Selling with Amazon Advantage

Amazon Advantage lets you sell books, music CDs, DVDs and Videos via the online Amazon system. You send in a few copies of your book, CD or DVD to Amazon for them to hold in their warehouse. Your item is fully in their system, available to all Amazon customers 24 hours a day. You pay $29.95/year as ONE FLAT FEE no matter how many items you are selling. So that's a yearly "access" fee. Then, for each item that sells, they take 55% of the list price. You're paid automatically once a month.

Sometimes you'll see that Amazon discounts a book. They aren't lowering YOUR take. They take that discount amount out of their share. So you always get your 45% of the list price, no matter what the end user pays for the book.

Note that your items MUST HAVE UPC or ISBN NUMBERS to list in their system. Read my other pages on how to get that number assigned for the items you wish to sell. If it's a book, it must have an ISBN number. If it's a CD or DVD, it must have a UPC code. The barcode version of the number MUST be on the back of the item itself.

The drop-down box for their add-an-item page lists these categories: book, music-pop, music-classical, VHS and DVD.

When you load an image, it must be at least 500 x 1200 pizels in size, JPG or TIF. The name of the file must be the ISBN number with no spaces or dashes. So for example if your ISBN number is 123456789 your filename would be 123456789.jpg.

If you send in two books, and both sell immediately, they send you a note asking you to send them more. So it's important to note here that YOU are paying shipping costs for all the items to go in TO Amazon. But that would be true no matter what bookstore you wanted to have your books sold in. You would have to get your books to that store somehow.

When you enter a book into the system, in a few days you get an email asking you to confirm that entry. When you go online to confirm it, you are told how many books you need to send them to begin the entry into their system. Usually they start with one :). It's all based on previous sales. They don't want to keep extra inventory, but if you start selling 10 a week, they'll automatically up their orders to you. When you confirm that request, you enter a shipping date. You are supposed to ship them the quantity within seven days. So if you're self publishing, make sure you have one on hand before you enter the book into their system, since it can easily take more than 7 days for a self publishing order to print and get out to you.

Now, keep in mind the finances here. Let's say you self publish a 300 page paperback book through Lulu and it costs $16, base price, for that book to get shipped to you and in your hands. Now you turn around and send it to Amazon for say another $2. That's $18. In order to sell it via Amazon, knowing you get 45% of the final sale price, you would have to have a list price on the Amazon entry of $40. That's quite a lot for a standard paperback mystery or romance novel, that you could get in a store for $4! And again, that's not even getting you a profit. That's just to break even. It really indicates that you have to get that initial book price down as low as humanly possible.

In general, I find the Amazon Advantage system a great one, if only for marketing purposes. It's a great way to get people to learn about your books, CDs and DVDs. If someone searches on "origami videos" - suddenly you show up! That's very powerful on a site which is one of the top sites in the entire web.

Highly recommended.

Amazon's Page on Amazon Advantage

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