The next step after purging all my possessions was to try to recoup some of the losses if I could. After throwing away and donating bags of stuff, I kept the few items which I thought would earn me some money to put toward my upcoming travel.
The first step was to tackle what I had the most of: books. I’ve always been a bookworm. I used to stay up late reading and then subsequently get grounded for doing so probably on a monthly basis. As a result, I managed to accumulate shelves and shelves of books. I never wanted to buy ebooks, despite the obvious space-saving perks, because I thought I could always sell my physical books for some of the original purchase price. Therefore, I insisted on buying hard copy versions of books, moving them all around my house when necessary. However, as I’m getting ready to go to Spain I came to the realization that 1) I don’t need them all, 2) I can always read them (and should have read them) from the library for FREE 3) books aren’t really worth more than $1 apiece to resell. So I purged my book collection, keeping only a few books that I am certain I’ll want to keep. I pulled out the books I thought my friends or neighbors would want, and gave those away to places in which I knew they’d have good homes.
The other 190 or so books got chucked into boxes (and laundry baskets) to sell. I went first to Bookmans , a local ‘entertainment exchange’ store that sells and buys books, magazines, movies, CDs, musical instruments, video games and other knickknacks. They offered me $100 in store credit or $20 cash for the 35 or so books they wanted to buy. Because I can’t spend store credit on plane tickets, I had to settle for the much lower cash amount.
The second step was to look online for places that would buy books off of me. I found two sites: sellbackyourbook.com and knetbooks.com. I typed all the ISBNs of what books remained into the sites and sold 5 for $5.22 to sellbackyourbook and 30 for $27 to knetbooks. I packaged up and sent off (with free shipping) the books each site had agreed to buy. A few weeks later I received email notifications saying the sites had received my shipments, and soon after got my check from sellbackyourbook in the mail. Knetbooks sent the check a few weeks later, but I just got it in the mail!
For what books remained, I took to a local buy/sell/trade Facebook group for my general area. I posted a list of the book titles, authors and ISBNs and sold the remaining books to one woman who was looking to add a library to a new home. I had been prepared to sell them in tiny sets here and there, but thankfully this woman took them all off my hands at once!
In the end, I did end up getting money from reselling all these books. However, it ended up being on average only about $1 for each book, which is nothing compared to the cost of a brand new book. For the last few years, I’ve been trying instead to get books from the library and only buy them if I absolutely NEED to have a hard copy of my own for some reason. I will probably continue that, and probably hop more onto the ebook wagon. While I did get some money back, it would have been easier to keep all the books on a Kindle or Nook. It is also so easy to check out books from my library online and read the ebooks on my Kindle or the Kindle App. See if your library has an ebook lending library and save yourself some money!!