Copyright © 2008 Dan Morrill All rights reserved. ISBN: 1-4392-0269-9 ISBN-13: 9781439202692 Visit www. to order additional copies.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents Introduction Why Sell Books on Line Why Write a Book that gives away tips and tricks Before you get started Selling Books Do you need a business plan? Creating the simple business plan The Name of your Business Brand Recognition Vision Goals and Objectives Financial Plan Measuring and evaluation Find Space in your house for Books Have a ―staging area‖ Decide on how you want to manage shipping Plan for angry customers Get a business license Build a web site when you get your store name registered as a domain name and get hosting Advertising Amazon Associates Program Web store by Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon Amazon Auctions The more you know Getting Started The Amazon culture for third party sellers Help for new sellers Listing Management and Reports Order Management, shipping, feedback and returns Third Party software and services Seller Soap Box Third party selling taboo forum subjects Where do you get books? Anything about being an ―eBay refugee‖ Whining about being shut down by Amazon Getting the hang of the culture Using Amazon forums, feedback and pricing to your best advantage Where to find books Wholesale A1Overstock 1 5 7 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 20 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 27 28 30 30 31 31 32 32 32 33 34 35 35 36 36 37 37

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Book Depot Love for Books American Book Company Retail Goodwill and other stores Book Publishers FOL (Friends of the Library) Craig‘s List Newspaper Ads for Garage Sales and Estate Sales Auctions Book Fairs Treasury Department Auctions Postal Service Auctions Used Book Stores What to do if your wholesale or other supplier goes out of business What books do you want to buy and how cheap can you get them Amazon Sales Rank Penny Books Hardbacks Paper Backs or Soft Cover Books Mass Market paperbacks Unusual Books Textbooks Books by style (what sells well by Genre) Books to avoid Selling Books eBay (part of eBay) AbeBooks Alibris Grading your books Examples of bad book grading Good examples of grading Be careful how you grade Navigating the Seller Interface at Amazon The initial Screen The right hand side of the screen Your Orders Printing the packing slip The actual order Feedback Performance Summary Listing Books Viewing your inventory Page Hogging

38 38 39 39 39 40 42 42 43 43 43 44 44 44 45 45 45 46 47 47 48 48 49 49 50 51 52 53 53 54 54 56 58 59 61 62 62 63 64 65 65 65 67 68 68 69

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Dealing with Pricing Variances Bargain Books and Normal Hardcover‘s Repricing Getting rid of ―dead wood‖ Blocking Customers Book Selling by Month Service Fulfillment Organization Shipping Tracking International Orders Feedback Lowest price to find shipping supplies Office Supply Stores On Line Postage US Post Office Endicia Making actual postage costs fit the price Amazon gives you Keeping track of your business Book Organization Shipping Costs Home based business Local Laws and Taxes Sales Taxes and other Taxes Income taxes Insurance Serial Bookstore Startups Professional organizations National and International organizations Local State Organizations Know and Use Amazon Best Practices Growing Past Amazon End Thoughts Appendix A – Case Studies Amazon Store Case Study #1 Amazon Store Case Study #2 Amazon Store Case Study #3 Amazon Store Case Study #4 Amazon Store Case Study #5 Amazon Store Case Study #6 Amazon Store Case Study #7 Amazon Store Case Study #8 Appendix B - Other remainder book companies Endnotes

70 70 71 71 72 73 74 75 76 76 77 78 78 80 80 81 81 81 82 82 83 83 84 84 85 85 86 86 86 87 87 88 89 90 92 93 93 94 94 96 97 97 98 99 102 105

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This book is dedicated to Tammy, Tony, Ralph, Nancy, Amazon, and Amazon sellers everywhere.

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Many people want to work out a method on how to accomplish financial freedom, and while books might seem like a contradictory way of accomplishing financial freedom is a world where physical items are changing in favor of digital delivery, books are still popular. Books have been with us since we started recording information on clay tablets, and it is unlikely that the joy of holding a book in someone‘s hands is going to go away. There is always a compelling reason to own a book, that is a book‘s enduring quality and the reason why selling books can be profitable. Many people promise to help you make millions on the internet, and have the life style of the rich and famous. The good thing about pitches like this is that they are obviously too good to be true. The reality of selling books on line as an independent store is to know that you are only going to get out of this what you have the time and money to put into this. Realistically though, making money in selling books, or indeed anything, is not going to happen overnight for anyone, even with minimal work, there are still things you will need to do. Even if part time, there will be time spent on prepping, shipping, handling, buying, and selling books on Amazon. The good thing about selling on Amazon is that people still want books, with sales in the 14 Billion dollar rangei there is plenty of room in the Amazon third party system for a new bookseller. The very real problem is getting set up, finding quality high rank books to sell, and engaging the customer. As an Amazon third party seller, you are using their system to sell you books. They have no obligation to you, yet there are major obligations that you owe them.

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Why Sell Books on Line
Selling books on line is one of the few businesses you can start on a small budget, get immediate success at, and build up as you go along. Starting off with as little as 200 dollars in stock or less, you can turn that around into a decent sized business fairly quickly once you get the hang of selling books on line. Books are not the only thing you can sell on line, short of controlled objects, firearms, and other items that have restrictions on their sale, you can sell just about anything on line. There are many ways of getting stock to sell at wholesale or reduced prices, put a fair markup on them, and turn them around to sell on other venues. Most businesses have what are called ―barriers to entry‖; a barrier to entry can be as simple as money, the money it takes to open up a franchise store or any other store. They can be as complex as the credit and reference checks it takes to open up a franchise store or any other store. Selling used media or books on line has the lowest entry pointii of anything you can do as a startup. This is called an easy access business that it does not take a lot of money to get started. In some respects, this is a good thing, in that anyone can do it. The bad side to this is that anyone can get into it. The crowding of the markets on Amazon and eBay with both bad sellers and bad buyers demonstrates the idea of an easy access business. The barrier to entry is as simple as ―I have a couple hundred books, what do I do with them‖. To get started all you need is a computer, some inventory that can simply come off the bookshelves in your house, or books that your friends give you that can be immediately turned around for a profit. This is what makes the market crowded; this is also, what is working against your success as an online seller of goods. The only real barrier at any point is your ability to deliver customer service, making the shipping and receiving of the book as painless on buyers as possible. There will be many things outside your control, but there are many things you can do to be successful in selling on line. You do not need a Masters degree, or even a bachelors degree, you can do this by reading books like this, reading the sellers community, and working out how best to do what you want to do, with the knowledge that you have. Book selling on line has become a ―turnkey‖ industry, as long as you have stock, shipping materials, and time, there is no limit to how far you can go in this business. You can even find readymade Amazon stores for sale on Craig‘s list, or on business sales directories. While the world is still working out how to manage the digital delivery of goods, there is something clean and honest about a book. This is something that we have grown up with, even modern kids, in modern schools, still have to buy, own, and use books. Books are deeply embedded into our human culture, that to do away with books completely in favor

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of digital delivery will take many decades to work out, if book printing and reading ever stops at all. There will always be someone wanting to buy a book for pleasure. You will find bookstores in almost every environment that people live in. From small towns to major cities you will find a bookstore. You will find books at Starbucks, you can find a boarders or a Barnes and Noble everywhere, independent booksellers are on line, and own physical stores. Book selling is as fun and rewarding now, as it ever was since the printing press. Bookstores and books are not going away any time soon. Books compete with other forms of entertainment, Television, video games, music, and the internet. The good part to books is that you can take them to bed to read, where the television is too noisy, it is hard to go to sleep when playing a video game, hard to fall asleep to motorhead, and the internet is hard to take to bed with you. You do not have to ―turn off a book on plane take off and landing‖; you do not need a wireless connection or power to read a book. Books work great in full sunlight and in low light. Books are easily transported, come in a variety of colors, types, genres, and there is a book for everyone. Books require minimal attention and care to last for decades. There is nothing in the retail market right now that matches the simple durability of a book. Perceptive shoppers are learning that the used book business is a great way to pick up a book they have wanted to read, at a deeply discounted price. There are even web sites out there dedicated to finding the lowest cost book by title and conditioniii. These web sites track all the listings on the major book reseller systems like Amazon, Alibris, eBay, and others, to find the best deal. Used books are a booming business, in an otherwise slowly constricting and consolidating book printing and selling business. Selling books on line also gives shoppers the chance to find rebel books, or books that go against convention that will not be found in the big box Boarders or Barnes and Nobel stores. If you want to find something as controversial as the ―Turner Diaries‖ or as frequently banned as ―The Anarchists Cookbook‖ odds are most likely that the only place you can find them at a reasonable price if you can find them at all, is to find them on line. Selling books on line is something that everyone can win at, from the deaf, to the physically impaired; anyone can sell a book on line as long as they can make it to the post office. Even that is not required anymore, if you use on line postage, if you can make it to your mailbox, and your mailbox is big enough, you can sell books on line. No one is going to say that ―You will make millions overnight‖, selling books is what you put into it, how smart you shop for inventory, and what your overall goals are, and what your ambition looks like. Anyone offering millions overnight is glossing over the work, and likely making one of those ―too good to be true‖ offers that we hear about so often. People will always be sucked into the ―too good to be true‖ offer, scammers know that.

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On line book selling can become a lifestyle, or it can become a way to bring in a little extra money while you are enjoying retirement, or college life. That the part where selling books on line is so compelling, it can be done anywhere as long as there is enough storage for stock, a ready mail person, and the desire to provide exceptional customer service.

Why Write a Book that gives away tips and tricks
There are always reasons that people write books about selling on popular ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Ebay, and there are a number of very good books already out there. Some of the better books out there are falling quickly out of print. Ecommerce, selling books on Amazon is also not something that stays the same all the time, tastes change, systems change, updates and upgrades will change how you interact with the ecommerce platform of choice. Many of the better books on how to sell on Amazon are out of print, or in need of updating to reflect more about how these systems work. As well as ways to use those ecommerce systems to their best effect for the book seller. Some of the out of print books are: How to Sell Used Books on Amazon: The Stay-at-Home Mom's Secret Step-by-Step Guide to Making Thousands of Dollars a Month by Christine Miller. There is some controversy about this book that is well worth reading about and finding more about. Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips by Michael E. Mould Some of the still in print books are: Sell Your Book on Amazon: The Book Marketing COACH Reveals Top-Secret "Howto" Tips Guaranteed to Increase Sales for Print-on-Demand and Self-Publishing Writers by Brent Sampson and Dan Poynter The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site by Steve Weber There are also many good books on how to open up a brick and mortar bookstore with its associated overhead, along with selling on line through any other ecommerce system. All these books are good in helping a seller learn about how to use the Amazon and other ecommerce systems to sell items on the internet. Some even take personal experience and put them together into a great book to read, but still leaves the reader wanting more. The reason to write a book like this is to share personal experience, the trials, the fun, the not so fun, and the approaches to working with a modern ecommerce system, with a business that has few barriers to access like selling books. There is nothing better than your first sale, there is nothing better than your 1000th sale, and there is nothing worse than your first negative feedback that drops your seller rating into the ground. There is 9|Secrets and Tips for Successfully Selling on Amazon

also nothing worse than the customer who cannot, under any circumstances, be made happy. Books like this help you through the joy and pain of running any kind of retail shop, and are important to read before and while you are engaged in customer facing retail. This book takes the seller story further that other books, by tying in all the back end support systems like Sellers discussion forums which you should read and know, going through the seller interface screen by screen. New and even experienced sellers can gain a lot of knowledge about Amazon by following along in this book. Readers will have a real opportunity to use the experiences of many sellers, to build out an effective way of selling books on line that works for them. That is where the tips and secrets comes into play, there is so much to learn, that actual experience from sellers can help new sellers learn the tricks of the trade.

Before you get started Selling Books
There are some things to think about before you start selling books. Book selling is not for everyone even if there are low barriers to entry. You should ask these general questions so that you can help define how you want to sell books on line, and where your ambitions truly lay when it comes to selling things on Amazon. There are many people who will start an on line book store at Amazon, there are few that will turn this into a continual growth business that over time can bring in enough income to live comfortably. As you watch the Amazon or any other e-commerce site bulletin board or forum system, you will see booksellers with high ambitions, but flame out and close after 60 days. You will see people with 96 items in stock and on the site for five years. Amazon caters to all levels of book selling, from the casual student to the dedicated ambitious bookseller. The question you need to ask yourself is what kind of bookseller do you want to be? You will see that people who actually stay in business for an extended period of time are few. Sellers who have been on line for years have a wealth of experience that they give out free on the Amazon Seller Community. They will help sellers who do not know how to grade a book properly, how to deal with penny sellers and all the associated issues from having an account frozen, to the AtoZ claim service. The seller community is an excellent resource to help you understand how to grade books, what are the best strategies for selling books are on ―The River.‖ It is easy to find those sellers that have no business plan, and no goals for their business. They start quickly, provide very bad customer support, and are banned by Amazon very quickly. When you are selling books on line, you are in business, and that means you are in business ―for profit.‖ Every businessperson has to ask the question, ―What am I in business to do‖? Am I in business to make a lot of money and get rich? On the other hand, am I in business to make a little side money to help pay bills, pay for that vacation, and generally make life a little easier for the family? Are you doing this as a way to make a little extra money while you are on retirement?

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Do you need something to do while you still have little ones running around the house? Once you know why you are going into business, the easier it will be to accomplish what you set out to do. If your dream is to own and operate an independent bookstore on line, then Amazon is a great way to get started. It is just one way to get started, but like eBay, it is one of the biggest places on the internet to get started, and learn the ropes of being an independent bookseller. One you have the question answered of ―What are you in business for‖ and you know where you would like to take your business over a long haul, you also need to ask yourself ―is this going to end up being a life style‖? Alternatively, is this something that after a couple of months you are going to walk away from because it was interesting but did not deliver overnight riches? You have to know why you are in business, that helps figure out the amount of time you will spend doing this, and what you hope to accomplish. The good part is that once you know why you want to sell books or media on Amazon, you have a level set of expectations that you can work with. You can easily incorporate this into your lifestyle, and gain support from friends and family, because you thought this out. Randomly choosing to do this is a sure way to failure and defeat. Knowing what you are getting into and having a plan is generally a good thing. People who just fall into stuff sometimes have a hard time making things happen in the way that they want them to happen. When you have money invested in inventory, it is always a good idea to know what you want to do, how you want to accomplish it, and work out how you are going to succeed at what you want to do.

Do you need a business plan?
That depends on what you want to accomplish, a business plan is a good way of working out the basics of how you want to run the business, and a way to set down goals by year. A business plan is a good idea if you want to set goals, and see if you meet them or not. If you are working out the dynamics of owning an independent book store, or even just selling things on Amazon, the business plan is a good way to narrow down what you want to do and how you plan on accomplishing it. All business plans are optimistic, so you should keep your plan flexible. You should always be ready to update the business plan as you get more information about what you are doing and as you get in real information from the business. If your business plan has a built in growth rate of 100% sales increases every month that is not realistic, the business plan is being overly optimistic. If you have built in sales increases of 4% or 10% that might be more reasonable depending on how you purchase or get books how you price them, and other variables that make up the second hand book trade. Book selling is a business that carries risk, like any other business. As goods change from physical to digital, there are fears that the book industry will be hit just like other 11 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

entertainment industries like movies and music. Amazon sponsored systems like the Kindleiv add to these fears, rather than allay them.v These are some of the realities in the book-selling world that your business plan should address, and come up with mitigation plans for. If you bring a unique price or better customer service those are selling points that differentiate you from other sellers. This is one tactic that you can use, but it is also something that other sellers are also doing. If you are a consumer, would you buy a book from a book store with a 88% feedback rating, or would you spend an extra dollar and purchase from a store with a 100% feedback rating? Feedback is the only real differentiator in the Amazon Marketplace, and the one key indicator of how successful you are being is how happy your customers are. On line selling at Amazon though, you do not have product placement ability; you are lumped in with everyone else trying to sell the same title. There is no realistic way of getting data on your Amazon bookstore as to how many people visit against how many purchase a book from you. This is not meant to discourage you because there are people who are making a living from being an independent bookseller. Amazon has gone on record stating that they want more sellers on their site. This is driven in part to take buyers and sellers away from eBay, but also to enhance their own offerings, and make themselves more competitive in the online market. Amazon has indicated that they want sellers with all kinds of itemsvi. From the view point of Amazon, the more people selling more stuff on Amazon adds to the bottom line, the drawback for the 3rd party seller is that the niche you occupy might get crowded very quickly with others who have the same ―great idea‖. With that kind of support from Amazon, and easy startup processes though, the business plan you develop is a great way to nail down exactly what you want to do, and how best to accomplish your goals. The other good thing about the business plan is that you can have the Small Business Administration look over your business plan as well. The SBAvii has many good sources of information about the mechanics of running a business. The most important thing to realize is that if you are running an online bookstore, or selling anything on line, you are engaged in a business. You buy things from people and sell things to other people, at a markup and generally with a profit. You will need help if you have never run a business before, and the SBA is a great source of information, support, mentoring, obtaining financing, and otherwise getting your business off the ground. Other support though can come from unexpected places. Your friends, family, or friends of friends might already be selling on line, and can offer up first hand advice that you can write down in your business plan. Real advice from people who are actively engaged in selling on line at Amazon or anywhere else can make your business plan more realistic.

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Even if you do not write out a business plan, you should go to the SBA site and read what they have to say about running a business. You should also see if there are support programs in the local area, mentors, and other people to help you out, help you plan, and help you accomplish your goals. This is another area of unexpected help; the SBA might have connections into other Amazon sellers that can offer you first hand insider advice that will help you be more successful in running your on line Amazon bookstore. The SBA can be found at and you should at least go through the site and read what they have to say about running or starting your own business. The best place to start is in the Small Business Development Centerviii. A simple business plan is something that you should be doing, as it helps set down goals, plans, and ideas for the short and long term of your business. If you are selling on Amazon, or anywhere else, you are running a business, meaning taxes, buying and selling, order fulfillment, and a host of other actions that are a good idea to write down in a business plan and write down on how you hope to accomplish your goals. That is worth repeating to yourself, and posting or putting a note about your goals near the computer you will be using when you are running your business. This is just a good way of keeping in touch with your hopes and plans for your new company. By selling books on Amazon or any other venue, you are stating that you are a FOR PROFIT company; and there are many things you need to do to run your business successfully. Having defined goals, having realistic plans and how you want to accomplish those plans can help you be a very successful bookseller. Again, and this is also worth repeating, it is easy to be overly optimistic about how well you will be doing from the start. The average person will not start their company making millions overnight; it is only through hard work, and expanding inventory that you will start making money by selling anything anywhere. Banks, credit groups, primary sellers like Ingram are all going to want to know, as much about your business as possible before deciding they want to do business with you. The business plan is a helpful tool in working out your ideas, even if it is written on a napkin and scotch taped to the wall.

Creating the simple business plan
A business plan does not need to be a complex 70-page opus on how you plan to run the business. When you are just starting out a simple business plan is often the easiest and most appropriate thing you can do. The simple bank quality business plan has the followingix sections to it: Name of Business Vision Mission Statement Goals and Objectives Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats Strategic action plan 13 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Financial Plan Measuring and evaluation You can get away with an even simpler business plan if you are doing this to raise extra money, and not wanting to take on the local Barns and Nobel or Half Priced Books. The very simple business plan is more for you to work out ideas and goals. This is not a "bank quality" business plan, the simple business plan above is more appropriate if you are seeking outside funding for your bookstore. Name of Business Vision Goals and Objectives Financial Plan Measuring and evaluation The business plan is about setting down goals and objectives. While many people stumble into selling books or anything on line, having a coherent plan will help you become successful at what you hope to do. Even if you do not write down anything, or simply jot down ideas on a napkin at the local coffee shop, it means you have taken time and you have thought about the business that you are then going to create. What you want to do with the business, what you want out of the business, what you hope to accomplish with the business and what you want to do with your brand new business.

The Name of your Business
What do you want to name your business? The name of the business can be as simple as Jennies Books, or as niche thinking as ―Alternating Reality Books‖ (which is a science fiction and fantasy bookstore on line). This helps clarify what you are in business to sell. Jennies Books can be generic books, Alternating Reality Books means something different. Buyers will look for things like that, and helps set a tone for your Amazon store. One of the first things to consider about names is the ability to register them in the Domain Name System on the internet if you plan to build a web site later on. The other is to make sure that another Amazon bookseller has not already take the name. Always check out the name you plan to use to make sure that it is not already used on line, and at Amazon. There are many registrars that you can search for an available domain name; Go Daddy, DigitialIbiz, and Enom are just a few. You should be careful if you are using a commercial supplier, the idea of ―Domain Tastingx‖ or locking a domain for 5 days while a company figures out if they want it, is something that happens far too often. If you find your domain name using a commercial provider, you should purchase it immediately so that you do not lose it to a ―domain taster.‖ 14 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

A better way to search for a domain name is to use Google. You can use Google to see if the domain name shows up in the Google index, with no fear of losing the domain name to a taster. If the domain name does not exist in Google, there is a high likelihood that the domain is not registered. This neat trick can help you find a great domain name, without the fear of losing the domain if you want to think about it for a few days. A name like the one ―please buy mine,‖ sounds desperate, not a good name to choose for a bookstore depending on what level of professionalism you want to bring to your bookstore. It is also hard to be taken seriously on line with a desperate sounding name. If you plan to open a bricks and mortar physical bookstore later on after you learn the ropes on Amazon, put that in your business plan as well, and name your store accordingly. The corner bookstore ―Please Buy Mine‖ might be cute, but many customers will make up their mind about your bookstore, based on the name alone. Choose a positive name, or a niche name that best describes what you are selling, and then work on branding and name recognition later. You can also always change your name later on, but will have to re-file all your paperwork again, especially if you have a business license, and you will effectively have to start brand recognition all over again. Usually it is best to choose your permanent name first, and start working with that for brand recognition.

Brand Recognition
You always want your brand, your name to be of exceptional quality. More Business xi states that there are five levels of brand recognition you should understand, because the feedback and performance of your ―brand‖ at Amazon or any other on line venue is all you can really claim on line.      Brand rejection. Brand non-recognition. Brand recognition. Brand preference. Brand loyalty.

Your brand is your stores good name when you are on line. You start with a neutral brand when you first get started, as you build up feedback and ranking, your brand improves or degrades depending on the customer‘s view of your performance as a seller. The above five steps are taught in many business classes, and can be found on the web. Variations exist on what each one of those items means though, so research on your part about how brand influences sales is something that is important to know. Sales feedback counts, not only as a performance measure of how happy you are making customers, but Amazon will kill your book store permanently if you continually under perform in customer service, and have many neutral or negative feedbacks. If Amazon kills your store, odds are highly likely that you will be permanently banned from selling on Amazon forever.

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What is the vision for your bookstore? There are many ways that a vision will make sense for your bookstore, especially if you keep it realistic. Your vision might change as you talk to other booksellers, and get more information about what you plan on doing with your new company. Your vision of the future state of your book store, or goods that you are selling on Amazon is important to help ground you in what can be a realistic goal. You should know what you to excel in at some undefined future time is very important. The vision should ground your company, and provide impetus for a series of goals you will create that matches the overall vision for your company. If you have an idea of what you want to sell, your vision can be as simple as these examples: ―To be the best romance, thriller book store on Amazon‖ Or as complicated as ―To sell science fiction books and develop a community around the genre. Using social networking tools, forums, a web site, and Amazon sales, we will build out the infrastructure to become the premier science fiction site on the internet.‖ This is where you define what the basic overall meaning of your store and the theme of your goals. The vision can change over time as new opportunities become apparent or available to you. A simple vision about what you want to accomplish with your new business is a way to cut to the chase about where you want to go. It is one driver for your goals and objectives, the main theme of your new business. When the vision is written down, hanging over your computer or work space you will always know what the meaning of your business is. Make sure that at some point while you are working out the overall theme and process with your store that you include the words ―Making a Profit.‖

Goals and Objectives
Goals and objectives are simple bullets that succinctly describe how you will accomplish your vision. You should be asking yourself questions about the relationship between your vision and your goals. What your goals for the business are, and what the objectives are for your company can help define what you want to accomplish. Goals are simple, these are specific points you hope to accomplish within a specific period that can be a week long, a full business quarter, or even a full years worth of results. Usually goals are set for 1 year to 3 years for a modern business plan. Some business plans try to set goals for as much as five years out, but it is hard to figure out where technology, online sales, and other social internet programs will have on business. Goals and objectives look like this   Open my store on October 1 2009 to take advantage of holiday sales from the start Sell 15% of inventory in December

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   

Sell 50% of inventory each year Make a minimum of 5 dollars off each sale Make 1000 dollars each month February through August Make 10,000 dollars each month September through January

Setting down your goals and objectives will help you plan on what you want to do with your store. This helps you figure out a way to get there, and accomplish what you set out to accomplish. Some goals might not be achievable in the first year, this allows you to look at your goal, and the very real data you have from sales, and see how you can reshape your goals to meet economic reality. The one thing that goals should always be is flexible in the face of real economics. It makes no sense to state, ―I will make 10,000 dollars a month selling books‖ if you cannot afford the inventory to support those sales figures.

