May 13, 2003

Sell Your Stuff

sell your stuffHave you seen this button? It's at the top of the web page over at Maybe you've seen this button and maybe you haven't. The fact of the matter is I've seen it and I'm here to tell you how it's changed my life. Well, maybe it's not changed my life but it does make for an interesting tale.

You see, I clicked that shiny button during one of my visits to I thought it would be interesting to see what it was all about. I had a recently finished a book that I thought might be a good candidate for this experiment. I was presented with a few screens to fill out. I entered the ISBN number for the book I was wanting to sell. I was given some suggested pricing information. I was allowed to offer various shipping methods. I was impressed with how easy it was. I was high on adrenalin anticipating my first Internet sell. I finished all the forms and went off to some other websites. I wondered how long I would have to wait for the email from notifying me that my book had been sold.

On Saturday I logged in to check some email. There was a message from congratulating me on the sell of my item. The clock was ticking. I had 2 days to ship the product to the buyer. This was awesome. I guess I never imagined that it would happen. Someone actually bought the book I had listed on their web page. I printed out the email that I had received and some instructions on how to package the book. I headed out the door and drove over to the local UPS store. I knew I could purchase the proper packaging and ship all in one place. Every thing was working out so well.

It said at the bottom of my email from Amazon to be sure and mail my package using the USPS Media Mail to get the best rate. I should be able to ship 2 pounds for under $2.00. Not at the UPS store! Sure they'll let you send your package via the USPS but they don't offer the media mail option. They wanted to charge me nearly $8.00 to ship the package via USPS. It was only $7.75 to ship via UPS ground and I'd get a tracking number on the package. Then the wheels started turning. If I don't send it with a tracking number then the person receiving the package could say they never received the book. I was thinking that I was going to get screwed. So I chose to send the package via UPS. It was too late to go to the post office. I didn't want to wait until Monday and have to try and get to the post office during lunch. I ended up paying the $7.75, the $2.00 for the padded envelope. Amazon took their commission from the sell.

The bottom line. I bought a book for $30. I sold the book on for $16.79. Amazon gave me a $2.26 credit for shipping costs. Amazon kept $3.51. The UPS store got in my pocket for $9.75. The total back to me...$5.79. Most impressive. I'm sure there are some lessons to be learned in there and hopefully I'll find them. What do you think?

Posted by Joe at May 13, 2003 10:02 AM

Hmm ... that's not a lot. I've considered selling stuff on Amazon but always thought it would be an inconvenience. I don't like going to the post office (or UPS) as it is. Oh well, I'll just let my stuff pile up in my attic. :)

Posted by: Vernon at May 14, 2003 10:37 PM

Hi Joe... I'd suggest using the Media Mail in the future at USPS - you can get a tracking number assigned if you ask them. I've been selling alot of books and items on eBay for the last two years - it's been great fun selling books I've read, and then turning around and buying other used books on eBay or like a worldwide book exchange. It's been really fun corresponding with people from all over the world, and I love getting packages in the mail. Hope this helped alittle... Media Mail, definitely - it's dirt cheap, and has been pretty fast, contrary to what they tell you the ETA is. :-)

Posted by: dawn eileen at May 16, 2003 6:29 PM

I'd say a net profit of almost $6 on a used $30 book-even after "paying" the eduction - is not bad at all! Next time you'll have it down pat.
With Media Mail next time, you might make $12.
Portland, Oregon

Posted by: John Schuler at February 20, 2004 5:34 PM

I offered a book for sale. It was a soft cover. There was also a Hardcover one. By mistake my offer came out for the Hard Cover, I want to change that to Soft Cover, but I can't. How do I correct the offer to Soft Cover?

Posted by: Al at May 27, 2005 3:31 PM
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