Many people are looking for ways to make extra money on the side. The problem is that most of these options take a lot of time and effort, so they don't actually work out. If you want to start making real money online, then there's one option that will always be available, selling your used items on Amazon.
Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the USA and arguably the world. The sales volumes just on Amazon alone far exceed any other (such as Etsy and Walmart) with plenty of households having an Amazon prime account.
Putting your used products on Amazon is a great way to start making some money while building up the cash flow you need for your own private label branded products.
To take advantage of this huge online marketplace, this guide will show you how it's done step by step.
By following this simple process, anyone can turn their old stuff into cash in no time at all. We'll cover everything from where to find great deals on used products (hint: garage sales), through to listing them for sale on Amazon to become a bestseller.
So with that being said, let's get right into it.
Sign Up For an Amazon Seller Account
There are two different types of seller plans that Amazon offers. Individual and Professional.
Individual seller plans are free and recommended for those selling under 40 units per month. If you're not sure what you want to sell yet and don't plan on advertising on Amazon or use their advanced selling tools then this is the cheapest way to go.
You only get charged a fee of $0.99 for each sale you make.
Professional Plans, however, offer more perks for a flat monthly fee of $39.99. Both levels contain prices that are automatically taken from your revenue according to what kind of product you are selling.
The product management dashboard helps you organize your inventory, download customized business reports, save product templates and measure performance through customer metrics.
Professional Plan users can also get access to additional categories that individual sellers may not otherwise get.
A great feature for sellers is that not only can you use the dashboard on your desktop but also on the Amazon Seller mobile app which is perfect for when you're on the run.
To get started you will need to supply Amazon with personal information about yourself and your business. These include your business name and tax address along with your contact details.
Amazon may also ask for additional information from you such as your passport, national identification card, any credit cards you have, and bank account statements for additional verification so make sure you have these documents handy.
Pro Tip: When scanning your identification documents to upload, make sure it is as clear as possible and takes up the whole space. There are a lot of applications that Amazon receives per day to become sellers and from my research, it appears as though a computer is scanning them. It will then try to match the data you have put on your application, so don't be distressed if it takes you a few attempts to get verified.
This verification process is primarily geared towards regular people because it makes you recognizable and prevents people from opening multiple accounts which is strictly against their terms of service.
Be aware that I am not a lawyer. Nothing in this posting should be considered legal or tax advice. My recommendation is to consult with a professional who can find out your personal situation for assistance.
What Categories Are Eligible to be Sold as Used on Amazon?
Amazon only allows certain products to be advertised as "used" which is for a good reason. They want to assure consumers that their product is safe, authentic and that it meets the expectations of customers. This is where Amazon differs from the eBay marketplace where you can sell whatever you want with a smaller amount of restrictions.
Product Categories on Amazon
Products on Amazon are grouped into categories and then often into subcategories. There are over 20 main categories that Amazon calls "open". This means you don't have to ask permission to market the product.
However, there are certain categories (and subcategories) that require authorization from Amazon before you can sell a product within that specified category. Only those with professional accounts can get approval to sell products in “gated” or restricted categories.
Here are the categories you can currently list used items in:
You can't always sell used or previously bought goods. When listing a pre-owned item for sale you should specify the condition within the item description, ensuring a positive customer experience. It is routine practice to list something as a condition below what you consider it is.
The conditions are as follows:
For example, when you are describing the condition of your particular item and you think it's "like new", then list it as "very good". The reason behind this is that it creates a positive experience for the customer who will have lower expectations of the item.
Once it gets delivered and the item is in a better condition than they thought, they will be even happier and hopefully leave you a raving five star review.
Something to be aware of however, is that Amazon are very observant about the type of products they allow on their platform and many items are actually restricted. It's normal to think that almost anything can be listed on Amazon but this isn't true.
The restrictions vary from state to state so it is not wise to just list any old item.
You can check Amazon's list of restricted products for more information. If you are still uncertain, it is best to ask Seller Support first before trying to list something that may be restricted and gets your account suspended indefinitely.
Where can I find used products to sell on Amazon?
There are a few options for cheap used items. Discount stores, thrift shops and bookstores are a great place to start your search. You can also check online discount sites like Ben’s Bargains or other discount eCommerce websites that sell their inventory at discount prices.
You'll have to know where to look in order to get the discount bargains but you can find more undervalued goods at garage sales and flea markets. It all comes down to product research.
If you focus on the value of what you're purchasing rather than the price, you'll be able to get a better deal. Make sure that you have a keen eye and are familiar with the present market value of what you're buying so that you can accurately evaluate your savings. You may then be able to sell it on Amazon for a higher price than what you paid for it.
