Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ugh. Books. And sales!

So, since we want to open a consignment bookstore at some point in the near future, Tyler and I have decided to throw ourselves pretty heavily into selling books on eBay and Amazon. I'm in charge of eBay and he's in charge of Amazon. We're having a hard time figuring Amazon out. I mean, penny books? How do you make money selling books for a penny?? Also Kickstarter didn't accept my proposal. I didn't think they would, but man it would've been nice!

We met a girl today who sold us a box of books that were left over from her yard sale (saw the ad on Craigslist). We paid $10.00 for about 30 books. In it, there were 11 YA books, Christian devotional type books, some cook books, etc. Now, most articles you'll read on selling books on eBay say to focus on nonfiction books, like photography, biography, sports books, cook books, etc. On the flip side of that, they'll also tell you to stick with a genre you know and like. I love YA (young adult) books. I strongly believe in getting teens to read and making it interesting for them. Even though I'm a science teacher, kids have often told me I have more books on my classroom bookshelf than some of their English teachers!

So I was very excited to see a collection of The Clique books in the box. They don't sell like crazy, but there enough to make a lot, so I did it. I'm doing this one as an auction. We'll see. They look brand new!
I also put up a lot of devotionals (along with a Purpose Driven Life...I don't think I've ever seen a book flood the market like that one has). And I put up a Chinese food diet cookbook. I've got a fair amount of books up. According to the statistics*, 33% of the books you post will sell in the first month and 15% will sell after that. The rest will just languish, I guess until you can get them out of your house.

I've made good sales this week:
*Coach purse, paid $10.00 after THREE RELISTINGS, sold it for $70.00
*LPS random pets, paid $10.00 for a big lot, sold some of that lot for a total of $40.00 so far.
*Kid's polo clothes, paid about $3.00 for what I sold (sweater vest, button up, dress), sold for $32.00 total.
*Apologetics Study Bible that we've never used, paid ?, sold for $25.99
*Revere Ware 8 qt stock pot, paid $7.00, sold for $29.99. As I was packing this, I realized that it's in worse shape than I thought. I would be really surprised if the person I sent it to didn't want a refund.

So my profits this week were respectable, although considering the two prior weeks of crap sales, I was due for some profit. We'll see how these books do!

*I could not tell you where I read this. I saw it this weekend. Those are real numbers someone smart has come up with.


  1. I teach SS and I have more books than the LA teacher :). I really believe that no matter what subject you teach, it is important to show your students you are passionate about reading! My girls at my school devour those Clique books.

  2. One more thing--are you selling on Half.com? It's sooo easy. You can list so many things so quickly.

  3. I really like the name "Pages". It's cute, and clever, and I've never heard it before for a book store. Do you know how the consignment part will work? I'm not sure I've ever been to a consignment book store before.

    Also, I don't know anything about Kickstarter, but do you think once you're up and running you might be able to submit a different proposal for funds for some kind of programming? Bring in an author, have a book club, or a writing workshop, or something? Might be more "artsy" and get people in your doors and meet their criteria. Just a thought.

    I second the recommendation above regarding half.com if you want to sell books individually. You list them once and they stay active until they sell or you delete them from your account. You also get a good idea for what other people are selling their copies for (similar to Amazon I'm guessing). I have sold books on half.com sporadically for years, although the only ones that really made me any money were my grad school text books. Text books can bring in good cash if they are current, but are pretty worthless if they're older.

    Also - I have to say I am super jealous that your husband is into the yard sale/GW/eBay thing! I told my husband that, and he just gave me a "not gonna happen" look. :-)

  4. Kari, with a consignment book store, you take your old books in and the people go through them. If you have stuff they want in the store, they give you a certain percentage of what they'll sell it for in either cash or trade credit that you can use at the store.

    And, YES! I had that same thought about Kickstarter! When I read what they were about, I was like, "well, if they don't approve me now, I bet I can get approval for a reading program for teens or something". Great minds think alike!

    I did half.com when I was in school and actually had current textbooks. I did well with it, but I haven't really considered it recently. We've been so immersed in amazon and ebay, it didn't even occur to me! I'll have to look into it!

    Tyler was actually the one who wanted to get really into this. I was trying to resell clearance Vera Bradley purses, but it wasn't going well and he found Yard Sale Mommy and Money in the Garage and we've been using those as our guidelines for buying at yard sales. I'm glad to have him as my thrifting buddy!