In this video, I share some of the places and ideas for sourcing books.
So you think about selling books on amazon which is awesome, but now you’re not really sure where to get the books, how to source them, how to keep your inventory always stocked, so you don’t run out. Well on this video I want to share with you, some of my tips and tricks and some of my sources that I use to keep books coming into my inventory. Let’s get started.
Hey guys, this is Lenny from SimonSaysResell where I go ahead and share my experiences selling on Amazon specifically books, but I go ahead and share my stories and kind of the apps and the programs that I use and maybe even do some tutorials on them, so really hope you enjoy the videos and definitely check out my YouTube channel, but in this video we’re actually going to talk about sourcing books. Where do I get my books? Where do most people get books when they sell on amazon or pretty much anywhere? That’s a big question because you know it’s kind of tough to hone in on a specific place because everyone is different, for example my top place that I get books from might not be the same for you or someone else, so I’m going to go through the list of the different places that I use starting with the my number one choice and just kind of going down from there.
So the first place that I go to his goodwill, you know a thrift store and or any equivalent but the goodwill is pretty well known around the US, maybe there’s other store names that are like that but, fortunately for me I have about 10-12 Goodwill’s in my area. I live in South Florida. So it’s pretty easy. The closest one to me is maybe five minutes away and there’s probably a good 8-10 in a 20 mile radius for me, so that makes my life a lot easier, but that might not be the same for you.
So as I go through the list here, I think about the different places, the different sources that I am mentioning and see how convenient that is for you and I’ll go into an example on one person I’m talking to right now; he’s asking for my help, we chat very now and then. He’s in a particular situation which you might be in as well, so I want to share that with you too but, the first place is goodwill. Why? Mainly because there’s so many around me. Right, there’s eight to twelve in a very very short distance from me. It makes it very easy for me to go to, but not only the distance, the Goodwill experience itself is relaxing, you know there’s no pressure, there’s no one over your shoulder asking questions. It’s a really kind of calm place to go, especially if you’re starting out. So if you have Goodwill’s go to Google Maps, go on your phone, search for goodwill and when you search for them, there’s a few different kinds; there’s the goodwill donation centers or even the drop off places. Those you want to kind of do a little more investigation on, maybe when you search for them call them, ask them because what you are looking for are the super stores or the stores themselves, you know the retail stores if you want to call them that, where you actually go in and they have books and clothes and stuff like that. Because some of the goodwill listings, when you search maybe donation centers which is just like a big trailer which you can’t go and search for books in.
So do a little research before you go out driving around so I don’t want waste your time, but you want to look for the Goodwill super stores and the Goodwill outlet stores. Those are probably the best two Goodwill type of stores.
The Goodwill stores they have two things all the time; books and clothes for sure. So you want to probably start of with books because that’s kind of what I’m kind of getting into. So when you go there, you’ll probably have a couple hundred books you can easily look at, and it makes it so much easier for you because there’s no one bothering you, it’s very relaxed, no one really cares what you’re doing. You know only thing I do ask because you may kind of wind up… you know maybe someone might say something, if you’re looking at books, you’re them pulling out, you’re looking at them, put them back make it nice and neat because people do spend most of their day putting books on the shelves you know people that work there. And make sure they’re nice and neat, so make sure you do that. Just be kind, be considerate but the books are pretty good conditioned for the most part, I mean everything good and above, very few books… almost no books with mildew or mold; some might have stickers, some might have some writing in them but that’s Ok, you can you can easily sell those for a certain condition depending on how it is.
But Goodwill is a great resource to scout out because it’s easy, no one’s bothering you, there’s no pressure. What else can I say about that, Goodwill’s are… So do some research, see if there’s any Goodwill’s around you. If there are, go one day not really going to look for books but just go, take a look at it. You know see where the books are, see what kind of books there are, and I’ll do another video on what type of books you should be looking for but this video is mainly on where I source. So Goodwill is my top choice, is it yours? I don’t know, you got to do some research.
