[Editor’s Note: Here is an email from one of our readers concerning selling books on Amazon and how lower cost items can be very difficult to make a margin on. We completely agree and now very rarely sell anything worth less than $20.00.]
After reading the entry on how to open a bookshop that is sure to fail, for which I really appreciate the candor of Bruce Hollingdrake, I wanted to add this comment. I have been reselling my books on Amazon for about a year, and in that time have realized that at such a small volume, the amount of profit one makes from each sale is hardly worth the effort. One has to price the book realistically, but often someone has already low-balled the price: do you try to compete with a giant used bookshop or hope that your personalized description and the fact that the book is in really good shape will outweigh the lower price elsewhere? Recently I sold a book for a total profit of @1.04 after postage and handling (and that didn’t include my using the car to go to the post office to mail it). The most I ever made on a book after all costs to sell it was about five bucks. I decided, that was the last time I’ll resell online unless it is a collectible, and even then I’d rather use craigslist. Why bother? From now on, I’ll either take the books to one of the few used bookshops left in Vancouver, or donate them to a library or seniors home or school.
Graduate Liberal Studies,
Simon Fraser University
Editor, Coastline Journal