How to use Amazon’s ‘trade-in’ option to shift slow stock

By Sharon Fussell, June 11, 2013

I [Amazon] n past ezines we have discussed Amazon’s trade-in option.

Although, in actuality, the firm offering the trade in is not connected to Amazon – they have just struck a joint operation, as both companies gain from the trade-in commerce.

Because when you trade in books, instead of receiving cash you receive an Amazon gift card. You use the balance on the card to buy goods from the Amazon site.

Thus, it works through Amazon giving an option for you to trade in your item – as apposed to selling your item when you list.

You send the items you decide to trade to the company involved. They pay for the postage: all you have to do is to download a free post label and post the packet at the Post Office.

Once received, the company processes it and deposits the amount owed onto your Amazon card. Then you purchase goods from the Amazon site.

To find out if you can trade a book in, you will notice a small box with a ‘trade in’ offer on the right-hand side of the description page: look for the link that takes you to the trade-in form.

You may also see a box on the description page with the following information (in this instance, the example is for a popular title called The Fast Diet):

Trade in this Item for up to £0.25.

Trade in The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting – Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer for an gift card of up to £0.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Special Offer until June 30, 2013: Receive an additional £5 promotional gift card, when you trade in at least £10 worth of books.

Regarding trade-in price, there are various offers. Some are – in my opinion – at a ridiculously low value, and therefore I will choose not to take it. But some offers are very good and I will happily trade in the book: ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’, so to speak.

Here are a few examples of recent trade ins I have made:

  • The Warship Mary Rose: The Life and Times of King Henry VIII’s Flagship – £25.50
  • Good Times Bad Times – £7.80
  • England and the Octopus – £46.20

Trade-in price offers change all the time. I note that currently all these products have either a reduced trade-in offer from the one I received, or it has been removed.

Recently I traded in a painting book: the offer was for £16. But before I processed the order, the trade-in company removed the offer. So a good tip is: if you do accept a good offer, submit the book straight away.

You need to ensure that the item you send to Amazon is matched exactly to the one on the description page, so verify the ISBN before it is accepted.

You do not have to wait for the item to sell before receiving your deposit – in fact, usually they are quite efficient at processing your parcel.

You can easily access your trade-in account from a link in your seller account or your buyers account.

This is how the trade-in process works:

Trade-in List

There are limits on how much you can trade in. You will receive payment for items that meet or exceed the product eligibility criteria. Your Gift Card account will automatically be credited for accepted items. If your items are considered to be in a better trade-in eligible condition than what you specified, you will receive the corresponding higher amount.

Determining Product Eligibility

Only items that match the exact version displayed in our Amazon Trade-In Stores are eligible for trade in. If your product does not exactly match the versions in the Amazon Trade-In Stores, please try searching for it again. Items that do not match the items on the trade-in list will not be accepted. We’re constantly updating the Trade-In Programme with new titles. Please check back often to see what’s been added.

Trade-In Condition

Specific conditions can be found displayed next to the item during the trade-in submission process. To view the condition description, hover over or click the trade-in product condition after you add the item to your submission.

Postage and Payment

All items must be postmarked no later than 7 days after the trade-in submission. You will receive an email confirmation and an Gift Card will be deposited into your account within 2 business days of receipt and verification of your items.

You can trade in as many eligible items as you like. However, each individual trade-in order is limited to a total value of up to £150. If your total trade-in order is greater than £150, you will need to make multiple trade-in orders. Also, please note that you can trade in up to a quantity of 2 identical items within any 3-month period. For example, if you submitted one copy of a video game on January 1 and you submitted one more copy of the same video game before March 31, then you can trade in the third copy on April 1. The item’s quantity will be adjusted to the allowed maximum if you try to submit more.

You can send items in multiple orders provided that you put a copy of the packing slip in each package and use a separate delivery label for each order.

Here is a list of reasons you may choose to trade in a book as opposed to selling it yourself in the usual way:

  • If you have an item that will not render you much of a profit due to its weight.
  • If you stand to make little-to-no profit, it may be worth sending to Amazon and receiving 25p instead of chucking it out.
  • You can accrue money on the gift card and buy gifts from Amazon, saving you money at Christmas-time.
  • You can use the gift card balance to buy purchases for yourself.
  • You might make more money by taking the offer than if you sold the item yourself.

However, later in the year I am going to show you a very exciting way that demonstrates how I profit from turning the trade-in gift card balance into hard cash – and you will never guess how!


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