How to get hold of free books!

By Sharon Fussell, July 1, 2011

You know they say that there is no such thing as a ‘free 
lunch’; well we may be able to disprove this statement.

Two of the most popular requests I have is. “Where can I 
get hold of cheap books?” And “where can I get hold of 
cheap packaging?” I have gone one better and brought 
you a couple of ideas for you to get hold of FREE books 
and FREE packaging.

In the words of Jim’ll fix it…’How’s about that then?!’

How to get hold of free books

Last week we discussed buying charity shop books and 
looking at how to optimise profits from these shops,
which have policies that can be so fickle at the best of 
times. Obviously I will not repeat last weeks ezine, but I 
thought you may be interested in a way of getting FREE 
books and getting into the “good books” of the manager 
of a charity shop (excuse the pun).

Sometimes getting hold of books is a matter of thinking 
’outside the box’. A good example below has been sent 
in by Steve who is happy to share it with you:

“Dear Sharon, Thanks for all your informative newsy 
letters. Regarding buying books from charity shops, I
noticed that my local charity shop had started to put 
dates on their books. I had kind of guessed why but 
asked a member of staff anyway. Their answer: as they 
are donated so many books, to keep the shelves fresh 
they change them out every two weeks. The unsold 
books are put into sacks and collected weekly for 

So armed with a big smile and charm I asked the 
manager if I could go through the sacks and pick out the 
books I thought would be worth listing. On average they 
recycle two hundred + books a week, I pick out about 
half of them and pay about £10. Of those books usually 
80% are worth listing so no more trawling around Charity 
shops and cold wet bootees. One weekly visit and an 
hour or so sorting them out and back home to list 
them. It’s just a matter of asking, most are more than 
happy to get shot of unwanted books taking up rare 
storage space. Regards, Steve.”

A great tip I think you’ll agree! Thanks Steve.

And now…

How To Get FREE Packaging

As you know I always advocate using mail bags as they 
are good for any purpose. Customers are always praising me 
for using quality packaging and in the time I have been operating SDN I have only had one complaint about the 
packaging not being suitable.

As you can imagine our books get thrown about, 
dropped and handled by several people before they get 
delivered (hopefully) safely to our customers. The 
complaint came from a buyer in Holland so goodness 
knows what happened, but there we go.

I tend to buy my mailbags via Viking Direct when they 
have an offer on, either on a buy two boxes get one free 
or at the moment they have a buy three get one free 
offer. However, I realize that if you are new to SDN or 
only sell a few books buying mail bags in the hundreds is 
an expensive thing to do.

So, is there a way of getting around this?

Well you could reuse mailbags or you could do what Bob 
does. Saving your self money and reusing precious 
packaging material too. Over to Bob:

“Hello Sharon, This is one of the most useful tips from a 
financial and environmental point of view. When 
shopping in supermarkets, or local stores, go to the fresh produce department and you can pick up for free 
the bubble wrap used to line fruit boxes, this is ideal for 
wrapping books. It is also cheaper to buy a roll of brown 
paper to wrap over the bubble wrap. This combination is 
not only cheaper than jiffy bags but you can create a 
nice tight packet for most books to fit through the Large 
Letter size requirements at the Post Office and save 
even more money. Bob”

Thank you for the tip Bob.

From the Postbag – Mobile Internet Access

I am often asked about mobile phones and Internet 
access. One example is the T Mobile Web n Walk 
system. Joe has kindly written in with his speck on this 
system. I do advise that you check out which mobile 
phone provider offers the best reception for your area.

For example O2 is useless for me, I cannot access it in 
my house and in my local area I have been forced into 
using telephone boxes to phone home due to a lack of 
reception when I have been out and about.

“Hi Sharon Re your recent email letter, Walk and talk 
internet access phones! I have been using T-mobile’s 
Web’n’walk system for about a year. It’s my only means 
of ‘web access’ and I use it on both my Laptop and Main 
Computer, which is online for about 10 hours a day!

I live in Hayling Island and in general mobile signals here 
are diabolical (I have a T-mobile phone and its useless 
most of the time! As are most of the other providers!) 
They blab on about some isolated parts of the country 
having poor reception!! We are only 60 miles from the 
centre of London and surrounded by sea – not mountains!

Anyway, yes at times my Walk’n’talk can be a bit slow 
establishing a connection but once it’s up and running 
it’s as good as my previous 4mb Virgin cable access and 
at £15 a month it’s a lot less expensive. I went for the
’mobile’ access because there was no (BT) line in place 
when we moved here and I thought, who needs a ‘fixed 
telephone’ sitting on your table costing £xxx a month and 
hardly ever used what with the world and his dog using 
mobile phones? There probably are better deals than T-
mobile out there but so far this system has been fine for 
me. Kind regards Joe”

And yet another tip on removing pesky labels. Thank you for this Chris:

“Hi Sharon, Regarding those pesky sticky labels, I found 
many years ago in my eBay days that a hairdryer 
pointed at the label for a few seconds at a time will 
soften the glue and make it easy to peel off. It also 
doesn’t leave the glue behind. You need thick skin 
though sometimes!! As it can get a bit hot!! It works 
every time. Regards Chris”

Don’t forget – if you have a tip you would like to share please email me via my eletter.

Happy selling!


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