Monday, September 25, 2006

Turning inventory into inventory

Last week I went through four shelves of inventory. I looked up each book on Amazon and ended up culling two thirds of the books. Off to Half Price Books they went. I repriced most of the remaining books and spruced up some of the descriptions.

For a few titles I noticed that our copy did not appear on Amazon even though I listed it months ago. I corrected that and one of them, a $45 book about staging Shakespeare plays for children, sold almost immediately. I listed a few books on eBay and sold them all (a Martha's Vineyard photo book from the 1940's, a puppet theatre book, a Beatrix Potter biography). They had been collecting dust on Amazon for a year or more. During the first 18 months of selling books online we didn't list on eBay. I now know much more about eBay and as I go through the old inventory I'm certain I'll be able to pluck out other titles to list on eBay and move out the door.

Even though I could be discouraged that two thirds of that inventory was stale and had to go I am instead invigorated as I look at the empty shelves. It motivates me to go out in the field and make more acquisitions.

So, if you're a bookseller, and are in the doldrums and haven't found any exciting new inventory lately, just take a look at your shelves. Look at those old books with fresh eyes and you'll find some gold and increase your sales.
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