For those who say the Amazon Marketplace is overcrowded, and you can't source used books any longer to make money, don't overlook the onslaught of yard sales and garage sales in your area!
This weekend, for instance, I accidentally found some treasures that were hidden away inside of other boxes of "stuff" people had set outside on tables for their yard sale.
Here's a real-world example of how much money you might be leaving on the 'yard sale table' so to speak:
I bought this copy of SPSS for Windows Step By Step, and textbook in near perfect condition. Not a single mark inside, text pages clean and white, the spine uncreased, and it was stuck down in a box of miscellaneous office and school papers, binder, etc.
Here is a photo of the book:
I asked how much. The reply: 50 cents. I took a gamble.
Well, not really a gamble. I pulled out my smartphone, logged onto Amazon, typed in the ISBN, and found it was selling for over $25 used.
"I'll take it," I said. And I did.
When I got home a few hours later, it took me no more than three minutes to log into Amazon Marketplace, list this book for sale, and hit the submit button. Forgot about it. Until 5 hours later when I received an email alert telling me that book had sold for.... $24.75.
Paid 50 cents.
Sold it for $24.75.
Even after all the fees, the cost of packaging, the USPS media mail... even after all that, I will pocket a $20 profit for a few minutes of work on a beautiful Saturday morning!
Lessons Learned: Don't overlook treasures right in front of you. Go the extra mile and dig through the boxes under the tables. I call this "Think Inside The Box!" :)
I usually don't deal in textbooks but this one just looked like a winner to me. And it was! But here's the main thing.... I was only RISKING two quarters. Pretty small potatoes. I'd have still made a nice return if the book had sold for just $10.
Another lesson: if you're holding a yard sale and you're reclining in a lawnchair waiting for the ordeal to be over, get busy on your own computer and search online to see if your items are bringing more than a few quarters that you're likely to have to haggle over to practically give them away!
So next time you're feeling blue about your online used book business, make it a point to gather up some loose change and head out to some yard sales this summer. There's a very good chance we'll bump into each other! But if you get there before I do, then it might be YOU who makes the big profits!
Have fun making easy money this summer!