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Barcode Booty is, I believe, the fourth book Mr. Weber has written and self-published on the subject of reselling on the Internet. It would be interesting to know why Mr. Weber does not publish through an established Publishing house, since the quality of his material, and the interest it would find is certainly high.

The book passes my first test of a superior volume. I found something interesting and useful within the first five minutes of reading. If this doesn't happen, whether its cooking or theology or hiking or computer engineering, I immediately assume 4 stars or less. The easter egg in this book is when Mr. Weber describing finding a toy at T. J. Maxx for $30, which he sold on Amazon for $280. The way he was able to accomplish this discovery, with a cellular phone camera with barcode reader and pricing applications, is the primary subject of this book. Otherwise, the book essentially follows the pattern of his earlier works. Thus, if you don't have his earlier books, this rates five stars. If you do, and you are familiar with the barcode reading abilities of cell phones, maybe three stars. I split the difference.

There are two kinds of people who may be interested in this book. The first is people who wish to imitate Mr. Weber's self-made career. The second are those who may wish to avoid the first kind of people, and find where this stuff can be bought cheap.

Since the Amazon page contains lots of detail, and since there are many reviews, I will stop there and end by repeating that Mr. Weber's task is not "easy". It requires a lot of hard work, but you have the advantage of working for yourself, and a reasonable certainty of good rewards for good effort. However, it does require some basic computer talent and a place to store inventory, at least some inventory.
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2011
Steve Weber knocks another one out of the park with the latest addition to his online bookselling series. This time Steve educates his readers about the benefits of product diversification. While everyone else is worried about eBooks and how they will affect Amazon booksellers, Steve is busy reselling children's toys, power tools, grocery items, and the like. All the while using the exact same skills he developed scouting for books. And by the way, he still sells lots of books too.

I mean this guy is cutting edge! He tells you what equipment to buy, what software to use, and how to spot bargains waiting to be bought and resold from just about any retailer you care to mention. He literally explains how you can use your smart phone as a "treasure detector."

For example, he regales the reader with stories of how some of his students patrol stores like TJ Maxx, Big Lots, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Burlington Coat Factory; picking up bargains from $0.25 - $0.50 on the dollar and reselling them on Amazon at full retail. It's safe to say that Barcode Body is the ultimate arbitrage tool for online sellers of all kinds.

Just because a manufacturer discontinues a brand or model doesn't mean it can't be sold profitably online. Manufacturing companies closeout merchandise all the time. That can spell big bucks for you if you know what to look for. Weber shows you how.

This compact 156 page book packs quite a wallop. If you're looking for a part-time or full-time endeavor, or if you want to branch out into new territory in your bookselling business, then this is one book you can't afford to pass up.

Joe Waynick, Author
"Internet Bookselling Made Easy!" series
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on August 9, 2011
For those who don't want to read a lengthy review, I'll just say that "Barcode Booty" started my thoughts running in some interesting new directions and has given me some valuable insights as well as some fresh ideas I'll definitely follow up on, which is why I'm giving it 5 stars.

For those curious about what my opinion is based on, I'll start by saying that Steve's book contains a lot of information that was new to me - so much, in fact, that I'm still in the process of absorbing it and sorting it all out.

By way of background, several years ago I discovered by chance that some things squirreled away in my closets had surprising value as vintage items on eBay, which led me to start going to estate sales and thrift stores to try to ferret out more! My success was encouraging enough that I went on to write a book about what I'd learned, "Estate Sale Prospecting with craigslist and eBay". I also had a first try at selling used books on, but was unsuccessful in figuring out how to do that on my own, so in that book I expressed a negative opinion about the business potential of online bookselling.

Then I ran across Steve's first book, "The Home-Based Bookstore." Reading it I soon realized that I'd misunderstood online bookselling on Amazon. I'd assumed it was like selling at auction on eBay when it's actually quite different in several important ways. Following Steve's advice I did much better selling used books on Amazon, so much so that I've turned my efforts in that direction for the last several years, eventually writing a book on that business that I've just published, "Musings of an Online Bookseller".

