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Comment: 2011 softcover. No writing or highlighting! Light tanning on pages Great otherwise!
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The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site Paperback – July 23, 2011

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The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site + Barcode Booty: How I found and sold $2 million of 'junk' on eBay and Amazon, And you can, too, using your phone + Sell on Amazon: A Guide to Amazon's Marketplace, Seller Central, and Fulfillment by Amazon Programs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Weber Books; 1st edition (July 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977240606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977240609
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

About the author: Steve Weber is founding publisher of, which showcases five-star Kindle books currently available free (you may never have to pay for books again!).

From the Back Cover

About the author: Steve Weber is founding publisher of, which showcases five-star Kindle books currently available free (you may never have to pay for books again!).

~ Why Online Bookselling?

~ Where to Find Books
Library sales
Estate sales
Thrift shops
Used bookstores
Remainder distributors
Postal Service auctions
Treasury Department auctions
Book fairs
Bargain tables
Classified ads
Local auctions
Lower priority sources

~ What Books to Buy
Learn to find unusual books
The trouble with fiction.
Textbooks to avoid.
Nonfiction to avoid.
Other books to avoid
Romance novels
Books by comedians.
Know what buyers want
How much to pay

~ Where to Sell Books
Amazon Pro-Merchant Subscription
Amazon zShops.
Barnes & Noble
Yahoo Stores
Your own Web site
White Oak Books

~ Grading and Pricing Books
Assigning condition.
Like New:
Very Good:
As new:
Very good:
Book club:
Binding copy
Pricing books
Amazon Sales Rank.
Title Z
Adjusting prices
Clearing deadwood.
Keep working

~ Focus on Service
Prompt shipping
Working with the USPS
International shipping
Provide a tracking number
Describe items accurately
Enclose your contact information.
Solicit feedback after delivery
Request negative feedback removal
Problem customers
Feedback on other venues
Delivery mistakes
Your return policy
Your Fulfillment System
Designing your SKU system
Tracking customers

~ Collectible Books
Modern first editions
What to look for
How to recognize a first edition
Collector's editions
Children's books

~ Advanced Automation
Pricing and inventory software
Seller Engine
Mail Extractor
AMan for Marketplace Sellers
The Art of Books

~ Wireless pricing lookup

~ Online Postage
USPS Shipping Assistant
Other resources

~ Taxes, Legal Requirements, and Records
Monitoring your business's progress
Preparing financial statements.
Identifying receipt sources.
Your business's legal structure
Sole proprietorship
Limited liability company
Local ordinances
Sales taxes
Income taxes
Supporting documents
Business use of your home
Hiring employees

~ The Future of Bookselling
A proliferation of sales venues
Opening a brick-and-mortar shop
Appendix 1 Remainder Book Wholesalers
Describing remainders
Remainder stores

~ Appendix 2 New Book Wholesalers

~ Appendix 3 Shipping Supply Vendors

~ Appendix 4 Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Use FBA 'Basic Fulfillment'
Competing with FBA
Drawbacks of Fulfillment by Amazon
Lost or damaged FBA items
Fulfillment by Amazon facts
Long-term storage fees for FBA
Best practices
Smart FBA shipping
Amazon EasySell
Use Amazon as a drop-shipper
Imports and exports
Export items

~ Appendix 5 More Resources

~ Glossary

~ Index

More About the Author

Hey, thanks for visiting my page.

I'm Steve Weber, publisher of, where I post a daily list of five-star Kindle books offered free that day. I also have a book called "Kindle Buffet" (Guess what? It's free!). It's one of my several nonfiction tomes about bookselling and collecting, publishing, authorship, book marketing, and social media. You can check out all of my books right here on this page.

I'm from Charleston, West Virginia, and currently live in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

In college I studied Journalism -- BS, 1987, West Virginia University (Let's Goooo, Mountaineers!) I was pretty green back then, and I figured a career in newspapers was just the ticket for a guy such as myself who enjoyed writing but had no ideas of his own.

After working several years as a reporter and editor, I started a home-based business selling used and collectible books online (mainly on Amazon). Five years later, I wrote my first book based on that experience: "The Home-Based Bookstore." It's a short book but it took me a long time to write it. I'd never written anything longer than 25 paragraphs or so, and had never used an outline since grade school. I still don't know how to use one. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to write, and all my books read like an upside-down pyramid ;-)

Recently I've been fascinated with publishing my books on the Kindle, and all the other great books available. I'm especially keen on checking out each day's free Kindle books, of course. They're irresistable, like candy or free beer. Or, as one Kindle Buffet reader put it, "They're like potato chips. Nobody can download just one."

