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How I became an Accidental Online Bookseller...

How I became an Accidental Online Bookseller Posted by on Feb 24, 2015

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What Is the Purpose of This Website?

What Is the Purpose of This Website? Posted by on Feb 20, 2015

Recent From Why Books?

Volunteering Can Pay Off

Volunteering Can Pay Off Posted by on Jul 5, 2015

Recent Posts

Volunteering Can Pay Off

Jul 05, 15 Volunteering Can Pay Off

Posted by in Why Books?

Volunteering can pay off in a big way for an online book merchant. I learned this last week after my local librarian asked me and my brother to help sort donated books. A week or so later, I returned to help set up the annual book sale. Your new favorite book is free! Check out Doubleday Book Club today. As a “reward” for my time and effort, the librarian let me take a couple of boxes of books in exchange for a promise of a future cash donation. After getting the books home and sorting through them, I learned that my investment of time and effort had really paid off. Some of the interesting finds I made in those piles of donated books included: A textbook that regularly sells for around $50 a copy.   A number of antique children’s books worth $25 to $30 apiece.   An auto manual worth up to $20. Big Savings On Your California Auto Insurance Today! Click Here For Your Free California Car Insurance Quote!   Several investment books that sell for $10 to $15 apiece.   An investment book that normally sells for around $50 a copy.   A rare, out-of-print paperback worth around $20.   A vintage 1960s Doc Savage paperback worth around $20. Believe it or not, I pulled that from the dumpster when I was throwing out the trash. Dozens of almost new fiction and nonfiction bestsellers I could send to Amazon, where they sell for $10 to $15 a copy. I net a profit of around $5 on each of those books.   An old Girl Scout Badge Book I sold on eBay for $9.99. A lot of rarebooks, including a self-published cookbook and a book containing the script for the movie Monte Python and the Holy Grail—the basis for the hugely popular play Spamalot.   The moral of this story is that volunteering can benefit your bank account as well your community and your soul. If you are asked to help sort...

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Amazon wants a Piece of Uber’s Action

Jun 22, 15 Amazon wants a Piece of Uber’s Action

Posted by in Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has stolen a page out of Uber’s book and announced plans to develop an App that would allow anybody to become an Amazon delivery person. Hiscox Small Business specializes in customized insurance for IT professionals. The service called On My Way would try to reduce shipping costs and expand its services by using independent contractors. Basically anybody could download then drive, walk or bicycle to a pickup point such as the Post Office, pick up the package and deliver it to the final destination. Deliverers would log onto the app much as they log onto Uber. Then get assigned a package to pick up and deliver in their area. The service would be similar to Google Express which uses hired couriers to pick up packages from stores and deliver them to customers. Host of Problems Face Amazon Delivery App The service is also similar to FedEx (NYSE: FDX) which uses independent drivers instead of hired employees to pick up and deliver packages. That could lead to legal hassles because the legal status of Uber drivers in the United States is far from settled. The state of Florida recently declared an Uber driver an employee for unemployment insurance purposes and lawsuits challenging Uber’s definition of drivers as contractors are winding their way through the federal courts. Shop the Star Trek Store Best Sellers! There are a host of other problems awaiting Amazon here for example the insurance of packages. Who will cover insurance costs for valuable items like jewelry and electronics in such crowd sourced delivery Apps? Insurance has been one of the big problems dogging Uber around the country. Insurance for delivery people would be a challenge because they would presumably have to be bonded to delivery high-value items. The problem of driver selection arises obviously you would need people with dependable vehicles and no criminal records. How would you tell which drivers have vans large enough to carry merchandise and which might have refrigerated vans? More importantly how would you...

