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Topic: LARGE amount of books to swap - TINY budget - WWYD?

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Subject: LARGE amount of books to swap - TINY budget - WWYD?
Date Posted: 4/9/2013 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2013
Posts: 56
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Any ideas? 

I have a very large library of books that I'd like to swap. I was going through the stacks and posting any WL books, but then I ran out of postage funds to ship with, so I had to put that on hold. My shipping budget in a good month is maybe $10, which only sends out a few packages at best. 

I really need to clear these books out of my house - is there any way to swap locally? I'd be more than happy to do something like 8 books for 1 credit to a local PBS member if they picked them up and saved me the shipping. 


Most of my books are young childrens or adult catholic theology books. I have somewhere around 1500 - maybe even a bit more than that. 

Date Posted: 4/9/2013 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,236
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There are a couple of things you can do.

Don't underestimate the money making potential of offering book deals to people.

If you have kids books they are light weight to mail. And, if you have that many, you should be able to find lots of people who might want to order a deal on them.

The trick is to offer deals for MORE than ONE credit. For example, don't offer a 4 for 1 deal. Offer a 8 for 2 deal. Media Mail costs $2.53 for the first pound, but only 40? 41? cents per pound after that. So, the more credits you can get per package of books, the more money you save.

Here is a quick example.

That 4 for 1 deal - if its 2 pounds of books, would cost you $2.98 to mail. So, you are paying $2.98 to obtain 1 credit.

The 8 for 2 deal - if it's 4 pounds of books, would cost you $3.88 to mail. So, you are paying only $1.94 each, for 2 credits.

You can turn around and sell your extra credits in the Book Bazaar (the going rate is around $2.20 per credit, I think, but there is a limit of 50 per month sold) and that would more than recoup your postage costs for mailing the books out.

Selling credits obviously only works if you are obaining your credits for the same or less than the price you can get by selling them, though. So, you pretty much have to do deals in order to obtain credits cheaply by mailing books out.

Last time I offered a deal, I was offering regular size paperbacks, and I mailed out more than 300 of them, received about 80 credits, and I figured out that I spent about $1 in postage for each of those credits.


So, that may be one way to get rid of the books. But if you think that sounds like too much work, then I would probably go looking locally for preschools, elementary schools, etc. who might welcome a book donation.


If you have a lot of Wish Listed books, check out the Book Bazaar thread about Wishlist Multiples (there is a new thread every month).  It's a thread to specifically offer Wish Listed books to people who want to make an order of 2 (or perhaps more) books at a time, in order to save the sender postage costs.  That might also allow you to maximize your postage budget.

Last Edited on: 4/9/13 1:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/9/2013 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2011
Posts: 218
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If any are wilshlist books, post in the wishlist mutiples thread (book bazaar).  Just state whan the minimum order you will take is.  You send them out 4 or 5 at a time that way.  You can wait a day or so after posting and choose to send only to those requesters with the largest orders.  And like Sara said it's relatively inexpensive to send out large media mail packages.

There are other threads in book bazaar that might help you get multiples orders too.

Date Posted: 4/9/2013 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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When I had a lot of books that weren't moving, and I didn't need PBS credits, I took a couple of boxes of books to my local HalfPriceBooks and got $10.00 for them.

I know it isn't a lot of money, but I got 'em out of the house!


Date Posted: 4/9/2013 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,716
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Last fall, I got on a major bookcleaning and culled around 500 out of boxes and bookshelves.  Didn't want to spend the time posting them and mailing and offering deals, I just hauled them down to Goodwill and got rid of them.

If you don't need the credits, just donate them somewhere locally.  That'll get them out of your house and you can get a receipt to use for tax purposes.

Date Posted: 4/10/2013 2:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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The Reminder List will tell you how many copies of a book are already posted. For those non wish listed books. You can even sort the Reminder List by how many copies are available.
mistie -
Date Posted: 4/10/2013 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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Unless you are offering multiple credit deals, or mailing out multiple credit orders, financially it makes more sense to donate your books locally, and buy cheap credits in th bazaar to order books with.

Eg It makes no sense to mail one book , costing $2.53 postage, to receive one credit that can be bought for around $2.20 in the book bazaar forum.

Date Posted: 4/11/2013 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you don't need credits than donat the non-WL books.   Then post the WL ones in the multiples threads as you need credits.  I no longer post all my books.  Just the really good condition WL books.  The others go in a box for the thrift store.  PBS doesn't suffer for me not posting a book with lots of copies in the system already.

Date Posted: 4/11/2013 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2013
Posts: 56
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OP here - the issue is that I DO need the credits. All the credits i earn swapping books here help to provide our homeschooling books. I have 200 books currently on my WL, and another 200 in my reminder list, and that is just to cover the next 3 years for us. 


So far, I'm trying out posting just the WL ones over in the Book Bazar in the WL Multiples thread. Trying to sell the rest locally with some success, but if it comes down to it I may do deals here just to move them and get a few credits. I am taking the adult religion books I have to half price, as they are not WL here and that will help provide shipping funds to do the rest with. 

Date Posted: 4/11/2013 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Have you look in the PBS Local bookclub chapters?  Maybe if you go to one of those meetings you can swap books and save on postage.

Date Posted: 4/11/2013 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 568
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Everyone else has already made most of the suggestions I would have made - offer deals on multiples, offer your wishlisted books in the wishlist multiples thread in the Bazaar, etc. Even though you need the credits, it may be 'cheaper' for you to buy credits in the bazaar compared to the cost of shipping some books out, especially the heavier ones.

I used to sell books on half.com - these days it's hard to make any money selling popular books there or on ebay, because there are so many businesses selling cheap books. But if your books are a little harder to find, like your homeschooling and theology books may be, you might be able to sell some and make enough of a profit for it to be worthwhile for you. A good site to see used book prices from a lot of sources is bookfinder.com - take a look and see if it would be worth it for you to try selling some of your unwanted books.

I also used to sell to Half Price Books, but you won't get much from them or other vendors unless the books are somehow rare. Again, you can always check this yourself. Is there a Catholic bookstore near you that might be interested in your theology books?

One other suggestion - you can sell books online to Powell's Books. They don't take everything, but it's worth checking especially since you can send them all in one box (as opposed to selling one at a time at half.com or ebay) and they pay for the shipping to them. You can enter the ISBNs of your books at http://www.powells.com/sellonline/ and see if they are interested in buying them.

And one additional crazy idea - could you get in touch with other homeschooling families and trade books? You could find someone with older kids who no longer needs the books you are looking for, or with younger kids who needs the books you are ready to get rid of.

Date Posted: 4/11/2013 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2009
Posts: 196
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I would post in the multiple thread.  Then post a link in the Homeschool and children forum.  If you have multiple books from one curriculum like Sonlight or Five in a Row, you could ask on the homeschool forum who uses them and then check out their wish lists.