If you want to become a book reseller or just have a lot of books laying around, consider selling them on Amazon. It’s an easy way to deliver great reads and 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 blind. Before you join the Amazon marketplace and sell your used books, learn all that’s involved.
Learn what you need to sell your used books on Amazon
First of all, you need to create an Amazon seller account as an individual or professional. Since you’re building a business, take every precaution to keep your Amazon account secure.
If you are already a customer, you can start the process with that information. Otherwise, please provide your company or other email address. It’s very easy to make adjustments later, including changing your Amazon account email address again.
To sell on Amazon, you also need:
- A chargeable credit card that works with international transactions.
- A form of identification, either a passport or a government ID.
- Your tax information.
- A bank account to receive your income from Amazon.
- A phone number.
You should also take note of some of the best practices when it comes to reselling used books. To get started, check out 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 scratched-up book, as long as it’s legible and they know exactly what they’re paying for.
To get the best possible experience for you and your customers, take a look at Amazon’s guide to selling books. You’ll learn what you can sell on the platform, how to run your eCommerce business successfully, and more.
Plan your budget to sell books on Amazon
How much your Amazon business costs depends on how serious you take reselling books. There are two main plans, one for casual sellers and one for serious sellers, as well as additional fees.
The cost of Amazon seller plans
You can register as an individual, who wants to get rid of a few books at a time and doesn’t mind advertising, reports and other advanced features. This costs $0.99 per item sold.
The Professional plan comes with a monthly fee of $39.99 and comes with many useful tools to grow your business, from the best placements on product pages to API integration and multiple user capabilities.
Both plans have additional sales fees that vary based 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 price guide for more details.
Also find out about fulfillment options and fees. If you want Amazon to take care of everything, including customer service, storing and shipping your stock, and handling returns, it can cost you anywhere from $2.35 to $3.59 for each small item sold.
You may find other fees, such as $5 per book rental, if you offer this service and sell books at the same time. In the case of a refund, Amazon refunds your referral fee, less an administrative fee of $5 or 20% of the referral fee, whichever is less.
Ultimately, books shouldn’t cost you the world, but do your research and get a good estimate of what your overhead per sale or per month might be. A simple budget tracker in Notion or any other tool of your choice could also help a lot.
Claim Amazon Seller Incentives
Amazon wants sellers to enjoy using their platform as much as customers do, 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’ll gain access to three schemes:
- A 5% bonus when you reach $1 million in brand sales or when you complete a year in the program.
- $200 for participating in Amazon Vine, where it offers some free products to trusted reviewers, so they can continue to help other 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 to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), such as:
- Automatic enrollment in FBA New Selection, which can give you free monthly storage, unused stock clearance, and returns processing.
- $200 in fulfillment fees if you use Amazon Global Logistics.
- $100 in shipping costs under the Amazon Partner Carrier program.
- $50 in promotional clicks for listing items as sponsored products.
As a used book seller, you may not need all of these schemes, but it’s worth knowing how Amazon can boost your finances, visibility, and sales process.
List and price your used books
When listing used books on Amazon, provide details such as the ISBN, title, how many units you have, and what condition they are in. This is where you also set your shipping preference. Will you package and publish the book, or will Amazon?
At this stage, you also choose a suitable price tag for your used book. You can see what other sellers are doing, which works even better once you learn how to use Amazon’s advanced search feature.
Alternatively, take full advantage of Amazon’s Automated Pricing Tool and Low Price Match feature, available among other services in your seller account.
Make good use of Amazon Advertising, an integrated set of tools to promote your products, including video and audio ads, brand and sponsored product listing placements, and personalized ad 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 are starting a book reselling business, such assets and strategies are essential.
Prepare for Used Book Shipments, Returns, and Refunds
If you are using the FBA method, you must properly plan, pack, and ship your stock to an Amazon Fulfillment Center. The books won’t need much more than boxes and labels.
If you opt for the Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) method and do it all yourself, you’ll need to keep an eye on your merchant account and place orders. This involves printing Amazon packing slips, packaging your used books, posting them, and confirming each order.
You’ll also be in charge of any returns requested by customers, which you normally have to refund as well. 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 requirement. Just keep exploring your options.