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Topic: What's a good book/credit ratio for bargains?

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Subject: What's a good book/credit ratio for bargains?
Date Posted: 10/4/2011 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I want to do a bargain swap to help clear out some books on my shelf a t bit quicker for fall time. I have never done this before and sort of was wondering what a good ratio of books/credit is good/average. Obviously, if someone chooses a bunch of books that have been on my shelf forever and a day I will be happy to ship them for what ever the requestor wants to offer. So far, I have had seven requests of four or more books for only one credit. Is this normal?? Or are people just trying to see if they can get the super bartering rate right off the bat?????? Thanks.
Date Posted: 10/4/2011 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I like 3 books for 1 credit and I do think that it is a good bargain. I do that on all my husband's westerns which tend to be slim books so I rarely lose out of the postage and it really helps to move the books because I will frequently get people ordering 6 books and getting 18 yet the postage is rarely over $5. The bottom line though is that YOU have to be comfortable with what you are offering.

Date Posted: 10/4/2011 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,409
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Personally, the lowest I've ever done is 2 for 1.  With the cost of the postage and the original book, even that doesn't break even.  Accept whatever you feel comfortable with however, I do not think that 4 for 1 is even worth considering and 3 for 1 is pushing it especially for items that are not the smaller books.

Date Posted: 10/4/2011 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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  A fair trade is what ever you feel comfy with.  I will and have done 4/1 if the books have been on my shelf awhile. 



Date Posted: 10/4/2011 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I will offer a deal where the more you order, the more freebies.   Such as 2 for 1,  then 5 for 2.   I've never offered 4 for 1.  But I will then take the books left on my shelf after the deal to FOL.

Date Posted: 10/4/2011 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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A lot of it depends on the book sizes as well. The postage on 3 hardcovers would probably be more than the postage on 3 standard sized mass market paperbacks. 

I personally wouldn't do anything for just 1 credit. I would do 5 for 3 or 6 for 4 or something like that.  It gives you enough to cover postage and it gives them a couple of freebies. 

Than again: if I had a lot of credits and was desperate to just clear some books out I might do 3 for 1.  Actually, I would probably just donate them at that point.  But that's me. 

Date Posted: 10/4/2011 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,773
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Also , I think on smaller books like   Harlequin / silhouette    I always do better deals.  especially older ones  just to clear them out.


Last Edited on: 10/4/11 1:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
mistie -
Date Posted: 10/4/2011 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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Tammie,  It dpends on a few variables.

if you just want to clear out books, and aren't concerned about postage costs, then you can be as generous as you like. However, personally, if it is going to cost me $2.82 (up to 2lbs- 4 books?) or $3.23 (up to 3 lbs - 5-6 MMp?) to "earn"one credsit that can be purchased in thBook Bazarr for $2.40-$2.50, them ,I see no point in me offering that deal. If sending books is going to cost me money, I'd rather donate them.

IMHO, I would only offer up to 1 lb of books (and, that number will vary depending on what type of books you have posted) for one credit. Where I get generous is on multiple credit deals.  I am always happt ot offer 4-5 books fo 2 credits, 7 books for 3 credits etc.

A fair deal is what works for both members, if you feel someones' offer is unreasonable,  you should be perfectly comfortable to simply politely decline, or counter-offer.

Good luck


Date Posted: 10/4/2011 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I think a good ratio is getting as many credits that you don't lose on postage. For example...if somebody orders 5 books from you but they are all slim and the weight of the package is less than 1 lb. then you can offer them all for 1 credit.

However, if your books average 8 oz., then 5 for 1 would obviously wouldn't work because you'd need to spend minimum $3.23 to send those 5 books and you can get a credit for $2.50 or less.


Date Posted: 10/4/2011 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I personally wouldn't do anything for just 1 credit.  


It's just not worth the time and effort and I have never asked anyone to give me that kind of deal.  I do get generous depending on how bad I want to move books off my shelf and what I have on there at the time.  I have a lot of trade-size paperbacks right now, so I recently did a deal on non-WL books that was 3 for 2, 5 for 3 or 7 for 4.   If I really want to move them or I have a lot of smaller books, I'll bump that up to 4 for 2, 7 for 3 or 10 for 4.  and maybe throw my WL-multiples in the mix.


