The Amazon vinyl experiment.
I’m really into finding the weird little blindspots and commonly available “leftover” items that most people overlook. Recently, I’ve dabbled in selling vinyl through Fulfillment by Amazon. Has the experiment been a success? Yes and no.
The first thing you’re likely to think is: People still buy vinyl? Definitely. Vinyl sales have literally doubled in the last 3 years. Doubled.
And vinyl is for sale on Amazon. The problem is: The listings usually aren’t prominent, and a much smaller than average percentage of the product pages have photos. But the vinyl is there.
But does it sell? Here’s my experience so far:
But that doesn’t tell the whole story. They cost me an average of less than $1 each. Every one is selling for $10 and up, and most are in the $20+ range. And the one that sold was priced at $30, netting me around $25. That came very close to covering my total costs at this point, meaning when any of the other 29 sell, its pure profit.
The experiment is still young, but so far it seems my approach with book sourcing works best with vinyl as well. I’ve been going for the weird and obscure titles (“STORY OF STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI”). But with vinyl, even the mainstays seem to have some value. There just don’t seem to be many people selling records on Amazon.
I’ve limited my scope to records with barcodes only (about half of them don’t even show up on my scanning app), and I haven’t even ventured into the world of looking up records manually. If you want to take the time, there may be some serious opportunity there.
So far, the rules to selling records appear to mirror those of long-tail, poorly-ranked books: You ship a lot in with huge margins, and they will sell “every once in awhile.” But in the long term, you’re making your money back tenfold.