In these posts I’ve focused primarily on selling with Amazon, but there are several venues through which to list your goods, especially if you are starting off with books. http://www.alibris.com , http://www.abebooks.com, and http://www.half.com (Ebay related) are other venues I’ve listed with in the past. There is no doubt, however that Amazon is the Big Boy on the block. Amazon sales far outweighed the other two venues combined to the point that I felt my membership fees, and customer hassles from other venues weren’t worth the little I was bringing in from these other sites. Ebay on the other hand, is a completely different animal.
The main difference between Ebay and Amazon is clientele. Ebay customers are looking for the deal, while Amazon customers don’t care as much about price as much as customer service. Amazon customers know what they want, they want it now and they are willing to pay for that convenience. Amazon takes the Disney philosophy when it comes to customer service and Amazon customers expectations reflect that philosophy. Occasionally this works against an Amazon seller as granted there are those few difficult customers that will never be happy no matter how far you bend backwards. In general however, if a seller is honest, fast, and genuinely wants to solve problems, most customers are willing to forgive the occasional mistake.
Ebay attracts those looking for a deal and sometimes even sellers looking for deals so they can turn around and list their Ebay finds on Amazon! E bay doesn’t have the same trusted name, you take your chances and you get what you get. Customers can leave feedback of course but there are no guarantees like there are with the Amazon A -Z guarantee where a customer can get money back without even needing to cite a reason.
I have tried E bay selling and left it as again I had more problems than I felt it was worth. As my business evolves however, and I do want to try new things, I may come back to it and try again. One of the great things about being a Fulfillment by Amazon merchant is that all of my inventory is eligible for all the same perks as Amazon merchandise. That means if I sell an item on E bay, I can advertise free two day shipping or overnight shipping for 3.99. This gives me a leg up on other E bay merchants selling the same items. Once an E bay item is sold (or any item listed on any other venue) all you need to do is go into your Amazon seller account and fulfill the order manually.
I have heard rumors recently that Amazon is so pleased with their third-party Fulfillment program that they may not carry their own merchandise in the future. This is good news for Fufillment merchants who no longer would need to worry about purchasing inventory to suddenly find Amazon undercutting their prices. I’ve also heard that Google has plans to set up their own online stores. It will be interesting to see what kind of model they come up with and if they can compete with Amazon.
Below you will find articles citing increased fees for Amazon sellers. Yes there have been slight increases here and there, but there have also been slight decreases in a few areas as well. I have found these fees seem to balance out and if you are purchasing inventory with fees in mind there’s no problem. I’m suspecting that those who are complaining about the fees are following a model in which there is lots of cheap paperback penny books and little profit margin. Quoting one seller “It’s always a pleasure to read about sellers who are too stupid to survive, and even better when we learn they need to supplement their income by spreading their stupidity to others (for pay). And there is even more pleasure in seeing the press naively believing the losers.”
- Five Factors to Consider When Setting Up Your Retail Arbitrage Business Model (adventuresinarbitrage.com)
- What’s Up With all the Private eBay Promotions? (vendio.com)
- eBay’s New Homepage Opens to Mixed Reviews (vendio.com)
- Why eBay Went Pinterest (digiday.com)
- Fury At Amazon Over Fee Hikes (AMZN) (embargozone.com)
- Amazon sellers unhappy about fee hikes, eye rivals (nbcnews.com)
- New PayPal fee sends eBay stock to lowest point of 2013 (mercurynews.com)
- Amazon Fee Hikes Could Force Sellers to go Elsewhere: Report (theepochtimes.com)