Hello, all! Yes, I’m still alive but judging from the last post I would have probably thought I was dead. The reason for the long post hiatus was simply a strategic time management decision. You see, this blog, my used book business, my new web app eBizControl, my full-time job and my family take up a lot of time. Oh, don’t forget about sleep. I’ve decided to trim some of the activities and regular blog posts was one of them. I hope you understand. In any case, I recently received an email from Susan Scheck for a request to write a blog post. I said absolutely! You’ll find that Susan’s stories may closely resemble your own. This is why I really enjoy these types of posts. Thanks for being a reader! – Adam
I’d like to share with you a source that, on occasion, can turn up some decent, if not amazingly profitable, books: university and college libraries. Most libraries, as we know, have periodic or ongoing book sales, and university and college libraries are no different. If you live in an urban or suburban area, there are likely to be several within a comfortable distance. For example, I live within a half-hour’s drive of six colleges and universities, and another three more can be found within a 45-minute drive, so there’s always a ready source of books close by.
Once you’ve called your local libraries to find out book sale details and to make sure they are open to the general public (chances are they are), you can start scouting. I use ScoutPal on my cell phone, which for the last week has been a free trial (I’m new to serious scouting). Yet, in the last week, I’ve purchased about 35 books from one library, all in new or used-like new condition, without the usual library markings. In fact, in speaking to the sales clerk I found out they had been donations—and she also told me that it happens frequently enough that dealers come there to buy books. Music to my ears, even though I have some competition.
Below are some paperback books I found today, typical of what I have found so far:
Exchange Is Not Robbery: More Stories of an African Bar Girl (Paperback)
New: 9 from $17.99
Used from: $7.48 (Used: acceptable)
Rank: #1,954,335 in Books
Religion and Healing in America (paperback)
12 new from $31.41
19 Used from $20.00
Amazon Sales Rank: 347,724
Rethinking God as Gift: Marion, Derrida, and the Limits of Phenomenology
(Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)
12 New from $22.00
4 Used from $22.85
Amazon Sales Rank:1,183,918
And now, the hidden gem:
Religion, Revolution and English Radicalism: Non-conformity in Eighteenth-Century
Politics and Society
List Price: $74.00
15 All from $71.46
12 New from $71.52
3 Used from $71.46
Amazon Sales Rank: 532,574
You will notice that this last book is selling used from within $3 of the list price, and the new and used prices are pennies apart. The icing on the cake: the sales ranking. This is an expensive book that is on track to sell fast. In fact, I suspect it might be on more than a few required reading lists for the upcoming semester. That’s another plus when sourcing from university libraries: the books are scholarly or semi-scholarly, so they may command higher prices and be in high demand several times a year, at the start of each academic semester. The flip side of this is that it’s common to find rankings in the three or four millions, yet it’s just as likely you may find books with a higher rank and with the potential to command a higher price. When you pay 50 cents or $1 per book, like I did, it’s just too good an opportunity to pass up. So go back to school—and bring a backpack.
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