Recommerce Business Best Practices

August 11, 2017

Recommerce is also sometimes referred to as “reverse commerce”, “buyback”, “trade in”, “return management”, “reverse logistics”, or “reverse supply chain”.  In some contexts, it refers to product returns, but many business models now use recommerce as their main supply chain to acquire used or new products from customers.

recommerce

I started Cash4Books in 2004, as a recommerce business for buying and selling used books.  And, it eventually became focused on college textbooks as the business evolved.  Over the course of those 13 years, I’ve learned some valuable lessons and best practices on how to run a successful recommerce business.

  1. Know your margins.  You can base your margins off of a percentage, or in dollars per item.  For us, we have found it useful to use a percentage margin for low dollar books and then switch to a flat margin for high dollar books.  Switching to a flat margin makes us more competitive on our offer prices in the high-end space.
  2. Know your shipping costs.  Shipping is our #1 expense.  We pay the shipping in and shipping out, so we must build this into our cost structure.
  3. Know all of your variable costs that contribute to your cost of goods sold (COGS).  We can up with the acronym “FLOMBIC” for our variable costs, and then taught that to all of our employees.  It stands for Fees, Labor, Outbound-shipping, Material-cost, Book-cost, Inbound-shipping, and Credits.
  4. Understand that you will have marketing spend on both your supply chain and your sales chain.  Recommerce businesses are somewhat unique in the fact that we have to spend marketing dollars to get a reliable supply of product.  Then we have to spend more marketing dollars to sell that product on the other side of the business model.
  5. Know your overhead cost (fixed cost).  The way I think about financials is that I’m selling products that have a certain amount of gross profit after my variable cost (COGS).  My gross profit must be used to cover my fixed costs (overhead) each month.  I know exactly what my overhead runs every month.  So, I have a target of how much gross profit I need to hit each month to cover my overhead.  If I have gross profit leftover have paying my overhead, then that’s called net profit.  Our largest overhead cost is payroll and benefits.
  6. Invest in automated software and systems.  To keep efficiency and productivity high, we invest heavily in software systems.  This includes a number of cloud based software platforms, databases, and a mixture of 3rd party software with our own.  The devil is in the details on software platforms.  Something as simple as making it so that warehouse workers do not have to touch the mouse can add significant improvements in productivity.
  7. Have a QA and test plan.  One of the reasons why we failed at TechTwice is because we did not fully understand what it would take to fully test our products.  We developed a 20 point testing checklist, but it was not sufficient.  And, in the end, this is one of the key reasons we shut down the business.
  8. Use multiple supply chains, and multiple sales channels, whenever possible.  When we first started the business, we had one supplier and one sales channel.  But, the most success we’ve had has been when we’ve been able to expand our supply chain through partners and relationships and also open multiple sales channels (some retail and some wholesale).  And vise versa, we’ve had our biggest struggles and pain points when we’ve been constrained to one supplier or one sales channel.
  9. Have fun!  If you don’t enjoy the recommerce business, then do something else!  It’s certainly not for everyone.
  10. Last, but not least, take care of your customers.  We obsess about our online feedback ratings and reviews.  Maintaining great customer relationships is absolutely critical to success.

 

6 Last-Minute Summer Vacation Ideas

July 19, 2017

Summer camping.

Find last-minute campsites by being flexible on dates and locations.

 

It may be July, but it’s not too late to book a great summer getaway! From camping to house trades to staycation tours and summer skiing, we’ve picked some of the best last-minute ways to enjoy summer, all while keeping costs in check. 

If you haven’t already, now is the time to sell your textbooks from last term. Not only will you have extra cash to enjoy your vacation, you won’t have to worry about trading in those books when the new school year starts.

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Sell Textbooks for Extra Summer Cash

July 12, 2017

Use extra cash to see last-minute summer concerts.

Spend your extra cash on summer festivals.

Summer is in full swing, and whether you have a packed schedule or you’re enjoying lazy days, it’s always nice to have some extra cash on hand. Selling your textbooks to Cash4Books is an easy way to make extra cash for summer fun. From last-minute concert and festival tickets to new kicks or sunglasses, what will you spend your extra dough on?

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11 Barbecue Hacks for Summer

July 5, 2017

Barbecue hacks for an awesome meal.

Easy hacks can make your backyard barbecue fun and memorable. 

Summer is the time for gathering with friends and enjoy lazy days and long, fun-filled evenings. Barbecues are ubiquitous with summer and we know you’re either hosting or attending a few in the next few weeks.

Before you start planning, be sure to sell your college textbooks to earn some extra cash to splurge on those fancy cuts of meat! Then check out these 11 tips and tricks we’ve gathered to make your barbecue that much more awesome.

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Top Selling Textbooks of Summer 2017

June 28, 2017

Earn cash for summer 2017 by selling these in-demand college textbooks.

Selling your college textbooks to Cash4Books can put extra cash in your pocket.

As you enjoy your summer, at Cash4Books we’re crunching the numbers on all the great college textbooks we buy. Based on our data from quotes aggregated from unique IP addresses, we price books regularly to make sure you get the most money for your textbooks. Most of the books we purchase have a publication date between this year and 2014. What we purchase can change day by day or week by week depending on resale values, our current inventory, demand, and other factors.

Law, Biology, Engineering, and Psychology textbooks topped our list as of mid-June 2017. So if you’re deciding which classes to take next term or browsing garage and book sales, keep your eyes open for the following textbooks that have turned a pretty penny this summer.

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