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Topic: With postage increase, pricing for credits? and credits available

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Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
Subject: With postage increase, pricing for credits? and credits available
Date Posted: 6/17/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 1,152
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With the new postage rates, I'm thinking that I need to raise the cost of credits to $3.10 for fewer than 10 and $3 for 10 or more.  I'm wondering how other people are handling the fact that credits now are costing the seller $2. 74 to $2.88 even when you can buy a book for 50 cents.  Add in paypal fees and gas to the post office and $3 barely covers it, if it even does.   Just wanted some input from other people who sell extra credits.

BTW, I have about 70 extra right now.  :)  For now, $3.00 each.

Sharon

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 1,993
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I agree. Although I haven't sold nearly as many credits as others, I don't like seeing the value drop below $3. As stated, it hardly seems worth selling the credit, I can always get myself another book. ; )

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Many of the books I have sent lately have been over 1 pound so the postage is $2.77 with a few over 2 pounds at $3.16. I also have plenty of credits now and am holding off posting a bunch of WL books until I either sell or spend some of the credits I have.

I am thinking some people are sending out CD's and DVD's on the sister sites for much lower postage and then can justify selling the credits for less.

One of the reasons I liked this site when I joined was the option of selling the credits to get the postage back. I was trying to thin my shelves and that is hard if you get as many or more books than you send. Now that I finally have built up a credit bank, I find the credit sale market is a tough place. Either people have long standing relationships with suppliers or people are offering at prices that seem to be me doing the work and paying for the fun of it. I figure I get my money's worth getting the book by reading it. I would just like to get close to even on shipping. I may end up not posting heavier books and see what happens. So far it has been fun but I have gotten more careful about what I post and  more books may end up freecycled or FOL than posted.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,167
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I usually sell for $2.85 when I have credits available. Paypal takes a very small % of that. You're still making money on most books - many of my MMP and trade paperbacks cost $2.38 to mail. When you consider sometimes people ordering multiple books, you definitely make out on that. Anyway, it's just kind of a wash- yes, sometimes you'll mail a book for over $3, but most times, it's perhaps around the $2.50 mark. So you'll make a few cents on the sales. I *doubt* you will get *any* people taking you up on an offer to buy credits at $3.10, or anything over $3. I've seen folks offering them for $2.60 a piece, and those offers aren't going to stop. So, people will just scroll through till they find the lowest offer.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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I've been really surprised the secondary market for credits hasn't gone up in price when postage did.   I'm not real pleased either--it makes me nervous about the value of credits.

I have my new load of books to post from the spring sales, but I'm not sure I'm going to bother.  My WL has been really quiet, it's so not worth selling the credits for that price (I actually include things like fees, packing tape, gas, in figuring out how much I spend on a credit.).  The amount of effort to get a credit isn't worth 10 cents.  Sorry.  People are highly resistant to spending more than one credit at a time, so I rarely manage to send a stack of books at once either.

I'm having a hard time convincing myself to not just buy the credits I need from the bazaar.  No time, no hassle, no packing, and really, barely more direct money outlay.

I'm just not sure what to do with the vanload of books in my garage.  If I could find a good way to shoo them out it'd be an easy choice.



Last Edited on: 6/17/09 12:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/17/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,858
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The people who are offering their credits for less than $3.00 are the same people who do tons of multi-book deals.

Think about it ... if you always have a deal that is 3/2 or 5/3 or something else like that that involves more than one credit ... each credit you have came at a cheaper cost than people who stay at 1 book = 1 credit.

Take the case of 3/2 .. it might cost only  $2.38 to get those 2 credits. Or, probably $2.77. But still, each credit that you want to sell has cost less than $1.50. So, if you can sell those credits for $2.75 or something, you are still making a hefty profit from each credit.

I don't see the average cost of credits increasing much, even with the postage increases ... because if you do the math, that's how it works out.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
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I've been wondering myself if the new postage rates would change the going rate for second-hand credits.  At $3 per credit (minus PayPal fees), I'll probably just about break even.  However, that works for me, because--with a little effort--I can "convert" some of my endless books into something else I need.  Poof!  I did notice, however, that most of the folks who are offering credits at less than $3 each only offer that deal in bulk.

