Books by Chance sells used books, CDs, and DVDs on consignment for clients in the Ann Arbor area.
Our drop-off location, Encore Online Resale, is closed for the Memorial Day Weekend.
Hi! It helps us a lot if you read the information on this page, and follow our instructions, including the little things like carefully labeling each of your containers and making sure they are of reasonable size and weight. Thanks!
Our drop-off location Encore Online Resale is open Monday - Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Encore Online Resale
1958 S. Industrial
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Books by Chance: (734) 239-3172
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Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to sell your books, CDs, and DVDs.
What do you get?
- Free pick-up within Ann Arbor city limits, or convenient drop-off.
- We find what is worth selling.
- We can donate to charity what isn't, and you get the receipt.
- The more your items are worth the more you make.
- No membership or listing fees. When something sells, we both make money.
- Your things find new homes all over the world. And we even tell you where!
- Our awesome pricing system keeps your things competitively priced.
- Our incredible seller rating means higher prices and faster selling.
- No hassle online selling. We list, store, package, and ship! Customer service too!
- The option to direct a portion of your earnings to charity.
- Detailed reporting of every item listed and sold.
- Fundraising opportunities for non-profit organizations and schools.
- 35% of the sale proceeds. Proceeds are the sale price less 15% online marketplace fees (e.g. Amazon).
What don't we do?
- Provide containers and/or fill containers.
- Haul containers up or down stairs. A half-flight here and there is OK, as are porch steps, etc.
We love books, and don't worry if a few sneak through, but please...
- No books printed before about 1970 (without prior consent).
- No mold. No mildew.
- Nothing stinky.
- Absolutely no cigarette odor or discoloration.
- No caked-on dust.
- No moisture damage or stains.
- No romance novels.
- No loose pages.
- No missing covers.
- No teeth marks.
- No encyclopedias.
- No advance readers, previews, or promos.
- No Reader's Digest condensed books.
- No dirty books. (If they are visibly dirty or they make your hands feel grimy, please clean them off.)
- No textbooks more then 3 years old.
- No textbooks with missing CD/DVD if it came with one.
- No books published by Scholastic (which are distributed widely through schools.)
- No pre-1985 children's books. It is unlawful to distribute children's books printed prior to 1985 to children due to toxins in the books. We think this is too extreme, but the penalties are stiff. "Book Dealers Told to Get The Lead Out," Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, March 24, 2009.
If you give us any of the above in large quantities, we may suggest they be donated or recyled in bulk, depending on the situation.
What types of books work well?
This is hard to answer. First of all, you need to come to terms with the difference between the monetary value of a book and the personal value of a book. They are often at odds. The book you could not finish might have the best resale value, and the book you loved might not be worth a nickel. The market will decide.
Between the bestsellers of 3 years ago (worth little) and the highly rare and collectible books (worth a lot) are millions of great books with good monetary value and potential for resale. That's where we come in.
We have developed highly sophisticated software for estimating the salability of an item. It instantaneously gathers comparable sales information from the Internet and considers many factors to determine whether an item is worth selling. It works exceptionally well.
If we think we can get at least $2.99 for an item, we'll give it a try. We can often get $3 to $5 for popular items priced by the competition as low as $1. Below $1 it is really tough. If you want to get a sense of what your books are worth, check the lowest used price on Amazon.
We especially like...
- Non-fiction (it holds its monetary value better than fiction).
- Very current fiction.
- College books.
- Books published by a university press.
- Textbooks less than 3 years old.
- Technical books.
- We love CDs and DVDs.
- Books with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), and if it has a barcode, even better. Slightly esoteric.
- Anything academic or scholarly, especially if published by a university press.
What about collectible and antique books?
This may be hard to understand, but we are not interested in selling collectible or antique books. Other dealers love this stuff. If you want suggestions for who to try, let us know. There are at least a few great dealers in Ann Arbor, and they tend to specialize in different areas, so check around.
It is a common mistake to think of old books as being monetarily valuable. Of course, sometimes an old book is worth money, but not usually just because it is old. Simply old books have charm, and charisma, but not much of a market for resale. This is especially true of fiction. And while a book has to be old to be an antique, it doesn't have to be old to be collectible. If you think your old books really are special, by all means, get them appraised. We do not do appraisals, but can recommend others if you contact us.
