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Selling Kindle Fire Tablets
Unless you were living under a rock the last two weeks you probably heard about the Kindle Fire sale and Membership Rewards promo from Amazon. It started out as a great sale and then turned into an amazing sale when MilestoMemories broke the news you could actually purchase 40 kindles for “dirt cheap”.
I ended up purchasing 30 when it was all said and done, 20 of which I sold. The other 10 were purchased for personal use or sold to friends and family at cost.
Where I Listed Them
Let me start by saying I despise float and I am seriously lacking in storage space so I wanted to sell these as soon as possible. I realize holding them until the 4th quarter would have been the prudent choice, but it was never a real option for me. Hopefully Shawn can write up how he does with his Kindle sales, if he holds them to sell for the Holidays. Then we can compare and see if it made a difference.
I also despise meeting people for sales so I did not really consider Facebook Local or Craigslist and went with eBay.
How I decided on Pricing
I only ordered 5 Kindles with my first order since I was worried about market saturation (first mistake). With the fear of saturation I went to market as quickly as possible and listed my Kindles minutes after purchase (great decision). Trying to entice people for a quick sale I listed two 8’s at $49.99. The first one sold within 30 minutes. I immediately increase the price to $54.99 and went on to sell another one within an hour or two. These sold a lot quicker then I thought they would. This left me with the dilemma of not being able to ship for two days waiting on my shipment to come in from Amazon. It was also unclear at this point if Amazon would cancel duplicate orders etc. This made me hesitant since I didn’t want to have to cancel a whole bunch of sales if Amazon canceled my orders. I decided to stop selling until I got the shipped notification from Amazon (2nd mistake).
By the time Amazon sent me the shipped email the market had been flooded and the prices dropped some. If I had kept selling I would have been able to keep it at the higher price, but you live and learn. I was also focusing on the Kindle Fire 8’s at this point thinking they would bring the better return (3rd mistake).
Throughout the week I continued to place orders as more Kindles sold. The market was fully saturated but they were still selling at regular intervals.
I have broken down the results for the Kindle Fire 7’s and Kindle Fire 8’s. The Kindle Fire 7’s actually brought in a better return, mainly because of shipping costs. I was able to ship the 7’s at under 16 ounces. This allowed me to ship them anywhere in the US for $4.30 using USPS first class mail. The 8’s were heavier and were much more costly to ship, especially to the west coast. I was unable to locate padded flat rate envelopes for these at my local post offices so I shipped them out at a much higher cost (4th mistake).
As you can see I got more then double the return on the 7’s. After the first few days I pivoted to selling 7’s almost exclusively. I even maxed them out, purchasing 5 of every color. My total sales breakdown was 12 of the Kindle Fire 7’s and 8 of the Kindle Fire 8’s. I was able to slowly raise the price of the 7’s as I continued to sell them. The final two I sold were the my highest priced sales at $35.95 (and they were even the yellow ones!!!).
What I would Do Differently
As you can see from my mistakes tallied above there are a few things I would do differently:
- I have now ordered some USPS padded flat rate envelopes and will make sure to always have some on hand in the future. I can not count on my local post offices to keep them in stock. Had I used these when shipping some of the 8’s it would have saved me around $20.
- I had beat everyone to market but my starting price was too low and my stock was too small.
- That leads me to wishing I had placed a larger first order.
- Realizing the 7’s were selling better I wish I would have ordered 20 from my wife’s account as well. By the time I thought of this the sale was dead.
- I had a couple of double orders from people and I decided to combine the units into one shipment. It would have actually been cheaper to send out each Kindle 7 separately. Combining them made my life a little easier but cost me some profit.
- The Kindles were selling quickly which means I was probably priced too low. I waited too long to start increasing the prices. My final sales of $35.95 seems like the top end of the 7’s market. I had them listed at $36.49 and they were not selling until I lowered them down to $35.95.
- I should have purchased Amazon gift cards with my ink to cover the purchases and increase my points earning. My Blue for Business card from Amex got me 2.3 points per dollar, so it wasn’t terrible, but 5x UR would have been better.
All in all, I would categorize this as a success. My profit was $164.60 on $402.40 in purchases getting me a rate of return of 41%. I also earned close to 1000 MR points for the purchases.
I definitely learned some valuable lessons that should help me in the future. One question left unanswered is should I have waited until the 4th quarter? That question will be answered soon enough!
Have you started selling your Kindle Fire purchases or are you holding them until the 4th quarter? Let us know in the comments.
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.