Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sold on Amazon.com

A couple of years ago, my Linksys router was damaged because of a power glitch. Without any backups, I had to buy a new one at the regular price, which was much more expensive than those you would get when they were on sale.

Since then, I always bought a backup one when the price was right, either free-after-rebate or less than $10 after rebate. I had gone through wired router, 802.11b wireless router, and 802.11g wireless router, and I have a backup for each of them. Oddly enough, none of my router ever gave me any problem since the Linksys router, and the three backups were sitting in the closet only to collect dust.

Last month, when I was browsing the Fatwallet forum, an idea came up to me after reading some posts about selling stuff on Amazon.com. Why not sell my spare routers on Amazon as well? Not just the routers, I also have a bunch of items I want to get rid of. Wasted no time, I went to Amazon.com and began the process of listing my stuff.

I am not sure about Ebay, but becoming a seller on Amazon is quite simple. Since I already have a buyer’s account, the only extra steps are 1) provide a valid phone number so Amazon can call the number immediately to verify you indeed own the number; and 2) provide the checking account number so Amazon can deposit the proceeds to your bank account directly. Actually, you can list your item you want to sell first and provide your bank account later when the first item is sold.

The first item I listed on Amazon was a textbook I no longer needed. After specifying the condition of the book and giving a sale price, Amazon told me how much commission I would have to pay if the book is sold and the shipping credit Amazon will return to me. If I agree with the terms and conditions, I can list the book right away.

Since it was my first attempt to sell and I didn’t have any ratings, the price I asked for was the lowest among the prices from other sellers. I just wanted to test the water first. Surprisingly, a little more than 24 hours later, the book was sold!

A rather painless process!

In less than a month, I have sold all my three spare routers, an inkjet printer, and another book and collected about $235.

Not bad at all.

If you also want to sell your stuff on Amazon, the following are what I thought you may want to know:
  1. Only those items Amazon currently sells on its website can be listed for free;
  2. To list your own items, you have to setup a pro account and pay monthly fee;
  3. Free listing for 60 days;
  4. Amazon collects payment for you and credits you some of the shipping cost so you avoid the hassle of dealing with the buyer, but you are responsible for the difference between the actually shipping cost and the shipping credits Amazon pays.
  5. Proceeds will be sent to your bank account directly on a biweekly basis;
  6. The commission is quite steep though no listing fee, for example, the commission for a $69.99 book is $12.72 and the commission for a $74.99 printer is $8.19.

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