We don't get many many messages from the "Contact Us" page - probably because the website has been around since the last century (it actually has) and we have already ironed out most of the glitches and things that cause confusion. It's all pretty simple and straight forward. But hardly a week goes by without someone asking us for help in setting prices or giving us a bunch of book titles and asking for guidance in setting a price.
A Guide to Setting a Second Hand Price
Rule 1 - Is There Competition ?
Anyone searching this database for this title is going to see your offering, as well as everyone else's. So if anyone is offering the same edition in the same condition it makes sense that a prospective buyer will attempt to secure the lower priced book first. You need to pitch your price at about the same or fractionally lower. Location can play a part, and your price could be marginally higher if you are in a populous area, such as the Witwatersrand. Delivery will be perceived to be easier and it's more probable a buyer will be from fairly close by.
But if there's no competition, then youhave to make a price - so read on.......
Rule 2 - Start at Half of New
Your book is not being offered by anyone else. Or maybe there are only one or two listings but they are in poor condition or are old editions compared to your "like new" current edition.
People are buying here because they want a deal and are out to save money. If the book is R600 new then they are unlikely to buy last year's edition which is a little tatty with the hassle or arranging collection just to save R100. They are going to be attracted at the R300 to R400 pricing. So if you have nothing else to go by, we suggest you:
Determine the bookseller price of the book brand new.
Halve that price for a book in average condition.
Move the price down by 10% to 20% of the new price for "tatty" or "poor" condition.
Move the halved price up by 10% of new for "good" and 20% of new for "like new".
Rule 3 - Up It for Really Expensive
If the book retails at new for over R1000, then the "half of new" rule can change to 60% or 70% of new. Maybe the 70% kicks in at a new price of R1400 or so. A buyer would still be saving R420 at that level. Smaller increments (maybe 5% and 10%) for better condition but bigger drops for worse condition.
Rule 4 - Hack the Price for an Older Edition
If you don't move it soon, it may become impossible to sell. It's only a deep discount that will encourage a sale, and you may have to do just that.
Rule 5 - Add on the Cost of Post and Packaging
The seller will usually presume that the price you quoted includes the cost of getting the book to them. So it makes sense to factor this cost into the advertised price as you won't annoy a keen buyer by suddenly appearing to up the price with the cost of delivery. As a rule of thumb, this is usually around R50.
The SA Post Office's ordinary Parcel Service (known as Counter-to-Counter) is usually the cheapest and most convenient method to despatch the book.
At the time of writing (Mar - 2016) the pricing was R40,90 for the first kilogram (which covers most books) plus R5,50 for each additional kilogram (or part thereof) to anywhere within South Africa.
Insurance is an additional 3% on the value insured.
A tough bubble envelope can usually be bought from Waltons or the CNA for around R6,00
So the cost of sending a 1kg book valued at R200 by insured ordinary parcel service would be R52,90
i.e. R40,90 + 3% of R200 (R6,00) + R6,00
And if there were two similar books in the parcel the post/packaging cost would drop to R33,20 each.
i.e. R40,90 + R5,50 + 3% of R400 (R6,00) + R8,00 = R66,40 for two.
The SA Postal Tariffs can be downloaded from http://www.postoffice.co.za/questions
And maybe consider COD Delivery............
Buyers are often concerned about the possibility of fraud. The Post Office's COD Service largely deals with that at a cost of around R22.
See our FAQ item :
Protecting Against Fraud for more info in this regard.
To Determine the Bookseller's Brand New Price. Just follow the links to online bookselllers that you see on the righthand side of each page. And if they don't have the books you can plug the title into Google and follow it with the words "book south africa"