It does seem like there are more folks selling credits lately.  How hard do you find it to get credit buyers?

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,167
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The people who are offering their credits for less than $3.00 are the same people who do tons of multi-book deals.

Nope, not me.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 86
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I've never sold any credits but from a buyer's point of view, I scroll past credits that are more than $3.00 a piece. I look for the lowest price and buy accordingly.  While I understand that does not make some sellers happy, from my financial point of view it only makes sense, especially with this economy.

I also will buy more credits if the seller offers even a small discount on bulk credits.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,271
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I sell credits for less than $3.00 (no minimum), and have no problem doing so.  I'm not out to make money, just have a lot of credits, and probably won't be able to use them all, so recouping some of my postage is fine with me.  Also I don't do a lot of bulk or multi-book shipping, not for any specific reason except I just haven't been very successful in the Book Bazaar.   When someone asks for a deal, I will usually accept it, as long as it's reasonable.  Pat 

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,858
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The people who are offering their credits for less than $3.00 are the same people who do tons of multi-book deals.

Nope, not me.

I just meant in general. I don't think that the price for buying credits will go up ... because the people who are doing this are making a big profit off of selling a credit for $2.75.  After I was here on PBS for a little while, I figured out that this is probably the only legitimate way to make money from PBS, and you can see the same people over and over in the bazaar with 1. very large bookshelves, and 2. permanent multi-book deals, and 3. selling credits.

Ordering books to sell is against PBS rules. Offering books in a deal for less than a credit each and then selling the credits does not appear to be against any rules that I can find.



Last Edited on: 6/17/09 7:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Selling credits
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2005
Posts: 608
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Just chiming in here--I don't do a lot of multi-book deals. I also mail more trade pb and hardcovers than mmp. I figure that at $2.50 a credit, which is what I charge per credit for an order of 10 or more credits, I am getting back my postage. I certainly don't feel that I'm making a lot of money. I wish! Regards, Elaine

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Which is the difference.

It isn't worth it to me to sell credits if I do no more than break even (or not even that, if I include the cosrs other than postage. I need to go buy more tape, for example).

Why go through all that effort to be right back where I was money wise, but out time & effort?   I just don't get it.  I had the money before I spent it on postage, why turn around and sell the credit for basically postage? 

Which is why I don't really sell credits anymore. It's in my sig, yes, but I don't actively push them.  Too many folks are happy to just get back what they spent.  I don't understand it, but so it goes.  I'd be happy if I was buying credits!

It just means rather than moderating how many credits I have by selling when I get too many, I'll moderate how many I have by not posting as many books.  Everyone finds the balance between selling, posting, shipping, buying, and requesting that works for them.  I would not be happy in the position some people choose, so I don't sell anymore.  Tis economics.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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I found this interesting so I decided to see how much I was spending per credit.  I have not ever bought or sold credits, because so far I would rather just use them and so far I have enough of them.   I have also not done any multibooks per credit deals, so 1 book = 1 credit for me.

Since I began in March 09, I have had 25 mailings of 1 book, 4 mailings of 2 books and 3 mailings with more books.  I took out the 3 mailings with more books, because I don't remember exactly how many books were included, so I can't accurately calculate the effect. 

I am only including postage, because the PO is at my work location, I have so far recycled mailing materials except tape, and I don't know how much I have spent on tape so far.   Therefore I consider my other cost minimal.

The most expensive amount I spent to send 1 book was $2.93 (darn hardback books), the cheapest for 1 was $2.02.  My average for the 25 mailings of 1 book was $2.34 per book.  My average including the 4 mailings of 2 books was $2.10 per book.

I do know the details for the last >2 books mailing I did.  It was 19 books and cost $7.83 (postage) +$2.79 (box).  That is $0.56 per book.

I don't know how much it cost to accept payments, but $3 is looking a little steep for a price per credit compared to what it has cost me in sending out books.  You just need to steer clear of sending out heavy books to keep the postal cost low & gettting some multibook orders really makes a difference.  

