satnrose's Bookselling Hints :
Accentuate the positive.
1.) High feedback
2.) Lots of good books for sale
3.) Easy-to-read Item Descriptions
4.) Non-threatening terms of service
Answer stupid questions politely.
...which I'm sure you do.
Your customers are often undereducated in book terminology and standards, and need to know exactly what you've got. Spell it out if you have to. Tell them why the book is a first edition. Give the measurements of an octavo. Don't assume that they know what you're talking about. Play to the lowest common denominator.
Most of your customers have never dealt with you before and have no idea of your character or professionalism. Give them the best you've got, and be patient with their ignorance and fear.
An unfortunate side-effect to this is that once they begin to trust eBay, it makes it easy for the charlatans to take advantage of them.
"An informed consumer is our best customer"
- Marcy Sims
An auction is usually a distress sale.
Only online auctions allow the seller to be the auctioneer. You control the terms of sale, the shipping, the price and the description. In any other auction, you are at the mercy of the house.
Don't get overwhelmed with bad books.
The #1 problem with most bookstores is that they become overloaded with stock that is overpriced and/or inferior. A false solution is to have a %-off sale, in which the leftovers become even more unsalable.
The difference between a bad book & a tough-to-sell book is that the latter just needs to find the right customer.
Take what you know is inferior and trade up at another bookstore, or donate it to an FOL, etc.
Life's too short to sell bad books.
"Bargains" are devaluing.
Every time a bargain is found, the overall price goes down. Every time a book is sold for too much, the price goes up.
If 10 copies of The Old Man and the Sea sell sequentially for $1000 and the 11th goes for $900, the value goes down.
At a certain level, the dealers must buy to protect their market. This is particularly true of people who deal in the major artworks of specific artists, but it also applies to bookdealers too.
A Book Sale is a battlefield...
...and like in any war, preparation is the key. The 4 BC's: be calm, be cool, be collected, be concentrated. Bring a coat to cover your books. Keep your stash in a safe place. Bring a sandwich or a candy bar to keep your energy up when you flag. Don't argue with the staff. Don't gloat. Grab the best and sort the rest. Don't be a pig.
Fine bindings are collectible.
Most books that are leatherbound are valuable as decorative "furniture": meant to be seen and never read.
Some binding materials: vellum, morocco, calf, sheep, chevre, pigskin, suede, etc. But any kind of leather can be used, even human.
Many of the great bookbinders would print their names in small letters on the verso of the front free endpaper: Zaehnsdorf, Riviere, etc. (sometimes the name will be on the binding itself, or elsewhere).
"Victorian publishers' bindings" are also quite sought after: these are clothbound books with elaborate gilt and/or colored pictorial covers (sometimes these are signed with initials in the design: "MA", Margaret Armstrong, is one such).
To say that a book is bound in "boards" means usually that the covers are made of cardboard covered with paper.
500 years ago bookbinders would often use wooden boards for the covers, sometimes covered in other material such as rolled pigskin and other leathers.
In the 20th century, the paper covering is sometimes patterned to look like cloth. This is a technique that has sometimes fooled even seasoned bibliographers. However, if you look at it under a magnifying glass, you should be able to see that it doesn't have the distinctive criss-cross pattern of cloth threads. Or, look at the corners and/or spine ends to see if the material is slightly rubbed off.
Never remove a bookplate ...unless there's a better one underneath.
For instance, if you have an old armorial bookplate under a plain unimportant one. Always research to determine who the owner was. I use ancestry.com, britannica.com, Who Was Who in America, the Dictionary of National Biography, the Cambridge Biographical Dictionary and the Webster's Biographical Dictionary. One out of 20 turn out to be somebody of some importance.