I started Kindle Buffet in the summer of 2012, and it draws on my experiences in book-picking, interviewing, writing and publishing. I feel like I have a knack for recognizing what other people might want to read, and talking them into doing it. I figured it would take just 20 minutes a day to update the site and, for a while, it did. Just as with everything else I do, it ended up taking about 25 times longer than I'd figured. So these days I've got about 20 minutes left in my day after I've finished with Kindle Buffet.

A lot of people ask me how I manage to do it all. "Steve," they say, "how can you possibly read 60, 70, 80 books a day, seven days a week?"

My reply is always the same: "Doesn't everybody? I mean, c'mon, they're FREE! There's no excuse not to!"

Customer Reviews

Useful and informative, great tips.
Elizabeth Hull
Steve Weber's style of writing is easy to read and this book has a lot of helpful information for newcomers.
Ramona B.
We highly recommend this book to anyone wanting good advice on starting a book selling business!
J. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

261 of 273 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
`The Home-Based Bookstore' is written by Steve Weber, who solicited this review from me and supplied me with a copy of his book. I expect this will not influence my review, but it is good for you to know this up front.

Before I opened this book, I posed some questions I thought the book should answer. These questions, with the author's response follow:

1. What are the criteria for choosing, eBay, or one's own site for selling a particular title?

The author clearly prefers Amazon over most other options, although he gives some good reasons for setting up your own web page.

2. How do you pick titles to sell? Some obvious examples, such as Stephen King hardcovers are really poor second hand sellers.

The author gives some very general suggestions on which titles to pick and which titles to avoid. I agree with him almost entirely, although I can think of some exceptions to most of his titles to avoid; however, that is based on special knowledge of certain fields such as cookbooks.

3. How do you acquire interesting titles cheaply? Whenever I browse a second hand bookstore, 99 out of 100 titles are pure junk. I have yet to find, for example, an important out of print cookbook at any used bookstore.

The author provides many good sources, including every one I could think of, plus one or two I did not think of.

4. How do you track your stock so you can quickly determine whether or not you have a title OR where you may be able to acquire a title for a book hunter.

The author gives many useful answers to this question, including some new technology options that really surprised me, based on accessing the Internet through your cell phone.

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148 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are untold thousands of books on the market that promise the buyer a way to make money. Most just provide an outline, or some ideas that the author claims will produce guarenteed millions, buying distressed properties, government surplus, whatever. Some are by successful business owners, but don't really get into the details of running a business. And some are out-and-out frauds.

This book, though, is almost unique among how-to business books. It's written by a successful busienssman, and it's a real, practical nuts-and-bolts guide to setting up an internet-based used book store. In fact, it's so detailed you have to wonder why the author is going to such pains to help set up his own competition.

There are chapters on where to buy books, what books to sell and which to avoid, how to grade books, the best selling venues, how to describe books, how to set up an inventory system, how to deal with problems- if you can't run a business using this book alone, you shouldn't be running a business, period.

Now reading this book won't guarentee you can make a successful go of an on-line used bookstore; you still need the kind of drive and perseverence that characterize all successful business owners. This isn't something you can make a go of in a few hours a week; it requires dedication. And you need to be flexible; I suspect that this business model won't be profitible forever, as the publishing market changes. But it's a good model for more than just books. I could see applying the same model to other used goods.

If you are, in fact, the kind of person who has the drive and the devotion to make a business work, and you're looking for a good business model to start with, you could do a lot worse than to get a copy of "The Home-Based Bokstore". I strongly suspect that this book will spawn a lot of new Internet entrepenuers.
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150 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Rufus Quail on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Home-Based Bookstore doesn't claim to be complete and comprehensive, so it's probably not fair to give it only four stars because it skimps on some useful information.

For example, Mr. Weber recommends giving the customer a tracking number but doesn't make it clear how to get one. I'm sure this is idiotically simple to anyone familiar with postal transactions. That's probably why Mr. Weber didn't give a hand-holding description of the process.

I was clueless. I took my first shipment to the post office and asked for a tracking number. The clerk started pulling out forms for costly and complicated types of service and began to spout arcane postal jargon. I couldn't cope with the information overload so I shipped my books without the all-important tracking number.

My next trip I learned that you have to get DELIVERY CONFIRMATION. Look for the small lime-green form. It has a bar code label (with tracking number) that you attach to your parcel.

I could have used some help with book terminology, i.e., the verbiage to put into the "comments" field of your Amazon listing. If you browse the listings, you see myriad descriptive terms. Is there a right or wrong way to list your book? The book does not address the topic.

The book is rife with listings for pricing and inventory software, online postage services, and the hand-held scanners you can use for automated scouting at book sales. It's puzzling that the author would present these listings without commentary regarding which ones he found useful, or if he used them at all.

The author could have summarized how he was able to quit his job in three months and sell books full time.
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