I had been down-sized from an IT position in early 2005. After months of job-searching, I came upon an opportunity to purchase a large collection of vintage childrens books. Most of the books were from the Golden, Whitman and Western publishers.
I have been selling them since early 2006 and now the portion that I have for sale has dwindled to just over 50 titles from over 200.
I have been successful at this venture and actually have been credited by other sellers for making the market for Whitman Tell-A-Tales, my primary product. I have almost 1700 positive feedback and my rating percentage is 100%. I have a small email list of devoted fans and have made some very good friends during the last two years.
However, the amount of time necessary to unbox, photograph, edit, list, re-list, pack and ship thousands of books leaves little time to start any other ventures. Luckily, I came upon an eBay listing tool called GarageSale which cut my listing and re-listing times down to about 30 minutes from almost 4 hours. This allowed me time to start researching other internet marketing opportunities and I can’t say enough good things about that product.
One of the things I realized fairly early on was that these books were going to make a decent amount of money but would never make the kind of money I desired. The other thing that occurred to me is that I can’t be making money while I’m emailing, invoicing, doing customer service, packing and going to the post office.
I estimated that I had about 2 years or more of product. Because I would be in a start-up mode for practically the entire time it would take me to sell off the collection, I didn’t have a lot of money to put towards broadening my product offerings. Nor did I really want to.
So, I decided I was going to be the best Whitman Tell-A-Tale store that ever was. I had other items I sold from the collection but that was my core offering. When I take a look at ebay and search on Tell-A-Tale and see how many other sellers have set their initial bid prices and shipping charges to compete with mine, I see I’ve been very successful at achieving that goal.
I’m very proud of this and don’t mind saying so.
In September of last year, I decided to prepare an estimate of the amount of time that I could continue selling these books until it wouldn’t be profitable any longer. I looked not only at the number of books but took into consideration how popular each title was. I took that estimate and decreased it just to be on the safe side.
I figured that I definitely had enough popular inventory to get me through to the end of the year.
Somewhere in the middle of December the bottom fell out!!!
Oh no, what was I going to do?
Join me for part two of this report to find out the answer to that question.
[tags]childrens books, ebay store, whitman tell-a-tale[/tags]