Reality Sets In — Oh!

by Barbara Fitchitt
(Glen Burnie, MD US)

Original Comment:

June 4, 2014

It began with the bookshelves overflowing. I hated stacking books on the floor, but I simply ran out of room. Even though they were certainly treasures, I really could not imagine reading any of them again, because there are so many others that are on my "Gotta Read" list in my I-phone. I have too many books. I've read many, but there are very few that I HAVE to keep. I have too many books. Our community was holding its annual yard sale last weekend, so I boxed up a dozen of the best looking, and boldly priced each at $1. These 12 were popular, best seller list fiction, still in their jackets, no marks, no creases. They looked like they'd just come home from Barnes & Noble. As I put them in the box, I checked for the original prices. The lowest was $19.95.

Six hours later, the yard sale over, I took the box back with its dozen books. I didn't sell a single one. Not even for a dollar. One lady offered a dollar for the whole lot, but I declined as politely as I could. A dollar? Today, Wednesday, I found your site, Joe, and truth to tell, the Reality of needing to spend $300 give or take for the scanner is discouraging. I don't really want to be in the bookselling business. I merely want to find the best way to get the best price for about 100 books. What would be your best suggestions, Joe?

Thank you for considering my question.


June 15, 2014

Hello Barbara;

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my article.

Unfortunately, fiction books don't hold their value very well. That's because they're generally printed in large quantities and are commonly found everywhere. In addition, the novelty of the latest fiction best seller quickly wears off and most fiction readers move on the the next new release in a very short period of time.

Having said that, you don't need to be in the bookselling business to sell used books you have sitting around the house. If your books are truly in pristine condition, you can list them individually on Amazon in “Like New” condition and wait for them to sell. Of course, once sold, you'll have to pack and ship each book individually to your customers. It may be many months before all of your books sell.

Finally, you can try listing all of your books on Craigslist or eBay as a “lot of 100 fiction books of various genre,” and offer them all for a fixed price. Probably, somewhre between $25 - $35 for the lot sounds right. Used book buyers who enjoy reading fiction may be interested in your lot. Also, book store owners may be another market who may take an interest.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Finally, you can get unlimited answers to your questions in my bookseller's forum by going to the Forum Guidelines page and signing up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP. You'll get useful advice from me and other experienced booksellers to help you grow your business and make it more profitable. Make sure you sign up today and introduce yourself to everyone!

Joe Waynick
Bookseller, Author, Mentor

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