Anyone Selling Books online as a part time business?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by texican, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting to get multiple copies of many many books, and have thought it'd be nice to sell them. Locally I would get squat. I also have access to several hundred 'new' used books at the local library, bags for a buck...

    I ran across a site that sells old National Geographics last month online... I have several sets, and access to many crates each month...

    I was wondering, do any of you have websites for selling books? Ebay sounds like the easiest route, but seems they do want a nice slice of the pie. Amazon has some sort of affiliate bookseller program, but still investigating that avenue...

    No intention of retiring to the South of France off any sales, but anything beats nothing. Always wanted to own a bookshop, but the financial realities always flunked my means/profits analyses.
     
  2. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Did the Amazon.com thing for awhile. Didn't do too bad either. My problem is finding stock and the time to go looking for it. I did go looking into buying in bulk from "overstock and discontinued" companies, but the intial investment held me back. Didn't want to tie up that much money at the time. I may still do that down the road.

    I hear college text books sell quite well, if you can pick em up cheap enough, there's a tidy little profit to be made.

    There are other websites selling used/new books but I think Amazon is your best bet (they have the traffic because of advertising). eBay is a laugh, your only making money for them and very little for yourself, the fees are a killer on profit..

    Try Amazon with a few books to see how you do, doesn't cost anything to list and they take a % of selling price as a commision. The listings are for a 3 month period (use to be, may have changed) and you can pull (cancel) your listing at anytime without penality to you.......$$$$$. Unlike eBay.
     

  3. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Texan, I have sold books on both ebay and Amazon. Your right if you know you are not going to make alot of money. I did pretty good with college textbooks especially biology, chemical and mathmatics. They go alot faster when school starts or semester changes. Some college textbooks cost over 100.00 so the right ones have a ready buyer. Check the ebay histories and see whats selling. Sometimes history books can do good especially ones dealing with the wild west or a particular war. Also a book dealing with a famous president or character such as Buffalo Bill or Charlie Chaplin. Sports figures such as boxers are good subjects. Don't be afraid to list some historical fiction as that they also have ready buyers. With the exception of historic fiction, I have not fooled much with other fiction. Old Scout books, bird and reptile guides, dog books especially rarer ones, giant clams, white tigers and other science books and guides can do good. I found a book about Alcoholics Anonyomous in someones trash box that was a second edition and sold it for 150.00. I think there is over 20 or 30 editions of this book and collectors that seek them...I guess the collectors have to have every editions published. I tried selling some National Geographic and didn't do to well. Check the ebay completed sale history on what years are selling best.
     
  4. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    Ebay isn't moving products very fast for me anymore. I have put some of my books and stuff on www.ibidforfree.com, which has no fees of any kind. It's new, but I see it's increasing it's traffic and sellers & buyers.

    Also the www.paperbackswap.com is good if you'd like to trade for different books. They take hardcover ones too.

    But I'm putting books on my site in the next couple of weeks. And will eventually have all my products in one place.

    But there are alot of book sites. Just put it in the search engines. Text books are big sellers. I have one book on Amazon, but there are too many books there that sell for a penny, and they are usually the ones I have.

    katlupe
     
  5. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    I tried clicking on the ibidforfree and got a poker site? I couldn't find how to get to the auction site either.
     
  6. rkintn

    rkintn mean people suck

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    I just put some books on amazon today! I too noticed that there were lots of copies of the books I want to sell going for less than what I listed mine. Oh well, what the heck..I went ahead and listed them for what I wanted since it is free and I am gonna see what happens.

    Texican, thought it was funny that I had the same idea as you...as I was listing my own used books thought I might hit the local library and see what they had for sale also a local consignment store has lots of books for sale..cheap! If you have a GoodWill around you might check there too for cheap buys to resale.
     
  7. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been trying this for the past 2 months on Amazon...selling my own copies first. I've sold 26 books since I started but.....some went for as low as .79 and the highest for $13. But, if you've not saved up old padded envelopes to ship them in you've got to figure in that expense. Fortunately I had enough old mailers to ship off the first 17 books without having to buy any new ones. I'm finding that it is very hard to replenish my stock. A book I see at Goodwill may seem like it would sell so I buy it only to come home and find that there are already 183 others already listed for .99!!! So, it seems very hard for me to figure out what to buy. I did buy a cookbook-autographed-for .79 and just sold it for $3.50...but that still is a very small profit but better than nothing. Guess I need to try and find that site on e-bay that lists what is selling.
     
