Listing books with ISBNs on Amazon is one of the simplest sites you can find to list your books on. Simply search for the ISBN and it will then automatically come back with the title/author/publisher/copyright date and you’ve found the listing to place your copy under. However, if it’s a book that too old for an ISBN (pre-1970) then it’s a little more challenging. In this post, I’m going to show you how to find the Amazon listing to sell your copy under.
The first order of business is to take yourself over to the Amazon’s advanced search page and fill out all the appropriate information. Always put in the last name of the author, title, publisher, binding and date. If you match all of those, you’re golden. If nothing comes back, you’re going to have to create a Product Detail Page (if you’re a Pro-Merchant). If you’re not a Pro-Merchant maybe you can ask one politely to create you a page.
Once you put in all of the required information, you’ll then come to the search results page where, depending on the book, there will probably be more than 1 listing that matches all of your criteria. Amazon HATES this because it makes them eBay-like. They even have crawlers going over their site 24/7 to consolidate these listings but I’m straying from the point here. You’ll see a search results page like this.
Notice my arrows? These are here for a reason. Once you’re at this screen you’re then going to need to pay attention to 2 things.
- Amount of copies under each listing – You are going to see all kinds of listings. You’ll see listings with 1 person fishing for a price (notice the $40 price tag on the 4th one down?), all listings in between and finally the sweet spot. This is where you want to place your copy. Do you think that the listing with one guy is the actual market price? Highly doubtful. That totally defeats the whole “market” idea, right? You need more than 1 person to make a “market”. We need some competition! Search through the pages until you find the listing with the MOST people under it. This is the true market value of the book as competition is present. The price under this listing is 9 times out of 10 what that book is selling for on other sites as well.
- Sales rank of that listing – Now that you have the listing, what if you have a few that are close such as the example above. You have one listing that has 5 copies, one that has 4 copies and one that has 3 copies. That’s not a whole lot of difference, right? You’ll have some fudge room when you run into low numbers like this. Click into each of these listings that you’ve whittled it down to and see which one has the lowest sales rank. This one, more than likely, is the listing that gets the best exposure in the search results when buyers are looking for it.
Once you’ve spotted your golden egg of a listing a number of “it depends” situations comes up. Are you a very small seller that just has a few dozen books? Click the “Sell Yours Here” button on that detail page and Amazon steps you through the process.
Are you using a third party service such as FillZ, Art of Books or your service de jour? You need the ASIN to punch in so that it knows which listing to match your book up to. Copy the ASIN from your listing and put it into your input screen.
Run through your normal process of listing and you’re done! The book should be live.
I hope for your sake that you always get books with ISBN numbers but if you’re a rare book dealer, person that just likes to sell older books or someone that simply can’t find any newer books at a good price this is the post you’re going to want to bookmark.
For anyone currently listing books without ISBNs, how do you do it? I’m sure people have their different ways.
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