A Record Day

15 Aug

Today has been a day that has surpassed all of my expectations!

As I mentioned before, out most recent shipment was due to arrive any day now, and this morning they were had arrived and been checked in – and were ready to sell! I was astonished by how many sold today. As of right now, the count is up to 18! Now, I am not 100% sure, but I think that’s a record for Matt and I! I will list the books that sold at the end of the post.

Another record was made today when I went book scouting. I went twice today – first to a Goodwill where I was extremely disappointed and only bought 1 book. The last time Matt and I went there we got around 9 books, but I have a suspicion that somebody else has been scanning there. A few stickers on books over bar codes were slightly ripped or pushed aside – evidence of someone trying to scan a the covered bar code. Disheartened, I went home. After the success that we had selling books today however, I decided to give it another shot. I went to another chain thrift store, not really expecting to find much. At this thrift store they generally have one “color” that is on sale and if you buy 4 books you get 1 free. The most Matt and I have ever gotten in one trip is probably 10. Today I had low expectations and they were blown away. Not only were ALL USED ITEMS in the store 25% off today (including books!!!), I found 20, yes 20 books! And a few of them were GOOD books! I was astounded. So, all the books were 25% off, plus I got 4 of them free! On top of that, when the cashier checked me out she asked if$ I was a teacher and I responded yes, so she gave me the 4 books free at their regular price instead of the discounted price because she said she liked teachers. It was an amazing deal!

I ended up buying 20 for a little over 23 dollars. After processing them and adding up the lowest used price, I figure we should bring in around $260! Not bad for a days work! And I have officially accomplished one of my goals – getting enough books for another shipment! In fact, by the time Matt gets home, we should have enough for AT LEAST 2 boxes. Hopefully more! Am I the best girlfriend or what?

On to the books that sold today (so far) :

The Enjoyment of Music (Essential Listening Edition) – $32.98
Durand: The Man and His Glass – $37.85
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life – $8.23
Teach Yourself Instant French, (Book Only) (TY: Language Guides) – $5.87
The Best Recipes in the World – $8.94
A Photographic Atlas of the Human Body: With Selected Cat, Sheep, and Cow Dissections – $8.79
Intermediate Algebra – $109.65
Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, Second Edition – $36.99
The Basic Practice of Statistics: (Paper Text & Student CD) – $76.48
Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development (with Bind-In InfoTrac Printed Access Card) – $98.99
Religion and American Culture – $33.94
The Color of Water 10th Anniversary Edition – $7.96
Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) – $9.99
University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization, Volume 7: The Old Regime and the French Revolution – $9.99
Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think – $11.98
Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues (Second Edition) – $51.99
Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness – $10.29
Communicate! – $79.58

Total: $640.59!


Sunday Scouting

14 Aug

Hello all!

I did not end up going to any garage sales yesterday before work, however I did go to a couple of thrift shops after work. It was a little late, so I didn’t have a lot of time but I did scan quite a few books and usually at Goodwill we only really scan through the clearance section anyways. I bought 4 books for around $5.00, they should bring in a little over $50. Nothing crazy, but books to fill the boxes and bring in some profit.

Today I thought I’d see if I could catch some last day Sunday rummage sales. It was quite the disappointing venture. I went to maybe 10 garage sales and I bought 1 book for $0.25, and it should bring in around $5. Not my most rewarding day. At one sale there was a box of books that were pretty recent from classes at a college. After scanning them, 20 in all, I saw that I could make more than $100 dollars with them. Unfortunately, they were very high priced. The book selling for $40 online was selling for $15 at the sale. Some books which were penny books were priced at $5. All in all, way out of my price range. Since the lady who greeted me told me to feel free to make her an offer, I offered her $20. She declined, I offered $25. She said she wouldn’t take less than $50. My last offer was $30 dollars, and when she declined I had to walk away. It was disappointing, but it did make me realize just how lucky me and Matt were with out amazing rummage sale find last week!