Date Posted: 10/4/2011 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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I think they average book/credit ratio is 3-for-1.  That's what I offer.

If you really want to move books quickly, do a high book/credit ratio, like 4-for-1 or 5-for-1. 

Some members only offer a 2-for-1, and I personally don't think that's a good offer.  You could add a 3rd book to the package and never affect the price of postage.



Since hardcovers are generally bigger and heavier than paperbacks, a good book/credit ratio is 2-for-1.

Date Posted: 10/5/2011 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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I ended up doing 7 for 2 once. I wouldn't do it all the time, but it only cost me 4.10 to mail all the books.  They were ones I really wanted to get rid of though.  :)

Subject: 2 credits minimum
Date Posted: 10/5/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2011
Posts: 126
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If you start with a minimum of 2 credits, I figure you can offer a very good deal and still break even or make out on the deal. The way that the postage rates work, the largest amount of money goes for the first few ounces and it is only incremental after that. For example, 1-lb media mail (which many of my books are), is $2.41. To send two books separately this way, getting 2 credits for it, would be $4.82. Looking at the postage rates, between 6 and 7 pounds of media mail is $4.87. That's a lot of books. I recently sent out 13 paperback books which was 5.x lbs, which cost $4.46 and got 4 credits for it (basically a 3-for-1 deal, with an extra). I figure it was a good deal since I spent less than 2 credits worth but got 4 credits for it.

Date Posted: 10/5/2011 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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And don't be afraid to make a counter offer.  Anyone who has already requested a deal is obviously, ...., willing to deal.  On my bookshelf, I go by weights and will not send anything except multiple credit deals (except when I've posted in the bazaar).  I have even sent a better than 5 for 1 deal (it was actually 59 for 11), but they were all harlequin romance size books and by my way of figuring (see mistie's post) I still made out like a bandit.  One thing to remember if you have a big bookshelf is that postage cost gets cheaper per pound the more pounds you send, you can encourage people to order more books (without increasing your cost of credit ratio) by suggesting a better deal if they order "X" more books even though it will cost "Y" more credits.

I will say that if you are in the multiple book trading mind set for the long haul some sort of scale is helpful (I use one of those really low cost fish scales I got from a rummage sale.  It was a b*(%h to calibrate but you can't beat the cost).

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 10/5/2011 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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When I have offered a deal, it's usually a 3-1 or a 4-1 deal.  I've sent out numerous boxes where the buyer ended up with 16-20 books and I don't think I've spent more than $5-$7 total in postage.

But I'm usually just wanting to clear out some books and I don't really think about the book/credit ratio. 

Date Posted: 10/5/2011 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I always try to get 2 credits out of the swap. If someone offers a 4 for 1 to me, I see if they would be willing to do a 6 for 2. Or 8 for 2 if they want those thin romances. That is about the amount of books I can package up together without needing a box.

5 books I can stack on top of each other, 6 I can do two rows and wrap tightly. More than that, it is a little awkward to wrap.

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I've often done 5/2, 8/3, 12/4 - that works out pretty well and I've gotten a  lot of orders. I do have a bunch of childrens books, and I sometimes run a sale specifically on those at a higher book to credit ratio. Haven't done that in a while though, currently have a ton of board books, and although they don't have many pages, they are heavy! If I had a lot of harlequin type or thin books to clear out, the sales in the bazaar on those are very good - I'd see what others were asking and the kind of traffic they were having and price accordingly. 

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I am another person who won't usually do a 1 credit deal.  I will maybe do a 2 for 1, but no more than 1 extra book for 1 credit since more than that will start increasing my cost for no benefit to me. I usually offer 5/2, increasing the # of books free for each credit added on. I kind of look at the credit being worth 2.50 and calculate the postage and make sure I could get the postage back by selling the credits earned.

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 701
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I also don't do 1 credit deals.  The book to credit ratio being a good deal would depend on the books.  If theyre are only a few copies in the system the deal would not have to be as good as books which there are hundreds of copies of, and the chance of finding a deal on them are much greater.