If you have noticed on the top corner of my blog, there is a new bright yellow sign. I've linked up my homeschool supplies that I am selling. In my purposeful new year, I am taking a deep look at the homeschool supplies and asking what's the point of keeping this? Will I eventually need it? Do I really need so many books? Can I make enough selling it to be worth my while? My buddy Sharon and I have teamed up forces to rid ourselves of this extra baggage.
I have a little experience. I have been doing this on and off for about 9 years. I used to be the customer, but now I'm the sales lady. I have only been ripped off once. More on that later. I began selling and witnessing on eBay years ago.
Ten things I have learned about buying and selling homeschool books online:
- My favorite places to sell are homeschoolclassifieds, Amazon, Well Trained Mind forums, and Ebay. There are pros and cons to each site.
- Homeschool Classifieds is the easiest to shop. They list things by publisher and alphabetically. The sellers are given feedback and it is free to list items. There is a limit, but you can earn credits by posting local field trips or activities. You hammer out the details after contacting the seller. They also have a curriculum wanted section. I do contact shoppers about their wanted items. I find 70% of the time they are not willing to pay enough for the item to make it worth my time, effort and shipping fees. If I after selling, I end up with a few bucks, it would be more ideal to donate it at our local used homeschool sale.
- Amazon can be very simple, but they take a larger commission. What I love about Amazon is that you enter the isbn # and they already have a photo, reviews and prices of the book. Some items list high there so I always check first. They deposit money into my bank twice a month. Their system is easy to navigate.
- Ebay is the best place to sell Teaching Textbooks and other choice curriculum. Just do a completed listing search and see what the going prices are. Math-U-See sells high there too. I chose not to do eBay this week because I don't want to post pictures and write ads. Check prices there if you are buying and selling. Be sure to watch out for high seller shipping charges, my pet peave.
- The Well Trained Mind forums can be a great place to buy. Unless you post frequently, it takes a while to post 50 conversations and be eligible to post in their for sale forum. That does weed out the scammers because you can check out the sellers posts and see if they are really homeschooling. They have an extensive wanted list also. Anyone can view that.
- If your local homeschool group hosts a sale, that is a good place to start shopping. I have found that I end up pricing things low or giving them away because I know the families. I do however have the chance to swap with others or share why I loved or hated a curriculum. It is a lot of effort pricing and preparing the books.
- Postage can eat your profits really quick. I will give you an example of how I just took a hit. I usually ship items media mail to an US address. The price is between $1.70 and $5.85. I just sold some blocks which do not qualify for media rate and shipping was over $15. So after paypal fees and shipping, I only made about $20 for an item that cost me over $45.
- Paypal fees. Paypal does take a small handling fee from transactions. I think it's better than waiting for someone to mail a check and wait for it to clear. But consider adding and extra buck or two if you accept paypal.
- As a strict policy, I do not deal with selling or buying anything out of the country. The only deal that went sour was from our fine neighbor to the north. I was out fifty bucks. Now, that being said, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam. Also, when posting a looking to buy ad, be careful. Dishonest people scan the ads and offer crazy deals. It doesn't always happen, but be careful. In my communications with buyers or sellers, I use my blog site in my signature. That way they can read who I am and know, I'm a little odd, but not a thief.
- Buying used curriculum can be a great way to save money. I have tried expensive programs, decided I hated them and resold them easily. Make sure they are from a non-smoking, non-pet home in case you have allergies or just serious sensory issues like myself.
I'd love to hear your tips or experiences in buying or selling online. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them in the comments.