I’ve been on vacation from my day job since mid-December, and managed to accomplish relatively little, other than eating too much, and watching too many TV marathons (i.e., American Horror Story and Haven) with Ella. I did list quite a bit on Amazon/Ebay, and, of course, I kept up with my packing/shipping. I tried to scout some, but with the exception of one huge thrift store find, pickings were slim this holiday season, and even after-Christmas sales were less than inspiring.
Needless to say, it’s time to get back to work.
My first order of business is/was to get a new blog posted. I hope everyone had an excellent holiday selling season; mine was OK; sales in December 2013 were down across my bookselling platforms (Amazon, Alibris, Half, and Biblio) by about 9 percent compared to last year. Ebay, too, was down about 9 percent. I’m not sure if lack of inventory or lack of effort on my part is to blame. Either way, I have much work to do in the coming year to grow the business.
My one good find in December was at an out of town thrift store on the day after Christmas. Everything in the store was half price that day, and I literally found a grocery store buggy (or “cart” for my northern readers) full of books that apparently had been donated by a Christian bookstore. Multiple copies of high-dollar books made my season a little brighter.
In the spirit of the holiday, I also was the victim of feedback extortion, but in a weird way:
Buyer: If you want me to leave feedback, you need to leave feedback or I'm going to leave negative feedback! I paid you ASAP and still no feedback, I don't have time to remind each seller to leave positive feedback. Thank you.
Me: Thank you for the reminder, although it was unnecessary. Using an Ebay app, most sellers automatically leave feedback upon receipt of positive feedback from a buyer. Have a happy holiday.
Buyer: The sellers I have purchased from leave feedback as soon I as I pay for the item(s). Happy Holidays.
Needless to say, I went ahead and left positive feedback, and the buyer did the same.
Not all was gloom and doom online, though, and I did have a few good sales on Ebay, including these Doo Wop DVDs acquired for $3.
|Ella really wanted to keep these DVDs!|
I’ve mentioned before that I love obsolete technology. Over the holidays, a VHS tape rewinder and several really old-school vacuum tubes sold.
|Old-school technology continues to sell well|
|"Yeah baby, yeah!"|
On a parting note, I want to say how much fun it was to celebrate Christmas with Duc this year. Vietnam doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, and Duc was thrilled to open his presents, which included a bottle of Vietnamese fish sauce (a staple like ketchup). It seems the cheap American sauce from Publix just doesn’t stack up against the good stuff from the homeland.