By Greg Holden

Suppose your business has a pile of recently published books or DVDs around (books or DVDs that are being sold on Amazon.com) and you need to sell them. You can sell those items yourself by adding them to Amazon.com’s marketplace.

Click the Sell on Amazon link at the bottom of any Amazon.com page, and you go to the Amazon Services part of the site, where you can find out how to add your inventory. It then shows up in individual product listings next to the price of the featured product in a small link such as “Used from $9.99” or “New from $19.99.”

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In this example, the featured product (the one that shows up in Amazon search results and has photos and product details) is known as the one with the “Buy Box.” The products offered by other sellers are the same ones but they may or not be in new condition.

For many sellers, adding to the Amazon marketplace in this way is easy to do and an excellent venue for those who sell mass-market items as opposed to one-of-a-kind handmade goods or other niche items.

Suppose you purchase a book and you’re so happy with it that you just feel compelled to sell it so that others can share the wisdom contained within. Here’s how you sell it:

  1. Go to the Amazon.com home page and click the Sell on Amazon link (under the Make Money with us heading in the middle of the screen, near the bottom of the home page).

    The Sell On Amazon.com page appears.

  2. Click one of the two Start Selling buttons, depending on whether you want to be an individual or professional seller.

    If you haven’t yet signed in to your Amazon.com account, you will be prompted to do so and then asked to create a seller account.

    Individuals sell fewer than 40 items a month for $0.99 per sale plus other selling fees; professionals sell more than 40 items per month for $39.99 per month plus other selling fees.

  3. Choose the category you’re interested in (in this example, the books category) and enter the name or ISBN (the number on the back cover, just above the “zebra stripe” code) of the specific item you want to see; then click the Start Selling button.

    The sales page for the item appears.

  4. Click the Sell Yours Here button on the right side of that page.

    The Sell Your Item – Select Condition page appears.

  5. Choose an option from the Condition drop-down list to describe the condition of your item; add some text that describes the condition, if you want, and then click Continue.

    The Sell an Item – Enter Price page appears. This page includes the important information about Amazon.com’s fees: You’re charged $0.99 plus a 6–25 percent fee for each item you sell.

  6. Enter your price in the Price box and then click Continue.

    Make sure that your price is at or below Amazon.com’s own price.

    The Sign In page appears.

  7. Enter your Amazon.com e-mail address and password. (You can use the same password you use to make purchases or sell as an Associate.) Then click Continue.

    The Registration page appears.

  8. Choose a credit card from the list (or enter a new card name and number) to identify you and then click Continue.

    Another Registration page appears.

  9. Enter your nickname and a daytime phone number and then click Continue.

    Optionally, you can enter checking account information so that Amazon.com can deposit purchase money into your account. You can skip this step for now.

    A Confirmation page appears.

  10. Click Submit Your Listing.

    The Your Listing Is Complete page appears. In addition, Amazon.com sends an e-mail message confirming that your item is now up for sale.

If your item doesn’t sell within 60 days, Amazon.com closes your listing, and you pay nothing. You receive an e-mail with details for relisting the item if you want.

When you list in the marketplace, Amazon collects the sales price and shipping costs from the buyer, deducts a “referral fee” of 6–25 percent of the sales price, a variable closing fee, and a per-item fee of $0.99, and then passes along the net proceeds along with a specified shipping credit based on the item you sold. The $0.99 per-item fee is waived for Pro Merchant Subscribers.

You can become a Pro Merchant once you sell in volume on Amazon and it becomes worthwhile. You pay $39.99 per month, but you get access to software that helps you list in bulk, and you can compete for the Buy Box.