Monday, April 30, 2007

A library sailing we will go. Or maybe not.

Perhaps it's time to start thinking beyond library sales.

One reads more and more about the restrictions library sales are placing on dealers. No scanning (which is fine with me, frankly). Higher prices. Cherry picking by volunteers.

These things aren't happening much in my area yet but most of the time now I view library sales simply as sources of books to sell as group lots. That is, books that are worthless individually (and passed over by the scan monsters) but do OK if grouped together as a collection and sold on eBay as a group lot. It tends to be more profitable for me than looking for the needle in the haystack. This is fine but I find myself pondering the alternatives to library sales.

There are the more obvious options like Craigslist, classified ads, letting everyone you know that you sell books and buy inventory. The acquisition of a personal collection of books can keep one happily occupied - and away from library sales - for months. Church sales and AAUW sales tend to be consistently good.

But what about less obvious alternatives? I've never heard of anyone doing this but for some time I've considered sending direct mail postcards to 100 homes in my community. I haven't run the numbers but the postage would cost around $20.00. I'd design and print the postcards myself. There's the cost of the mailing list, which might be around $20.00.

Have you considered or tried any unusual ways of acquiring inventory?
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Anonymous Hugh said...

Some thoughts:

* Take an estate sale agent to lunch
* Take a real estate agent to lunch
* Get a business phone line and place a very small advertisement in the yellow pages
* Place a small advertisement in the local school paper at the end of term, advertising you buy books.
* Circulate a flyer stating you are willing to haul away books for free (this one would amaze you, but have a way to deal with the crap you will receive)

Maybe I will blog more about this tomorrow...

2:21 PM  

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