Ebay Book question-Serious

jannieSeptember 20, 2010

I'm trying to declutter my house. I have loads of books to get rid of. Best sellers, mysteries, all kinds of books. . Sure, I could donate them. But I'm thinking of selling them on Ebay. Is that legal? I mean, I'm not sending the publisher or author a cut. Is it legal to sell a book someone else wrote? I'm not allowed to make DVD copies of movies and sell them. What is your opinion or experience?

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Yes, you can sell you books because you bought legal copies of them.

If you tried to sell xeroxed copies of books, then you might be in copyright trouble.

You can't legally sell the copies of DVDs that you have made, but you can sell a DVD that you bought legitimately.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:02AM
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FWIW: you can also sell your books on Amazon, but you must register there as well. I've always thought Amazon was a more secure way to sell since the transaction actually goes through Amazon's payment system.

Also with Amazon, you can easily see what others are selling their books for and the condition the books are in. We buy most of our used books on Amazon. Better customer service, more protection for both buyer and seller, honest shipping rates. I don't know anything about seller fees, but I do hear that eBay is an expensive way to sell.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:07AM
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You can definitely sell any books you have. I agree with cupofkindness -- Amazon is a better way to go for stand alone titles. However, if you have a set of books or several in a series, you might want to bundle them and sell them all together on eBay. You may receive less money for them, but it's a faster way to get rid of sets than trying to sell them singly on Amazon.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:21AM
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You cannot sell any "advance readers copy," if you happen to have those.

(I do, bcs I work in publishing, and the P.R. companies send them to my publications, hoping to get editorial coverage)

I've decided that the return on them is simply too small for the effort, so I just gie them to someone.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 10:27AM
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Thanks for the info. I know shipping will be fairly expensive, so I'll probably donate rather than try to sell books. Last week my husband sold some extra coins from his collection-he got $1.51 for 6 quarters-that's just one cent over face value. And it cost $1.05 to mail them-no profit there.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Hi Jannie,

This is what I do. Go to www.Half.ebay.com. It is Ebay's book selling site.

You can type in the UPC code from your book and see what it is worth. That's what I do, I decide whether a book is worth my trouble and I list it if I can make a few dollars.
The buyer pays the shipping. Plus, you just list your books there and they send you an email once something sells. You then have 2 days to get it shipped.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Books can be shipped "media mail" rate which is cheaper than regular. You just cannot put any communications in.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:07PM
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One poster turned me on to paperbackswap.com. You can figure out which books are in demand, and they will 'sell' pretty quickly (you pay outgoing postage, media mail, but you get books for free). If you have too many credits you can always donate them to the military.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 7:14AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

You can transfer the credits to your swap cd and dvd account too.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 8:14AM
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Try Craigslist.com and sell your books locally....no shipping costs.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 5:12PM
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Just walk into a local used book store with them, one that carries the kind of books you have. Or if it's a lot more than that, make an appointment and maybe they come to you. They'll often offer you a certain amount of cash, but double that value if you take it in books.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 4:46PM
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It's not expensive at all to ship books. As mentioned above, you can ship them by media mail (which used to be called "book rate"). It's much cheaper. CDs and DVDs can also go by media mail.

If you have collections, like a set of Stephen King books, you might have good luck selling them on Craigslist as a collection instead of selling them one by one. Craigslist is free while Ebay, Half and Amazon all charge listing fees and commissions. If you're just looking to get a couple of dollars per book, your fees would probably cost you that much. So check out the fees on all sites before you commit. As far as selling books, I think Ebay is cheaper than Amazon as far as fees go.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 8:23PM
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I've sold stuff on Ebay but always have trouble. Buyers who wouldn't pay, buyers unhappy with items, and of course those horrible Ebay and Paypal "fees" , plus their three-week hold on moneys due me from buyers. Never again! I'd rather give away on Craigslist. But there's troubles there too. Craigslist is known for criminals, sextraders, etc. Rather not deal with them unless I can remain totally anonymous.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 9:38AM
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I've sold a lot on both Ebay and Craigslist and have only encountered a few minor problems. Of course you encounter problems anywhere you go these days. I've never had a 3-week hold on my money from Ebay buyers. The hold usually applies to high-fraud categories, like computers, electronics, expensive name brand purses, etc. I've never had a hold on books, CDs, clothing, craft supplies, plants. Of course some of the holds may apply to new sellers, I don't know. I'm a very experienced seller on Ebay with 100% rating, so I get my money immediately.

