Home Business Idea – Sell Used Books

eBooks and eReader sales are still soaring, continuing a several year trend. Are printed books dead? Not so, according to an article in Huffington Post. The story states that both paperbacks and hardcover books outsold eBooks in the first half of 2014.

This post does not analyze sales trends of eBooks, but shows that one can make  money from printed books.

Start a business, full or part-time, with used book sales. Sell old paperbacks and hardcover books or textbooks for cash to sites like Amazon, eBay, Half.com or AbeBooks. This is also a good choice for someone looking to make some money fairly quickly with moderate effort. It is also a great home business.

What you need

Inventory. Other than books you own, buy books at garage sales and estate sales. Buy them at Goodwill stores or in wholesale lots at liquidating stores.

Storage. Books sell better and for more if in good condition. After buying 100 books from that estate sale, where will you store them? Garage? Extra bedroom? Storage locker? Renting a storage locker is an extra cost to the bottom line.

Tracking. When someone wants a copy of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, be able to locate it asap. Label shelves logically and use a desktop database like Microsoft Access to track what is bought, where the product is stored, and where and when it was sold.

Financial sense. If at a garage sale, be able to do quick math and calculate a selling cost before you buy. Realize that PayPal will charge a transaction fee for many sales. The fees eat into profits quickly and so do shipping costs.

Shipping. Media mail at the post office is your friend. Media Mail is a lower cost shipping rate offered by the USPS, provided nothing else is in the package. You will have only a couple days to ship the purchase, but every day or several times per day trips to the post office costs gas. Plan on a Mon, Wed, Fri shipping schedule and take multiple orders to the post office. Package the books so they won’t get damaged in shipping.

Ratings. When your product is purchased, buyers can often leave a rating of your product and shipping time. Reviews can make or break your business. Be smart about shipping and follow-through on what you promise.

Updates. Books sales like any other product, changes quickly. Follow trends in the business by following blogs like Sell Books Blog. There are several websites – Powell’s Books is one – that will give you a price from an ISBN and pay for shipping if the order exceeds $50.

For antique or collectible books, check out the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA).



Book Racks

ABCs of Small Business SEO

Homepreneurs recently posted about tips for domain names.  If thinking about a start-up business, websites and domains are a must.

Visits to the website are also a must.  “Build it and they will come” may work for baseball in “Field of Dreams”, but not for websites.

Enter SEO or search engine optimization.  SEO is simply the process of optimizing a website so it is found by search engines.

Many companies say they provide SEO services – for a price.  But follow some simple ABCs, and do your own SEO work.

Plato Web Design provides a 5 minute guide for maximizing a website’s SEO.





Domain Name Tips

Thinking about starting a business?  Brick and mortar or Internet-based, you need a website.  A website needs a domain name.

Domain name?

The Internet is a series of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.  Domain name servers translate IP addresses into names we recognize.

Want iTunes at Apple.com?  Memorize  Every Internet name has an associated IP address.  Current active websites: over 644 MILLION.  Lots of numbers to remember.

Domain names are user-friendly.

When starting the business process, check the domain name availability.  Use GoDaddy.com or Netsol.com or whois.net and check first.

Hard time coming up with a domain name?  Many websites help suggest domain names.

Some tips:

– Use .com if possible.  People default to .com.

– Many other .suffix are available.  Here is a list.

– Use 10 characters or less. Shorter is better.

– No trademark names.  Amazon, Google and Apple have lawyers.  Lots of them.

Some other great tips for domain names at DotoMator.com


Image credit: http://www.hroc.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/hroc-icann-domain-extensions.jpg

eBay is a Money Machine

eBay is big.  Real big.  eBay is the world’s largest online marketplace, a virtual garage sale.  As of Oct 2014, eBay expected to have around $18 BILLION in revenue.

eBay had 155 MILLION ACTIVE USERS in the 4th quarter of 2014.  You should get some of that action.

eBay sells items from iPhone cases to cars and antiques.  Some of the most popular items sold on eBay include: RC Cars, Dolls, suits, purses, laptops, and game consoles.

Selling on eBay simple, you only need: credit or debit card, fee payment info, sales collection info, and a public feedback profile.  A camera for pictures would be helpful too.

To sell, you will be charged a listing (insertion) fee and a final value fee, based on the amount of the sale.

eBay wants you to be successful and gives help on almost every topic -buying, selling, researching, etc.

If you have stuff to sell – grandma’s jewelry or Dad’s stamp collection – eBay is an ideal place to list and market.  With world-wide exposure, someone will want your comic book collection and pay you!

Selling on eBay costs you a low listing fee and nothing else.  Why not try and make a little extra money for yourself.

eBay is a registered trademark with all rights reserved.

The Big Lie of the US Unemployment Rate


Jim Clifton the CEO of Gallop – the polling group – wrote an article on LinkedIn On February 3, 2015 calling the official government unemployment statistics a BIG LIE.

I agree completely with Mr. Clifton’s assertions.

Clifton states in the article:

“If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.”

Simply, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment largely via this parameter: People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.

Exceptions exist, of course, with all things government.  Seasonal workers, workers on strike, and students in college are exceptions, for instance.

Why should you care?  These numbers affect all in the United States.  In Mr. Clifton’s words, “Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.”

Think about that last paragraph for a moment when voting or writing your senator or representative.


unemployment photo

Photo by The U.S. National Archives

Mr. Clifton’s article is here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-lie-56-unemployment-jim-clifton