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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Selling used art books

Last week was pretty intense, getting my studio ready for my open-house-and-used-art-book-sale. The studio needed a little shake-up anyway. So when we cleaned the garage the weekend before, I just brought in the crates of books I had stored out there when I stopped selling books on eBay. I had a nice little following for my books on eBay for quite awhile, but when they moved the category I couldn't seem to connect with my customers, so I gave it up. (Does anybody know a good category for used art books on eBay? Please comment!) It didn't help that I caught a cold from my daughter and somehow hurt my hip, maybe hoisting all those books. All better now. The sale and open house was a success. The invite list was small, just my two classes and a group of former students. I sold sixty books, but still have crates of them and I'm wondering what to do next. I used to have an "Adopt-a-Book" page on my web site, maybe I should revive it. I've given away many, many books in years past, but it helps to sell a few so I can afford to buy some more. Does that make sense? Probably not.

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Blogger Michelle Himes said...

Nita, I've never SOLD art books on ebay but I've purchased many of them. I just put "watercolor" or "collage" or whatever in the keyword space and choose books for the category, and I find lots to choose from. I've even found them by the title "Splash" or the Author if I have a specific book in mind. I think the problem isn't the category so much as the fact that the number of books being sold has increased so much that your listings may not even get seen before the buyer finds someone else's to buy. I hope you do decide to list them again though.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

Michelle--Your method works fine if customers have a specific subject or author in mind. But if they want to browse art techniques, for example, the books might be in art books, craft books, painting books or miscellaneous. Maybe you're right, though, eBay is too big for browsing now.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

Pat--I sold on Amazon Marketplace for quite awhile. Had quite a few sales, but Amazon takes a big cut and has a lot of rules about what you can charge for books that are still in print. They "give" you a shipping allowance, but it doesn't cover shipping. When it all settled out, I didn't make enough for it to be worth my time. If I were in the book business and had a thousand to sell, it might pay off in the long run. I got really ticked off when they started charging an annual fee for putting my Exploring Color Coloring Book into the system. First, they demand a 55% discount and seller has to pay the shipping. They sell a lot of the books, but I make next to nothing on them. Retail bookstores only get a 40% discount unless they buy in volume, which they don't do from a one-book outlet like me. So I'm stuck with Amazon for that. Still pondering.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

If you would like to have a list of the books I'm selling, please email me nita@nitaleland.com. I'm working on it. If you're looking for anything special, let me know and I'll see if I have it.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may also explore half.com (the used book division of ebay) as a possible outlet for selling your books

1:00 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

Thanks for the tip about half.com. I didn't think of that.

1:22 PM  

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