Musings About
Selling Used Books

By Joe Waynick
September 23, 2012

For the past eight months I've been selling used books from a secluded warehouse in a small town in Pennsylvania.

I bought several tractor trailer loads of books from various sources, triaged them, and compiled the listings and sales data for my next book.

I've returned to Arizona on personal business and while I'm here I've been visiting some of my old book scouting haunts, and discovering a few new ones.

For instance, today was half price day at one of my favorite local thrift-stores. After being literally locked in a warehouse 24 hours a day, for as many as 10 days at a time, I was eager to get out among the living again and do some old fashioned, pavement pounding book scouting.

Back In the Saddle Again -- Well, Sort Of…

I arrived at the thrift a full hour before the doors were scheduled to open. And I was still fifth in line.

Taking a page from Internet Bookselling Made Easy! I brought along a comfortable folding chair, a thermos of coffee, and a good book to read.

Selling used books is one of the most thrilling passive income businesses I've ever run.

I've been selling used books for a number of years now. And as I glanced around at the swelling crowd, I was bemused at how the other folks seem to just stare off into space as if in a trance as they waited. None of them came prepared for the wait.

Some of them even stared directly at me as I lounged in my chair sipping coffee; casually flipping the pages of my book. The bolder ones even commented at how comfortable I looked. Several vowed to bring their own chair to the next sale.

The Quest for Passive Income

By 9am the line snaked along the sidewalk of the little strip mall. At least 100 people were waiting to descend upon the bargain thrift store.

About five minutes before the store opening, I asked a nice lady to hold my spot while I stashed my chair, mug, and book in the trunk of my car.

Upon returning, the doors promptly opened and we all poured into the store. There was a herd mentality as the excitement of the crowd peaked.

I was jostled, pushed, bumped, and elbowed like a human piñata. Somehow, I wasn't feeling the rush. Maybe I should write an article about thrift store safety. Shoulder pads and helmets come to mind…

You see, during my walk-about across the United States, I'd incorporated a whole new philosophy into the business of selling used books. These days I go for long-tail books; high prices with obscene sales rankings, and no bar codes.

There're the ones left behind by the average book scout. That's because not many will take the time and effort required to learn the intricacies of appraising old books.

But I know that if my books have high enough prices I can tolerate an inventory turnover rate as low as 1% and still earn a great living, thereby creating high yield passive income for a life of leisure. And that suits me just fine.

How to Make Money Online at Home

In a nutshell, get those books listed immediately! It's amazing how many readers write me and say they've got stacks of books sitting around waiting to be put online for sale.


Why spend good money for books and then let them pile up on the floor? You'll never get to bookseller heaven that way my friend.

I love scouting in thrift stores. They're not always the absolutely cheapest used books, but now and then thrift store scouting can yield incredible finds.

But what good are they if you don't get them sold?

That's the funny thing about online money making professions, like most other businesses you need inventory to sell.

Whether it's a top money making movie, a former library book, or used software books, it actually has to be available to the public to start making money online without delay. That's what selling used books is all about.

My Top 5 Book Selling Tips

It was great to be in the wide open spaces again digging through Americas thrift stores scoping for hidden treasures. The tools and techniques I developed over the years for selling used books still worked like a champ.

To adapt my method for attacking large sales and selling my used books you'll need to do the following:

1. Arrive early -- obscenely early. At least one hour ahead of the crowd.
2. Come prepared with a chair, your favorite beverage, and entertainment.
3. Know what you want. Have your battle plan ready before the store opens.
4. List your books online immediately. There's no time like the present.
5. Plan for your next sale. Hit the Internet and find out when the next time will be when you march into battle.

So there you have it. Some of my most cherished secrets to success. In reality, they're all really just common sense. Now they can be your secrets too!

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