If you remember, I posted some ideas for selling used homeschool books back in March. Since then I posted a couple of follow-ups with details about my earnings to encourage you to try sell some things you no longer need.
Before I give you some tips, I had a chance to tally up my total earnings for April from selling books on Amazon and Cathswap. The total, ladies and gentlemen is……….$393.15! That’s what I cleared after accounting for the cost of postage. Remember, Amazon reimburses a small portion of your cost of shipping.
Here are some things I’m learning about posting on Cathswap along the way which I thought might help. Cathswap is a moderated yahoo group for buying and selling homeschool books. The materials don’t have to be Catholic but a lot of them are and there is a list restricting certain publishers, authors and titles which are notoriously anti-Catholic.
1. I found that bumping posts up occasionally has paid off.
2. Listing individual titles is more effective than listing a group or lot of books unless you’re selling them as a bundle-all or nothing. There is a limit of 3 posts per day. If you can be patient about selling and can take the few minutes to post each book individually, it’s worth it. You can always copy and paste your older posts to bump them up.
3. In my limited experience, weekends are slow. Wednesdays and Thursdays are pretty active days for buyers. I don’t post books on the board on Fridays because they allow miscellaneous items and small cottage industry promotions on those days. Homeschool books tend to get buried very quickly. Then again, the board is active on Fridays. You may have to test this for yourself. Friday would be a good day to try to sell something that you make.
4. Publishing date and editions affect the value of your materials. Even if you have a book in excellent, like new condition, if there’s a later edition, you might have to slash the price considerably.
5. Shipping any book, CD or DVD media mail is the cheapest option. You can still add tracking for $.90. I usually give the buyer the option of paying extra for that if I’m offering to pay postage via media mail. If the buyer is paying shipping, I give them the option of the which service they want. They usually prefer media mail.
6. I didn’t realize how valuable DVD’s must be. On my very first day of listing, I listed 5 Catholic children’s DVD’s, each about a different saint. These retail for about $15 and I listed them for $5 each. My inbox lit up with interest and I probably could have listed them for at least $8-$10 each. IT was a great lesson and I still consider it a win for me since we got a lot of use out of the videos and I still made a few bucks. My point is, DVD’s hold some value and if you have the time, listing a little higher initially is sometimes worth it. You can always lower your price if the item doesn’t get any hits.
For Amazon sales:
1. If you’re going away or if you just want a break from selling, there is a vacation setting. Don’t forget to reactivate it when you return or are ready to sell again.
2. There is an option to have Amazon fulfill your shipment. I have not explored this since my P.O. is relatively close and I can get out easily. There is a fee but if you have a large volume of books to sell, it may be worth it. These items qualify for Amazon’s free shipping for purchases over $25, an incentive to buyers. Also, they have the added security of Amazon shipping it.
3. One thing I really don’t like about Amazon’s payment policy is that they hold onto your funds and release it twice a month. That seems ok except they don’t release funds earned within 14 days of each settlement date. I understand the reason but it can get frustrating to earn from sales and it trickles into your account.
I still haven’t had any luck selling on Craigslist. This might be an option for a “lot” of items bundled together or some things that don’t have much value on Amazon. I’m thinking Craigslisters are looking for deep discounts.
Have you tried selling your used homeschool books yet? Have any tips that I missed? Please share in the comments!