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Customer Discussions > Textbook Buyback forum

Why list books for One Cent

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Showing 101-125 of 383 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2011 1:37:41 PM PDT
Carole says:
True, and you have to be very careful with books like computer books. When I sold mine on here (was moving from NY to WA and had to get rid of stuff), it costs me a LOT more than $3.99 to ship them media mail due to their size and weight. So if you have books like that, put them on eBay where you can name your shipping cost. I lost money on my computer books on here.

Posted on Oct 10, 2011 5:14:56 AM PDT
Boo says:
This one cent books thing is quite the mystery. I am an online book dealer since 1998. Even if the mega-dealers make some $$ on the shipping, it has to be just pennies. Do you any idea how labor intensive it is to store, catalog, retrieve, pack and ship 5,000 books? The labor time and cost, the storage space and inventory system, etc. And yet they just make about 30 cents on each book? Before I started my book biz I was a CPA for 25 years. Mathematically and rationally selling one cent books is impossible to turn a profit. Impossible. So what's the freakin deal then? The fact that no business mind seems to be able to clear up this mystery is another mystery. And what about Amazon's 15%? Each one cent book had to be acquired. How does one acquire books for less than one cent each? I have ordered a number of these tremendous buys and most are not damaged, but in great shape. Makes no sense. I wish some interviewer would ask Bezsos about this. To reiterate: If you think it's just a matter of making some pennies per book on shipping that doesn't take into account most of the cost to store, pack, ship, inventory and labor fixed and variable costs All businesses have to accrue.

Posted on Oct 10, 2011 5:46:52 AM PDT
Aryeh Wiener says:
No one buys a book to sell for one cent. Plenty of books are acquired in bulk, and there are always losers in the pile. So instead of trashing them, some sellers list them because if they sell, they acquire a customer. Someone they can email whenever they have new books in stock. It's called marketing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2011 7:27:43 AM PDT
Boo says:
With all due respect, that's ridiculous. I have purchased over 100 books for one cent on Amazon and have never had any seller contact me by email or any other way. How much time do you think it takes to list a book? And even when bought "in bulk" it is never for one cent a book; ever. When I buy a book for one cent, IF I order again from that dealer it is for another one cent book. If a dealer sells 1,000 books for one cent he made $10. Do you ave any idea how much time and effort it takes to pack and ship 1,000 books? Even if the dealer makes a little from the shipping what about the cost of the envelope or box, the 15% Amazon gets, etc? Makes no common sense.

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 9:06:55 AM PDT
Debi Dabbs says:
I did sell a book & found that due to the weight of the book I actually wound up owing Amazon money in the end. While I will buy from them I will never sell anything through them again. The "buy back" offers are a total joke! Is anyone that gullible?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 8:09:37 PM PDT
The reason is that they are trying to qualify to sell toys for christmas season. You have to have a certain number of sales and a certain amount of positive feed back by a certain date. So, people sell things for extra cheap, just stuff laying around the house, so that they can get into the toy selling category over the holidays.

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 9:03:33 PM PDT
Carole says:
The problem is where do you go sell books and get a decent return? And why can we no longer list books on here as new? I bought a book that was quite expensive for a college course I was going to take online, and it was canceled due to low enrollment. Now I'm stuck with a brand new book, and Amazon will only let me list it as Used-Excellent or Used-Like New. It's not Like New, it's NEW. It was never used. It sat on a shelf waiting for the course to start only to find out a few days before that it was canceled.

Posted on Oct 15, 2011 7:13:38 AM PDT
K. Carroll says:
I've sold quite a few books on Amazon for $.01. You make money on the shipping fee. It usually only cost me about 1.50 to mail a book. If it's just a book you have laying around, it's a nice way to find it a new home and make a buck or two. It was a good experience--I couldn't keep up with the orders.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2011 9:44:47 AM PDT
Let's see how much money you made, K. Carroll:

Sale price: $0.01
Shipping: $3.99
Total sale: $4.00

Commission: $0.00.
Per listing fee: $0.99
VCF: $1.35
Postage: $1.50
Total fees: $3.84

Total sale: $4.00
Total fees: $3.84
Profit: $0.16

So you made 16 cents. But to get postage for $1.50 means your book weighs 4 ounces or less and is thin enough to qualify for first class mail. Good luck on that one.