As I progressed in online bookselling I purchased a laser barcode scanner, a pocket computer, and a database subscription. This setup has been very helpful in finding valuable books at thrift store and estate sales. Equally important, it's helped me avoid impulsively purchasing many books that I'd later conclude were mistakes, tying up both working capital and my limited shelf space.

Although I focused my efforts primarily on online bookselling, I continued to sell items on eBay from time to time, and once in awhile I tried buying what I thought were promising clearance items at major retail stores and reselling them online. However, as when I first tried online bookselling, my success was very poor. An example would be a weather radio I bought for 70% off the list price at a drugstore clearance sale, certain that I could resell it profitably online. I was wrong--the resale value turned out to be break-even at best! After several similar attempts I concluded there wasn't much business potential reselling clearance merchandise online.

Of course I wasn't using the item selection techniques Steve talks about in "Barcode Booty" and I didn't have an efficient way to screen large numbers of candidate items for infrequent underpriced ones. Guesswork might work for some people, but it certainly didn't for me!

An exception was when I tried reselling some specialty shampoo I particularly like. My bottle ran out and when I went to my neighborhood drugstore that brand was sold out. That was only a minor annoyance until I discovered that store after store I tried was also sold out! No problem, I thought, I'll just order some online. To my surprise, it was hard to find even on Amazon and the price for the few bottles that were available was twice what I'd expected to pay! My curiosity piqued, I tried going to out-of-the-way supermarkets whenever the opportunity presented itself and at one was finally lucky enough to find eight bottles! With some trepidation I bought them all at the full retail price plus sales tax. Sure enough, when I listed them on Amazon I was able to sell them all over a period of a couple of weeks at a good profit!

This experience confirmed to me that what Steve's talking about doing in this book, buying new merchandise, and not necessarily even at clearance prices, at major retail or outlet stores and reselling it online can indeed be an avenue for making substantial money!

When I first read about Steve's book "Barcode Booty," I assumed it described a business conducted on the online bookselling model--using a handheld laser barcode scanner dedicated to that purpose. That's because my cell phone is embarrassingly old and has a very marginal camera. It had never occurred to me that taking a photo of a barcode and processing it with a special app was another way to decode it and look the product up in a database, which is the main technique Steve describes here.

As a result, I had no idea of the shopper databases available to smart phone users via free apps of various sorts, let alone the more seller-oriented fee-based apps. Knowing how much my barcode scanner improved my ability to select used books for resale, I can certainly see how these new tools can be a real game changer for screening other types of goods!

And, of course, using new techniques for barcode scanning is only one of the topics Steve covers in describing the remarkable opportunities that evolving technology has opened up recently in terms of online selling.

From my standpoint, one of the best things about Steve's book is the depth and thoroughness with which he goes into the many aspects and complexities of this new opportunity, including various pitfalls (I always like to have advance warning of those) and the mundane but important business aspects like record-keeping.

I will caution readers anxious to try this new business that consumer electronics can be risky because of rapidly falling prices as new models reach the market. This is particularly true of digital cameras. Even if you find a great closeout price on a just-discontinued camera model and determine that it's one that's still in demand online at a much higher price, keep in mind that other entrepreneurs are doing the same thing you are. When a big chain store clears something out in your locality, it's probably doing the same thing nationwide. That means that you're likely to see a flood of this particular camera model into the online marketplace and before long prices may be falling at an alarming rate! If you can get a quick sale you'll do well on it, but if you don't you may even lose a little in the end.

Steve discusses categories of goods where free-falling prices are less likely to be an issue as well as others such as power tools that don't sell well online because buyers like to inspect those kinds of items before making their purchase.

One point I found especially interesting is that Steve is often willing to price his items substantially above the competition because he finds that many buyers are willing to pay a premium to deal with a reputable seller. That corresponds with my experience in selling used books online, particularly the rarer and more obscure ones with a limited market.

