Tag Archives: sell books for libraries

Textbooks – Profits and Perils


I heard this story on NPR recently about two guys going to make their fortunes selling used textbooks. Just as with stocks, they will buy low, sell high, and time the market. Well, maybe, but I’m doubtful it will work any better for them than playing the stock market does for most of us. Continue reading


Even when you’ve done everything correctly, sometimes a customer will want to return an item. And, inevitably, you will make a mistake from time to time with a listing or an order. Customer service is all about how you handle those concerns and problems. Studies have shown that a customer whose problem is resolved quickly and courteously is much more satisfied and loyal than one who has no problem at all with her purchase. Continue reading

Describing the Older Book

I like to think of book description as a creative challenge. New or like new books are quick and easy to list, but they offer no scope for the wordsmith. A book that’s been read, handled, shared – one with a history – that’s the one that makes the work interesting. You need to conjure an accurate image of the book in the customer’s mind with a few well chosen words. You’ll want to do it quickly, as well, so your time is well used; an exacting description of a $10 book is a waste of everyone’s time. A few specific details will perk up a listing and reassure the customer that he’ll get what’s expected. Here is a typical book that sold recently that offers an example of the description and pricing process. Continue reading

Bad Feedback – Is It the End of Everything?

Happily, no. It happens to every seller sooner or later, as it rains on the just and the unjust alike. It’s important to monitor your feedback to catch these problems quickly. A prompt response will minimize the damage and time will dilute the impact on your store’s rating. Let’s look at some examples of bad feedback and what can be done to counter it. Continue reading

Feedback aka Customer Review

Web commerce is driven by customer reviews, know as “Feedback” in the Amazon and Ebay worlds. Customers evaluate the shopping experience and give the transaction a rating of positive, neutral, or negative; customers may also write a comment. These scores are added up and averaged over time. Essentially, the Feedback rating is your reputation. Continue reading

Create a Listing

Amazon has a straighforward, easy to complete form to list a book for sale. (The process is similar for the other sales venues.) There are things to consider and choices to make in the process, so let’s use one example to illustrate some of those points. Once you’ve done a few, you can work quickly through a stack of books. Continue reading

Package and Ship


Packaging is an art. Proper packaging, that is. Packaging that will protect the book as it travels to its destination, encountering unknown hazards and mistreatment along the way. USPS and UPS are your partners, but they’re not your friends. It’s your job to prepare a package that can be tossed, dropped, stacked, and bumped and still arrive with its precious contents intact. Continue reading

The Well Stocked Shipping Station


We ship thousands of books, cds, and dvds each year and regularly receive compliments and appreciation for the care we take with each item. It’s not hard to wrap well and it doesn’t take any fancy equipment. It does take a little time and a lot of attention to detail. See the post “Package and Ship” for the how-to. Here are the tools and materials we use. Continue reading

Amazon vs. Ebay

Of course these aren’t the only two web sites you can sell with, but they are the biggest and will give your books the widest exposure.  In the dawn of online commerce the two companies were quite distinct.  They aren’t as different from each other now, as they both aspire to be all things to all people, but there still are distinctions which may make one or the other a better choice for your group. Continue reading

How do we start? Pt. 2


Next, consider what you have to sell.  What kinds of materials are commonly donated, in what condition?  DVDs, audio cds, ephemera (pamphlets, maps, programs, advertising, etc) can be attractive sale possibilities.  As a general rule, current non-fiction sells better than fiction. Clean attractive copies will always sell better than basement refugees.  And no one wants old textbooks. Continue reading