Managing the Inventory You Sell on Amazon

I just love summer.  Most people think that spring-cleaning is done in the spring. Not for me: I do mine in the summer. “Why?” you might be asking.

Here in Atlanta come early May, it can simply too hot to go outside, especially between the hours of 3-6 PM.  In Spring, the weather is beautiful, the earth is awakening, and the temperature is mild and cool. That’s when I want to be outside – all day, every day.

The summer solstice is 4 days away and I thought I should mark the occasion by starting my summer cleaning.  I was going through all the books I found around the house as I was decluttering.  I find them in the strangest places: cupboards, drawers, the garage, the bathroom, etc. Yet, somehow I always manage to find them.  (I think I’m like a book magnet!)

Since I sell almost every book I have on Amazon, I’m very careful to make sure all the books are in pristine condition. That is usually the case – except for books I have kept on my unfinished, wooden book shelf. The edges have a tendency to curl up and a few ‘dings’ may appear.  If this is the case, I still list them as new (that’s one of my selling strategies); however I put in a notation about the flaw.

Some would ask if it’s wrong to list a book with cosmetic flaws as ‘new’: I don’t think so.  In my opinion, a never read book is new.  If the only things wrong are cosmetic flaws, it’s nothing you wouldn’t find in a regular bookstore.  At a retailer, you will find the same thing. Yet, you would never even think of going to the counter and asking for discount because of shelf ware. Even if you did, the chances are slim to none you would get a discount.  How is that different from what I’m doing?

In only one case has someone contacted me about the condition of book they purchases from the inventory I sell on Amazon.  Because I am so careful about the condition before it leaves my hands, I feel this buyer was over reacting to a small thing.  However, I offered to refund the shipping for his order ($3.99) and he was happy with that solution.

To avoid having this happen in the future – books not leaving in perfect condition (or as close to perfect as possible), I am now putting all my books in large Ziploc bags.  This not only keeps the dust off them, but also ensures that the edges remain crisp and clean.

Now my only concern is with two of our 6 cats who LOVE to eat/lick plastic. My solution: to take advantage of the space I have in one of our 4 bathrooms that is never used.  I’m going to move in a small, non-wood bookshelf and use that for storage for all the items I sell on Amazon.  In fact, I may just put all my shipping supplies and in there as well.  This appeals to the decluttering bug in me: it will get things organized and out of the way, but still convenient.  Sometimes people who want to sell on Amazon think they need a warehouse for storage when you don’t.  That kind of inventory is more in keeping with the big kids on the block!

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