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How to Start a Used Book Sale Business For Less Than $100

Start Small, Grow Big with Free Inventory and Business Savvy

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Flea Markets Are a Great Place to Launch a Business

If you do not have the funds to start a walk-in used book store (but now is a great time to rent cheap commercial space) begin by selling books in flea markets in your area. You will make more profits profit selling books (with some exceptions) locally than you will selling them on eBay.

If you love Internet commerce, consider starting an online used book store instead.

Cost: Minimal. Most flea markets charge a flat fee starting at about $10.00.

Tax Tip: Save your receipts and the cost space rental and driving back and forth to flea markets is tax deductible!

If you have bigger plans to eventually open a walk-in shop or offer an eStore, print business cards (free from VistaPrint, pay only shipping - about $8.00 for 500 cards) and hand them out to all your flea market customers. Be sure to list a website or email address so you customers can find updates about your business.

How to Get Free Books and Videos to Sell!

Need an initial stock of free books? What about free, used video games and movies? Add these items to your business menu and attract even more customers. Here are three ways you can get free books:
  1. Join Freecyle: A free email exchange list for people to give away anything and everything. I often see huge boxes of books and magazines being given away on Freecyle - did I mention for free?
  2. A Dirty Little Secret Public Libraries Do Not Want You to Know: Most public libraries take donations of books. They offer a tax receipt and donors feel good thinking their books will be loved by someone else or re-sold in to raise money for the library. But did you know almost universally, public libraries routinely throw magazines and books away?

    Many donors are indiscriminate in what they donate and do not pay attention to library policies about what they accept. Libraries are then face with having to dispose of magazines (and I am not talking about adult magazines, but all magazines), videos, computer software, and even video games.

    Public libraries have limited employee resources and storage capacity. The most economical way to deal with unwanted donations (and books culled from their own shelves) is to simply throw them away. Rather than donating to other causes like prison libraries and schools these books end up in dumpsters (if you do not believe me just check your libraries' dumpster).

    Call all your local libraries within driving distance and offer to take these unwanted items off their hands. They might not admit that they toss books (this would be upsetting to donors) so entice them into giving you "excess and unwanted books" by offering to donate a small percentage of profits back to the library.

  3. Friends, Family, and Even Your Doctor's Office: Tell your friends to give their unwanted magazines and books to you. Hospitals, doctors, dentists, and many other professional offices keep a stack of magazines around for their patients and clients. When they are done, they simply get tossed out.

Remember, the goal is to build an inventory (and a business). Over time, the quality and quantity of items you can stock will improve. Since you are gathering items for free, you have nothing ll to lose even if you cannot resell some of the items.

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