I have to admit to a little vice, I love gadgets.
I have a kitchen full of over-hyped gizmos; multi choppers/graters, omelette makers and electric egg boilers.
I have a very expensive bread maker going rusty in the shed and can hardly open my cupboard doors without something falling out that promised to solve a problem and ended up being more bother than it was worth.
Admittedly, I have fallen for the odd gadget for business use too, such as the USB text reader that is supposed to copy text straight onto the computer – it does to a degree, though you tend to end up with gobbledygook and by the time you change it to make sense you might as well have retyped the paragraph anyway!
However, I have a few gadgets that I use for my bookselling business which save me both time and effort (and as we know time is money) here are my favourites:
1. Laser Printer – no need to buy an expensive all singing all dancing model. As long as it does the job and replacement inks do not cost the earth. It saves loads of time and turns out a professional packing slip quickly and quietly. (If you sell via the FBA method a laser printer is a must).
2. Label Maker – This saves loads of time and helps to present a professional package. The time it saves is tremendous and although it is not cheap to replace the labels it’s so simple to use and does not take up much room. As well as labels with the buyers name and address you can also create other labels, such as ‘This Books Belongs To’ stickers.
3. Barcode Scanner – you will find a desktop barcode scanner is a wonderful time saving gadget. Just wave barcodes under the laser and this imports data into amazons search engine in seconds. In most cases the book information comes up and it speeds up the listing process no end (sometimes the number on the bar code does not reflect the product ISBN, you have to be careful, as you could end up listing books you do not have!)
4. Smart Phone – You can download Apps, such as the Amazon app. You are able to take a picture of a barcode and the information relating to the ISBN comes up on your phone ‘live’ so to speak. It certainly makes life easier when checking up ISBN’s in charity shops or at car boots before you decide if a book is worth buying. You can also check CDs and DVDs and keep up-to-date with sales by accessing your email account to see how many sales you have made.
5. Cassette Radio – I love to listen to audio books and this way I kill two birds with one stone: I get to be entertained whilst doing my listing and check the quality of the cassettes at the same time. When all have been completed I list online and can honestly claim that the tapes are in working order.
Other gadgets include pre-made ink stamps, you can order these from a firm called Vista Print, you can also create business cards and only pay postage costs:
6. Post Code Stamp – A self-ink stamp with your post code which you can print onto the back of each mail envelope; this optimises the chances of returned books getting back to you quickly.
7. Kettle – Last but not least is the kettle! I do love regular cups of tea to keep me refreshed throughout the day and would not function without it!!