Despite my disappointment, I decided to hit up some thrift stores. I am glad I did too, because I ended up buying 9 books between 2 stores. Nothing crazy, but again, books to fill the boxes and keep the money trickling in. I spent $5 and should bring in around $75. It was quite surprising, I scanned through a lot of books in the children’s section and found a few there. They were priced at around $0.29 each, and some of them were selling on Amazon for between $4-$15! Not bad. I’ve found that there can be nice little treasures where you least expect it, especially in the children’s section where sometimes books on children’s education are mistakenly placed.

My plans for the rest of the night include mostly cleaning, but also hitting up one more Goodwill before it closes at 6:00!

Recently Sold:

Speak Truth to Power : Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World – 11.33
Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) – 14.36


Garage Sale Mania

13 Aug

Yesterday I spent about three hours driving around town and going to as many garage sales as I could! Garage sales can be frustrating, I remember one day that Matt and I went to 6 garage sales and there were literally no books! However, this time was fairly good. Fun even, I might say.

I think I went to a total of about 20 sales. It’s always really nice to find a sale where they are selling the books for .25 or .50 cents apiece. A few times when I found books that had low ranks and were selling for about $7-8 dollars I would ask the seller to come down a bit and usually they would. I never bought more than one or two books at a sale, though I did do something Matt and I have never done before – buy a board game. We briefly considered looking into selling games when we went to the 9000 book sale where the seller had a few hundred games, however, we decided the hassle of making sure all the pieces were there was not worth it. Yesterday, the game I found was a Disney Scene-it game brand new still in plastic! I bought it for $5 and it is selling new for $50 on Amazon. I’m pretty excited!

Overall I think I bought around 12 books from between $0.50 – $2. I am excited to start documenting them and getting them cleaned up! Once I do, I will post the exact amount spent and an estimation of what we will get for them.

On another note, I think that one of the three boxes Matt and I sent to Amazon arrived yesterday. The other two should get there on Monday. Matt repriced all of the books before he left so I am looking forward to seeing them sell! I will attempt to revive Matt’s old habit of posting which books have sold recently, since Matt doesn’t want me to tell him while he’s gone, I want to share the news with someone!!

Recently Sold:

Being Kammu: My Village, My Life (Southeast Asia Program Series, No. 14) – $17.21

Not too many to list for recent books! But the number should go up in the coming days. I don’t know that I will have time to book scout today as I have to work for 5 hours and then have a college graduation party to attend…but I will certainly try! Maybe I’ll check out some garage sales on the way to work…

UPDATE: I totaled things up! I bought 9 books, spent about 13 dollars, and will make around $105 dollars when all is said and done from my recent garage sale purchases :)


A Week of my Own

12 Aug

Hello all, Kathi here!

This coming week should be an interesting one. Matt left this morning for a relaxing, outdoor vacation up north with his family, so the next week I am all on my own! I have LOTS of plans which include cleaning, organizing, and of course, book scouting! My book scouting goals for the week are:

- Book scout at least 6 of the 7 days Matt is gone
- Buy enough books for AT LEAST one shipment
- Clean and ‘make over’ all the books I buy
- Post on the blog every day!

As long as I can keep to those goals, you should be hearing from me quite a bit this week! So wish me luck… I’m off to some garage sales!!


Posted in Kathi


Amazing Garage Sale Find

07 Aug

Matt here again! I am glad that Kathi has been writing some posts, and I am excited to start writing some of my own again.

We are back to book scouting with a vengeance again. As I write this post I have 6 little mountains of books piled around me ready to be shipped to Amazon. All in all I hope to ship out around 90 books in the next shipment.

I am so excited about this shipment because there are some very high priced, low rank books included.

Lets get started by telling the story of our latest Goodwill trip. In our town there is 3 Goodwill’s within driving distance. The closest one has by far the largest book selection, a giant corner of the store is dedicated to books. This store also has a full length shelf dedicated to clearance books. Clearance books are what I like to consider the bread and butter of our sales. Generally we won’t find a lot of good high priced books, but when we only have to pay $0.49 a lot more books fall into a profitable sweet-spot. After approx. 15 minutes of searching we had 16 books in our cart. We payed $13.37 (some books were more than $0.49) and when these books sell it should profit around $125! Not bad for 15 minutes work.

