We work together as a team to sell donated books, CDs, and DVDs online via Amazon and eBay. The online volunteers meet three afternoons a week at the library to list books and process orders. Some other tasks such as customer service and inventory management can be done at home. At the library, volunteers typically work one or more 2 hour shifts.
Why the Online Team Could be for You
The online team could be for you if you enjoy looking through in wonderment at the amazing variety of books (biographies, cookbooks, technical textbooks, histories, etc.), using your judgment on whether an item should be listed based on its condition and price, and learning about online sales. And we often have interesting book and movie discussions while we’re together!
Online team duties include:
- Listing Items: review the condition of the item, determine the price of the item by reviewing the item’s price from other Amazon and eBay sellers, list the item online by describing its condition and setting its price.
- Processing Orders: print packing slips for sold items, retrieve the items from inventory, pack the item in an envelope/box, print a shipping label, and confirm the sale on the online site, and deliver the packages to the post office.
- Inventory Management: review our inventory to adjust prices as necessary and remove slow-selling items.
- Customer Service:review and respond to customer question, process order cancellations and returns
Online Sales Details
The Online team meets three times a week to process higher value books and media that the Sorting team sends to us. Most of our functions are computer-assisted. Folks who enjoy working with electronic applications are most welcome on this team.
The first step is to get our items listed on one of our online platforms, Amazon or eBay. To do that, we first review the condition of the item (we have found that damaged books just do not sell or – worse – get returned for a full refund, which means we actually lose money). Once the quality is assessed, we determine our price by reviewing the what item is selling for on our Amazon and eBay sites. Then we list the item online by describing its condition and including our selected price.
Note: Determining the price we want to sell an item for makes use of a database subscription service to validate the current market sales price(s), noting the finder’s fee charged by the online sellers, and knowing the cost of all the shipping.
The online platforms are monitored to see which listed items have sold. The executed orders are processed by printing packing slips for the sold items, retrieving the items from inventory, verifying the packing slip details exactly match the physical item label(s), packing the item in an envelope/box, printing a shipping label and putting that on the shipping container, confirming the sale on the online site, and – finally – delivering the packages to the post office. This looks like a lot of steps but they are all necessary to ensure we ship the right item to the right person at the right time.
This order processing step also requires that we have labels and shipping envelopes/boxes on hand. We buy the shipping materials in various sizes to closely match the size of the item we will have to ship so that we keep our costs down as much as possible. The Online team leader handles this ongoing task.
When we are not physically shipping materials, the team reviews our inventory to adjust prices as necessary to ensure things sell and to remove slow-selling items. All removed items are passed to the Lobby Shop for sale there and then to the Book Sales inventory if Lobby Shop sales cannot use the item.
Customer Service is a hallmark of a good retail outlet and we take this function very seriously. The team lead reviews and responds to all customer questions, and processes order cancelations and returns.