There are thousands of independent booksellers earning $500 – $5,000 monthly selling used books online. You can too if you learn to apply just a few simple techniques. Almost anyone can earn a living selling used books online by doing five simple things well:
Scout for books daily. List books online daily. Ship sold books daily. Answer customer correspondence daily. Re-price often. That’s all there is to it. Well, almost all there is to it. You still need to master a few details before you start making money online with Internet bookselling. But when you do, it becomes second nature and easy as pie. The eblood of your Internet bookselling business is finding suitable inventory to sell online. To do that you need a scouting routine. Develop a profitable scouting routine by mapping out your book scouting routes in the most efficient manner possible. Efficient scouting also helps you maximize the number and quality of books purchased each day. Every location on your route should be carefully chosen to make the best use of your time and resources. Organizing stops to coincide with when bookshelves are restocked helps greatly. Un returning home from scouting each day, inspect and list your newly acquired books as soon as possible. The faster your books are posted to online marketplaces, the faster they’ll sell. In many cases, some of your books may sell within one to three days. The rest will sell over time. When listing books, make sure you accurately describe their condition. Don’t risk negative feedback by failing to disclose defects. Fully disclosing defects ensure the buyer knows exactly what he or she is purchasing. Aside from giving good value, nothing delights customers more than receiving their purchases in a timely fashion. Always try to ship orders within 24-hours. Marketplace rules typically require shipment within 48-hours anyway. Go the extra mile and ship earlier than required whenever possible.
Nothing frustrates and angers customers more than having their messages ignored. When customers contact you with a question about an order, always answer within 24-hours. Never argue with a customer. Go out of your way to satisfy customer concerns, even if you think they’re being unreasonable. This doesn’t mean you become a doormat for unscrupulous individuals. But rather you should strive to find a way to please customers whenever possible. Nothing kills an Internet bookselling business faster than many angry customers leaving negative feedback!
Some Internet booksellers reprice infrequently to keep prices high. Often, that strategy leads to listings becoming uncompetitive and unsalable. This is especially true if your inventory consists primarily of more common, higher ranked books sold by many sellers. If your inventory primarily consists of rare, out-to-print books, then frequent re-pricing is not advisable. Instead, profit maximization should be your goal.
If your inventory is more common, consider repricing daily, sometimes multiple times per day. Depending on the book and market conditions, lower or raise prices accordingly. Decide in advance how much you’re willing to lower prices. Your limit should be anywhere between 1% – 50% of the current selling price. Placing an upper limit on how much you’ll raise prices is typically unnecessary. Regardless of the re-pricing strategy you adopt, avoid the dreaded “race to the bottom” that’s often triggered by inexperienced booksellers. They vainly attempt to land the very next sale by undercutting the competition by a penny. The problem is inexperienced competitors attempt to do the same thing by promptly dropping their prices too. And the race is on! Each seller tries to undercut the other by a penny until the price is so low that neither of them makes a profit.
Internet bookselling is a fun, profitable business that doesn’t require more than the five steps outlined above. Master those five steps until they become second nature, and your Internet bookselling business will prosper. Exercise good cash management, be consistent with your efforts, and success won’t be far away. Good hunting!