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Topic: are people using pbs to get books to sell?

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Subject: are people using pbs to get books to sell?
Date Posted: 11/14/2013 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2010
Posts: 1
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Date Posted: 11/14/2013 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Every now and then this shows up.  Frankly, the books worth making a profit on move too slow for it to make sense.  Your books are yours.  You may take some to the UBS.  We have several members who do sell enough to have postage for their swap books. 

If it is clear that you are a business that sells, then PBS will put you on hold. 

Can members resell books received from PBS?

  • PBS may not be used to obtain books for the purpose of resale.  Commercial use of the site is prohibited.
  • When you receive a book you requested, it does belong to you, and you can do whatever you would like with it after you have read it.   An occasional resale of an item obtained here for personal use is OK.
    • Of course we would like to see you repost your books on this site when you are finished with them, because it makes more books available for our many members to choose from.
    • Again, the occasional PBS book that is obtained for personal use, and then ends up being sold elsewhere, is perfectly okay. However, any systematic attempt to obtain books for resale (instead of personal use) will jeopardize your membership, and may lead to criminal prosecution.
    • That means: if you obtain books to read, and sell an occasional one, that is fine. If you request a book not to read, but in order to re-sell it, that is NOT fine.
  • We do have some booksellers who belong to the club.
    • They contribute a lot of books here, and booksellers are usually avid readers too!
    • Booksellers per se are not prohibited from membership.
    • But if there is a pattern to a bookseller's (or any member's account) of systematically obtaining books for resale, or if it becomes clear that a bookseller is attempting to use PBS to stock his or her (online or brick-and-mortar) bookstore, we will close his or her membership permanently, and legal prosecution may ensue. Again, commercial activity is prohibited at PBS.
Date Posted: 11/14/2013 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,320
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I'm sure that there are some people here who are using this site solely for that purpose, but it's not supposed to be used for that reason only.

Date Posted: 11/14/2013 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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You can check Amazon yourself to see what your books would sell for before you post them if you are worried about that. Most paperback fiction is available for less than $1, unless it's very new or had small press runs, or is older and hard to find now, or is of a less common genre.

And the fees are fairly steep to resell books. Not to mention that books that you get from here are not free, you must have either purchased a credit or mailed a book in order to request a book from here.

So, let's say it costs around $2 to get a book from this site. And, that it also costs a minimum of $2.35 (plus 15% of the book price) to sell a book on Amazon (unless you are a high volume seller, in which case it may cost as low as 80 cents plus 15% to sell a book on Amazon).

So, right away, the book has to be selling for upwards of $4.50 used before you start to see any sort of profit, if you have obtained the books from here.

Most books that keep their value (non-fiction or new hardcover fiction, or put-of-print books that are also wanted) are posted rarely here. So, someone who wanted to resell a particular book  might wait in a Wish List line for several years in order to obtain a book that sells for maybe $10 on Amazon. Of which $5 is really their profit.

Now, does that mean that valuable books are never posted here? I'm sure that some are. But from a business person's point of view, it doesn't really make sense to try to resell tons of books from this site, because the valuable books aren't posted so frequently that it's even worth it.

Also ... I post books here that I don't want anymore. If I wanted the bother of selling them myself, I would do that. So, the thought of sending them off to someone else who might sell them does not really bother me. I don't want to sell them myself or else I would.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I did just send someone a bunch of trade sized WishListed horror books, and when I checked after I promised to send them, it turned out that I could have sold them for $8 or $9 bucks apiece. So, I was kind of idly wondering if the person that I sent them to was going to do that after all. Turns out the person was ordering them to include them in a box of books for a soldier posted somewhere out of the country.  So, they went to a good home regardless, hopefully with a whole bunch of people able to enjoy reading them.

So, like I said ... althoughthe thought occurs to me every once in a while, I don't spend much time worrying about people reselling books.

People send me books that I *could* resell, I guess, mostly newly published hardcover books  ... but I don't, most books that I get from here I re-post to someone else, and if they are highly wanted, I do it faster. If we don't trust each other, then none of us will ever get newly published books.

Last Edited on: 11/14/13 4:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 11/14/2013 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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yes Sara!

Date Posted: 11/14/2013 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I'm content if members use the money to buy books or postage.  Or non-profits.  (I order books for my neice's classroom.  Those are leaving the PBS circle, but are well used.)  

I usually use my high value books in the swap games here, which is moving them around on PBS.  Not posted, but not leaving. 

Date Posted: 11/14/2013 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,523
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Wow, Sara.... I had no idea that those books were going for that price at the resell rate. I feel kinda bad now, lol. But I do thank you and I know that they'll be enjoyed by more peeps than just the guy I'm sending them to.

I suppose some members might use PBS as a way to gain and resell books. I recall past incidences of that. It just doesn't seem to be an efficient or cost effective way to go about it, though. You'd think that resellers would make more proffit by other means of sourcing books.  

Date Posted: 11/15/2013 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Oh, don't feel bad, I checked before they were mailed but even then I couldn't muster up any desire to sell them myself. I figured it was enough that i was mailing them on for someone else to read, and it's a nice surprise that they are going to soldiers instead! I've posted lots of other books that were probably worth in the $10 range, cookbooks and gardening books and stuff like that ... If I wanted to be bothered with selling books I would do it, but to me it seems like a lot of time and effort for very little return. I'd just as soon send it to someone here who has been waiting. It's like what my Mom used to say about clipping coupons (she worked full time). She never bothered with it because she figured the rate of return on clipping and organizing and keeping track of coupons, and checking the specials at each nearby grocer store, etc, and then making lists of what was being purchased at each store, and traveling around to multiple stores .... Was somewhere around $10 an hour. And since she made $25 an hour at her job, it made more sense spending time working overtime and then relaxing on her time off.
Date Posted: 11/15/2013 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Nice analysis, Sara! I wish there were some way for the PBS system to link to your reply automatically every time someone brings up this question of whether any members are getting books through PBS to resell them - it seems to show up in this forum at least every couple of months.

Date Posted: 11/15/2013 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2013
Posts: 65
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Good one Sara P!  I think "ocassional" selling is the only thing that makes sense.  Those Amazon, Abe, Alibris, ebay, etc. prices are "asking prices" not necessarily the average desired buying price a particular book is likely to go for at a faster rate, so they often sit around a while before selling. Using PBS "soley" for commercial stockpiling would be bad business sense.

Last Edited on: 11/15/13 5:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/15/2013 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 563
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Great posts, all. And like Dale says, just because something is listed for $x doesn't mean it can actually be sold for that price. Used bookselling is a very small margin business these days, thanks to the Internet, and it would be pretty darn impossible to make a profit (or even break even) by reselling only books that you got from PBS.