What is the duration of the consignment period?
The consignment period is indefinite. If we find we just cannot sell a book, we will eventually contact you about dropping it from our inventory. We're flexible folks. If you want to cancel at any point for any reason, we're not likely to put up a fuss. Read the agreement [pdf] for yourself.
How many is too many?
If you have a lot of books you might wonder if Books by Chance can handle them all. The largest collection we have ever accepted had about 15,000 books. That was a lot of work, but it also gave us a chance to develop our workflow to handle large quantities. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your situation to see if we can help.
How are the books priced?
We have developed an amazing software program that monitors prices on Amazon.com and resets the price of each book, CD, and DVD several times each day. Competitive pricing is key to our phenomenal success at selling items quickly and getting the "right" price. The goal is not to be the lowest price. The "right" price depends on a variety of factors, including our sensational customer feedback rating which sets us apart from much of the competition. Over time, our system reduces comparison factors to make the item more competitive until sold. Many items do sell at the lowest price, but not until we have attempted to get a bit more.
The average sale price per item (including books, CDs and DVDs) is...
- $9.49 (2011 as of May 5th)
- $9.15 (2010)
We have sold over 109,901 items (111,594 as of May 5, 2011 to be more precise)!
- Of the items we listed in 2009: 44% sold within 30 days, 56% within 60 days, and 76% total as of April 4, 2010.
- Of the items we listed in 2008: 86% have sold as of April 4, 2010.
What percentage of the sale do I earn?
- Online venues such as Amazon keep 15%, PER ITEM. The rest are PROCEEDS.
- You get paid 35% of the PROCEEDS, PER ITEM which equals about 30% of the sale price.
- For example, if an item sells for $7.15 you get $2.13 ($7.15 x .85 x .35 = $2.13).
It has always been our goal to pay our clients as fairly as possible. Honestly, we would love to pay you more. However, full-service selling of books, CDs, and DVDs requires a lot of labor and storage, and this is just part of what you get.
Who is eligible to participate?
Any person or group with 1 or more items to sell!
How about about fundraising?
Books by Chance LLC donates a percentage of sales to charity. We are currently focusing on non-profit environmental and educational organizations in the Ann Arbor area.
We also offer our consignment clients the option to supplement our effort with a portion of their earnings. The percentage of the contribution is up to the client. Participating is as easy as writing in the percentage you would like to contribute when you complete a consignment agreement form.
Additionally, we enjoy helping with fundraising activities. Contact us for more information about how you can raise money for your organization through the sale of books, CDs, and DVDs.
The following organizations are currently collecting media items for us to sell on their behalf. Please consider donating your items to one of these great organizations.
Where is Books by Chance located? Is there a store?
Sorry, we do not have a store other than online. Our home office is in the Eberwhite neighborhood of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. We do have a drop off location at Encore Online Resale.
We sell all items online through venues such as Amazon.com, Abebooks.com, Alibris.com and our own web site www.booksbychance.com. These are incredible marketplaces serving a large portion of the globe.
How long has Books by Chance been in business?
Books by Chance started selling in 2001. Consignment services were formally introduced in April 2005. As of May 5, 2011 we have sold over 111,000 items. 20,110 in 2010 alone.
Exactly who is Books by Chance?
Books by Chance is owned and operated by John Weise and Stephanie Bentley, Ann Arborites for over 20 years and U of M grads. Find out more...
David Erik Nelson wrote about Books by Chance in the September 2008 editon of his Biz Buzz column in Current.
John had a Teeter Talk with Homeless Dave in October of 2007. To kick things off, Dave hauled a load of books, plus John, to the post office on his new cargo bike trailer. See the pictures and read the Talk! As of October 2008, HD Hauling has been taking our shipments to the post office by bike daily for months and in any weather!
||Read about us [pdf] in the May 2007 issue of Ann Arbor's Old West Side News. Thanks to author/editor Dan Madaj for a great article and permission to post it online.
What do Books by Chance consignment clients say?