My second choice would be probably Salvation Army. I think Salvation Army is very similar to goodwill and they may have cheaper prices. There’s only two salvation Army’s around me, so it’s not my top choice, I am just kind of keeping I guess in the in the category that I’m in thrift stores I guess. Salvation Army is a good resource. I don’t go there as often because they don’t have as many books and the books aren’t as good condition as goodwill, but the Salvation Army is another place because… they’re there’s only two but they’re pretty close to me. So if I’m driving home from work or have a couple minutes to spare you know if I’m going out to run an errand, I’ll just stop by and check it out. So Salvation Army and you may have some around you, check them out you never know.
Yard sales and garage sales. So yard sales and garage sales are a great resource. You can find pretty good down on books depending on where you live. So I live in… not a city area, this is more a residential. So any streets that I go down on Saturday and Sunday are usually pretty good and I can probably… right now it’s a Saturday. I can probably leave my house in the morning around 9 o’clock and I can guarantee at least 6 garage sales easily without even thinking about it. I just live in that type of area which is good for me.
Now the only reason why I don’t go out that much is because it takes time. Now I have a family, I don’t want to spend half my Saturday morning going to garage sales, but if there’s some time when I can do it; I’ll definitely do it. But they’re good because you know… around me there’s a good amount of them. The only issue of garage sales might be uncomfortable for some people. Some people might be a little more introverted or shy. You know going in front of a stranger and looking at their stuff is maybe kind of weird to you, it’s just a different experience, that’s why I say goodwill is just easier to start out with. Just to get familiar with the books and the process, but the garage sales can be very rewarding as well , because you can get books very cheap there, most of the time and you never know because maybe like two or three times when I go out to garage sales, I’ll stumble across an estate sale. So that’s another kind of item in my list for today’s video. So the garage sales, yard sales and also estate sales.
So an estate sale is basically, there’s someone’s house and they need to leave the house very quickly and they’re selling everything in the house, everything. You go and you walk in, the house maybe a mess, it may be organized, there maybe prices on everything. So what you do is you walk around the house and you see what there is to buy and I usually go right for the books. I’ll ask the person that’s running the thing and I am like “hey do you have any books?” Yeah sure, they’re in… They are scattered across the house. So I’ll just walk around the house and I found some pretty good books there, but there’s not an estate sale every single weekend. So it’s kind of like just a bonus when I go out.
So the yard sales, the garage sales and estate sales you know require me to go out. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how many are going to be, so it’s kind of a guess, it’s kind of a mystery. So that’s the only issue I guess, one of the issues with garage sales and yard sales and those types of sales is you don’t know; you don’t know how may they are going to be or how long you are going to be out there. Maybe I go out one morning and there’s only one. Maybe I go out one morning and there’s too many and I don’t have enough time.
So I do that kind of when I can but I don’t really focus too much on those types of sales, but they can be rewarding like I said you can get books, under a dollar most of the time. You can negotiate easier because the Goodwill’s and the Salvation Army’s you really can’t negotiate them pretty strict in their prices. What I’ve done at Goodwill’s as I walk into a Goodwill that has maybe eight hundred books and I’ll spend maybe an hour to scanning a bunch of books and let’s say I pull out hundred books. I’ll pull them aside and then I’ll go and ask the manager, I’ll ask for the manager at Goodwill like hey manager you know, I’m a book collector, I pulled out a hundred books and I’m interested in, would you give them to me for a dollar apiece. Now I say a dollar a piece because usually at Goodwill’s, they’re a dollar for paperback and two dollars or hardcover and three dollars for like specialty books like cookbooks and the big coffee table books.
So I’m like you know what I can do everyone for a dollar that’s fine. So I asked the person, the manager; she wasn’t really having it, she didn’t really give in to my negotiation. So I am like hey, I’m not going to cause any beef because I’ll be back here again. I asked and that was it. You know the worst they can say is no. So I bought them 1 2 dollars each which wasn’t a big deal. I still got a pretty good deal, the Profit was… I think the net profit on those was a couple hundred dollars and I spent maybe less than a hundred I think it was depending on how many books I got. But it was a pretty good, it was a pretty good haul but anyway. So there are some differences in the different types of places to source.
