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Thread: What is best way to sell and ship quilting books?

  1. #1
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    I am seeking advice from those of you more experienced with the process of selling and shipping quilting books. Most of these are new, unused, not even cracked open. Some are gently used.

    So, is this board, Ebay, Amazon or some other site the best place? It seems to me that the fees of Ebay and Paypal have gotten way out of hand. It wouldn't seem to me like someone would want to pay that much for a book. Is this true?

    Media Mail would be the best price, but no delivery tracking. Flat rate USPS envelope would be great and include delivery confirmation but it costs nearly $5 and can only hold maybe 3 books.

    So how do you all ship?

    If you are wondering why ... I am in the "downsizing" process. Now living with my son, using his living room as my workroom. He will be retiring from the military and need his room back within a year or so. I will keep the machine and a few treasured and well-used items ... everything else will eventually go.

    Advice, anyone?

  2. #2
    Junior Member CraftyGardenMom's Avatar
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    When I was purging my quilt books I listed them all on Amazon.com - very simple, I could see what others were selling the same book for and decide what to price mine at, and they already set the shipping at $3.99 for regular (media mail/parcel post) or I think $8.99 for expedited shipping and let the customer choose which they prefer. I liked it because they handled collecting all the money vs. having to go through Paypal. Downside is you have to pay to ship it prior to getting your money from Amazon.com. But once you have confirmed you shipped the book, you can immediately request your money from Amazon via direct deposit into your account.

    Hope that helps!

    Tanesha

  3. #3
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    Thanks. So media mail or parcel post with no insurance or delivery confirmation? How did the customers feel about that I wonder?

    Did you use a padded envelope? Or wrap in plastic and heavy brown paper? Or something else?

    Thanks for your help!! Gratefully appreciated!!

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Books ship cheaply via USPS media mail. Ship that way unless the customer wants to pay for quicker delivery. You can use amazon to see what others are selling the same book for. I would try listing on this board first, since it's free and your target audience (quilters) hang out here.

  5. #5
    MTS
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    Personally, I think this board would be the easiest way to sell quilting related material (fabric/notions/machines/books). I've been on eBay for years (buying and selling), but when I do my next purge, I'm doing it here.

    First of all, no fees. The only expense you'll have is PayPal and materials like envelopes and tape (if you don't ship via Priority), which you'd have even if you went the Amazon/eBay route.

    There are only the emails or PM's between you and the buyer - not the gazillion auto-generated deluge you get at eBay (no matter how you set your preferences).

    You can request money orders (or even cash) if you want to as a form of payment. Me - I'd stick with Paypal - way, way easier. If I did accept money orders, I'd only take those from the USPS. I don't want to deposit MO to my bank account, or run around to cash them at WalMart or supermarkets for instant cash.

    And you most certainly can get Delivery Confirmation on Media Mail (as well as First Class) if it's done via PayPal.
    It's only $.19 (free for Priority).

    If you have to buy envelopes, add a $1 to the postage cost. Or quote a price with shipping included - but mention the method. If someone thinks it's being shipped Priority, and you're sending it Media Mail (which could take 2 weeks), that buyer can get ticked off - resulting in more annoying emails.

    One thing I did notice on this board was how high some prices were - almost regular retail. Pretty much everyone already knows you can get any new book at Amazon for 34% off list, so why would you compete with that? It's like real estate - be smart about price and it will sell (even in a crappy market). Be greedy and it will sit, and taking little deductions just makes the seller look more desperate.

    Ok, no more of my secrets! I don't need the competition. :lol:

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Media mail is not as cheap as it used to be & sometimes can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Also, you have the expense of packaging which has to be good as Media Mail is brutal. If you use USPS.com you can ship Priority Flat Rate Envelope for $4.75 & get free Delivery Confirmation.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    great info

  8. #8
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    Media mail is not as cheap as it used to be & sometimes can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Also, you have the expense of packaging which has to be good as Media Mail is brutal. If you use USPS.com you can ship Priority Flat Rate Envelope for $4.75 & get free Delivery Confirmation.
    Prices went up yesterday for Priority - check USPS.COM

  9. #9
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I just sold a ton of books from my old appraising business on ebay. Prices were very inconsistent. I would try here and see how it goes first - then try some of the other options if you have some left.