Now if I was looking for credits, I would look for the person offering them cheapest & not requiring paypal (I do have something against paypal).  And it may come to that at some point, cause nobody wants what is left on my shelf. 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Really?  Steep? Why?

Let's assume an average of $2.34 postage per credit.

If the book cost 50 cents it's up to $2.74 a credit.  It costs 30 cents + 2.5% at paypal. For 10 credits, that's another 5ish cents pre credit.  Now it's $2.79 cents cost.

Is 21cents above that really that steep for someone who still has to buy tape and take time & gas to go to the post office?

Let's say the book didn't cost them anything and they use pre-printed postage--remove gas and book cost.  Postage is $2.34 still, .27 charge for printed postage (I think), .05 cents for the ink for the printer (more for most color printers or inkjets), and still the .05 from selling fees.  That's $2.71 cost for the credit still skipping tape & time to package it.  29 cents.

Yes, if you can reliaby ship 19 books at a time for 19 credits then these are off.  Was that for 19 credits?  If not, then it's the shipping cost per credit, not book, that's relevant.  If those 19 books were shipped for 4 credits, for example, then it's $2.66 per credit.  At 5 credits you finally bring it below your average, and it's $2.12 per credit.  

Besides, to buy from the Kiosk is over $4.  $3 is better than a 25% discount!  (EDITED: Ok, I had the wrong price for the credits in the kiosk. It's $3.45, so $3 is still a nice discount, just not quite as big.  I confused with with SaDVD, which is the higher price. So sorry!)



Last Edited on: 6/19/09 12:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 1,247
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I agree with both sides on this one... Except one point..

The Kiosk charges $3.45 per credit with one time (each time) .50 charge for using service.

ETA: Not over $4.00 per credit as mentioned above..

Example: 10 credits through Kiosk- $35.00  ($3.45x10 +.50)

So if someone is selling them for $3.00, yes you can save $5.00 opposed to buying them from Kiosk.

But then have to wait for someone to credit them to you, etc. Whereas kiosk is instant..

I personally buy ALOT of credits. And I only buy them from one person now. They charge $2.60 a credit and that is too far of a good deal for me to pass up. I completely understand people asking $3.00 for them, and I have in fact bought them for that when I was in a pinch. But overall, people are looking for the best deal...

 

 



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 5:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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If I was buying, I would go with the better deal and pay more if needed for convenience. I do not expect the going rate to change for credits. I just need to evaluate how many and what books I post.

I just got about 200 books given to me. Without looking, I would guess more than half are postable, around a quarter will go on mount TBR and the rest will go on my trade stack. Most are unlikely to be WL but I could add variety to my shelf. I have plenty of credits and tons of books waiting to be read.

I figure getting my postage and any paypal cost is good enough. I have had a string of heavier books going out as single orders. I will adjust my posting accordingly. If I list lighter books, I can match the rates being offered without losing by trading. I like sending books out but I do not want to have tons of credits I will not need and no room to match the advertised going rates.

OK, just checked my last 50 books sent. 3 went first class, 19 for $2.38, 23 for $2.77 and 6 for $3.16. I will round the first class at $1.73 (I do not remember what they were). That gives me and average of about $2.65 per credit.  I do not think I am making money selling credits. If I sell at $2.75 less fees it looks like I have a I have a few cents to invest in tape and printer ink. If I adjust my books going out to 1 pound or less I can justify selling credits cheaper and keep books moving in the system.

I have not had much luck with multibook deals. I have had a few but it seems like I get offers for several hardbacks for one credit which of course does not lower my cost to get the credit.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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For those who want to save a little more, it is possible to buy postage stamps at about a 15% discount to face value on ebay and elsewhere.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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Really?  Steep? Why?

Because my average cost of $2.34 when I send one book at a time is quite a bit less than $3.00.  I prefer paperbacks, which keeps my cost a little lower than some who send more hardback books.  Your cost may, of course, differ. 

When I become a buyer of credits, it would not matter what the credit cost you to get, but what is the cheapest price out there for me when I want to buy.

