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Tired of Hype Opportunities? Check Out Online Bookselling

Michael Mould
 


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I don't know about you, but I get tired of reading “opportunity" offerings that are nothing but scams and I cannot believe some of the infomercials that are on TV. Are there really enough people out there stupid enough to buy those products?

A friend of mine was in China a few years back to visit a plastic injection molding and machining facility. He stopped at a particular machine tool, a machining center (milling/drilling machine) because the operator had quite an impressive display of the various products he had machined over the years, some of which my friend recognized from advertising in the U. S. He asked the operator of this particular machine to tell him about his collection, but the man did not speak English and his replies had to be translated. When he asked, “Why do you keep all of these things here at your machine?" He was told, “I keep them around to inspire ideas for other products that Americans will buy. " Later he was told by someone else in the group that the translation of the man's answer was not complete and that the man actually said, “I keep them around hoping to come up with my own products to sell the Americans because they are stupid enough to buy almost anything. "

The same is true about many of the “opportunity" offers made in email solicitations, TV infomercials, magazine advertisements, and just about everywhere else you look. Somebody is offering something that is not going to make anyone any money except the guy selling the “opportunity. "

I am not selling anything here, but I do want to tell you about an opportunity for a home-based business that can make you a few thousand dollars a month while working at it part-time, and if you opt to expand your business, it can provide you with a full-time income for full-time work. You are independent, you don't have to buy instructions from anyone, you don't have to send me or anyone else a dime to start in the business yourself.

Have you heard of Amazon.com, ebay.com, Alibris.com, Half.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Abebooks.com, etc? They are all legitimate businesses with established reputations, and you can sell used books through all of them as an independent bookseller. Sure, they will all charge you to list your inventory and a commission on each sale, but most are very reasonable and their fees do not mean that much if you are listing and selling enough books.

You do not need to buy the books you sell from any particular place, you can get them at garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, Friends of the Library fundraising shelves, book sales, used bookstores, etc. , and if you know how to do it right, you will know the online value of every book you buy before you pay a penny for it, so your risk of losing money on any purchase is minimized. I have averaged over 350% profit from the sales of books online for over five years now, and that is from the sales of thousands of books. Where else can you invest a dollar and be assured of making $3.50 profit when you sell it. Note that I did not guarantee that you will make $3.50 on every book you sell, or that you will make a profit at all. I do not want to hype the business or mislead anyone.

There have been books that I have lost money selling, and I have had to clear the firewood (books with no value) from my inventory shelves many times, but I averaged $3,50 profit on every book I ever bought for my inventory. This means that if I buy 100 books for a dollar each, sell 75 of them, and donate the other 25 as firewood, I still made $350 profit because my per book 350% profits include the books I discard and the ones I might lose money selling. It is really exciting to pay $1.50 for a book and sell it for $1,395.00 less than two weeks later, and that is exactly what one bookseller I know did last month. She made 92,900% on that one book and she found it the first time she ever went scouting for inventory! I have personally never made that much from the sale of one book alone, but I have sold countless books that I paid $0.25 to $3.00 for and made $50 to $300 selling.

So, what does it take to get started in the online bookselling business? Well, you need to set up a seller's account on one or more of the online marketplaces, you need to get some packing materials, you will have to buy some inventory to sell, you will need to list your inventory with the online marketplace, and then you will need to pack and ship the books you sell. The marketplaces will pay you periodically for the sales you have made. Some of them pay every two weeks, some once a month, and some will pay you via direct deposit to your bank. The keys to being a successful online bookseller are (1) dedication, (2) time, and (3) patience.

With respect to dedication, you will need to dedicate yourself to building an inventory and continually adding to it. There are some free online tools that will help you look up a book's online value using the ISBN or the title and author, and knowing the value before you buy the book is necessary. The time aspect would seem intuitively obvious, but like any other legitimate business, online bookselling is not going to make you any money if you do not put some time into building your business. Nobody is ever going to knock on your front door and hand you a business that will make you millions of dollars with no effort required on your part. I am not saying that online bookselling is going to make you millions, but it could make you a very nice income if you make the effort to build your own business. When it comes to selling your inventory, some patience is required. Like me, you may find some valuable books, list them, and then wonder why nobody has bought them after a week. Well, some titles do not have more than one or two customers looking for them in any given year. The key is to price your copy competitively, make sure your price remains competitive, and wait for the buyer to find it in the marketplace. I like to think of it as being analogous to fishing. When I go fishing, I do not expect to catch every fish in the lake, just the one looking for what I am offering on my hook.

If you are really looking for a legitimate way to make extra income or a business opportunity that you can scale to meet your financial requirements, you should check out online bookselling. I am sure that if there was a way to control the information and sell the “opportunity, " you would have heard of it by now, but most of the information needed to get started is free online and all of the online marketplaces have seller information pages to help you better understand the business and learn how to get started.

Michael E. Mould is the author of “Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips, " [Paperback ISBN 1427600708, CD-ROM ISBN 1599714876] and developer of “Bookkeeping for Booksellers, " [CD ISBN 1427600694] a 19 sheet linked and tabbed Excel Workbook designed to assist online booksellers with the calculation of their in-state retail sales tax obligations and the preparation of their Schedule C tax forms. “Bookkeeping for Booksellers" also provides 55 integrated graphs to visually show an online bookseller just how their business is performing. If you would like to learn more about online bookselling, please visit: http://www.online-bookselling.com or send Mike an email at: mike@online-bookselling.com

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