More Advice to the fellow who wants to sell used books

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Go to www.bookfinder.com and see all the online bookselling sites listed there. Bookfinder (using <b>classic search</b>) is a great way to price books.

We sell the most through Amazon's Marketplace. The marketplace and zShops let you list used books on Amazon. ABE comes second, Alibris third.

You'll need to have a mininum number of books cataloged (go to www.abe.com and download their free Homebase). We waiting until we had our first 1,000 books cataloged. The more unusual and uncommon your inventory the less you need. For selling commonplace books you need a high volume and low prices.

When you have some money saved I strongly suggest that you look at http://www.tomfolio.com. It is a co-operative owned by the dealers.

There's also eBay's half.com. We don't sell directly there but through ABE because we get a high postage reimbursement that way. (Speaking of shipping: once you are back home start hoarding small boxes, they'll save you lots in shipping costs.)

For oddball stuff eBay can be best. I was shocked to get $100 for an oddball horror paperback on eBay.

You'll need to get a good first editon's guide. I forget the title but if you search on Google for Spoon River Press you'll find the one to buy.

Bookfinder also has a mailing list used by used bookdealers who sell online. There's too much irrelevant chatter but subscribing to it will give you a notion of some of the realities of the trade.

If you can get a job in a local usedbookshop. The new and used booktrade are <em>very</em> different. A halfway useful rule of thumb is that the better it sells new, the worse it'll sell used. People will wind up selling many of them for 49 cents online.

Learn how to properly describe a book. We don't use the old booksellers' jargon of Fine, VG, Good. Since most of our customers have never read a bookdealer's catalog we use descriptive terms: "Clean and bright. Binding tight." Or phrases like lightly, mildly moderately edgeworn. Heavily shellworn. We usually note that the pages are unmarked, no highlighting, underlining. The latter is more important for academic nonfiction since many people assume they are if you don't assure them. If there is, say, underlining let them know how much and whether or not it was done in pencil.

Do some booksearchs on Bookfinder. You'll see a broad range of ways of describing books.

Learn how to price them. The more that are listed the lower you want yours to be unless you want to hope against hope.

Packing: inexpensive paperbacks can just be shoved into a bubblebag and will arrive just fine. Don't devote too much time to them. Better books should be wrapped in bubblewrap and put in boxes. The book maybe returned if a corner gets bumped in transit.

Comments

hi Richard, found this site by accident “as usual” & found it very interesting & has been bookmaked.I think the bookshelves are great& will pass this info on,whatI did not find was any details of people wanting books which is why I came in the 1st place.now a question,a very good friend passed away a few years ago & he was a drag artist in England.what I cannot find is anywhere that may be interested in all his Photo’s of him in DRAG. so are there people out there who collest this stuff or am I reluctantly going to have to bin this? if you know anyone please fell free to mail me.

You’d need to find a specialist in LGBT who is helping someone - maybe a university library - build a collection. Or put them on eBay and take what you can get.

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Richard

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