Amazon Seller tricks: Getting the Price Right

By Sharon Fussell, March 1, 2013

One the one hand pricing stock can seem very easy – after all, you just look for the lowest price and offer your item for a few pennies less don’t you?

Well, although on occasion I may do this, in the main I do not.

In fact it’s just not straightforward to price books. There are many nuances to getting it right. As I have said before, listing on Amazon does not mean selling items for the cheapest price it’s the best price you can get.

Sometimes I price an item many many times the price of the lowest priced item and get it. Sometimes I will price a penny or two below the lowest merchant seller price, other times I will list just under the Amazon price, despite my item being listed as used and theirs new, each listing is an individual decision.

You may feel a bit of a rogue pricing an item for hundreds and indeed in some cases thousands of percent higher than the price you actually paid for it. But selling books is a little like selling antiques, you get what you can, there is no standard price.

For example one of my sales this week ‘We Are Britain’ The lowest price is currently £4.80 in total. My buyer paid £39.99.

Why? Because, as an FBA seller my item was the only copy available for Prime. This is the only explanation I came up with, because to find my copy the buyer had to search two selling pages and mine was at the bottom.

In general, most of my stock is quite obscure and I know it’s possible I will only ever come across one of each title, thus the more I can get for it the better.

However, sometimes I can pick up the same title time and time again. Agreed, it’s usually the popular fiction/non fiction attracting a low value, but when sold in volume, low value popular, quick selling stock is certainly worth bothering with for accumulative profit margins.

Thus some items will sell for a very low price (if in plentiful supply) others (if in demand but short supply) will sell for much higher profits; it’s all down to market forces. These out of print in demand items will make up for the low prices you are forced to list your popular stock for. You need to be prepared to ask what you can get, whilst getting a balance between fetching a nice healthy profit, and being priced out of the market.

In many respects pricing does get easier with practice; if you sell a book quickly you may feel you have priced it too cheaply. But you have no way of knowing that, it could be the price you placed your item at was the most a buyer would pay.

In many cases you will not be selling your books for the price you would ideally like to receive, especially with so many Amazon sellers out there driving the prices down so that no one, including them, makes any profit.

But what you lose in the swings you can make up for on the slide, just make sure if you have an out of print/rarer books, you do not undermine its value, just be realistic and ask the price you think is fair for its condition/age/demand and in the main you should not go wrong.


What do you think?

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