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?!’
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 recycling. 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.
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.
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.