Sunday, 15 February 2009

Do the Thing that Cannot Be Done

That's a note I wrote to myself for last Thursday. Thursdays are the days I'm supposed to work on listing items for sale on Amazon. I've been supposedly working on this since last November; no, that's not right -- I actually set up a seller's account last November. I've been intending to do the Amazon thing with unwanted books and movies for all of 2008.

I had to overcome some huge internal resistance, for some reason I was scared to do this thing. I figure the worst that could happen is that I get it really wrong and I have to refund someone's money and I'm out the postage charges, not that big a deal.

Or someone could sue me, I suppose. I actually heard about a seller on Ebay who was suing a buyer who gave him negative feedback, even though the seller was obviously in the wrong, claiming all sorts about his product that wasn't true. However, his view was that having refunded the guy his money, the buyer had no right to give negative feedback; he was suing because that feedback hurt his business. The buyer wasn't backing down last I read; I wonder how all that worked out.

I'm not in it to make a bunch of money -- Amazon makes the profit, you get pennies after the postage, which they set at I'm not sure a reasonable rate. For each of my listings there are between 11 and 202 other listings at £0.01! I don't recommend that anyone goes to look for my listings, either, as they are not great books, believe me. If they were, I'd be keeping them, right?

There were a handful of books I wanted to list, but they came with various magazines and have NOT FOR RESALE all over them. I resent that, I paid for the darn thing and so I feel I should be able to sell it. Don't think Amazon would collaborate in that though. So they'll go to the pub where we meet after our club runs. They have a book trading scheme on offer. One of the guys, Terry, brought a running book and he's got a betting pool open to see how long that book sits on the shelf before someone trades for it.

Anyhow, I did it -- the thing I've procrastinated on over 50 Thursdays; it's rather satisfying, you know, even though I just made a small start, listing 3 lousy items. It won't be so hard to do more.

They don't make it easy setting up an account, but after about 3 queries to the help desk I got there. The listings aren't that straightforward either: is it the 2003 paperback or the 2004 paperback? Is this the anamorphic version of the the film?? And horrors!!! The seller account listed my full name -- I thought that information was for Amazon, not for everybody!

Fortunately it's dead easy to change your store name (I changed it to ShelleysHouse) why worry over a little negative feedback?


Rick Stone said...

Curious, why Amazon instead of e-bay? Last year I sold a bunch of stuff for my dad on e-bay. He made enough to buy a new computer and LED monitor.

Shelley said...

Hmmmm... had to think about that for a minute. I did consider Ebay as well. I think I chose Amazon because it didn't cost anything to list something for sale. You can remove the listing at any time and it fades out by itself after (I think) 60 days. Ebay will be the next stop for these items. After that it may be the pub -- or the tip. Pleased to hear about your/Dad's success. I'll get there eventually, I'm sure.