    I shipped everything media mail...outside of one that got sidetracked they all made it to there destinations in about a week. Shipping through Paypal (if they pay that way) includes delivery confirmation so you can see that it was delivered and when. If you don't use Paypal then you have to take it to the Post Office to ship media mail or 1st class. Priority you can do online. Hope that helps a little!

  10. #10
    MTS
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    A few other thoughts:

    I don't think a buyer would have problem paying $5 for Priority for THREE books. I think that's a fine deal. And most quilting books are the same size. If you're particularly inclined, you might be able to stuff 4 books into a Flat Rate USPS Priority envelope for that $5.

    And in case you didn't know, the tape is free also. Just ask at your LPO for a roll next time you're there. But it can ONLY be used on packages being sent via Priority. If you use it on the Media Mail packages, it will get kicked back to you.

    Media Mail for a book will probably run around $2.00. I think the average quilt books weighs around 12-13oz. Add in some for packaging.
    Also, you can check on Amazon, as they have the book weights listed (without packaging).

    Media Mail is NOT available on USPS.com, nor is First Class. Very annoying. I guess they don't trust us to really only approved Media items via Media Mail.

    And, fyi, Magazines are not allowed to be send via Media Mail as they contain advertising.

    Even if they're 50 years old. So in the unlikely event that they open your package (which they never do), be prepared. I have heard it happen with someone who sold old LIFE magazines.

  11. #11
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    Wow! That is a lot of helpful info. I just went through the process of setting up a business account with Amazon and put one book on there to see how it goes. By the time I was done, there were 6 emails relating to that in the inbox!

    You guys are great. Thanks.

  12. #12
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I just went onto USPS.com website & the 9 1/2" x 12 1/2" Priority Flat Rate Envelope is still $4.75 & includes "free" Delivery Confirmation.

    There is now a larger "legal" size Flat Rate Envelope - 9 1/2" x 15" for $4.95.

    I printed 3 Shipping labels last evening & was charged the $4.75 for each label.

    I'm curious to know where you are seeing that the Priority Flat Rate Envelope rate was raised???

    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit
    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    Media mail is not as cheap as it used to be & sometimes can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Also, you have the expense of packaging which has to be good as Media Mail is brutal. If you use USPS.com you can ship Priority Flat Rate Envelope for $4.75 & get free Delivery Confirmation.
    Prices went up yesterday for Priority - check USPS.COM

  13. #13
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    The cheapest Media Mail rate is for up to 1 lb. at $2.38 with no Delivery Confirmation


    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    A few other thoughts:

    I don't think a buyer would have problem paying $5 for Priority for THREE books. I think that's a fine deal. And most quilting books are the same size. If you're particularly inclined, you might be able to stuff 4 books into a Flat Rate USPS Priority envelope for that $5.

    And in case you didn't know, the tape is free also. Just ask at your LPO for a roll next time you're there. But it can ONLY be used on packages being sent via Priority. If you use it on the Media Mail packages, it will get kicked back to you.

    Media Mail for a book will probably run around $2.00. I think the average quilt books weighs around 12-13oz. Add in some for packaging.
    Also, you can check on Amazon, as they have the book weights listed (without packaging).

    Media Mail is NOT available on USPS.com, nor is First Class. Very annoying. I guess they don't trust us to really only approved Media items via Media Mail.

    And, fyi, Magazines are not allowed to be send via Media Mail as they contain advertising.

    Even if they're 50 years old. So in the unlikely event that they open your package (which they never do), be prepared. I have heard it happen with someone who sold old LIFE magazines.

  14. #14
    MTS
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    And delivery confirmation is only $.19 on Media Mail via PayPal.

    So call it $2.57, add in $something for the envelope, and charge $3 - which is what I believe I said upthread in a prior post.

  15. #15
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    If you tell the post office its a book its a flat cheap fee...think its 2.77 it may have gone up...you must tell them its a book.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    If you tell the post office its a book its a flat cheap fee...think its 2.77 it may have gone up...you must tell them its a book.
    I've never heard of a flat Media Mail rate, where the weight of the book (or other items) is immaterial.

