Showing posts with label bookselling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bookselling. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: Should Homeschoolers Sell Used Curriculum at Homeschool Used Book?

Review: Should Homeschoolers Sell Used Curriculum at Homeschool Used Book?
Some of the Books I'm Selling at Homeschool Used Book, © B. Radisavljevic

A New Site for Homeschoolers to Shop and Sell


Before I started blogging, I was a homeschooling mom. When Jason died in 1991, I became a homeschool vendor, exhibiting at conventions on both coasts. That adventure ended in 2015 when Hubby's knees gave out. So I turned to selling online.

I built a website, and sold on many used book listing services.  In 2014 I had neck surgery and couldn't ship in a timely manner. I had to take my books offline. It's amazing what two months without a web presence can do to your customer base. So I retired the business and started blogging. It hurt to have to sell the same books sitting in my warehouse as an Amazon affiliate instead of selling them direct and shipping them.

That's why I was so happy this week to discover a new way for homeschoolers to shop for and sell their curriculum and living books: Homeschool Used Book.com. Since I still have a house and shed full of books, I read the vendor friendly terms and signed up to sell. I have temporarily turned half the guest room into a shipping area until I can redo my office.

I started listing on July 13 and sold my first book the next day. Homeschool Used Books sent my shipping label the next night and I shipped the book the next afternoon. I couldn't be happier.

Review: Should Homeschoolers Sell Used Curriculum at Homeschool Used Book?
Book Labeled and Ready to Go, © B. Radisavljevic


The Pros of Selling on Homeschool Used Book

First, Homeschool Used Book is not for selling just any used books. It's a specialized marketplace designed for homeschoolers to help each other out. Those who are homeschooling know what is useful to homeschoolers. They know what's popular and what's hard to find. They list what they have used or thought they would use and list it when they no longer need it. It is not a place for general booksellers who have not been part of the homeschooling community to expand their markets.

These are the reasons I believe Homeschool Used Book is a good deal for vendors.

  • They don't have to build their own sites
  • They don't have to collect money
  • They don't have to pay for a shipping account to print postage and drop off packages without standing in line at the post office
  • They don't have to maintain a database themselves
  • The listing interface is simple and easy to understand
  • Payments can come either through PayPal or as credit to buy books on the site. 
  • Vendors pay fees only when they sell something. No listing fees. 
  • When a sale is made, the vendor gets the listing price minus a 12% commission. 
  • Each vendor gets a "store" space to introduce themselves and let customers see all their books in one place.  
Because Homeschool Used Book absorbs most of the overhead I had selling on other sites, it's ideal for me. One reason I quit selling was that my website had become obsolete and I had to rebuild. That's hard with a 600-page website. I didn't want to do it. I also had to pay for Endicia's shipping program to get the best shipping rates, print labels at home, and skip the line at the post office. 

To get my merchandise into one of the large used book selling sites online (ABE Books, Amazon, etc) with the least effort and fees I needed to use a listing interface that allowed me to upload easily to one or more sites and keep track of inventory and customer data, print packing slips and invoices, and help make catalogs. 

Until 2015 I used a version of Booktrakker that did all I needed and more.  I could install the program on my computer and get the new updates for a one-time price. Every couple of years there was an additional charge for a major update. About the time I recovered from surgery, there was a major update. I could no longer use the version I had to upload to the various sites.

Instead I would need to subscribe to an internet version. I didn't want to start paying a monthly fee with no guarantee I'd sell enough to cover it. I don't need my own database to sell at Homeschool Used Book. That saves me $20 a month in fees that I pay whether I sell anything or not.

I calculate that I save at least $40 on monthly charges by selling on Homeschool Used Book. I also save by not needing to accept credit cards directly. What's not to like?

The Cons of Selling on Homeschool Used Books


So far I haven't found many. Because I'm so new, I haven't experienced a payday yet. My one sale did not total the $50 needed for a payout. I can live with that just as I do on every other site that pays through PayPal. I have no reason to believe I won't be paid what I'm owed when it gets up to $50. 

Parts of the site are a bit clunky in the vendor area. I've had the most trouble getting my vendor "store" to look right. Be that as it may, I doubt if that will keep someone who wants one of my books from buying it.

While trying to compare my prices to those of other vendors and to see if the book I want to list is already there, I've used the search function a lot. It returns a lot of inaccurate results, but that could be due to vendors putting their products into too many categories just to get them seen by more people. 

Another con may be limited traffic. I have no idea how many homeschoolers search here for their materials. I made one sale quickly. I see others are making sales, as messages pop up saying who bought what when, but some of the sales reported were over a week old. This is probably not the first place homeschoolers go to shop -- yet. As more people begin to list, it should attract more buyers and increase sales for all the vendors. I hope this post will help get the word out. 

