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Selling Lego on Amazon.com

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exciter1    25,984

Can anyone share with me their experiences with selling on Amazon.   I sold some stuff years ago and am now thinking of listing some items on there again.  I know their policies and prices have changed.  I am getting tired of the ebay fees and more the people purchasing on there trying to scam.  I am wondering if it makes sense to sell and ship self, or if there is a way to send them all items and fulfill for you.  What are the cost benefits or lack off from either way.  

 

 

Thanks for any information or experiences.  

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justafrog    1,392

Amazon is generally more expensive (and FBA - Fulfilled by Amazon, where you send your items to them and they ship them when sold, is more expensive still) and more unforgiving of seller errors. That doesn't mean it's not a great place to sell, but read very carefully before you start, visit their selling forums, and be very careful to follow every rule exactly. They don't give many warnings before they revoke selling privileges, and their bans are permanent.

 

eBay's fees are cheaper and there are a fair number of seller protections against actual scammers - what problems have you run into? The biggest problem I have with eBay is the regular and remorseless changes - we list a lot of stuff, so when they require changes in all photos or new item specifics, etc., it means a lot of work for us to come into compliance.

 

Both sites have great traffic and can be very lucrative. In my opinion, Amazon is better when you have a large quantity of a new condition item and you bought it at a price that you can beat everyone else's selling price; eBay is better when you have only one or a few, better for used items or less than perfect items, and better for lots or groups of similar items.

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The biggest problem I have been running into is dealing with buyers receiving a mint box and claiming damaged.  I have dealt with a few now over the last few months that I clearly can tell not the item I shipped.  One even had a sticker on it in the pictures he sent that was not on mine.  I find that ebay protects the buyer more so then seller.  And seems to even side with buyer almost regardless of fact or proof.  Maybe I have had some bad luck, but t does get old discounting items that do not deserve it.  

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Quacs    1,800

The biggest problem I have been running into is dealing with buyers receiving a mint box and claiming damaged.  I have dealt with a few now over the last few months that I clearly can tell not the item I shipped.  One even had a sticker on it in the pictures he sent that was not on mine.  I find that ebay protects the buyer more so then seller.  And seems to even side with buyer almost regardless of fact or proof.  Maybe I have had some bad luck, but t does get old discounting items that do not deserve it.  

 

I would list them New In Sealed Box instead of Mint in Sealed Box.  9 out of 10 buyers are good with NISB, and will typically pay a similar price to MISB.  That last buyer, the one you're courting with your MISB listing, will be very particular about the box condition, especially if its a scammer.

 

I don't list any new sets as MISB - too much risk.

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justafrog    1,392

The biggest problem I have been running into is dealing with buyers receiving a mint box and claiming damaged.  I have dealt with a few now over the last few months that I clearly can tell not the item I shipped.  One even had a sticker on it in the pictures he sent that was not on mine.  I find that ebay protects the buyer more so then seller.  And seems to even side with buyer almost regardless of fact or proof.  Maybe I have had some bad luck, but t does get old discounting items that do not deserve it.  

 

Don't offer partial refunds, ever, on items where you believe you're being scammed. Require that they return the item for a refund instead.

 

If they return an item that isn't what you shipped, report them to eBay and follow all the steps. If you have a good record as a seller, eBay is more likely to stand behind you.

 

There are very few (very, very few) buyers sitting out there in buyer-land holding an imperfect set thinking, "I know what I'll do. I'll buy a perfect set on eBay and then send this bad one back to the seller. Bwah ha ha ha ha!"

 

There are some buyers out there thinking, "I think I'll try to get the seller to give me a few bucks off this item and tell him I want a partial refund". There still aren't many of these (they're very rare in my own experience), but the way to thwart them is to NOT give them partial refunds - require the return. They don't want to return, they want a partial refund, and if you politely require a return, you'll most times never hear from them again.

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redcell    1,124

Personally, I like Amazon much better than Ebay.  The fees are higher, but the traffic is much much better in my experience, particularly if you can reach Featured Merchant status.  However, it is generally better if you're trying to move sets in larger quantities, rather than trying to get the absolute highest price for every set.

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Jeff Mack    4,453

Personally, I like Amazon much better than Ebay.  The fees are higher, but the traffic is much much better in my experience, particularly if you can reach Featured Merchant status.  However, it is generally better if you're trying to move sets in larger quantities, rather than trying to get the absolute highest price for every set.

 

Thats a very good point.  I wonder how many sellers here figure out their business plan to say... I want to make 30-40% after fees, so if I go to Amazon, can I sell more product?  Or are most people.. I am going on eBay, to push 100% profit no matter how long it takes.  Do most of any sellers here really put the thought into what is really the best way to sell your product for the best return.

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Some of the possible downsides of Amazon IMO are (if you are not doing FBA or are not already an established Featured/Pro Merchant):

 

No ability to really distinguish/set yourself apart from the hordes of other sellers (or want to design your own logo?). Unlike eBay, you can't really make your own listing that would stand out in its professionalism, number and quality of photos, etc to persuade buyers to buy from you versus others (except for the Description text box) You are just a seller listed with all the other sellers and most people would just sort by the lowest price and not take the time to look through all the seller feedback, ratings.etc.

