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Amazon: selling used books online

Discussion in 'Dropshipping & Wholesale Hookups' started by Bigfriend, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Bigfriend

    Bigfriend Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    Is the used book business a good way to make some extra money on Amazon? Is this market saturated in the Chicago area? I might purchase a PDA Scouting to scan books at thrift stores, libraries, garage sales and etc.

    So please let me know if this is a good business or not?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. bl4ck1ce

    bl4ck1ce Regular Member

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    Skip McGrath has a good book on this subject.. it's something I've thought about doing, because I love books, but there are more used bookstores in my city than new bookstores so I suspect the market is fairly picked over here. If you can find enough books before your competitors do, you might be successful.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. mandom

    mandom Regular Member

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    I did this for a while but it wasn't worth it to me. If you can get your hands on high quality, in demand, rare books it might be ok but for regular books no. It would be fine if you didn't have noobs listing everything for $.01 per book. With that you only make money on postage and by the time you add in packing materials, time to package and trip to the post office it's just not worth it - or at least it wasn't to me...
     
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  4. bl4ck1ce

    bl4ck1ce Regular Member

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    Easy solution for dealing with people who are selling books for 1c online and killing your chances at sales... flip them offline to get better books to sell online.

    Talk to a few used book stores that buy books, get an idea of what they're looking for (nonfiction, scifi, classics, etc) and match a bookstore to your supply of books. All the used book stores I've dealt with offer 10% of the retail price for cash, and 20% for store credit. Go for store credit. You can bring in boxes of books from estate sales, garage sales, whatever, and save up store credit for when you find a more valuable book there. What would you rather ship, 100 books for $2 each, or 1 book for $200?

    Also much easier to check how much a book is selling online if there's only 1 or 2 books to check each time!

    Quick rule of thumb when looking for books to flip: Is the difference between the selling price (at the garage sale, whatever) and 20% of the original sale price enough to make it worthwhile? I'd go for at least $0.50 profit on each book, $1+ is better.

    Years ago just before I moved out of my parents house to go to school, I cleaned out my closet and took a few boxes of books to a local used bookstore. I ended up with over $300 in credit.. I used that credit to buy new books I wanted for my own collection, but I could have easily bought a rare book to re-sell.
     
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  5. SN4UAFU

    SN4UAFU Newbie

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    Yeah, most books that I look at that are USED on Amazon actually cost MORE with shipping, then a NEW one at my local bookstore.

    The big money is in textbooks for college///but it's easy to get f*cked over becuase they obsolete editions every few months. Leaving you with 20lbs of worthless shit.

    BTW, many college textbooks can be $100-250 easy. And there are ways that people use to flip them since many kids drop out of the classes in the first month of school & don't know what to do with their books except to sell it to the guy that is offering $40 cash.
     
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  6. EerieNoodles

    EerieNoodles Newbie

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    I made some decent money with a bunch of books I got free from an estate. The beauty of Amazon is that it's so easy to list your items and then you just sit and wait. The listings don't expire like auctions.
    Books are also so much easier to ship then cuckoo clocks or china. Slip the book into an envelope, slap on a Media Mail label and drop it in the nearest mail box. Go home and wait for your money.
    But it's harder to tell what's gonna sell since you can't track completed sales.
     
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  7. SN4UAFU

    SN4UAFU Newbie

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    Thanks Eerie! I never thought about that, I'll have to look into it.

    I'm getting kind of pissed that Egay charges me for expired auctions & won't let me list past 10 days, when I pay them so much in fees anyways.

    ....between Egay & paypal, by the time I receive any money, they have already taken a good chunk off the top. BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  8. EerieNoodles

    EerieNoodles Newbie

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    Amazon takes a ridiculous amount in fees too, but you don't notice it as much cuz it's so much easier to use. Plus there's nothing like finding an item sold that you listed 6 months ago.

    Keep in mind that they do expect you to ship within 3 days of the sale.
    Save yourself some time and effort by using PP ShipNow to get Media Mail labels printed at home. I was taking books to the PO for months before I found that.
    Verify the shipment first thing in the morning even if you're not gonna drop the package till later in the day. Those few hours can make a days difference when you're waiting for your money to transfer, especially if there's a weekend involved.
     
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  9. dollaz

    dollaz Newbie

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    lol same here..ebay & paypal both take soo much for fees, it really hurts my profit margins
     
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  10. SN4UAFU

    SN4UAFU Newbie

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    I just did some bookkeeping this morning

    In the past month, I paid
    -Ebay ~$520
    -Post Office for shipments ~$900
    ......that's ~$1,400 in just fees!!!
    Luckily, it was a good month la$t month :D and I worked maybe only 7 days////aside from the daily maildrops.


    And for the newbies:
    Wanna know my secret to success?? It's called "KEEPIN MY MOUTH SHUT & NOT EXPOSING WHAT REALLY WORKS!!"////if you find something that is working really good for you, then think twice about bringing in unwanted competition!!!
     
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  11. Tirade

    Tirade Registered Member

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    I've been selling used books online for awhile. Yes, the competition is fierce. There are a lot of people out there with scanners who are mining the same places you will for used books AND they are willing to get up at the crack of dawn every Saturday to be the first one at the garage sale/church sale/book sale. In fact, if you don't arrive at the sale within the first 30 minutes, then just forget it; you're not going to find anything that sells for more than $3-5 online. And after Amazon fees + shipping + cost of the book + packaging materials, the books that sell for $3-5 online will only bring in $1-2 profit. AND that's assuming the book holds its value and the price doesn't crash before you can sell it.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  12. listenloud

    listenloud Registered Member

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    Solution to our problems? We teach our kids to love books.
     
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  13. Kamek

    Kamek Newbie

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    I wrote a program in C# (using LINQ and HtmlAgilityPack) to facilitate and automate a lot of this sort of thing. It scrapes a good site online where I know I can get books cheap, and then looks up the amazon price and sales rank of the item and spits out a nice html list (10000 hits at a time) organized by highest profit with buttons for ordering from the source and posting the book on amazon. Been making pretty good money with it so far. I'm thinking of doing a plug-in architecture with the Managed Extensibility Framework that'll allow others to add their own scraping code for new sites and compare it with Amazon prices/data, but that's a little ways off yet.