We are No Longer Selling Books as Amazon Marketplace Sellers

Books for Sale

It’s official, we are no longer selling books on Amazon.  For those of you who didn’t know, we have been selling books on Amazon in the Amazon Marketplace (those are the used and new books you see when Amazon is sold out or when you just want to buy the same book Amazon sells for $39.99 for $.01) for years.  Yesterday we sold all our remaining inventory, some 4,000 used/new books in one large bulk sale to a buyer in Texas.  For Deb and I, the books had become (as Andy Stanley put it last week) the old sofa that no one wants to get rid of because it has always been there.

We started selling book on Amazon at the same time we were full time eBay sellers (eBay lost out as a viable place to sell as a business long long before Amazon) back in 2005, and sold full time on Amazon in 2006-2008, and it was some of the hardest work, most laborious, and in the end least profit making work I can ever recall doing in my life.  It came at a time when Deb and I needed to work from home, needed and wanted to work together, and many blessings came our way over those years of selling books online.

Over our selling life on Amazon, we sold over 9,000 books at a retail price of $65,000 (that’s not as much as it sounds when you divide by 3 years and then start thinking profit margins), kept a high feedback rating, and learned a lot about hard work and to appreciate what we were given.  Not much different than what we gained and learned from our previous businesses we started and ran together, except that this particular one took over our entire house top to bottom.

Amazon Marketplace Seller

After running several small businesses over the past 10-12 years I have come to understand that each business or product has a defined life cycle, especially when you are running very small self made businesses.  Products come in and out, jobs, customers, and life in general, has a lifespan or timeframe where some things work well.  The key is to know when it is time to move on and get rid of the old sofa.  For the books, yesterday was that day, and we were both thrilled.  There were many many reasons, but knowing it was indeed the right time to let it go was a good feeling.

Anyone that wants to know the inner workings of selling on eBay or Amazon feel free to drop me an email.  Combined I think we have about 12-15 years experience selling on both platforms and we lived and breathed eBay and Amazon, so we do know our way around.  We certainly know how to get in trouble with big brother, and how to survive when the rules get changed (and they always do).

Our online selling life was great, and really is always something we think about no matter what we are working on or doing.  In those years, we managed to:

  • work together 24/7, netting 20,800 more hours spent together
  • fought off fraud
  • and copyright infringement issues
  • fended off domain landsharks
  • had $300,000 in sales without making a profit
  • sold alongside corrupt competition
  • continually fought customer theft
  • avoided a few lawsuits
  • didn’t sue a few times when we could have
  • were falsely accused of anything and everything
  • Witnessed to many (I hope)
  • were praised and awarded
  • ridiculed
  • made some great friendships
  • ate at a huge unknown number of restaurants
  • filed for our own patents and trademarks
  • never clocked in once
  • travel to every state in the country
  • live in a bus, apartment, house, tent, campground
  • lived in Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Alabama (and many others)
  • filled approximately 250,000 orders
  • counted approximately 2 million crystals
  • imported products from Austria
  • invented our own products
  • worked for a competitor
  • took 50,000 product images
  • went through about 30 computers
  • used miles and miles of tape, boxes, and packaging
  • cried, laughed, bled, and cherished every second

Thankfully for us, now, we have both moved on to a new chapter in our lives together and it doesn’t look like there will be much online selling involved, and that’s a good thing, because I am exahusted.

11 thoughts

  1. Your bullet list is testimonial to a job well done. No certificate or degree on the wall can compare to the living experience gained. I’ve been doing eBay sense the mid 90’s and moved into Amazon selling in 03. It’s only a one person, part time business on my end but it has been quite interesting. I feel so blessed to NOT have learned some of the lessons you have learned on your bullet list. Although it sounds as if you could offer some sound advice for others who may face some of the legal challenges you have. Look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Dawns last blog post..Are you smarter then a first grader?

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  2. Hi Scott,

    That was an amazing post and one I can totally relate too. I too did the whole ebay thing followed by moving onto Amazon. I’m still on amazon but things are slow and certainly more part time than what I had on eBay.

    Working on these large marketplaces always starts out soo exciting and after having left eBay I was so pro Amazon, thinking it didn’t have the dirty games, changes of rules and problems that eBay was suffering. Oh how wrong I was and how quickly I learnt that all of these multi-national money crunching marketplaces are the same.

    There really is no regard for the individual seller, it’s all just a numbers game. Statistics which if you end up on the wrong side of well you’re done!

    I’m really interested in what you’re up to now 🙂 Anything interesting ?

    Zee

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    • @zee thanks for your comments, it’s a tough business for sure… I’m working for a local church in Auburn doing their IT stuff, along with photography and seminary, so once we left I never really had any regrets about no longer being an ebay or amazon seller. 🙂

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