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Passion, Patience, and Persistence the Three Keys to Success

Jun 17, 15 Passion, Patience, and Persistence the Three Keys to Success

Posted by in Amazon, Ways to Make Money

People sometimes ask me if there are any attributes or patterns of behavior that can lead to success in online retail and blogging. Your new favorite book is free! Check out Doubleday Book Club today. From what I have seen of the market, three characteristics are vital to success in any online or real world endeavor. Those characteristics can be summed up as passion, patience, and persistence. Persons without those qualities almost never succeed because they almost always give up. The three characteristics you will need to succeed online are passion, patience, and persistence. Passion – This is the most important of the three because it gives you the energy to develop the other two. If you want to get anywhere online, you must love what you are doing. You must want to look forward to sitting down at the computer and banging away for the sheer pleasure of it. I love writing and enjoy online commerce and blogging, so I have a passion for those activities. I also find that I make the most money from the things that I enjoy and generally do not make a cent on stuff I consider a chore. Do You Need Affordable and Accessible Legal Services? Start Now With My Lawyer Plan! A good rule of thumb is that if you are not enjoying what you are doing and looking forward to doing it, you need to find something else to do. Patience – Contrary to popular belief, it takes a lot of time to build up an online business. Results do not come overnight. Generally, it will take six months to a year to get meaningful results after you go live with a website. It can sometimes take longer. Results in online sales can be a little quicker, but they are often painfully slow as well. I have had items sit online for well over a year until they sold. The most successful online entrepreneurs are those with the most patience; it took Jack Ma over...

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Social Media Marketing Solutions for Online Booksellers

Jun 07, 15 Social Media Marketing Solutions for Online Booksellers

Posted by in Listing

Marketing is often the biggest challenge for online retailers, largely because most people are unfamiliar with it. Sadly, booksellers are often less prepared to engage in online promotion than others because they are unfamiliar with advertising and marketing. Your new favorite book is free! Check out Literary Guild today. Fortunately, popular social media venues provide versatile, easy-to-use and relatively cheap or free marketing solutions that almost anybody can take advantage of. Social media is also a great learning tool for marketers because it allows a person to become familiar with the process at little or no cost. Another advantage to social media is that most people are already familiar with it. You may not have to teach yourself any new skills or behaviors, because you might already be using social media. The best social medium for you to utilize for your marketing will be the one that you utilize most. If you Facebook every day or regularly peruse LinkedIn, launch your first marketing networks there because you are already familiar with those tools. Once you have mastered one, you can move on to another. A Few Basic Rules for Social Media Marketing Following these simple rules can make marketing much easier and help you avoid some common pitfalls. My rules of social media marketing for beginners are below: Create separate accounts or pages for your marketing efforts. Do not try marketing your products through your personal page. Remember, your customers are interested in the books you have for sale; they probably do not care about your summer vacation or Aunt Flo’s hernia operation. Title loans up to $25,000. Apply now. Set up a firewall between your personal accounts and your business accounts. Never post personal information on your business page, and never post ads or stuff for sale on your personal accounts.   Make sure the product that you are selling takes center stage. Your social media marketing efforts should focus upon the stuff you have for sale, not the appearance of the page...

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Beijing’s New Open Door Bodes Well for Alibaba and Other Online Retailers

Jun 03, 15 Beijing’s New Open Door Bodes Well for Alibaba and Other Online Retailers

Posted by in Amazon and eBay News

Students of history, and those Americans that bothered to pay attention in high school history class, might remember something in the early 20th century called the Open Door policy. For those of you who did not pay attention, the Open Door policy was a U.S. policy designed to open China up to U.S. and other foreign imports after centuries of trade restrictions. Hundreds of hand-selected titles, from space odysseys to fantasy favorites: Join Science Fiction Book Club today. Guess what? After more than a century, the Door finally seems to be open; Beijing is actually allowing more imports, particularly of consumer goods. The first companies to benefit are Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) and, not surprisingly, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). Bloomberg reported that Yahoo Japan’s (OTC: YAHOF) share value increased by 12% after the announcement of an alliance between that company and Alibaba. The alliance would give Japanese retailers that listed on Alibaba’s super popular Tmall and Tmall Global shopping sites support and lower fees. The alliance reflects a new openness by Beijing to allow in more foreign consumer goods by dismantling as many import barriers as possible, Forbes contributor Doug Young noted. Young predicted that the Yahoo–Alibaba alliance is just the first of many such retail alliances we’ll soon see. Why Is China Allowing in More Consumer Goods? The Chinese government is allowing in more consumer goods for a number of reasons: To facilitate approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade deal; in countries like the U.S. and Canada. The TPP has run into a lot of opposition from critics on both the left and the right in the United States and in Canada. China is not part of the TPP yet, but it would like to be; opening up to e-tail deals could facilitate this. Our new customers report average savings of $522 on car insurance! Click Here! To win support among the increasingly affluent but restive Chinese people by providing the populace with more access to more consumer goods. This policy proves the...

