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USBORNE BOOKS AT HOME - LET'S SHARE TIPS

(35 Posts)
closethippie Wed 16-Jan-08 12:57:16

Hello Everyone

I have been thinking about setting up my own home business for quite a long time now, but had not found anything attractive until I stumbled across Usborne Books. So I am taking the plunge and posting my application form and joining fee today !

I love books and so does my son (3.5 years old) and we are both very chirpy characters who like to meet new people, so I thought this might be the ideal way to get a taste of running my own business. I am hoping to learn lots of things about running a business from home smile

Does anyone else on mumsnet do this and do you fancy using this thread as an exchange of ideas/tips to help us all run an effective book selling business ?

I thought as we are all busy mums, we could help each other out with tips on where to sell, how to approach venues where the books might sell, etc, anything at all that would help all of us make good money smile I think it is always easier to share information rather than struggle for months and then realise we are barking up the wrong tree, as it were !

If anyone is interested, let's do it.

By the way, I am new to mumsnet, only joined a few weeks ago. I have been a member of netmums for ages, but only heard about mumsnet from a friend recently. So happy to have found you all !!

Othersideofthechannel Wed 16-Jan-08 20:19:59

There is another mumsnetter who does Usborne books at home. Hopefully by bumping this in the evening she'll come across your thread. If not you could try searching.

closethippie Thu 17-Jan-08 08:53:08

thanks otherside : )

eleanorsmum Thu 17-Jan-08 08:56:08

I am an usborne rep too but really don't do it very much. just dd's pre-school and our toddler group! i'd love to have the ideas on who else to contact and how to get parties going but everyone i seem to approach has already got a friend that doe sit or the school have someone else who does books! very frustrating! all ideass gratefully recived

naughtynoonoo Thu 17-Jan-08 08:58:31

Think somebody called Anniebear may be able to help you. Good luck

closethippie Thu 17-Jan-08 10:35:03

thanks naughty - i will search the threads to see who else does this.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 17-Jan-08 11:47:37

Yes, it was anniebear I was thinking of.

closethippie Thu 17-Jan-08 14:39:43

thanks, i will look her up !

anniebear Thu 24-Jan-08 09:14:45

Hiya

I kind of do it but not very much

did events beofore Christmas

It can be a really good way to earn extra money

There is a mumsnetter called Nickisue, a few people have just Usborne through her on here recently

NickiSue Thu 24-Jan-08 23:46:56

Hey Ang! You talking about me again?!? Lol!
I'm an Usborner - I do it pretty much full-time and have built up my own team and love it! I joined to give me some extra pennies etc after deciding not to go back to work after Kieran was born and have never looked back!

What sort of places do you all sell at then?

I don't do parties (not my thing) although they are good earners and Ive promised to do one for someone next month lol. I do toddler groups, soft play centres, toy libraries etc and then bigger things like the North Yorks County Show, craft fairs, school events/fairs etc. And then other random ones like charity events and coffee mornings. What about you all?

Nicki x

PS Nice to have an Usborne thread!

madamez Thu 24-Jan-08 23:59:23

I do Usborne as well but have not made that much out of it so far - still, have covered my costs and also got a reasonable stash of books for whenever DS gets invited to a birthday party . Will see what other advice is offered.

hana Fri 25-Jan-08 00:02:31

Anyone interested in doing this please be warned you'll become self employed and have to fill out a tax return. I've just finished mine for the year 06/07 ( I joined in Jan 07 so only had 4 months of trading for that tax year)..............and even though I'm employed part time and pay all relevant taxes for that, it seems I have 'underpaid' by about £40.....on £78.....earnings for 4 months only.

hmm hmm

NickiSue Fri 25-Jan-08 00:11:59

You do have to go self-employed and keep your records up to date etc but that seems steep hana - do you mean you earned £78 doing Usborne and because of working part-time elsewhere your usborne earnings of £78 cost you £40 in tax?? That sounds very wrong if so!

Mind you I dont do work other than usborne, although I do roughly 30hrs a week on it so its basically full-time anyhow and I've earned consideably more than that in the last year and don't have any tax to pay because Ive not reached the £5220 cut off point for allowed earnings and have been able to offset expenses against the tax too.

Im probably reading it wrong lol. The one thing I found worrying was tax/ NI and self-employment but Ive found it really easy to deal with and had no probs so far.

hana Fri 25-Jan-08 00:53:14

yes, that's it. I don't understand it either. Just annoying. My part time job last year earned me about £8k a lot of which was maternity pay.
anyways......I've stopped doing it. Books are lovely and the discount ok ( I never did parties, was just for friends and me) but just not worth the hassle.as it is, I'll have to do a return for 07/08 as well.

sigh

NickiSue Fri 25-Jan-08 08:32:14

Sorry to hear you have had a hard time hun! Id seriously consider re-contacting the inland revenue because that sounds wrong and they "let" you have something like £100 a week maternity pay without it apply to tax anyway (or did) - you never know - you may be in for a rebate!!
You said youve given up the part-time job, are you giving up usborne too then? Its a shame if you are (free books, free books!!lol)!

hana Fri 25-Jan-08 13:34:33

no, giving up usborne. I teach 2 days a week as well ( not giving that up. too well paid grin
I've paid it, and will ask about a rebate or have it explained after 31 jan.

matimum Fri 25-Jan-08 14:00:16

Oh Hi,
Glad i have found this thread.... i have just posted on employment issues!

