Are you ever short on money, but you can’t get any extra hours at work or don’t have a job? If you look through your book, movie, or gaming collections I bet you will find at least one item that you would be willing to sell for that extra money. Selling online is a great way to make a lot of money out of your unwanted items!
I get a lot of questions about how to sell things online, and which method is the best. Some of you may know that I do a lot of selling online, and sometimes I’m even overloaded with packages to ship out. My answer is to use Amazon if you’re trying to sell a standard item. Over the past year I have sold over 80 items using Amazon.com and have made a few hundred dollars in return. I figured I’d offer my tips!
How to use Amazon to sell
For some reason, a lot of people are scared to use Amazon. It’s actually very simple to use! You just need to be signed up for Amazon.
If you have something to sell there are two ways to sell it.
- Search for the item in the search bar. When the product page comes up, there should be a button on the right that says “Sell yours here.”
- Go through your seller page and do a bar code search to be more specific about your product.
You list it, someone buys it, you get notified, you ship it out, and you’re done! Simple as that. No disappointing auctions, mystery buyers, unfair fees, etc. This is why I prefer Amazon so much more than eBay.
Your money is then dispersed on a schedule. If at any time you need to pay bills and need that money faster, you just log in to your seller account and ask for it to be sent to you immediately. Amazon will then send your money at your request, though it takes about 3 business days to get to your bank account. There is a commission fee for Amazon every time you sell something, but it is a minimal fee that is already taken out when someone purchases your item. You’re always notified how much that commission is.
Selling faster on Amazon
There are a few things you can do to sell your items faster on Amazon. I recently recommended my sister sell her textbooks on Amazon, but she came back to me complaining that no one had bought it within two weeks while mine sold the same day I put it up for sale. Why did that happen?
- Price competitively: If everyone else is selling the same product in the same condition for less, no one will buy yours for an extra $5 or $10. Look at the lowest price and go a few cents above it.
- Build a reputation: The more positive feedback you get, the more stars you have in your seller rating. For some people, this makes a huge difference. People want to be assured an easy, effortless transaction.
- Describe your item: Many people skip the description of their item. The more descriptive you are, the more likely someone will purchase it! And of course, be honest. If you don’t mention that big scratch on the cover, your buyer will probably email you and complain once they see it and you’ll ruin your rating. Trust me, if you describe that scratch someone will still buy it and will not be unpleasantly surprised.
- Delivery Confirmation: Always, always, always ship with delivery confirmation. It’s an extra few cents, but so worth it. People like being able to track their items, and you should tell people in the item description that it is included with their order. Also, this protects you from scammers who claim their product never arrived, when in reality it did and they’re looking to get their money back anyway. If I ship out something worth over $50, I go an extra step to cover my money and require a Signature Confirmation which can better legally protect you if someone claims they never got their item.
- Use a logo: I didn’t know this for the longest time! You can actually have a tiny logo that appears next to your name on your item lists. You can set this up by going through your seller page and clicking on your store preferences. Logos capture people’s attention and make you look more professional.
- Update your prices: If it’s been a week and your items haven’t sold, go into your listings and check what the most recent lowest price is. It is very likely that the price has dropped on the item, and you’ll need to adjust your price. If you keep it as it is, it will sit on that page forever. Always update your prices!
Building your reputation
- Ship professionally: I always use bubble mailers. Occasionally I securely wrap the item in a paper bag, and I don’t seem to get ratings when I do this. Bubble mailers are a little more expensive, but they are safer and make a good impression.
- Print your labels: I just discovered this life saver. My local post office is a crowded mess, and waiting in line for an hour with ten items to be processed is a pain. I searched long and hard for an alternative and found the perfect solution. Did you know Paypal has a shipping label page online? If you log in to your Paypal account and search for MultiOrder Shipping, you should be able to find it. This wonderful space on the web lets you keep track of your shipping labels and write out your own labels. You add your shipping method of choice, the weight of the item, and the receiver’s address. Hitting “Print” will print out your label and charge your account the price of the label. You grab the label from your printer, cut it out, and tape it onto the package. If you have adhesive paper, you can print it out on that and not have to tape it on. Then you drop your stuff off at the nearest mailbox, skipping the post office altogether and having a very professional looking package to send.
- Delivery Confirmation: Like I previously mentioned, use delivery confirmation and write down their confirmation number when you give them a shipping notification. This way they can track their package, and they’ll be happier for it.
- Communication: If you need to contact them, go for it. Sometimes I have to email a buyer just to make sure they know what they’re buying. Sometimes I describe the item comes without a case, and the buyer is shocked to receive it because they didn’t read the item description before purchasing. You’ll always get these idiots, communicate if you anticipate anything going wrong!
I hope this helps some people that I know wanted to sell online. If you have any more questions, you know where to ask!