The other thing you can do which really works for me is Craig’s List. What you can do, I know other people use this tactic. I think Reezy resells, uses this too. So I think I got this from him, Thank You Reezy.
Go to website IFTHISTHENTHAT, I think that’s what it’s called ifthisthenthat.com, go to that website; what you do is you sign up for the account, it’s free and you kind of attach another website to it like craigslist and what you do is you go to craigslist, you search for books, and then you see the URL that comes up. You copy that URL, you put that into if this then that and then every time a new book is posted on craigslist you get an email.
You don’t have to sit there and look through craigslist all day, all morning all night to look for books around the area. So that’s what I do, so I get an email every time a new book posting comes up, whether it’s you know South Florida and there’s three different counties here so whichever of the three-county the book comes in on craigslist, I get an email.
I take a look at it, oh maybe this is too far for me. Maybe this is like two hours away, I may or may not go depending on the book. So ifthisthenthat is a great website you can hook up your craigslist, listings to that, so when a craigslist post comes up from someone you get an email it makes your life hell of a lot easier. So look into that, so craigslist is great. I’ve gotten many many awesome books on craigslist. One time I got a book or a bunch of books I paid fifty bucks for eight bucks I think it was, but they were pretty new like college-level books and I at least made for hundred dollars on that so awesome ROI, you don’t find those that often but they’re there.
But most of time I am on craigslist, some people are selling they’ll post individual books and people will post a bulk of books. So what I do is, what you can do is, when you look at the listings you’ll start seeing that, if there’s individual books they are posting, some of them looks as far as the person posting them you’ll see like they’re the same person. So I’ll click on one and I’ll try to contact the seller saying hey I noticed you posted about ten books. How many do you have total? Maybe they have 50, they haven’t posted yet. So I kind of talk to them through craigslist whether it’s email or text messages or whatever, but craigslist is a great place to go. It’s just another source.
Other places that I do source as well when I first started off I used craigslist, but I also… what was it, I think it was craigslist. I found people were posting, selling the pallets, you now gaylords they called them, column of books. You know the big pallets. If you go to my Facebook page SimonSaysResell and you look at the pictures, there’s a picture of a pallet; within the pallet you can probably get about 800 to 1,200 books. So this guy was selling about 15 pallets of books about a 40 to 45 minutes north of me. So I called him up and I said hey I’m interested in books, you know I sell books, I think you’re selling for two hundred dollars for a pallet of books, which at the time, this is when I first first started. I was like awesome, 200 dollars for almost a thousand books, let’s say on average. That’s awesome let’s go.
You know it’s less than a dollar book which is kind of my goal. So I drive up there. I took my wife’s car, she has a pathfinder, it has the three rows I can put them all down. So I went there expecting to buy a lot of books and I got there and I saw the pallet, the guy had anything like 15 pallets. It was awesome, but I only had room for maybe one. So I bought a pallet, the thing about pallets is you don’t know what you’re getting, because you can’t sit there and individually pick out the books. You’re more give me the whole box kind of thing. So what I did is, I put the seats down in my wife’s car. I loaded my wife’s car with as many books as I could at the time. I got about half a pallet in my wife’s car before the pathfinder started to sink. So I drove home unloaded all them, went back the next day, drove back up there put the rest of the palette in the back of the car and then drove home.
That was my first experience with a palette, I really don’t know where you’re going to get. I wasn’t super excited once I got home and looked at everything or as I was pulling it out because what happened was there were about, who they were about maybe 400 calendars in there so it wasn’t just books, it was books and calendars. Now this was, if you look in my previous videos. I only started doing Amazon… I signed up my seller account on November 11, 2016 so not that long ago. So I did this whole palette thing beginning of December. So I really wasn’t that experienced with it but I want to share this with you, just too kind of give you some insight.