Financial Plan
This is where you spell out what your financial goals are month by month. These will help you with the bank, and help figure out how much money you will need to spend to buy new inventory and how it will look over time. The financial plan is flexible as when you are starting a business you are best guessing and usually highly optimistic when you make your best guesses. Month Percent Turnover of Inventory 6% 4% Amount received from sales 100.00 80.00 Shipping Profit + Cost of Goods 61.01 47.78

January February

39.99 32.22

A good financial plan, what you plan on selling, how much you will get from sales, what the cost of shipping is, your cost of goods, as well as your profit from those sales is important to understand. A good financial statement will havexii all of these components to be a bank quality (get a loan from the bank, or the SBA) at a minimum.        Financial position at the end of the period that you are tracking Earnings (or net income) for the period that you are tracking Comprehensive income for the period you are tracking Cash flows (Liabilities and Income) during the period that you are tracking Taxes and other liabilities that you have as a cost of business Employee costs if you hire someone (most new book sellers will be a single person operation to start off with) How much money you put into the company, and how much you pay yourself during the period that you are tracking

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This helps you keep track of money, which is important so you know what you can spend, what you have coming in, and how best to manage the money for your bookstore. Most businesses fail because they do not do a good financial plan, or their financial plan is too optimistic. If you do a worst case, best case, and expected case financial plan, you will have a better idea on how to run your store depending on how the money works out. You can also use your financial plan to help you keep track of your stores financial books. You can have your plan and your actual financials side by side on a spreadsheet. This will help you see how well you are doing against what you wanted to do or need to do to keep your on line bookstore alive. Your accountant or tax preparation person will be very happy with you if you keep good records on what you spend, what you make, what you pay in shipping and Amazon fees. The IRS will be happy with you if you know what your profit and loss looks like for the year. Keeping track of your actual spend, against expectations is a very good way to stay out of trouble.

Measuring and evaluation
This is the hardest part of the plan, how do you plan to measure your goals. This is also the most important part of the business plan. If you planned on turning over 10% of inventory in February but only turned over 4%, what needs to happen so that you can turn over 10% of inventory in February? Knowing what your goals are, and then evaluating them against hard numbers is the only way of knowing how well your business is doing. Once you know how well your business is doing, you can make plans for the future. The first year of the business is usually based on best case optimistic planning; measuring your objectives and evaluating your goals against real hard numbers is the best way of keeping your business operating. Over time, you build up knowledge of how well your business does month by month, and you can make better goals and accomplish them in the second and subsequent years of you company. Your business plan is not a static document, as your business grows, expands, sells more, your business plan must grow along with your goals, financial statements, and other information that your company generates. Keeping up on your business plan helps set your expectations for the company, and where you want to take it next.

Find Space in your house for Books
This is the hardest thing to do, finding space for books in an already crowded household. Questions to ask yourself are, are you going to store them in the spare bedroom, or are you going to consume all the available closet space in the house? Maybe there is a storage shed in the backyard, whatever place you find it should:

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 

Be clean – Dust and house dirt on books is generally not a good idea, and should be easily cleaned along with the rest of the house. Be environmentally safe – no mold, no water leakage, no smoking, and no pets or the books have limited availability to those pets. The books you sell may go to homes where there are allergies present, and customers will complain if that new book they just got makes them sick. A person that is allergic to cats or dogs will not want the extra bonus cat/dog hair that will come along with the order. Be quickly accessed – you do not want some storage shed or storage unit that you are not willing to go to every day for order fulfillment. You will end up spending time there, if you have small kids or time constraints like a 9 to 5 job, dragging yourself to the local ―You Store It‖ might not be the best place to store books for sale. Be large enough for inventory plans – always have enough space to store books so that they remain in good shape. Piles of books on the floor are not good, shelves in closets are ok, boxes of books under beds are also ok, as long as you can quickly find the title you are looking for. Be organized – make sure that you organize the books, alphabetically by author, title or however else you want to organize your inventory. Make sure that there is a quick and easy way to find the right book for the sale. Being disorganized can add a lot of time to finding the book to fill the order.

You want to get to your books easily, and make sure that they stay in excellent condition while you are storing them for eventual sale. The problem with non-environmentally controlled storage like a storage shed outback is that bugs, spiders, dirt, water, and other contaminates can ruin your books very quickly.

Have a “staging area”
A staging area is a place where you can put together books and orders. This area can also be used to set up new inventory before you type in the information into the Amazon system. This can be as simple as the living room table, or a table in a home office. It should be big enough that you have the room to wrap, print the order form, and package your books for shipping. Any good table anywhere will help you match book sale to book to envelope to delivery confirmation to getting ready to go to the post office. Anything from a dedicated table to just using the dining room table as time permits will work. This is one way to keep the order fulfillment process organized so that you do not make mistakes in processing orders. There is nothing worse than sending the wrong book to the wrong person. Having an organized place to put the order together can help save many problems later on in order fulfillment. Some people will panic if they think they have mixed up ordersxiii, and this is pain you want to avoid.

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Decide on how you want to manage shipping
Shipping is the major time using activity that you will do with on line sales. You can plan on it only taking minutes to get your order ready to ship, but you have to ask yourself ―Do you have time to run down to the post office every day‖? For some people this is not feasible, but you still have to follow the Amazon Terms of Service (TOSxiv) that states you must ship within two business days of an order being placed. Transit times though vary depending on if the customer orders standard shipping or expedited shipping. Standard shipping is usually media mail, where expedited depending on the weight of the book at a minimum needs to be first class, but can also extend up to priority mail. For books that are very light, sending priority is a good way to build customer satisfaction, and still leave some money left over from shipping. Amazon states to all customers that shipping times in the US are:    Standard U.S.: 4 to 14 business days after shipping (may take up to 21 business days) Expedited U.S.: 2 to 6 business days after shipping International Standard: 3 to 6 weeks ( may take 8 to 12 weeks due to customs delays) Marketplace shipping times are not guaranteed and the actual performance varies by sellerxv. That last bit is very important, there are some sellers that violate the Terms of Service (more can be found on the Amazon seller‘s community about this), while some of the sellers try to ship same day as long as the order comes in enough time to make it to the post office. Amazon will close your account if you violate the Terms of Service, but sometimes it might take a while to get there. You run the risk of being permanently closed if you cannot make it to the post office in the maximum two business days to ship the product. There are many ways of managing shipping. If you cannot spend time in the post office while every package is weighed and stamped, then you might consider using on line postage. If you choose to go with or Encidia then you will need to work with your postal carrier on how to get them to pick up the books, or work out how to drop them off at the post office. Vacation settings also come in handy if you find yourself hurt, or away from the store for an extended period of time. With your vacation settings on, your store is effectively closed while you are working through whatever it is that is keeping you from shipping on time.

Plan for angry customers
Before you get started work out how you are going to manage a very angry customer. Angry customers are going to happen at some point in your selling experience. They might be angry because the book took too long to arrive, or they might not be happy with the condition of the book. 20 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

With Angry Customers, it is not a matter of ―if‖ it is a matter of ―when.‖ If you know what your book return policy is, your refund policy is, and your non-delivery policy is before hand, you will already know how to handle the ―angry customer.‖ Planning this out is a good way of avoiding getting into a shouting match with the customer. It might cost you a few dollars, dollars you might not be able to afford, but it is better than going into an AtoZ claim, because that hurts your stores reputation. Angry customers come in all forms, from ―I didn‘t get my book, can you resend‖ to more classic angry customers who question your right to breath and own a bookstore. The more you plan on this, the easier it is to know how you are going to handle the angry customer. That angry customer will leave horrid feedback, and do everything they can do to drive you out of business, they will hate you and speak ill of you, and all of that might show up in your stores feedback. Knowing what your plans are, will make it much easier to deal with them later on. You will find that over time, the worst customers consume the most time in your store. 99% of all transactions will happen with no issues, but that one customer out of 100 will require extra handholding, placating, or otherwise consume many hours of your time on an impossible mission to make them happy. You need to know when to cut your losses; your time is money that can be better used elsewhere. There is a break point where continuing to work with the angry customer just does not have any further benefits. It is time to return their money, thank them for their business, and move on. Bad customer behaviors, in some ways can be a power and control issue and not your fault in the longer run, and not your concern. Some just plain old nasty people out there will not even acknowledge that you tried to do anything to make them happy. The idea is to do your best to turn the angry buyer into a happy buyer, and it is well worth trying to do so if it is at all possible. It is important to note though, some people just cannot be won over, the will refuse to acknowledge that you tried anything. They will file an Amazon AtoZ claim, and odds are highly likely you will lose that claim unless you have proof you shipped, and proof it was received. For expensive items, it is a good idea to send registered mail or certified mail and get a signature, for smaller items, make sure you build into your business plan a certain amount of write off, those customers you just cannot make happy. Understanding the motivations of the angry seller makes it easier to manage them to a successful conclusion for everyone. Even if that successful conclusion is a complete refund of all their money, and walking away from the transaction, taking the loss, and writing it off your taxes at the end of the year.

Get a business license
It is recommended that you get a business license for your business. There are a number of very good reasons to get one, and the price for a license is relatively cheap in relationship to fines you might get later on, as well, it opens up a whole door of wholesalers that would otherwise be closed to you. The business license also means that you are making an investment in the reputation of your business. You can join the BBB 21 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

(Better Business Bureau) and other local organizations to help gain free recognition for your company. You can also get a DUNS Numberxvi that can be used for the bank, and get you into a collective databases of businesses. The business license helps you buy from wholesalers and overstock companies. If you plan on carry books that are over stock, remainders, and hurts, you will need this to do business with them. Without the license, you cannot get a resale certificate, meaning many suppliers of discount wholesale books will not deal with you. While there are retail locations that will sell the same books you want to buy, if you want to avoid the additional burden of paying sales tax at wholesale (which adds to your bottom line costs) then you want to and need to get the business license. You can also avoid a lot of legal hot water when it comes to operating a business out of your house by having a license as wellxvii. The business license makes things easier in the longer run depending on what you want to do with your business. If you are buying remaindered books, or want to deal directly with wholesale suppliers, they will want a resale certificate, and to get that you have to have your business license. Some good additional advice on the reasons to get a business license is at ―Wholesale Myth: Do I Need A Business License Or Tax ID?xviii‖ and is another source of information that is very good to read. The other side of that is if you are getting books at auctions, library sales, or other sales systems that do not require a reseller certificate, and then you might not need or want a business license to get started. In the longer run, if you have big plans for your store, you will want the license. There are many good reasons to get one, from not getting into trouble with the State or the Federal Government over taxes, as well as the additional doors of opportunity that it opens up to you as a business.

Build a web site when you get your store name registered as a domain name and get internet hosting
Even if you do not build out a web site right off the bat, your store name should be registered on line. You do not want someone coming along and building a different web site or an on line store on your Amazon stores good name. They will be linked in the minds of people who will come and visit and you do not want the reputational damage that goes along with that if they are shady operation or put up a porn site using your stores name. This is very important when picking out a store name, make sure that it is not already taken on the internet. This way when you are ready, you already have a host, and an internet name that will help you develop a better presence on line, which is where you are selling books. In the section ―Business Name‖ there are some neat tricks you can use to find the right company name, without letting anyone know that you are looking to register a cool domain name. While the web site is not an absolute necessity, and can cost upwards of 100 dollars a year in hosting costs, there is some very good benefit to having your own web site. You 22 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

can help develop your brand outside of the Amazon universe, as well as directly link to books or goods in your Amazon store. This can be good in driving additional traffic to your store and to Google. Doing your own reviews of books, putting them on your web site as well as in Amazon can help build your stores credibility. You can also monetize the web site using Amazon Associates and on line ads to help drive more revue for your company. You can do something as easy as putting up a simple blog where you talk about your store, your books, do book reviews, and link to your Amazon store will help you generate brand recognition. You can get a better standing for your company name in Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Search Engines. All these are good things to do, and the local neighborhood geek kid can help you set this up, or you can pay someone to set this up if you are not comfortable with setting up a web site. You can also use it later as you get bigger to use/develop your own on line bookstore, or creating a community, or do whatever else you want to do with your web site. While it is unlikely that someone will walk into your store while you are selling on line, you can highlight the neat things you are doing, help build your own brand, a community around your brand, and make your store ―more real‖ in the eyes of shoppers. Most everyone in marketing will agree that a well-maintained and updated web site with links back to your Amazon store will help drive more traffic, and increase your odds of making a sale as people search for particular titles in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or MSN.

You are a new business, and while you are on line and can leverage the Amazon ability to draw traffic, you want to draw traffic to your web site if you choose to build one. Your own personal web site should have everything to do with your bookstore, from book reviews, to links back to your Amazon bookstore. You should never link from Amazon to your bookstore; never put your link to your own web site in your product descriptions. Never put your e-mail address into your product descriptions either, this will get your store banned from Amazon as it is called ―diverting traffic‖ and is against the rules at Amazon. That does not mean that your freestanding web site cannot be used to promote your store on Amazon. There are very good reasons to have your own web site, that you run advertising to gain attention. You should set aside money to purchase advertising, but you may not be able to afford Google ads, they are very expensive, and an inadvertent mistake can take away dollars that you can use elsewhere. There are lower cost network ads you can purchase at Adbritexix or Adengagexx that allow for a fixed budget of around 5 to 7 cents a click. With 23 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Google, you are paying on the value of the keyword, although they also run network ads as well. This is more of a matter for your budget, and what you think you can afford. A network ad is one that shows up on sites all over the network, are not keyword triggered, rather run on multiple web sites with large audiences. You want to try to have your ads show up on sites that are specific to your genre of book that you are selling, to draw a more targeted audience, using run of network ads. These can be very good as the going rate for 18,000 clicks on a network ad runs about 1000 dollars, and the prices can go as low as a 50-dollar run of network ad You can also purchase advertising with links back to your Amazon store directly, which is good depending on your goals for your store. You can use advertising to drive valuable traffic to your store, no matter where it is located on the internet.

Amazon Associates Program
One other way to use your web site to help drive money for your store is to run Amazon specific ads on your own separate web site. To take advantage of this site, you need to have your own web site; it can be as simple as a blog that you talk about your books at, to a full-blown e-commerce site that is hosted in any number of ways. The Amazon associates programxxi is a very good way of collecting referrals off books you do not carry or work in conjunction with books that you do carry on your own web site. Amazon Associates has some very good points on why you would want to use this on your own web site away from the Amazon site. While this is not selling a book directly, it is an excellent way to highlight the books you sell, and work with the Associates program to highlight other books, drive more customer value, and make money off the Associates program at the same time. If you have your own web site, and discuss the books that your store carries, Amazon associates will also select books in context of the article or the content of the web site. This can help give your customers an alternative to the books you are selling with you getting a small take on the sale, or sell more books for both yourself and for Amazon. With your web sites own content tied to other Amazon offerings to expand customer choice, your web site can become a great driver of brand, value, traffic, and money. This value proposition helps you and Amazon at the same time, even if the customer abandons the sale of the book on your site, if they purchase the book via Amazon, because of your associates link, you at least get a small percentage of the sale. There is a graduated scale for payments through Amazon Associates, from four percent to ten percent of the total cost of the item. You can also be notified of special offers, or items that Amazon has discounts on, and write on a blog or on your web pages about that special offering from Amazon. Amazon usually runs special offers that gives you additional discounts on Amazon specials. This is very good when you can tie those specials into your own product, or talk about their product/special in conjunction with your own Amazon offerings.

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Web store by Amazon
Web Store by Amazonxxii is another product that Amazon offers, which is a template driven web site that uses your own domain name, where you can run your own store using Amazon backend payment services and web hosting services. Web Store can run 60 dollars a monthxxiii with a 7% commission rate on each sale. This is much more than just sellers central or even a pro-merchant account. This is your own e-commerce web site, your own domain; Amazon just provides all the services you will need to run your web storexxiv. There are multiple templates to choose from, and for sellers who want to own their own e-commerce web site this is an option that provides a lot of value, for what is a competitive price. The thing you have to consider is the scale that you want to operate at, if you have thousands of items, and are ready to stand up your own web store, have an advertising budget, and a very good idea of building web sites, and then web store is a good product to look at. There is a lot of terminology that you will have to become comfortable with in the longer run as you run your own web store by Amazon. You will have to learn about Search Engine Optimization, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors, learning how to manage your web site in context of what Amazon provides to run it, as well as what the look and feel for your web site should be in contrast to what limitations there are when working with a template driven site. If you are comfortable with HTML, and working on building web sites, then this is a very viable option for you to pursue. The real decision here beyond ―can you manage it‖ is can you afford it with your business model. Seventy or more dollars a month can be an overly expensive option for a store just starting out with 200 items in inventory. If you plan on growing and are seeing many sales, then this might be a much better option for leveraging multiple sales channels. While you enter your own products, you are also leveraging all the information that Amazon has about those products. You will get access to product reviews, selling information, sales ranks, and all the information that you would normally see on Amazon is available for your store. You can also use Google Analytics to track how many people are coming to your store, as well as other important sales information. Some of this information is common across Seller Central, Pro Merchant and Web Store like number of sales, refunds and feedback, but the ability to add tracking code to the Web store site is a definite bonus, as well as being indexed by search engines separately from the Amazon web site. This is an option worth checking out if your ambitions, budget, and energy extend into running a more stand-alone e-commerce bookstore. Amazon Seller Community has an entire section on ―Web Store by Amazon‖ that you should read before you decide to go this route. There is a lot of useful information that you can use and learn by visiting and learning from the lessons from this community. The Web Store by Amazon community also has announcements by Amazon on what the version of the web store offers, how to use Widgets, and enhance your web store by Amazon. 25 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Fulfillment by Amazon
If you are running a bigger operation, then Fulfillment by Amazon might be the answer to all your warehousing needs. The problem with book selling is that the stock you buy has to be stored somewhere while it is waiting to be purchased by a customer. This is a brand new service, with some very real potential for a bookseller that is growing too fast to accommodate the warehouse space that they will need, or need presently. The idea behind fulfillment by Amazon is that you send you products to Amazon, so every time you make a buy, you can have it sent directly to the Amazon warehouse. They will store your product while you sell it on your Amazon merchant‘s account, or your own Amazon Web Store. They take care of everything including uploading the inventory into your system, so you know what you bought, and when it arrives at the Amazon warehousexxv. This is a unique service that other sites like Alibris is starting to offer their sellers as well. This is good for Amazon because they end up renting you warehouse space, this is good for sellers because their house is not filled with books and sellers also have access to other Amazon specials at times, and important customers like Amazon Prime buyers. The Fulfillment by Amazon FAQ has great information in helping guide you in this choicexxvi. My Blog Utopiaxxvii has some very good firsthand experience in working with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), and has broken out how the pricing works for them. With their experience, they say that the things they have noticed about the FBA process is that essentially the process is simple, and accurate, the bookseller does not have very much more to do other than buy stock, and have it shipped to the Amazon warehouse. For sellers with a lot of inventory, or wanting to expand their business with minimal costs, then FBA might be something that you want to do. While you are still a small just starting out store, this might not be a viable option. As long as you have storage space in your house or local to your house, this is probably not an option you want to take advantage of just as you are starting out. There is also a compelling reason to think seriously about doing this when you get larger and process more orders, saving time on packaging orders, fewer errors on orders, no storage locally that you have to worry about, and access to Amazon‘s fulfillment department are just a few that come into play. If you use FBA, you get the first listing on the page, no matter what price you choose for your book, you are in the ever-important first entry for the thing you are selling. As well, that entry stands out against the background noise of everyone else who is selling on Amazon. This kind of product placement is invaluable; it is eye catching and attention getting. You also get wider exposure to Amazon shipping rates, new customers. This service should be part of your bigger expansion plans as you work out how to grow bigger and faster selling products on Amazon. Amazon Sellers Community web site also has a full discussion board about the experiences of Fulfillment by Amazon, what you can expect, how it works, and updates to the program that you will want to read. You can also ask questions and get answers 26 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

about the program here that will make your conversion from home based storage or locally based storage to Amazon warehouse storage a much easier process for you in the longer run.

Amazon Auctions
There are some dead services in the Amazon system. The most notable of them is Amazon Auctions that has been dying a slow death since inception. It is a little known, seldom visited section of Amazon that is not promoted, and is in process of being divested since 2001xxviii as it started to scale back. There are still remnants of Amazon Auctions on their web site, but it is their most underdeveloped help and support section. If you try to set up an auction account, the support screens will always take you to your merchant account that feeds into the regular Amazon sales system, not into anything like an auction. Without a way to access, insert, or otherwise participate into the auction system, if auctions are what are driving you into the bookselling business, you will want to look elsewhere for a good auction system. There is almost nothing left of the Amazon auction system, no help, no support, and no way to insert items into the system. This is not an option if you have things to sell that are outside what Amazon typically allows for sale. For sellers with many things to sell that are not in the Amazon system, an alternative like Ebay might be more appropriate.

The more you know
The more you know about what you are getting into, the better prepared you will be in the longer run to manage your own bookstore. You want to use resources like the Amazon Sellers Communityxxix to learn as much as you can before you get started. It is always a good idea to go searching through the community before you start asking questions. It is also just fun to ―lurkxxx‖ and watch what others are talking about on the board. They are a very open community, with lots of good advice and tips that you want to know about. The Amazon Sellers Community is also an excellent source for stories about the trials, fun, pain and joy of running a 3rd party bookstore on Amazon. You can also purchase books like this one, and others that are on Amazon to help you work out many of the ways that you want to run your business, and what kind of business model you want to use. Low cost high volume, medium cost medium volume, high cost low volume, or any variation of the theme that you can come up with for your company. There are many ways to do this, and depending on what you hope to accomplish, working out some basic steps will help you be successful. When you make the steps to open a bookstore for whatever reason, you are a ―for profit‖ organization. There is no sense in leaving money on the table when you can sell a book for 9.99, but decide to sell it for 88 cents. There is no sense in taking a loss or making a minimal profit on a book you are selling, you have to also ―pay yourself,‖ your time is valuable, and you should be able to take some of that after taxes and use it the way you see fit. Price right, you do not always have to be the lowest cost book, grade right, it does not have to be perfect, but you have 27 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

to identify all the flaws in/on the book. The biggest thing that any new seller has to do is be realistic with themselves, and have realistic obtainable goals for their company. Many people start things because it seems like as good idea at the time, they do not plan on the amount of work it will take to build a successful business. Selling books is easier than many other jobs you could do, but as with any effort, the level of work you put into something determines how successful you will be. There is just no other way to put it, if you offer poor selection and poor customer service, you will not be in the book selling business for very long. If you spend time scouting for new books, managing your inventory, and delivering excellent customer experiences then your business will grow. This is the ―key thing to know‖, no one will get rich overnight and corner the third party seller system on Amazon, but with work, diligence, and a sharp eye for spotting book trends and carrying excellent stock that sells well and quickly, you will end up being successful. If you know what you are doing, you are doing better than a good majority of people out there on the internet selling stuff. This is not a way to get rich quick, but it can be a way of being independent of the paycheck. The keys to remember here are:       Be organized Be realistic in your assumptions, if you state you will sell 5% of your inventory every month, have plans if you sell less than that Have a series of graduated goals that will carry you through the first three to five years of your company Use the resources that Amazon has, from the sellers community, all the way through the help files and FAQ‘s on their site Get a business license Explore your options as you grow and take risks that have a good chance of a high pay off

If you can do all these things, then you are well on your way to having a successful company, and have a fun and rewarding time selling on Amazon.