Of particular interest to me was the chapter on Fulfillment by Amazon, an option I've been aware of for several years but have never tried. I found Steve's examples of using the Amazon Revenue Calculator to see how much profit a seller would make using FBA vs. directly shipping purchased items to buyers very helpful in understanding how FBA works. Now I'm looking forward to finding some suitable items to try with outsourced distribution!
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on December 25, 2012
Here's the general idea of the book in a nutshell: When you see something at a yard sale, thrift store, Big Lots, etc. and you wonder if it's worth anything, search for the item on Ebay (completed listings) or (either using your smart phone's web browser or app for each site).

The book seems to say the same thing over and over again, and lot of the apps mentioned in the book are no longer available and/or aren't necessary (as mentioned above, all you need is the Ebay and Amazon apps or sites).

In addition, the author admits to book values plummeting due to electronic media and people selling books on Amazon and Ebay for $0.01, and yet he still makes it seems like he earns a full-time salary from used book sales. I don't think so (I speak from experience). And keep in mind, while you and other sellers may list an item for a higher price, there's always at least one or two clueless sellers offering the item for half of its worth -- thereby dragging down the value for everyone.

What it comes down to is you have to have almost a sixth sense of the value of something to know to look it up -- otherwise you'd spend all of your time scanning and researching every single item you see. The item must be rare or unusual. Items need to be new, vintage or hard-to-find -- THEN look them up to see the value and go from there (you'll save yourself a lot of time and actually make money vs spending all of your time researching).

You'll make a nice side income (gas money, maybe a utility bill once a month). But a full-time income? In 2012? Don't count on it.

If this book were updated, I probably wouldn't read it (since I'm already employing a lot of the methods mentioned) BUT I'd recommend it (again, an updated version only) to someone looking to make money reselling rare or unusual items.
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on September 25, 2011
First kindle book I ever bought. Picked up alot of tips involving using barcode scanners to make online sourcing and selling easier. My best suggestion to add to anyone the the android app "profit bandit" . It will allow you to. Have an accurate idea of what ANYTHING. is selling for on All of Amazon...catfood....pencils..books...etc. and its way cheaper than pocket profit or fba scout. One thing any eBay seller should hear from me. Note. Just cuz you have product..does not make everything fair game on eBay. One of my accounts was shut down after 1200 transactions of skis boots ad snowboards..reason. they closed it because I was not an authorized reseller of these you have been warned. Steve knows online selling and this book will help you money you can spend to make your Amazon, eBay and online biz grow. And you too...can be a winner....!
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on June 4, 2011
I liked this book. The author has been writing about what he does to make a living since 2005 when he released The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site. I never read that book, but I am aware of it. In 2007 he released two books on how to market and sell online effectively. These were Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking and Plug Your Business! Marketing on MySpace, YouTube, blogs and podcasts and other Web 2.0 social networks. Then in 2008 he pumped out two more books on using the two huge "garage sale" Web sites online to sell your wares. See Sell on Amazon: A Guide to Amazon's Marketplace, Seller Central, and Fulfillment by Amazon Programs and eBay 101: Selling on eBay For Part-time or Full-time Income, Beginner to PowerSeller in 90 Days. I've read these four last mentioned books. I think I have posted reviews for most of them at Amazon, too.

I used to be a SCORE dot org volunteer counselor/consultant. Online marketing, eBay, and sometimes Amazon, were hot topics on many evening counseling sessions I attended. I mentioned Weber's books often. None of my "clients" complained about the books that I had recommended they read. But I NEVER was too encouraging about pursuing an online retail shop that sold other peoples' junk. That's basically what Weber has done for the past several years and written about. Finding the inventory to sell is a serious hassle, and packaging it so the mailing services can deliver it is yet another hassle. Quite frankly, you would not catch me doing it. It's just too labor intensive without a sufficient payoff to justify the time spent. The author says over 10 years he has had gross sales of $2 million. Divide that figure by 10, substract the applicable cost of goods sold, subtract opportunity cost of lost wage income, and subtract other operating costs, and I bet Weber has not made out all that well. In fact, he's probably in the hole.

