Bicycle Bookseller Zigzag

Books in a Bike Basket

I’ve been selling used curricula on eBay again all summer.  This has brought in enough funds to buy the curricula we need for this coming year, and hopefully will pay for registration and tuition four ballet classes and music lessons.  When selling books on eBay, you have to keep track of the cost of acquiring the books, eBay seller fees, shipping materials, and postage.  I mostly use recycled cardboard boxes from the grocery store, so my shipping materials this summer have mostly been tape, printer paper, and ink.

I have been missing my digital postal scale, which was lost in my fire, that made the whole shipping process so much easier.  I could pack a box, weigh it, calculate postage, and print shipping labels right from my home.  Then I drove them half a dozen miles to the post office, and dropped them in the box.  Besides not having a scale, my home internet has been expired for a good part of the time, making my current system is quite a bit more complicated.  I bring books home by bike, assess their condition and record data like ISBN numbers and copyright dates, photograph and edit photos, and write up listings.  Then, I pack my computer down to the local deli with free wifi to create and manage listings.

Books in a Bike Basket

Bike loaded with packages and a printer

When books sell, I package them in cardboard boxes I bring home from the warehouse style grocery store about 4 miles away.  Then, I load the packages in the basket on one side of my bike and my printer, padded by a blanket, in the basket on the other side.  With my laptop in my backpack on my back, I head off for the post office.  First, I have to weigh the packages and mark their weights.  Then, I have to load them back on the bike, head to the nearby McDonalds with free wifi and an electric outlet, and print out shipping labels.  Next, it’s back on the bike with the packages, and heading back down to the post office to drop them in the chute.

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