Getting Started
There are some core ideas to getting started on Amazon that you want to know about, and some things to pay attention to before getting started that can save some pain from the start of you book-selling career. There is what kind of computer do you need, to what kind of storage space do you need, to what kind of stock and where to get it, along with learning to navigate the Amazon Sellers Culture. Amazon has a distinct culture and expectations just like any other community, on line or off line. Third party sellers are a tight group of core people, with people who lurk in the forums, and people who occasionally participate in the forums. From the hardware and software side, all you need is an e-mail account, an internet connection, and a computer that will get you onto the internet. Your connection does not 28 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

need to be a high speed DSL or Cable line, all you need is basic access and a computer to get you there. You will also need a printer, a simple cheap black and white printer will do fine here as all you will need to do is print the packing slip and address label. Some nice things to have are a way to print your own store return labels, for that you will need a word processing program that has a label maker for the size of labels you want to use. There are many options to choose from like free software like Open Office or Microsoft Word. You will also need a source of suppliers, or places where you can get books and other stock for a reasonable price, and sell for a reasonable profit. There are also many options here as well depending on what kind of business you want to run. If you want to flip cheap books for a penny, or if you want to make a habit of better quality new books like you would find in the bookstore, there are options you can choose. Every option in suppliers has its good points and its bad points; you will need to learn how to balance them and decide what appropriate profit margins are for the types of book selling you want to do. Then there is learning from the Amazon third party community directly. Amazon Sellers Community is a great place to lurk and learn about the book selling business first hand. The people who participate in the community are all booksellers across many different systems, not just Amazon. They have a wealth of knowledge that you can pick up just by simply reading what they are talking about when it comes to book selling. There are a lot of off topic posts, but there are also many very good direct posts on how to sell books, their experiences, and their concerns when selling on Amazon and other systems like eBay and Alibris. There are on topic and off topic things to talk about, ranging from politics, to what tools, to slow sales, to mocking people who ask ―stupid questions‖ or have not done their home work before they asked the question. There is a lot of resentment to people asking questions in the forums that have already been answered many times over the years that the sellers‘ community has been in existence. There is also resentment when someone asks about where to find books or media, as well as the details of their book selling business. Many will approach their own sales, suppliers, methods as ‗secret‘ these are things they learned on their own, and they honestly believe that everyone should learn the same things on their own. There are a lot of people selling on Amazon, you will see people who stick around for a long time, and you will see people who seem to pop into play, ask a lot of questions, then vanish or have their store shut down. The old timers (people who have been selling on line for years, and started out with Amazon and stayed) are a very nice core group, as long as you pay attention to the culture, and do some home work on your own before asking questions that they have seen hundreds of times. It might be new to you, but it is old hat to the core community. Always search the forums for your answers first, and see if they are there. It is always ok to ask for nuances or subtleties because times change and market conditions change. 29 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

The Amazon culture for third party sellers
Any group of people will collect around a problem or a process, and third party sellers on Amazon are no exception. The best part of Amazon third party sellers is that there are many people communicating in their message boards. Amazon has five primary message boards to interact with on a daily basis. Help for new sellers Listing Management and Reports Order Management, shipping, feedback, and returns Third Party software and services Seller Soap Box Amazon has a distinct culture when it comes to accepting new sellers into the community. Anyone can ask a question in any one of the message boards, but the advice is to lurk for a bit and read what other people are saying. You will find that many of the questions you are looking for are already in the seller‘s community forums. You simply have to search for them. If the answer is not complete or the data is too old, it is fair to ask good questions of the community. Some people might have a hard time getting involved in the community and that is ok as well, if you do not want to work with the social aspects of being an Amazon seller, you will not be alone. In the longer run though, everyone has something to say, and it would be well worth your time to at least visit the community and see what is up.

Help for new sellers
Help for new sellers is a forum to ask new seller questions. When you start out as a new seller, you are busy trying to learn the Amazon system. You are learning about Amazon expectations, process, and requirements that are in the New Seller FAQxxxi. The message board is where you can ask many questions; however, depending on the question, Amazon sellers can be a secretive lot and not answer your question fully, or give you bad advice. Sometimes questions about sources for books, suppliers, and ways to cut costs are considered ―trade secrets‖ of the individual booksellers. Those kinds of questions are usually taboo, and will not be answered at best; they will be quickly flamed at worst. Help for new sellers though can be a supportive community if you are asking about things like slow sales, or what to do with a strange customer, or pointing out the flaws of other sellers are always popular topics. The learning curve coming from eBay or other systems like Alibis, Abe Books and others is large when you are not used to the new system. It is important to at the very least spend some time with the new seller FAQ and this board to get the ropes.

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Amazon sellers are impatient with people who ask questions that have been answered many times in the past. There are even good tips for people who want to best figure out how to store their inventory, like this thread on organizing and storing books in small placesxxxii. The search function on this feature is in the upper right hand corner, and you will find that many people have already asked the questions, and gotten both good and bad replies. It is up to you to gauge the quality of the response, and work it into your business model. The new sellers FAQxxxiii should become something that you read first whenever you have a question about Amazon. While there is much that is not there, this spells out Amazon‘s minimum expectations of all sellers, and helping sellers decide on what kind of account is good for them.

Listing Management and Reports
This is the best place to discuss best practices for listing your products on Amazon and managing your inventory. Amazon will also post changes to listings and management reports as they upgrade their systems. There is a lot of good information here when it comes to helping you sort out your inventory and getting an idea of what other people do. What kind of management software they use, how they organize their bookstore, and other good general information. They will not give up all their secrets here, but is a good place to learn from other‘s mistakes before you make your own. The forum is also a good place to learn about new software to manage your inventory and other techniques that will make you a more streamlined seller. The forum board makes for some very interesting reading, as everyone on Amazon has had to start somewhere with inventory management. You can also get good information on the Amazon API in case you want to use your book inventory on Amazon for something else. The Amazon API can help you drive more business and get more visibility with your inventory. If you use a company like Alibris to manage your Amazon inventory, they will be using the Amazon API, with a lot of programming to make that happen. The Amazon API is not for people who are uncomfortable with programming, this is going to be something that is beyond most booksellers to use, but many programmers, and some custom design work can make your web site much more interesting if you purchased your domain name as you were setting up your Amazon bookstore.

Order Management, shipping, feedback and returns
This is the best place to discuss best practices for shipping your Marketplace orders, getting good feedback from buyers, and handling customer service and returns. Whenever you deal with customers, you will have to learn how to make at least a best attempt at making them happy. This does not always happen; some customers are just 31 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

cranky by nature. You will always run into a customer that is the ―customer from hell‖ and this is a great forum to talk about these kinds of issues. Customer feedback is inexplicable, and we will go into that later. This forum though is a great way in working out part of ―what are you going to do with a nasty customer,‖ because you can see how other booksellers have worked out the same. Some of the rants in this section are also very funny.

Third Party software and services
This is the best place to discuss the 3rd-party software and services you use to support your Marketplace business. There are many 3rd-party software packages out there to manage your inventory, to using ―scoutpal‖ to find high-ranking books. This forum allows you to discuss and learn from others what tools they use to find good books that return a good profit. Not all tools will work for everyone, so learning what tools and techniques that other sellers use can help you find the best tool for what you want to do. There is a lot more detail on the Amazon API on the third party sellers and services forum. If you have programmer friends, it might be worth checking out. If you do not have programmer friends, or you are not a programmer yourself, you can safely avoid this section. If you are a developer, you have to be careful not to plug your own products here, as at least one vendor has had their threads pulled from the forumxxxiv.

Seller Soap Box
The seller soapbox is the best place to listen to the trials and tribulations of other sellers. You will find a lot of ―OT‖ or Off Topic discussions, as well as a general feel for other seller‘s pains, sufferings, and success stories. The seller soapbox though is a wealth of information that you want to go through before and while you are running your Amazon store. If you want to learn quickly about the Amazon seller culture this is a very good place to go. You will learn things like what are topics that are taboo (like where do you get your books) or which topics are ones that everyone is willing to help you out with (like ―what happened to all my feedback scores‖) this is the best place to lurk and ask questions. The seller soapbox is the best place to get used to the Amazon third party seller community, and worth reading. You might also find out that others have been in the same place you are at, and might have good information to help you out without having to ask the question. Some of these entries go back to 2000, with many years of seller whining, griping and wisdom, there is something here for everyone.

Third party selling taboo forum subjects

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Like any society, there are taboo or not asked subjects. You can ask anyways, but you will get many answers that will not help you on Amazon. Taboo subjects are: Where do you get books? Never start discussing anything about being an ―eBay refugee,‖ although you can talk about your troubles with eBay or ask general support questions to the group about eBay. The seller‘s community tends to look down on eBay sellers as not being ―true booksellers‖ although many of Amazon‘s sellers are on eBay as well as other systems like Alibris. Whining about being shut down by Amazon unless there are special circumstances; there are ways of asking this question and getting some excellent support from the sellers groups. Many sellers have sympathy for a ―good‖ bookseller who runs into a series of bad feedbacks, or is shut down for using multiple computers to access Amazon. The first thing that sellers will do is look at your prices and your feedback, and then offer advice or negative comments back depending on what those two thing say about your store. While all societies and groups have things that they do not want to talk about, Amazon sellers are no different. The response you will get back from other sellers depends on how well you talked about the taboo. While the general ―do not discuss being shut down by Amazon‖ there are exceptions to this. A recent story under the thread title ―Thread: please any advice. I have been selling for 3 years & got my account closedxxxv‖ is a poignant and supportive story of a seller who was shut down by Amazon. It was also good to see the community rally around the seller, and offer realistic support. The seller also had an excellent feedback score, and when you post a question like that the first thing that an Amazon Seller is going to do is check out your account. If you have a low feedback rating, or poor support, they will bid you ―have a great day,‖ but if you have a good score, and good feedback the members of the Amazon Sellers community tend to be very helpful. Issues like account closures truly depend on how long you have been selling on Amazon and what your feedback/rank scores looked like. If you have a good reputation (a good brand) people are more likely to help you when there is a serious issue like an account closure.

Where do you get books?
This is the twitchiest questions of all to ask, and many booksellers are loath to give up their suppliers names because they are already dealing in a highly competitive environment. Third party selling on Amazon is a very competitive environment, with pressures from all sides to keep costs low, and prices low. Bidding wars and price undercutting is nothing new; sellers are loath to give up any information that will help their ―competition‖ succeed while they stand any chance of failure. Asking where other sellers get books will end up with either uninformative information, deliberately wrong information, or many negative ―noobxxxvi‖ comments from other 33 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

sellers. Many books cover where to get books (this book included). The community response to things like this though can be fascinating and informative to read. One thread on this issue is all about ―blowing the lid off selling on Amazonxxxvii.‖ This thread is worth reading because of comments that show the community at its best and at its worst. Many sellers treat their book resources like a trade secret, and in some ways, it is. If you ask the question like ―where do I get books to sell,‖ most everyone on the board will assume that you have not done your homeworkxxxviii. The community response to giving away ―trade secrets‖ like ―where do you get books‖ shows exactly how competitive it can be to sell on Amazon. In many ways, like selling anything else, it is about the lowest price to buy and the highest price to sell. Asking the community to break the taboo of ―where do you get books‖ can end up in a flame war, which while amusing, shows just how other sellers approach the whole buying and selling process on Amazon.

Knowing where to buy books is important, as there are very few good wholesale companies out there that Amazon 3rd party booksellers can access. This is part of the problem, if Amazon 3rd party sellers are all buying books from the same wholesaler, then it makes it harder to differentiate yourself from the crowd of other sellers. There are other options line auctions, Craig‘s list and other forms of finding local resources including the library, but many people have figured out that selling on Amazon is easy if not perfect, and have started their own sales on Amazon, eBay, Alibris and other places to sell books.

Anything about being an “eBay refugee”
You will be made fun of, and you will get a lot of negative sarcastic feedback by asking questions about being an eBay refugee, or comparing eBay and Amazon. While Amazon does not directly restrict people from talking about other venues, the community users are self-correcting when these kinds of discussions come up. It can run the gamut to posting very poor pictures to show off the book coverxl. The most helpful of all the ―eBay refugee‖ threads is the titled ―Amazon Rules EVERY New Seller Must Know (aka This Ain't Ebay)xli‖ The thread is full of helpful advice on making the transition from eBay to Amazon. The eBay culture is very different than the Amazon culture, and that clash can sometimes cause a lot of problems in learning how to work within the Amazon system. While the thread has a lot of good information, there are also some amusing moments where Amazon sellers generally disregard the usefulness of anyone coming from eBay. The conversation or desire to be helpful does not stop people from commenting on ―noobs‖ and how eBay refugees are killing the ―quality‖ of Amazon third party sellers. There is a lot to read here, as the thread is over two years old, but is bumped to the top of the forum list about once every four weeks. eBay refugees get a lot of attention on Amazon, mostly of the negative kind. While some will honestly try to help new sellers, ―learn the system‖ Amazon third party sellers by nature expect everyone who is selling on Amazon to be minimally professional at what they are doing. Like many on line systems, many of the larger or long lasting Amazon sellers use this as their primary

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income. They have a low tolerance for people who are just in it for slash and burn selling tactics, or have a non-professional attitude when it comes to selling at Amazon.

Whining about being shut down by Amazon
Amazon is upfront about what will get you shut down as a store. There are a number of things you cannot sell on Amazon, there are standards and guidelines for just about everything you can do on Amazon, as well as an understanding that when you open a store on Amazon that you will follow Amazon rules. The Amazon FAQxlii specifically states that there are a number of reasons why you will be shut down by them. The list on the prohibited items is very important to follow, while it unlikely you would be trying to sell body parts on Amazon, stranger things have happened on other sales sites like eBay. Some other ways of being shut down is to:    Have more than one seller account at any time. Not delivering the merchandise that is bought Getting too many negative feedback scores. While thoughts on this vary within the seller‘s community it looks like a seller must maintain at least an 80% lifetime rating to keep their Amazon store open. That observation is subject to change without notice Try to reopen a store after being banned In any action that is deemed to hurt Amazon‘s corporate image Culling your sales for e-mail addresses that you then use for other purposes Diverting sales away from Amazon Putting links in comments to other sources of information or other sales venues Misuse of the rating and feedback system Lying about the condition of the items you are selling

      

Amazon is very serious about their corporate image, and third party sellers are expected to help Amazon maintain that image. Any seller, who is shut down, usually is shut down for breaking one of the rules above It does no use to whine about it on the seller forums, other sellers are not sympathetic to sellers who are shut down for just about any reason. There is an exception to this general rule, when someone screws up, or they have their account closed because of a mistake, or something outside the sellers control, you can usually find a sympathetic audience on the sellers community site.

Getting the hang of the culture
The Amazon culture when it comes to selling books on line can be both helpful and unhelpful. Depending on your approach to the culture, responding to just the things you want to pay attention to, learning from others experiences, and adding your own experiences to others can go a long way in helping you sell books on Amazon. Amazon has a robust on line supportive culture, and it is good to use it to your own advantage. 35 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

There are some distinct advantages to selling on Amazon and working out the culture. There is an astounding amount of information about other sellers on Amazon. Not just how they price, but also their feedback, and the comments that they leave behind in the Amazon forums. This is the kind of information that companies pay a lot of money to obtain, yet you can get it for free, and work out those things that tick off buyers, and what issues other sellers have long before you sell your first book. Learning the culture of the sellers and the buyers will make you a more successful seller on Amazon. Once you have the hang of the culture, and what you can and cannot ask for in terms of support, you are ready to start buying and building out your own store. Even if you build out your own store before reading the forums, it is important to visit them. As with anything else you do, you will find people who lurk, people who participate on things they want to participate in and those that seem to run the show. You can participate as much as you want to, but it at least well worth visiting to see what other sellers are saying.

Using Amazon forums, feedback and pricing to your best advantage
In most businesses, it is near impossible to find out good intelligence on other companies. The forums and other systems at Amazon can give you a wealth of competitive intelligence when it comes to how other booksellers are running their businesses. By scouring other feedback scores, you can see what mistakes that other sellers are making, and what ticks off buyers. The forums are a great place to notice the worries that beset booksellers on Amazon. You can also check out the pricing structure that booksellers use for their own stores, and what prices books are going for on both ends of the pricing spectrum. All of it is available and open information on what other booksellers are doing on Amazon. Ordinarily you would pay a lot of money to get this same information about any other company, including other booksellers. You will also find out that you will naturally tend to price against two or three other booksellers that you find all the time with the same books that you have. By scoping out what other sellers are doing, you can figure out what your pricing schema is going to look like, what ticks off customers, and avoid a lot of mistakes that other sellers have already made. The information is there, in ways that make it easy to understand what others are doing, and how well they are doing it.

Where to find books
Finding inventory is both frustratingly hard, and surprisingly easy. Depending on what you want to do, and what kind of store you are developing, some of these places to find books may or may not work for you. Finding books at the right price to make a decent 36 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

profit on resale is vital to the success of your bookstore. There are a number of things you need to know before you purchase a book, such as the Amazon sales rank, how many of the same title are for sale, and what the average price per book is. You will develop the skills needed to be a well-informed book shopper as well as a perceptive bookseller.

Wholesale books can be found all over the internet. Some wholesalers are open to the public and sell at wholesale prices to anyone who visits their web site. There are also wholesalers that work strictly with booksellers. Depending on how you have organized your bookstore, with or without business license will determine what kind of wholesaler you can use when purchasing books. There are many suppliers of remaindered, hurt, or overstock books, media, and goods. The problem with wholesale books is that they sometimes (not always) have a remainder mark on the book. This mark can be on the top, bottom, or side of the book. It can be as simple as a dot or as big as a huge line across the bottom of the book. There is some controversy as to if you can call a remaindered book new because of the remainders mark on the book. If you classify the book as new, you should state that it has a remainders mark on it. Some sellers state ―may or may not have remainders mark‖ as a way to putting the fault on the buyer and not on the seller if they complain about the remainders mark. This is particularly important if you are dealing in collectible books, if the book has library markings, remainders marks, or other marks, this seriously degrades the condition of the book, and its potential value to collectors. Many will question the ability to call any book with any marks on it collectable.

A1Overstockxliii is a company that deals with hurts, remainders, and over stock books. They carry just about every publisher out there, and the site is very easy to navigate. To do business there you must have a business license, and they want to have a resale certificate. They carry thousands of titles, and are one of the major suppliers for Amazon third party sellers, as well as other sellers out there on other sites. Their shipping is extraordinarily prompt (usually get the books you ordered within 10 days of order) for a remainder store. No other store that we have found or worked with has the same promptness of shipping to you. The site is well organized; you can search by author, by ISBN, by title, or browse by genre or publisher. The drawbacks to the site is that it is very hard to find out what is new, or what was made available in the last month. Most books bought from them have remainders marks, although sometimes you will get a pleasant surprise like a signed copy 37 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

of a book. Book prices vary, but the site makes a great place to start out buying low priced stock for your bookstore. They carry remainder books from about 300 different publishers, and are a very comprehensive remainder site. Books may or not come with remainder marks, which can be a good thing when using this site to purchase books, and being able to grade them as ―like new‖. A1 Overstock has a 100-dollar minimum purchase, which you should keep in mind when ordering from them.

Book Depot
The book depotxliv is another mega remainders, hurts and overstock bookstore. You do not need a business license to purchase at this site. The site is very well organized allowing you to browse by author, publisher, and the added bonus feature of being able to see what has been delivered in the last month. They also have a special section for signed books (that command a premium at Amazon). Many of their books come with remainders marks, and other wear and tear that degrades the value of the book. Prices vary from under a dollar to 8 dollars or more depending on the title. Shipping is average for a remainder bookstore, and can take up to a week to get the order filled, with 2 to 3 weeks for shipping depending on where you live. They do not charge your credit card until they ship the book; you should plan to order from book depot about two weeks before you actually need the book in inventory. The majority of books come from this site with remainder marks, so depending on how to choose to grade them as ―very good‖ (which is recommended) or ―like new‖ you should disclose that the books you purchase have a remainder mark on them. Book Depot has a 250-dollar minimum purchase, which you should keep in mind when ordering from them.

Love for Books
Love for Booksxlv is one of the more traditional remainder bookstores. They have a retail and a bookstore portal. The prices are somewhat higher on retail than they are on the buyer‘s site. You cannot browse their inventory without having an account, and there is a lengthy signup screen for the site. They will want to know your business license information before they will give you an account on the site. They carry a smaller collection of material and focus on general books. They arrange by Author, ISBN, and Publisher so you can search easily for what you are looking for. This is a mid tier bookstore, they have some stuff, and is good to find things that might not be at the bigger wholesale companies. Love for books does not state if they have a minimum purchase policy, which you should keep in mind when ordering from them.

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American Book Company
American Book Companyxlvi is another wholesale company that carries books from many publishers. They carry a generic grouping of books, and you must have a business license to use the site. They do not sell directly to the public. You can get an idea of their inventory by visiting the site, but need to have an account to get a real feel for the web site. In general, this is one of the smaller remainder companies, and carries limited numbers of stock in various categories. Depending on what you want to sell in your Amazon store, American Book Company may be a great source for materials, or might not be. They have a minimum 250-dollar purchase and a must order three copies of each title, which you should keep in mind when ordering from them.

Retail stores always have a ―bargain bin‖ that you can use to find books for sale that are dirt-cheap in the store. Half Price books have a two-dollar book section that is broken out by Genre that allows you get books, for a significant reduction in price. Other bookstores like Barnes and Nobel, Borders and others have their bargain bins as well. Bargain bins propose and interesting take on sales. There is also the in-house publisher, like Barnes and Nobel that has books at deep discounts that are interesting to read. Moreover, might carry a decent resale rate depending on the title. You can find interesting books in these places that have a decent resale value without having to pay retail yourself. One other way to get books from the retail chain is to take advantage of discounts. You can go on line and pick up coupons, you can use a special class discount card (1/2 price books has a 20% discount card for teachers and instructors), Barnes and Noble has a discount card for 10% off purchases. All these in house special discount systems and coupons can make retail an interesting proposition if the book has a high resale value, is mispriced, or stands a chance of selling for 3 times cost. In general, retail is not a great place to find bargains for your store. Unless there is a mistake in pricing, or you know you can get a significantly higher price for the item on line, buying and paying retail prices for inventory is generally a bad idea.

Goodwill and other stores
Goodwill is still an option to purchase books, but they have started selling on Amazon as well. The books you will find at Goodwill are no longer the same quality or price of books that you used to find at Goodwill. Goodwill Seattle has their own Amazon store, as well as many other donation systems like Goodwill Atlanta, and other mega Goodwill stores. If you use Goodwill stores to purchase inventory, you will also get a sliding scale of the price of the books. In the local area, the cost for a hardback book on the goodwill store 39 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

shelf can vary from 2.99 to 4.99. The books are also books that have a very low Amazon sales rank, usually under 3 million meaning they will take a very long time to sell. If you do not mind carrying inventory for a while goodwill is a good source of places to find books, but you have to be realistic about that as well. The most valuable donated books go right into the Amazon system directly from the goodwill store, and not on the shelf for you to pick up. Other stores like St. Vincent De Paul and other donated books might also end up on Amazon directly from the donation site. This is good for the donated book system; it is not a good alternative to other sources if you can find the book cheaper and in better condition somewhere else. One other issue noted with books from Goodwill and other stores is that they can smell of smoke, have mold, and other issues that will degrade the value of the book rapidly. You should use care when purchasing from these venues, and make sure that the book is in very good or better condition with a decent Amazon sales rank before spending money at the local goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul store.

