In my previous blog I talked about getting started selling and swapping online. Here are some tips for selling on Amazon and Half.com or swapping on Swap and SwapaDVD / SwapaCD / PaperBackSwap.
- Research the going price for items in the same condition as your item on the site your plan on listing your item. If you list your item for significantly more than what other people are selling it for, your item may never sell. You don’t need to price it lower than all the others but I would suggest pricing it on the lower end of range.
- If your item may command a significant amount of money, you may not want to list it on the swapping sites. Keep in mind that most of the trading sites treat all items as equal, so a $4 child’s paperback would be worth 1 credit, the same as a brand new hardcover bestseller that costs $25.
- List items on multiple sites at once. If you have to type the product code into a site it’s easy enough to copy that code into another site. If you need to come up with a description of your item then use that same description on other sites.
- Be patient. If the item is not a popular item, it may take a while for it to sell. You may need to consider lowering your price after a few weeks. On a regular basis, I review my inventories on the site and lower the prices slightly (1-2%)
- When pricing your item keep the commission and shipping allowances for each site in mind . Half.com charges a straight 15% commission on your selling price (if your item sells for less than $50). The shipping allowance differs depending upon the type of item you are selling. See here for a list of shipping allowances on Half.com. Amazon charges a commission of 6-15% of the sales price, a per-transaction fee of $0.99, and a variable closing fee, which means you are probably looking at at least a $1.50 commission, even if your item sold for $4. Amazon will, however, reimburse you the full amount of shipping that is charged to the customer. You may decide to price the same item differently on the two sites. I find that some items command a higher price on Amazon. For more information on Amazon’s fee structure see here.
- Find the cheapest way to ship an item. For standard shipping, many books, CDs, and DVDs can be shipped cheapest using US Postal Service First Class Mail. For books, CDs, and DVDs that weigh 8 oz or more, ship using USPS Media Mail. (Note: Video games do not qualify to be shipped using Media Mail.)
- If your item is small enough, package it in a lightweight bubble mailer instead of a box to save on shipping cost. Find out your shipping cost before you list your item so you know if the shipping allowance will cover your cost. If not, you may want to increase the price to make up for it. The swapping sites listed in my previous blog require you to pay for shipping of any items that are requested from you.
- Reuse packaging material from items you receive in the mail. If you have to buy boxes or bubble mailers that will add to your cost and detract from your profits. Ask friends and family to save packaging material for you.
- Think about investing in a digital postal scale so you can ship items from your house and qualify for online shipping discounts. See my post about postal scales.