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Topic: How is it fiscally feasible to sell credits?

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Subject: How is it fiscally feasible to sell credits?
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 6,480
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I've bought credits in the Book Bazaar and I see that it's a common practice to sell them, but I can't figure how they can afford to do so when it costs $2.69 to mail a book.  I mean, I've had multiple orders that are cheaper to mail, but they're not the norm.  Am I missin' somethin'?

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,765
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It is disappointing. There are too many people with too many credits to sell so there is constant pressure to lower prices. I was hoping when the last postage increase went into effect people would come to their senses, but it hasn't happened yet.

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,333
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In some cases, the members are earning the credits on one of the sister sites and are transferring them here.  Postage can be low for CDs and DVDs.

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 4:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 6,480
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Oh, wow, I had not even considered that.  Thanks.

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also some members have huge bookshelves or make a lot of effort to ship in multiples and that brings the cost per credit down. 

I used to mail out lots of books and sell credits but I stopped that about 4 years ago when the price of credits in the bazaar went from selling from 2.75-3.50 down to under 2.50 and then just kept getting lower and lower.  I stopped buying cheap WL books just to post and started donating more books that I might have posted before.

I think the super cheap cost of credits in the bazaar might be part of the reason the books available # and wish list postings have slowed down.  To many people it probably makes more sense to just buy credits then to post and mail books. 

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 6,480
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I know I've got a couple of hundred books on my shelf, and I get fairly steady requests, but I've had to buy credits a few times in the past, just to keep up with the books I was up for on my wish list. 

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,765
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it probably makes more sense to just buy credits than to post and mail books.

I think you are exactly right. Why pay 2.69 to mail a book and get a credit when you can buy a credit for 2.00?

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I still post and mail books although not nearly as many as I used to mail out.  I only get about 10 WL books a year at this point so there's no reason for me to earn many more credits than that since I rarely request anything but WL books.  But I can see some people thinking that, why bother mailing books out and spending $2.69 in postage when they can just buy a credit for $2 (or less). Hopefully this group will stay a minority among the members.

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,794
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it probably makes more sense to just buy credits than to post and mail books.

I've posted in the past about multiple book mailing math. I don't have time to explain all the math over again, but basically it works out like so:

If people order books from you in multiple credit deals, you can obtain credits for mailing books out for much, much less than $2.69, even if you are 1. giving books away free, and 2. even purchasing books to post on the site (as long as they are pretty cheap, like well under $1).

Last time I offered a multiple book deal in the Book Bazaar, I got about 80 credits from the various deals, mailed out about 250ish books, and all of those credits cost me just over about $1 each to obtain.

It's not going to pay the bills, but certainly you can make a very small profit doing so.

The people who stick with mailing out 1 book for 1 credit and won't do multi-credit deals are just shortchanging themselves. The price of mailing drops off drastically once the packages get heavier, and the more books you mail in the same package, the cheaper the credits get.



Last Edited on: 4/28/14 5:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,296
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Sometimes I mail a lot of Books for games and boxes. This month and next month is going to be especially heavy. I haven't done it (yet) but there have been times when my shipping budget was strained and I considered selling credits to put some money in my pbs account to cover delivery confirmation fees

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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To me it's just not worth the time to do all that and just sell the credits.  So I just earn them as I need them and no more than what I use.  I have 13 now and feel uncomfortable with so many so I may move some over to the DVD site.  I missed a multi-dvd wl offer recently because I only had 2 credits over there. I used to put effort into shipping in multiples and stuff but now I don't bother.  Not when I only use 10-15 credits a year.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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Well...  I posted my books to get rid of them... not to make money.  I think it is nice that it goes to someone who wants it.

I did try to make it as economical as possible and get multiples where I can, but if some one wants the thing, I don't have a big problem with spending the $ to send it.

But I can certainly see that the folks buying books to post them would want to stop that as the postage cost went up and the credit prices went down.

I didn't accumulate too many credits and selling a few just seemed like a hassle to me.

Also another book site I used close down and lots of folks were upset because they had accumulated a lot of credits and they disappeared... so I also don't see the point in trying to get a lot of credits saved up.


 

Date Posted: 4/28/2014 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,424
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Heck, I had one member who ordered about ten books from me.  I turned around and give her two credits back.  She was so shocked.  But the cost per book goes way down, My postage was way under the credit amount.  

I try to not accumulate too many.  Either books for schools or my niece's classroom gets books if I have too many banked up.  I cut down on the size of my bookshelf as I'm fine with the number if credits I have.  Plus it makes it much easier to find the suckers if they are all in one box.

Date Posted: 4/29/2014 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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The people who are selling their credits for less than $2.69 quite possibly got them for mass market paperbacks that cost less to mail.  (Anything under 10 ounces  packaged up will cost less if sent First Class.)  Or they get credits for multiple book orders that cost a lot less than $2.69 per book.

Date Posted: 4/30/2014 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I mentioned this before in another thread.  By asking this question you are assuming that it is necessary for the credit seller to break even or make money on credits.  In my case I still think it is a great deal to only pay 0.69 (2.69 - 2.00)  for a used book especially for many of the books I've gotten in excellent condition.  So selling extra credits for $2.00 each isn't a huge loss.  



Last Edited on: 4/30/14 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/30/2014 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I didn't sell them before to make a profit. Just to cover postage and whatever I spent to acquire the book if it was a book I bought only to post here. (I consider whatever I paid for a book I read as my fee for reading it a never factored that into my per credit cost).  I used to buy a lot of WL books at the thrift store just to post here but I don't do that now. I don't have the budget to keep a lot of credits stock piled here or to earn them and then sell them at a loss.  I also don't have the patience or the time to mess with book bazaar deals and stuff.  I used to read multiple WL books off friends wish lists and save some postage money that way. But I really prefer to just read what I feel like reading and if it's WL just post it and get it out of the house. 

 

Date Posted: 5/7/2014 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2009
Posts: 17
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Credits at Swap-a-CD regularly sell for $1.75 each at the same time they're about $2 each here, presumably because so many members of this site aren't SACD members or don't know that credits can be transferred among the 3 swap sites. Otherwise, more of those cheaper credits from the SACD Bazaar would get bought up and transferred here. Instead, there are always too many for sale, and there's a devaluation of the exchange value of a credit even as postage rates go higher and higher.

I can rarely send multiple books at once, so I send them one at a time at an average cost of almost $3 each. I do this instead of simply buying the credits I need because I want other members to be able to enjoy my books and CDs I don't want anymore, but it does feel like I'm spending an excess of my hard-earned money to fulfill that goal. Multiplying over 100 books I've shipped out in the past few years times about $3 each for postage (vs. $1.75-$2 each for simply buying credits to use instead) = over $100 I've spent unnecessarily, from a practical standpoint. Why should I keep doing this when I so rarely get to use my own credits for WL items offered to me, and I could just donate my extra books to Goodwill locally and take a tax deduction for them?

The devaluation/surplus credit problem has become worse in the past few years, and I worry about what this means for where the sites are headed. There's a whole discussion of this on the SACD forums: http://www.swapacd.com/forum/topic.php?t=10383&l=25&ls=0

(Probably need to log in to read it. I encourage anyone not already a member there to register—it only takes a minute and can be a real advantage to use more than one of the swap sites in various ways.)



Last Edited on: 5/7/14 3:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 3