Today’s guest post is written by Megan, another loyal Pocket Your Dollars reader. She loves to get a bargain when she buys books, textbooks, and DVDs, but has learned a few things about making money selling them online. Personally, I am excited about what she shares because I can see a stack of books in the corner that we have desired to sell online, but weren’t quite sure where to start. I have no excuse to sell them now. Thanks Megan!
About two years ago, my family started to prepare for moving to our current home. In the process of moving, we found that we had moved the same books and DVDs from place to place. Not only are the books heavy and numerous, but they gathered dust and were only read one time (if that). As a graduate student, I bought all of my textbooks online, but I had never resold my books online. One night, I went through all of my old textbooks and determined that I could easily make a couple hundred dollars if I sold them online. Over the last two years, I would estimate that my family has made well over $1,000 from selling textbooks, other books, and DVDs on the internet.
There are two main sites that you can post your books on – Half.com and Amazon.com. They both take a commission based on the sale price of your book. Both sites are free for listings and shipping is reimbursed at a fixed rate (sometimes you lose money on shipping, other times you make money on shipping). If you decide to post your books at both sites, be sure you are immediately removing a sold book from the website that didn’t sell that book (or you might get bad ratings if you have to cancel an order). Also, be sure to accurately describe your item and condition.
As for shipping, I usually watch for deals at office supply stores and buy in bulk to save. I keep large envelopes and tissue paper or bubble wrap on supply to send the items I sell. When you ship, be sure to mail at the media mail rate (unless the buyer upgrades to expedited shipping).
Payment is made directly into your bank account twice a month (this information is required when you sign up to sell items).
I would recommend pricing your books at the lowest rate that way the books will sell quicker. Some of you may look into this option and see that your books will only sell for $.75. Although this may not seem like a lot, it adds up fast. Plus, you are recycling and decluttering.
As school approaches, another site to check out is www.cheapesttextbooks.com to search for your textbooks for college and graduate school. This website will pull from Amazon.com and Half.com (and a few other retailers) to determine the cheapest textbook price. The website has links which directly route you to Amazon or Half with no fee.
Carrie here again: I also think these kinds of small entrepreneurial endeavors can be good for kids. Older kids can help get ads set up, read inquiries from potential buyers, help package the books, see the payment deposited into the account, etc. How else can you have kids help?
Your turn: What have you learned as you’ve sold things online that would help someone else get started?