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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Used and Rare Book Business from Home

Start a Used & Rare Books Business

What you will be doing.  As a used or rare book dealer, your job will be to locate books for avid readers.  You will investigate used books and appraise their resale value.  If worthy, you will connect the client with a very good used copy of the book that they are seeking.   

You may also have clients who are looking for books that are hard to find and quite valuable.  In this case, your main focus will be locating the volumes in question.  Depending on the time spent and the value of the book, your finder’s fees can be quite high.  You can negotiate with sellers to get the best price for your clients. 

How to start.  If you haven’t brushed up on your research skills, this would be the time to do so.  Every avenue that is open to you will need to be exhausted sometimes to find the treasure that you seek.  The more obscure the title, the more man hours it will take to find. 

Starting costs.  A computer that is top notch and the fastest Internet service available aid in book finding searches.  A database of search engines can be created to give you a quicker start on your various searches.  The home office should also contain a printer, fax machine, telephone, and business number to communicate with clients. 

Advertising costs include website setup and design, ads in trade journals, classified ads, mailings, brochures, other advertising mediums.  Flyers can be sent to secondary school and college librarians.  All total, you can spend around $5,000 to $8,000 for advertising and office outfitting. 

Skills needed.  Researching can take several hours depending on what you are looking for.  It may include talking to people on the telephone to track down a book for a client.  Researchers need to be detail oriented and well organized.  Cataloguing your search findings could save time on future tracking missions. 

Marketing.  Advertising locally will get you started.  Use word of mouth from friends and family members to clinch referrals.  An online presence will grow your business quicker but be sure that you are ready for the increased demands on your time.  

A website can introduce you to people all over the world that are in need of a book dealer/finder.  Listing your qualifications and experience on the website gives potential clients a chance to see what you are all about.  EBay can also be a useful tool if you want to advertise your services or sell some rare or used books of your own. 

Books will never become obsolete.  The written word is the backbone of our civilization.  As a used and rare book business owner, you can foster the love of reading.

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