I am thinking of joining Usborne Books and am wondering if its a good idea.

Nickisue you sound like you do very well out of it. Can i ask how exactly it works.... do you mainly sell from a catalogue? or do you have to take books around with you to these places.

Can i find out if there are any other organisers in my area?

How do you sell at these events? Do you just talk to people or set up a stall,etc

Sorry to ask so many questions. Thanks

NickiSue Fri 25-Jan-08 19:42:57

There is a main 2008 catalogue with "all" the books in them. There are small catalogues ie Books for Primary Schhol, Secondary School, SN etc which have the same books as in the Main catalogue but are more "tailored" to certain groups.

You get your kit with £100 of books and stationary, including a 2008 main catalogue and you can take this kit to parties, let people see some of these books and then order them or others in the catalogue. Every £100 order you put in you get 20% back in free books so putting an order through for a few family and freidns (not at a party) you'd get to keep this 20% and add it to your kit etc etc. You can end up with a respectable amount of stock youve spent nothing on (I have 6 large boxes full at the moment but usually have more - and didnt pay for any at the start although did invest a little of my earnings into getting extra for stock later for a bigger event). With these books you go to tabletop sales, toddler groups, soft play centres (good sellers), groups like tumble tots / jo jingles etc and set up a table at the back. Mums and dads etc just come over and look and buy if they want to order order from you if they want something from the catalogue you don't have. You don't have to tout for business lol. I often set up then go play with Kieran (18months) - keeping an eye on the table and popping back if people approach it and look and just say "Hi" and "Can I help?" or if its someone I know "I'm watching the monster - give me a yell if you want anything" Lol! Some sales are more formal ie county shows, coffee mornings, charity events, craft fairs etc and you spend more time behind the table but with these shopping events etc people just come up to you anyway.

I hope that ESSAY answers your questions hun - let me know if it doesnt and I'll try and answer better (briefer) next time lol!

matimum Sat 26-Jan-08 11:21:44

Thanks for that info Nickisue! The other thing i was wondering was when you order the books that people want do they all get delivered to you or can they get delivered directly to the person that has ordered them?

Also the books that you get for free? Can you sell these and therefore make 100% profit on those ones if you see what i mean.

Generally are organisers of toddler groups and things happy for you to be there? And school book fairs are they hard to persuade the schools to do?

NickiSue Sat 26-Jan-08 13:38:01

Hi there,
When you order the books you specify where they are delivered but you can't split a delivery. if a customer wanted £100 of books or hosts a party you can them sent direct to her/him at their address or you can have them sent to yours - You couldnt put a £100+ order in and have some sent to you, some to Jo Bloggs, some to Fanny Adams etc.

The books you get for free are for you to do with whatever you want. I often put them into a half-price box which entices people to but where they might not normally and sometimes I put them on at full price.

Most toddler groups etc are more than happy for you to be there - especially if you offer them 10-20% in free books if you take over £100 on the day. Some will let you go for nothing. And getting into schools can be a bit more difficult at times but not impossible! Contacting PTA's, school Govs and "Friends of xx school" groups are the best way as they often are the ones wholly responsible for fundraising - they're usually happy for you to do a sponsored read, book fair or hold tables at their events - teachers and literacy co-ordinators / librarians are the budget holders for buying books.
A good incentive to get schools to do a sponsored read etc can be asking them if they mind you contacting the local papers after youve done it to se if they'll run a small piece on it. Good advertising for you and the school/nursery etc.

Think thats it? lol!

matimum Mon 28-Jan-08 13:02:06

Thanks for all that information. Thats really helpful! A nice girl gave me a ring this morning who is an Usborne organiser in Cornwall too. She got my number from Head office and was really helpful!

I will be sending off my form this afternoon. I'm sure we'll chat some more.

Thanks for helping me make my decision.

Take Care

NickiSue Mon 28-Jan-08 13:49:19

Thats great - good luck with it hun - and I'm glad youve found someone nice to join with!! You'll be giving us all tips soon!

NickiSue Fri 01-Feb-08 19:36:30

Hey all - how is everyone getting on?
Im doing really well with it at the mo and loving every minute!
Nicki x

matimum Sun 03-Feb-08 16:16:08

I have recieved my pack and books now so am itching to get started! Any tips on where to begin?

Wheres the best place to start?

NickiSue Sun 03-Feb-08 19:27:01

Home parties (your own home or someone elses) are good starters, as are toddler groups and nurseries, you can take your kit for people to look at and your catalogues and can take orders. Getting family and friends to look at the catalogue and make orders is another good starter - and remember, when you put your first £100 order in you'll get 20% back in free books and if you do it in 3 weeks you'll get your free books from flying start 1!
Good luck!!!

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