We've been doing some eBaying lately. A few years ago I bought a big collection of Americana, and I long-ago made a profit on it, but there are, as always, still books hanging around that did not sell for one reason or another. Some are pretty good, but a bunch are mid-range non-fiction, the sort of thing that the big databases have made difficult to sell. I tried the usual methods- mark 'em down to half price, put 'em up in lots on the email lists and so on, and got rid of some, but there's still a few shelves left... so what do you do with them?
The logical answer would be donate them to a library sale. But the books are in that awkward range, not good enough to want to hang onto, but a bit too good to give away. So they've been sitting, getting on my nerves. There's nothing more demoralizing than staring at useless books day after day. That, in itself, is reason enough to eBay them.
The other thing is that we're thinking about doing more eBaying in the future, as a way to troll for customers for our core subject areas. The eBay buyer-profile has broadened a lot in the last few years, and there's some good anecdotal evidence that we might be able to pick up some good regular customers there. But a lot of things have changed about eBay since I last sold through it, and it takes a little time to learn how to use their new systems the best way.
So- we're putting the Americana stuff up there, a bit at a time. Kills two birds with one hammer- gets rid of the books and gets us familiar with how to use their new systems. Looked at on a profit-for-time basis the effort is not worth it- we could make more money just dumping those books and devoting the time to something else, especially since there never seems to be enough time in the day anyway. But it's an interesting experiment, and giving us valuable insight into how to use the system, so it's probably worth it in the end.
And it's a funny thing, how much satisfaction I can get out of seeing a 1945 Eastern Airlines brochure get bid up to $4.25... stupid, but hey, Life is about the little victories, isn't it?
You can keep track of our crap here.
Hey, everyone needs a book about Billy the Kid, right?