For every person who wants to get rid of good quality books, there is usually someone who is willing to
obtain them. A successful transaction balances the needs of seller and buyer. If the prospective buyer
happens to be a book dealer, then the needs of their customers must also be accommodated.
Your first step is to briefly evaluate the materials that you wish to market. Dispose of books that are wet, damp, moldy, or heavily mildewed. Most paperbacks and recent hardcover novels are candidates for donation to your local library or church book sale. Recent non-fiction volumes that are lacking dust jackets may also be donated in return for a tax-deductible receipt. I offer store credit for most recent novels and biographies with a dust jacket in decent condition and many non-fiction titles.
Separate out unusual items such as older hardbound books with maps, decorations on the cover, nice illustrations, or that are signed by the author. If there are fewer than perhaps 100 unusual books, carefully stack them in clean liquor boxes and plan to transport them to prospective buyers. If more than 100 books are worthy of special consideration, leave them on shelves and arrange for prospective buyers to visit you.
At the risk of sounding like a new-age guru, I evaluate the STEM requirements of each prospective transaction. STEM is my abbreviation for the four building blocks of a retail business: Space, Time, Energy, and Money. I honestly developed the STEM concept independently to describe my business resources in late September, 2012, but this exact acronym was previously developed by Kathi Lipp to describe one of her personal organization techniques, and was published in May of 2012. So the STEM evaluation for each prospective purchase includes the following questions:
1. Do I have enough SPACE to accommodate this quantity of books?
2. Do I have enough TIME to review, select, clean, evaluate, price, and stock them?
How much Time will elapse before enough of these books sell that I profit?
3. Do I or my employees have enough ENERGY to pack, load, transport, unload and unpack them?
4. Do I have enough MONEY to make a fair offer at this time?
Is the Money that I may make from this batch of books worth it?
Figure out your ongoing use of STEM resources before you decide how to handle your books. I would suggest trying to sell quantities of books online ONLY IF you are strong, patient, unemployed, very self-motivated, having climate-controlled storage space that is rent-free, with dedicated access to the internet.
Most folks will do well to call a nearby reputable book dealer. That person will try to accommodate your needs while helping their business. If you are a regular customer in their bookstore, then you can expect to be offered slightly more for your materials. If your books are worthless, the dealer will decline to purchase them at any price. If your books don't meet their areas of interest, they may refer you to another reputable dealer who specializes in similar materials. Expect to be paid with a good business check drawn on a local bank.
Contact: Wally Keniston, Eyes of the Owl - Books
59B Glendon Street, Wolfeboro, N.H. 03894-1876 U.S.A.
Phone: (603) 569-4040 (shop), or substitute area code (877) to reach our toll-free voice-mail system.