tzikeh: (for sale)
[personal profile] tzikeh

My friends J & P are downsizing from a very large house, and they've packed up over two decades of books, CDs, and DVDs to sell. Since they're ridiculously busy, they've made me a kind of estate agent: my job is to sell all this stuff, and then give them the cash (though I get a cut for doing the work, which is awesome). There's a wide range of quality and value -- some of the DVD cases are kind of battered; others are still sealed in the original plastic. Some of the books are ratty paperbacks; some are first-edition hardcovers.

My current plan is to build an Excel workbook that I can use to keep track of of everything that will be available, along with ISBN numbers for the books, release dates for the DVDs (and notes if it's a special edition, box set, blah blah), among other things. Then online research into fair prices for each of the items so that I know what to advertise as price (or what to expect from auction).

The problem is that there are so many options for how to sell this kind of stuff, and I'm at a bit of a loss to choose the best way (or ways) to do this. There's craigslist, ebay, and amazon, plus advertising the stuff on my dreamwidth, livejournal, and tumblr accounts (and then putting a link to those announcements on twitter). There are probably more I'm not thinking of, or don't even know about.

I have never sold anything on ebay, so my lack of familiarity with it is an automatic barrier to doing this easily, but if it's the best option for some of the items, I should probably look into it. But my understanding is that there are all kinds of fees and other details that make it sound like it's more trouble than it would be worth.


Those of you who have done things like this--what do you suggest? What kind of success have you had in the past with the aforementioned venues for selling used stuff? What kind of bad experiences have you had? Do you have other ideas for me?

(Obviously I'll be making the Excel workbook available for download once it's finished for perusal by anyone who might be interested, so watch this space....)

Date: 2012-07-03 11:51 pm (UTC)
nestra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nestra
For CDs (and I think DVDs), take a look at You can search by ISBN UPC and get a set price, and then you just pack everything up and send it to them.

I also use, where you can set your own price, but sometimes it's nice to just to get rid of the shit.

The problem with eBay for you might be the lack of feedback on your account. People are often happier buying from an established seller.
Edited Date: 2012-07-03 11:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-04 01:39 am (UTC)
klia: (finch)
From: [personal profile] klia
If you just want to dump everything, and not sell items individually or in lots, then Second Spin is a better option. Just keep in mind that they don't reimburse your entire shipping cost.

Date: 2012-07-04 02:17 am (UTC)
klia: (!)
From: [personal profile] klia
Just be really careful with MM. It can be really slow (slower than the 2 to 8 days the USPS says) because it's subject to inspection (and they've been doing more of that), and items sometimes arrive damaged (trashed DVD/jewel case and scratched media) or never arrive at all. I'd shell out for insurance and delivery confirmation

Date: 2012-07-05 06:46 am (UTC)
threerings: (Default)
From: [personal profile] threerings
FYI, I ship media mail ALL THE TIME and have never had any problems. Ok, one book arrived damaged in three years of shipping, and I think record temperatures melted the glue in the binding and it seperated. But otherwise, if you packaged everything well, you should be fine with media mail.

Date: 2012-07-05 03:04 pm (UTC)
klia: (!)
From: [personal profile] klia
I'm glad to hear that. I've had stuff arrive damaged after being inspected, go missing only to be found and arrive 6 weeks later (long after the replacement shipment arrived that the company sent out), and go missing never to be found. A lot probably depends on specific handling facilities.

Hopefully tzikeh won't have a bad experience.

Date: 2012-07-04 02:20 am (UTC)
nestra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nestra
I've never looked at Amazon's trade-in program, but I usually look at It just depends -- sometimes one is better, sometimes the other is. There is something very satisfying about putting 20 CDs in a box and *poof* gone.

Date: 2012-07-04 01:27 am (UTC)
killabeez: (Default)
From: [personal profile] killabeez
Wow, awesome! I've never heard of this. Thanks for the tip. :)

Date: 2012-07-04 12:30 am (UTC)
klia: (!)
From: [personal profile] klia
I'm only a buyer, but I generally get used items from sellers on Amazon Marketplace,, and eBay. It's pretty easy to check prices on those sites because the item's condition is very easy to find (I think on eBay you can narrow your search to specific conditions, and only U.S. sellers, which makes it easier to compare prices from various sellers). But, sorry, I don't know anything about their fee structures.

The one piece of advice I'd give you is to limit your sales to only U.S. buyers and only PayPal instant payments (I've read instances where there were problems with E-check and Pay Later options).

Date: 2012-07-05 05:37 am (UTC)
giglet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] giglet
I don't know where you are, but if you have a good used store that buys, you might want to try to sell them everything first. They won't take everything, but it can reduce your pile considerably, and not require postage.

On the other hand, you won't get as much, and carrying all the stuff in could be a hassle.

Date: 2012-07-05 06:51 am (UTC)
threerings: (Default)
From: [personal profile] threerings
Well, I've been working on selling off my father's book collection on ebay for two years now. But it's a different situation, in that these are collectible first editions, signed books, etc. The value ranges from a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars. So I'm dealing with a different buying crowd. I chose to use ebay because there are not that many booksellers on ebay anymore. The serious booksellers are on, but from my experience if you look up a book there are a huge amount listed for $1 and I just don't see making money that way.

Listing book on ebay the way that I do, with six-7 pictures of each book, detailed description of every little ding because book collectors are INSANE. It takes a lot of time. Which is why my house is still filled with boxes of books. But I have sold a lot. But it's probably not for you.

I'm going to look into secondspin for the books that aren't worth enough to sell on ebay. (Generally any book worth $25+ I will try to sell on ebay. Anything less and I don't think its worth the fees and time. Although if you were going to list large lots of books or whatever, maybe they would sell and you'd get rid of stuff a lot at a time.


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