So what is the instant book being reviewed about and why did I like it? I liked it because the author has written a book that kind of addresses the two big problems I mention herein above: (1) help with finding inventory to sell, and (2) order fulfillment. The old way of finding inventory to sell relied a lot of the author having a database of information in his head that sometimes helped him and sometimes didn't. Now he advocates doing his searches with an Internet connection in his hand and doing price searches using it. Isn't it amazing how we can walk around anywhere with a wireless Internet connection in our hand today?

The old way of doing order fulfillment was to have a bunch of cardboard boxes and shipping tape in the family garage and spend lots of time packing the sold inventory and then taking trips to the post office. Bummer. I hope you didn't pay for a college education to do that! Anyway, the author has gotten smart and outsourced that function today. He writes about what he does in this book. It's really pretty simple - call in Amazon to save the day.

While this book might at first glance seem like a rehash of Weber's previous books, nothing could be further from the truth. This book is all about how the author has modified his business model that he wrote about in previous books. And anyone who is into online sales of other peoples' junk probably should part with a little cash and get this book. I suspect it will be well worth the purchase price to them.

As I say at the outset, I LIKED this book. Unfortunately that won't get it a 5-star rating from me. I have to love it for the top mark to be granted. I can love a book because it is really cool, informative, and well written, or touches a topic that is close to my heart. Online retail sales is not a topic close to my heart so the book would have had to be really special to get a 5. It's a good book, but it's just not that special. 4 stars!
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on January 21, 2012
I have been a seller on ebay for over 12 years. This book offers nothing to the new seller. In fact, it is almost impossible to become a top rated seller on ebay in 90 days and keep it. I know. I get it, then I lose it, then it comes back. All it takes is a few negative ratings from buyers and if you do not have the sales volume to offset those negatives (and you need A LOT) then you are doomed.

I do most of my shopping at thrift stores. I make a lot of money but I put a lot of hours a day into it. It takes a lot to shop, take pictures, list it all, answer questions, ship, etc. I probably spend 60 hours a week working all facets of ebay. You cannot sit back on your rust dusty and think the money willjust fall in your lap. It is a job!

I could write a better book on my experience and it would help a lot moe than this mumbo jumbo.
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on October 14, 2012
I am a new seller. I have no idea what to buy, the apps I need, how to ship, and most importantly how to interact with customers. This book covers all that-- and it's my first Amazon sellers book! I had no idea that you can basically find hidden gems everywhere. This book will motivate you to go beyond your scouting. There are soooo many things that you can do to increase your sales. What I like most about this book is the balance between fba sellers and individual sellers, such as myself. Yeah, FBA is the pinnacle for being a top notch seller on Amazon-- but there are just so many tips in this book that can really help individual sellers.
I highly recommend this book if you are a new seller on Amazon. Very easy and simple read. You don't want to put it down!
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on September 9, 2011
As a part-time online seller, I found the topic of this book interesting, but once I read it...WOW! It's way more than just interesting! It contains such a wealth of knowledge that even someone like me whose been doing this for seven years still learned some new tips. Definitely a good book for anyone who is interested in finding and selling deals, either as a hobby, side business or full-time job. Great reference book!
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on June 29, 2014
I really love this book. It inspired me to start my online business, which I have been doing for 2 years now. You will want to read this book again and again , you will highlight and make notes as you read and will enjoy having this very valuable resource. I find myself going back to this book for research and inspiration. Through the resources and advice in this book I was able to start and continue to run a successful online business and was able to replace my teaching salary within a year of starting my business. If you are looking for a reference point, a place to start this book will give you practical ideas and suggestions to get you on the right track.
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