When I was still fairly new to selling on Amazon (around 2011 I think), I bought a Dell Axim PDA and a Socket laser scanner, got a subscription to aSellerTool (Amazon database download), and took off down the road to see what I could find with my new (outdated) technology.
There was a community yardsale in a neighborhood down the street. I stopped at a house and was looking at the one textbook on the table when I heard someone ask “Do you have any more textbooks?”. I turned around and saw a man and woman with their hands full of textbooks that they had just picked up from that same table that I was now standing in front of. I missed getting them by mere minutes.
The homeowner, when asked if she had more textbooks replied – “Sure – Let me go get them for you” and she proceeded to bring them a whole bunch more. *sigh*
The one on the table that they didn’t take – marked $0.25 – didn’t have a scannable barcode, so they left it there (they were using a scanner as well). I decided to look up the ISBN manually, and to my surprise – it was listed for $92 on Amazon. BOOYAH! I bought it without a second thought.
And it literally sold (for $92) almost as soon as it was checked in at the Amazon warehouse! I wonder how much money the people made who left that one on the table. I know how much they didn’t make that day. For an extra 30 seconds of work they could have gotten that sale instead of me.
At the time I am writing this, it is textbook buying season. School is ending, and college students are getting rid of the books that they spent hundreds of dollars for a few short months ago. Here are a couple of tips for those of you who participate in the madness:
Scan everything – it only takes a couple of extra seconds to scan it, even if you already “know” it isn’t profitable. Maybe you are mistaken. Maybe a large university has added a new course and this is the book the students are required to purchase.
Make sure you can sell it – Amazon is restricting a lot of textbooks right now. If you can’t sell it on Amazon, sell it to someone who can. Or sell it on eBay, or another channel. If you are using a desktop of laptop computer, you can easily check Amazon restrictions with the AZInsight Chrome browser extension.
Learn how to distinguish counterfeit textbooks from the real thing. If anything seems off – don’t buy it. It’s not worth losing your Amazon seller account for selling counterfeit textbooks.
ASK! – You never know what Textbooks they have in the back room or in the basement unless you ask.
Anybody still use Dell Axim PDAs and Socket Scanners?
leave a comment below.