This is the digital age, and lots of businesses have taken their dealings online. Selling books online is one of the best ways to cut your teeth on selling on the internet. Spending a small amount of money on inventory and having less financial risk are some of the reasons why Amazon is a great place to sell books.
Another good reason why you should start selling on Amazon is that you can begin selling private-label products from the funds you receive from selling your books. However, before you get started on Amazon, there are several things you need to know and do.
3 Ways of Selling Books on Amazon
As a third party seller on Amazon, you have three ways of selling your books, and these are explained below:
- Fulfilled-by-merchant (FBM): You package and ship product you have listed on Amazon yourself. This is only advisable for sellers that have a good fulfillment network in place.
- Amazon Vendors (AMZ): You sell your inventory to Amazon using Amazon’s vendor central services. An enterprise seller who needs to unload their inventory quickly should use this.
- Fulfillment-by-Amazon (FBA): As a seller, you create a listing on Amazon, but Amazon stores will pack and ship your product for a fee. Sellers around the world prefer to use this among the three explained.
No matter the method you choose, to get started, you’ll need an Amazon account.
Setting up an Amazon Seller Account
Having a seller account is the first thing you need to do before you start selling books. And to have a seller account, you will need to register a shopper account on Amazon. Requirements for registering a shopper account includes:
- Passport or Driver’s license
- Credit or debit card for payments of fees
- Bank account details to receive money from Amazon
- Credit card or bank statement.
The Steps in Creating a Seller Account are Summarized Below:
Step 1. Open your browser and type “Amazon.com.”
Step 2. On opening the site, you create a shopper account by clicking on “Create your Amazon account” at the bottom of the same page. Check your email and make sure you verify it. You’ll see your name next to the search bar after you have successfully signed in. Click on your name to get to your account page.
Step 3. Scroll below the page to see “Other accounts” and click on the “Seller.” You then register your account as a seller. This will then take you to the “Sell on Amazon” page. On this page, you create your account, read how the process of selling works, pricing, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). At this point, you will have to decide whether you want to become a professional seller or maybe an individual Amazon seller.
A professional seller pays $39.99/month for them to be able to list as many items as possible while an Individual Seller doesn’t pay a monthly fee but pays $0.99/item. You are better off opting to become a professional seller. It is more cost-effective especially when selling more than 40 items a month.
Step 4. By clicking on the “Start Selling” button on the center page or top right corner, you are now ready to become a seller. A menu will open for you to decide on becoming a professional seller or an individual seller.
Step 5. Setting up your Seller Account requires four Steps:
- Enter your “Legal Name” as an individual seller. For a professional seller, you will need to enter both your real name and business name. Press “Next,” to indicate you have read and accepted the agreement.
- Provide your business address, your business display name, website (optional), and your phone number for verification purposes.
- Create your billing and deposit method. The billing method covers the credit card you want to use for your monthly Amazon fee, pay per item (if you are an Individual Seller) and any other closing costs. You have to have your bank account in your deposit method – this is the bank account Amazon sends your payments to.
- Finally, you will have to go through the “Tax Information Interview.” section. Make sure you fill out the form correctly with your tax information. You confirm your citizenship, put your address and Social Security number, and sign your name. A digital W-9 document is generated through this. You hit “Submit” after verifying the information is correct.
Step 6. Next is the identity verification process via a passport or driver’s license. Provide your details and upload your preferred form of identification. You also need to upload your bank or credit card statement but remember not to include your account number and monetary values. With all these done and provided, the verification process may take a few days. You will get a notification from Amazon when you are verified, and you are then free to start your bookselling adventure.
How to Find Books to Sell on Amazon
Selling books on Amazon can be lucrative and exciting. However, you must find books to sell before you can sell them. And it’s easier than you think. Here are methods to search and find books to sell on Amazon:
- Scanning Method: you go to sales where books are going for a song and scan each bar code with your cell phone or a small scanner. You’ll need an app on your phone to compare the book’s BSR and the lowest sale price to know if the book will be profitable.
- Wholesaling Method: unlike the scanning method where you have to scan each book when it is on sale, wholesaling means going for the whole lot. This way, you could get books for as little as less than $0.25, but you’ll also end up with books that nobody wants. Estate sales, yard sales, and bookstore closings are some of the places where this method works excellently well.
- Retail Arbitrage: With this method, a seller to buys a book from a marketplace like eBay or Craigslist and resell the book in another marketplace. This method takes time, so you are better of using it to source for more expensive books.
Registering the Books You want to Sell
The next step is to register the books you want to sell. The things you need to do to get your books registered are explained below:
- Look for the title of the book you plan on selling: “Sell Your Stuff” page linked on your main account page is where you can search for the title of books. You can either type the title or the books’ ISBN into the search box on your “Sell Your Stuff” page. “Books” is what you should select as the product category. You can begin your listing by clicking on “Start Selling.” Another way by finding book titles you intend to sell is by using what they call the “standard Amazon search”. You go to the book item detail page once you have found it. Listing is done by clicking the “Sell on Amazon” button on your screen.
- List a new book if you are selling a new book: Make sure that the book you want to sell has never been listed on Amazon previously. Once it’s determined, you can create a new listing for it by searching for the books’ International Standard Book Number or ISBN on the “Sell Your Stuff” page. Provide all the important information about this book, and this includes its title, ISBN, author, SKU, and details of the publisher. If after typing all these and no result comes up, you will be directed by Amazon to start a new seller listing.
- Setting your price is dependant on the status of your book: You are to provide the price that you want the book to sell in the assigned field. If the book you wish to sell is already listed on Amazon, it is advisable to price your books based on the price other sellers have listed theirs. As a new seller, you would have to list your copy at a low price for you to convince prospective buyers to purchase yours over other sellers.
- Provide the condition of the book you are selling: The condition of a used book ranges from “Like New” to “Acceptable.” You can list a book as new only if it has never been touched or read before. A brief description of the condition of the book goes a long way in determining whether the book will be purchased or not. You must specify if the book you are selling is paperback or hardcover. The table below explains the book’s condition and their descriptions.
Books Conditions Description "Like New" If the book appears as it has not been touched before. "Very Good" The pages and covers are undamaged and neat. "Good" If only the pages and cover are intact but the spine can show limited signs of wear. "Acceptable" The pages and cover has to be intact and the spine shows creasing, but the book has to be sturdy. “Unacceptable” Not good to be sold on Amazon.
- Choose your shipping method: A seller’s responsibility is to ship the books to his/her customers. A ubiquitous shipping method is by charging the customer $3.99 for the book to be delivered to the buyer in 7-10 business days. You can also make use of Fulfillment by Amazon for getting the book to your customer.
- Ship the book ASAP once they bought it: An automatic email will be sent to you by Amazon once someone has purchased the book you have listed. This email has the buyer’s name and address. Pack the book neatly in a box or a neat envelope, with the purchaser’s address and yours on the front of the package. Ship the book through the shipping means you prefer to use.
Selling books on Amazon can be lucrative if you consistently apply the basics taught in this guide. Some Amazon booksellers easily begin making money in no time. Ultimately, you should be able to use the profits from your book sales to venture into Private Labelling.