Many items that would otherwise be purchased by consumers are instead sold in discount stores or resold by resellers ahead of time, allowing them to discount them first. You may find potential profit this way by keeping an eye out for bargain shops and discounts providers.
How do I list used items for sale on Amazon?
When you post a new product on Amazon you might not have to create a totally new listing. Instead, you enter the product details under one already available for sale with the condition “used”.
As an example I will be using is this leaf blower.
From the picture above we can see that you can sell this product both new and used. Once we click on it to get further information we see this:
This is a good sign. It gives you a good price range of current products listed for sale and their current condition so you can market your item similarly to compete. The price at the very top shows you who has the current buy box.
Now we know the item can be sold as used and we are happy with the price point it’s currently getting, we can go into Seller Central and put up our listing.
Once you’ve logged in, hover over “Inventory” and then select “Add a Product”.
You’ll now be taken to a page to put in your product’s ASIN.
To find the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) scroll down on the product page all the way down until you get to the product description.
Once you put the ASIN in you’ll be taken to the next page. When you’re here on the right hand side make sure you set the condition to “used” and then select “sell this product”.
From here is where you will need to put in your condition and select the most appropriate one for your item. Remember it is better to select the one below which you think applies to your item.
Then lastly, input any conditions such as marks and scratches that are visible. Try and be as accurate as possible. You don’t want the customer to find these all out when it gets delivered to them.
You’re trying to maintain a good review rating to increase your sales when you sell future products.
How do I Sell Pre-Owned and Certified Refurbished Products?
Amazon Renewed encourages any new seller or small business to list pre-owned or restored products that satisfy Amazon's criteria. Not every seller is expected to qualify for this program. Typically these rigid conditions only come from high-performing sellers.
This helps Amazon get certain merchants selling similar products of good quality that are also trustworthy. The program is meant to ensure that the items are authentic and are high quality and have been certified refurbished or restored.
Amazon has strict criteria for sellers to follow if they want their items to be included in the Renewed program. This is an example of the best practices to follow as a seller:
The Key to Success is Starting With Existing Products and Brands.
For new products, Amazon has two major strategies - market arbitrage and wholesale selection. Wholesale has accounted for more than $550 billion in recent sales in the United States alone.
It could take between two and three months from when you are a complete beginner to the time it takes to try wholesale.
However, anyone can follow this strategy and make a profit from the very start rather than investing thousands of dollars just in order to get onto the Amazon marketplace. For this you only need to put an existing product on sale and then drive online sales to get to the next stage of your business.
Be sure to do your research though on how the seller fees, referral fees, and shipping costs impact your ability to sell items at a profit.
How to Sell Used Items on Amazon FAQ
Short answer is yes, but there are some conditions for certain Amazon categories. In order to sell secondhand items you must either list their item as "used" or follow the rules according to the Amazon Renewed program and its policies.
Additional categories that may require some form of approval or has stricter guidelines include:
On the product listing it will show you who provides the shipping. “Fulfilled by Amazon” also known as Prime Shipping or Amazon FBA, means that the product has been stored at an Amazon warehouse and will ship from there.
A third party seller who makes a sale then gets the item picked and packed from the nearest Amazon fulfillment center who will then ship it to the customer. Amazon takes care of its shipping with its own shipping label so you don’t need to worry about it.
However, for this service Amazon is paid a part in any proceeds from the sale. You will find some things on Amazon that aren't shipped or sold by amazon and just like eBay, entrepreneurs can sell their own products on Amazon without the company being involved in sales or delivery. In this case when an item sells, you can’t take advantage of Amazon’s customer service which includes taking care of returns and refunds.
If you joined up on an individual account, you don't have to set up a whole new account if you want to start selling under a professional account. You can simply upgrade your current Amazon account to a professional one by following the steps below:
Log into your amazon seller central account.
From the drop down menu on the upper right, choose "Settings". The page will show you a menu of choices.
Choose "Account Info". This will open up the account page. Scroll down until you see a box on the left that says, "Your Services".
Click on “Manage”. This will take you to another page which currently lists which accounts you can upgrade to Professional. Click on that link and amazon will take you to the amazon professional seller page.
Finally, follow the steps that Amazon lays out to complete the professional seller account upgrade.
The key to being successful on Amazon is to start selling online with existing products and brands. By following the best practices for selling used items, Amazon sellers can drastically increase their chances of success.
The good news is that anyone can follow this strategy to gain a foothold in the market without having to invest thousands of dollars to start up an Amazon business and it can all happen within just a few hours. All that is required is that they buy products at low cost to save money initially, put them for sale, and then drive customers to buy to keep moving forward.