Book Publishers
Book publishers are a great way of picking up new books, but this is where you will want the business license as well as a business plan. Book buying from book publishers directly for hot new books has a varying grade of discounts that they will give buyers. Usually it is in the order of 33% to 42% depending on volume. It is unlikely that a publisher will work with a small bookseller for remaindered books, but this is a very good place to find fresh new books. Larger book publishers will want you to fill out a credit application, and are very slow to respond to new sellers. Even if you fill out all the paperwork, there is no guarantee that they will ever make an account for you. Contacting larger book publishers can end up being an exercise in frustration, from no communication, to monumental amounts of paperwork, credit applications, business license information, and a host of other information that they will want, it might end up being a place not to get books from depending on your level of patience. The other issue is with the margins for the books from the publishers, and whom you are competing against in the marketplace. With brand new books, you are competing against Amazon itself. As a small buyer, you cannot buy in big enough quantity to meet the margins. With a small 1 to 4 book, buy the discount ranges in the 30 to 40% range depending on the publisher. Retail Cost of Book 24.99 Publishers Discount 40% 9.99 Your cost of book 15.00 The Amazon commission for the 24.99 Price is 6.06 40 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Total Cost of Book is 21.06 (not including shipping overhead) Total potential Profit = 3.93 If the discount range is less, the potential profit on the book is less, and this assumes that you can command full retail price for the book. Amazon buys in huge quantities and often prices under suggested retail. For a brick and mortar store, this might work out, but for on line and competing against Amazon, this might not be the best option. If you run those against a remaindered book, the potential profit is much more, for example looking at a remaindered book at A1Overstock (we discuss remaindered books later in this book), you can pick up a remaindered copy of the book for eight dollars. The Amazon price for the book is 43.50xlvii, with other sellers between 6.35 and 72.99 dollars. If you run the same numbers as we ran above for the same book at one of the wholesale sites, the profit margin on this book even at a middle of the road 37.99 dollars looks much more impressive than working with a standard book publisher. Retail Cost of Book 43.50 (Amazon price) Your base listing price 37.99 (Middle of the price curve) Publishers Discount None Your cost of book 8.00 The Amazon commission for the 37.99 book is 8.04 Total Cost of Book is 16.04 (not including shipping overhead) Total potential Profit = 21.95 Not only do you have the opportunity to undercut Amazon, but also your potential profit is much more if you do not have to compete against Amazon. Other drawbacks for an online store are that sometimes there are minimum purchase agreements ranging from 2,000 to many more dollars depending on the publisher per year. You can also purchase ―setting up store‖ stock at 25,000 dollars or more. This is out of the range of most on line used booksellers. Then there are some formal suppliers that will not work with a pure online store, they insist on your bookstore having a physical address that is a business address. If you are purely on line, some book publishers will not sell you any stock at all. Some of these distributors want to do business with you, but for policy reasons have chosen not to deal with people who are purely on line or selling through Amazon and Ebay only. If you have a physical bookstore, odds are highly likely that you are already working with a publisher and will not have to work with these kinds of issues. For pure ecommerce sites, this becomes an issue for purchasing stock very quickly. Purchasing remaindered books from other sources is a better way to make a more substantial profit on the books that you will sell. The remaindered business is the grey area of book sales, publishers try to print only the number of books that they expect to sell. However, many books from book sellers often are shipped back for credit because they didn‘t‘ sell fast enough to keep the inventory in the stores fresh. This is a major 41 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

component to modern big box bookstores. As remaindered books hit the market place through sites like Overstock, A1Overstock, Book Depot, and others, this is where the book buyer will luck out. You might be able to find small book publishers willing to sell in lots of 10, and it is well worth asking, but you can expect book publishers to sell in ―Skid‖ size, or to use the book selling technical term a ―Gaylord‖ of books. A Gaylord of books is a pallet of books that means you are buying hundreds of books at a time, often all the same title, or same genre. This is one of those ―you never know unless you ask‖ propositions.

FOL (Friends of the Library)
FOL or Friends of the Library sales are a very good place to pick out books; however, there are some issues with FOL sales. Friends of the Library are smart to an increased ability to make money, selling books on line. Usually the books at a FOL sale is what is left over from donations or donations that do not sell on line are what can be found at FOL sales. Not all libraries sell their books on Amazon; there are a number of very good sales around the country that are just donated books. Nevertheless, with the advent of Amazon, libraries are finding that it is much more profitable to sell donated books on line rather than save them for a big FOL sale. There have been cases where FOL sales have been cherry picked, all the best books taken, by other sellers, members, or to the libraries own efforts to sell on line. These kinds of FOL sales are good for scanners like ScoutPALxlviii or other book scanner systems used by people who want to see what the desire is for books on line, as well as the going price. However, if you are just looking for inventory and want to see what they have, FOL sales can be a great way of getting very interesting hard to find books, that sell well on line. FOL sales are also one of the best places to find good quality books that will eventually sell well on Amazon if not right away. Most people who frequent these kinds of sales can be buyers for major used booksellers like half price books, or other Amazon sellers.

Craig’s List
As newspaper advertising declines, systems like Craig‘s list can become a valuable counter point in finding books for sale. People who list in Craig‘s list often overprice their books, and have a false sense of what the book is actually worth. Often they will price their books as if they were retail, so as an Amazon reseller, this might not be the best way to find books. What is good about Craig‘s list is that you will also find estate sales and book auctions, which is a good way to find books in various grades of condition and value, usually at a very low price. One recent sale from Craig‘s list was ―fill up a box of books for 10 dollars‖ meaning less than 50 cents for each book. Another issue with Craig‘s List is that sometimes the ads are fakexlix; meaning anything you get through that ad can cause a lot of pain later on. 42 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Newspaper Ads for Garage Sales and Estate Sales
Newspaper ads often are a combination of auctions, estate sales, and garage sales. Often these are small owners with one or two items, or a number of items for sale. Comparable to Craig‘s list in terms of what is available; with Craig‘s list often, being more current in terms of what is available. While newspaper ads are interesting to review, often you will have better luck with Craig‘s list. This does not mean that you should pass them by; many people will run both a newspaper ad, and a Craig‘s list ad for their estate or garage sales, meaning more exposure, and more people coming to the sale. You can get a very good feel of what sales are happening in the area, by using both newspaper ads and Craig‘s list. Estate sales can be very interesting to go visit, often the sellers do not have an idea of the value of a book, and books can be picked up for a dollar or less, or a box of books for 10 dollars or less. Often you will find some real treasures in estate sales that are missed because of a lack of knowledge on the part of the seller. There are also very few buyers at estate sales, so you can take your time with selecting the books and not be rushed like you would be at an auction or at a FOL sale. If you like to take your time and work out the condition of the book before you buy it, estate sales are a nice relaxed way to find some very interesting books to sell.

Auctions can be a very interesting source to finding good quality collectible books that can often be picked up very cheaply by the box. The thing to be sure of is what you are buying, and what the prices are. Some books on auction go for much more than their resale, realistically what you are looking for is box lots of books for fewer than 10 dollars. These kinds of auctions are usually run by a local auction house, which can be easily found by looking for local auctions on Google or another search engine, or in newspaper classified ads. Auction box lots though may have some good books, and many poor books. Depending on what you pay for a box lot, you can be pleasantly surprised, or donating to the local library or goodwill store. You should always check out the titles in the box lot before buying them, and be careful of people who will move books around, filling one box with all the good ones, and leaving not so good ones for everyone else. If you see someone changing the contents of a box lot for books, talk to the auction house quickly, have them banned from the auction, then bid on the boxes accordingly.

Book Fairs
Book fairs have seen a downturn in people going to them over the last few years mostly due to the ease of finding things on the internet. Book fairs are interesting places to go if for nothing else than seeing non-internet prices for books. You can also meet sellers who are in your area, and talk to them about the book business. While no one will share 43 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

company secrets, it is often easy to get people talking about their product meaning that at times they will give up interesting information about pricing, location of books to sell, and other interesting tidbits. Often book fairs will also have a ―bargain bin‖ that has titles that might sell well on Amazon for fewer than 3 dollars each. While this is not the best place to find books, there are always discounts, options, and mispricing that the seller can use to flip a book at a significant profit.

Treasury Department Auctions
Treasury department auctions are great if you live in the local area, or are visiting at the time of the auction. You will find books under ―general merchandisel,‖ meaning the auction will cover everything that is not major property, houses, cars, jewelry. These auctions can be a good source of books, but many serious collectors and book representatives go to these kinds of sales as well.

Postal Service Auctions
The postal service will often auction off merchandise that has been lost in the mail. This is merchandise that could not be delivered for one reason or another. All auctions happen in Atlanta Georgia, so they are hard to get to if you live across the country. Depending on what they have though, it could be worth the trip if you are in the local area. The location in Atlantali is at Mail Recovery Center 5345 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW Atlanta, GA 30378-2400. One thing to note for strictly booksellers is that Bulk book lots may be available for auction in Atlanta that must be picked up at the St. Paul facility at Mail Recovery Center 443 Fillmore Avenue East St. Paul, MN 55107-9607. This can put a real burden on small local sellers who do not have access or time to travel to Atlanta, bid on books, then have to go pick them up in St. Paul, then back to home base to categorize them and get them ready to put on line.

Used Book Stores
Sometimes, other used bookstores have over stocked, or otherwise have mispriced books and you know they will fetch a higher price on line. While it is generally a bad thing to comb through someone else‘s store looking for deals so you can flip them and make a profit on them, it is also not uncommon to pick up a book for 6 dollars at the store, knowing that it will fetch 16 dollars or more on line. You have to be careful with this kind of purchasing, and you have to know your market before you try to flip retail to retail, often you can make a simple mistake, and at best break even on the sale.

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What to do if your wholesale or other supplier goes out of business
Business fail, this is also true in companies that are dealing with wholesale books. If you have a primary supplier, like the former Kudzu Book Traders who went out of business fail on you, having multiple suppliers for your books, media, or other sales material is extremely important. Kudzu was one of the major suppliers of remainder books for sellers on Amazon, the loss of them as a supplier immediately tightened the availability of a number of titles that only Kudzu supplied. The good side of this is that the prices for books that Kudzu supplied went up by at least 50% on Amazon; the downside is trying to find another supplier to fill in the gap. This is where it is important to have multiple suppliers for the books and media that you are selling on Amazon. The loss of one provider might mean a substantial bump in prices, it also means that as you try to find similar or the same titles as before, it takes a while for the remaindered books market to settle out and get other suppliers to fill in the gaps. As a bookseller, you should never be reliant on just one supplier.

What books do you want to buy and how cheap can you get them
Getting started selling books there are two things to be aware of, one is what Amazon Sales Rank means, and what it means to sell a book for a penny. Both are interesting ways of approaching selling books or anything in the Amazon system. Careful buying of stock can help you turn over inventory quickly. Understanding the relationship between Amazon sales rank and what you are purchasing can help you make wise and quick selling book buys.

Amazon Sales Rank
Amazon Sales Rank is an indication on how popular a book is in terms of overall sales from the system. There is a lot of guessing about how this works, as Amazon considers this a trade secret. Others though have worked through the pain of working out what the Amazon Sales Rank means in terms of the overall likelihood that a book will sell in a specified period of time. Two of the best resources on finding out the relationship to sales rank and number of books sold are to visit Rampant Bookslii, and Foner booksliii. They have done extensive research into how well their titles sell against the titles sales rank. One thing to note though is that the sales rank is usually for what Amazon is selling, and not what you are selling as a third party seller. If a book has a sales rank of 4,000, the book is selling new at Amazon about 15 to 20 a week. What you have in terms of sales might not be the same ability to sell 15 to 20 copies a week of the book. Your ―store‖ is off on the right hand side of the screen, with the other some 100 other copies that 3rd 45 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

parties are selling as well. Your copy might sell right off the bat depending on your price, or it might wait until there are no other copies left but yours on Amazon. All this is determined by your price and in some ways your own feedback scores. The basic idea of using Amazon Sales Rank is to figure out how quickly you can move books. If your business plans include being a high volume seller, then you do not want to carry any book with an average sales rank below 100,000. If you do not mind carrying books for a while, and get one of those rare once a year sales, then you will carry books that have sales ranks of greater than 2 million. There are even books out there with a sales rank of higher than 5 million, meaning it will take years to sell the book. Great resources for helping you find out the sales rank of a book you are carrying is the actual Amazon page for the item. Alternatively you can also use a system (if you are remote and using a cell phone PDA or other remote non-pc based system) to use Aaron Shepard‘s Sales Rank Expressliv. Information like this, and depending on what you are selling at your store can help you determine if you want to carry the book or not. Books with a long shelf life and few sales can have an influence on how successful your store is going to be in the longer run. Amazon looks at sales rank as an added service for people to help them determine the popularity of a book. Sales Rank is not meant to be an authoritative source of information about sales, but is very handy in figuring out what the probability of a book sellinglv. You can use Amazon sales rank to get a very good idea of how well a book is doing within the system, and make your purchasing decisions that way. This system only covers books that are being sold by Amazon. It does not cover other systems or other booksellers, but other booksellers use the Amazon sales rank data, like Alibris. That is the important part to remember, people do use sales rank data to make decisions, often buying and pricing decisions. If you purchase a large number of books with no sales rank, or a sales rank greater than five million, it might be a very long time until they sell. If you plan on being mid priced and high volume, you will want to purchase books that have a sales rank of higher than 400,000 rather than books below that.

Penny Books
Nothing ticks off other Amazon sellers like pushing a bunch of books into an Amazon category for a penny. If you get the books free and sell for a penny, you can guarantee that you will rapidly gain the condemnation and ire of every other seller on Amazon. You might also make some money while ticking everyone else off. Brave new book works out the way that sellers can make money with Penny Bookslvi. There are also threads in the Amazon Sellers Community that discusses the issue to a great extent. All you have to do is search the forum for ―penny booklvii‖ and you will find hundreds of threads on the issue. This is one of those perennial questions that also show up in the Amazon seller‘s forums, on line, and in many other venues. Even Yahoo answerslviii has a similar answer to the

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one from Brave New Book. There is even a web site dedicated to searching Amazon for Penny books called Pretty Penny Bookslix. If you are getting a book free, and have a way to cut rate discount on shipping material, it is possible to make a profit from this. There are other things to consider though, many Penny book sellers are not in this for the long term, you have to turn over a huge volume of material to make this work as a way to make money, and you quickly loose the good will of the Amazon seller‘s community. Another gotcha with Penny books are sellers who use automated programs to ensure that they have the lowest price in Amazon. Sometimes as new people list books, or books are re-priced, automated systems can get into a ―bidding war‖ with each other until the books are priced at a penny, driving down profit, and increasing loss for those companies that use the automated tools, and do not pay attention to what they are doing.

There is a US Patent on the Hard back book, United States Patent 5499847 filed by Charles P Smith. A Hard Back book is described as: Hardback books usually comprise a pair of rigid or semi-rigid planar cover boards which, when the book is closed, cover the front and back leaves of the book respectively. Usually, the book comprises a plurality of sections, sometimes called signatures, gatherings or bundles, each section comprising a plurality of leaves. The sections are connected together at the rear of the book so as to form a spine. The leaves of each section are folded along a fold-line which extends along the spine of the book. The sections may be held together by any combination of glue, guards, and stitching. In addition, binding cords or tapes may be provided, each binding cord extending laterally across the spine in order to provide the spine with additional strength and rigidity, and as a sewing support. US Patent Officelx Hard back books come in a variety of sizes, from small 6 X 9 books to table top books that are hard to package. When deciding on what kind of books to sell, knowing the limitations of your ability to package items safely is important. If you cannot easily package a book so that it makes it through the post office system in perfect shape, then you probably do not want to sell it.

Paper Backs or Soft Cover Books
Soft cover books are larger than mass-market paperbacks and are usually run after the hard cover sales start to take off. Soft cover books are a low cost format, that costs the publisher less, and they pass that savings along throughout the retail chainlxi. Selling used soft cover books means that you have to take extra care with them to ensure that they stay in very good condition.

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Paper backs in general tend to sell better than hard cover, they are lighter, considered more disposable, and in general are read once then donated. They imply that they are transient in nature, not as permanent as a hard cover book. Soft cover books require the extra care in storage and shipping to make sure that they are not folded, or abused to the point where the original grading is wrong, or the customer gets something that they did not expect. Many customers will purchase soft cover books because they are cheaper in the longer run. Publishers like soft cover books because they carry less investment for new authors, or genres that sell well in a disposable economy. Soft cover books are harder to find in the remainders chain, while hardbacks are easy to find. It all depends on where you are shopping for your books, and what expected per unit profit you are expecting from book sales.

Mass Market paperbacks
Mass market paperbacks are the cheapest end lot, they are built to last maybe two or three years, they do not age gracefully, and tend to fall apart, and show wear much sooner than Hardbacks or soft cover books. Mass Market means just that, they print many for many people, so they carry the lowest of the profit margin of any book on the market. They are hard to sell, they take up a lot of room, and depending on age, may fall apart much easier. This makes them tricky to sell back to people, as well because they are mass market, they do not command large prices on Amazon. It is difficult to make a good profit margin on a mass market paperback given the charge rates that Amazon has when selling a book, with mass market paperbacks, this is an important issue for sellers. Sellers are in business to make a profit, if you sell 100 books and make a profit of a dollar on each sale, or if you sell 50 books and make an eight dollar profit on each sale, the numbers are meaningful for a business. The final issue with Mass Market paperbacks is that most mass-market paperbacks are not meant for continual resale. They can be picked up cheaply in the remainders book selling chain, and in most bargain bookstores. The penalty though is that they take up room on the shelf, may not sell well because the market is flooded with them, and carry a very low profit margin unless you are getting them for free, or in bulk lots for a very low price.

Unusual Books
Unusual books can be the most fun of any books that you will sell. They can cover the range of the ―anarchist‘s cookbook‖ to ―Garr Family Genealogy.‖ Unusual books can be interesting, and usually sell to a collector. While you might put effort into making a sale on these kinds of books, these kinds of sales are also very satisfying to a seller. Some stores make a living selling nothing but unusual books like Left Bank Books in Seattlelxii. Unusual books are not just limited to unusual content, they can include banned books,

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oversize or specialty books, coffee table books, or books that are very limited run (under 250) and signed by the author. Other forms of unusual books are medical texts, there is a thriving market in early 1900 medical texts, early text books, timeless technology books like DNS and Bind, as well as other books that retain their value over time. Some of the early psychology books and books that predate mass-market printing are all considered unusual books. In this category, you should be working with a genre or subject that you know something about to determine the good books from the bad books. Often these kinds of books are undervalued in garage sales, or estate sales, but carry a premium on Amazon or other on line book selling venues. Another drawback is that if you are not a pro merchant on Amazon you cannot make pages for the unusual books you have, but are not listed in the Amazon database. With that in mind though, some of unusual books have many entries in the Amazon database, meaning look at the sales rank as you search for the listing of your unusual book. Some listings have no sales rank, while the same book under a different entry will have a sales rank number.

Textbooks can be lucrative, but you also have to know what the good books and the bad books are. Good books in this category are going to be books that are consistently used by business schools, medical schools, and are more than freshman or sophomore level books. When people are buying second hand textbooks, they are always looking for the version that is needed in that class. If you send the wrong version of the book, the student or purchaser will often ask for a refund because you sent the wrong version. It is best to focus on textbooks that do not change often, are easy to find, and are in demand. Staying with business books, medical books, books on standards will usually do well. Books that are printed by their hundreds of thousands every year need to be evaluated against the goals that you have set for your bookstore. Textbooks are best left to people who have a solid understanding of what college students are looking for. If you have connections to colleges in the local area, or have access to course syllabuses from colleges that list the books needed, selling textbooks can be a very profitable way of making money on Amazon.

Books by style (what sells well by Genre)
The best way to find out what sells by style is to start following the market niche that you want to sell in. If you want to turn over inventory relatively quickly, only purchase books that have an Amazon sales rank of less than 400,000. You should also stay away from books that consistently flood the market. If there are more than 30 listings for a particular title, or there are over 20 penny books, it will take a while for the listing to clear enough for serious booksellers. Depending on how long you want to keep a book on inventory, 49 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

will determine what books you choose to carry. The key thing to remember here is that sales rank also changes frequently, so a book that is popular today, might not be popular tomorrow. Depending on your niche and the quality of your books, you might be able to make it quite well on the second hand book market. The idea is to experiment with your niche, or with your general collection of books and find out what works for you, and the goals you have for your company. Second hand books though often do not follow the New York Times bestseller list, or the Amazon top 100-bestseller list. They can give you a good idea of what kinds of books sell best, what are the popular authors and then work out the niche or groupings that they want to sell and how they want to have their bookstore feel like. In general, though books that sell well are self-help books, business books, history books, and perennial authors. None of these types of books can be too dated in their contents, nor should they be too faddish. You would not think of picking up a Shirley McClain book now, but 10 years ago, you could not keep them on the shelf. You would not have a problem selling just about any exercise or diet program books, unless the diet has been shown to be controversial or shown to cause damage. You could not give away a book on day trading in today‘s market. Some history books retain a certain fascination with people, like World War Two, Hitler‘s Germany, Books on the Civil War, Vietnam, all do well, and undoubtedly the Iraq war will also do well given its long term potential for controversy. Books on the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and even some underground titles also do very well on Amazon.

Books to avoid
This is the hardest part of owning a bookstore, as the books you are selling in many ways are books you have read, are interested in, or have some personal connection to. The problem is when you have a connection to mass-market paperback romance novels with no resale value at all. While you might like a particular genre and want to focus on that genre, to have a large number of sales, it is always a good idea to carry many different types of books. Some books do better than others do, and some are just best to avoid all together. Mass Market paperbacks might look very tempting, as they usually run from Free to under a dollar, but they sell poorly unless they are brand new, or they are the only edition available. In the used book selling business, there is always an alternative to a massmarket paperback. However, at some point people will try them because they came free, or had a compelling cost point, and the market is flooded with low cost mass-market paperbacks. Everyone tries this just to see what happens, and some are successful at it, most are not. Common Text Books are books that every freshman needs, meaning they are refreshed on a continual basis. It is easy to purchase many copies of last year‘s textbooks for dirt 50 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

cheap, with no resale market at all. Any textbook that is updated frequently, with many editions is something to avoid because students are told to purchase the current edition. Previous editions usually lead to refunds, or negative comments, or both. Romance Novels are popular when they first come out, but carry a heavy resale penalty. There may be many people who are closet romance novel readers, but the resale on romance novels unless they are unusual or mixed with another genre is just about nil. You will often find these in the penny book category. Technology books are also a hard resell unless they are basic books, or books that do not change frequently. You can still sell windows 2003 server books, but windows 2000 server books are dead wood. As technology goes out of favor, there is a sharp drop off in the ability to sell those technology books. It is very good to know this market because technology books have a good resale as long as the technology is current, or timeless. Books by Fads are also the hardest to sell in the aftermarket, as they are dependent upon that fad to sell books. As the fad fades, there is usually no market for those books, unless it is a highly specialized niche market. Fads can include comedians, celebrities, and other popular culture kinds of books. What books do sell well in the faddish category are books like Madonna‘s Sex book, or bands that retain their popularity over time. Timelessness is the key to selling books that have a fad appeal.

