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Online selling (non-auction sites)

Updated on March 15, 2010

Introduction

Following-on from my 'Online Auction' hubpage, I now bring you a page for those who have no wish to sell via an auction, but prefer to sell for a fixed price via a market leader.

There are quite a few e-tailers who run a 'sell yours here' service for you to use. The biggest being 'Amazon' and 'Play.com'. Both of which I will cover in their own sections below.

Each site has it's own way of item listing, it's own seller/buyer fees, and it's own policy on postage. From my own experiance, it is worth getting to know how much it will cost you to sell a given item prior to listing. This will prevent the dismay of making an overall loss (as I did on each of my first 3 Amazon sales).

Essentials for selling include a calculator, postal scales and a printer. If you find that you are listing 100's of items each week, then a scanner would be worth investing in as this will save a huge amount of time in the listing phase of the operation.

Amazon

Amazon started-life as an e-tailer in it's own rite, but a few years back it introduced 'Amazon Marketplace'. This allows anyone to sell their own items so long as they are already in Amazons' catalouge. As you can only sell what Amazon also sells, listing things becomes much easier as they provide a photo (if one is available). All you need to do is select condition, add a comment and give a price.

When you sell things on Amazon you will notice a lot of '1p' items. Don't do as I did and price-match these, otherwise you are likely to end-up making a loss on your sales. Basically, the sellers with these 1p listings have Pro-seller accounts, and as such, don't pay the 89p per item that Amazon charges Standard Seller account holders. Before you rush-off to sign-up to Pro-seller, be aware that there is a £25.00 a month charge, so you would have to be shifting 30+ items each and every month to make a saving.

Pricing your items

Here is where you will need a calculator handy. Whatever you sell your item for, Amazon takes-off the aforementioned 86p, they also take-off a finak variable charge, and in some cases, a commission payment too. They do however add postage on top of this, but for heavy items the fixed-postage cost may be less than the actual cost of posting.

When you have entered the details of your item and set the price, Amazon takes you to a screen which lists the item price + the postage - Amazon's fees, and then tells you how much you will get. At this point, it is worth visiting Royal Mail to see how much it will actually cost to post your item (a good set of postal scales comes in handy for this). If the cost of posting is more than you will get (or leaves you with less profit than you wanted), then you can always click the 'back' button and enter a new, higher price.

Getting paid

Amazon pays-out into your bank account every 2 weeks so you will need to add one to your account settings.

Play.com

Play.com

Play.com operates a similar system to 'Amazon', but calls their sellers 'Playtraders'. Again, you can only list what they sell, but they have a smaller list of items, these are 'Music', 'DVDs', 'Books','Games', 'Consoles' and 'Tickets'.

Items listed are on a 'free posting' basis, and are suject to Play's commission rates (which are 10%+50p), so again, you will need to know the postage costs before you list. For instance, t0 post a cd in a jiffybag is 79p 2nd-class.

Getting paid

Play adds your funds to your Playfunds account to spend on Play.com. If you want the cash transfered into a bank account, they will do this, but will deduct a 5% fee.

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