Why looks are all important when selling on Amazon

By Sharon Fussell, August 31, 2012

I often note in feedback comment that buyers have been pleased (or conversely not at all pleased thus leaving bad feedback ratings) with packaging used.

Looking good and repeat buyers on Amazon

When selling on Amazon the first contact with your customer is when they receive their order so it is vitally important to ensure that they have a good impression of you as a seller and you can do this by ensuring orders are wrapped appropriately.

I know that to some sellers packaging is not important, I have heard horror stories where items have been sent in decrepit packaging, stained, ripped and just badly cared for.

Books are, on the whole, easy to package. As you know I advocate using padded envelopes, admittedly they are not the cheapest form of packaging to use, but they are very fit for purpose.

To save costs there is nothing to prevent you from using recycled envelopes – just ensure they are in good order and are how you would like to receive your goods, as in Philosopher Immanuel Kant’s Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”

I am not against reused packaging, even now when I make a personal Amazon order I save the cardboard boxes that Amazon use and am not averse to reusing them.

Not that padded envelopes don’t do the trick because they do, it’s just to give that extra bit of support (especially if sending to an international address e.g. Australia) However, I do not advocate using new cardboard packaging as it will cost more to buy and more to post – not good for your profit margins.

I know when I used to post out orders (prior to FBA) I dispatched so many books every day that I found that padded envelopes were the best packaging to use; they are easy, quick, protect the books during transit and you can reduce costs by buying in bulk from online companies such as Viking Direct, who often have offers such as buy one box get one free.

However, when you first start out, or if you only sell a few items per month then what alternative packaging can you use to keep costs low?

Here are some examples:

  • Use recycled padded envelopes rescued from personal use.
  • Beg and borrow used padded envelopes from friend and relatives.
  • Rescue from being binned at the office.
  • Buy in small amounts from pound shops.
  • Use normal envelopes and wrap book with recycled bubble wrap first.

I rediscovered the following tips from a past ezine recently and thought you may be new to selling or in need of a refresher, so here is another chance to view:

Firstly Barry sent me an email containing two great pieces of info for you:

“Hi Sharon,

Two points; … you quoted another member who was shipping her books in plastic mailers. By chance I had used my last jiffy bag that morning and needed to buy some more quickly.

I decided to trial a short order of these mailers…

… So, the acid test; would they do the job?

I posted two books to myself, one a heavy paperback text book and a new
hardback with very sharp corners.

I deliberately posted these at Gatwick Airport where I was working that day… I posted one First Class and the other Second Class…

Both books arrived two days later in the same post and both were undamaged and in perfect condition with no extra packing.

My Pritt-Sticked labels remained on and so did the postage labels. So, apart from proving the packaging worked I also proved that First Class postage is only good for reducing your profit margins


Or try this innovative idea from Mervyn:

“I found a load of odd wallpaper rolls in the garage. I now use them to wrap my books and I have been getting really good feedback about my excellent packaging!! Cheaper and as tough as Jiffy Bags!!



What do you think?

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