Selling Books
The largest thing you need to remember is that you will not get rich quick overnight. That has been said throughout this book, but to be successful you have to work at it. The harder your work, the more time you pay attention to filling orders, stocking books that people want to buy, and shipping orders, the more successful you will be. Some Amazon sellers do this full time, and put in 40 to 80 hour workweeks. Others do it part time, and put in 10 hours or less. On Amazon, what you effort you put into your business, is where the sellers success will come from. Generally, many economists have written off the book sales market, there will always be someone who wants to hold a real book in his or her hands. The success of Amazon resellers, those that carry enough inventory to go independent, half price books, independent booksellers, and even big box stores means that the business is alive. While it is not doing as well as it did before the digital age, there are still enough people out there that want to buy books that book selling is a good way of generating extra income, if not becoming your full time job. The good thing to know about selling books is that in many ways it comes down to a numbers game, do you flip enough inventory each month to pay bills, replace inventory, and pay yourself enough to live on. It is easy to get optimistic and think that you will make millions of dollars selling on line, but there are some hard numbers to know about when you start making your plans. The 51 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

best way to approach buying and selling books is to buy low, and sell high. If you are a good buyer, you will stand a chance of being a good seller. This is a business, you are in it to make a profit, if not a life style, the more you treat on line book selling just like any other retail business, the more successful you will be. In this book, the assumption is made that Amazon will be your primary sales outlet, but with the number of other sites out there, it is a good idea if you have good inventory management skills, to sell in more than one location to increase the exposure that your inventory has on the market. Many Amazon sellers also sell on other venues, and accept the risk that someone might buy the book at both venues at the same time. Some resort to drop shipping the book; others will cancel one of the orders. That solution is up to your business model, there are some very good/like new quality books out there at steep discounts and honest grading that you could make a business of drop shipping at Amazon as well.
This is the premier on line bookstore on the planet. It has an excellent reputation for customer service, they on average get about 150 million visitors each monthlxiii. Amazon competes against many other on line venues and so far, they are wining. Some reports rate third party sales at Amazon at least 25%lxiv of all Amazon Sales. This means that potentially you have a decent sales chance at Amazon when deciding on it as your bookstore venue. The other good thing about Amazon is that as your store grows, or you decide to move into other lines from books, or start in movies, you have the ability to add to your listings in different media formats without anyone caring. This is important, as some bookseller venues do not allow you to branch off into other media types. There are two levels of directly supported Amazon store types; the normal seller central that is good for people selling less than 50 books a month. Once you are selling more than 50 books a month, it is a good idea to upgrade to a merchants account. While you pay a monthly fee for a merchants account, over time you will end up paying Amazon less money by going pro merchant than if you stay within the seller‘s central environment. You also might want to take advantage of other Amazon services to increase your exposure to customers on the site. Your own storefront, fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon Associates, and a host of other services can help you increase your exposure to potential customers. With Amazon, you are competing directly against Amazon for sales that includes any other services you use via Amazon. Your pricing structure has to be compelling for the customer to bite, and make a sale, or your books need to be in a smaller crowd. Some books have hundreds of second hand book copies available; this is very true when it comes to best sellers on the New York Times list or Oprah Book Club selections. These are generally good books to avoid for a while until the crowd goes away, but then even 52 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

that is no guarantee that the book will ever sell, as Amazon can keep on reducing price to get rid of stock. This is the one major drawback to selling on Amazon, is not only are you competing with many other third party sellers; you are competing with Amazon as well. Being careful with what you purchase, and how you price and grade your books is the best way to differentiate yourself on the Amazon site.

eBay is the internet auction site to go to if you want to do a combination of fixed price or auction style sales. There are many other eBay alternatives or competitors in the industry, but few have been able to grow the market share that eBay has. eBay has a number of problems, as the continuing grass roots organized boycottslxv, unusual and complex pricing structure, a recent change in management that is causing a change in culture at the site, as well as reputational issues to overcome. While they are a great place to sell stuff, buyers who go to eBay are looking for hard bargains that along with the complex fee structure can erode profits for a seller quickly. With an average 500 million visitors a month,lxvi they also far outstrip the potential audience that Amazon has on an order of 3 to 1. eBay is the most valuable place to sell, however the pricing structure, and fee structures, along with new rules on the feedback system, as well as reputational issues concerning fraudlxvii eBay has serious issues that it needs to address, and is working on how best to address them. Time will be the only measure of how successful eBay will be in overcoming the internal and external issues that they face, or if they will ever go to a simpler fee structure. There are also serious complaintslxviii about the feedback system changes that also took place recently. While these issues distract eBay, they are still a good place to sell either auction or fixed price items, but you really need to do your homework to make this sales venue successful and profitable. With eBay, you are competing with other sellers fixed prices, as well as the auction system. The ―Buy it Now‖ feature on some eBay auctions means that this is a mixed format system, both auction at high price and pay what the seller thinks it is worth. eBay is working on restructuring their company to accommodate more ―fixed pricelxix‖ schemes, like Amazon (which is all fixed price), and hoping that this will increase the use and sales throughput of the eBay web site. eBay is challenging, but with the level of traffic they have, and if you are selling hot titles for steep discounts, this could end up being a highly lucrative venue to sell books. It is also very easy to expand into other lines like video games and electronics, which are harder to expand into at Amazon. (part of eBay) is part of the eBay universe of companies that specializes in books. Based much like Amazon in how it flows, you are competing with other booksellers, as well as the people going to eBay. has not been heavily marketed, and has on average some 1.5 millionlxx people coming to the site monthly. This is a significantly smaller audience than you have on eBay proper and on Amazon. The lack of people visiting the site means 53 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

that it will take longer for a book to sell unless you have something compelling, rare, or priced very low. Some sellers have made a success at Half, and this would make an excellent secondary sales venue for your Amazon store. focuses on books, to sell other items you will need to open an account at eBay. but attracts the same kind of audience that eBay attracts, and even that is tricky, some sites like competelxxi have great information on half in terms of audience, while Quantcastlxxii has almost no information on What is well known is that has a very low audience rate, meaning that using them as a venue you will either have to be carrying books that have a very high sales rank, or books that are steeply discounted to be successful on that venue. gets about 10% of the traffic that Amazon gets, meaning less people visit the site, and books will stay in inventory longer. When using the smaller venues for selling books, it is important to keep the visitor numbers in mind, so you can decide what books you want to put there, and how long you are willing to hold on to them in inventory. This is a lower risk secondary venture for selling books, and worth considering listing there.

AbeBookslxxiii is a book only web site that has a very good reputation for being able to find rare hard to find books. They are also often considered one of the many pricing standards as book prices are more flat market driven than competition driven as they are at eBay or at Amazon. With an average 1.7lxxiv million people monthly visiting the site, it is better than but not as visible to the average shopper. This is really a specialist‘s site, but they have started expanding out of that niche market and provide web site services like Amazon via chrislands, which also provides template market ready web sites for small storeowners. Overall, this is also a very good site for a secondary venue off your Amazon account. They provide free inventory management software called home baselxxv, as well as many other free services to support sellers. They claim that they get 1.3 million visitors a week, but their compete score is different from their claims. That is also normal when it comes to web site metrics. They have a mandatory 25 dollar per month fee for an inventory of up to 500 books, for sellers with many titles that monthly fee slides based on the number of books you have listed. You are competing against other booksellers, and prices can vary as much as they vary on Amazon. This site is worth keeping as a secondary channel, the problem for small bookstores is the monthly fee, and sliding fee schedule based on the number of books listed. Overall, though, given their excellent reputation, this makes a viable secondary venue to your Amazon store, but you will need to determine if you can afford the sliding fee schedule to list books.

Alibris is another good second venue to sell on; they have no fees to list, and take a minor fee when the sale closes. Their fee‘s for postage are not in line with the USPS, so you will most likely take a dollar hit on postage if you use media mail with delivery 54 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

confirmation. Alibris has about 2 million visitors each monthlxxvi, so there is some exposure to buyers on the site. You can also do mixed media sales, music, books, and movies as well. Alibris seems to have a large vocal majority on Amazon who ask questions about Alibris being down or issues with Alibris on the Amazon Sellers Community. The Alibris seller‘s community is rarely used, and often does not provide quick support for people who are using the Alibris system. Yet it does seem to be popular as a secondary Amazon seller‘s venue. The problem is going to be the limited number of visitors per month, meaning stock might sit in inventory for a while. The good part is that they have a resale agreement with Blackwell, Borders, Books-a-Million, Chapters/Indigo and Ingram, meaning you get additional exposure for your inventory on those sites as well. There are some definite benefits by signing up for secondary sales channels on Alibris. The drawback to Alibris is that the feedback system determines how you will be seen on the customer screen. If you have no feedback, or do not generate enough sales to maintain a decent feedback rating, the default sorting means you end up on the last page, and in the last entry. You also need to keep a 85% delivery score to continue using these third party systems. If you have no sales, you have no ―rank‖ and you can be dropped from their system. However, Alibris will temporarily ―bump your rank‖ to 100% if you have no sales, so you can at least attempt to try to increase your inventory on what will sell on Alibris. This can seriously dampen book sales unless customers decide to resort on price. Outside of that one drawback, Alibris makes a good place to open up a second outlet to compliment sales at other venues.

Selling on multiple sites
It is generally a good idea to list on multiple sites, but you also have to be careful about inventory management if you only carry one copy per title. If you sell a title on Amazon and Alibris on the same day, you will have to cancel one order, or resort to drop shipping from another seller. Alibris has the ability to work with Amazon pro merchant accounts, and keep the quantity of stock synchronized between venues. Some programs that reside on your desktop can also help manage inventory in the same manner, but there is always the risk when carrying one title that is listed across multiple venues. Some sellers have different stock for different web sites; some sellers have a copy of each book for each web site that they sell books. Some will use software to synchronize their inventory amongst multiple web sites. These are some of the more common ways that people manage their sales across multiple web sites. Order cancellations always carry a penalty for the seller, either through a reduced reliability rating like at Alibris, or being noted against the account that could lead to account closure like at Amazon. The other issue besides synchronizing stock is the idea of drop shipping an order from another seller to your customer. Drop shipping happens often when selling on Amazon (and other venues as well), but you have to be careful when choosing what other book companies make good drop 55 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

shippers. In an experiment run in May of 2008 six books were bought from 3 small sellers, and 3 mega sellers on Amazon, all had prices between 88 cents and 1.50 for books labeled new or like new. All came through in stated condition, so drop shipping from companies is an option that can be used if you sell out of stock, but still have orders pending. This is a much better option than canceling the order, as that will negatively affect your account on Amazon, and could end up with the customer being satisfied as well that you went the extra mile. You should disclose to the purchaser that you are out of stock, but have ordered it and it will be directly sent to them from another company, followed by your apologies. Some drop shippers though will not do that because it is their business model, they sell very high, and when an order comes through they look for a seller they trust to grade properly to ship the actual book.

Grading your books
Grading books is a hard thing to do, we have a natural tendency to inflate the grade of the book we are holding when we see brand new going for 100 dollars, but a book graded as used very good is going for 20. We naturally are going to tend to want to mark the book as new, even when we know the book is used very good. That is the hard part of grading, and while it is difficult to explain exactly how grading is interpreted by the purchaser of the book, that is really who you are grading for. If someone buys a used book, the buyer has an idea of what new means, and the buyer has an idea of what ―very good‖ means. These might not mean what you mean them to be, so when you grade, be very conservative and note every flaw in the book. Many a negative feedback has been given to a seller for not grading a book correctly. There are general rules of thumb for grading books on Amazon, as well as in the industry. You should be as honest as possible with the grading of your books, if it has a remainders mark you should state that explicitly. The more honest you are in grading, the more conservative, the more buyers will trust what you are saying, and will leave better feedback than customers who are surprised because there is a remainders mark on the book, and the grading was new. New – just as the name implies, this is a brand new book, without any markings, no folds or tears. Some dealers will also put brand new remainder books in this category with the phrase "may or may not have remainder marks.‖ While there is controversy over if a book can be considered new if it has a remainders marks, is it generally frowned upon to list a book as new if there is a remainders mark. A brand new book should be just that, a brand new book without marks of any kind, pristine condition. Used – Like New – is a book that other than a minor flaw like a remainders mark would be considered new. Usually books with remainders marks should be marked Used like new. Used – Very good – these are books that are almost new, or new books with remainders marks on them. Very good implies that the book is free of obvious defects, no rips, and in near new condition. There is no highlighting or underlining, no pencil marks in the book, 56 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

no tags from a personal library (without disclosure, some sellers will list personal library books with users names on the first page as very good). Normally you want to disclose that there are any marks in a book no matter how you grade them. Used – Good – these are books that have been shown a lot of love; they are worn, with tears on the page, markings, some underlining, these are good for personal copies, these are not good for gifts. Used Good will have defects, but they will not be significant defects like torn bindings. Used Acceptable – these are the bottom of the scale; books in this range have significant damage such as torn bindings, pages missing. These level of books have a very hard time being sold, and will usually only go to a person who cannot find better quality, or has waited for a particular edition to come out for a long enough time that they are willing to purchase an acceptable book. Ex-Library – any book that has library markings, or came from a library, with library stamps. These are as difficult to sell as used acceptable. An ex-library book can not only be difficult to sell, what is hard for buyers and sellers is when the book is very rare, or has some other quality that would otherwise make it very valuable. Library markings destroy the value of a book, and for a serious bookseller, should be avoided in inventory. They will rarely sell, and customers will complain about them or leave negative feedback. Collectable books are an entirely different category of book collection. Usually it is easy enough to find signed copies of a book, which makes them collectable or very short runs of a book like the original first edition of the Harry Potter book with hand drawn art by JK Rowling. Any mark on the book, from remainders marks, to heavy wear and tear negates the value of a collectable. Serious buyers of collectable books will peruse Amazon and other venues looking for the rare find. If you ware selling collectable books, it is even more important to grade them correctly. Collectable books carry a steep market premium in pricing, meaning the opportunity to want to fudge a bit on the description can lead to a slew of negative feedbacks on the Amazon marketplace. Collectable – Like New – these books are books that have been signed by the author, can be are very rare to find, and are in pristine condition. This is an important distinction to be aware of, that like new collectable books means just that, they are near, near new that have something about them that makes them collectable. Either short print runs, author signatures, or few existing copies. Collectable – Very Good –these are books are also rare, but have more wear and tear than a "like new" condition book, these are books that are almost new, or new books with remainders marks on them. Very good implies that the book is free of obvious defects, no 57 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

rips, and in near new condition. There is no highlighting or underlining, no pencil marks in the book, no tags from a personal library (without disclosure, some sellers will list personal library books with users names on the first page as very good). Collectable – Good – these books are rare, but these are books that have been shown a lot of love; they are worn, with tears on the page, markings, some underlining, these are good for personal copies, these are not good for gifts. Used Good will have defects, but they will not be significant defects like torn bindings. Following these guidelines is generally a good idea; there is also good advice on the Amazon Sellers community on how best to grade books as well. Since you have to selfgrade your books, the more honest you are, the more chances of happy customers, and repeat customers.

Examples of bad book grading
Grading is difficult, and these are some examples of people who graded books badly, these examples are a way to show you what bad grading is, and what the issues are surrounding that bad grade. While grading books seems like it would be easy, in reality it can be quite difficult for books that could be between good or very good. New and Like New have some very specific criteria that they need to meet. New means just that, a brand new book fresh from the publisher. While like new has no obvious flaws, but is not fresh from the publisher, a large number of remainder books that do not have remainder marks fall under the ―like new‖ category. You always want to grade honestly, and accurately, the below examples are very good at showing you what bad grading is all about. Collectable Like New – ex library book The above description is almost an oxymoron even if the book does not have any library stamps on it. There is almost no way of knowing if this is a true collectable, or of this is just a serious grading mistake. Collectable like new means that the book is near pristine, with an author's signature or extremely rare, there is no way that a book with library stamps, or library wear and tear is ever going to be collectable like new. The seller runs the risk of getting a negative feedback score on this. Some sellers will use ―Ex Library, has the usual marks‖ as well, the usual marks are library stamps, the check out card pocket, and other marks throughout the book. New – may or may not have remainders mark. This is the controversial book grading because people interpret things differently. New implies no marks like you would get from a major retail chain, or buying directly from Amazon. Yet many sellers of remainder books mark their books in this category. In the longer run, the controversy is going to exist (new books command a higher price) as long as sellers continue to put books with remainders marks into the new category. It is not 58 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

advised to do this, but is commonly done by a number of sellers. There is a lot of ambiguity, and buyers may or may not leave a negative or neutral feedback if they find a remainders mark on the book. It is always best to disclose if the book has a remainders mark or not if calling the book new or like new. New – ex library book. No library book can ever be considered new by any book-grading standard in existence. It is also very minimalist when describing the book. All we know is that it is an ex library book, nothing more. This entry shouts that the bookseller may not be trustworthy, and will get someone to look at his or her feedback scores. If they have a number of neutrals or negatives on the book not being in the condition advertised, many will pass this seller by. New – Brand new book. This one is just not descriptive enough; the buyer will have a hard time working out if there is an edition change. Is this the first or second edition, what year was it published? You are limited to 1000 characters; you should use some of them to make your product pop out from the rest of the listings. Usually the more information you present, the better a decision the buyer can make. Used Very Good - Order today to ensure product availability! This does not tell the user anything about the book; rather it seeks to create a shortage response on the part of the buyer. This does not work when there are 100 used copies of the same book available. Used Acceptable - SOME PAGES ARE DOGEARED, COVER SHOWS A LITTLE WEAR, DECENT READING COPY, BOOK CLUB EDITION. The person writing this is screaming at their customers by using all caps. Generally, this is frowned upon in e-mail, and in book descriptions. While it might be attention grabbing, there is a negative connotation with all caps as your description.

Good examples of grading
Good grading is just as controversial as bad grading, in that what works for one bookseller will not work for all. These are recommendations on how to do good descriptive grading, and some of these are marginal, they carry elements of both good and bad grading that can lead to customer confusion. When in doubt, read as much as you can on how other people grade books, and look at examples at Amazon. New – First edition 2001 TOR no remainder marks, no signs of wear and tear

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This is general, we know that it is new, and is in new condition, the edition, and the publisher. This is the minimum amount of information that can be found in a general listing. Used Acceptable – Pages coming free from binding, heavy underlining, pencil marks, and coffee stains on book. Good as a reading copy only. This one spells out that the book is in reading copy only condition, reading copy means that the book is heavily used, and is only good for reading because it could be literally falling apart, or that the book has heavy use and is not fit for a gift. Used Like New – New book with remainders mark, first edition 2001 TOR, no signs of wear and tear. This is a general remainder book entry, while you will find the ―might or might not have remainders mark‖ this is more upfront about the condition of the book, if it did not have a remainders mark, it could be marked as new, depending on the seller. This is the controversial one, and many booksellers will tell you that a book cannot be like new with a remainders mark. As always, you run the risk of a negative or neutral feedback depending on the buyer of the book. Used Very Good - Tor Books; 2002; First Edition; First Printing; 1.56 x 9.25 x 6.13 Inches; Hardcover; Very Good in Very Good dust jacket; Light edge wear to DJ, with minor edge cuts. Upper front corner bumped. Book is clean, with solid binding.; 480 Pages This is also a very detailed description for the buyer of the book. It borders on too much information, but for a serious book buyer, someone who knows their books and is looking for something specific, the description might not be enough. Used Very Good - Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC Date of Publication: 2002 Binding: Hard Cover Edition: First Edition Condition: Near Fine/Near Fine Description: Signed by Author SIGNED by Schroeder on the title page. Nice copy, with minor wear at extremities of dj. Still tight, presentable copy. I was a real fan of Conan, and this one is on the nightstand to read soon too. An author to watch I think, especially if you're a fan of hard science fiction. This description carries a lot of good information, you know just about everything about the book, including that it is signed, and where it is worn. The seller has put a personal note on their interaction with the book, which can be a good idea, and make the sale more personal. The person selling this book, knows this book, has read it, and you can engage the seller in a conversation about the book. Used Very Good - Hardcover with dust jacket. Book is in very good condition for a used item. Minimal signs of wear to jacket may be visible. Binding/boards/pages are

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all in near fine shape. May have inscription or remainder mark. A welcome (and affordable) addition to any collection. This is a shorter version of the one above, in that the seller has personalized the listing, and has noted that it might have (read it does) inscription or remainder mark. Good description, but the seller should be upfront on if it has an inscription or a remainders mark. Used Good - VERY GOOD+ blue cloth hardcover in FINE+ dust jacket. Light soiling to exterior boards, interior very clean and tight, jacket is pristine. This is also a good description even if they are using all caps in the VERY GOOD description. The + sign is used to state that they have rated it a step above ―very good‖, but have listed it for good. This means that they are unsure of what the grade should be, and they are at least being conservative with the major entry of ―used good.‖ You know from the description exactly how the book is rated good/very good +.

Be careful how you grade
Buyers often have their own interpretation of what is new, like new, very good, and acceptable. Because of this, and one of the best ways to receive complaints in user feedback or AtoZ claims, it is always smart to be careful how you grade books. Always be conservative, if you think the book is good, then rank it good, but if the condition of the book can go either way from good to very good, still rate it as good, and highlight in the comments why it is an exceptionally good condition book. Buyers are not obligated to read the description, and often do not, while it is still your obligation to categorize your books properly. Nothing will tick off a buyer quicker than thinking that they were ripped off by bad book grading. Other grading standards also exist, the more traditional standards that booksellers use, how they equate to the expectation of buyers and other sellers is a little different. The older standard of rating, Mint, New, Fine, Near Fine, roughly equates to the following Amazon scale. has a very good explanation of the more traditional book grading process. Very Fine (VF) roughly equates to New/Collectable, in that this is the highest grade you would give to any book. This would be a book right off the printing press, never touched by human hands. This is the rarest of all book grades. You might also see this as Mint condition. Fine (F) roughly equates to New condition, that it is a standard brand new book like the one you would get anywhere else, without visible blemishes, no remainder marks, or other defects. Very Good (VG) roughly equates to the same Very Good Condition that Amazon uses. It is no longer a brand new book, or has a remainders mark. Most books will fall into this 61 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

category, some book sellers will use + - (Plus/Minus) signs to show a step above or a step below the Very Good condition for books that do not quite meet a full upgrade or downgrade on condition. Good (G) is the lowest sellable grade given to any book that equates to Good within the Amazon system of grading. There is no ―acceptable‖ condition for people who use the old grading systemlxxvii. Sellers should be careful not to use too much jargon when they are grading their books. Buyers expect to understand what they are reading, and Amazon is a mass web space. If you use the older format for grading books, you might consider using the new formats. Most people will not understand the nuances in the old grading system that they will understand with the Amazon grading system.

Navigating the Seller Interface at Amazon
The seller interface for non-pro merchant accounts is built around the idea of being easy for people to use. There are a number of sections in the web screen that will help you understand what is happening with your stuff, how to list things, and how to check your orders. While you will get a ―sold ship now‖ e-mail in the e-mail address that you register when you make your account, most if not all your interaction with Amazon will take place using this screen. Do not count on the ―Sold Ship Now‖ email always making it through, there can be outages with email systems, so you should get used to looking at the Amazon sellers screen as many times a day as possible, along with looking at email. If you have a normal day job, the ―sold ship now‖ email can let you know you have books to ship when you get home, but never rely on email alone as an indication that something has sold.

The initial Screen
The initial screen on Amazon is where you can get a heads up on everything that is happening with your Amazon seller‘s account. From here, you can manage your inventory by adding single items or looking at your current inventory. You can manage your orders, viewing and issuing refunds for an order. Check your payments account to see how much money you have or how much you have paid in Amazon fees. You can run various reports such as performance, rating and feedback as well as check to see what AtoZ guarantee claims you have outstanding. You can also change your settings, such as your account settings, you notification preferences, store settings, and some settings for your Amazon store.

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On the right hand side of the screen is a quick view of what orders you have, any claims against you, and your feedback and rating results. These are all important metrics for what is happening with your account. As well as any new sales you might have pending that you might have not seen the ―Solid Ship Now‖ email on. On the far left of the screen, you have quick access to Amazon information, seller discussion boards, success stories, discounts, and special offers from Amazon or companies that have made deals with Amazon. You will also find an offer to become a pro merchant at the bottom of the screen. In all, once you have hit 40 to 50 book sales a month, becoming a pro merchant is something you should explore. You could reduce the fees you pay to Amazon, but you also incur a monthly fee as well. This is one of those decision you need to balance against the flow of money into and out of the account. Since this is the place you will do all of your account iteration with, it is important to understand this screen, and click around to learn where each section takes you. There are some screens buried within other options, but from here, you have access to control your entire account. Some ideas on the security of your account as well are also important to know about. You should never give out your password to your sellers account. If someone takes control of your account, they can drop your inventory, take all the money you have built up in your payments account, change your deposit structure, and generally ruin your day with the store. If you think your account password has been stolen, then you should take immediate action on that information. You should change your password on Amazon frequently when selling on line. This holds true for anything you do on line, but is especially true when working as a merchant.

The right hand side of the screen
This is probably the most important view you will have of your account. These are short cuts to other sections of your account and this is a great heads up display for the way that your account is working. The ability to drill down into the system from here will provide a lot of information about recent sales, communications options, payment options, and other information about how well your account is doing. Your orders is the most important, here you will see all your orders for the last day (24 hours) and for the last 7 days A-to-Z guarantee claims, you always want this number to be zero. If you have an AtoZ claim, it means that Amazon is now involved in your business, and they usually default to the customers side. Feedback and Rating, this is where you can see how well you are doing in relationship to what other people think of you. Only people you sold something to can enter feedback about their experience.

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Remember that feedback and rating are different, and they are viewed differently, but are also tied together in what an overall ―trustworthiness‖ a seller will have on Amazon.

Your Orders
This is where you can track and follow all your orders, print the shipping label, refund the order, and send customer e-mail so that they know what is going on with the order. This is the fulfillment screen that every seller on Amazon uses, so learning how to navigate this screen and keep track of orders is always good practice. Some sellers will print out two copies of each order, one for records and recording/stapling the delivery confirmation receipt on, other will simply leave it in the Amazon database. Amazon gives you five options for responding to a customer. Each email is fairly flat, you have to come up with your own template for the e-mail, and you are limited to 4000 characters when you type in your e-mail. Returns are counted against your account if you have too many of them. While there is no set number of returns, returns are also a fact of business. Amazon understands that returns happen and will not ding you too badly for a few returns a month. If you are getting many returns, along with a very poor feedback rating, odds are most likely that Amazon will ban your account. Feedback request, you can ask people who you sold books too for feedback, but this is a double-edged sword. You are not sure if you should request feedback, then do not. Feedback happens on its own, and some customers might think that it is a privacy or other violation and complain to Amazon, as well as give you bad feedback for asking for feedback. It is also possible to get someone to remove negative feedback, but this is rare. You should use this one option with caution. Refunds can be used if you need to issue a refund if you are out of stock, or otherwise need to issue a refund for any reason. While the customer will be unhappy, at least you are letting them know that a refund has happened. Order information is one of the most commonly used contact e-mails. You can use this to acknowledge the order and give an estimated shipping time. You should include the name of the book they bought, and when you intend on shipping the book. Every order should be acknowledged, it supports the customer, and you in the longer run. Additional Information is used if there is additional information on their order between the order information e-mail and the shipping notification. Shipment Notification should be used when you ship the product. You can use this to set expectation on when it will be delivered, add tracking or delivery conformation 64 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

information to this e-mail, and otherwise let the customer know that you have completed your side of the transaction. Each one of these e-mails will also be sent to you so that you have a way of tracking each order and knowing what you said to what customer about their order. Managing your orders help is also available from Amazonlxxviii.

