Amazon listings…Does it pay to state the obvious?

By Sharon Fussell, August 20, 2011

I know when pricing books on Amazon it’s tempting to offer prices lower than the competition. Indeed, in many cases it makes sense to do this. However, if ever I needed proof that buyers are not always driven by price alone, I received it this week with the surprise sale of the following book:

‘Winning is Not Enough: The Autobiography,’ by Jackie Stewart: This was a hardcover edition including a free DVD.

I had listed the item as ‘Used – Very Good’ and followed this up with a basic description in the comment box: ‘Hardcover, like new reading copy with free DVD enclosed.’

I priced my item at £7.99, but the buyer could have purchased a copy for as little as £1.38 including P&P.

There was no way I intended to sell for such a low amount simply to remain on page one of the selling page; the book is quite a heavy one. I was expecting the sale of this product to take a while due to the price difference, but in fact it’s only been about 6 weeks since it went on the system.

What surprised me even more is the fact that the buyer took the trouble of scrolling through, not one, but three pages of Amazon listings to find my copy of this book ignoring all the cheaper prices – including new copies advertised for a pound or so more than my used copy! (As an aside, I was amazed to see one seller selling this book as a new copy, despite the book lacking a dust jacket; this item should have been listed as ‘acceptable’).

Don’t allow your Amazon listings to be overlooked

I often note that I sell my books for a premium compared to my competitors. I suspect in the case above, the buyer wanted a copy including the free DVD and, as most other sellers did not state it was included, the buyer did not want to take the risk of receiving a copy without the DVD included.

So, a simple yet crucial moral to today’s story: it’s always a good idea to state the obvious in the comment box. When you do list books with free CD’s, DVD’s or other items such as posters or maps, always – without fail – state whether they do or do not include these items or risk having your listing overlooked.

FBA Forum

This week I received a booklet from Staples Direct. They are currently selling packing tape, both clear (S3300293) and buff (S3300335) for a great price: 6 rolls for £1.74. Which, to save you the maths, is a saving of 75%. And, I also received 4 free drinking mugs. So if you want to grab a bargain try Staples online.


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