Step 2: Cost Benefit Analysis of Reselling Books

As someone who has a day job in the software industry, a successful project is governed by a cost-benefit analysis. That is, how can we be successful when we consider time, cost, and resources? For book reselling, this means that:

  • I need to determine how much time I will spend looking for books to buy
  • I need to determine what I need to spend on packing materials, postage, and any branding/marketing/web to get up and running
  • I need to know my goals for net profit and make sure I am tracking this

At the end of the day, I do not want this to be a hobby. Rather, I want it to be a money-making business that will give me more time with my family. The concept of a passive income appeals to me, although this would not be considered passive. This business focuses on a 1:1 product relationship. In the future I will look to a 1:many relationship by creating my own products.

So in sum, track the time and money you spend to get up and running. As an example, as an entrepreneur, I started with my own existing book collection (at no cost) and then my own capital for buying used books to resell. One of my merchants, Amazon, holds onto the purchase income until it establishes your bona fides. Meaning, you may not see that income for the first month or two. I am doing lo-fi way of tracking by creating a spreadsheet. It’s simple.

Essentially I track money I’ve spent (on books, postage or supplies, etc.) and then indicate what an item sold for (minus seller fees and postage). This way I can start to see a pattern of the types of books that I am successful with and what I am willing to spend for a book. It takes some trial and error. Generally, I want to be able to make at least $5 net from a sale but I have targeted textbooks during the Summer with the expectation that it will be a hot market through August.

I’m not in the black yet, but soon hope to be.

Income and Expenses

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