    Do you have a link?

  17. #17
    Junior Member CraftyGardenMom's Avatar
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    [quote=purrfectquilts]So media mail or parcel post with no insurance or delivery confirmation? How did the customers feel about that I wonder?

    Did you use a padded envelope? Or wrap in plastic and heavy brown paper? Or something else?

    quote]


    I usually shipped media mail with delivery confirmation - it still came to less than the $3.99 credit. Plus I kept all my receipts from the post office in case the buyer questioned whether it had really shipped since media mail can sometimes take a longer time than most would think, other times it arrived as fast as Priority. That way I could scan and send them a copy of the receipt with their zipcode to "prove" I had in fact shipped their book. I only needed to do this once out of about 40 transactions, and the buyer notified me their book arrived the next day (after 2 1/2 weeks, which I agreed was a long time).

    For packaging, I happened to have a lot of large size envelopes, some padded, so depending on the thickness of the book, I used what I already had. If it was a thicker envelope I didn't wrap the book. Otherwise I wrapped it in saran wrap, then packaged it.

    Tanesha

  18. #18
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Just go to the post office...I have done it a few times to sent my daughter in-law books that I have read.
    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    If you tell the post office its a book its a flat cheap fee...think its 2.77 it may have gone up...you must tell them its a book.
    I've never heard of a flat Media Mail rate, where the weight of the book (or other items) is immaterial.

    Do you have a link?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    Just go to the post office...I have done it a few times to sent my daughter in-law books that I have read.
    Ah, but that defeats the whole point of doing it all online -which is NEVER having to go inside of a post office. :wink:

    And, quite frankly, I think the books you're sending are under a lb. and you're just getting charged the minimum rate. But it's not a flat rate.

  20. #20
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    The post office told me that. I do a lot of shipping. I also read it somewhere too. Just googled it and here is one source. http://www2.stamps.com/usps/postage-rate-increase/

    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    I just went onto USPS.com website & the 9 1/2" x 12 1/2" Priority Flat Rate Envelope is still $4.75 & includes "free" Delivery Confirmation.

    There is now a larger "legal" size Flat Rate Envelope - 9 1/2" x 15" for $4.95.

    I printed 3 Shipping labels last evening & was charged the $4.75 for each label.

    I'm curious to know where you are seeing that the Priority Flat Rate Envelope rate was raised???

    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit
    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    Media mail is not as cheap as it used to be & sometimes can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Also, you have the expense of packaging which has to be good as Media Mail is brutal. If you use USPS.com you can ship Priority Flat Rate Envelope for $4.75 & get free Delivery Confirmation.
    Prices went up yesterday for Priority - check USPS.COM

  21. #21
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    If you tell the post office its a book its a flat cheap fee...think its 2.77 it may have gone up...you must tell them its a book.
    Actually media mail rates depend on the weight of the item. 2.77 is for an item over 1 pound but no more than 2 pounds. Media mail is for books, film, DVD's, video tape, CD's, etc. It does take longer to get it, but I'm not usually in that much of a rush. Frugality wins out over impatience (usually).

  22. #22
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    The new rates for postage are now on the usps.com site. I had previously been told by the post office that they were going to change every May. Guess they couldn't wait. Bummer.

  23. #23
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I have sold on ebay, amazon , and QB and I must say here is the best. Amazon takes a percentage of what you sell, plus $.99, plus $1.35 "variable closing fee". That can add up, especially on a lower price book.
    Plus buyers on EB and AZ can leave you nasty feedback if they are in a bad mood. QB folks are all very nice.

  24. #24
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    I no longer sell my books but trade them on paperbackswap.com. Too much hassle trying to sell them with all the fees. And trading them gets you lots of free books to read!

  25. #25
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    Thank you one and all for all the helpful information!! I wish I had known as much when I was buying all these books (smile). I paid full price for them. They will now be sold for peanuts basically. Surprisingly there is no one in my family that quilts. Maybe one of my grandchildren will someday take it up. But as the oldest girl is now age 6, it might be a while before we find out. I have to clear the room long before then (another smile).

    Thank you once again for all your help.

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