RUN A SUCCESSFUL BOOKSELLING BUSINESS ONLINE
You can run a successful business selling books online. All you need is a little known how, in order to earn a living doing this. The best way to start this type of business is by selling books that you no longer what in much the same way as people sell unwanted items on auction sites or in car boot sales. This means that you have no initial outlay. The advantage of selling online is that you can make sales 24/7 and you don’t have to be sitting at your computer all the time in order to be successful at this.
Utilise an Online Bookstore
You will save a lot of time and energy by joining forces with a bookstore which is already doing good business online such as Amazon. This is a good initial step to take, because they already have a large database and you can utilise this to your best advantage. Your role here will be like a book wholesaler providing books even to the point of drop-shipping books to their customers, your readymade database. Chose an Online Bookstore with a Simple Fee Structure
When deciding on which online store to sell your books through, take care to chose one with a simple fee structure, one that is straight forward and easy to understand. That is, one which charges one flat fee for your book listings plus a percentage on sales. It would be aproblem if when selling books online you have to deal with a complex fee structure which would also make it very hard to make money because you are being asked to pay exorbitant fees through a complex structure of billing. Here, you should make comparisons before making a final choice.
Example of Complex Billing Structure to be Avoided
A single listing for one book can costs as much as30 cents for one week of selling exposure even if it is only featured online, but not sold. You may have to relist the auction over and over again for up to 6 months before it sells. This could leave you with a base overhead of $7.80 (30 cents times 26 weeks for just 1 book). In addition to this, you may find that there are additional fees to pay. This will eat your profit, worse still you could end up owing money after the sale.
Be Unique in Your Book Choices
Be unique; don’t try to sell the same books as everyone else, as this will limit your chances, especially if they are partnering with the same online store as yourself. It is a good tip also to sell books in order to earn an additional income stream allowing this to coexist alongside your source of income. Research your books before deciding to sell them only purchasing them from the wholesaler when you have made a sale to your customer.
Bargain Price Books
Sometime it is possible to purchase books which are still relevant, but may be last year’s stock. You can find these by doing a search engine search using your search term. You could also approach publishers for there excess stock.
Building Your Own Bookstore
When you are a little more experienced, you may decide to develop your own online bookstore. You should however, invest some time in learning the necessary components in order to do so. Learning php and sql are two complex areas, but are necessary if you are to be successful in building your online bookstore. You could then designed and build a complete online bookstore which will be capable of handling all aspects of online book selling. Don’t worry if this all sounds to complex as you could get a designer from Elance to do this for you. But, you should bear in mind that it is always better to have at least a basic understanding of how this all works so that you know what to ask your designer for. You should also get a number of quotes before making a decision.
Utilise Your Competition
Whatever you decide to do, it is always good to keep the major online book listers in your eye-line as both your educators and your competition. If you find that one of your competitors is ahead of your game then you should offer to join forces with them. By selling your books to their database and vice versa you will both become a stronger force in the marketplace. Amazon is one the major players in online bookselling, furthermore, they have a program in place that allows independent booksellers to partner with them to sell their own books through their organisation. The great news for you is that Amazon has a huge customer base and they get lots of people from all around the world to “come into their store to buy”. This is a brilliant opportunity for your future in book selling online.
A Slick Operation
You will find working online with your bookstore a pretty slick operation which will offer you many rewards and benefits. When you join forces with an already existing online bookstore, all You need to do is enter the ISBN number of the book you have, comment on its condition, i.e. whether new or second hand, enter the price you want to sell it for, say whether or not you want to sell internationally and that’s it. You don’t even need to take pictures of your books, comment on their publisher or write a synopsis of what they are about. All this will automatically be handled on your behalf!
Put simply it all works like this: 1. Upload your book information to your chosen bookselling partner 2. They will emails you when you make a sale 3. Package and mail your book or let the store do it for you 4. Email the customer notifying them the book has been sent 5. Commission will be deducted and the rest of the payment will be sent to you via direct deposit every couple of weeks. There are 2 main ways to sell books online (1) You can take advantage of the bookstore’s “FREE” service.
Many sellers chose this for obvious reasons. However, it doesn’t cost much to sell a few items and you won’t pay anything until you actually complete a sale. Amazon allows you to load books one at a time with the use of their web interface. You will only be charged after you have sold a book. Commission with this free Service is 99 cents per book plus an additional 15% of the sale price. No charge is made until you make a sale and books stays listed for 30 days and will expires at the end of that period of time. You can then put it back online, free of charge, if you to wish to do so.
(2) Pro Merchant Subscription
It may be more economical to use this subscription service instead of the free listing method, because it only costs $39.99 per month and the 99cents per book fee will be waved. However, you will still have to pay the 15% commission on each book sold. Additionally, your listings stay online until you chose to cancel them or until they are sold. You can also use the automated uploading tools to streamline your pricing and to add new books quickly.
Other advantages of this business model include being able to choose how you organise your working day, whether to work part time, full time or you can fit this around your regular job or other income streams. I like to check my sales first thing in the morning and also check my emails to see if there are any requests. One of the great things about this type of business is that sales are still being made while you are getting on with other things. Most people choose to become booksellers because books are something they are interested in, or they simply have some books that they no longer want. You won’t make a fortune selling books online, unless you manage to unearth some rare antique ones. However, with a little perseverance you’ll be able to build your business to a point where you can earn a good steady income without ever having to leave your house.
Boost Your Book Selling Income
You could boost your income by contacting educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities to see if you can provide them with books on their curriculum. Also see if you can track down some second hand ones which can be sold at a more competitive price than the new ones. You could of course check out what books are required for a particular subject, do some price checks before approaching these educational institutions with a sound proposal. Be sure to set your prices with room for a small price cut In case you are asked for a discount. One of the most appealing things about this type of online business is that you can if you choose to, run the entire operation from the comfort of your home without ever having to touch a single book, employ staff, go to the post office or take delivery of stock.
You can order your stock online, pay for your stock online; you can also arrange the postage online and correspond with your customers by email. You never have to do any face to face selling!! What a brilliant business model!! You can also chose to sell internationally, which means making the occasional trip to the post office in order to complete the necessary customs slips and to make sure the packages are dispatched to the correct countries. You don’t have to have many copies of the same book which means that you can pick up one off copies of books from car boot sales, garden sales and charity shops.
By Laurie Lindor