Archive for selling on Amazon

Amazon Vs eBay (5) – Buyers

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This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at buyers and their expectations.

The buyers on Amazon and eBay are different.  Amazon buyers are loyal to Amazon many would not dream of buying on eBay.  eBay buyers often feel that Amazon sellers charge too much.  On eBay they expect less, post an item within a week and the buyer is happy.  Post an item sold on Amazon more than 2 days after the sale and the buyer will complain.  Amazon buyers are more expectant and demanding.  Depending on your point of view, this is either a good or a bad thing.

Personally, I think that customers with high expectations are a good thing.  It drives bad sellers out of the market.  Conversely it can make them a pain to deal with.  They do not expect to have to email to ask if their purchase has been posted, and neither should they.  It is just that they will do it after 24 hours, eBay buyers will do it after 96.

I enjoy working with eBay buyers there is more interaction than with Amazon buyers.  Consequently, the average time spent on eBay sales is less than on Amazon sales,  From the point of view of your business the advantage has to go to Amazon.

Result; Amazon wins.

Score

Amazon            4

eBay                 0

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Amazon Vs eBay (4) Shipping Charges

This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at the payments methods and costs.

Question: How much does shipping cost on eBay? 

Answer: As much as the seller thinks he can get away with!

Question: How much shipping cost on Amazon?

Answer: As much as Amazon thinks is reasonable!

 

Which do you prefer as a seller?  Some eBay sellers use a lower price for their items and charge high shipping fees to boost their profits.  I am against this practice but it goes on and some buyers seem to be taken in by it. 

 With Amazon the shipping costs are constant between sellers and so it is easier for the buyers to make comparisons.  Usually, the Amazon shipping fees are reasonable for the seller.  If they are too high then you can reduce the price of the item.  If they are too low then the price must reflect that. Either way it does mean that the seller has to know the true cost of shipping.

Advantage;  Amazon

Score;

Amazon       3

eBay            0

 

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Amazon Vs eBay (3) – Payment Methods

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at the payments methods and costs.

Ebay has its own proprietary payment system PayPal. It is quick and fits seamlessly into the auction process. You may also accept alternative methods of payment up to set limits (£500 in the UK). For all payments collected via PayPal there is a charge (1.4% to 3.4% + £0.20 GBP). Sellers send invoices, track whether payment has been made and chase non payers. Funds are released to the seller on request to Paypal.

Amazon collects the payments for sellers. There is no alternative, and no charge for using the service. Amazon invoices and collects payment and chases non payers. Payment is not realeased into the seller’s account until it is cleared by Amazon. The seller does not become involved in payment tracking or chasing non payers. Payments are made to the seller’s bank account every 2 weeks for the total of all sales made in that period.  There are no charges for Amazon collecting the payment.  However, for a true comparison of overall charges I will be posting another piece in a few days (when I have done the maths…..)

The Winner is: Amazon

Aggregate Score

Amazon 2

eBay 0

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Free Replacements, I Still Think That They Are A Good Idea!

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

I have recently been writing on various blogs about giving free replacements when buyers say that the item has not been received.  Many people disagree and say that I am being taken for a fool.  A sort of buy one get one free scam by some buyers.

They may be right in some cases but I stand by my idea that the vast majority of people are honest.  A little story to illustrate that. it is slightly different from a straight replacement but I think it is a story worth telling.

I sold a CD on Amazon the other week and the buyer emailed me to say that it was not the CD he thought it was, it had a different track listing.  My first thought was that he should have read the listing properly, or that he had burned the CD but did not want to pay £9 for the CD.  However, I emailed back saying return it and I will refund, minus the postage cost.  I knew that the CD would sell again.

The CD came back, I refunded and listed it again.  two days later John ordered another CD.  He emailed me to say that this was not a scam so I sent the CD.  No problem with the sale.  He then bought another.  I like to think that the later sales were made possible by my attitude to the first.

By the way.  There was an unexpected bonus.  The first time I listed the CD (which I had bought for 50p) there were 2 others listed at £9.  When I re listed the lowest price was £19.99, the other 2 had sold.  I re listed it at £19.99 and it sold yesterday!

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Amazon Vs eBay (2) Sale Prices

Let’s face it, when we think about selling something our first question is always “how much will I get for it?” We tend to worry about our costs later.

So when comparing selling on eBay and Amazon the average sales price seems to be a good place to start.

The buyers on Amazon seem to be more affluent than those on eBay.  eBay is seen by many as a place to go for cheap goods, for bargains.  Amazon is seen to be more up-market.  I know people who will buy from Amazon but not even consider eBay. This attitude means that the average price of goods on Amazon is higher than on eBay.  I can, and do, charge 20% more for my items on Amazon than I do on eBay and still make good sales.  In fact it is very possible to buy on eBay and resell on Amazon at a profit.  (Remember to research the market first though).

On the basis of sale price alone, without considering anything else, the advantage has to be to selling on Amazon.

Score

Amazon 1

eBay       0

Comments (1)

Amazon Vs eBay (1)

Over the next few days and weeks I will be comparing selling on Amazon and eBay.  I will be looking at the pros and cons of selling on both sites.

A lot of people have not considered selling on Amazon for a number of reasons.  Some people simply do not realise that individuals can sell on Amazon.  Others have heard stories of a bureaucratic morass enveloping Amazon, others that Amazon simply makes life for sellers too difficult.  Are either of these true?  I will try to cut my way through the chaff to bring you the wheat (I must be feeling quite poetic this morning :-) )

As you will know, if you have read some of the past posts, I have been selling books and CDs on Amazon for some time now and find it a worthwhile source of income.  I am not unique.

Many people dabble with Amazon.  If you look at the listings for text books you will see new sellers at the end of the scholastic year listing their old text books for unfeasibly low prices.  The trouble is they tend to talk up the condition of their books.  Often they do not mention the highlighted texts the inscriptions and annotations in the margins etc.  I have bought text books for 1p (plus £2.75 postage) and resold them but they have been far from perfect in spite of how they were described.  Once they have sold their text books these people then tend to disappear from Amazon.  However, as with selling on eBay, I believe that if you approach it properly and professionally selling on Amazon is a worthwhile proposition.

I hope that as I compare Amazon and eBay you will be able to make a judgement as to whether selling on Amazon is really for you.

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