The key to getting the price right when selling on Amazon…

By Sharon Fussell, January 15, 2015

I sometimes feel I would love to hire someone to list my books on my behalf.

In reality though, I would not trust anyone else to list and thus price my stock: it’s just not straightforward to price books. There are many nuances to this and I believe it is an art.

The key to getting the price right when selling on Amazon...

The key to getting the price right when selling on Amazon…

I believe that unlike the philology of some of the bigger sellers, listing on Amazon does not mean selling items for the cheapest price!

No – it should actually mean selling for the best price you can get.

Sometimes I price an item many, many times the price of the lowest-priced item and still sell 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.

Perhaps you feel that if you buy an item relatively cheaply that it’s not fair to ask a much higher price.

In fact you may feel a bit guilty pricing an item for hundreds and, indeed in some cases, thousands percent higher than the price you actually paid for it.

However, remember that selling books is a little like selling antiques: you get what you can, there is no standard price.

Let’s be fair – because you usually have to follow suit and offer prices in the region of other sellers, usually quite low prices compared to the original RRP – it’s rather nice to discover a rarer book and with no to little competition on how to price it.

When I am in this position I will price high: probably between £49 and £100. Because it is rarer, it may take longer to sell – if you feel you have priced the item too high, make small price reductions over time: usually not until about three months have passed, mind.

Basically, some items will sell for a very low price if it’s in plentiful supply; others items if in demand but short supply will sell for much higher profits. It’s all down to market forces.

In the main, out-of-print, in-demand items will make up for the low prices you are compelled to list your popular stock for.

You need to be prepared to ask what you can get, whilst getting a balance between your item fetching a nice health profit, yet not be 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.

So, when you do pick up good quality books with unusual titles/content, don’t feel guilty about asking a good price for it.

Remember: you are offering a service – in most cases buyers will never be able to find that particular title by searching locally: they’ll be happy they have found the treasured book they require.


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