Printing the packing slip
The packing slip has to be included in every package that you send. The label has the customer address, what they ordered; order ID, the store they bought from, as well as general information about the order. A nice touch on the packing slip is to pen write ―thank you‖ on each order. You can also choose to refund the order if you do not have the stock on hand. You need to have the stock on hand otherwise if you issue too many refunds, you might get your account reviewed or suspended.

The actual order
The order itself has all the information needed, how to contact the customer, customer shipping address, contact information, what they bought, how much they paid, and what kind of shipping they paid for. You can also refund the order here. This is handy if someone wants to return a book later on, and you have to hunt down the order. On refunds, Amazon gives the buyer 30 days to request a refund, and this screen makes it much easier to find the order and make a direct refund. You can also see pending and cancelled orders as well using the Amazon order screenlxxix. Pending orders are orders that have been made, but have not necessarily been approved by the credit card company yet. If the order categorized as pending, this can be a good thing because you will not lose any money; it is a bad thing because it is not a confirmed sale yet. A canceled order is an order that the buyer has cancelled, or one that the credit card failed at the time of purchase. The screen shot below from Amazon shows you how the whole data set from the orders screen would look with pending, actual, and canceled orders. A very good picture of the order screen can be found on Customer Help.

Feedback is the most contentious of any system, but also the most important part to have. The truth to feedback is that it is subjective, did you give the customer what they wanted or what they expected. This is one reason why you should hold off asking for feedback, it will eventually come, and you want to make sure what you get is what is really reflected by customers overall experience with the system. 65 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Feedback is always going to be a contentious issue, and the influence that a neutral or a negative can have on your overall score can be devastating in terms of how feedback is calculated. Feedback is different from your rating score. Rating scores are a number value of 1 through 5, added up and then divided by the number of entries. Feedback is positive, neutral, or negative. All entries influence both your overall feedback and rating scores. Feedback is all about how the customer interpreted the transaction. Customers rate the entire transaction, from Amazon through the seller to the post office. For some feedbacks it is all about the seller for examplelxxx: 2 out of 5: "Significant warping to book. Water damage?" 1 out of 5: "The seller does not promise the book by the date Amazon requires. When it did not arrive by the date Amazon promised, the seller told me to wait another two weeks before they would consider a refund. The order never arrived." Some feedbacks from buyers however are all about the post office, and the time it took to deliver the book. Then there is the standard shipping times for media mail, which can take upwards of 14 days to get the book. Any delays in shipping on the part of the seller can extend this time, and lead to negative or bad feedback scores for sellers. Sellers cannot help the post office shipping time. The best thing that the seller can do is try to work with the buyer and either get the feedback changed or removed as long as the seller can show that they shipped within the allotted two day shipping window. 2 out of 5: "Took nearly three weeks to receive the item." Moreover, sometimes orders get lost but the customer never talks to the seller about the issue, or the fact that the item was lost. This is not a common issue, that orders get lost, but as the seller, you can easily turn this around by offering a refund to the buyer for the missing item. All goods that cannot be delivered by the post office or returned to the sender end up in the dead letter office, and eventually end up going for auction at the post office. You would have to ―eat the sale‖ but getting the negative feedback removed is often worth it. It is also a good idea to use Delivery Confirmation, to see if the book has actually been delivered. This can be a ―sales saver‖ in cases like the one below. 1 out of 5: "Never received this item." Sometimes sellers just go over the top and start arguing with their customerslxxxi, this is always a bad idea. You never want to argue with your customers. Even if the customer is using all caps (like screaming), the seller must remain professional at all times. Amazon Terms of Service also states that you have to take returns, meaning you should send the 66 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

buyer a prepaid shipping label to send the book back. Refusing to accept returns will in general get you banned by Amazon. 1 out of 5: "Book was misrepresented. I thought I was buying ―The Art of Selfishness‖ by David SEABURY. Seems I bought the same book, but written by SEABURY Peebles, who is actually JOHN Peebles. A bit confusing, no? In addition, the print is SO small that the actual writing takes up only half of the page. Now I am told I cannot return it to the seller. So, I will return it to the trash bin. Thanks for nothing." Seller Response: "I'm sorry that you cannot return a brand new book that you opened AND read." 1 out of 5: "nOT THE BOOK i EXPECTED. sELF PRINTED (NOT DISCLOSED) tERRIBLY SMALL FONT AND POOR FORMATTING (WORDS RUN OFF THE PAGE). WANT MY MONEY BACK BUT DEALER SAYS THEY DO NOT RREFUND (DID NOT KNOW). HAVE NEVER WANTED A REFUND BEFORE ON ANY PURCHASE. NO WAY TO CALL OR EMAIL SELLER." Seller Response: "THE BUYER NEVER ASKED ME FOR A REFUND. IF HE HAD, HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED ONE. NOT VERY NICE TO LIE IN THE FEEDBACK FORUM." This kind of feedback score requires that the seller have a lot of patience and with a little bit of customer service can be removed or taken down by the person who entered the feedback. While it is a long shot, if you use delivery confirmation, meet all Amazon TOS and service agreements, as well as do what you have to do to make the customer happy, sometimes they will take down negative feedbacks. The good part is that you get to respond to the feedback‘s that you get, usually keeping those responses professional, offering to make things better for the customer, you can change what was previously a negative situation and at least put a positive spin on things. You can also use the response system to feedbacks to thank people for positive feedbacks, and help generate more good will towards your ―brand‖ within the Amazon system.

Performance Summary
Your performance summary is where you can find out in an easy screen how you did for the month. These are kept near in perpetuity, so you can always go back and check to see how your month-to-month performance wavers over time. Performance summaries are good to work out how well your store is doing over time. As well as working out strategies to improving sales. Performance summary can be an interesting way to check out the ―health of your sales‖, but there is also at least a 24 hour delay in the information presented in this screen. So if you are a statistics person, and need up to date information on your performance, it is 67 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

good to know about the 24 hour delay in presenting data here. This is also a good way to find out and measure how well you do my month, and by quarter for tax reasons. You can use the numbers in the performance summary as a definitive number when preparing your taxes rather than trying to do this through more complicated methods, like tracing each order through the system to find out your tax liability for your sales.

Listing Books
In the Amazon Sellers Central (which we cover here), you can enter new listings by clicking ―List Single Items.‖ A Pro Merchants account has more options, like automated uploading of your up listings. We do not cover pro merchant‘s accounts in this book. You want to click on ―list single items‖ that takes you to this screen You can search to see if your media is already in Amazon. Only Pro Merchants can input new items into Amazon. Some remainder books will not be in the Amazon system, so it is always best to check and see if the book exists in Amazon before purchasing it, unless you have a pro merchant account. You can search by keyword, or by ISBN. ISBN searching is best because it gives you an exact match on the book, searching by title can often lead to mistakes that will lead to negative ratings. You want to verify that the book that is brought up is the one you want to sell, if not, go back and search for the book again until you find the right version. You can pick the condition of the book, and add your comments about the book, its version, condition, any defects or marks are very important to note here. The next screen is where you set pricing, quantity, and if you support international orders and or expedited orders. In the upper right screen, you see the pricing details for your item box. This tells you how many there are for sale, in what category as well as the sales rank for that item. These are important when setting the price of your book. Pricing your book is a subjective subject, you do not want to price too high, and you do not want to price too low. A general rule of thumb is the higher price for the more valuable or rare books, otherwise hitting the middle of the pricing High and Low for the new or used book, its condition, making sure that it remains under the Amazon price is a good rule to follow until you get a feel for pricing. You then click on submit your listing and you are prompted if you want to make another listing or if you want to go back to your seller account.

Viewing your inventory
Viewing your inventory is very simple, click on ―View your current inventory‖ and it will take you to the inventory page. Inventory management is important, especially if you are selling on multiple venues that do not ―talk to each other.‖ If you have the same inventory on Alibris as well as Amazon and eBay, you will need to manually update your 68 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

inventory as you make sales on each venue so that you do not run into an ―out of stock‖ issue, and have to issue a refund. The inventory screen is made to look like a spreadsheet to make it easier to manage. You have your Merchant SKU, which is an auto-generated number by Amazon unless you have your own SKU‘s. The ASN/ISBN link that takes you to all the books with that ASN/ISBN that Amazon has, the Listing ID which takes you right to your listing as others see it, the product name, date submitted to Amazon (used to bleed off books in stock for more than 60 days), condition, the price you are asking, the lowest price book in the listing for all conditions, edit so you can edit the comments, and a check box so that you can close the listing manually. You can also go to your closed listing sheet (upper right hand corner) and search your open listings. The more inventory you have, the more handy that the search open and closed listings becomes. There is a lot of help on Amazon on how to use this tool, with great advice for both Amazon sellers and pro merchant accountslxxxii.

Page Hogging
When you start listing books, you will find that you have more than one copy of the book every so often. If you buy books in bulk (more than 2 in the same condition), you will find that ―page hogging‖ is very tempting. Amazon sellers do generally not approve of page Hogging, however this does not mean that it does not happen. It is ok if you have 3 books in 3 different conditions, but three books in the same condition should be just one entry on the seller‘s page. While page hogging as shown below is looked upon badly, it does not mean that people will not list the same book in the same condition at the same price. Sometimes these kinds of things happen by mistake as well. It all depends on how inventory is done, who is doing the inventory, and how much quality control goes into inventory management. There are also times you will be surprised to see who is doing page hogging, sometimes it is the larger merchants who decide to do this, and then decide not to do the same thing so they have entries all over the map at Amazon. These kinds of mistakes can be honest, or they can be done as a way of business, it all depends on what kind of behaviors happen over time with various sellers. As you get more used to selling, you will see many examples like this throughout the Amazon system. One interesting thing that Amazon has started doing is take the duplicate entries and put them on the last page of all offerings making them unlikely to sell, but also helping curb the effects of page hogging. The problem is that if you are the highest price item and on the last page, then your entry will be mixed in with all the multiple entries from those companies that engage in page hogging. Your book sale could get lost in the noise that happens when Amazon clusters all the extra entries on the last product page. When you price out your books, it is a good idea to check the ―page hogging‖ status and try to price so that your entries do not end up lumped together on the last sales page. 69 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

Dealing with Pricing Variances
A book can be listed for as little as a penny, and as much as 500 in the same listing. At some point, you will begin to ignore penny books, and move more in line with the middle of the bell curve in pricing. While Amazon recommends that you reprice every 30 days, many will reprice as inventory rolls past its 60-day mark. Penny books are generally exactly what you pay for, and most buyers are smart to the idea that you get what you pay for. Pricing a book is what you think the market will bear. It is worth going through and working out a pricing structure that works for you. I make mention of the ―middle of the bell curve‖ but there is also clustered pricing. A clustered price is one where there are many books for a set price say 9.99. If you can come in at 8.99 (take advantage of pricing psychology), you are below the cluster and will most likely sell your book quicker. Other prices are more distributed, where there is a large difference between prices; choose a price that you think the book will sell. Usually this is the difference or middle ground in the pricing structure. If the book is still being sold on Amazon you should hopefully be able to price under the Amazon price for a book if it is new. You have the opportunity to review prices every 60 days to see how it changes as Amazon closes off the entry for books that did not sell. There is a drift in prices in that they will go up and down by a few dollars here and there. If prices are trending upwards, take advantage of that. If prices are trending downwards, know at what point you can sell at and still make a decent profit off the book. If you know what your absolute bottom line is, this makes it easier to price your books. If you are getting books for free, you don‘t have to worry about your lowest bottom price outside of shipping and handling costs, but in general this is good information to know about your own inventory. The good bit about this is that a penny book with an Amazon sales rank of 5 million will not sell any better than your 9.99-dollar book at Amazon sales rank of 5 million will. Odds are more likely that the buyer will purchase your book, because it will be perceived as a higher quality as long as you mark its condition accurately.

Bargain Books and Normal Hardcover’s
There are interesting little ―gotcha‘s‖ when dealing with putting up a new listing on One of the things you will notice is when you are listing books on Amazon; you will see both a hard cover edition, along with a Bargain Books bin. The sales rank between the two can vary by as much as 500,000, so when you look at where to put your book, you want to make sure you list in the highest sales rank possible for the same title, in the same condition.

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The book Acorna‘s Children from Anne McCaffrey is a good example of the difference between Bargain Bin and normal sales. In April of 2008, the two books were for sale on Amazon with the same ISBN: 0060525401, but two very different sales ranks. The bargain bin had an Sales Rank: #527,346 while the normal entry for the book had an Sales Rank: #446,371. With such a huge difference in sales rank, listing the book with the highest sales rank would be better for selling the book quicker.

While the sales rank in this example is only a difference of 80,000 that can mean sales or delays in sales over time by choosing the wrong place to put the book on the listing system. Being aware of this ―Gotcha‖ in the way that Amazon works with various listings, you can choose to list on the highest sales rank if the book has multiple pages available to it. This will vary, sometimes a bargain book listing has a higher sales rank than the normal listing, and sometimes that is reversed. When listing books, it is always good to check on the various listings in Amazon as long as the ISBN number is the same, to choose the higher sales rank when making a new listing. This means you have to do more home work when listing books, this is a very good idea so that you don‘t list a book that might have a sales rank of 300,000, but your listing has 3 or 4 million as a sales rank.

At least three or four times a week, it is a good idea to go through and reprice your books, at least some of them. The idea behind this is to maintain a current price on your books in relationship to the market, as well as keeping the inventory active. Many sellers report that if they reprice on a regular basis, they seem to get more sales activity. If the seller does not reprice, they often see their sales go down. This is an unusual behavior, and one probably related to Amazon or how its systems work, but an anomaly that you can use to your benefit as well. Repricing by hand is always a good idea, if you use an automated repricing program; some sellers will come in very low, and might cost you your margin. If you reprice by hand you stand a much better chance of ensuring you can make a profit on all your sales. You should always know what the lowest possible price that you can afford to go down to and still make a profit. You can also price up if other books are selling more expensively than yours are as well. Repricing does not mean you always go down in price. Some sellers have so much inventory through that repricing by hand is impossible, and use automated repricers. This can come at a cost, some sellers will intentionally put in a book for a penny, let the automated repricers take all the entries down to a penny, then raise the cost of their book. This will and does kill the sales margin on a book that started out at 40 dollars, but ended up at 1 penny because a seller outsmarted other sellers who were not paying attention.

Getting rid of “dead wood”

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Some books are just not going to sell quickly, if at all. Buyers always make mistakes and end up with ―dead wood‖ or books that just will not sell in a reasonable time. Amazon Sales Rank can help you when purchasing books to help avoid books with Sales Ranks of greater than 1 or 2 million. Yet there are some books that people have been waiting for, for a very long time that you might want to carry. That one sale a year has either a personal significance, or a monetary significance you cannot pass up. Depending on your storage, and willingness to hold on to books, eventually you will run into books you cannot sell. This dead wood in your house, and in your on line inventory is something you want to get rid up to free up money to purchase new inventory that stands a better chance of selling. There are a number of ways of getting rid of dead wood inventory. You can package it up with one or two good sellers and sell the bundle on eBay or other auction house. This is tricky as even with one or two good sellers, you might not be able to push the inventory off on another venue. You can donate it to goodwill or other group and take the donation tax discount at tax time at the end of the year. Take it down to the local half price books, get what you can for them, and write off the difference from the wholesale price you paid and what you get for it at half price books or bookseller that takes used books from people. You can see if they will sell on Craig‘s list or have a ―yard sale‖ where you sell your books at just above wholesale prices. There are many creative ways to get rid of dead wood that is just not selling; this is a personal choice on how best you want to do it. Many will try on an auction site first and then take it down to a used bookstore if it does not sell there.

Blocking Customers
With Amazon you have to sell to anyone who buys a book, you cannot choose who your customers are going to be. This means that you might get orders from AFO/APO (Military Mail), international orders (if you have included international shipping), customers who have given you bad feedback in the past (and it is looking doubtful that they will ever love you or your store). There is no rating system per say for buyers, although you can comment back on their feedback. There is no way to ban a buyer without seriously impairing your ability to sell on Amazon. This is the nature of the business, and something that you should be prepared for, and make this part of your feedback management. One thing you can do is refund the order, but then too many refunds can get you dropped from Amazon as well. This is a

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Catch-22 situation, one that is best to solve to the best of your ability and move on from the problem. The one thing you can do is be ready to make your case to Amazon alliance. If you have a repeat customer, who continually leaves negative feedback, and can prove that they are continually buying good quality merchandise from your store, you can make a good case to Amazon, and maybe get the negative feedback removed. The other thing to do is watch the seller‘s forums at to see if there is anyone having problems with a buyer. The more sellers that are impacted, the more likely that Amazon will take action, and the more likely that there will end up being a happier outcome to a customer that is abusing the system, and the sellers. One question that will always get support on the community forum is to ask if anyone else has had problems with a particular buyer. This will help you gather information that can make it easier for Amazon to hunt down and take care of an abusive buyer. Amazon knows that these situations happen, it is very pro-buyer, but that does not mean that you have to take abuse from a buyer who is taking advantage of the system.

Book Selling by Month
There is an ebb and flow when selling books, some months are better than other months, and these are things you should be prepared for. If you know what the vicissitudes are month to month, it is easier to plan how to buy, and when to save. While we give you a general idea of what percentage of inventory should sell by month based on our own experience, your sales will vary off this list. You can use this list for planning, but depending on what you sell, how popular it is what its sales rank is, and how well you price, your book sales will significantly differ from these general statistics. Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Percentage of Stock that should sell 6% 4% 5% 5% 5% 3% 6% 5% 4% 4% 10% 15% Total estimated inventory roll over 70%

The worst months for sales are Februarylxxxiii and September. February because everyone is working out their Christmas bills still and September because everyone is coming off 73 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

vacation, kids are going back to school, and money is being diverted to school supplies, new clothes, and the things that kids need for school. Sales stay steady throughout the summer months, as people want books for going on vacation to read on the plane or in the car. The best months are the run up to the holidays; you will turn over a significant amount of inventory in the November, December months. The interesting thing about December is that most of your sales will happen in the first 20 days, and then steadily taper off. Many will order books as holiday gifts, but neglect to order expedited shipping. This can lead to a rash of negative or neutral feedback in January. Sales start tapering off in January as gift cards and gift certificates are spent. The bump in April is when people start getting their tax return refunds back. You should take some of this with a grain of salt, because this is dependent upon what you sell, how you buy, and what the demand is for what you are selling. Textbooks have a cyclical cycle that matches the major colleges both on line and in person. Some books sell steadily throughout the year. Only your own statistics will make sense for what you are selling and how you have made your purchases.

Service is where the on line store separates itself from everyone else. You have the same inventory as many other bookstores, you are competing against Amazon, and you are competing against yourself in many ways. Excellent customer service is always a good idea when running a business. It is the one market differentiator that any store can have, on line though, in many ways it is the only differentiator that you will havelxxxiv. Beyond selling books, movies, media, or anything else on any on line venue, the role of customer service is where you stand out from the rest of the group. The feedback scores are the way that you differentiate yourself. Few stores maintain a 100% feedback score, many are in the 90 to 95% range, and that is because one or more customers did not get what they thought they were going to get or ended up being disappointed for one reason or another. There are estimates that 40% of Amazon funds come from third party sellerslxxxv and that there are at is continual growth in the third party sellers programlxxxvi. There is also a general belief that in a rapidly expanding market, it is easier to be ignored. There are also many complaints that third party sellers are not holding up their end of customer service. Amazon is strait forward on how they view customer service, and have their terms of service (TOS) that spells out what sellers have to do. Some estimates put third party sellers as high as 1.1 millionlxxxvii, this is the environment that you need to stand out in, and get your business going. Amazon does have stores that work as drop shipperslxxxviii, and they run the gamut from people, who are there to just two or three things and then never sell again, to people who make a living from this. There are also complaints about fraudulent vendors, and while

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Amazon will never release the number of fraudulent vendors, there is enough information about troubles with Amazon third party sellers to grab anyone‘s attentionlxxxix. The idea behind owning and operating an Amazon store is that you are really in the business not only of selling stuff, but also of working out ways of delivering product at a profit. Service is your true product, not just, in how you do things, but in how you describe them, and how well you deliver. Shoddy delivery, not having goods on hands, using non-reputable drop shippers, and other issues will quickly kill off any chance you have of making any money on Amazon. There are so many points of failure, that the more you own of your own internal process, from having stock on hand, to having shipping materials on hand, to making it to the post office for every sale, to outsource any of these while you are small is risking much, for little return.

There are many things to do to be ready to ship a book. You need to have a product, you need to have shipping materials, and you need to have a way to set up the process for order fulfillment so that you do not confuse orders. There are many negative feedbacks for a bookseller sending the wrong book to the customer. While you are still small, it is possible to do this in your living room with simple organization. As you get larger though you might consider more automation and support in order fulfillment, the more orders you process by hand, the longer it will take, and the more opportunity there is for making mistakes. If you are selling on multiple venues, fulfillment becomes more interesting for the seller. If you only have one copy of the book, and it sells on Amazon as well as Alibris, then whom do you ship it to, which one ordered first? Both sites require shipping within two business days of the order; you only have one copy of the book. Both Amazon and Alibris put into your ratings how many refunds you do, so this is a tough choice on your part. This is where using a system that updates all the venues that you sell at when you get an order on one venue or another. This will help getting negative feedback, improve fulfillment, and customer service because they will not be purchasing something that does not exist in inventory any more. There is no one perfect tool to do this, but there are tools out there. Home basexc is distributed and developed by ABE books free, and if you have an Amazon pro merchant account Alibris can manage your inventory on both venues. There is an excellent overview of Home Base at book writer‘s softwarexci. You will need to find something though that works for you, how you organize and want to manage your inventory. There are many solutions out there to ensure that you always have stock available for fulfillment in your inventory. You might also want to consider Fulfillment by Amazon as a way to ensure that customers always have their orders filled. This one outsourcing process might actually make sense, because you as a seller and your buyer are all dealing with Amazon, Amazon

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systems, and have Amazon to make things whole whenever there is an issue with the system. Order fulfillment is at the heart of your operations, this is where you have your best chance of working well with a customer. Using shoddy shipping materials or just not filling orders is a quick way to being shut down as an Amazon seller. Having your inventory management not keeping up with what you are doing can also lead to problems down the road with your bookstore. You want to have a smoothly running, order fulfillment system, and inventory management process if you are selling on more than one venue. It is well worth taking the time, finding out what software works best for you and how to incorporate it into your bookstore system.

Organization is another big success factor for you business, and is essential when filling orders, but also maintaining organization of the whole store, from supplies, to buying, to listing to shipping. Disorganized businesses often do not make money, do not know what they are buying, do not know what they are selling, and have no way of working out their profit and loss statement, let alone paying taxes, fees and the whole host of other things that a company has to do to survive. Your organization should be natural, the way that you do things; this makes it easier in the longer run to know where things are when you need them. There are many ways to organize books, supplies, and how to manage orders, the more natural the organization is for your style, the easier it will be to do things until you start to scale up where you need to hand off parts of your organization, like to Fulfillment by Amazon. Being organized is a major success factor when working with filling orders. You need to be accurate 100% of the time when dealing with orders. This means on days when you have 10 orders, that you are correctly matching address, book, and shipping material. You will have to work out what organization practices work best for you, but in general, good organizational practices for general fulfillment are: Have a quiet place with few distractions Have individual piles in order of what is being shipped Be able to quickly match, book, label, envelope Double-check everything before sealing the envelope or wrapper for the book or product These general rules will help you organize your shipping practices while you are still a small store with less than 30 orders a day. Once you get more orders, you will want to check out the many books on good shipping practices.

Shipping is another process that you need to be organized on, so that you do not lose money. When you are small, it can be ok to go down to the post office every day, stand in 76 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

line, and have everything weighed and stamped. After a while though, this can become a very large pain point with the post office if you become a very large consumption of time on their part. Some sellers have reported that the post officexcii has asked them to use a different system and just drop off packages. As well, high volume shippers will sometimes have problems with the post office, and post office customers if they are waiting in line with everyone else. If it takes more than 15 minutes to ship, you might need to find another solution. and Encidia can help you weigh and stamp your packages. You can get the post office to give you the white plastic bins so that you can simply drop them off at the window. It is always a good idea to work with the post office for very large amounts of material being shipped. Delivery confirmation as shown above is the best way to ensure that every package you get has been delivered. The post office will lose things, they will miss ship things, they will drop the ball on your order, and this is an unpleasant fact. Delivery confirmation can at least help you track the package and make sure that it was delivered. Sometimes customers will not go to the post office to pick up a package that was miss delivered, the post office will send them back to you, or you will have to tell the customer to go pick up their package at the post officexciii. You always want to purchase delivery confirmation; it is the best money you will ever spend on shipping.

