i wanted to sell some of my textbooks from past couple of semesters. at my college they didnt really have any buy back value, so i thought i'd sell them on amazon. i set the price to be as low as the lowest price on the web site. when someone buys your stuff, Amazon issues 3.99 shipping credit, but then when the payment clears, they take about 4+ dollars, so it comes out of the sale price. and then to ship it is actually more expensive then 3.99, like one of my books actually shipped for 13, and i sold it for 17, and then amazon takes 4. so i pretty much gave it away. i should have thought of it and found out what the shipping expenses would be before i started... sigh... does anyone one know of any ways to ship stuff for cheaper? or maybe other tips for selling stuff online?
charge the actual cost
there are tons and tons of threads on Ebay about how bad sellers are! there are tons of threads also on shipping
NOT shipping actual cost and a reasonable way hurts the seller in the long run- inflating the shipping price so that you make out=a big loss for you
I for one want my item--not weeks from now and not at an unreal price- bulk mail is just that - if you list that and that is what the person wants-fine if not don't pull it
state what is real - priority means just that- if you use UPS, etc do the actual price- be fair
places are hurting because sellers are doing just that
feedback counts for some people and I know many that are letting sellers know just that
no matter how low you list an item be it Ebay or Esty or Amazon, etc - if you inflate the shipping you most likely will pay for it one way or another
Did they change their policies? Back in the day I used to sell a lot of books, etc. off Amazon and always made a decent amount. Probably not a profit, but I was always satisfied to get my money back for something once I already used it. Did they not use to charge as much? I was more irked when actual shipping costs were more than the credit.
Yes, they changed. They give you a standard shipping credit (which they add onto the price the customer pays) and they take a cut (the $4 the OP mentioned). It used to be that you could sell a paperback for a penny, have it only cost a dollar or something to mail it. So you would make $3 or so per book. If you are mailing anything heavy, you need to calculate shipping so you can increase your price accordingly. I got similarly burned selling a board game which was heavier than the shipping allowance covers. I don't think there is anyway to charge the customer more for shipping. It is based on the price of the item. Things less than a certain price are all $3.99 shipping (and Amazon takes their percentage cut which is about the same amount). The next bracket is $5.99, etc.
I sell my old textbooks often on Amazon. Perhaps the following will be helpful:
I don't usually sell a book if the listing price is less than about $7.
For packaging, I save all of the shipping sleeves and book sized boxes that books come in when I order them from Amazon (usually used- I never buy books on campus). Also, because I have the lower cost student Amazon prime which includes free shipping, I usually order my books one at a time to maximize the number of mailers I receive rather than big boxes. I pop the book I sold right back in them, peel off the label and relabel. The only expense is a roll of packing tape to secure the box and cover the shipping label.
For cheap books I always ship them media mail. Usually just about $3. If someone paid a lot of money for a book I might ship first class. But a heavy book is always more expensive and you have to price it accordingly.
Sometimes, I just sell the book back to Amazon for credit. It is worth less money but sometimes it is pretty close in dollar amount and it makes it easier and there is no shipping cost.
I have had an issue one or twice with a book getting there very slow, but honestly, if someone is paying less than half the going price, I don't think they mind waiting a bit. Holiday time shipping is always slower. And I nearly always ship the same day it is ordered. If I don't get it out by the second day, I will pay extra for first class or priority. And once I needed to credit someone because it just got too delayed and they got it elsewhere. I asked them to return the book which they did and then I gave them credit and resold it.
I've sold DIRECTLY to amazon a couple times and liked that better than dealing with the whole finding a buyer method. I've also used cash4books . com or something like that. I didn't get as much from them but I got my money and no headaches. Books I ship media mail.
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I've sold regular books, board games, and nintendo ds games. I'm planning on posting some legos, eventually. I have some minifigs new in their packages and a discontinued set I bought on clearance once. I'm not sure it's a good way to make much money, though. I think you have to be pretty dedicated. It's a way to declutter things I have or I might buy something cheap that I'm confident I can resell. But it would be easy to lose money if I was buying things purposefully to resell. It seems people aren't buying much these days and since Amazon started charging more it's harder to make a profit. And if other seller's have their things cheaper than yours just because they want to get rid of it or because they don't do the best job of pricing due to not knowing the ropes yet (like the OP), their items will sell before yours.
Have you tried selling them on craigslist? My husband bought some of his community college textbooks at half price this way (cheaper than buying from bookstore and the other person made more than selling back to book store). We are going to sell some of DH's textbooks that way to make more money than selling on amazon or back to book store. No shipping but do have to meet the person to exchange the books.
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