So the pallet I got had about three-four hundred calendars from 2016. So it was December 2016. So the year is almost over and I have 400 calendars for a year that is almost over, wasn’t too excited. You know I talked to the guy and I am like what is this? I’m not going to nudge him too much because I get what I pay for and it really isn’t appropriate to kind of get too into it with him, so I didn’t too much but I kind of asked the question, what I’m going to do with these. He goes well there is a market for that, you know some school teachers do buy older calendars for the pictures and I am like you know what, whatever.
So long story short, I get home, I sort everything out, I threw everything out that… I recycled everything that wasn’t good, like maybe it’s ripped or has mold or mildew whatever. So I kind of got rid of those things. So when all the dust settled I wind up with about 600 books and like 400 calendars. Is that a good the haul? Technically it could be because I only paid 200 bucks and it still is pretty good pricing forward. So I’m not super upset but I know I could have done better somewhere else maybe. So they’re about 600 books and I think the profit for that was you know over a thousand dollars I think. I don’t remember, it’s been a long time, it’s been a month and a half and I processed at least 2,000 books since then but long story short is buying books and pallets and Gaylords is another source. Just try to be careful as much as you can, now that was my first one.
Now I have I gotten pallets and Gaylords after that have been much better. I have a contact at a distributor and a person that collects books for recycling. He’s a director of salvage, it’s kind of his title, it’s kind of cool, but I can go to him whenever I want. So it’s not like I’m waiting for an ad on craigslist. They’re kind of constantly throwing books around and he always has them and he sells them, he recycles them, so they’re basically… they’re books at the end of their kind of cycle for that company. So they kind of get rid of them and they recycle them and they sell them.
So I can go to him, I can call them up right now and say hey I want a pallet or two and I’ll go ahead and set my time up and do that. Now, the only thing… pallets are great because you get a lot of books for a little bit of money which is awesome. You know putting aside, you don’t know what you’re actually getting but overall the expense is good, it’s cheap. It’s not much of an expense, but the other part of it is the time to process and other additional expenses for example, not that first example because I used my wife’s car which I will probably never do again because I can only fit about a half of a pallet in there, but the second third and fourth time that I got books pallets I rented a U-Haul truck which was a good idea. I didn’t have to use my own car. I got a bigger truck that can hold a lot more. So I had rented a U-Haul truck, this was my first time and my new guy, I rented U-Haul truck expecting to buy one pallet for fifty dollars, fifty dollars for one pallet, I was like whoa that’s an amazing deal. So I rented a U-Haul truck and went there, I actually bought two pallets instead of one because I can fit two and they’re only 50 bucks, so each. So why not, so I spent a hundred dollars on about 2,000 books that’s kind of way it worked out is, they weigh the palate before they give it to you. It was under a thousand pounds, it was like 998 pounds so almost a ton I think.
So a lot of books, my wife thought I was crazy but anyway we got a good deal hundred bucks for 2,000 books why the hell not. So they had to use a forklift. They put the two pallets of books on U-Haul truck, came home unloaded all the books, took me about two hours put the U-Haul truck back came home and then I kind of sorted through all of them and I have a whole process which I would go through later specifically to buying books in bulk that I do, but again long story short with that is, it can be very profitable. So definitely look into that; the buying books and palates and stuff like that.
So those are kind of my top three four five places to get books, of course there’s friends and family. I do flyers, I made flyers and put around my neighborhood, so maybe do some marketing like that. But there are many different ways to get the books. It’s just a matter what’s best for you. Now again if you have Goodwill’s and you have a car and it’s possible to do that, go ahead and do it.
