Once you have started your Amazon business you will eventually make a sale. This will be a happy day until you realize you have to figure out how to ship the book. Many first time sellers will purchase padded envelopes at the local Office Supplies store, print their email to use as a packing slip and will then wait in line at the post office. Honestly, this works fine. However, you may quickly find this practice both expensive and time consuming. So here are the basics of shipping and some money saving tips.
First, check out Amazon’s instructions on the basics of shipping. Access this information here: Amazon Shipping Read Amazon’s information carefully. It is clear and straightforward and following their basics will keep you in good favor with Amazon.
You will need to produce a packing slip. If you would like a nice looking packing slip for little effort download ASON from Amazon. This is helpful on several accounts. First, you get a nifty little message on your computer when you sell a book. Second when you open the order, there is a button to click which produces a handy packing slip. You can get more information on Amazon’s ASON here: Amazon’s ASON
When looking for shipping materials your costs will vary widely. Buying from a local office supply store will be expensive costing upwards of 50 cents per padded envelope. You can buy in bulk from companies like ULine or from EBay auctions. You can also use boxes or cardboard mailers. One new and exciting mailer is from a company in PA. Their new Mulit-D Mailer will fit many size boxes and needs no other protection. As our volumn has increased we have moved away from our recycled cardboard protectors to these new multi depth mailers. It can be found here: http://packagingcontrolcorp.com/.
If you have a low enough volume you can use inexpensive envelopes and recycled cardboard from boxes to protect books. Of course reusing the boxes is earth friendly as well. Here is how to do it.
Purchase envelopes (9X12 or 10X13 will do just fine and can be purchased inexpensively – we buy 150 from Costco for pennies each.) Next using a box cutter cut cardboard into strips. We cut the cardboard about 1 inch smaller than the envelope. So for a 9X12 envelope we cut cardboard at 8X11. Since we are using recycled cardboard we don’t worry too much about getting this perfect. Save the leftover strips to use as top protection for paperback books. These cardboard rectangles will make the top and bottom protection for hardback books and the bottom protection for paperback books.
You will need to make fold tabs which will “hug” the book and keep it in the center of your envelope for maximum protection. Tape the upper tab together with the lower tab as shown. For paperback books the process is similar, except the top protector does not extend the full size. We cut the top protector the same size as the book as shown.
While very economical in limiting cash outlay, this method is a bit time consuming and will not be suitable for those with higher volumes of books.
Now that your package is ready to be mailed you will want to affix a shipping label and postage. This will be done automatically if you have a USPS mailing program like Endicia or Stamps.com. Otherwise you can write out a label and take a trip to the post office.
Want to learn more about books? Here is an excellent list of links provided by Independent Online Book Sellers Association. http://www.ioba.org/links.html
Here are two forums that will help you learn more:
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