May 31, 2007

Hey, where did my listings go?

"I know I listed this but where is it?"
Has this happened to you yet? If not, it will. You will be searching for a book that has sold and right beside it on the shelf is a book that is interesting and you've forgotten about. You pull the book and start flipping through it as all great book lovers tend to do. Then you start wondering if you've even seen it in your open listings lately. You check and it isn't there. What happened?

Don't worry, its' nothing that you have done or neglected to do. Periodically Amazon "accidentally" drops listings and they fly off into cyber space never to be seen from again all the while your valuable book is sitting on the shelf waiting for a good home, collecting dust and ultimately wasting your time and money.

What to do? There isn't much you can do. Glitches happen. But you can do a periodic culling that has two benefits. It pulls dead wood from your shrinking inventory space and discovers all the dropped listing books that are pulling your month end totals down.

Here's how you do it.
It takes two to tango and so it takes two to cull as well. Person one is on your Amazon open listings site and person two is in the closet (or wherever else you store your inventory) The computer guy simply calls out the book titles one by one that are listed on your open listings and the closet guy is marking all the SKU stickers with a yellow highlighter as he locates them. At the same time the computer guy also notes the current ranking on Amazon of each listing, (hidden in your SKU's, of course) compares it with the current price and may yell out "pull" if he deems it a "waste of space." (As we all know the longer a book is listed the lower the price tends to go.) So if it has been listed for a while, even if you have updated your prices, it still may not sell due to decreasing demand or over flooding on the market plummeting the prices to a mere pittance. It is best to count your losses, cull the deadwood and make room for more inventory.
The computer guy then deletes those listings. After all the stock has been called out the sku stickers without yellow highlighting are the lost in space items that need to be relisted and you've also culled deadwood at the same time. There you have it; two birds with one stone!

Another benefit to this method is once a listing has been deleted, an email confirmation is sent to your email box and voila, you now have a donation list and the cost of those books (hidden in your sku's again) for an income tax write off. If you do this every 3-4 months you will stay quite current in your listings and minimize loss of space and income as well.

Happy Book Selling!
Janet Langford