In general while adding Delivery Confirmation can save you many problems down the road, if the object is high value, or deserves extra attention from the seller and the buyer, it is always s good idea to do certified tracked mail. This kind of high value good is returning enough profit to you that to ensure delivery happens; you want to have your package tracked. The cost of tracking a book (between 18 and 75 cents) needs to be weighed against the cost of the book. If the book is a 50 dollar book, it is worth spending the money to track it, if the book is a penny book, then it might not be worth using Delivery Confirmation or other tracking. This is going to be a decision that you make depending on your business model at Amazon. Registered mail for high value packages offers you the chance to ensure that the package is tracked through its delivery cycle. While DC (as Delivery Confirmation is often called) can help you later on down the road if there is a problem with shipping, as in it did not arrive, registered mail is appropriate for everything of high value. Registered mail might even be good enough to ensure that you win an Amazon AtoZ claim, where delivery confirmation is often not enough, but helps when dealing with an Amazon AtoZ claim. No matter what you do, always have tracking on your shipments; it is the best form of protection that you will have. Delivery confirmation is the best way to make sure that your product actually reaches the customer. Registered mail provides additional shipping 77 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

protection for high value orders. Customers tend to dislike the ―signature confirmation‖ process, as it means they have to make a trip to the post office to sign for the package. That could end up resulting in a negative feedback because the customer might feel like they had to take ―extra steps‖ when they receive the book. Most of the time they just want the book delivered to their door, without any additional hassle.

International Orders
International orders can be tricky, if the product you are selling fits into an 8 dollar express mail envelope then you can easily do overseas orders. If your books or materials do not fit into the standard envelope, then you will have a hard time not running deep into the red on international orders. This is entirely product dependent, and what works for shipping. Many sellers do not do international orders because of the problems involved, like customs, and packages going astray. The trick to international shipping is to provide international shipping on books that will fit into the standard Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopexciv. The pricing though varies a lot on the destination, and on line prices usually have a small discount over actually going to the post office. This is great for paperbacks, and other items that will fit into the 11-dollar flat rate envelope. Amazon gives you 12.49 for the shipping costs for anything you are shipping overseas. You will also have to fill out customs forms, for packages that weigh less than 1 pound you can use the green customs form. If you have an item that weighs more than one pound, it is doubtful that it will fit into the flat rate envelope, and you will have to use the full customs form shown below. You should also let your customers know that there might be delays in customs. A delay in customs can add 4 to 6 weeks to package delivery. While Amazon wants you to have international orders there in 3 to 6 weeks, some countries like New Zealand can take upwards of 14 weeks, while orders are usually delayed in Italy as customs inspectors there seem to hold up the mail on a regular basis. There are many risks to sellers if they take on international orders, and any bookstore will want to think seriously about international orders, how they plan on working with delays, shipping, and customs before deciding that they want to offer this service.

On average if you get 20% feedback on your orders, you are in the right spot for Amazon feedback. You might go months as a new store with no feedback. The idea here is that if you sell 10 books, you might get 2 or 3 feedbacks from customers. This is one of those ―let sleeping dogs lie‖ kind of issues.

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While you really do want the feedback because you want to know that things are really as great as you think they are, no news is often good news in this case. You will often see people asking on the Amazon forums ―why haven‘t I gotten any feedback yet‖ and everyone will chime in with ―just wait.‖ Feedback is coming; the question is ―are you prepared for bad or neutral feedback.‖ If you get 10 feedbacks a month for selling 40 books a month, 1 neutral will drop that month to a 90% satisfaction rate, if you have 20 feedbacks, one neutral will drop your ―feedback score‖ to 95%. One negative feedback is even worst, and you must plan to get both neutral and negative feedback. Some customers are just plain nasty and cannot be made happy under any circumstances. The key to managing this is:   Keep your cool; there is nothing worse than seeing a seller start being nasty back to a customer, always be professional. Back away from the negative feedback and calm down. It is not a matter of ―if‖ negative and neutral feedback is a question of when. Often you will see feedback like: o 2 out of 5 "Mailing label was unreadable because no tape used to cover it. It got wet." o 2 out of 5 ―Paid extra to get faster delivery time to no avail." o 2 out of 5: "Book arrived in great condition but took the full two weeks to arrive."  These kinds of feedbacks really center on shipping expectations, and are not necessarily the sellers fault, but they still are dinged for it. o 1 out of 5: "The book I ordered for my daughter did not arrive when scheduled and when I contacted the seller I received a generic email response. I sent a second email requesting they give me the shipping date. I did not get a response."   Never use a generic e-mail to answer back a customer query, they want to believe that there is someone on the other side of the exchange, you can use a template, but always personalize it. It might be worth your while to ask someone to remove a negative feedback for things outside your control, but this is dependent upon the seller remaining professional, finding out if inclement weather or some other issue delayed shipping, or what is an honest story. Many will remove negative feedback if you ask them to, explaining that shipping time is outside your control and the Amazon standards for delivery.

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As with everyone who is unhappy about something at times a little work with an unhappy customer can turn a disaster into a good relationship with a buyer. This depends on your ability to do what you can to make a buyer happy, and still make a profit.

Lowest price to find shipping supplies
Shipping is never going to be a money making process for a seller, but with some careful shopping for supplies, it does not need to be a money losing proposition for the seller either. You should always use brand new shipping supplies as that adds an air of professionalism to your bookstore. If you use torn, tattered, used shipping supplies, it can reflect negatively on your bookstore, as well, there might be damage to your goods because of the use of pre-used shipping supplies.

Office Supply Stores
This is where places like Costco are your best friend, and places like Wal-Mart are not. Costco carries shipping supplies, as well as many other stores like Staples and Office Depot. You need to buy in bulk to get the best prices, this means buying at least 100 bubble wrap envelopes at a time. Costco is usually your best bet, but you will have to purchase bulk shipping supplies like bubble envelopes on line. For an average size hardback or larger paperback, you will want the Jiffylite Air Bubble Mailer #4 9-1/2" x 14-1/2" Item # 726409 from Costco. These come in packages of 100 and cost an average .44 cents each. For an average size mass market paperback, CD or DVD you will want the Jiffylite Air Bubble Mailer #1 7-1/4" x 12‖ Item # 726408. These come in packages of 100, and cost an average .30 cents each (includes shipping to your house). Office Depot and Staples are a bit higher in terms of pricing, while heavy discounters can offer the Jiffylite #4 for as low as .30 cents each. When you are shipping 100 items per week, over 52 weeks, the savings of .14 cents per envelope can save you 72.80 per year. The higher the volume, the more savings, and anything you can save on mailing supplies is money you get to spend on books or whatever it is you are selling. You should also pick up a large bundle of low cost paper bags to wrap your books in, this kind of double wrapping can help keep the book in good shape through the shipping process. You can pick up 1000 brown paper bags that will fit most every book for around 10 dollars. Tape costs (strapping tape and scotch tape) are about the same no matter where you go. Always buying in bulk helps cut down on shipping materials costs, using Costco and other bulk suppliers are the smartest way to economize on price, but not on quality. You will always want to use new shipping envelopes, paper, and tape. Recycling others shipping material not only looks unprofessional, but also can cause the customer to 80 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

question if the damage on the envelope caused damage to the book. You could end up with negative feedback by cutting too many corners on shipping materials.

On Line Postage
If you are finding that there is not enough time to go to the post office, then you need to start thinking about using on line postage. If you are tired of waiting in line at the post office, or are in the process of the post office banning you for whatever reason, you need to start thinking about alternatives, which is buying postage on line. There are three primary ways of managing on line postage, the US Post Office, and Endicia.

US Post Office
Everything that you can get at the post office proper, you can find on line, from scales, to shipping labels, on line postage, and the whole host of other services including scheduling a pickup from your home. This is a complete on line store for postage, and it is easy to pick up supplies at the post office as well. If you want to cut down the time you spend at the post office, and the pain you might have as you sell in higher volumes. There are also some reports that the USPS wants to cut down on time spent with people. These kinds of complaints usually show up often on the Amazon Sellers Community boards. The use of the Automated Postal Center at the post office is also an option, but the machine does not do media mail. There are also additional restrictions on weight, if you have a book over 13 ounces in some cases, you have to bring it to the teller at the post office. is another on line postage solution that you can use in their home. They offer discounts on materials, supplies, and on some post office discounts. You can weigh and print out everything from your own home. will let you work from any computer that is connected to the internet using your account information. Stamps dot com is very large with over 350,000 monthly subscribersxcv. They are focused on small business, which as a starting Amazon third party seller you are a small business. They have partnerships with many of the larger names in computing and can often offer discounts on other services as well. will do all the same services that the post office does, and will help you with refunds if you print postage incorrectly, or you do not use the postage that you print. They will also help you with international orders, and a host of other services. also works with a large number of third party programs, and data types. Microsoft Outlook 97/98/2000/2002/2003 Microsoft Outlook Express Lotus Organizer 5.0, 6.0 Lotus Notes R5 81 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

ACT! 2000, 3.05, 4.0 and 6.0 Day-Timer Organizer 98 Schedule Plus 7.x Corel Address Book 8 Palm Desktop 3.0 QuickBooks Pro 2004 Windows Address Book Any address book, which can be exported to a "Comma Separated Values" (.csv) filexcvi This company makes a viable alternative to visiting the post office. Offers some very good interoperability with other software programs, and provides some discounts off normal post office prices.

Endicia is the other on line Postage Company, and offers much of the same services as the post office or They interface with the same software, the same scales, and essentially provide the same service as the post office or Encida has a desktop system much like and offers similar competitive pricing, alliances, and supportxcvii. The very good part about Endicia is that you can also schedule a pickup with them, and that is unclear at With any online postage solution, you have to find the one that works best for you, these three options are the most visible on the internet, and have a long history of use by other Amazon sellers. All three come not just with company support, but support from other Amazon sellers who will be willing to discuss the finer points of using these on line postage solutions to meet your own needs and capabilities.

Making actual postage costs fit the price Amazon gives you
Amazon will give you 3.99 (April 2008) to ship a package. If you go to the post office in person to ship, then you also need to pay for your time, but in general, this is how it adds up. You should be counting everything that goes into shipping, down to paper and printer ink. 2.58 To ship a medium size/weight hardback book for 1.4 pounds (average size of a hardback book) .65 cents for Delivery Confirmation .44 cents for an envelope .01 cent for brown paper bag or Kraft paper to wrap the book .01 For sheet of paper for the shipping list .01 For printer ink Based on that you have .29 cents as fudge room in your calculations to handle your time and waiting in the line at the post office. On line postage will help you reduce some of 82 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

the costs around Delivery Confirmation. It is possible though to fit your shipping costs into the money that Amazon gives you to ship your product. Careful shopping, buying shipping supplies in bulk, and using on line postage can help you cut down on shipping costs for books. Other items have other shipping rates, like DVD‘s, CD‘s, or heavy items. It is a good idea to know what is on the shipping reimbursement schedule for Amazonxcviii.

Keeping track of your business
This is another place where organization can help make your business run smoother. There is nothing worse than having a disorganized book collection and spending hours looking for a title because ―you knew it was here.‖ Eventually as you get bigger and bigger, it is time to break out the organization and make things easy on yourself. Keeping track of your business has many benefits especially if you are working on making a living from selling books. There will be many people besides you who are interested in your business, from the tax person to your family that will want to help. The more you keep track of your business, the easier it will be to answer questions, pay taxes, pay yourself, and eventually pay your employees. Starting out with good business habits early pays off as your bookstore grows. Keeping track of your business includes insurance, how you organize books, how you keep track of expenses like shipping expenses, taxes, spending on books, your internet connection, computers, shipping materials, time it takes you to do specific tasks like packaging for shipping and spending time at the post office. The more you keep track of each of these, the easier it will be at the end of the year to cover taxes, put a value on your business should you choose to sell, as well as understanding what your profit and loss is on the business.

Book Organization
It is easy to keep track of 20 or 100 books; it gets more problematic the more books you have. Many people will simply organize their books in alphabetical order by Author or by Title. Some will organize these further by ―All authors with the last name starting in A on this shelf‖ which makes it easier for your family to help you out when bringing in a large shipment of books. The more books you have the more important it is for you to organize your books in a way that you can find them quickly. 30 minutes spent looking for a book, is 30 minutes that you will never get back. The earlier in the process that you work out your organization for storing books, the easier it will be to fill orders. You should keep track of the time you spend looking for books, cataloging books, and even scouting, as this will give you a good idea of how much time you are spending running your own bookstore. Knowing how much time you spend doing things that are related to your store also helps 83 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

you work out your hourly pay rate (and figure hourly taxes on your pay rate) when you are self employed, or start paying yourself out of your store‘s profits. While this might sound like over organization when it comes to books, knowing what you are doing in book related activities can help you also value your store, value yourself, and provide satisfaction to you when you get the ―process down‖. When you start working out that you can really pay yourself something out of your store, and how much time you really spend working on your store. You might be surprised as well, that you spend more time working on your store than you realized.

Shipping Costs
Shipping costs vary, and it is important to understand how to maximize shipping costs. On line postage is one way to keep track of shipping costs, as well as working out a process so that you do not go over the Amazon provided shipping reimbursement. You should be keeping an eye on your over all shipping costs, and ensuring that you either break even on the deal, or make a small profit on the shipping costs. Keep track and count up everything you spend on shipping monthly; know what your Amazon reimbursement rates are, and how to keep control of shipping costs. It is easy to have shipping costs spiral out of control when using international shipping, or just not buying supplies smartly. Keeping a tight rein on your shipping costs is one way to make sure that you do not go into the hole on shipping. Make sure you specify media mail at the post office, make sure you use the global mail flat rate envelopes if you are shipping internationally, and use everything you know about shipping to your advantage. Everyone will try to sell you higher priced shipping, it is up to you to keep track of what you are spending, and ensure you get the best rates possible.

Home based business
If you live in a Condo, apartment, or other covenant based housing, you need to know if you can run a home based business. Many places will let you run a home based business as long as there are no customers coming in and out of the building. There are some advantages though to running a home based business. Every square foot of storage space for inventory, your computer, your internet connection and office supplies are all part of your business expenses. These costs can be deducted at the end of the year in your taxes. Depending on how much you spend, how much space you take up in your house and what percentage of the bills is directly attributable to your business can lead to a significant deduction at the end of the year. If you use 50% of your house to store books, then in general, 50% of your electricity can be deducted as well. Count up every square foot of space used to store books, including the closets, and keep track of that number as a percentage of total square footage of your house, because many bills can be deducted by the same percentage.

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When you get big enough you might consider renting an environmentally controlled storage space, but while you are still home based, there are tax advantages that you should explore with your accountant or tax preparer. The idea of having a very good accountant is important to help you expense your bookstore properly as a home based business. While you are still small and using your house as your primary storage some expenses are easily deducted. When you get bigger, and start renting storage that is environmentally controlled, have a talk with your accountant to see how that will change your bookstores tax structure. It may or may not be advantageous to you to do this, and move everything out of your house.

Local Laws and Taxes
If you got a business license from the state, you will have to obey state laws for running your company. These laws, rules, and taxes vary from state to state, and it is best to get advice from your state licensing bureau. You can also get advice from a tax accountant or small business advisory system like the SBA. Rules vary, and if you are audited by the state, it is not a valid defense to ―claim ignorance.‖ The bigger your bookstore becomes, the more attention from the state and local governments you will attract. If you are not ready, or you have not been paying attention to local business and occupation taxes, you stand to have a significant fine judged against you that could be big enough to drive you quickly out of business. You do not want a fine like this, and there is a lot of support for making sure that you have all your business paperwork together. Having it readily handy and available, as well as understanding the significance of the paperwork will always help you out later on. While all this is dependent upon how you are running your business, and how you are getting your stock, there is nothing safer than a well-documented company to help cover any potential judgments by local officials when it comes to running your business.

Sales Taxes and other Taxes
Amazon collects sales taxes at the point of sales for the state, but not for the local municipality that you live in. This will help you when it comes to filling out your annual tax return, as well as covering any obligations that you have to the state treasurer. You are obligated to pay city taxes, B&O (Business and Occupation) taxes, and other taxes that are not collected by Amazon. Some of these taxes are paid quarterly, others are paid annually. You should seek the help of a qualified accountant to work out how best to pay for taxes. This is another area that the SBA and other programs can help you determine how to pay business taxes, and manage your company better. Not all states have the same kinds of taxes; while Washington State has a B&O tax other states do not. Your local sales tax, and other business taxes are dependent on where you physically store or operate your business.

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Income taxes
If you use the profits from your company to pay yourself, you are also obligated to pay federal withholding taxes, social security taxes, L&I and other taxes on income. While you are still small, you usually are busy putting any profits back into the business, but when you get to the point where you can pay yourself, you will be obligated to pay all the payroll taxes for yourself, and anyone you hire in the futurexcix. There is a growing call to police and get tax information from all the major selling platforms from eBay to Amazon and report that income to the IRS. You should be ready to provide tax information to your state and to the federal government. For right now, this debate is still quiet, but as the economy goes through its cycles, expect more attention to be paid to this issue when the economy is bad, and less attention when the economy is good.

There is nothing worse than a house fire or house flood to ruin your day, and wipe out your inventory. You also want to take into consideration theft, damage, and the whole host of ills that can ruin your inventory overnight. Depending on where you store your inventory can help determine how much insurance you need to carry. Often you can carry insurance on goods by having cost of replacement homeowners insurance. This will allow you to replace your inventory if the interior of your house is damaged in fire, flood, or other act of God. Insuring your inventory is something that you want to do, because you do not want to be out the money you have invested in your inventory. You should check with your local insurance agent and shop around for business insurance and inventory insurance. If you open up a physical store, you also need to make sure that you have liability insurance to make sure if someone gets hurt in your store, you have the ability to cover any liabilities. Your insurance representative can help you best decide what kind of insurance is the best kind for you, and your inventory. The money you pay to cover your inventory or other liabilities with your company is also generally part of your operating costs, and weigh against the profit you make on your company.

Serial Bookstore Startups
One thing you will see are serial bookstore startups, people selling their Amazon book store on business boards, Craig‘s list and other places. This is an interesting way to pick up stock, and if you purchase the store directly, this is something you want to pay careful attention to before the purchase. If you have to travel out of state to pick up the stock from the store, or ship to your house, there are many costs that you need to be prepared for. While the store might be going for 5,000 to 12,000 dollars depending on the store, at some point you have to go somewhere, and move things, all this can be tax deductable, or count against your profit from your store. 86 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

There are serial Amazon booksellers who build up a store, build up a brand, and then sell their store in various states of reputation. Here is the catch though you need to be aware of as well, Amazon does not really let you buy the whole store as is with all the account information intact. They will notice as you will be logging in from multiple locations on a shared account, or if you cross over banking information, it will look like you have two stores. You will have to either close down your store, or their store, and then transfer stock. You will get shutdown and banned from selling from Amazon. This might be a great way to get stock, or even just ―turnkey‖ your Amazon bookstore if you have no previous account. All the expenses in the acquisition are something you need to organize and work out before you purchase the store. Carefully check out the store, its stock, make sure that the stock is good, has a real resale value, and keep careful cost controls on what you are doing here. Buying a bookstore from a ―serial Amazon entrepreneur‖ might be a good way to get started, but go into the transaction with open eyes, and a solid hand on the checkbook.

Professional organizations
There are a number of professional organizations that are worth checking out for your small business. While many of them do not provide direct business support, they are great for keeping track of what is happening in the book business world. These groups can provide a lot of support for a new bookseller, as well as provide a social group so that sellers can share best practices, as well as discuss issues that are altering the sales of books.

National and International organizations
American Booksellers Association (ABA) is the national trade association for independent booksellers — since 1900. ABA offers education, services and products, advocacy, and relevant business information. Look below for a selection of this month's key news and programs. Their URL is The Booksellers Association (UK) is a trade association we represent over 4,400 retail outlets. Shops in membership range from large chains to small independent booksellers. The BA provides a wide range of products and services, which are all designed to assist members in the smooth and efficient running of their bookshops. Their URL is Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America - Since 1949, the ABAA has been promoting ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade in America. ABAA also promotes these values internationally; through our affiliation with The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) Their URL is

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The Association of Christian Retail – the CBA is the trade association for the Christian Retail Channel, serving the interests and meeting the needs of thousands of member Christian stores. These stores provide Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards, children's resources, and other materials to their communities across the United States. Their URL is Independent Online Booksellers Association - IOBA was founded in 1999 by a group of concerned online booksellers. When the internet began to take on a life of its own around this time, and several pioneer used/out-of-print/antiquarian book search services opened their electronic doors for business, the booksellers who were really their partners in this new venture were thrilled with the results, as were our customers. Even at this early date, however, it became obvious that we needed to reconcile the wonderful efficiency and relative anonymity of online selling with the importance of maintaining traditional values. Forming a trade association gave us an opportunity to address the key issues of establishing trust between bookseller and book buyer, helping to train future generations of new booksellers, advocating for our members, and acting as a clearinghouse for information. Their URL is Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC). The ABC is a national membership association that offers a support network for professional independent children's booksellers who share the goal of encouraging quality and service within the children's book industry. Their URL is

Local State Organizations
NCIBA the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) is a trade organization dedicated to supporting, nurturing, and promoting independent retail bookselling in California. With over 500 members, including nearly 300 booksellers, the NCIBA has been an experienced provider of services for over two decades. Organized as a mutual benefit non-profit corporation, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association is led by a 15-person Board of Directors that includes four officers and two associate representatives from the publishing community. Officers serve two-year terms, while Board members are elected for one to three years, with elections held each spring. Their URL is Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association they are a local organization that helps independent books sellers in the Pacific Northwest Region. Their URL is Midwest Booksellers Association. Their mission is to strengthen Midwest independent booksellers and their partnerships within the larger bookselling and publishing community by providing opportunities to network and exchange information, educational programs, and tools to sell books to their customers and to grow a vibrant book culture. The Midwest Booksellers Association (MBA) is a regional not-for-profit trade association formally established in 1981 to promote locally owned and operated retail

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bookstores and support professional independent booksellers throughout our region. Their URL is There are many other local organizations, your SBA or Google can help you find booksellers associations in your local area.

Know and Use Amazon Best Practices
Amazon has a series of seller best practicesc that make it easier on you and on them. It is always a good idea to follow the best practices of the place that you are doing business with. Amazon does want you to be successful, because your success is their success in terms of generating more fees for them. Reading and following the best practices is highly encouraged. This is what Amazon recommends you do for various self-support processes for sellers at Amazon. They state: Listing Items and Inventory Management  Update your online inventory daily to avoid stock-outs that may occur when an Amazon buyer purchases an item from you, but you no longer have that item on hand. Making updates is especially important if the inventory you are selling on Amazon Marketplace is also for sale through other venues. Before pricing your items, research prices for comparable products on Amazon Marketplace and make adjustments if necessary. If an item has been listed for more than 30 days and has not sold, check your pricing to make sure that it is competitive and make changes if necessary. The Vacation Settings feature may take up to 36 hours to remove your listings and another 36 hours to restore them. During this period, listings cannot be modified or deleted. Because of this, we don't suggest using this feature to remove your listings from the site. Read more about using this feature by visiting the Seller Account and Preferences help page.

  

There are more good tips and advice at Amazon seller‘s best practices at this URL One other good bit of advice that Amazon offers up is to get in touch with the sellers community. The seller‘s community is there to help you, and has a lot of very good advice from years of selling. The Amazon seller‘s community goes back to 2000, meaning there are many years of good advice, thoughts, success, and failure stories on the site. It is well worth reading before you get started. In the thread ―Thread: 25 Vital things to know for New Sellers aka THIS AIN'T EBAYci‖ makes for some very interesting reading. If there is ever a description of the Amazon system, how it works, and what the approaches are, this one file is your most important resource. There are threads like this that help establish the ground rules informally that sellers tend to believe in and try to follow. Of course, you can always step outside of the 89 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

written rules, but in the longer run, you will have to deal with the informal culture at Amazon amongst sellers. When joining a new community there are going to be growing pains, but if you treat this like a community, and you learn to integrate yourself into the community, you will have more fun, be more successful, and learn from others mistakes. The key to Amazon success is know what you are doing, fit into the culture, obey the rules, provide excellent customer service, buy low and sell high. Any company regardless of where they are, in a physical store, or selling on line can always benefit by knowing their customers, knowing what sells, and making money.

