Friday, January 25, 2013

shelf space

In my last post I talked about things I can do to reduce the money I spend every month. I haven't completed all of the tasks but I already see a difference in my cell phone bill.
The things in my list were pretty passive things, as saving money goes. It doesn't take a lot of willpower once you've already made the call to reduce a bill.
Something I've been working on that is also somewhat passive is selling old books online. The website I use is half dot come. I'm quite happy with it. I simply input the ISBN of the book, write a brief description of the book's condition, and then input a price. The website even suggests a price range based on how that book has sold recently. When you sell a book, the site sends you an email alerting you what has been sold and the deadline for shipping. Once on the site you can choose to use their links to pay for shipping. You will need paypal for that last I checked. If the book is a simple paperback, you can probably drop it in a mailbox.

This week I was lucky enough to sell a textbook from years back when I was an undergrad. It's a classic text that one really shouldn't sell if one expects to remain in the field. But to be frank, the essays in this book aren't really the game-changing type and if the day ever comes when I need a copy of this book, I'll just buy one. Meanwhile it was taking up valuable real estate on my book shelf where I could be storing tomes on personal finance and what-have-you.
The book went for $22. The reimbursement for shipping was slightly less than the real cost, plus there was a small commission for half dot com. I got a free, used box, just the right size, from my workplace. And now I'm about 20 bucks richer.
You're not going to fund your retirement by selling old textbooks and bestsellers on the internet. But if you need to free up some space you could try it out. As I go along, the things I can't sell I plan on donating either to the libary or the salvation army.

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