I’m a book fetishist. I can’t help it – I want to read the latest hardback releases as soon as they come out. I used to drool over these releases, but I’ve discovered a very nifty way to keep tabs on the latest books at a very cheap price – and sometimes turn a small profit.
What I do is if I know a book is coming out in hardcover that I want to read, I buy it on the day of release at my bookseller of choice. I take it home and without hesitation immediately start reading it, putting aside anything else that I happen to be reading at the moment. Given my reading habits, I can usually knock that book off in about two or three days.
As soon as I’m done with it, I immediately eBay the book. This is where things get odd – given my discounts at my local bookstore, I can usually nearly break even by doing this, and I often turn a small profit. Not enough of a regular profit to become an online book reseller by any means, but
Here’s an example. Recently, Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon was released in hardback. My price for the book is about $19.60, or about $21 after sales tax. It’s about a three day read for me, so it would appear on eBay on November 24 and thus sell on December 1. Take a peek at what the book is currently selling for on eBay – in other words, about a $2-$3 profit for me, plus I had the opportunity to be the first on my block to read Pynchon’s latest.
I always use my “weird” eBay techniques and I follow reasonable best practices when I sell, so it usually goes quite well. Plus, most bidders seem not to notice that the item isn’t new because it is such a recent release; the used copy always bids up to the same realm as the new ones.
Please note that this technique isn’t a sure thing. It merely ensures that you’ll get a strong return on your investment in the book, minus the depreciation for reading it.
This is a great technique to use if you’re a book addict like I am. I’m able to keep up with the latest books, read them completely at my leisure, and avoid the often-long waits for new releases at my local library. Even better: I occasionally turn a little profit.