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, 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. at what the book is currently selling for on eBay – in other words, about a $2-$3 profit for me, 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.