Selling books on Amazon


I have never wanted to have to bother with yet another sales platform… and besides, if Amazon own it, I am kinda now reluctant to let them earn any more money from me… Amazon have turned into a malevolent beast treating it’s sellers like dog dirt and so I am certainly not inclined to join another of their selling platforms…


That’s very true… ordinary everyday buyers have no clue. But serious collectors do. I found that out since I’ve been selling the Penguin collectables, and many Penguin collectors look on there, according to what they have said in facebook groups


In general I’d agree, except that in the last few weeks my ABE sales have gone through the roof relative to Amazon. I don’t know why -a tweak in the Amazon system? The inadequacy of their search coming home to roost? The growing effect of Amazon’s “no pre-ISBN” policy? I’m not complaining, they’re much nicer folk to deal with, even if their servers sometimes blow a fuse


Really? Maybe I simply quit my books on Amazon and move them all to Abe then? How does it compare fee-wise? And seller support? Tbh, if seller support is as dire as it is here on Amazon, I still wouldn’t bother…


Food for thought. Has Amazon recently begun promoting Abe?

There is a link to AbeBooks (along with IMDB etc) at the bottom of every Amazon catalogue page.

I would doubt that many buyers find their way there via that route.


Don’t have chapter and verse on the fees, but they’re similar to Amazon’s. Seller support, from my experience, is better than Amazon (well it could hardly be worse!). You might actually get a reply from a Real Human Being


Can’t compete - sell to the big guys. We make loads sell to MusicMagpie, Webuybooks, World of Books etc. Instant cash & free postage label + the prices we get are normally much better than even the profit after waiting months or years for the book to sell. Vintage books are good for us to sell but anything with a barcode is basically best to sell to them. Honestly not sure how long they will be able to keep up the consumer buying schemes - prices seem way too good.


Don’t encourage the enemy!

I’ve found their offers generally derisory.
I frequently sell the same items as they have but for more (usually at least ten times more than they offer). Some buyers appreciate proper descriptions &c.

I suppose it might be a way of dumping rubbish for a few pence per item but I haven’t bothered up to now.


Totally agree. Did it once to get rid of my dross. Not worth my time and effort money wise. Then they refuse to pay for some of them saying they were not received. Funny they all shipped in the same strong box. Just crooks.


Don’t take this wrong but would have not been better off just selling them to the full time trade. If you have not become a book dealer then you are just running down a stock ever dwindling in size and quality. So much so if the best has gone trade will not touch them. You have to be constantly refreshing stock to keep sales levels up. A big problem in the present situation.


But it’s not a fee cut at all in any sense. The only total sales price at which fee deductions will not vary is £4.99. At every other price above and below that fees will increase because of the universal increase in closing fee from 50p to £1.00.


We tried ABE a few years back and it was pretty tragic. I don’t know if it has changed since then but we got out of it after a week. Everything about its selling structure was awful compared to Amazon, and it just did not deliver buyers.


It’s a win win for Amazon no matter how they dress it up. It’s going to be a monthly increase of £60 plus in fees for me. Then if prices at the lower end are forced up and they will be. Then they also get 15% of that.

I charge 3.15 on post so I will not be selling anything under a fiver including postage. So no benefit of any kind to me.


I don’t think the megas win at all. At the basement level of prices it’s a 21% increase in fees for selling at £3.00. To recoup this from the customer they would need to increase their prices by 24p, which is 8%. At the level of the individual book it might seem reasonable that people will still buy at £3.24. However it seems unlikely that at the market level an 8% inflation increase is going to be forked out by customers especially given the state of the economy.

The likely long term plan of Amazon is to massively skew the book market in favour of digital downloads, where they really are the pre-eminent distributor


Well for quite a number of reasons I wouldn’t do that. Firstly because my Dad only collected old and collectable books, and I only want them to go to people who actually want them. Secondly, I still, to this day, haven’t opened up all the boxes yet (probably around 3000 books as yet unseen and 4000 un-researched) so its actually not a dwindling quality at all and there could be absolute gems in there. Only a couple of months ago we found a couple of books that happen to be some of the rarest in the world for that particular series from that publisher, and a couple of years ago found a late 1800s book that was also very rare, gilt decorated cloth cover and worth over £150. Lastly, I actually quite like taking my time with them and the anticipation of what I might find when I open a box!


It’s a win win for Amazon

No its not, my over £4.99 books will all be going over to the popular auctions site instead, I have been gradually scaling up over there and its seems so far sales are at least as good as here. You may have to sell books a bit cheaper there but the fees are less.

I currently pay amazon in excess of £600 PER WEEK


Have you thought of sending your valuable ones to auction ?

I have had a few successes - just one example - a 1st edition Agatha Christie, no dustjacket, bought for 30p in a charity shop about 8/9 years ago, languished on Amazon for all of those years, sold at auction for £350.00.


I agree that a certain auction site is the way to go. I’ve been a lot more active there since I got suspended once. For me being small to medium the rent can be a bit of a problem. They actually work out about the same cost with my volume. However I can see that a large volume seller (particularly lower value items) is going to badly hit on Amazon.


It’s undoubtedly true that this kind of fee rise makes Amazon’s Kindle editions ever more attractive (especially as they are now zero-rated for VAT in the UK whereas before May of this year they were not). Amazon apparently has 80% of the global market in anglophone ebooks and they are essentially pure profit, so even at low prices they make commercial sense for Amazon.

All Amazon does is host a file on its website and auto-send it, and if you host an e-book on KDP you can currently make it available in 13 Amazon country sites (US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Canada, India, Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Japan) - which is 5 sites more than you can currently post a KDP print-on-demand paperback on.

Anyone registered on any of these sites anywhere in the world can order these titles and have them delivered instantly (I am currently in Malaysia - which does not have an Amazon site - and can order Kindles as normal from the UK site). Publishers can also opt to permit Kindle ebooks to be loaned or read for free using the Kindle Unlimited programme.

So, from Amazon’s point of view, cheap Kindle editions may be vastly more easy to distribute and administer than thousands of sellers selling physical books on any particular Amazon site, because Amazon itself hosts those editions.

Unfortunately for readers in the UK, where there is a thriving physical book trade, Kindles are often comparatively sub-standard in format and editing. But they are very popular in countries where it is much more expensive to obtain physical books. As a publisher we have over 100 Kindle books available on Amazon and sales for them are relatively high (as high as for the much more expensive paperback editions, for example).

So I think you may be right. For Amazon, looking at it from a global point of view, the physical book may well be a thing of the past.


Does anyone know if these new fees for books include audio books, e.g books on tape/disc or are these still classed as media products?
Sorry if this has already been asked but it just came to me as I sell quite a few of these. I’ve looked through the threads & can’t see anything relating to this but there are quite a few & I may have missed it.