If you’ve poked around my blog, or you’re a regular MyMochaMoney.com reader, than you know that I make money selling new and used books on Amazon.com.
Last year, I found a really neat tool from Asellertool.com that allows me to download an Amazon pricing database to a PDA (this can take between 10-30 minutes), hook up the PDA to a handheld scanner, and scan the barcode on the back of books, DVD’s, CD’s, and VHS to see if they’re profitable for me to sell on Amazon.com.
My biggest problem using this tool is that I’m concerned what people think of me. I feel like I’m “cheating” using the Asellertool. Most book scouts find books to sell the old-fashioned way–they use their knowledge and experience of selling books to help them decide whether the books they find will bring them a profit. For them, it’s the thrill of the hunt that keeps them loving the business of books.
However, there are some book scouts that use their internet-ready cell phone to look up ISBN numbers located on the backs of books, CD’s, DVD’s and VHS. You can look up a book on Amazon.com to see what it currently sells for, and if the book is worth purchasing to sell for a profit. This doesn’t take long, but it’s time consuming compared with the Asellertool.
I happen to use all three methods of finding books to resell: My basic knowledge and experience of selling books, an internet-ready cell phone, and the Asellertool.
A great place to use the Asellertool is at thrift stores, Goodwill, and library sales. However, some library sales actually ban the use of scanning devices. Apparently, they give book scouts an unfair advantage over regular people looking to buy discounted books. Book scouts with scanning devices can quickly search through piles of books to decide whether or not they want them, leaving others an almost nonexistent chance of finding something they want in a stack of books a scout has devoured. Unfortunately, some book scouts with scanners give the profession a bad name because they often leave shelves and tables in disarray, and are usually just about the money they can get from reselling the books–not about the books themselves.
This bothers me. I happen to love books. But I love the money I get from selling books too. I have to learn to get over what other people think of me while I book scout with my scanner. I don’t get in anyone’s way, and I leave tables and shelves neat and orderly. And most importantly, I’m supporting the library, church thrift shop, or Goodwill where I find and purchase my books.