Craigslist is actually more known for allowing the common person to sell his/her items cheaply. The criminals and sex traders are not what Craigslist was intended for, and they're quite uncommon in my area. I've honestly not encountered a sex trader or criminal in the 3 years I've been using Craigslist. I have managed to get rid of quite a bit of stuff and acquire money for home repairs and garden projects. As with any place else in our lives, we just have to follow common safety procedures and use common sense. Criminals and sex offenders are everywhere. You probably encounter more than you're even aware of when you go to Walmart.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:08PM
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I use craigslist a lot, always use my own name in correspondence, and have not had any trouble. Quite the contrary, I've encountered some wonderful people and made at least one new friend! The sex traders stay on the sex listings, and while there are certainly annoying people, no criminals yet. OK, I have had someone try that "I'll send you a cheque" routine, but you just don't answer and they go away.

But books, I take 'em to the local book store, as mentioned, or I donate them to Value Village. Easier.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 3:26PM
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I've used Craigslist and have generally had a good experience. There's been a few low-ballers and folks who ask if an items is still available and you never hear from them again.

I can't see anyone driving very far for a book. Maybe if you had a series from a one author. I'd think selling them online would be a better option but depending on the book, don't expect to make a lot of money. Just make sure you accurately calculate your costs before pricing the item. Postage can be calculated at USPS.com and figure out how much a padded envelope and label is going to cost you as well. Anything over 13 oz. is going to require a trip to the Post Office, otherwise you can toss it in any mailbox. In most cases, you'd probably be better off taking a minimum wage job. :-)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 6:44AM
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Those emails that ask "Is this item still available" are spam. They're just trying to get your email address so they can either sell it to lists that spam or so they can hack your Craigslist account. Don't respond to them; if you do, you may notice more spam in your inbox. I had someone use my email address to hack into my craigslist account recently and post a bunch of ads in a Cleveland Craigslist (I'm in Arkansas). They claimed to be some special business. Almost all emails with a gmail account are spam--almost all. Occasionally a legitimate person writes me from a gmail account, but you can tell the legitimates from the others. Legitimate buyers will say, "Do you still have your TV? If so, where could I see it?" Spam use the generic "Is this item available?"

Ebay currently offers your first 100 auctions per month for free if you don't have an Ebay store and if you start the auction at 99 cents or less. So this might be a great option for you to sell your books. You can start the bidding at 99 cents each if you're will to take 99 cents for each one. Some will be bid up higher probably, but some will only have that one bidder, so you would have to sell it for that 99 cents. Never start an auction at less than you're willing to take for the item. It's unethical to have it sell for 99 cents and then tell the buyer you won't sell it because it wasn't bid up high enough.

If you're going to ship from home, get some scales so you can weigh each item so you can affix appropriate postage. Nothing insures negative feedback like sending an item that reaches the buyer with postage due. Bubble (padded) mailers are now considered "parcels" rather than "envelopes", so they cost more to ship these days than they did a year or two ago.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 8:30AM
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thatcrazyplantlady: please explain your statement about gmail accounts. I have one and am not aware of gmail account's having bad reputations. Please enlighten me! Liz

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Liz, most of the Craigslist spammers have gmail accounts. Everytime I post something for sale, I get about 20 spam mails from gmail accounts for every post I make.

So if you have a gmail account, or really any account, be specific in your response. Don't say something like, "Is this still available?" It's too generic and all the spammers say that. Say something like, "Do you still have your lawn furniture? If so, when could I come out and see it? You can call me at ..." Then we know you're legit.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 4:14PM
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I also use a gmail account, as do about 75% of my clients. Don't make blanket statements like that.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 11:06PM
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Jannie, shipping books couldn't be easier. I've sold a lot of them on both eBay and Amazon. Amazon sets a standard shipping fee of $3.99 for domestic Media Mail. Unless your book is very heavy, it will usually cost you less than that to ship. I mail almost all books in plastic zip-loc bags inside bubble envelopes. Like I said, easy.

With Amazon it's also easy to see what a given title is going for. If the price is too low to make it worth your while, you can add it to the giveaway pile. But as you go through your titles, you may find some that bring in a decent price.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 5:47PM
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And PS: I have a gmail account, and so do many of my friends. As far as I know, none of us have done any scamming.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:55PM
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thatcrazyplantlady: Thanks for the tip. It would be very natural for me to ask "Is this still available", but then I haven't used Craig's list very often. I'm learning a lot about book selling here though--thanks all! Liz

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 9:50PM
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