Getting started selling in the Amazon Marketplace is easy. You probably already have most of these items on hand already. If money is tight, buy small quantities to get started (envelopes, tape, bubble wrap for shipping) to help economize during your start-up phase. Later on you can buy in bulk and save money. You will need:
A computer with Internet access – If you're reading this you probably already have your own computer. You'll need it every day for researching book prices, list books for sale, and check for email notifications.
Shipping envelopes – Large brown manila envelopes sized 9 "x 12" and 10 "x 13" work really well to ship most books.
Bubble wrap – Protects the books from damage in mail. You can buy a small roll of clear bubble wrap these days at many discount stores for about $ 5 to get started. This will save you money vs. buying bubble wrap envelopes and help you ship items that you might wind up selling on eBay or on other online sellers websites.
USPS Confirmation Delivery slips – These are available free from your local Post Office. They are the green and white slips that have a peel-and-stick adhesive at one end. Ask for a stack of 50-100 to get started.
Black ink pens – Have plenty on hand for addressing packages, Delivery Confirmation slips, shipping labels and making notes for yourself.
Pencils with erasers – Many libraries and some thrift shops will go through the process of marking the inside front cover with a price in pencil before their sale gets started. This price is usually $ 1, $ 2, $ 3 – and you'll need to erase this evidence that you got a terrific steal on this book when you're selling it for 10 times what you paid for it!
Scissors – For trimming up mis-taped parcels and cutting down cardboard packing protectors for supporting thin booklets or paperbacks. Also, you'll need these to cut up the bubblewrap you will use to protect books during shipment.
File folders – Use up some old manila file folders you were going to get rid of anyway if you do not want to buy new ones, which cost about $ 5 for a small package. Trim these into two pieces, one to protect front of book and one to protect cover cover of book, once you slide the book into the shipping envelope to provide extra protection to your parcel.
Clear heavy-duty shipping tape & tape gun – You'll need the tape gun and 2-3 rolls of clear tape to get started. You can buy the smaller plastic tape dispensers for about $ 3 each if you're short on cash.
Cleaning supplies – You probably already have these in your kitchen: paper towels, small clean brush, warm water. Do not use cleaning sprays to remove stains from books or the dust covers. Most times you can put a small amount of warm water on a paper towel, swipe it across the glossy dust covers, and restore a clean shine to the book dust cover.
Bookshelves – Needless to say, this business inventory tends to take up lots of room, so set away a bedroom or a cool, dry place in your home that has low humidity, away from windows that sweat to prevent damage to the paper in the books, and invest in or build some shelving to hold your books.
Work Table – Yes, you can use your dining room table, but having a designated work table like a long folding table that can be stowed away in a utility closet is a nice way to get an assembly line going for (a) listing books and (2) packing books for shipment.
Mobile Smartphone – OK, I'll admit that this is optional. Most cellphone smartphones will take a big chunk out of your monthly budget. But when you use the phone's internet web browser while out shopping to pull up competitive prices, you'll know for sure if you've found a winner or not within seconds, so there's no second guessing.
Account Set-Up – You will need a business checking account to have payments direct deposited into your book sales. Ask at your bank for a free debit card to go with account, and you will not need to write many checks out of this account. You can use the debit card to make the purchases you'll need to start and operate your bookselling business. Other business needs are:
You will need a credit card – You will need one for Amazon to confirm your sellers account the day you get started (it does not get charged again after that).
You will need a phone number – Home number or cell phone number that Amazon will use to send you a confirmation call or text message to confirm your identity when setting up account (this phone number does not get published on your online storefront unless you want to put it there – and I'd recommend against that.
You will need a valid email address – This is where you'll send messages and receive book sale notifications and to check email notices regarding returns. I'd recommend getting a new Gmail account, and keep your business and your private email accounts separate.
Check with your city zoning department – While it boggles my mind that some cities restrict home businesses, it happens. You may need a business license in your town. You will not have customers or supplier sales reps coming to your home, and unless you¡¯re having UPS pick up large quantities of your books to ship to the nearest 'Fulfilled By Amazon' (FBA) distribution center, your neighbors probably will never notice you even run a home based business without you tell them.
Now that you know the essential items you'll need to get started selling used books on Amazon, it's time to get busy sourcing books to sell online. It's easy to make money when you stock up on the right kinds of books. Take your time, negotiate for the best prices, and limit your purchases to good condition books. Your home based book store will take time to get up and running, but having the right tools handy starting out will help you get more done in less time as you learn how to sell in the Amazon Marketplace!