My recent experience selling vinyl on Amazon, and why I should have started sooner.
My obsession with selling weird things on Amazon
I’m really into finding the weird little inventory “blindspots” that most FBA sellers overlook. Recently, I’ve dabbled in selling vinyl with Fulfillment by Amazon.
Has the experiment been a success? Yes and no.
More on the results of my FBA vinyl experiment in a minute…
Do people buy vinyl on Amazon?
The first thing you’re likely to think is: People still buy vinyl?
Check this statistic out: Vinyl sales have increased 7x in the last 5 years. Sales have increased sevenfold.
And you can buy vinyl on Amazon. Sales of vinyl recently surpassed sales of CDs. And recently years, Amazon has been giving prominence to vinyl listings for an album over the CD version. This makes vinyl vastly more appetizing for the FBA seller.
My Amazon vinyl experiment
But does it sell?
Over the last 90 days, I’ve shipped in approximately 30 LPs.
Before you declare this experiment some kind of “failure,” I have to disagree for several reasons. That single sale doesn’t tell the whole story…
One, I’m only 90 days in to this experiment. And I’ve already (almost) covered my costs.
Two, these records cost me an average of <$1 each. Yet every one is selling on Amazon for $10 and up, and most are in the $20+ range. The one that sold was priced at $30, netting me around $23. As mentioned, that came very close to covering my total costs in the first 90 days. Meaning when any of the other 29 sell, it’s pure profit.
As to how selling this kind of slow-moving vinyl this affects your Amazon IPI score is for every seller to consider. This approach isn’t for everyone.
Thoughts & analysis of the Amazon vinyl experiment
Weird vinyl holds value: So far it seems my approach with book sourcing works best with vinyl as well. I’ve been finding value in the weird and obscure titles (“STORY OF STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI“). While my actual sales are in their infancy, just from looking up hundreds of records, I’m seeing this pattern emerge.
Even old “bestsellers” have value: Then again, lots of “mainstream” records have value too. Unlike books, with vinyl, even the mainstays seem to have hold value. There just don’t seem to be many people selling vinyl on Amazon to bring prices down.
You can scan vinyl: So far I’ve limited my scope to records with barcodes only. I haven’t even ventured into the world of looking up records manually. If you want to take the time, I expect there may be some serious opportunity in sourcing & reselling vinyl without barcodes.
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.