How to sell books on Amazon: Get started in 3 easy steps

Remay Villaester (May)
15.09.20
6 minute read

If you're looking for an extra source of income, selling books on Amazon is a great way to start. You might think that it's a complex and complicated process, but it’s not. In this article, we’ll look at how to start selling books on Amazon. We’ll also take a look at how to save money on your sales using TransferWise for Business.

Let's get started!

1. Create an Amazon Seller Account

To start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to set up an amazon account. If you have an existing customer account, you can use it to log in but you’d still have to set up the seller account.

Before you can open an Amazon Seller account, you should have the following information handy:

  1. Location, name, phone number and type of your business.
  2. UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) number for your business. It’s a 10-digit number. It might just be called ‘tax reference’ which you can acquire when you register for Self Assessment or set up a limited company. You can find it on your previous tax returns and other documents from HMRC.¹
  3. A driver's license, passport, or some other means of identification
  4. Your credit/debit card details for the monthly subscription for £25.
  5. Your bank account details for receiving payments from Amazon. If you’re going to sell internationally, consider using TransferWise multi-currency account to reduce the cost of receiving your money and take advantage of the real market rate when you can convert your money to your local currency.

Amazon will have to verify your tax and payment information, which can take several days. So, don't expect to start selling immediately when you create your seller account.

You might also be asked a few questions about your Amazon store and the product you're planning to sell. Some of the questions you need to answer are:

  • The name of your Amazon store
  • If your products have UPCs or not.
  • If you are the manufacturer or brand owner of the products you sell
  • If you have a registered trademark for your product.

Once these questions are answered, click next.

  • Finally, you’ll be asked to confirm the address that you entered when filling your personal information. If the address displayed is correct, the new school will pop up telling you that you will receive a postcard at that address with a verification code. Whenever you receive the code, enter it in the field provided, and click next to conclude the verification process.
  • And that is it! You can start selling on Amazon.

Now that you have a store where you can sell, it's time to look for books to sell.

2. Get books to sell

If you're going to sell books on Amazon and make a profit, you need to know where to get books that people will love and at a rate that would still provide you with a decent profit. Here are some of the most popular methods to get books to sell on Amazon.

Sell your own books

If you have a lot of old books in your house, you can start from there. Look around the house and see if you have any old books lying around that are still in good shape. They could be textbooks, novels, or even old comic books.

Books Sales

Book sales are another great way to find books that you can sell on Amazon. However, it can seem like a treasure hunt, as there might be many books that might not provide a profit. A good way to separate books that will sell well from those that won't is to use a barcode scanner, and then using an app, cross-reference the book with the BSR (Best Sellers Rank) and the lowest sale price. This information will tell you if the book is worth buying or not.

Online Arbitrage

If you don't feel like going out, you can check other websites other than Amazon for books at low prices, then buy from them and resell on Amazon. Websites like Craigslist or eBay can be good sources of books at affordable prices, which you can then resell on Amazon for a profit.

Wholesale/Bulk Purchase

You can also buy lots of books online at low prices when you buy in bulk. Once again, Facebook, eBay and Craigslist are some good sources of used books that you can resell.

3. Start selling

Once you have the books to sell, and you’ve created an Amazon seller account, it's time for you to start selling your books. To sell your books, you have to decide how you will fulfil your orders. Amazon has two options:²

  • Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): This option allows you to pack and ship the books directly to the customer by yourself. It is a lot of work, but if you have the time, resources, and a strong distribution channel, it can work for you.
  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): With this option, you will be shipping your books to Amazon's fulfilment centres, where they will store your package. When you receive an order, they will pack the books and ship them to the customer. Although you have to pay an additional fee for this, it's a wonderful option for new sellers or those who don't have the time to pack and ship orders personally.

The next step is to list your books for sale. Thankfully, this can be done under a minute or two. All you have to do is input the ISBN and pick from the results that show up. Your books should mostly be listed on Amazon already, which means you don't need to create a new product listing.

After finding the book, go to your listings and choose “Sell on Amazon.” You’ll then be redirected to a form where you have to enter:

  • The book’s price
  • The number of copies available for sale
  • The condition of the book

In case the book is not listed on Amazon already, you have to create a new listing for it. This can be quite time-consuming as you have to take high-quality pictures and write a proper product description. Once you've done all this, click the “Save and Finish” button, and your book will be listed on Amazon Marketplace.

Can I sell them internationally?

Selling internationally is one of the advantages of using Amazon - best way to reach more customers. To sell internationally, All you need to do is select the option in your seller account, and you'll be able to sell internationally.

When you sell internationally on Amazon, you can actually get paid in your UK bank account, as long as you have your IBAN and SWIFT code. However, this exposes you to the exchange rates lower than the mid-market rate that banks and Amazon offer. This is because they add a mark-up on top of it to cover the conversion cost. There is a significant margin added by the payment platforms/banks, sometimes up to 6%. This means that you pay 6% more than you actually should when converting your money.

To avoid this, consider using TransferWise Multi-currency account. This account allows you to receive international payments in EUR, USD, AUD and NZD for free and lets your convert your money at the real exchange rate. TransferWise will save you a lot of money on exchange rates and transfer fees for a small and transparent fee that is 14x cheaper than PayPal.

There are many other ways that Transferwise helps you save money when you sell internationally on Amazon.

  • The TransferWise borderless account means that you can open virtual accounts and hold money in over 28 different currencies.
  • Transferwise also gives you a credit card that you can use anywhere while enjoying the incredibly cheap exchange rates and transfer fees offered by Transferwise.
  • If you have suppliers overseas or payments in a different currency, you can take advantage of TransferWise real exchange rates at a low cost.
  • Link your transactions to Quickbooks or Xero for easier tax reconciliation.

Start saving today with TransferWise

Sources:

  1. gov.uk - UTR number
  2. Amazon Services - Fulfilment

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location