I’m not talking about the hard decisions involved in book culling here. I’m interested in how you dispose of those books once culled.
I am getting better at keeping fewer books once read – and I have a variety of ways of getting rid of them…
- Giving to friends / our staff room Little Free Library
- Donating to a local charity shop – where most of them go in the end
- Just occasionally, one will need to go into the recycling bin!
- Car boot sales are rubbish for selling books around here – books rarely sell, so I’ve given up taking more than one specially selected box!
- I have had stalls occasionally at school fairs, but you need a lot of higher-value stock to make that worthwhile too as table fees and commission are high for charity events – it took me 18 months to build up enough nearly new good stock.
- Sell to mega vendors Ziffit or WeBuyBooks – but it is a lot of hassle to pack, not to mention the cost in tape / petrol to drive to drop off when for the most part they offer 20p per book accepted which is a lot of books to meet the £5 or £10 threshold for a small remuneration.
BUT… and forgive me for being self-indulgent here, as a non-teacher working in a school, I don’t earn anywhere near a teacher’s salary, so I do like to try and make some extra pennies from selling on the books I don’t need to keep. (Not proofs of course – that’s not allowed). So before they go to any of the list above, first, I check to see if I might make more pennies on Amazon, where I have an individual sellers account.
Me vs the 1p book vendors
This is where you come up against the mega vendors above who can flood the market with cheap copies – those ‘1p books’. They can sell for 1p + P&P, or varations thereon, because they get preferential selling rates from Amazon, they bulk-buy cheap postage and packaging. This is great when you’re buying of course.
When you’re selling as a private vendor – Amazon prices include a £2.80 credit for P&P and they charge you VAT on that, so unless the book is thin enough to go as a large letter, small parcels start at £2.95 (going up soon) before packaging costs, so you’re already out of pocket. Then you have the selling fees of 15% + 50p per item sold + VAT.
All of the above means that it is only worth listing about 10% of the books (and CDs) I am disposing of on Amazon. I can’t compete! If I can’t net £1, preferably more, from Amazon, before any packaging and petrol costs I incur, and get my book for sale showing on the first page of ones for sale, I don’t list them – it’s not worth my time. The good thing about Amazon is that unlike ebay, items can stay in your catalogue indefinitely.
Would you like to visit my Amazon seller’s page?
Click here. You’ll see all the books I’m offering listed on the products tab. Click on a cover and it’ll take you to the list of copies for sale – my vendor name is ‘gaskella2’ here. But even my own seller’s page is tilted towards the ‘1p book’ sellers – it doesn’t list my price and book condition under each cover, it lists the lowest price regardless. AARGH!
Do you ever sell any of your books? How do you do it?
A note about affiliate links too:
I also have an Amazon affiliates account which I’ve had from 2009. Since then I’ve earned £110 from it, £11 per year of blogging. But lately, it seems that few people’s clicks turn into orders for anything – I’ve earned £0.84 so far this year, which I won’t get until my balance currently at £11 reaches £25 – so another year and a half to go there then! Shiny New Books has earned just £26.50 in nearly five years from its affiliate link to the Book Depository. Would I do better with a Waterstones or Foyalty ac?
Affiliate links for most are not big earners, despite what you may think, so any click-throughs that translate into sales within the cookie timing will be hugely appreciated. Thank you.
I hope you’ll forgive my little rant. I sometimes feel guilty about posting affiliate links and selling on some of the books I’ve been sent alongside my own. I thought it a good idea to state clearly why and how I do this, because it’s really not a big money-spinner.
To anyone who has bought a book from me or clicked through an affiliate link and bought anything, thank you!