 

No ability to offer distance-based shipping costs and/or to charge different shipping than what Amazon says (really just $6.99 to ship a Black Pearl?). Amazon wants everyone to be treated the same so a seller needs to price in the shipping to the farthest location otherwise that 3 lb package you thought was going to cost you $7 to ship will really cost you $15 across the country and then there are people who use an APO/FPO/PO address when you are planning on shipping via FedEx/UPS and you are then forced to switch to USPS which is much more expensive for big/heavy packages if you are offering the "Expedited Shipping" option. On the flip side, when Amazon says that the minimum shipping is $4.99 even for a polybag, your item price can be "less" but then you can have people who may leave feedback that "you" are overcharging for shipping when it comes in a $2.00 First Class bubble envelope.

 

Delivery Confirmation isn't good enough as solid proof of delivery. You essentially are going to need a signature to protect against an A-to-Z guarantee claim.

 

That said, I have to agree with the others that the overall "quality" of customer on Amazon is better than eBay. I have had much less problems with Amazon customers than eBay customers.

 

Amazon fees are higher than eBay but then Amazon makes it "easier" to sell stuff and convenience has its cost.

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Is there any way to see sold item price history on amazon (like eBay sold listing search)? I know I can see all active listings and prices on amazon, but how do you see what third parties are actually selling sold items for?

Also, can you win the buy box if you do FBA but don't have featured status yet?

I have a number of items that I am interested doing FBA for.

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For myself, I hate the buyer from Amazon. I sell most of my part out sets on Amazon. I clearly stated that it's the set only, without minifig and boxes. People bought it and complain about missing box and minifigs. 5/10 of my order need to be returned, because amazon forced me to take the return.  :growl:

 

Clearly, it's not my fault not stated in the comment, but the 80% of the buyer, choose not to read it and complain and as for refund.

 

So, I stopped selling them on Amazon. 

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For myself, I hate the buyer from Amazon. I sell most of my part out sets on Amazon. I clearly stated that it's the set only, without minifig and boxes. People bought it and complain about missing box and minifigs. 5/10 of my order need to be returned, because amazon forced me to take the return.  :growl:

 

Clearly, it's not my fault not stated in the comment, but the 80% of the buyer, choose not to read it and complain and as for refund.

 

So, I stopped selling them on Amazon. 

Amazon is just not structured properly for selling part out sets. You are listing your incomplete set under item that is describing complete set at the product information level. Yes, you list your incomplete set as used, yes you add comment that it is not complete, but in certain use cases, Amazon customer won't even see your comment, unless you click on "details" link. Technically, you have to list your incomplete set as a separate product on Amazon, because in reality, it is a different product.

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When you are the first one creating the listing, can't you set any price as list price?

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Bold-Arrow    10,118
To maintain a great customer experience this holiday season, we are announcing the holiday selling guidelines for the Toys & Games store.

Effective November 18, 2014, only sellers who meet the following criteria will be eligible to sell in the Toys & Games category from November 18, 2014 through the first week in January 2015.

  • Your first sale on Amazon.com must be prior to September 18, 2014. The sale does not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.
  • You must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders from September 1 through October 31, 2014. The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.
  • Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the period from October 1 through October 31, 2014 must be no greater than 1.75%.
  • Your late shipment rate for the period from October 1 through October 31, 2014 must be no greater than 4%.
  • Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% short term as of November 1, 2014.

Orders that use Fulfillment by Amazon will not be subject to the above criteria provided your account is in good standing.

Webstore 1.0 sellers are subject to these guidelines (if you do not have a drop down box with your Webstore name at the top right of the page in Seller Central, then you are a Webstore 1.0 seller).

You can find your cancel rate, late shipment rate, and order defect rate referred to above in the Performance section of your seller account. If your account does not meet the above criteria, we encourage you to take corrective action now so that you can participate in and have a successful holiday selling season.

Eligibility for selling in the Toys & Games store is determined separately for each country. If you sell in multiple marketplaces, your accounts will be evaluated for each country.

We will provide final notification about your eligibility to sell in the Toys & Games store by November 12, 2014. Beginning November 18, 2014, we will monitor the performance and listings of sellers who are approved to sell in Toys & Games during the holiday season. Amazon Services reserves the right to cancel listings, remove selling privileges, and prohibit the sale of specific products to maintain a great customer shopping experience.

Here are some steps you can take to remain eligible to sell in Toys & Games throughout the holiday season:

  • Monitor your metrics and take corrective action when necessary.
  • Utilize Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ship products to customers.
  • Check your orders frequently in the Manage Orders section of your account.
  • Minimize order cancellations; only show inventory for sale that you have available to ship.
  • Ship orders and confirm shipment in a timely manner.
  • Ensure your seller policies are up to date.
  • If you work with outside drop-shippers, solidify their SLA commitments for providing prompt shipping confirmation.

 

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I just was reading this email. This means that any people like myself who just sell a few sets a month will not be able to get in on the Holiday action. Bummer. Do they do this every year?

For hobby sellers, the most difficult part is meeting the "25 sales during Sep-Oct" requirement. To meet this, I typically unload minifigs and polybags during the requirement window. The requirement is for 'sales', but they don't need to be high value items, or even toys. Polybags are easy to store, pack, and ship, and one only needs 3-4 sales a week to meet the requirement. Even if I sell them for a small loss, I easily make it up through the price difference and volume gain during Nov and Dec compared to selling on other channels.

If you don't have minifigs or polybags on hand for this year, plan ahead for next year. Target seasonal clearance and CMF boxes are a good steady source. Friends Animal polybags (which EE had on sale at 30% off earlier this week) are good too. [i miss the days when magnet figs were not glued to the magnets. When they went on sale, they were a home run for this purpose.]

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