Another post from William Smith at Hang Fire Books
William has a terrific blog himself, definitely one worth bookmarking!
When I attend sales by private owners, I’m often faced with the question of how to present myself and explain what I do. If the seller contacts you through your shop or a directory listing, a simple business card will suffice. But when you show up at an estate/garage/stoop sale and start amassing a huge pile of books, some potentially awkward questions will come up–usually politely phrased versions of “Who in their right mind would want ALL of those books?”.
I’ve found that the most unvarnished answer, “I sell books online” is usually interpreted as “I’m taking advantage of you”, and the book prices will suddenly triple.
A better response is: “I’m buying stock for my bookstore” or “I own/run an online bookshop”. These sound much more legitimate and can lead to some fruitful follow-up questions that may win you new customers or contacts.
But sometimes–when I’m cranky or just want to move it along–I use these:
Q: “Oh, are you a teacher/scuba diver/home brewer/judo master?”
A: “No, but I have a friend who is.” (often true)
Q: “You sure do like to read'”
A: “Yup.” (also true)
How do other booksellers handle all the questions?