Once upon a time the Amazon website was primarily used for the sale of books. The retailer would offer a vast assortment of textbooks, non-fiction and fiction works for anyone who needed a little extra knowledge about anything. True to their roots, Amazon still has a large Books section and with the introduction of their Kindle e-reader they’ve taken books into well and truly into the 21st Century.
Today Amazon is much more than a one trick pony however, with categories spanning almost every possible item of stock that you could envisage. No need to go tracking around multiple stores online, because chances are Amazon will have it and chances are their price will be reasonable.
Amazon’s Marketplace allows sellers today to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of the incredible reputation that the retailer has managed to build up. You can list your own stock for sale and it will appear on the website almost instantly. It’s incredibly simple to do, and as nine times out of ten you’re likely to be selling something that already exists within the Amazon catalogue you don’t need to bother putting together descriptions or taking photographs as you’ll be able to take advantage of the existing listing.
It’s a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers, and given the convenience of this enormous website it does frequently mean that you, as a seller, can sometimes charge more for an item than you would be able to on a rival ecommerce website.
Let’s consider a few of the reasons why this might be the case.
When selling on the Amazon website you have two choices. As a Basic or a Pro seller you can either go to sell a product that already exists in the catalogue, at which point you can enter your own price to see your individual item appear in a list of Used and New sellers.
With your feedback shown on the right hand side of the page, prospective buyers can instantly tell what sort of condition your product is in, what price you’re asking for and how previous buyers have rated you. It’s a neat and tidy system and it’s just as easy to use the marketplace as the main Amazon website. Buyers will know they’re buying from an individual or other company, but they’ll also know that as it’s going through the Amazon website they should be guaranteed a good experience.
The other option for Pro sellers only is to create new listings within the Amazon catalogue for their goods. When you’re the only person selling an item the name of your shop will appear beside the product in question, however many buyers are unlikely to even notice this, instead assuming that they’ll be buying directly from Amazon.
In the above instance we can see that this particular ladies quartz analogue watch is not actually sold by Amazon, but by a shop called ‘onlywatches’. Although they’ve chosen to sell their stock using the Fulfilment by Amazon service meaning Amazon will package and post the items that are stored in their warehouses, the actual seller here is onlywatches and not Amazon, and that’s where the profits of the sale will go (minus Amazon’s fees).
By listing your items in this way you really can take advantage of Amazon’s reputation, as it’s quite true that many a buyer will make a purchase without even enquiring as to who the actual seller is. This means that, unlike eBay where buyers will commonly seek to check your reputation before making a purchase, you are able to charge a little more just because of the reputation of the retailer through whom you are selling.
Price comparison websites and the like make shopping around online today a doddle, however many less tech-savvy or just exceptionally busy people don’t want the hassle of looking around and checking to see which website is the cheapest for what they need. What they’re looking for is a service that they know and love that comes complete with great reliability and generally a reasonable price tag. That service is provided by Amazon, and it leads to many an individual shopping in the same place for anything that they need purely out of habit.
I don’t know how many people I speak to over the Christmas period, for example, who literally do all of their shopping on Amazon. It saves them battling with the crowds on the high-street, and it saves them time in shopping around and fiddling with multiple shopping baskets on multiple websites. By listing your own stock on Amazon you can take advantage of this habitual nature, and charge a little more knowing full well that many customers won’t bother to check to see if they could get this particular item cheaper on eBay.
Another reason why shoppers of the UK are prepared to spend a little more at Amazon than on another website, even through the Amazon marketplace, is because of the Amazon guarantee. Buying from Amazon yourself all but guarantees next day shipping of whatever you buy, but even marketplace sellers agree to dispatch goods within three business days (assuming there are no stock issues). As a buyer that’s excellent to know because it means you won’t have to wait for a long time to receive something that you might need urgently.
The guarantee is in more than just delivery however. If for some reason you were to make a purchase through the Amazon Marketplace and that purchase was never received you know that you can always go back to Amazon’s own customer service to find out what’s going on. It’s only on rare occasions that this ever needs to happen, but for a buyer knowing that you have the weight of Amazon behind you is a big reassurance when it comes to making a marketplace purchase. Most buyers would rather spend a couple of pounds more for the assurance of knowing that they don’t need to worry about any problems that they might have with their purchase.