Scan Amazon's catalog page for the book in question to learn its price range on the first page displayed to buyers. It'll usually start from a low of 1¢ and can go as high as $100.
I've discovered that "low ball" offers sometimes artificially drag down the price of perfectly good books to penny status. This is especially true with fiction books and for sellers who buy childrens books.
Usually, that happens because inexperienced sellers foolishly chase prices to the bottom of the barrel in hopes of capturing the next sale and creating these cheap books online.
Don't fall into that trap.
The important thing to remember here is that if the book is listing for reasonable prices on the first page of the catalog, you may not have a penny book on your hands at all.
Huge Online Profits
Lets look at a couple of cheap books online and analyze the price spread.
For our first example, lets say the price spread looks like this: .01, .01, .01, .25, 4.25, 7.00, 15.00, 25.00, and 50.00.
What you see above is a combination of low ball prices and high ball prices -- neither of which you want to follow. You want to be somewhere in the middle. This is much better than trying to sell it to companies that buy back books.
In the above example I would price my book between $10 and $12 and turn off my repricer for that book. Then I'd sit back and wait.
Why Is This Method So Highly Profitable?
If you do this right, you can significantly boost your profits when you have cheap used books for sale.
Why does it work? I have several theories. The first is your Amazon rating. Buyers feel more comfortable buying from a seller with a high rating, usually 97% or more.
The second reason is your product description. Make sure you're giving a complete and thorough description of the book. Most sellers don't.
I talk about this at great length in my article, I sell my used books using these strategies.
Finally, I only use this strategy with books I can honestly give a condition rating of "Very Good" or "Like New."
Often, used book buyers are looking for gift quality books and they're willing to pay more for something they won't be embarrassed to give to someone else.
Use the above listing techniques with cheap books online that you can list on the first page of Amazon's catalog and you'll certainly salvage a fair number of buying mistakes when bookscouting.
Give it a shot and you'll see for yourself why this is one of the ways I make money online!
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