An Ebay Purple Star For My Birthday

January 30, 2013

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January 30, 2013

Your Library – A Great Source for Resale Inventory

January 30, 2013
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Do you sell books?  On Ebay or Amazon?  I sell most of my books on Amazon as it is much faster to list.  If there is already an existing listing, it takes literally 30 seconds to list your item and you are done.  No having to take pictures, write up a description or anything. Me ♥ that kind of listing. I do sometimes list on both Amazon and Ebay.

I go to the library about once per week with our kids or by ourselves – as we rent movies, audiobooks, magazines, etc.  The last 2 times I went I bought a couple of books on a hunch.  As soon as I got home, I listed each one on Amazon and both sold within a matter of days.  Here are the books:

I bought the Book of Ties for $2..I knew there would be a collector for that was printed in Italy.  My profit after purchase price, Amazon fees and shipping was $20 plus change.  I bought the Vintage Bar Ware book for 25 cents…yes, $.25.  And you won’t believe what my profit on that one was..$39.75.

I was already at the library returning some books and checked out the section where the Friends of the Library donate books that you can buy.  So no time sourcing.  And seriously it took me not even a minute each time to list these.  Maybe 20 minutes total to print invoice and package..I don’t even think it was that much time.  So I made $59.75 for about 20 minutes of work.  That translates to $179.25/hour.  Not too shabby.  I wish all transactions were this great.  They certainly aren’t, but you never know what you’ll find!

Always keep an eye out for inventory when you are out an about!

Do you sell books?  If so, do you sell on Amazon, Ebay or other avenue?  I’d love to hear from you.


  1. You know, I already checked my collection of books and anything I don’t want….well I guess no one else wants it, either! But I never even thought to look at the library sale shelves for this! Thanks for the tip. We already go there every week anyway.

    1. Hey Jamie. You’re very welcome. I’ve gone though some of my collection of books, but have to go through a lot more. I used to be a serious book collector. I don’t anymore as I can get books for free at the library. I’m glad this post was helpful!

  2. I sell books on Ebay but do them mostly in large lots of same authors or series, such as Blues Clues books or James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. I also look on the library sales shelves!

    1. Hi Diana, thanks for stopping by. I know a lot of sellers that do this and collect series. I think one has to be organized and keep a nice list so you know what you still need to collect (I’m not so organized..LOL). but if I came across a lot of books at a garage sale or something, I might do the same. I’m okay doing this at my library, but have tried doing so at my local thrifts. My eyes get crossed and I get overwhelmed by the quantity of books and just give up! 😉

    1. Hey Laurie, I’ve found so many great books for resale there. Mostly high dollar ones. It’s always best to look for non-fiction coffee table like books. These seem to do the best. Glad this was helpful!

    1. Hey patient. Sometimes books will sell right away, sometimes in a month or so..and sometimes it takes a long time. You just gotta wait for that right buyer.

  3. I started selling books online when my eldest son went to college – it was much better to buy and sell textbooks on Craigslist than through the college bookstore. From Craigslist I moved on to listing books for sale on (which is affiliated with eBay). Last spring I started listing on with the occasional book listing on Etsy or eBay – and I’ve started listing the same book on multiple sites. My sources are my kids’ textbooks (I had three in college at the same time last fall!), books around the house, and garage and estate sales. One of these days I’m going to shop a library sale. . . . .. You are right – they are easy and fast to list on Amazon, and equally so on Same goes for DVDs, games, and music!

    1. Hi Susan, I’ve sold a couple of textbooks..but I never know which ones are good and which aren’t. I’d like to do a little more research on this though. I’ve also thought about DVDs and other media..but again, I don’t know much about it. But I do sell quite a bit of games and toys on Amazon too..and do list on multiple sites simultaneously too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  4. That’s awesome! Did the books have any kind of library labels or markings on them? And what kind of condition were they in? I’ve sold some books on but it seems like the books often have to be in excellent condition to get a good price. I’d love to resell books I can buy from the library but ours always have markings on them and often aren’t in great condition. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Monica. The ones that I pick up are usually in great to like new condition without any markings. A lot of time people will donate to the library. And if the library already has that book in its collection, they will sell them to the public. We have an area in our library that offers books for sale, on an ongoing basis.

      All the research I’ve ever done seems to state that library editions don’t sell so well (unless it is a unique book). I typically stay away from them.

  5. WOW!! I never thought to look at the library. I sell some books now and then on eBay but I do like mentioned above. I collect until I’ve got an entire set and then sell it as a lot. I’ll have to add the library to my route when I’m out sourcing thrift stores. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Ooh, nice pickup & a quick profit. I always eyeball the sale table at my library, but they are always boring library novels. Hope you find some more quick-sellers like those!

    1. Hey Karina, I often find great ones at our’s the one place that I don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of books. Ironic, but everything is so well organized and books are easy to find. My goal when I sell items is to at least make $10 profit. I almost always aim at higher, but certainly not lower. I’ve been lucky at our library.

