Sunday, May 27, 2007

Interested In Selling Your Used Books?

Alibris, the California online bookseller (pronounced "uh LEE briss," not "ALI breeze") has started a new service they're calling Basic whereby individuals can sell their used books.

Frankly, the site didn't give enough information to satisfy me. It says:

You love books, so why not sell books on Alibris? Now you can turn used textbooks and your new, rare, out-of-print, and used books into cash, and into someone else's literary treasures.

You can list up to 1,000 items for sale, and you only pay $1 plus a small commission for each one that you sell. If you don't sell anything, you don't pay anything except the annual subscription charge of $19.99. But with millions of readers searching Alibris for books, you're certain to sell a lot.

They don't explain how much the "small commission" is, nor do they address the matter of shipping. If the seller has to absorb the shipping costs and the $1 plus that small commission (not to mention the $19.99 a year), I'm not sure how much profit there is in it.

If you'd like to check out the service, go here.


B.E. Sanderson said...

Alibris has been doing this for years, but it wasn't widely known. I can't tell if their rates have changed though. ABE does it, too. I sell through Amazon - which doesn't make me pay the subscription rate. I could pay it and get rid of the .99 fee, but so far I don't sell enough to warrent shelling out the extra $49.99 a year. I just squeak out enough to pay for postage for querying. Yay. (Plus it helps keep my book addiction under control.)

Maybe it's time for me to consider changing services. Thanks for the update, Maya.

Maya Reynolds said...

B.E.: Apparently what's new is the "Basic" title and all the promotion Alibris is giving the program.

I'm fortunate enough to have found a bookstore in Dallas called Paperbacks Plus that gives cash (usually about a quarter of the original price) for my used books. They help to keep the weight of my bookcases from becoming so heavy that they crash through my floors :)

Thanks for posting.

Warm regards,


Peter L. Winkler said...

It's no secret that Alibris makes their money from transaction fees. I find the $1 per item to be too much and it is a profit killer.

I've sold book hrough Amazon and eBay, but only when the book's price after Amazon's commission left me with several dollars. Otherwise it's not worth the effort.

Maya Reynolds said...

Peter: I found the annual charge PLUS the $1 transaction fee PLUS the "small" commission to be overkill.

This doesn't seem like a great deal to me either.

Warm regards,