Yesterday Kathi and I decided to go to a bunch of garage sales. It was hot and towards the end of the day so we figured, sellers would probably be looking to get rid of stuff — We were right. One of the first sales we attended had one small box of books, nothing much of interest, but some were worth scanning. Just as we were about to start, the lady running the sale said if we were interested we could just take the whole box! Of course we weren’t about to turn that down and walked away with 20 free books. After scanning the value of the box was $50, not bad for a free box :P

After that we stopped at four or five more sales where we bought a few books here and there. But the next sale was our biggest score yet. At first I almost didn’t want to stop at this sale, there were a ton of kids clothes and toys, which generally means there will be kids books and other junk books etc.. The garage was really tiny and the lady running the sale along with her three kids were crammed in there and essentially hovering over us. All we saw were clothes and we were about to get out of there when we saw a box of books under a table. I didn’t even think we would be able to scan books without someone ask what we are doing (not that I don’t have an answer for that I just don’t want to have to deal with them, and I prefer to remain low-key) Kathi did the scanning and right away she started pulling out $40 and $50 books, and then a $70 book and a $100 book!!! they just kept piling up and most of the sales ranks were under 100,000. I was in shock! When Kathi finished scanning all of the books we had a pile of 9 books for a total price of $13. I would have gladly paid the full price, but I figured why not try getting them for less. I offered the seller $5 for the pile and she took it instantly. Apparently this lady is a student and these were her books from her last semester. She was happy to get rid of them and we were happy to buy them! When we were finished for the day we totaled up the 9 books and when sold (which should be really quick) it will bring in a profit of approx. $410!!! That’s right four hundred dollars, and the cost was five dollars, not a bad day!

Kathi and I decided we had to celebrate our great find, we went to a nice fancy restaurant and it was a wonderful night out. It just goes to show you may have a dud after dud after dud, but eventually you may come across a huge profit. Also just because a garage sale looks bad from the street doesn’t mean you won’t find something amazing!


Hot Summer Sale

03 Aug

Despite having jobs and things to do, Matt and I have been doing all we can to make time to book scout. Unfortunately this means we have been going solo lately both Matt and myself!

I have gone on my own once before, but it still felt quite weird. I decided to go to a gigantic sale at a nearby church. I didn’t realize quite how gigantic this sale was until I walked in and realized they essentially turned their entire elementary school into a thrift shop. There was an entire room full of books!

It was a hot day and a tiny not air conditioned room so it was crazy hot in there. Despite the heat I spent about 20 min scanning through as many books as I could. They were mostly 1 – 2 dollars. I didn’t find anything crazy but I did get 7 books for 8 dollars. I later found out from Matt’s boss that he had seen someone there earlier in the day with a scanner and a whole tote of books. Though that was disappointing to hear, I was proud of myself for finding 8 books that will make us some money!

Because this sale was so big, the entire neighborhood surrounding the church was dotted with garage sales. I went to 6 and bought 2 books for 2 dollars. Though bookscouting by myself was not as fun as going with matt, I was proud of myself for going out there and getting us some books!

Coming soon: Matt’s solo adventure & what the heck is wrong with the scanner?


Back Into the Swing of Things

27 Jul

Hello all, Kathi here, Matt’s girlfriend!

First of all I would like to apologize for the lack of recent posts. I am shocked that it has been more than a month since we have written a new post! Life this summer has gotten quite busy for us and unfortunately, because of this, book scouting has been pushed to the side on many occasions.

Though it would be amazing if Matt and I could find a way to support ourselves solely by book scouting, we are not at that point yet. Because of this, we have both been working summer jobs that not only take up our time and energy, they keep us apart more than we are used to which is one of the downsides of book-scouting as a team. Since we don’t get as much time together, we don’t book-scout as much as we used to. I also have been in the process of interviewing for teaching jobs and I am happy to say I am now a middle school and high school Spanish teacher! :)

Another reason that book-scouting has been more difficult as of late is because of issues with our scanner. Matt has mentioned before that the book scanner is the most important tool in book-scouting and we have experienced that first-hand several times! I will let Matt explain the details about our scanner in a post soon to come.

