I am a just starting out as a used book seller on amazon. I am trying to figure out how to price my books both competitively and profitability. Some people have told me to always match the low price for the item (granted the low priced item is in the same condition as the one you are selling). I have also heard that you should set a price you are comfortable selling at. What do experienced book sellers think on this matter. What are the best pricing strategies?
The best pricing strategy is a good buying strategy. A strategy which avoids buying books which oversupply drives the prices down to unattractive levels, while balancing that against the amount of time a book will remain in your inventory.
I’m rarely the lowest, often the highest priced offering, and hardly ever selling books which are common enough to have multiple pages of offers.
A strategy of being the lowest price is often coupled with inadequate condition description information, and pathetic profits.
I have a minimum price… $5 for a book that cost me nothing and for which I don’t have to buy special packing supplies. Then, when I go to post the book, I skip over all the listings of sellers who have less than 90% positive feedback and who don’t take the time to describe their books or describe them accurately (i.e. Book may have highlighting or a book listed as like new but that is missing the dust jacket). I also go by what others are selling theirs for that are in the same condition as mine. If there are say 4 copies of a book, in roughly the same condition as mine, by sellers with decent feedback, and they range from $15 to $20, I’d probably price mine at around $18. I also price so that my copy is on the first page of listings. If I can’t do that, then I don’t sell it on Amazon.
If you follow the advice given you the books will sell well, but there won’t be
much profitability in it for you. That would be a waste of your time and efforts.
As a beginner try to price your books in the middle of the pack, until you gain
more experience. Your books will still sell, just not as fast.
The key is not so much in the pricing, but more in the type of inventory you
invest your time and money in. As such, try to find books that the others don’t
carry. Leave the “wheel spinning” to those who are after a quick buck.
Finally, when sourcing your inventory, treat it as though you were buying it
to keep for your own private collection. Of course you are not going to do that.
But, its a mind-set kind of philosophy that works. At least, for me.
It is very hard to list at the lowest price even if you are just matching the lowest price. In most cases sellers with repricing software will not let you maintain the lowest price. You can sell for a little more than the lowest if your description is detailed and straightforward.