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Why list books for One Cent


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Posted on Apr 25, 2011 6:11:34 AM PDT
Briochegal says:
There is a difference between selling books yourself on Amazon and having Amazon store and ship the book for you(FBA). I am selling some books FBA just because I don't want them any more, I am not a bulk seller or distributor. On my sales Amazon takes about 50% in fees and charges, so there's no way to make money on a $.01 cent sale that is fulfilled by Amazon. In fact when you list FBA books your profit is calculated. So I don't know why anyone would sell a book for one cent. I also don't understand why some sellers list some ordinary books for exorbitant amounts, $98 for a standard cookbook in average/good condition????? I just don't get it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 6:34:26 AM PDT
You can sell them at a used book store OR even use Goodreads.com. They do not charge anything, however, the person receiving the book pays $4.99 for the book and you ship it to them. If the book costs more that that to ship, then you shouldn't do it, but it's really easy to do.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 6:34:36 AM PDT
If the book doesn't weigh much, it is not too large, you don't ask for delivery confirmation, and you wrap the book with your own low cost supplies (e.g., brown paper bag, Tape), it generally will cost under $3 dollars (USPS media mail) to ship it, meaning that you made a $1 and put a book in the hands of someone who would like to read it at a great price.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 7:53:42 AM PDT
Parcel post is for shipping nonmedia items that are not shipped First Class. As far as I know, media has always had a special category. Ten years ago it was called Standard mail. Now it's called Media mail. Then you have Bound Printed Matter and Library mail.

Robert's reply was not salient, because he didn't understand what the poster was writing, confused media with parcel post, and then boasted about his years of experience.

To qualify for bulk shipping discounts on media mail presort, you have to have a certain volume.

If you price all your books at $5, you may sell only 100 a day. Therefore, you will not qualify for bulk mailing presort discounts. But if you lower some of your inventory to a penny and sell 250 books in a day, you can qualify for bulk mailing discounts. (I don't remember the exact cutoff.) So every book ships cheaper.

You MUST ship a minimum number of books per shipment.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:12:23 AM PDT
Books are mailed out via the special Postage rate called Media Mail. It is a special cheaper rate offered by the Post Office for certain items. Sometimes people order more then one book and the shipping price is still $3.99 each from Amazon. If you sell a lot of books on Amazon, you can make money on the postal fee but it's a hard way to go. Essentially, you need to acquire the books for free or very little. You can't sell large heavy books too cheaply or you will lose money on postage. Also, the Post Office loses and damages a lot of items(in my experience about 5 -6%) and the seller has to accept these losses because no seller can afford to insure books. If you're trying to come up with a get rich quick idea, selling books on Amazon is probably not it but it is an OK way to get rid of your unwanted books.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:36:28 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:38:34 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:40:26 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:41:29 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:42:48 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:44:49 AM PDT
Gayle says:
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Posted on Apr 25, 2011 3:56:59 PM PDT
Philip Scott says:
several things come to mind.

1. Many of the mega sellers are all automated systems. From listing to pricing, and the pricing is continually changing multiple times a day depending on what others are doing on Amazon.com. One of the better kept secrets, many big sellers don't do pricing, computer programs do. If they don't set a minimum the programs will go as low as they deem necessary (.01). Sellers like thriftbooks.com (who have many additional names on amazon) are nearly completely automated in their pricing, listing, and shipping. For an example, I order a out of print book six times from amazon.com ranging from .01 to .50 and on 3-4 occasions I received the same wrong book each time, and each time it was from thriftbooks.com or one of their other seller accounts (had no idea at the time). Finally, I was contacted by their main offices after this happened so many times. They had an error in their automated system that kept shipping me the wrong book and apparently no one was checking what was shipping out.

interesting article to check out http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/04/25/amazon.price.algorithm/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

2. Many large sellers buy used in huge bulk for much less than .01 per book - estate sales, used book buying conventions, etc.

3. If push comes to shove they can be used as a tax write-off as a business loss.

4. Many of the comments are right, you can make some money through the shipping cost. Particularly if your big enough for the USPS to pick up the packages for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 7:49:12 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 26, 2011 7:49:04 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:03:49 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 25, 2011 8:19:31 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 8:10:46 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 25, 2011 8:18:49 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 25, 2011 8:13:48 PM PDT
Penny books are not (Rare, Collectors, Out of print 1st Edition) therefore they are penny books.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 9:23:56 PM PDT
textgenie says:
Well, maybe she is referring to other shippers than USPS? Maybe they give discounts. Judging from how willing big companies are to ship UPS, I'd guess they do.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 9:26:35 PM PDT
textgenie says:
Well, maybe learn to spell "losing" correctly for a start?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 9:31:32 PM PDT
textgenie says:
Maybe they would have treated you better if you spelled "lose" correctly?

Posted on Apr 25, 2011 10:04:54 PM PDT
textgenie says:
Its LOSING money, folks, and LOOSING a knot!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 3:23:53 AM PDT
Robert says:
just not true anymore
usps and ups now offers discounts for large online sellers
even small ones with ebay/paypal accts, maybe amazon market as well

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 3:26:01 AM PDT
Robert says:
sometimes you do lose money if its a large book
but yea, rather lose a little that throw a good book in the trash

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 6:47:17 AM PDT
Ken says:
going postal over this are we Robert?

Posted on Apr 26, 2011 8:24:17 AM PDT
JCJ says:
Shipping discounts would be a minor factor. I have sold about 50 books on Amazon, never for 1 penny, but a couple for very cheap prices. A one pound media mail package is something like $2.25, then you have your packaging materials which are on the order of 25 to 50 cents. You get 3.99 for shipping typically. I don't recall what Amazon's fees are on a 1 cent book, but I assume they virtually nothing, what's interesting is that if you sell it for $2.00 you probably will pay substantial listing fees. Anyway, at the end of the day for the book seller they will make about $1.25 after shipping on a book before paying the cost of the book or the people to run the business.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 8:33:39 AM PDT
Amazon credits $3.99 for shipping and deducts $1.35 variable closing fee ($2.64 credit). (If you're not a Pro Merchant, you pay an additional $.99 fee per book sold on top of the 15% commission.)

1 pound media mail is $2.41. So you get $.23 to put into packaging/handling.

2 pound media mail is $2.82, meaning you're already $.18 in the hole before packaging/handling.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
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Initial post:  Apr 16, 2011
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