So I wanted to share a little gem that I came across, but all of my ideas for an article title ending up reading like spam:
“How to Score a Free Kindle”
“My New Income Stream”
My original title would also give away too much of the article:
“I Am Trading In My Old Used Books For Credits On Amazon.com”
At this point, some of you will begin your exodus from this site. That’s cool. For the rest of you, here we go.
The other day while doing some Amazon.com browsing/daydreaming, I started looking at a little link on the site next to some items. There was this beautiful blue box that looked like this:
So I clicked it, and BAM I discovered the Amazon trade-in treasure chest.
Here’s how it works. You select the trade-in button on items, and add them to a “cart”. When you’re ready to “check out”, you print a prepaid label and drop the box off. Upon delivery to the Amazon center, they are reviewed and prices may be adjusted up or down depending on condition, and a 3rd party merchant usually buys these from Amazon. You will receive a credit into your Amazon.com account to use towards your next purchases. It is that easy.
I sat staring at the screen, blinking. Then I looked at my bookshelf… and my DVDs… and my downstairs bookshelf… and I got to work.
Ebay is a great place, I love it, but for many items, the effort vs reward just isn’t worth it. To list a book that may get $5, plus have to deal with the fees, shipping, and feedback sometimes isn’t worth it. For Amazon, that book may only be worth $2.50, but I can do one transaction of 4-10 books vs all the separate micro transactions on eBay. With an online auction, there may be a higher ceiling, but you also run the risk when selling a used item, even with pictures, of an unhappy buyer saying “this isn’t the condition as advertised” and then the unfriendliness can go off the rails.
I enjoyed many 10-15 minute intervals over the weekend where I scanned a shelf, looked at a book, and then had Amazon appraise it. I usually take decent care of my books, but some page turners take a sharp turn south if they happen to go to the beach, or camping, or anywhere else where a one time event changes the condition from “good” to “greasy and torn”. When the weekend expired, I had built a cart of about $80 in books, which I can use towards a Kindle, or any other upcoming Amazon purchases.
There are many books I will keep forever, but some are tomes that I’ve outgrown, or bought and never read. I have quite a few of these coffee table “reference” books for comics that were written for the casual fan or tweens (I don’t need these and I’ll never read them again). In the ongoing war against clutter, I think I found a good battlefield strategy with Amazon. I may be able to get a little more money by going through eBay or going full-on loco and starting an Amazon store front, but for now this is a great low effort, high impact plan. I cleared about 15″ of bookshelf space plus 10″ of DVD shelf space and have almost $100 as of this morning to box up.
I may not have found Bigfoot, but I found the next best thing: found money.