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Selling Mom on e-Bay

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
My seven-year-old is deeply disturbed by e-Bay -- specifically what kind of prices used copies of my books command on the site. He and his Dad were surfing e-Bay last night and found a used copy of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books selling for $.99.

"Ninety-nine cents! That's wrong. They could at least pay $10 for it."

My husband chimes in: "It's in mint condition and the seller adds that it's an excellent book. He and his wife found it very helpful during their pregnancy."

My fifteen-year-old wants to know if he can start a business selling autographed copies of my books on e-Bay. My husband starts to broker the deal. He'll sell him autographed copies of my books on a non-returnable basis if my son wants to take the risk. He's asking for a 15% cut as my agent.

"Wait. I don't think mom needs you to be her agent. I think she can do this deal on her own," the 15 year old pipes in. (Smart kid!)

"Of course she needs me," my husband insists. "She's too busy writing books to handle these things."

Until my books start selling for more than $.99, I think my son would be further ahead selling some of the mystery junk from the basement. I bet his Dad would even give him bonus money for getting rid of that stuff. Sounds like it has better potential as a get-rich-quick scheme.

(As a general rule, anything involving the book business tends not to be a ticket to financial payola. I'll have to point that out to the kids one of these days. But I'll let them harbor the illusion that they're living in the lap of luxury for just a little longer. They seem to think that having a lot of books around means we're wealthy.) :-)

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One final footnote on the e-Bay episode. My 7-year-old was very puzzled by the cover copy that the pregnancy book seller had posted. He had lifted some of the publisher's marketing copy, which described the book as a "nuts and bolts" guide. "Where do the nuts and bolts fit in?" he asked me on the way to art class this morning? (Clearly he was worried he'd missed out on the "hardware" portion of our "facts of life" talk.)

| posted by Ann D @ 9:51 AM