cracking retirement ladybird books

Side Hustle No 17 – Ladybird Books

Many of the articles I read say that to increase your wealth you need to create one or two side hustles. The recommendations include blogging (e.g. this one!), writing eBooks (not got there yet), driving Uber taxis, Air BNB, take a lodger, flipping (i.e. buying and selling on eBay / car boot sales or equivalent), dog walking, taking surveys, market research. You name it, someone has thought of it.

I have no desire to take in a lodger, do Air BNB etc, and up until now, I haven’t had any great success getting rid of my household contents on eBay following my de-cluttering  However, it would appear the secret is in getting the right niche. e.g. My fellow blogger Frugal Fox makes money selling his Lego.

So, lets go back in time a few months. My friend is clearing out and says – I have dozens of Ladybird books, someone told me they might be worth something. (For those of you not based in the UK, Ladybird books were generally the first books that children received before 1980. Many learned to read using them. They have become a real nostalgia item.)


This then leads me to help her set up an eBay account. (How rare is it that someone doesn’t have an eBay account?). Also a PayPal account.  Then I show her how to sell an item on eBay, post her first item.

However, we had to do a bit of research. Our first search on eBay for likely prices, showed a plentiful supply of Ladybird books at a vast range of prices. There was also a lot of comments, on whether a book was a First Edition, How old it was, etc. A whole new learning experience. Following a bit of help from my son, we found a very helpful website here Not only do the dates published help in identification, the price and the series also help.

cracking retirement sid hustle
identifying your ladybird book

See the blue circles on the picture above. The series, the price and the tally number all help to date your book.

So far we have been pretty successful

  • All books have sold first time at auction. One or two were obviously popular and had a wee mini price war.
  • They were all started off at the ‘eBay guidance’ price and postage.
  • The price to post a Ladybook book in a padded envelope, is on the cusp of one of the UK Post Office thresholds. Stay on or under 100g, cost is £0.96, go over and the cost is £1.27. Depending on the size of the envelope the weight is 95g to 105g! The estimator works it out at £1.27p, which seems fair given a padded envelope costs 20p!, even in the pound shop.

we still have about 10-15 to go.

However, we did make a specific decision, which may have influenced the price. We decided to put them in for auction, rather than have them as a Fixed Price item. We might have made a bit more money from them, but it would have taken a lot longer to shift them.

So the secret of the success in eBay selling is evidently in finding the right niche, setting the price at a realistic level and being patient!

Overall, not a bad wee turnaround for a bit of house clearance, for books that would normally have gone to the Charity Shop.

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  1. I love this! Ladybird books are gorgeous, I’m not surprised they sold well. Some things sell better on other sites than others – I usually try the sites with no fees first (generally) as that saves costs.

    1. Hi Francesca, all of the ladybird books have sold with minimum costs. No posting fee and just the basic posting cost, because i did the £0.99 auction start off
      I agree. I struggle, because there are many things I would love to sell, even for a few pounds, but the postage is expensive, so unless you are in my area, it is easier to just give them away

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