Reselling on Amazon

Weeding Library CollectionsI’ve been selling some of my books as an Amazon Reseller. I’d list them here and sell them to you, gentle readers, but that would breach the non-commercial terms of my account with WordPress.

It’s a slightly odd feeling, sending a book I don’t want to someone who does. The one I chat about these things with said I should print out a copy of my post distancing myself from all things flaky and include it with the copy of Light up your Life – discover your true purpose and potential, but that seemed churlish given that I was happy to take their £4.75.

It’s a satisfying process, printing off three copies of the packing slip, finding a suitable jiffy bag, sealotaping the packing slip to the bag, taking the package to the post office, buying the stamps and keeping the receipt for the postage. Saying such a formal farewell to unwanted or inappropriate gifts provides closure, and it’s a ritualised and profitable way to discard the ghosts of previous relationships.

But it’s also odd.

I find myself wondering who on earth would want to spend a fiver on a copy of Roger’s Profanisaurus?

Which fool thinks that if they Eat Right 4 Their Type it’ll make a blind bit of difference to their health? I did think of writing “this is complete shite” on the packing slip for that one, actually. The woman who recommended it to me swore by the approach but she always seemed to have little niggly things wrong with her, and then it turned out she’d been eating for the wrong blood-type all along. Which only goes to SHOW. Though what exactly it shows I wouldn’t like to say. I don’t in fact know my own blood-type and so I toyed with the idea of “eating right” for each type for a month to see if it made any noticeable difference at all, but really I could not be arsed, and now I don’t have the book so I’ve lost the chance.

Selling some of these books is also an admission that I am never going to read them. Does the person buying a Poetry Handbook want it to improve their own poetry or because a lecturer or teacher has Set it as a Text? If they buy it and read it, does that make them a Better and More Serious Person than I am, who merely rented it from Amazon for a while without reading more than two or three pages and gulping nervously?

So it’s an interesting thing, selling on Amazon, but I probably wouldn’t bother if there wasn’t a Post Office in the building where I work. They pay the money into my bank account, but I wish they’d block it up into fivers and give it to me as gift certificates. Then I’d sell lots and LOTS of books, just to feed my habit.


5 responses to “Reselling on Amazon

  1. On my Worksop list (labelled, of course, “Things to do. Urgent!” – the exclamation mark helps in some way, presumably) I have two items that have been there for years, literally.

    One of them is “set up as a seller on eBay”. So far eBay has been a way to get hold of all those Star Wars toys my parents couldn’t afford when I was small. I got them, stroked them, appreciated the physical contact, then realised they’re just useless lumps of plastic and gave them away almost immediately to a six year old who has so many toys they meant very little to him. Lately I’ve also been buying bits of lego to make into stop motion movies.

    Another thing on my list is “sort comics for sale”. A colleague from a previous job had a clear out, and simply gave much of his stuff away. To me he gave comics. For literally years, he bought two of every copy of 2000AD, the popular British sf comic, home of Judge Dredd. Two copies, because one got read, and the other got put in a plastic bag and kept mint. I now have them all in boxes in my loft, and its my intention to read them all once then sell the lot in packs of 10.

    Yeah right.

    But if you get the pleasure from flogging books, consider eBay, where you can flog anything short of firearms and body parts.

  2. I’ve never sold books back to folk online, I’ve a rather eccentric habit of just passing them on to folk I know.

    This is fine with medical textbooks, where students or junior doctors can welcome some text I’ve unearthed at home recently through moving house. Some books are dropped of by drug reps and invariably find their way to my SHO (erm, ST1 now).

    Most fiction goes to one of 3 friends after I’ve read it, unless my wife or I really really believe we will read it again in the future. We used to keep them thinking we might read them again but simply ran out of space.

    Non-fiction I pass on to who ever I reckon will enjoy it most. This has got me in hot water before though . . . it’s well worth being cautious in passing on the wife’s diet and lifestyle nonsense books . . .

  3. Listing books on Amazon has the advantage of being free, SoRB, unlike eBay. I do have things I want to sell on eBay though, so maybe I should get my act together and start. The other good thing about Amazon is that the deal doesn’t close until they pay you your money. You can get timewasters on eBay who say they’ll buy something and simply never pay up.

    I used to give them away Shrink, I gave away over a thousand about 4 years ago, and I am in the middle of another purge now. I still do give away the ones that are either too old to list or too cheap to be worth it. This selling on Amazon thing is new to me, and I find it interesting. Surely the ultimate confirmation that a book is cheap traash is if it lists for a penny on Amazon?

    My criteria for keeping a book tends to be “how hard will this be to replace, and am I likely to want to replace it”.

    Thanks both for reading and commenting.


  4. I finally nerved myself up to open an eBay seller’s account a year or two ago. I put a collectible coin on the market (a vintage Norwegian krone, I think) with no reserve and got zero bids. I’m not a mercantile sort of person, so the whole process made me feel grubby and sad. And none the richer.

    I love buying through Amazon buy it used (my Beloved calls it “Amazon Born Again”) and I’ve often thought I should turn it all around and sell it again…but I think about envelopes and postage and labels and I feel so tired.

  5. Listing for a penny isn’t an indication of cheap trash at all, just a function of supply and demand. You can buy a Penguin “Pride and Prejudice” on Amazon for 1p plus postage as of now. (The 1p is actually usually because the seller really wants to price it lower than the standard Amazon postage charge of £2.75).

    Generally speaking, you won’t get such a good price for books on eBay as on Amazon (ignoring transaction costs which I can’t be bothered to work out).

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