So! Matt and I have finally figured out our problems, put some time aside, and have gone book-scouting together again. Finally! It was very refreshing. With book-scouting, momentum is so important. The more books we sell, the more motivated we are to go find MORE books to sell. The more good books we find out in thrift stores and garage sales the more motivated we are to GO to thrift stores and garage sales. By not having time or energy to go scan books, sales were slowing, we weren’t finding as many good deals because we weren’t putting ourselves out there as much, and our motivation was slowing quite a bit. Yesterday we decided to dive in headfirst again! We went to 3 local thrift stores and scanned through them pretty thoroughly. We bought around 18 books which are now cleaned, documented, and ready to list. I am very excited to embrace book-scouting again! And I hope to continue posting on this blog and keeping everyone updated on what we are up to.

Meanwhile, we would love to hear more from our readers! We have received a handful of emails and comments with both questions and personal stories, and honestly, we get as excited about those as we do when we sell one of our books! So please feel free to send us emails or comments and tell us your personal stories, ask us questions, and tell us what you like or don’t like about our blog. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Shipment 14 & 15

23 Jun

Hello All!
Sales are starting to pick up as of recently. Shipment 14 arrived a few days ago and was checked in very quickly. The first few books sold minutes after they were listed! Of course the ranks were under 1,000 :P I am looking forward to seeing more of this shipment selling. Shipment 15 is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, I hope that it is still checked in and the books are available for sale on the same day. In the past shipments that have arrived on a Friday were not processed until Monday. There are a lot of expensive books in Shipment 15 and I hope they sell soon.

If you are not using Amazon’s discounted UPS rates to ship out your FBA packages you are missing out! I know that some people just are not familiar with the process but honestly it could not be any easier. Shipment 15 weighed in at 39 pounds and cost me $12.42 to ship through UPS Ground with Amazon’s discounted rates. If I went directly through UPS I would have had to pay $30.93!! That is $18.51 more and it is quite a lot!

Kathi and I have been quite busy lately so we have not been able to do a lot of book scouting. I hope to again soon, I imagine there is a lot of great books waiting for us. We still continue to check Craigslist for bulk deals on books but we have yet to find any.

Some of the books that have sold in the last three days are:
So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore – $7.56
Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think – $8.99
Month-by-Month Phonics for Upper Grades: – $8.46
The Energy Bus: – $9.97
Doctors’ Vitamin Cures That Work – $19.46
Twentieth Century Eightball – $10.99
The Path of the Just – $12.04
Silent Hill 3 Official Strategy Guide – $10.97
How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems – $11.94
The Ultimate Guide to Elk Hunting – $14.24
The Porcelain God: A Social History of the Toilet – $7.66
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends – $10.42
The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained – $4.95
Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page – $15.24
The Cosmic Perspective Fundamentals – $28.40
Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds: Notes from a Northwest Year – $4.00
Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: – $4.00
Ducasse Made Simple by Sophie – $10.09
Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook – $12.91
Ben Bernanke’s Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan – $4.89
Complete Book of Tanning Skins & Furs, The – $4.00

TOTAL: $221.18

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Posted in What Sold


Still Here!

12 Jun

Hello All!

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. It has been a busy and adventure filled last few weeks. I wanted to get out a quick post about what has been happening recently.

First off sales have really been slowing down recently, I have been selling one or two books a day. This will be changing soon. I just finished boxing up Shipment 14 which includes 2 12x12x12 boxes and 60 books worth approx. $300. I will be sending out Shipment 14 on Monday, and then I plan to send out Shipment 15 on Tuesday which will be 30ish books worth around $200.

