The shelf life for electronics grows shorter as technology hurdles us towards faster, bigger, brighter gadgets. As someone who stays current with technology, I quickly realized I was accumulating old electronics and needed to sell them in order to fuel my consumption. Naturally I turned to eBay and Craigslist, two giants of Internet transactions. But after spending some serious time with both, I realized they weren’t right for a few reasons:
1. eBay’s strength lies with specialty or collectors items. For standard consumer electronics, I was not getting a great return from my sales. Also, while their seller system is highly organized, it is difficult to build a solid reputation and conduct high volumes of sales without at least 50-100 individual feedback scores.
2. Craigslist is best for large items that are difficult to ship or move. The market is much smaller than eBay, thus there were less bites on each item I sold. Also, there is no organization of buying/selling, which can make transactions a headache. There is also the sketchy factor that comes with having to meet the seller face-to-face.
Disappointed with both, I turned to Amazon.com, the consumer giant with a monopoly over e-commerce and dominance in cloud computing (more and more companies run on Amazon servers every day). Surely if they had mastered buying online, they could shed some insight on how to sell.
They do. The key to selling success with Amazon is that they allow you to create a “Business” without writing up any paperwork -dont worry, you won’t need to get anything notarized. Instantly I went from your average individual seller to “Green Mountain Electronics” – a seller name that could function as an actual online retailer. This is what happened next.
1. I began listing items under my business “Green Mountain Electronics” and found sales rapidly increase over eBay and Craigslist. For all customer service, I was simply Brent from GME, and customers had more faith in me instantly.
2. While feedback was important, it became easier to sell without substantial history. Because Amazon’s “One Click” mentality has earned consumers’ trust, potential buyers did not hesitate when they saw different seller name.
3. People treated me as an actual “brick and mortar” business: repeat customers asked if I had certain things in stock and I could buy and re-sell to make it work.
4. Shipping was easy: most items could be picked up from my doorstop by USPS or UPS and I had no difficult with items reaching their destination on time.
Creating a seller account on Amazon will open the door to more sales. It’s demanding and you will play by Amazon’s rules: if you don’t message customers back within 24 hours it will hurt your seller rating. But if you can keep it, the rewards vastly outweigh the risk.