Hack 55 Put an Item Up for Bid at Amazon Auctions


If the value of the item you'd like to sell is variable, or if the item could appeal to collectors, you may want to sell it through an auction.

If the success of eBay has taught us anything, it's that people love online auctions. Amazon has their own auction system that provides an alternative to listing items on eBay.

Before listing your item in an auction, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the space in which you'll be posting. Spend some time at Amazon's auction site (http://auctions.amazon.com) browsing the categories in which you'll be listing your item. Check for current activity by noting the number of bids for similar items. If no one's interested in your product area on the site, you may be better off concentrating your efforts on your zShop or Marketplace listings.

When you're ready to list an item, visit the new auction page (http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/auction-new/). Figure 4-9 shows the beginning of a long form overflowing with text boxes, drop-downs menus, and checkboxes. This can look daunting, but don't worry?you can leave the defaults checked for most settings and zero in on what counts.

Figure 4-9. Amazon Auctions "Sell an Item" form

Here are the bare-minimum steps you need to take to speed your way through a listing:

  1. Include an auction title, description, and picture. (Either Amazon can host your image, or you can provide an image URL.)

  2. Set a reserve, which is the minimum amount you're willing to accept, and/or a "take it" price that lets people skip bidding and just buy it outright for the amount you specify.

  3. Enter your zip code under "Selling Preferences."

That's it! Click "Preview your auction" and you can see the settings for some of the fields you skipped. If everything looks OK, click "Submit your auction" and the bidding can begin.

Of course, if you take more time with the form you can increase your visibility and chances of someone finding your listing?especially if you're auctioning something that already exists in Amazon's catalog. It's a good idea to enter its ASIN under "Product Identification," and related products' ASINs under "CrossLinks" toward the bottom of the form. This allows your auction listing to show up on Amazon's standard product detail pages for those items.