September 10, 2009

The Power of the Platform

Three bags of books had been readied for Goodwill when it occurred to me that I should consider selling some of them as an Amazon Reseller. After all, I often buy used books from resellers, why wouldn't people do the same from me?

It took me about 5 minutes to open a reseller account and another 15 to list the 30 or so books (and a barely used set of Mikasa Arabella china in case you're looking) that had decent resale value. It has been only two weeks, but already 17 items have been purchased totaling $400 in revenue after Amazon's approximately 30% commission on each sale.

Amazon provided the platform and tools that turned me into an active and satisfied reseller, generating revenue for itself and allowing me to turn content gathering dust on my shelves into a value/revenue stream for myself.

Too bad our professional associations don't provide a similar simple and user-friendly platform that allows members to generate a return on investment for their ideas and knowledge while simultaneously delivering value to the association and the membership as a whole.

1 comment:

kare anderson said...

A simple way for association offer that option member offering/member providing option would be for it to launch the eBook equivalent of a publisher's imprint. The association could design 3 sizes of ebooks (including the format) then invite members, exhibitors and speakers (or anyone) to submit content that meets their editorial guidelines as relevant to members (based on members' twice yearly response to surveys) and then sell the ebooks online, splitting the profits between authors and the association - with the option of the author donating their percentage to the association.

That way anyone can demonstrate their expertise (including exhibitors) and make money.

If the association posted "Most popular" listings then the members and association would see what really matters to the people they serve.

Plus such insights help the asn. make smarter choices in speakers, topics and panels. There could be 2-tier pricing - one for members and one for non-members.

What if some state asn. did this and attracted more traffic to their site and sales than their national counterpart? Plus the "store" could include social media elements like tagging and testimonials so prospective buyers can find what they want faster and reputations of authors and readers can be built