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 10:52:18 AM PDT
Grace Hill says:
I stopped listing media for under $2.00 because even if you make a little on shipping, after amazon's cut, you wind up with nothing or in the hole. To L. Flores sometimes it's cheaper to send something 1st class if it's lightwt.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2011 11:25:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2011 11:26:24 AM PDT
Carole says:
I think I'm giving up on selling books on here. Going to try ebay. At least on there I can name my shipping price so I don't lose money. And I can list books as NEW, which I can no longer do on here.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 9:17:00 PM PDT
Adrian Fryc says:
what about a commission that Amazon takes ???? ?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 9:19:21 PM PDT
Adrian Fryc says:
Finnaly someone mentioned those Amazone fees

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 9:37:47 AM PDT
Jeffinner07 says:
they are companies, they make profit from every book they sell

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2011 10:13:01 AM PDT
Chris Stoner says:
While I agree with a lot of what you are saying (and it should be obvious to most people that shipping rates are in no way tied to the cost of the item purchased), I think part of what the post by NaturallyMama was saying was that shipping costs are cheaper for the seller if the *same person* buys more than one book. She mentioned that she bought several books and was charged a flat $3.99 per book. When the books were shipped, they were packaged together and it is cheaper to send one slightly larger package with several books than it is to send each book individually.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2011 10:16:56 AM PDT
Adalyn Watts says:
As a buyer who leaves feedback, a one cent book probably allows the seller to up their own ratings in an honest way. You may not be able to make money on those books, but you are viewed as a better seller to buy from.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2011 6:40:01 PM PDT
This contradicts a common view held by sellers that the worst raters are people who buy the cheapest copy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2011 10:25:09 AM PDT
The policy of selling items for $0.01, plus 3.99 applies not only for some books, but for small electronic devices as well. I buy wall chargers for some of the kids I work with. Often the wall charger is $1.99, plus free shipping. Another vendor has a similar wall charger for $0.01 plus $3.99 shipping. I am sure both vendors are not losing money, or only making a penny or two on each transaction. Else, they would stop doing it.

I've always thought that if you had a thriving business that made you a nice income selling books, electronics, or what ever, and you could make an additional $1 or more on additional shipments, why not add it to the mix?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 6:17:54 AM PDT
R. Tillman says:
Agreed. It's pretty much close to 3.99 or a bit above. I think if you work with FedEx and are a professional seller you get a great 'deal'.

I don't put any book on Amazon for less than $2.00. If it's worth less than that, I shouldn't be trying to sell it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 9:22:52 AM PDT
So work in writing and publishing or for the post office? I find it hard to believe that you know at all what you are talking about. In fact I think that you are just spouting nonsense to feel important. That is great. Good for you. Keep it up!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 4:00:54 PM PDT
My understanding is that Amazon's fee gets paid out of the 3.99 shipping and the shipper gets a small part of that 3.99 as well. I was told that, but I can't remember by whom. HTH.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2011 8:51:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2011 9:04:07 PM PDT
M. Raja says:
We sold books for a little under 2 years on Amazon.
We knew when we started that there would only be a finite time before the big boys figured out "Hey, all I need is a warehouse and some minimum wage kids to make $ with this scheme!" We started selling in 2003, lived in a house that resembled a library - bookshelves EVERYWHERE - and listed over 3500 books. By always listing the lowest price, we sold roughly 20 a day for a out 18 months ... then the penny sellers started up.

I figured it was the co.'s that could offer to make only a 20 cent profit but sold so much per day that it was enough, as long as that wasn't their only inventory price.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2011 8:55:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2011 9:07:43 PM PDT
M. Raja says:
There is no bulk shipping. Whether you go USPS or UPS, every book you mail costs the cost of media mail, figured by weight and where it's going.

The only way to make $ on penny books is if you're bothering to pack and ship a whole slew of them every day for various prices, so sometimes if the book is really light and you've got your packing down to a science (and we sure did) you figure, 'what the heck'. As private sellers we didn't usually invest that time.

Nevertheless, if you were a pro-merchanat (40$ a month when we did this years ago) you didn't pay the listing fee, so you did make a bit, but always under 1$.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2011 9:00:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 3, 2011 9:07:57 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2011 5:48:14 AM PDT
kreynolds says:
The $3.99 credit is the shipping credit Amazon gives the seller. Of course, normally that simply offsets their fees.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
Participants:  210
Total posts:  383
Initial post:  Apr 16, 2011
Latest post:  21 days ago

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