We began selling online way back in 1998, first as Junebug Books, later as Phil’s Retro, then as Junebug Books and Collectibles. Over the years we’ve sold on eBay, Amazon.com (where we started with auctions and then zshops and also sold out-of-print books directly to Amazon), the Advanced Book Exchange, Biblio, Alibris and several other bookseller sites.
In the early days of online bookselling, we kept an inventory of approximately 15,000 books and sold our better titles almost as soon as we put them up online. This was in the days before the prices of many used books dropped to a penny. There were only about 2,000 booksellers on the Advanced Book Exchange when we signed up and eBay was a small place and all of your listings showed up when buyers searched.
Those were definitely the good old days of online bookselling. Today, online bookselling is a different game. Several years ago we donated many of our thousands of formerly for sale online books to the Friends of the Winterville Library to help launch their Front Porch Bookstore in Winterville, Georgia, where we formerly lived. We’ve always sold a few collectibles along with our books. But now, we sell mostly collectibles and just a few books. This is why we changed the name of our business to Junebug Books and Collectibles. As I write this blog post, we just sold a vintage Polaroid SX-70 Land camera on eBay and husband Phillip, who joined the business in 2012 after retiring from a long-time career with local government, is busy prepping a cool mid-century portable typewriter for listing. We also sell vintage postcards, mid-century modern furniture, hi-fi and audio equipment and whatever else we can find that we think might interest our buyers.
Over the years, I have experimented with several different ways of managing listings. I first used ABE’s Homebase, a free listing software that I downloaded to my Window’s desktop. Then I moved to Bookhound, a customized Filemaker Pro software for booksellers. I also experimented with Booktrakker and then used an online listing manager website called The Art of Books (AOB), which was my favorite.
We recently moved our Junebug Books and Collectibles website from Shopify to WordPress. While we love Shopify, we sell most of our rare, used and out-of-print books and collectibles on eBay and Amazon.com and decided that most of our efforts should go towards finding new rare and out-of-print books and in demand collectibles to sell on these venues, rather than maintaining our own small ecommerce website. We may change our mind in the future and add some of our inventory to this website. Who knows? One of Phillip’s favorite sayings is, “Nothing is written in stone.”