Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#37, 28 February 2005

In theory, it would be entirely possible to make a living as an online bookseller without ever having to leave your home - that is, it wouldn't matter in the least where you lived, whether or not you had a disability that prevented you from venturing out, small children to care of, or anything else. Supplies could be delivered to your front door, packaged books with pre-applied postage set out for the mailman to pick up, and yes, you could buy your inventory online. All of it.

Up to a point, I suppose, this seems very doable, and of course that very point is the last one - buying inventory online. How easy would it be to buy a book in virtually the same place you're going to sell it and have any chance of making a profit? I say "virtually the same place" because we live in an era when most of us, buyers and sellers alike, have the same ability to search multiple venues in a matter of moments for each and every book. Even if a valuable book did pop up online at a low enough price to make resale profitable, you'd be competing not only against countless other booksellers trying to do the same thing but also the buyers themselves, who are forever looking for the best price. You might get lucky occasionally and snag a winner, but how could you possibly to do it often enough to matter?

Well, like anything else, if something requires effort and knowledge - and successful buying online does - you can elevate yourself above the vast majority of your competitors simply by expending some effort and acquiring some knowledge, and "some" is all it takes. Translation: most of the competition is, to a greater or lesser degree, lazy. They will spend most of their days doing the easiest, most obvious things, and leave the rest to us. This is your leg up.

If buying online is something you're interested in trying, don't miss the March 7 Gold Edition - "How to Buy Inventory Online, Part I: eBay." Specific eBay buying strategies for making it work will be discussed in detail. Also next month: issue #2 of 50/50, and with it another batch of 50 relatively common, $50 and up books to look for when scouting. Subscribe here.

Science Fiction Editor Tim Doyle makes his monthly appearance in today's Update, this time illuminating an intriguing sub-genre of Science Fiction - Cyberpunk. As always, there's lots of potential for profit, and Tim delivers the titles to look for.


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