Tuesday 14 June 2022

Selling 'Malta & Gozo - Islands of Cats' out of Switzerland: Amazon is not for small Suppliers

We have just removed the "Islands of Cats" hardcover edition from all Amazon stores. Reasons? Quite simply, as a small seller on Amazon, you earn next to nothing to amortise your costs and time.

  • Amazon fees (Europe): In order to be reasonably competitive, the selling price must be kept low. Our last price for the hardcover edition was €27.99 / £22.99, which is actually too high for the subject of this book. From this, Amazon deducts a hefty sales fee of €6.65 / £5.88 (and VAT €2.16 Germany) and contributes €3 / £4.02 shipping costs. Makes € 22.18 / £21.13 net for us 👍🏻. But ....
  • Postage from Switzerland: The hardcover edition weighs 620 grams. On January 1, 2022, Swiss Post merged the Economy and Priority shipping options for shipments to the EU / Europe, and instead of Fr 10 as before (exchange rate today €9.65 / £8.25), Swiss Post now charges double of that, i.e. Fr 20 (€19.30 / £16.50) = net for us €2.88 / £2.50. Unfortunately, as a small seller, you cannot adjust the postage on Amazon, you can only inform the prospective buyer in the product description. 👎🏼
  • Other costs: The color printing of the book (offset) with its 220+ photographs costs around €3 / £2.60 per copy in Malta in 2016. That alone exceeds the income of €2.88 / £2.50, plus the padded envelope, the labels, the printer ink, the trip to the post office, the customer correspondence and the marketing work are not yet paid for. 👎🏼
  • Alternative: Let Amazon do the work and use 'FBA - Fulfillment by Amazon', where the goods are stored in one of Amazon's large warehouses and are also shipped from there. However, this is of no interest to small suppliers, because monthly fees of up to €36 / £25 are incurred plus shipping the stock to the warehouse. If a certain sales target is not reached, then Amazon will charge extra. To recoup these fees, we would have had to sell at least 13 books per month to start making a profit. 👎🏼
  • Public interest: We have also offered the hardcover edition to various Malta-related organisations free of charge, but animal welfare in the Mediterranean does not seem to be of interest. 👎🏼

For all these reasons, and as only a costly campaign could still sell the remaining hardcover editions, we decided to give it away free of charge, subject to packaging and shipping costs » LINK. 

What is still in storage by autumn 2022 will then be thrown away.

The book is still available, showing a new book cover, as print-on-demand together with the Kindle version in the Amazon stores (with similar low profit - the more colour photos, the higher Amazon's printing costs). The book's topic is timeless, the Maltese Islands are always worth a visit, and cat lovers will enjoy the many insights and photographs.


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