  7. Hmmm. Our library has a small bookstore inside it, run by the Friends of the Library. And – I actually work at the library! (Although very part time these days.) I never look there for items to resell. I know that they have volunteers who weed out the books they think are most valuable to sell online, but maybe I should start taking a quick look around on my breaks anyway. 🙂

    1. Hey Kari, I’m not sure if ours weed them out..sometimes I even wonder if they check to see if our library has a copy. I’m guessing they must. Our library’s FOTL book resale has no one running it. It just has a box on the wall where you insert money for the books that you buy. They did install a camera in there I’m guessing people weren’t always paying for them.

      I find lots of great stuff there!

  8. I like to put books and magazines on e-bay and find them a good item to sell. I collect the Sunday supplements (here in the UK usually a glossy magazine) if I think that they will have a re-sale value. I weed them out after a while. I kept a lot of the London 2012 Olympic themed ones and managed to sell them all, multiple buyers, for around £75 about $100.

    My main e-bay sales are for vintage sewing items as they came with the house, via an elderly relative when we moved in but I mostly sell vintage knitting and crochet patterns.

    1. Wow..nice resale on the Olympic magazines! I checked out your eBay store and did notice all the vintage items. It’s nice to be able to see what others are selling and to learn from each other.

      I never see any vintage knitting and crochet items at our local thrifts. Lucky you had them when you moved in. I’m sure some of the estate sales around here would have more vintage things. I don’t go to those that often.

  9. Thanks for looking at my e-bay site. I used to run it as a shop but switched to just having items listed auction format.I do manage to pick up some patterns at charity shops (thrift stores) and sell some on. We like to travel and I so enjoy looking at thrift/charity shops in other areas.

    I too love to look at other e-bayer’s sites to see what is selling (or not!) before I list.

    I also liked your item on Thrifty Clothes. Now that’s my kind of thing! I picked up an almost brand new Aquascutum coat on e-bay recently it cost me £15 (retail would have been about £115) and although it was in excellent condition waited for it to be Seniors Discount Day at the drycleaners! My husband also is a fan and is featured on another blog wearing his £20 Thrifty Threads suit together with his 1euro Italian silk tie!

    1. Oh, isn’t that awesome! You can really find some amazing things at thrifts. I love them.

      We like to do a lot of traveling too..and I always make sure that we stop in a few thrifts as well. I’m not sure how it works in the UK, but this way, I can write the mileage off for taxes. It helps offset the crazy cost of Gas here..I’m in Illinois and we have one of the highest gas prices in the country. 🙁

    2. Okay, so I was just catching up on all of Mr. Money Mustache’s blog posts and comments and was reading one from August 2012 and noticed a comment that looks like it was from you?!!? Am I correct? If so, congrats on your early retirement! My goal is hopefully to retire with our debts and home paid off, plus enough in savings to live off the income stream..also at the age of 52 (in 13 years)! 🙂

      1. Yes that was me. Your message came in whilst I am sitting here packing up items that I have sold on e-bay over the weekend. Not a great amount, 2 vintage scarves, a vintage “keeper” for nylon stockings and a little Harrod’s toddler’s apron.

        It means that I have some spare cash in my pocket to purchase the vintage postcards to illustrate my Ancestry tree. Win/Win!

        Big sale recently has been listing my clothes that no longer fit me. They are TOO BIG!!!!! The dress that I sold at the consignment store was the inspiration for listing them. Why pay commission when I can cut out the middle man! But I must say that the lady who runs the store is a lovely person and has some great high-end items.

        Back to packing…………………

        1. Ha! Thought it was. How exciting. Do you still follow his blog? It’s taking me a while to get through everything as I read all the comments. I have to say that I was not even familiar with the concept of early retirement before I found his blog. Glad I did!

          You bet..ebay is much better than consignment. I agree that it’s also a great way to have a little extra spending money! 🙂

  10. You can write off mileage!!!!! That is unheard of here in the UK.A little word on the cost of fuel. These are very rough figures and I hope my calculations are correct. I posted this over at Planting Our Pennies a few weeks ago.

    1 US gallon = 3.785 UK litres of fuel (price is for diesel)
    1 UK litre costs £1.40
    Therefore 1 US gallon costs £5.29
    £1=$1.60 (or thereabouts)
    Therefore the equivalent cost would be $8.47 per US gallon of fuel. IDo hope my calculation is correct!s that cheaper than Illinois? I can’t remember what we were paying there in September.

    I am in for the challenge but I think I will use a £10 note that I got from selling a dress at a consignment store so I expect that would mean I was using around $16.
    This last week I purchased a book in a charity shop for £2.50 It is the huge Hallmark – A Century of Caring book with the CD still intact. The postage on it back to the USA would be huge and so I will probably use it as a reference book for myself for the vintage cards that I like to collect and re-sell.

    1. You’re right about the calculation. I know that gas is expensive in Europe. My brother lives in Europe. But let me ask you this..I think that Diesel cars get more mileage than regular fuel cars here in the use. For example. my car is decent and it gets about 24 miles per gallon. Don’t be mad, but my brain hurts just thinking about trying to calculate how many kilometers you get per liter of fuel vs. what miles we get per gallon. LOL And it depends on the car/truck too. My hubby has a truck that does about 12 miles per gallon. Ouch! But I think it comes out to about the same.

      I’m excited to see what you pick up for the challenge. Please do post your finds under the Challenge post. Thanks so much! 🙂

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