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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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From the Author
From the Back Cover
~ Why Online Bookselling?
~ Where to Find Books Library sales
Postal Service auctions
Treasury Department 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
Books by comedians.
Know what buyers want
How much to pay
~ Where to Sell Books
Amazon Pro-Merchant Subscription
Barnes & Noble
Your own Web site
White Oak Books
~ Grading and Pricing Books
Amazon Sales Rank.
~ Focus on Service
Working with the USPS
Provide a tracking number
Describe items accurately
Enclose your contact information.
Solicit feedback after delivery
Request negative feedback removal
Feedback on other venues
Your return policy
Your Fulfillment System
Designing your SKU system
~ Collectible Books
Modern first editions
What to look for
How to recognize a first edition
~ Advanced Automation
Pricing and inventory software
AMan for Marketplace Sellers
The Art of Books
~ Wireless pricing lookup
~ Online Postage
USPS Shipping Assistant
~ Taxes, Legal Requirements, and Records
Monitoring your business's progress
Preparing financial statements.
Identifying receipt sources.
Your business's legal structure
Limited liability company
Business use of your home
~ The Future of Bookselling
A proliferation of sales venues
Opening a brick-and-mortar shop
Appendix 1 Remainder Book Wholesalers
~ 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
Smart FBA shipping
Use Amazon as a drop-shipper
Imports and exports
~ Appendix 5 More Resources
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Top Customer Reviews
The problem I had in reading it is that the world is entirely different today than it was in 2005, and as Steve has not really revised this book when reading it you do not know what is now fact or fiction in it. Steve needs to do a true revision of its contents.
First let me say that I like this book and I did find it useful. I have been buying and selling books for well over 40 years now. In the early days I only dealt with rare and collectable works. As the availability and easy of selling on-line developed and became available I branched out into "used books." The potential dealer should realize and note right from the start that selling rare and collectable books is a complete different game than selling used books. The former requires much specialized information and specialized skills. The later require common sense, a nose for business and a bit of pure luck. I need to strongly warn you right now that dealing with rare book collectors is a world unto its own. No single set of individuals I know of are as picky and neurotic as rare book collectors...be forewarned! One thing that both categories have in common though is that they both require a tremendous amount of very hard word to be successful. This is one of the few points in the work being reviewed here that may have failed just a bit in...it ain't as easy as it looks.
I have been selling books on-line for about 10 years now and over the past seven years have turned to Amazon almost exclusively. I am what is considered a "hobby" seller and I never let my inventory go much over 500 books. I am extremely picky in what I sell and consider the occupation more of a game or hobby than I do as a money making venture. That is not to say that I do not make money and that is not to say that I do not like making money - actually I do pretty well for the size of my operation.
Now that being said....
Even though I do probably know my share of information concerning the selling of used books on-line, I never-the-less picked up some very good information and tips from reading this work. It caused me to do some re-evaluation in the way I was handling things and it supplied some very nice tips that has made my life easier. The author knows his subject and know it quite well.
There is one thing to remember though when reading this work! No one single book or one single source can supply the potential seller with ALL the information needed. To be quite frank, once you start selling books on-line you will run across situations almost daily that you have never encountered before and you will find little to no information published to help you out. You have to learn this stuff as you go.
There were a couple of what I would consider weak areas in this work...not horrible omission, but simply weak. The first of these was "how to find books to sell." The author is pretty vague here and not overly specific, and rightfully so, as this is one of the most difficult problems you will encounter. You just have to learn this stuff for yourself and much depends upon your geographical location. As an example, the author states that "yard sales" are not your best choice. I have found the opposite to be true. The author has not put enough emphasis on Estate Auctions. Both of these sources have been two of my major sources for books and I have been rather successful at it.
The second area in which I felt the author was weak was in what sells and what does not sell, i.e. categories or genre of books. I found myself it total disagreement in this area. This is information you will simply have to ferret out for yourself as you go along.
The book is well written and too the point. The author does not offer the reader "pie in the sky" and is quite pragmatic in his assessment of the business. All in all this is a useful and informative work. It is completely appropriate for the new seller and old sellers can learn much...or at least be given much food for thought.
Selling books is fun if you make it fun and attempt to please your customers while still making a pretty good living from it. It is not for everyone - for sure, but for those that like this sort of thing, it is great. I will tell you that the more successful sellers are those that truly love books and take their trade to a level surpassing just treating books as "just another product." You have to love and believe in what you sell!