Since I'm a realtor, I'm always running into people who need to find new homes for books as they're preparing to move. I'll continue to give out your name and address to people because I think Books by Chance is a wonderful resource.
Martha has herself been a Books by Chance client since 2006 and we greatly appreciate her support! If you need a realtor, we are happy to recommend Martha with confidence that she'll take care of you. You can find her at http://www.reinhartrealtors.com/agents/info/MarthaSmith. ---- John, Books by Chance
Books by Chance was so easy to use that I will recommend it to all my friends and family! They make it a painless process and I really appreciate that. Thank you, Books by Chance!
Sincerely, Lynn R. Antisdel
Thanks for all the work you do. It's a great service to have you price, sell, and ship books, and I can think of few better ways to easily make sales on the Internet.
--- Edward Vielmetti
I'm so glad I saw the Books by Chance ad in the Ann Arbor Observer! It's the perfect way for us to make some room in our bookcases. Books by Chance is efficient and effective and, best of all, it's fun.
--- Lois Kane
I have been very impressed by "Books by Chance": the service is efficient & effective, far beyond my expectations! Thanks so much!
--- Name Withheld
I am very impressed by your efficiency and reliability.
--- Todd M. Endelman
I think you people are great! It was so easy to dispose of the 300+ items-- you donated some, and have sold most of the rest and it has been great $! Thank you!
--- Name Withheld
This is awesome! It is neat and organized and easy to do. Thanks!
--- Name Withheld
Love this service - it's so easy and convenient - and it makes me money! Thanks for the service - I'll be sure to continue using -
--- Name Withheld
Your service is great! We would recommend it to anyone; especially in the hectic days before moving, it was tremendously helpful to have our no-longer wanted books picked up, sorted, and then weeks later - surprise! - a check in the mail for those that sold - Best wishes from North Carolina.
--- Paula Clark
"Books by Chance" is a dream!
--- Zoran Minderovic
Very professional and well organized. We would use this service again.
--- Name Withheld
Great work! Very organized and timely.
--- Name Withheld
Dear Books by Chance- You provide a tremendous service and I have found your help invaluable. I found myself in a position with books, books and more books -- and minimal shelf space. You made it effortless to sell/donate these books. Every so often, I receive an unexpected check for books I never thought would sell -- and did! Thanks for your professionalism.
--- Lou Schiavone
Your service is a wonderful incentive to clean house... especially for busy families. Thanks so much!
--- Linh Song
My husband and I are very satisfied with your courteous and professional handling of selling our books.
--- Name Withheld
Excellent! Appointments were kept and timely. All staff are very professional and courteous. And, everything has been done in a very timely fashion.
--- Glen Ulrich
Fantastic! John, I'm thrilled! I had a common problem - too many books! - and Books by Chance offers a better solution, and far better service than I ever could have imagined! I've already referred friends to you! Thanks!
--- John Bacon
A clever business. Pleasant, intelligent, conscientious, friendly & reliable proprietors. Wonderful service. I made a nice profit with almost no effort on my part.
--- Name Withheld
So glad to have discovered your service (via "A2 Observer") and am passing along your name to my friends and colleagues. You do a wonderful job and make things super convenient for the customer. THANKS!
--- Mrs. B. Schnitzer
You are wonderful to work with! I really appreciate your service. And you are great people to deal with.
--- Bobby Frank
Hello- Just a note to say wow and thanks! How wonderful to have you come to us and handle all the details. Of course it was wonderful to get a check in the mail and know that I'm providing books to others instead of sitting on my shelf collecting dust. Sincerely,
--- Cindi Ruhl
Your service was great, the terms were clear and as soon as I have a bagful, I'll get in touch. Thanks.
--- Name Withheld
Working with you has been a pleasure. You have been dependable and responsible and responsive. You have made the job of finding new homes for our books easy. We have enjoyed working with you and will certainly continue to do so.