If you have salvation army’s do that. If you want to buy on craigslist then that do that too. If you’re able to do everything that’s amazing. Now the other bonus thing I want to mention too is I did all this myself in the very beginning, but as I wanted to kind of build my company and build my business. I started to back off from sourcing books myself, so what I do now is actually pay book sourcers to go out and get books for me and I pay them per book, and I’ll make an individual unique video just on that process but long story short with that, is I create an ad on craigslist. I’m saying hey I’m someone that sells books online blah blah I’m looking for books Scouters. I’ll pay you two dollars and fifty cents a book based on the criteria that is met and it’s approved blah blah.
So what I do is, I use my FBAScan app and I have a video on how to setup triggers an FBAScan for the book Scouters, but what I do is I put the ad on craigslist, I get people to interview and then I explain the situation to them and we meet and I put the FBAScan app on their phone. I pay for it with my money; I use the $9.95 lowest plan, they get unlimited scans with FBAScan and then I kind of show them how to scan the books and I showing how to look at the books visually to make sure they’re okay, and I send them on their way and there’s no quarter there’s no you know Lenny looking over your shoulder saying, I need this many books a week, it’s whatever they want to do, just as long as I am making money, making more than $10 a month because that’s kind of how much it is.
So long story short with that is I’ve been pretty successful. I have almost ten books scouters right now. They’re constantly getting books and they are all over my area and also maybe a county or two north of me. So I’m not going… I honestly haven’t been to a Goodwill myself for maybe 2-3 weeks, because I’m constantly getting books from them every week. How many books? Well let’s say one guy he’s a pretty good friend of mine. I got him involved in this, he gives me easily a hundred books a week without even thinking. I have a college student looking to make some extra cash, she’s giving me at least a hundred books as well. I have two single mothers a county above or north of me, that are both bringing in, may be at least 50 books a week depending on their schedule.
So it’s a process that I’ve gotten from watching videos and stuff like that, I think Nathan; I don’t remember his last name I apologize but there is another YouTube channel someone named Nathan, I don’t remember his last name but he kind of started that whole process and I’ve kind of just tweaked it into my own and made it my own. So thank you for that Nathan.
But it’s worked out very well because I have a family I have a baby coming, a third child coming. So I don’t have that much time to go out on the weekends and do this stuff, but I do look at craigslist. I’ll do jump into someone’s… I’ll do reach out to someone on craigslist saying hey I saw your post you know, let’s meet up and I’ll give you the money for the book. So I use every resource I can imaginable and possible but this book sourcing thing… basically I am hiring them as independent contractors which is great. You know I’m paying a premium for the books, two dollars and fifty cents but the way the triggers are set up in the app I always make money. Whether it’s a dollar or more, I always make money when it comes to this stuff, because the way I set up the triggers.
So there’s more into that if you look at my FBAScan video you’ll see exactly how the triggers I have set up and there’s a cool little hidden feature in the app where you know if you’re familiar with the scanning apps, you see everything you see the Profit, you see the different prices and the offers and I don’t want my scanners to be like, well this book is selling for twenty bucks and I’m buying it for a dollar at Goodwill, why is Lenny making all the money. I mean yes there’s that you know thought that they’ll probably have. So to reduce that is in the app you can hide all that stuff. So they don’t see anything, they just see like a yes-or-no buy or don’t buy so which makes it really cool and perfect for me but, enough about that.
So the video, I really hope this helped you guys out. Again many places to source from, there’s probably, I’m sure there’s more of that, just kind of the ones that come to the top of my head, but definitely do some research and not only do some research, go out yourself and look at the Goodwill’s in your area, look at the Salvation Army’s. Go to garage sales, just the experience; go ahead and do that.
They can be very rewarding and you never know what you’re going to find.
So I thank you guys for watching. You know, definitely if you have any questions ask them in the comments below. Like the video if you enjoyed it and please subscribe if you haven’t. I’ll be putting out more videos on my experiences and tips and tricks and additional how-to videos and how to use some apps and applications that I use, and also some of the equipment that I use is well, like my packaging, supplies and my label machine and all this other stuff. So thank you again and have a great day.