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Does Free Shipping Really Drive More Traffic?

Jun 02, 15 Does Free Shipping Really Drive More Traffic?

Posted by in eBay, Listing

Let a Law Firm Remove your Negative Items from your Credit Report! For the past couple of months I have been slowly converting all my eBay listings to free shipping. Naturally, many of you will be wondering if I saw a rise in sales. The answer is sort of; sales rose slightly, and some items that were sitting on eBay for months did sell after I reset the shipping. Yet I did not see a large rise in sales largely because I had to raise prices in order to cover the cost of “free shipping.” Note: The main reason I’m switching to free shipping is to simplify and rationalize my listings. I also want to control shipping costs by offering only the cheapest shipping option possible: USPS Standard Post or Media Mail. I did not expect a big rise in sales and have not gotten one. Yet there is a small rise in sales, and I think I can account for it. Many people do not like to buy online because they are afraid of shipping. They have either been burned by high shipping costs or simply get confused by it. By taking the decision about shipping away from them, you make such people more likely to buy. Crossings: Books you can believe in, selected by Christian readers like you. When people see the cost of shipping displayed they are more likely to think twice about making a purchase. Hide the cost in the product’s final cost, and they will be more likely to get out their credit cards. Another reason they are more likely to buy is that free shipping makes buying simpler. Making purchases easier makes people more likely to spend money, as retailers have long known. So yes, folks, it is worth the effort to convert your listings to free shipping when possible. Here are a few tips that will help you harness the power of free shipping: Free shipping is not free to you. You will have to pay the...

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What Walmart Can Teach Online Booksellers

Jun 01, 15 What Walmart Can Teach Online Booksellers

Posted by in eBay

“Picasso had a saying—’good artists copy; great artists steal’—and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” – Steve Jobs, 1996 Want a free book, hassle-free? It’s a good day to join Crossings book club. Mass retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Kroger have some very important lessons to teach all online retailers. You should pay attention to these companies because they make vast amounts of money selling a wide variety of products. Walmart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported revenues of $485.52 billion on April 30, 2015, Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) reported sales of $115.64 billion on February 28, 2015, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) reported a revenue figure of $91.97 billion on March 31, 2015, and Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America’s largest grocer, reported a revenue figure of $108.47 billion. Our new customers report average savings of $522 on car insurance! Click Here! These numbers are no mistake. They come very deliberate strategies, some of which anybody can take advantage of. Some of the most important lessons that big retail can teach online retailers include: Selling a lot of small items at a low price can be more profitable than selling a few high-value items. Unfortunately, many online retailers do the opposite; they devote all their time and energy to seeking out and selling a few expensive items and have very low levels of sales to show for their troubles. Posting a large volume of items is more effective than posting just a few. Selling items at a variety of prices will drive more sales than just low-cost or expensive merchandise. Next time you go to Walmart, Costco, a Kroger grocery store like Ralph’s or Fred Meyer or any other large store, take a look around. You’ll see items selling at a wide variety of prices; at a Kroger Marketplace store you might see 50¢ cans of tomatoes and $10,000 diamond rings for sale in the jewelry store. (Yes, Kroger is one of the nation’s largest jewelers). At Walmart, you might see $4,000...

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