Archive for June, 2009 – so good I am tempted to keep it to myself

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a ton of books around my house.  They are about 10% textbooks, 75% popular fiction, and 10% misc fiction or reference.  As I reviewed this ton of books I wanted to dispose of, my first instinct was to drop it off at the local library, the books would go to a good cause and I would get a tax donation.  However, with a little more effort, I thought I could weed out some of the books for cash.

I’ve had this instinct before, and in the past I have tried to go to my local used book stores, I and it was NOT worth the effort.  Out of the back ache and time I spent, only a few were accepted and they were low-balled.  So … the internet.

In my search of “selling” “Used books”, etc, what I’ve found is that there are an abundance of textbook buyback sites, but very few of these will accept fiction – which was the overwhelming part of my collection…and then I stumped upon Powells– a used book store in Washington.  They allow you to bulk enter your ISBN numbers, they give you and online quote, and a printable media mail packing slip.   Your money is deposited into a paypal account.

There were a few reference books in the mix that boosted up the average, but the fiction probably averaged about 50 cents a title.  That may seem like very little, and I paid cover on almost all of them, but in reality – if i was to estimate the cost of these books for IRS purposes, I would estimate them also at 50 cents each, and that would be a tax deduction – subject to all those limitations, with the only possible benefit being to reduce my taxable income – so the value of donating any individual books is limited.  The other sites i found which accepted fiction were much lower, on the range of 10 cents a book.

I sold 33 books to, with an estimated payment of $35.50 dollars.  It took a few weeks for them to be received, they “rejected” about 10 of the books, and my estimate of 37 dollars turned into a 25 dollar deposit.  Now, they kept the books that they rejected and I wasn’t really called and asked whether I wanted my books back – I’m sure that was all in the terms of the offer which I clicked through. 

Again, this is a function of selling things online with no inspection.  I had a similar experience with – see prior post.  So am I happy with  I am ecstatic and thoroughly recommend them as long as they can keep up this payment model.  Again, I probably could have gotten more money on ebay – grouping the fiction into lots by authors, but then i would have to pay commissions, make multiple trips to the post office, etc.  And I would be stuck with a lot of leftover books.  This was easy, the books were sorted and I had the ISBN numbers already, so all I had to do was cut & paste the ISBN list into Powell’s search form, print up the estimate & grab the books they accepted and box them up.  One trip to the post office & I didn’t have to wait in line b/c Powells paid for shipping. 

Overall Rating  – 9/10

Coming up a review on….