Brad Schepp on Starting an Amazon Third-Party Seller Business in a Recession

The following is a guest post from Brad Schepp, co-author of Amazon Top Seller Secrets: Insider Tips from Amazon’s Most Successful Sellers.

Start Selling On Amazon!

The fastest way to make money on Amazon is by re-selling stuff you have bought through the site.

Sound like a lot of trouble? Actually it couldn´t be easier. And listing items is FREE. If they don´t sell you pay nothing.

Amazon keeps track of everything you have bought on the site since 1999. Why not look through the list of items you have bought from past years to find items you can re-sell? What about that DVD collection of Season 1 of NYPD Blue that you just had to have? Well perhaps now it´s just gathering dust on a bookshelf somewhere. The same goes for that book you bought for your book club. Maybe you could use the cash more than the book right now.

Let´s get started!

1) Log into Amazon under your account (enter your email address and password)

2) Click on the Your Account hyperlink on the upper right-hand side of the page

3) Click on View Older Orders under the Purchase History column

4) Sign in again if requested

5) Click on the View Order button to get to the record of your order

6) Click on the item´s hyperlink to get to the item´s Amazon page.

7) To sell an item, click on the “Sell yours here” button in the More Buying Choices box on the right

8) Follow the prompts to list your item in under 60 seconds

To sell items you have bought in other years look for the words “Don’t see what looking for?” at the bottom of the page (from step 3), and use the pull-down menu to select orders from years past.

You´ll need to provide credit card and checking account information so Amazon can pay you. But you only need to do that once. After that you´re set and you´ve become one of the 1-million plus “third-party” sellers on Amazon.

Now, once you’ve exhausted the supply of items you’ve previously bought on Amazon you’re ready to sell items that you source from other suppliers. “Other suppliers” could be one of the following, or more likely a combination of these:

1) Other online sites such as eBay. Amazon buyers will generally pay more for an item that will eBay buyers. If you can purchase, for example, books in bulk quantities on eBay you may be able to turn around and sell them for a nice profit on Amazon. We know, we’ve done it and it’s more than a little gratifying.

2) Retail store closeouts and sales. Some strategies here are to buy at the end of the season, or at going out of business or liquidation sales. Deb, for instance, used to always buy our kids snowsuits and sweaters for the next season in February when just about everyone was tired of the cold weather and stores were looking to make room for spring inventory.

3) Wholesalers. You can buy small quantities of items from wholesalers, but remember that these people expect to earn a profit as well. So the prices you pay will not be as low as they’d be if you went to the source itself—the manufacturer.

4) Manufacturers. It used to be that buying from manufacturers was off limits for most of us. Manufacturers sold to wholesales, who in turn sold to distributors and retailers, and that was that. Things are different now. You can meet up with manufacturers are trade shows and you can strike your own deals, especially if you’ve established an e-commerce business. You can also turn to sites such as, a marketplace for manufacturers and sellers to meet and then conduct transactions off the site.

One final bit of advice about sourcing, which we learned from one of eBay’s all-time top PowerSellers: You Profit When You Buy. It may seem that you make your profit when you sell your item, but first you need to buy it at the right price. We won’t insult you by pretending that doing this isn’t a lot of work. Sourcing consumes a tremendous amount of time for most sellers. The good thing is, as you get your sources in place and your business grows, eventually manufacturers and other suppliers will seek you out.

Once you get your Amazon business going consider signing up for the company’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. Here’s how it works. You send your inventory to Amazon, which then stores it and fulfills your orders as they come in. Of course, there’s a fee involved to participate. But many buyers take advantage of Amazon’s free shipping on orders of $25 or more, or have signed up for Amazon Prime (free 2-day shipping for a $79 annual fee). If you use FBA your customers can take advantage of these shipping deals, which just may make the difference between someone buying from you or a competitor.

Amazon’s third-party business is growing every quarter. Now is the time to jump in and establish your own business on Amazon. You’ll find Amazon to be a helpful and savvy partner.

Brad Schepp and Debra Schepp are the authors of 14 books, including Amazon Top Seller Secrets: Insider Tips from Amazon’s Most Successful Sellers and the popular eBay PowerSeller Secrets. Their work has been featured in publications such as Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, and U.S. News and World Report.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a guest post from Cliff Ennico, co-author of The eBay Marketing Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Reach More Customers and Maximize Your Profits.


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