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Best 2014 Alternatives to EBay: Amazon

Have you heard of Amazon?  You’ve heard of it, but that may not mean you’re familiar with its options for sellers, ways it can work as an alternative to EBay.

You probably know that products other than books and DVD’s are available on Amazon, and that couldn’t be more true.  You can sell shampoo, dolls, pens, you name it.

Obviously, the draw of selling on Amazon is its built-in audience.  Clearly, Amazon is as high-profile as EBay, perhaps with more credibility.  If you have access to a pretty huge inventory and are able to sell in large quantities, Amazon very well may be the place for you.

Accounts and Fees

To sell the way a real business needs and wants to sell, you’ll need to set up a Professional account.  Doing so allows you to customize shipping rates, gets your wares listed in 10 categories on top of the 20 available with an individual account, and gives you top placement on product detail pages, with a few other amenities.  One of the biggest benefits of a professional account is that it saves you the 99 cent closing fee for individuals.  A professional account goes for $39.99 per month.

Making Sales and Managing Accounts

Once you get started, you’re given Excel-based inventory files and an Amazon Marketplace Web Service.  These allow you to add inventory—you choose the method.

You can then get sale notifications by your choice of text or e-mail.

Once the orders come rolling in, simply use the Seller Central website to manage various aspects of your account.

Just remember you are responsible for paying shipping fees.

Getting Paid

Amazon provides a service by which you get paid using the information customers have already stored on their Amazon accounts.  You can also customize your Amazon’s checkout experience.  You also have the ability to advertise on Amazon, driving traffic to your website and otherwise promoting your product with great efficiency.

Amazon does as good a job as any online platform of offering a range of customized services.  One of the interesting perks of selling on Amazon is that doing so acquires you a customer-service team.  Your customers are finding the product on Amazon.  So far as they know, they’re buying it from Amazon, and that means Amazon is invested in answering queries about shipping, etc.

In fact, if you want to go the route of the fulfillment center, you actually store your wares with Amazon, and they pack and ship for you.

Amazon is a solid solution for international sales.  You can act as your own shipper after bagging a sale or can go the route of FBA Export.  This hires Amazon as your shipping agent, meaning barriers to shipping internationally are broken.  Amazon does the packing and shipping for you as well.

Another thing to take into consideration is that Amazon, with its large staff and budget, is really good about offering help and education to its sellers.  They in fact serve up webinars, tutorials and other training.

Amazon is one of the granddaddies of ‘em all.  It’s more than worth looking into as an alternative to EBay.