card that works with international transactions.
- A form of identification, whether it’s a passport or government ID.
- Your tax information.
- A bank account to receive your proceeds from Amazon.
- A phone number.
You should also make a note of some best practices when it comes to reselling used books. To begin with, check how your stock ranks on Amazon. A bestseller, for example, will sell faster than a less popular book.
Also, be honest about the condition of the books you list on Amazon and price them accordingly. Avid readers won’t mind a scuffed-up book, as long as it’s legible—and they know exactly what they’re paying for.
For the best possible experience for you and your customers, pay attention to Amazon’s book-selling guide. You’ll learn what you can sell on the platform, how to run your eCommerce business successfully, and more.
Plan Your Budget for Selling Books on Amazon
What your Amazon business costs depends on how serious you are about reselling books. There are two main plans, one for casual and one for serious sellers, as well as additional fees.
The Cost of Amazon Seller Plans
You can sign up as an Individual, who wants to get rid of a few books at a time and doesn’t care about advertising, reports, and other advanced features. This costs $0.99 per item sold.
The Professional plan comes at a monthly fee of $39.99 and with lots of handy tools to grow your business, from top placements on product pages to API integration and multiple user capabilities.
Extra Charges for Amazon Sellers
Both plans have additional selling fees that vary depending on your products and choices. For example, the referral fee for media items, like books and music, is 15%, but Amazon also charges a closing fee of $1.80 for each item sold. Explore Amazon’s pricing guide for more details.
Read up on fulfillment options and fees, as well. If you want Amazon to handle everything, including customer service, storing and shipping your stock, and dealing with returns, it can cost you between $2.35 and $3.59 for each small item sold.
You may come across other fees, like $5 for each book rental, if you offer this service and sell books at the same time. In the event of a refund, Amazon pays you back its referral fee, minus an administration fee of the lesser of $5 or 20% of the referral fee.
Ultimately, books shouldn’t cost you the world, but do your research and get a good estimate of what your overall expenses might be per sale or per month. A simple budget tracker in Notion or any other tool of your choice could be a great help, too.
Claim Incentives for Amazon Sellers
Amazon wants sellers to enjoy using its platform as much as customers, so there are several programs and benefits available to help you successfully launch your business and get comfortable in this online marketplace. Here are some of the best.
If you join the Amazon Brand Registry, you get access to three schemes:
- A 5% bonus either when you reach $1 million in branded sales or when you complete one year in the program.
- $200 for participating in Amazon Vine, where you offer some free products to trusted reviewers, so they can continue helping fellow customers make informed purchases.
- $100 for participating in Amazon Transparency, a program that ensures authentic transactions and protects your business and customers.
Then, you have incentives for using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), such as:
- Automatic enrolment in FBA New Selection, which can grant you free monthly storage, liquidation of unused stock, and return processing.
- $200 in fulfillment fees if you use Amazon Global Logistics.
- $100 in shipping fees under the Amazon Partnered Carrier program.
- $50 in promotional clicks for listing items as Sponsored Products.
As a seller of used books, you may not need all of these schemes, but it’s worth knowing how Amazon can boost your finances, visibility, and selling processes.
List and Price Your Used Books
When adding used books to Amazon’s listing, you provide details like the ISBN, title, how many units you have, and what condition they’re in. This is where you set your shipping preference, too. Will you be packing and posting the book, or will Amazon?
At this stage, you also choose an appropriate price tag for your used book. You can look at what other sellers do, which works even better once you learn how to use Amazon’s advanced search feature.
Alternatively, make the most of Amazon’s Automated Pricing Tool and Match Low Price feature, available among other services on your seller account.
Promote the Books You're Selling
Put Amazon Advertising to good use, a built-in set of tools for promoting your products, including video and audio ads, placements on sponsored product and brand lists, and custom advertising campaigns.
While Amazon takes care of marketing your used books on its platform, you can promote them on your social networks or website. If you’re starting a book reselling business, such assets and strategies are essential.
Prepare for Shipping, Returns, and Refunds of Used Books
If you’re using the FBA method, you need to plan, pack, and send your stock correctly to an Amazon Fulfillment Center. Books won’t need much beyond boxes and labels.
If you’re going for the Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) method and doing it all yourself, you’ll need to keep an eye on your seller account and jump on orders. This involves printing Amazon packing slips, boxing your used books, posting them, and confirming each order.
You’ll also be in charge of any returns that customers request, which you typically need to refund, too. So, make sure you don’t give book buyers any reason to reject the items you send them, for example, by lying about their condition.
Learn How to Sell Used Books Beyond Amazon
Amazon is a great place to set up shop with your stock of second-hand books. You get a super-efficient seller account and lots of tools to help you list, promote, and deliver your items.
But there are alternatives to Amazon for used book resellers. Depending on how big you want your business to be, you can run everything from your computer and smartphone for a customer base of any size and requirements. Just keep exploring your options.