Selling books online is fairly easy, especially if all of your books are fulfilled by Amazon, the hard part is finding books. This is always a constant struggle for me. Rummage sales and thrift stores are great, but they just aren’t cutting it. Adam Bertram recently released his latest book about finding inventory and I look forward to reading that. I have a couple of ideas, and I am interested to see where he goes for books. Once I finish reading it I will post a review here.

Positive feedback continues to rise I am now at 55 positive feedback with a star rating of 4.9 which I am very happy about!

Recently I sold my most expensive book ever! The book was called “Assignment Selous Scouts: Inside Story of a Rhodesian Special Branch Officer” it sold for $195!! I still remember when Kathi first found this book in a thrift store a few months ago. At first we thought it was some kind of pricing error and that it was not worth anywhere near $200. Also the sales rank was around 2,500,000. We figured it was well worth the $1.49 that it cost to see if it would sell. This book is one of the few books that I decided to fulfill myself. I simply figured that it would never sell and I didn’t want to accumulate storage fees. When I received the “Sold, Ship Now” email from Amazon I was shocked. I did some more research and it seems like the book is a rare out of print book, and the price was quite fair. The buyer seems to be a rare book collector, based on the website in his profile. With the recent slump in sales to have a sale like this really made me happy.

Kathi and I were able to do the road trip like we originally had planned. It turned out to be a lot of fun and we found a lot of great books. I hope to have a more detailed post about the trip soon but the results were we bought 25 books for $30.60 and when sold the should bring in around $415!!

In other news I now have a part time job at a local thrift store. Kathi and I have been to this store a few times, and we would always have nice conversations with the owner, who is a very friendly guy. I have been interested in the thrift store business for a while now. I really wanted to learn more about how all of the processes work. So after some minor pestering :P I was hired to work a few hours a week doing everything, and I already have learned a lot! I also scanned through a few books that he was going to price at $1.49-$1.99 and found a few that were going for much more on Amazon, he really appreciated me pointing out how much more money he could make.

So that is what has been happening recently. Come on back as I will be posting more frequently now!


Weekend Adventure

01 Jun

In the last post Kathi mentioned that we had a cross-state trip planned. It was a three hour drive and we were going to book scout on the way there and in the city we stopped at. Unfortunately, our trip did not quite turn out how we planned :P Everything started out fine, we stopped in a city about an hour in, and found a few good books in a local thrift store. At another thrift store in town was were our trouble began.

As we left the store our scanner stopped working. The scanner will have little hiccups every once in a while, so at first I was not too worried. I figured I would do a soft reset and it would be back to normal. I tried the soft reset and nothing happened. I still wasn’t too worried, I thought to myself no big deal the lock button on the scanner must have been switched. When I first owned the scanner I did not know about the lock button and became really frustrated when none of the buttons were working.

Now back to present day, I figure I just have to unlock the PDA. Much to my chagrin nothing was locked, I then tried pressing every button multiple times, panic was starting to set in. We had a great weekend planned out, hotel room booked, perfect weather. Having a working scanner was a big part of this trip, as we planned to stop at a lot of thrift stores and resale shops. We called some of our friends to have them look up the support number for ASellerTool, the company that I bought my scanner from. The support number was found but just our luck, service hours on Saturday ended an hour before we called. We knew they had an online customer service chat so we stopped at a local Starbucks to access the internet. To stay with the theme of the day the online chat service was offline :P

We downloaded the user manual for the PDA that we have, and still could not find anything. By this time I had officially given up hope. I had tried everything and multiple times. We decided rather than continue on with the trip and worry about the dead scanner the whole time we were going to head back and try again in the future. When we got back I tried one last thing. I decided to plug the PDA in to charge it. Now knowing that we were going on this trip I fully charged everything before we left, I just wanted to plug it in to see if anything would happen. As soon as I plug it in an orange light turns on, I waited an hour and the light turned green. Everything was back to normal. All kinds of emotions were running through me, I was happy that the PDA was working, but frustrated.. very frustrated that the weekend trip was shot. Looking back things could have been worse, and I am glad that I didn’t need a new PDA.

I hope to finish this trip in the near future and when we finally do I will certainly keep you updated on how everything went.