Starting an Amazon Book Business (Step 1): Free Account vs. Paid Subscription
So you’re wanting to get into selling books on Amazon FBA, but you’re not sure whether you should sign up for the free Amazon account or if you should pay the monthly fee to upgrade to the professional account (check Amazon’s site for the latest pricing; at the time of writing it was $40 a month).
As you can probably guess, there are pros, benefits, cons, and downsides to either having the free versus the upgraded professional account. Let’s dive right into the info.
The Big Deal about the Buy Box
If you take a look at an Amazon listing—for example, if you’re looking to purchase trash bags—most of the time you are just going click Buy It Now. When you hit Buy It Now, essentially what’s happening is you’re purchasing from the person who has the Buy Box. The Buy Box is the person who is going to get this sale. If you don’t have the Buy Box, your customer will have to go in and look through all the listings and choose you, which is possible, but a lot of sales come through the Buy Box. By having the monthly plan for the pro account, you are actually eligible to receive the Buy Box, which is something that will increase your sales.
Now, if you have the free account, you can’t get the Buy Box. I don’t know if that’s just with books or other products, but with books you can’t get the Buy Box. So that will definitely hurt your sales right there. The Buy Box is one of the biggest reasons why— especially if you want to be selling books on a higher-volume status—you will want to get that monthly plan. It will definitely pay off.
Another reason, if you really want to take this book-selling business seriously, to upgrade to the monthly plan is because when you have the free account, you’re limited to a specific space. Amazon essentially says, “Hey, you only have a free account. We’re only going to allow you to send in ‘this many’ books that takes up ‘this certain’ square footage.” At the time of writing, it’s a space that would fit anywhere between two to 500 books.
For most people, that might not be that big of a deal. Maybe you’re just getting started. You’re not worried about having thousands of books. To be honest, I don’t even have that many books in my inventory. That probably isn’t the biggest deal for you. The Buy Box is a big one though. The limited space may or may not affect you.
Additional Fees May Add Up
The third thing you need to consider is that when you have the free account, you actually get hit with an additional $0.99 fee. For example, say you were to sell 40 books during the month. You’re actually going to pay around $40 additional in fees compared with the person who has the pro account. So once you start to go over 40 sales, you’re definitely going to want to go to the upgraded account because it will make sense financially.
So if you were wondering which account to go with, I hope this information makes the decision a little easier for you.
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