  8. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    Sorry, my fault. It is www.ibidfree.com.

    katlupe
     
  9. Weho Dave

    Weho Dave Active Member

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    Watch out for textbooks. When I was in college, I bought and sold mine at www.half.com. The problem was when a new edition of a textbook came out, the older edition was suddenly worth squat. Not much market for an outdated textbook, but the current ones do command an arm and a leg.
     
  10. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now I have a little more time I want to tell you why I prefer Ebay over Amazon. With ebay I can sell my book by using the right search terms in the search line. Lets take a fairly well known book, The Call of the Wild by Jack London. In Amazon you would only be able to list the title and the sale would be the result of someone wanting that particular title. In ebay most sellers of this book would also limit the title and author to the search line and miss a great selling tool. Here are some search terms that I may put in the search line. Alaska Goldrush-Wolf-Gold Mining-Canada. If the book didn't sell after one listing I may change the line to Yukon-Klondike-Goldrush-Dog Sledding. This gives me a chance to attract people who may be interested in these subjects and may be searching ebay for something closely related to your search terms. I would of course still list the proper title and author in the description field of the auction. You want to get as many people to read that auction as possible even someone who is looking for a sled or a gold chain.
     
  11. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies...

    I'm assuming that shipping and handling would pay for the actual shipping, plus those padded shipping envelopes (I get lots of those from several OTR (oldtime radio) and old movies trading groups).

    My cousin works at the local library as the acquistions librarian, and she gets dozens of crates each week, and since it's a small town library, they can't have too many multiple copies on the shelves. They have a 20 x 20 room just for booksales... she holds anything she thinks I might be interested in. They have bag sales once a month, and she allows me to take boxes home, with the idea of paying 'bag prices' on the books, once the sale takes place. Otherwise .25 for softback and .50 for hardback. I've gotten some true gems, and tons of precious stuff... So, in short, supply isn't a problem... and price? Back in April I got 5 crates of treasure for free... The cost of diesel going to town is usually more than the cost for a bag of books, even at the regular 'sale' prices...

    Would you mind posting the links to your book listings?
     
  12. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    If you can find some books that are out of print or hard to find you can get some decent money for them. I did sell a worn out old paperback book about Janic Joplin (written by her girlfriend) and listed it for .99 and got $32.00 for it. And a book The Simple Living Guide sold for around the same and went to Australia. And she had been looking all over for it.

    You can also put together lots of books for other sellers. They love those! I belong to the Seller Resource Group and they seem to think things will turn around soon in favor of the sellers.

    I buy big boxes of the bubble wrap padded mailers and they don't run that much. The more you buy, the cheaper it is.

    katlupe
     
  13. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I buy my bubble mailers from Sams club by the case comes to about 35 cents each. When I ship I use media mail and usually charge 3.00. The postage is usually around 2.00 and padded envelope, ebay listing cost will eat up the rest. I also use small cardboard boxes that I get from the convience store dumpster. Even large books don't usually ship for more than 3 or 4 dollars. You might think of setting up an ebay store if you plan on listing numerous amounts of books. Then list several books to drive people to your store. I don't have any book sales this week. I'm selling african violets which I have listed to go off tonight. Maybe if I get some time I'll list some books and postcards next week. You are lucky that you have an inexpensive outlet for books. Try not to pay more than 35 cents each for them as that sometimes the profit margin can be pretty tight.
     
  14. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  15. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Watch out for the ones that have the software disc in the rear missing also!
     
  16. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You may have to take all of those not so rare books and list them with about 20 or 30 others and sell them by the boxfull on ebay. Shipping is still usually still 6 to 8 dollars and there is alot of book sellers looking for inventory. Just make sure you mix in some popular books with the duds! :clap:
     
  17. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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  18. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  19. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Tex,

    I don’t know if you can do this or not, but it is an idea.
    We have a man who opened up a used bookstore here.
    He sells books at ½ price of new. He is doing good.
    Maybe by going out of your town you could make out good without risking your source.
    I’m in a small collage town.
    John#4
     
  20. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Some friends of mine set up a website to sell hard-to-find books, a few self-published manuscripts, musical instruments and CDs. Payment is done through paypal. The webiste is at http://www.theod.net/index.asp . We do have a set selling list, so you might not want to follow the same model.