Amazon Auctions, zShop and Marketplace
By Ina Steiner
Whenever I go to Amazon to look for a book or CD, I notice in the results page that it lists auctions and Zshops alongside Amazon's own offerings. I always thought that was pretty cool for buyers and sellers. As a buyer, I may choose to buy a used book at auction instead of a brand new book at Amazon.
Recently Amazon added another feature - Amazon Marketplace. I decided it was time to take a closer look at all of Amazon's options.
Amazon Auctions and zShops
Amazon Auctions http://auctions.amazon.com is similar to eBay. Listing fees are 10 cents, and you can set the duration of your auction anywhere from 3 days to 14 days. Amazon takes a commission of less than 5 percent of the final sales price, and you set your own shipping amount.
You may choose to become an Amazon Pro Merchant, which enables you to sell anything you want for a fixed-price in the zShops and list items for auction. You pay a fixed rate of $39.99/month, allowing you to list up to 5,000 items on zShops and Auctions. There are no listing fees for zShop sellers, and the commission is less than 5% of the sales price.
For more information, go to "Selling at zShops" http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/ts/help/creating-a-sale/002-9809680-4721644
Amazon Marketplace is new, and it's based on the concept of eBay's Half.com. Individuals can put items up for sale for a fixed price (as opposed to auctions where the price increases with bids). Amazon collects the money from the buyer and keeps 99 cents plus 15% of the sale price. If the item is used, you must set your price at least 20% below Amazon's price for the same item. If it is collectible (signed or out of print, for example), you must set a price higher than the list price.
Amazon collects a fixed shipping charge from the buyer and passes it along to the seller (see http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/subst/help/sdp-shipping.html/002-9809680-4721644). For example, Amazon gives sellers a shipping credit of $2.03 for domestic book orders and $12 for international book orders. This is based on USPS "Special Standard Mail"--formerly "Book Rate." You are responsible for any extra shipping charges that you may incur.
To list an item, do a search on Amazon for the item. When you've found an exact match, click on "Sell yours here."
List your item. You must register to collect online payment from your buyer via Amazon.com Payments. Once the item is sold and Amazon has collected the money, Amazon will email you with the buyer's address. You must ship the item via standard/surface mail within two business days after purchase.
For more information about Amazon Marketplace, visit "Selling at Amazon Marketplace" http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/subst/help/sdp-selling.html/002-9809680-4721644 or "Buying at Amazon Marketplace" http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/subst/help/sdp-overview.html/104-5961941-8067108
If you have books and CDs you want to sell, you may want to seriously consider Amazon's Marketplace. Think of all those people who flock to Amazon. Whenever they search for a title, YOUR ITEM will be listed alongside Amazon's own offerings.
As an aside, some authors are upset about the ease with which buyers can purchase second-hand books on Amazon. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12279-2000Nov13.html Authors only get royalty from new book sales.
Note: We first reported on Amazon Marketplace in the November 7th Newsflash. Read AuctionBytes Newsflash for your daily auction news-fix http://www.auctionbytes.com/Email_Newsletter/newsflash/newsflash.html.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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