Another strategy that has also proven quite rewarding is by selling books, CD’s and DVD’s at chain bookstores. I know that several franchises, with stores in multiple cities, purchase used books. Half Price Books is one of them. But my experience and specific tips are based upon sales to Hastings Entertainment, although I suspect that most of the strategies I’ll share are applicable to other establishments as well.
Charity is a big part of the used book market. Martin Mullen, head of UK acquisitions at Better World Books, tells me that the public good is at the core of the company’s business: to date they have donated more than 50m books, raised millions of dollars for literacy initiatives, and reused or recycled more than 153m books – books that for the most part would be decomposing right now had they not saved them.
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One of Roberts’s employees suggested that he get Wonder Book started on the internet, and, though the business hardly needed the additional income, he was persuaded to wade in. He picked “40 weird books” from the brick-and-mortar inventory and threw them up for sale online. The next morning he took a look at his page and was astonished to find he had an order: a book on the history of cattle in Frederick County, Maryland – sold to a farmer in England for $45. “We couldn’t sell that book in Frederick County for $45,” Roberts reflects, “but a guy in England who raises that kind of cattle wanted it.” The experience “was like the proverbial light going off in my head: we’re international now”.
There are a lot of online bookstores that offer to buy your used books. It's a rather hit-or-miss situation because online bookstores don't buy every title, and how much they're willing to pay can vary greatly, depending on the market demand. An easy way to find the online bookseller that will offer you the best price is to use a website such as BookScouter.com or BookFinder.com. Each one allows you to plug in a book's international standard book number (ISBN) and compare prices among several online booksellers. Some of the major online book resellers include:
You just need to create an outline for the book to follow, set a schedule for when you’re going to write (if it’s original work) or when you’re going to work on it, how you will market the book and when each task needs to be done, and set a goal publication date when it will be offered on sale. It’s a matter of setting aside time each day. You can’t just work on this when you “feel” like it… otherwise, it’ll never get done.
In general, mercifully, Ward says Thrift Books “errs on the side of keeping more books than we need to”, and his software’s algorithms single out rare titles for protection even if market demand doesn’t warrant it. What they can’t sell, they recycle. That proves to be quite a few books: last year alone they recycled 130m pounds. What remains after a bookseller’s vetting process stocks their virtual storefronts.
For a couple of years, I purchased books at one franchise with a local store which would discount new books to as low as 47 cents each. I would purchase a shopping cart load, resell the more valuable books on Amazon, donate certain needed titles to a university library being developed elsewhere, and trade in the majority of the others at Hastings Entertainment.

Sell Early and Sell Off Season. As soon as a new edition of your book comes out, the value of your book decreases dramatically. So you want to sell your book as soon as possible when you are finished with it. The only exception is if you are able to sell your book off season; in other words, sell your book during back-to-school rush in either August or January. This is typically when demand for books is highest, so the prices are higher; very few students are selling their books at this time so the laws of supply in demand kick in in your favor.
Powell’s: They buy mostly mainstream books, not the technical or educational types. As mentioned above, they do have a very strict acceptance policy. The only writing they will accept is a name written in the front of the book – not even “to my favorite daughter, hope you enjoy this book as much as I did, love mom.” Absolutely no highlighting or underlining.
Sell Early and Sell Off Season. As soon as a new edition of your book comes out, the value of your book decreases dramatically. So you want to sell your book as soon as possible when you are finished with it. The only exception is if you are able to sell your book off season; in other words, sell your book during back-to-school rush in either August or January. This is typically when demand for books is highest, so the prices are higher; very few students are selling their books at this time so the laws of supply in demand kick in in your favor.
Instead of scanning each and every book at a book sale, I’d just make offers on the entire lot. This worked especially well at yard sales, estate sales, and even book store closings. By being indiscriminate, it meant that I could get the price per book way down (usually less than $0.25 per book), but also meant that I was left with a lot of duds. With good purchases, I’d usually have 3 “donate” books for every 1 book I listed. So, effectively, my inventory cost $1.00 per item.
Colin Stephens, founder and director of Sunrise Books in England, was thumbing through a charity shop’s bookshelf when the manager told him how much she’d come to hate used books. Every few days, she complained, she would have to load the trunk of her car with the shop’s excess donations and shuttle them to the landfill, in her own spare time and at her own expense.
One of Roberts’s employees suggested that he get Wonder Book started on the internet, and, though the business hardly needed the additional income, he was persuaded to wade in. He picked “40 weird books” from the brick-and-mortar inventory and threw them up for sale online. The next morning he took a look at his page and was astonished to find he had an order: a book on the history of cattle in Frederick County, Maryland – sold to a farmer in England for $45. “We couldn’t sell that book in Frederick County for $45,” Roberts reflects, “but a guy in England who raises that kind of cattle wanted it.” The experience “was like the proverbial light going off in my head: we’re international now”.
Our company makes it easy to sell your textbooks from the convenience of your home and at top rates to boot. Whether you’ve been in the book industry for years or are just trying to sell old textbooks in your closet, our friendly staff is ready and willing to answer your questions, provide support and make the selling process a breeze. Contact our staff today, or review our textbook buyback FAQ page for additional information.
Perspectives can change indeed. I hope they do but I doubt that they will. For the past 45 years I kept almost every issue of every magazine I've subscribed to and every book that I bought with the idea that, at some point, I will re-read them. Well, I haven't. There always were new magazine issues and new books to read. Once they were moved to the attic, it was "out of sight, out of mind." Then I came to the realization that no matter how much I enjoyed reading them and how informative they were, these books and magazines are outdated.