The thing I liked least when making my first listings was not knowing how much weight is allowed for packing material. I used to be able to weigh the complete package before printing a label. Now the site takes the weights I've provided for individual items, adds them, and estimates how much my packaging will add to that. If they guess wrong, the package can be returned for not enough postage. I've just found out they calculate two ounces for every additional one to two pounds. So it might be a good idea to adjust your weights if you anticipate your packing may weigh more than allowed in the estimate. Shipping more than one product to a customer may mean the difference between using a bubble bag or a box that needs extra padding. 

I checked at the post office today and discovered there's no way I can pay extra at the post office before shipping if the package is overweight. It's hard to predict which items may be combined in an order going to one customer and whether that will mean shipping in a box or a padded bag. So I'm now adding extra weight when I list something that may require non-standard packaging.

So Far It's Been a Smooth Experience

Review: Should Homeschoolers Sell Used Curriculum at Homeschool Used Book?
My Hall Bookcase Stores Part of What I'd Still Like to Sell.  © B. Radisavljevic


I'm actually enjoying being a bookseller again. This abundance of books has stolen a lot of my joy, not to mention how much of my house I can use. I want my living room back. If you need children's books or homeschooling materials, I hope you'll visit my store at Homeschool Used Book. While you're there, you can check out the other vendors, too. And if you've got used curriculum to sell, give the site a try. You've got nothing to lose and you may have much to gain.



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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Nose Has Always Been in a Book

I Began to Read at an Early Age


This is me. 
My parents say I taught myself to read when I was three years old, and I still remember the exact book that helped me learn – I See a Kitty. It had large print, few words, several full-page photos of a kitten doing interesting things, and a very uncomplicated plot. My mother read it to me until I had it memorized, and I would still be able recite it to you if you could stand it. Memorized or not, though, I was able to recognize those words in other books my mom read, and I'd ask my dad about the letters in the headlines of the paper he was reading. By the time I hit first grade, the teacher didn't know what to do with me. I and another girl in my class who coincidentally had the same first and last name as I, got to sit in a corner of the classroom and read books while the teacher taught the rest of the class to read.

Since those days I've continued to love kitties and books. I currently don't own a cat, but I own way too many books. I've been collecting them all my life. My first job after high school was in a library. My major in college was English. I taught English at the high school level for two years after that. I quit with the hope of starting a family, but that didn't happen, so I started working in a Christian bookstore. At both the library, where I could check out all the books my heart desired, and at the bookstore, where I could borrow all the books I wanted to read, I had access to as many books as I needed. My bookstore discount helped me stock my home library. Is it any wonder they have made me the Book Contributor here on Review This?

Living with Books and Selling Them


My book collecting didn't end there, though. As a teacher and later, a homeschooling mom after we adopted our two children, I continued to buy and read books. After our daughter moved out and our son was killed in a jet ski accident, I made a hasty decision to become a home school book vendor. That meant I exhibited my books at conventions all over the country between 1992 and 1996, as Barb's People Builders. We had to stop the exhibiting and California book fairs at private schools after that because my husband had worn out both hips. So I took the business online.

Part of History Display at Bookfair


I decided it was time to retire from e-commerce at the end of May 2015 because several surgeries in 2014 made me deactivate my site while I recovered and the site itself became obsolete as far as Google was concerned. I was also not physically able any longer to ship large purchase orders. So after twenty years of selling inventory, I just stopped. I still love books, but now I am a real life book contributor. I'm donating as much inventory as I can to worthy nonprofit organizations. I'm concentrating more now on writing and building more web sites.

I now have more time to read and review books. I have started converting my Barb's People Builders website into a review and affiliate selling site, Books to Remember  so that I can promote the books I love whether I own them or not, though I still do own most of them. Most of the books I review there are for children or educators. I review most books for adults here on Review This! or at Bookworm Buffet, one of my own sites.

I Finally Discovered a Way to Share My Writing


 I have been writing since I was a child, but at first I only shared it with family and friends, mostly in long letters. I was still selling books when I discovered Squidoo became a lensmaster in 2009. By the end of that year I had become a Giant Squid, and still wear my Squidoo T-shirts I was given when I became a Giant Squid. In fact, I'm wearing one right now. Unfortunately, Squidoo died in 2014, but I had already begun writing for other sites and starting my own blogs. Much of what I wrote for Squidoo has been transferred to a new HubPages account






Here are the other places you can find me on the internet.

HubPages (original account)


Of course, there's more to life than reading and writing. I have a garden or two, and I concentrate on herbs and drought-resistant plants. I enjoy keeping up with my local art scene, and I love to take pictures of all our local scenery and activities. When I have time I like to cook and bake. I just don't have time very much anymore. 








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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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