--- Name Withheld
Books by Chance has given us an excellent opportunity to raise funds effortlessly. We are a small cooperative nursery run, in part, by parents. As parents of toddlers, we don't always have the time to dedicate to the fund-raising efforts so needed by our school. That is where Books by Chance plays an essential role for us. Selling books by consignment is painless- everyone has books they have read and would like to pass along; knowing that the sale benefits the school makes it that much easier. John has helped us from the beginning where he offered to pick up books from our garage sale, to advising us on which books sell consistently, through the most recent months where he figured a way to make the consignment percentages work in our favor. Each month the check from Books by Chance takes us by surprise. We are thrilled with these funds for our school, which seem to arrive magically, but actually reflect the effort Books by Chance makes for us.
--- Tish Campbell, Ann Arbor Cooperative Nursery School
Books by Chance has been a great gift to me. Now I can part with books I've held on to for so long because I love them, but no longer have room for them. BBC (Books by Chance) finds good homes for these books with efficient and hassle free methods. Their service has been outstanding.
--- Carol Morris, Ann Arbor
What do people who buy from Books by Chance say?
We work very hard to provide the best service to people who buy from us too. Our Amazon.com feedback hovers around 100% positive on average earning us 4.9 of 5 stars. This helps you because our reputation helps us get higher prices for your items.
What to expect.
- Expect extra-friendly, efficient, and professional service from people who enjoy what they are doing.
- Expect some of your items will be worth less than you hoped, and some to be worth more.
- Expect to be impressed by how fast we sell your books.
- Expect a different, fun, and interesting selling experience. In fact, we are willing to wager it will be the best book selling experience you have ever had.
- Expect detailed reporting of every book refused, accepted, and sold.
- Expect to tell your friends!
What's the process?
- Contact us.
Send us an e-mail ( email@example.com ) or give us a call (734) 239-3172. Call anytime. Please leave a message if we cannot answer. We return our messages.
Prepare your items.
- Make sure your books meet our basic requirements.
- If a book is signed or otherwise extra special, make note of it for us.
- Put your books, CDs, and DVDs in reasonably sized, sturdy, boxes or bags, preferably closable.
- Clearly put your first name, last name and phone number on every container.
- Move your containers close to a convenient entrance (for pick-up).
- Schedule a time for pick-up.
We'll work with you via email/phone (above) to schedule a time for pick-up.
We also have a drop-off location at Encore Online Resale.
Encore Online Resale is open Monday - Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. Closed Sundays and holidays. They are located at 1958 S. Industrial Hwy, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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Got other stuff to sell? Encore Online Resale will sell your things on Ebay. Give them a try!
- Sign the agreement [pdf].
||Please read the terms of the agreement [pdf] ahead of time. We will have printed copies to sign at pick-up or drop-off or you can print your own and fill it out.
- Acceptance and refusal.
Once we have your items we will investigate each one. This can take several days or just a few hours depending on how busy we are and what you have given us. We will accept into our inventory those we think we can sell. Items will appear online within several hours. We also generate an itemized list of refusals which we send to you via e-mail. You can decide whether you would like us to donate the books and send you a receipt for tax purposes, or return the books to you. Sometimes we recommend recycling. We appreciate hearing back from you promptly on these issues. We will call if you do not reply to e-mail.
Now and again we receive a batch of books that we know right-off we cannot sell due to condition or lack of monetary value. In such cases we cannot look-up each book individually nor provide an itemized list of refusals. We simply need to refuse the batch as a whole. Some folks want their refusals back, and that's fine. We also offer to handle donation and/or recycling.
Some examples where batch refusal is necessary:
- A box of books that smells bad because it has sat in a damp basement or garage too long.
- Several bags of very old and beat-up paperbacks.
- Several hundred romance novels.
- Leftovers from a different sale where a sampling shows little potential.
- Get paid.
We send you a check near the beginning of each month for the previous month's sales. If you have earned the minimum required to receive a check ($10 by default), you will get a check in the mail, along with an itemized report of your sales. If you have earnings less than the minimum required we'll send you a brief email status report and your earnings will continue to accumulate. If you have no more items to sell, we issue a check even if minimum has not been met.
- Tell your friends.
We are a small but growing business and greatly appreciate referrals. And if you really like us, and you would like to help us in a very tangible way, mention Books by Chance to your friends!
We'd love to sell your books, CDs, and DVDs on consignment.
Give us a call! (734) 239-3172