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Half.com. An eBay-affiliated site specializing in books and CDs, Half.com doesn't require you to pay a listing fee, but you do pay a commission out of your proceeds when you sell an item. Commissions range from 5 to 15 percent, depending on the sale amount: The higher the sale price is, the lower the commission rate is. Half.com will make payments via direct deposit into your checking account.
You are right that Hastings hasn’t made it to California. Depending on where you live in the state there are 4 very close to the stateliness with 3 of them being in Arizona and one in Nevada. Another money saving option is to buy books at the library sale and then sell them on Amazon. I do that as well. If you download an app from Amazon you can scan any book and then see what is the going price. You might check out my article, 3 Money Saving Apps.
2) If you sell via FBA, you’ll have the FBA fee, which is more or less shipping/handling on Amazon’s part. This usually starts at about $3.02 for the first pound and goes up about $0.75 for each pound after (you can use Amazon’s FBA calculator to predict this cost in advance). If you do FBM, then they’ll tack on an additional $3.99 for shipping, which USUALLY covers most media mail shipping costs for books unless it’s a particular heavy book.

There's a handy little tool I use to make this work at BookScouter.com. Their site will let you plug in a book's ISBN number (right next to the UPC) and then it will tell you how much the book is worth and which buyback company will give you the most money. I use this tool before buying a book to make sure that there is a company willing to pay more for the book than what the Ebay seller is charging.

For the best results, offer your book’s shipping via USPS Media Mail. The reason for doing this is simple: if you don’t, someone else will. This low-cost shipping option for US sellers is a great way to get a prospective buyer to click the Bid or Buy it Now button. In other territories, look for a local budget postage option to similarly entice buyers.
Swapping. OK, so it may not succeed in freeing up any additional shelf space, but there are plenty of opportunities online to trade your unwanted books for other titles you'd like to read. On most book swap websites, you get a credit for every book you send to someone else, which you can then redeem with other traders for the books you really want. Usually you just have to pay postage for the books you send, not the ones you receive. Popular sites include BookMooch.com, PaperBackSwap.com or TitleTrader.com. Or you could always hold an old-fashioned swap meet with your neighbors, friends and family.

I’ve been around the block more than once, and I’ve worked successfully offline for many years. Working online is a new experience for me. Scams are everywhere, especially in a bad economy. Sales & marketing is the same concept of persuading people online as it is offline, but with added technology and new avenues unknown to newbies. That stumps a lot of people. The ZNZ instructions of having to fill out offers using your credit card was vaguely explained. They said you need a credit card to verify it’s really you. Meanwhile, your common sense is telling you to watch out, because we know our credit card will be charged eventually for something!
You are right that Hastings hasn’t made it to California. Depending on where you live in the state there are 4 very close to the stateliness with 3 of them being in Arizona and one in Nevada. Another money saving option is to buy books at the library sale and then sell them on Amazon. I do that as well. If you download an app from Amazon you can scan any book and then see what is the going price. You might check out my article, 3 Money Saving Apps.

To add even more grimness, we began hearing about “Counterfeit” textbooks. WHAT? Apparently, there are counterfeit textbooks, and I talked to two people who have bought & sold books for years, who both claimed to have lost $700 and over $800 due to counterfeits. No one who bought and sold textbooks knew what a ‘counterfeit’ looked like? Then there’s the nefarious bookstores who were telling people that they had been sent ‘counterfeit’ books by them, and the bookstores refused to pay them. They also wouldn’t send those books back to them! About that time, I decided to cut my losses. I thought it might be time to do something else.
The price point is partly a result of the market’s downward pressure: at a certain level of supply and demand the race to the lowest price swiftly plummets to the bottom. What remains inflexible is the $3.99 fee Amazon charges the buyer for shipping. From that $4, Amazon takes what they call a “variable closing fee” of $1.35. They also charge the seller 15% of the item’s price – which in the case of a penny book is zero. That leaves $2.64 to cover postage, acquisition cost and overhead.
Most of you may already know how to check completed listings on eBay; however, if not, its pretty simple.  There is an option on the left sidebar that says “Completed Listing”.  Simply check this box, and then only the listings for the particular search topic you have entered that are completed will show.  By doing this kind of research, you can find out pretty quickly how much you can expect to sell a book for.
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