I never considered buying books just to post on this site, I buy them because I want to read them, so I don't consider that part of my cost for this.  It was my cost to read the book not send it out.  I thought this website would be the nicest way to get rid of the books I was finished with. I was surprised when I saw a post from a person who looks for books to buy from others wish list.  They said they were doing it because they liked to send out books to people, not because they needed credit, which just seemed nice. 

I was very lucky to find someone who wanted 19 of my books at one time and was willing to give a credit per books.  My father had a collection of books from the 70s/ 80s that were in a couple of peoples areas of interest, so I got 3 orders for >2 books at a time and they were willing to use a credit per book.  Even the 4 orders out of 29 that were for 2 books at a time make a good dent in the average cost down to $2.10. (so far I have only done 1book = 1credit)

 

 

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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As many are probably aware, I have sold a lot of credits, partially because I send out a lot more books than I order.  It is something of a hobby of mine to find books at thrift stores, garage sales etc. that I think are going to be in demand and I have been quite successful.  I think I have now sold >2000 credits over the last several years.  I am now asking $2.90 for batches of 10 or more ane $3 if less than 10.  I accept Pay Pal, but will also take checks/MO's, and actually the latter is slightly preferrable because you don't have the PP charges.  I do buy stamps on Ebay at about 80% of face value and that's why you will see a variety of stamps on my packages.  I have also been offering 2 for 1 on my shelf to credit buyers, as a sweetener---which does seem to work at least somewhat.

I doubt that I am breaking even, or if so just barely, but it is a hobby and a challenge, so that is worth something, I guess.  I think everybody ought to get a bit more per credit, maybe another 10-15c each, but it's not going to change as long as the competition stays at the same level, I guess.

A lot of this is just personal reflection, but maybe worth something----I guess I am now #2 in the list of all swappers, so have a lot of experience.  I am now well over 4000 books sent out.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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Winston - glad to hear you say it is somewhat of a hobby/challenge.  I think that is true for some of us, some of the time.  I am enjoying PBS for some of those very same reasons and not getting rich either but hoping at least to break even and get some good books too.

I admit I think it is fun to pick up a few books at a yard sale and come home and have someone else "want" one of them.   Maybe my life is boring!  But it is a nice little hobby to add to the others I have at the moment.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Well said, Winston.

I also enjoy finding books and sending them out to be read. I am still on the learning curve and will continue to tinker with my shelf. I have had the chance to get a bunch of WL hardcover books cheap. It was fun to grant the wishes. It has also skewed my normal postage outlay. I take the fun into account when I am reflecting on my hobby. I do feel the need to keep the things in some sort of balance. If it was not fun, I would not be here.

Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
Date Posted: 6/23/2009 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 1,152
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I can only echo folks.  I do see that buyers set the price, of course.  Like several others, including Winston, I have made a hobby out of hunting down books to post for others.  I read constantly for myself but I've long ago reached the point of having every book I could want to read and more within my reach, primarily through PBS.  I also can break down and buy brand new ones when I want / need to--although it does hurt my feelings when I have to do so.  ;)

I just really enjoy the search for good, postable books.  I think it provides a service to other members who have lives too busy to search for them and I love the little surge I get when I stumble across the occasional gold nugget!  I'm not out to make money or I certainly wouldn't be doing it this way since my mother didn't raise any stupid kids.   I just love books, to read, to handle, look at, be around...

I do appreciate all the feedback.  And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one feeling the postage increase.  I'll continue to charge what the market dictates and continue my postable book quest as long as I can do so. 

Sharon

Date Posted: 6/23/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2008
Posts: 74
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Fact is, sellers of credits are not going to sell at a loss, and buyers are not going to buy at a rate that is higher than they can purchase credits directly from Paperbackswap.  I know from my own experience that many times I end up obtaining multiple books with a single credit and, afer reading these books, simply list these multiple books and "wait out" requests.  This means I have lots of books sitting around my house for possible shipment out, but I have lots of books sitting around my house (over 650) that I have yet to read, but I end up "ahead" from the credits standpoint.  Then again, I have never sold credits because there are always more books I would want to order...

Date Posted: 6/23/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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Last Edited on: 11/23/10 11:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
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