Growing Past Amazon
At some point, you will be making enough money to think about what happens next. You have become successful on Amazon, you make decent money, or you live off your sales, sometimes living very well. The question is what you want to do next; you have enough money to do something else. This question directly relates to what you set out in your vision statement and how you put together your goals for your company. Once you make enough money, you might want to consider opening a physical store. Your Amazon experience is invaluable in helping you understand the book business, where to get supplies, books; you have already established suppliers, and a business that is running smoothly. It might be a good idea to take the plunge and open up your own bookstore on a street corner. There are a number of very good reasons for doing this. 1. You will not need to abandon on line sales, if anything the on line sales should be coving a good proportion of the physical location 2. A physical location opens up a whole new way to sell books, store inventory, and manage the business 3. You can buy more books, and get a steeper discount from your suppliers 4. Your customers can actually come, visit you, and talk to you about books, as well as dropping off books for store credit or money. a. You will be able to take in other people‘s books, meaning fewer trips to book fairs, book sales. When new inventory comes to you, you have a bigger say in how it will be paid for. 5. You can more fully realize your potential, and if worked out right, you can open up more than one store, and realize more benefits in discounts on books or other media When you start to grow past Amazon, and make enough money on Amazon consistently, you might want to consider opening up a physical store. The physical store can significantly help you gain exposure, sell more books or media or whatever your product line is. If your Amazon store is large enough, you might be able to cover most if not all of your physical stores costs and expenses. The good part is that Amazon can help you here 90 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

as well, by setting up your web site, pro-merchants account if you do not have one already by this time, order fulfillment, and a host of other services that will make a dual on line off line store much easier to manage, maintain, and be successful with. Running a bricks and mortar book store is a good way of leveraging income and still continue to grow. At some point your on line store will reach a plateau point, where it seems that no matter what you do, you will not go over a certain amount of sales. That plateau point is difficult to break through. When you are still small, a 3% increase in the sales of books is meaningful and easy to do. When you have a million dollar store on Amazon, 3% growth is much harder to accomplish. By diversifying into a physical store, you have more places to store your inventory, and opportunity to grow into a bigger presence in the community. There are excellent books to read on how to run and open up a physical store. The best way to get good ideas on what you would want out of a physical store would be to visit all the local bookstores that are in your area. Independent book stores and chain stores all have the design, layout, and product placement that works for them. You can take the ideas you like best of how those stores are laid out, and incorporate the best ideas into your own bookstore. If you want a warehouse feel like Half Price Books, or a crammed to the rafters old time feel book store like left bank books, or the modern warm comfortable feeling of a Barnes and Nobel. Using the best design elements of stores you already visit to help build your own store is always a good idea. There are some excellent resources out on the internet and in books on the issues surrounding physical bookstores. If you are selling on line, you are already comfortable with competing against larger competitors. If you sell on Amazon successfully, you have already competed against a very large bookseller, namely Amazon. the world of physical bookselling is no different. You will be competing against other independent booksellers in your area, and the big chain stores like Barnes and Noble and Borders. You have already won the battle against the big chains, survived, and grown to the point where you are ready to take on something bigger. Some good resources for finding out about opening a physical store are:     Fab Job - Open Your Own Bookstorecii American Booksellers Associationciii Rebel Booksellerciv opening a bookstore list of bookscv

If you need a seminar, or want to take training on opening a bookstore, you might want to review Paz & Associates seminarscvi on opening up an independent bookstore. There is always an opportunity in the retail world that you will not get online. Rather than building in Amazon overhead into your prices, you can actually take that Amazon commission home with you when you price your books in your physical store. That 3.45 91 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

that Amazon takes adds up over time, which is a cost that owning a physical store you will not have to worry about in your pricing model. There are many advantages to owning a physical store, and you should carefully plan on how you want to approach this, and how best you can succeed.

End Thoughts
Selling books, music, videos, indeed anything on line can be rewarding, in some cases significantly rewarding. Understanding the system that Amazon uses, as well as how to run a business successfully, is the intent of this book. While much of this book relies on my own experience with Amazon, as well as information from the Amazon Sellers community, you can be successful with your store as long as you understand what you are getting into. There are far too many stores in the Amazon system that startup close every month. These store closures can be voluntarily or by Amazon action. If you open up an Amazon bookstore and start selling on line, regardless of the venue, you should be looking at this as not just work, but something that can be fun to do as well. You own experience will vary, some will read this book, make a lot of money, and write their own book. Others will flame out because they did not organize right, found out that it was work and they did not want to work, bought stuff that will never sell, or could not maintain a satisfactory level of customer service. What you do with your own online bookstore is your business, I hope that this book helps you be more successful selling on any on line venue, but especially successful on Amazon.

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Appendix A – Case Studies
Having examples to work from to help solve some problems that you will have with your store is always helpful. These case studies are pulled from real Amazon stores, to help you work out how you would approach similar problems. You may not have these problems, and you may have different solutions to the problems that are encountered. The idea behind these is to help prepare you for some of the things that other Amazon sellers have done to work out issues that they have encountered with their Amazon store, or how they have tried to be differentiated in a market place that is crowded with other sellers.

Amazon Store Case Study #1
Grading Books properly as a market differentiator This seller has decided to try a different approach in differentiating their products within the Amazon System. By stating that they are properly grading their books, and that they understand the grading structure, they are telling customers that they get the whole grading criteria. They will not rip you off by over grading a book; they give you an honest price for an honest book. From a marketing viewpoint, and given the crowding that happens in some book categories, this can be the one thing that throws the sale over the top. This might be the one item or issue that provides customer confidence in the seller that might lead to the sale of a book. As a marketing tactic in a crowded environment, and if the customer reads the description (which they are not required to do, and some customers will not), this could result in a sale that would have otherwise gone to someone else. What makes this marketing differentiator not work though, for this particular seller is that going through their feedback, grading does not seem to be their issue. Their negative feedback is more centered on service 1 out of 5: "This vendor sits on the orders for at least a week before coming around to shipping then uses the slowest delivery service possible. If you want you items cheap and are patient, use them. If you want it in a reasonable amount of time use somebody else."

3 out of 5: "i wish the books could have arrived together, but they came and on time and in fair condition."

2 out of 5: "Not happy w/ purchase numerous attempts to communicate have failed."

1 out of 5: "This book was not ever delivered."

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3 out of 5: "My order was canceled by the seller prior to shipment without any direct communication with me. The money was refunded. Again, no direct communication.. The only reason given in Amazon's refund confirmation email was account adjustment, whatever that means. My guess is the bookseller realized the item had been listed at too low of a price, and decided to back out of the transaction."

Overall, their feedback scores are excellent in the 95% range. However, they may be fighting the wrong battle here. What they want to do to clear up the negative feedback is to check their shipping and handling practices rather than focusing on grading. Grading can remain a marketing differentiator, but their problems are more centered on shipping and handling.

Amazon Store Case Study #2
Excessive gaps between High Low Price for a book can be an important issue to notice when someone does not know how to price a book, or that the book has no definitive set value. While the natural tendency of sellers is to price on the high side in cases like this, pricing on the middle to low side will help you move inventory much quicker than people who are priced too high for the market. Buyers set the price on what the books value is, if you are priced too high, it will be difficult to meet that price point in the buyer‘s eye. The reason for shopping in the ―Amazon used book store‖ is to get a deal. If you are priced incorrectly for that bargain-hunting viewpoint, then you will have books in inventory for a very long time. Excessive gaps between the high low prices can confuse a customer. If you find yourself listing a book where excessive gaps exist, it is best to shoot right below the middle point depending on the actual book, it sales rank, and how many are actually listed. A good price for this book in any condition would be between 7.99 and 9.99. You will look like a reasonable price, and odds are likely that your book will sell quicker than anyone else‘s on the list because you appear honest. This is an entry where the gap is more pronounced, for similar or same grade. A good price for this would be to come in with what your book is graded more on the lower side of the listing. Most of the other books in this listing are going for under 10 dollars. These sellers will have their books on inventory for a very long time, while lower priced and/or better quality copies come into the listing and sell quicker than someone who is grossly overpriced regardless of condition. Other books in this listing for new are 9.99 to 11.99.

Amazon Store Case Study #3
Store floundering, some stores get no appreciation from their customers, and will most likely get shutdown by Amazon eventually. Some theory suggests that feedback scores do not necessarily influence shopping behavior. What is noticeable though is that shoppers will tend to go for bargains no matter what the score is unless the bargain stops looking like a bargain. However, people do check feedback, so if your store if 94 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

foundering, you need to work out how to address the problems if you want to stay in business. The store below has an issue with shipping the product that they are delivering. While they have few feedbacks, 1/3 of them are negative, and all center around how their products are packaged for shipping, or color issues between the image that is presented to the customer, and the color of the actual product. The store can take care of the packaging issue; the color issue is harder, and outside of the control of the store to fix. 2 out of 5: "Didn't receive the goggles I ordered, was a afrid to return them because I thought they'd send out the wroung product again."

Seller Response: "if we sent you out the wrong goggles, let me know!! i can send you out the right ones, you just have to let me know! my email is XXXX" Date: 3/5/2008 1 out of 5: "Item arrived late. Outer shipping box was smashed and the product box was squashed open. The item itself appeared OK. This company doesn't know how to ship. They put the product box into a larger box with no packing material. They are idiots. I will never buy from them again. NOT RECOMMENDED."

Seller Response: "I‘m sorry about the shipping, sometimes items get banged up through ups. at least the item that you purchased was ok. if there is a problem with the item let us know, and we can do something about it. all you have to do is email me at email address removed‖ 1 out of 5: "Poor communication....Horrible customer service when contacted about my order. To top it off....they gave me the, "didn't you get our email?" excuse...."

Seller Response: "I‘m really sorry that you had a problem with us. if there is anything that we can do to make up for your inconvenience, let me know. sorry again. you can contact me by emailing me at email address removed‖ 2 out of 5: "had bad scratch on board."

Seller Response: "im really sorry about the scratch, sometimes things get a little banged up during shipping. hopefully after a couple of rail slides you won‘t notice it anymore."

The seller is making an attempt at working out the issues that the customers have noted in their feedback. By packing their products for shipping better, they can avoid a good many negative feedbacks. The only way to fix the pictures issue is to upload your own picture and use it. Use neutral light (day light) to make sure that the colors come out. Do not over 95 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

photo shop your picture, as that will tend to make the colors different. The other issue is going to be the purchasers monitor. If you go to best buy and look at the computer monitors on display, every monitor brand shows colors differently, and this can lead to an unhappy customer. There is nothing that can be done for something in this instance, as it is the manufacturer‘s issue, not the sellers and not the buyers.

Amazon Store Case Study #4
Telling off a buyercvii This is a case study around what would you do. For one moment of indiscretion on the part of a seller telling a buyer off, the seller will spend the weekend wondering if they are going to get shut down by Amazon. Bad feedback happens, bad buyers happen, people thinking they are going to get some kind of steep discount happens. You should already know how you are going to handle bad feedback, bad customers, and generally bad moments that you will have in selling books on line anywhere. While this case study is focused on an Amazon seller, realistically you can have this experience anywhere, on line, in a physical store, or on the street. Read the posted story on Amazon Sellers Community ―Told off a buyer today, probably gonna get suspended Posted: Mar 8, 2008 8:34 PM‖ and work out the dynamics of the seller and the buyer. This is the important part, is how each side feed on each other to create a very bad situation for everyone all the way throughout the original problem. Understanding the dynamics of what is happening with situations like this. Negative feedback happens, have a plan on working with negative feedback, and customers who will randomly do things. Realistically the seller should have capitulated on the AtoZ claim, and written off the book. Rather than getting into an argument with the buyer. Amazon is going to find in favor of the buyer in this case mostly because of the flurry of emails that were sent on the issue. It is human nature to want to get angry, in this case it can cost a lot. The seller should have apologized for not seeing the emails (even if they never got them) and blame it on spam filters or some other technology that the buyer will believe. Spam filters on email systems sometimes means that people will not get an email at all, never see it. Tell them you will fix the spam filter in the future and thank you for pointing out this issue. Then get down to business, your end goal should be as close to a happy customer as possible. Offer to refund the cost of the book, send them an envelope to send the book back in that is self addressed and stamped. If you are making positive steps rather than sending flame mails, odds are likely that the buyer will be mollified, their ego taken care of, and you end up with them possibly working with you. It does not matter who is at fault, as your only market differentiator is ―customer service‖ no matter how nasty the customer is. With some work, you can turn around bad 96 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

transactions, you may never want them as a customer again, they may never want to buy from you again, but at least you made the right steps in trying to make the transaction right. Losing your temper, and sending flame mails, no matter how satisfying for the moment, can turn an already potentially bad situation into something worst.

Amazon Store Case Study #5
The repricing gamecviii This thread is something that all sellers who use automated repricing programs should carefully pay attention to. It is not unusual for a real live person to play this game to drive your cost per book down, by using the automated responses from an automated repricing program. If you use an automated repricing program, read this posting. Dangerous repricing game Posted: Mar 7, 2008 4:33 PM This is interesting because the seller is talking about manipulating prices for other sellers by continually dropping his price until everything is a penny, then raising his price. Eventually at the end of the story, he has raised his price and pushed out a couple of ―morals for other sellers‖ about the dangers of automated repricing programs. What you can do about this as a seller. The seller in this article used the automated repricer program against people who were using the tool. You need to maintain positive control over the prices of your books, and make sure that you are always selling books at a profit. Some sellers will use systems against other sellers to help drive them out of business. You can refund the book because your automated repricing system put it at 1 penny, but too many refunds will get you banned from Amazon. Be careful when using automated repricing programs, they may not be worth the longerterm cost of using them.

Amazon Store Case Study #6
Anticipating the negative feedbackcix. Sometimes you know that the negative feedback is coming, you can tell when a customer is not happy over what they purchased, as they will sometimes tell you first via email. It is very important to check email daily when selling on line, it is your lifeline to your customers, and can help you dodge a negative feedback. This includes going through your spam mail. Uh Oh, here comes a neg. Posted: Mar 8, 2008 7:21 PM 97 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

What you can do about this. Of course, the buyer was thinking they were going to get a huge deal, if not being able to flip the book for a thousand dollars because of a ―stupid seller‖. The buyer in this case was surprised they got what was in the listing, and not what they thought it was going to be. Odds are likely that the buyer was thinking ―greed‖ while the seller was being honest. This is one of those times that offering the refund on return of the book can help offset the buyer‘s idea of what the book was, against the reality of the actual book.

Amazon Store Case Study #7
Shipping expensive itemscx. When you have a very expensive item, it is always a good idea to carry insurance and extra protection on the item. This is always worth your while to do when shipping expensive items. While it might cost, the cost of a refund, or an AtoZ claim that will make you lose the entire transaction is much more costly. Before I send this $120 book. Posted: Mar 8, 2008 9:29 AM What you can do about this situation as a seller. If you have a very expensive book, it is always a good idea to ship it accordingly. You want the transaction to go through, and you want to have as low a hassle as possible with the buyer. In this case, and in cases of very expensive items, it is always a good idea to send with signature. Amazon recommends this procedure in their seller‘s documentation. Products(s) Shipped without Tracking A seller will be liable for a not received claim if Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) has passed and the order was shipped without tracking information. This policy will apply to all orders, including those shipped by media mail. Product(s) Shipped with Tracking – In Transit If a product is not delivered by the end of the EDD range, and tracking information shows an expected delivery in the near future (and the product was shipped by the promised ship date of two business days from the order date) the claim will not be granted and the buyer will be asked to wait for the product. The seller will not be liable. However, if tracking information does not show expected delivery in a reasonable timeframe, the claim will be granted and the seller will be held liable. This will apply to packages lost in transit as well. Product(s) Shipped with Delivery Confirmation Tracking – Tracking Shows Delivery and Buyer Claims Item Not Received

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The A-to-z Guarantee team will investigate the dispute. Amazon may contact the buyer to confirm non-receipt. If no receipt is confirmed, the seller may still be held liable for lack of fulfillment - Amazon will not cover service errors, including loss, theft, or postal/shipping issues. Amazon will, however, continue to protect sellers from fraudulent buyers and A-to-z Guarantee abusers. Product(s) Shipped with Signature Confirmation Tracking – Tracking Shows Delivery and Buyer Claims Item Not Received If the name on the signature confirmation matches the buyer, the A-to-z Guarantee team will deny the claim. If signature confirmation does not match the buyer, the A-to-z Guarantee team will deny the claim and ask the buyer to follow-up with the individual that signed for the package. Guarantee claims for packages that are signed for by a freight forwarder or an agent of the buyer (e.g. receptionist, family member) will be denied. However, if an investigation determines that the customer did not receive the order due to a shipping error beyond his or her control, the seller may be held liable. We anticipate that this would be a very rare occurrence. The changes to our A-to-z claim handling policy are intended to hold sellers accountable for shipping reliably and to enhance customer trust in the marketplace. How sellers can reduce the risk of an A-to-z Guarantee claim There are three simple ways to mitigate the risk of an A-to-z Guarantee claim for item not received: 1. Ship promptly and use a shipping method that ensures reliable delivery before EDD. 2. Ship with tracking information and provide this information to the buyer. 3. Ship higher priced items with signature confirmation tracking and/or insurance. What you can do about this situation. You can take good steps to help cut down on high priced and expensive items being caught up in an AtoZ claim. Following the Amazon approved steps is always a good idea on expensive items. It is worth the extra money to make sure you are not issuing a refund on goods that can wipe out a profit margin.

Amazon Store Case Study #8
Arguing with customers via feedback. One of the worst things that a seller can do is argue with a customer in the feedback channelcxi. Anyone can see the feedback that is posted, this means that both the buyers responses and the sellers responses can be seen on line. If you get into an argument in 99 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n A m a z o n

public with a buyer, it will always look bad for the seller, and make people want to avoid doing business with you. As a seller on Amazon, you are expected to be professional in your interactions with customers, both good customers and bad customers. The examples below come from the sellers community thread ―Thread: No wonder 3P Sellers get a Bad Rapcxii‖. The seller‘s community noticed that this kind of issue, the arguing with customers in public happens far too often. Some of the other examples of arguing with the customer are. 1 out of 5: "I give this outfit a zero. I ordered a dvd which was in stock and never got it. I contacted the seller again through Amazon, was given a reply, it is in stock, they don't know why I never got the dve..................well I am still waiting. I recommend that you do not do business with this seller."

Seller Response: "100% INCORRECT Buyer was sent his item and didn't even inquire about it before leaving a negative- AVOID AT ALL COSTS!" 1 out of 5: "This is not the movie that I requested nor was it advertised as such. I was expecting the version that has been shown on CBS for about the last forty years. Instead, I received an older, animated version of this movie which included additional Christmas cartoons. Since I'm currently serving in the Middle East, it would be too much trouble to return the item."

Seller Response: "A) What you do for a living or where you're serving has nothing to do with being rude B) It was obviously a mistake, had you contacted me first I would have fixed it but now you can enjoy your movie as I do not respond to negative feedback" Date: 12/7/2006 1 out of 5: "I was sent the wrong item, and had to send it back. I'm still waiting for the correct DVD."

Seller Response: "I sent it to you, there is only so much I can do. If you would contact me instead of leaving a negative I would be much more apt to help you" You never want to get involved in a situation like this. If you find yourself getting bad at a buyer, it is time to back away from the computer and go do something else. There will always be bad buyers, but as a seller, it is your job to keep customers as happy as possible. Not all buyers or sellers will have good days, and usually you can talk someone out of a bad or negative feedback.

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Appendix B - Other remainder book companies
Most of the companies in this section are niche, have prices that are hard to make good buying decisions about, or have very small inventories. They are still interesting to look at, and might have a book here and there that is worth looking at. Stores that carry remainders and hurts has undergone consolidation over the last few years, these sites may or may not be inexistence when you go checking. This is one of the reasons that it is very important to have more than one supplier. Other Remainder book companies Remainder books are a great way of getting stock, and while the book focused on three primary remainder book companies there are others out there. This list is accurate at time of printing, but with many remainder companies coming into the business, and many going out of business, it is always a good idea to make sure that these companies still exist when checking them out. Readers World Wholesale Reader's World Wholesale Phone: 419-281-5952 Fax: 419-281-3847 E-mail us at: No publicly available list of books that they carry. Has a login gate where you have to email them to get a password. JR Trading Company 732-329-3500 The only way to get hold of them is via phone or e-mail. No Internet available listings, so the quality or quantity of books is not readily discernible. Great Jones Books 102 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n Amazon

Has a publicly available list of books available to see what they have in stock. They have a minimum buy of 100 dollars. You will need your resale certificate to use this site. Prices are high in comparison to other remainder book companies on line. Fairmount Books Email: Fairmount Books Inc 2316 Delaware Avenue, Suite 454 Buffalo, New York 14216-2687 Telephone: (905) 475-0988 Fax: (905) 475-1072 Has a minimum buy of 150 dollars, with discount applied at time of sales (your shopping cart will show 300 dollars). Prices are high in comparison to other remainder book companies on line. Bradley's Book Clearance The site looks worn and outdated, with minimal inventory on line. Prices are high in relationship with other remainder companies on line. They state: Bradley's Book Clearance is a wholesale distributor of hurts and remainders. We carry over 3000 titles in 24 different subjects, as well as sideline items such as journals, bookmarks, and dvd's. We also carry a wide variety of raw skids, most of which are untouched from the publisher. Computer Bench P.O.Box 66821 Phoenix AZ 85082 Fax: 602-522-8720 Prices are extraordinarily high in relationship to other on line remainder book suppliers. Small selection of books to choose from. 103 | S e c r e t s a n d T i p s f o r S u c c e s s f u l l y S e l l i n g o n Amazon

Bargain Books Wholesale requires a minimum purchase of 3 copies per title and a minimum order total of $150. Customers must be a registered business or non-profit organization (libraries, schools, etc). US businesses and organizations are required to provide a Federal Tax ID number to establish exemption from sales tax. S&L Sales Company Ph: (800) 243-3699 Smaller selection of books across a wide range of genres. Prices are in line with other remainder bookstores.

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i pe=10003#D10K_HTM_TX14752_8 ii iii iv v vi vii viii ix x Domain tasting is the practice of a domain name registrant using the five-day "grace period" at the beginning of the registration of an ICANN-regulated second level domain to test the marketability of the domain. During this period, when a registration must be fully refunded by the domain registry, a costbenefit analysis is conducted by the registrant on the viability of deriving income from advertisements being placed on the domain's web site. xi xii xiii xiv xv xvi xvii xviii xix xx xxi xxii xxiii In June 2008 when this was noted, Amazon was selling Web Store by Amazon for a monthly fee of 59.99 and a 7% commission. Depending on when you purchase this book, that price might change, as Amazon sometimes offers specials and discounts on their services, or might raise rates depending on market conditions. xxiv xxv xxvi xxvii xxviii xxix xxx Lurking – To lurk in a forum or community means that you are watching what is going on, but not necessarily participating in the conversations. Many people lurk in the forums, and just follow along with what others are talking about on the board. Some come out and ask good questions, some ask questions that fall into the ―taboo‖ subjects, and are flamed on the board. xxxi xxxii xxxiii xxxiv xxxv xxxvi Noob or n00b is a derogatory term for a new person on a thread, forum or business. xxxvii xxxviii

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The spelling and grammar is as seen on amazon. No attempt has been made to clean these comments up, and is indicative of the quality of the comments you will see. xl xli xlii this is the prohibited items section of the Selling at Amazon Polices and Agreements, community rules, Market Place seller offences and prohibited content. xliii is the URL for the company. They carry an interesting collection of books from about 300 different publishers, and have both books and some media. xliv is the URL for the company. They carry books, and audio books on cassette and CD. xlv is the URL for this company. xlvi is the URL for this company xlvii xlviii xlix l li lii liii liv lv lvi
lvii 5550&rankBy=10001&start=0 lviii lix lx lxi lxii lxiii lxiv lxv lxvi lxvii lxviii lxix lxx lxxi lxxii lxxiii is the main site for abe books. lxxiv lxxv lxxvi lxxvii lxxviii lxxix lxxx The spelling and grammar is as seen on amazon. No attempt has been made to clean these comments up, and is indicative of the quality of the feedback comments you will see. lxxxi lxxxii

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lxxxiii lxxxiv lxxxv lxxxvi lxxxvii lxxxviii Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to wholesalers, who then ship the goods directly to the customer. The retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price. lxxxix
xc ling_homebase_2_3.htm xci xcii xciii xciv xcv xcvi xcvii xcviii shows the current shipping rates, with an expected increase in postage rates at USPS, this table is subject to change. xcix c ci cii ciii civ cv cvi
This thread was cleaned up for grammar, spelling, and readability. cviii This article was cleaned up for grammar and spelling. cix This article was cleaned up for grammar and spelling. cx This article was cleaned up for grammar and spelling. cxi cxii

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