For older books, a quick trip to eBay, Amazon or any of the sites listed below will give you an idea of how much the book will sell for. Sometimes it can be quite discouraging to find a title that once cost $5 is now just 50 cents, but if you’re determined to sell (remember, 10 such titles will generate $5) you should spend time determining which marketplace is most appropriate for that book.
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In our recent post about becoming an Amazon FBA seller, it was brought to my attention how lucrative selling used books on Amazon – and elsewhere – can be. It's also a great flexible gig for those looking to do something part-time or just on the weekends. Today we are focusing solely on that topic: how to sell used books for extra cash. And, we have two successful sellers stopping by to share their tips.
I have sold a few hundred books on ebay. Books of all types, especially more obscure books that would have a very limited prospective group of interested parties. I nearly always charge for shipping, usually making some extra money for this to help cover bubble wrap, tape, padded mailers and even gas to the post office ! Usually start with an auction format, then if the book does not sell, I change to a good til cancelled format. It then stays listed on ebay until it sells or you decide to delist it. You do incur more fees that way, but books that I have found at yard sales. library sales, etc. often surprise me at how much they sell for. I have had books that I bought in a bag sale at the library sell for as much as $150.00 ! so patience is often worth it. I never know what will sell, nor for how much, but several times a week I open my ebay account and find something that has been listed for months has now sold. So, if you can wait to be paid for your books, ebay is a great site. If you need your money right now, the other sites seem to be better, but you will seldom get top dollar.
Hi, Thanks for your unbiased views and helpful feedback. You saved me time and money and a lot of aggravation because you didn’t recommend ZNZ for good reason. Thank you for your honest analysis, which were appreciated. Most opportunities, you have to spend time and money to join, only to find out why they don’t work, will never be sustainable, or what’s really wrong with them! All that takes time, and that’s the one thing most of us can’t afford to spend. So I appreciate your first hand knowledge and experience because you helped me dodge a bullet. Without much online experience, some of us simply don’t know what we don’t know! They feed you only what they want you to know about them, but they seldom tell you what you need to know. They document page after page of how much money all these people made from their free site, so it’s only logical we would think we can do the same thing!
If you find you enjoy selling books online and make a profit you will need to replenish stock in order to sell more. This is where experience and research will determine future success. Just because a book is old, does not mean it is valuable. The opposite may also be true. Some new books are sought after because their publishers miscalculated their popularity and so produced print runs that did not meet demand.
The problem with selling books this way, is that the margins are so low for the amount of time that it takes to find the books, creating the listing, respond to buyers, pack the books, and take them to the post office. I was probably making way less than minimum wage on my little venture. However, I think there really is some potential for someone who gets serious about it.
Online book selling and buying sites are beneficial to both, seller and buyer. Seller can earn money out of their old stuff whereas buyer can get their required book at minimum rate. Such websites are also best for those who want to earn money online through buying and sellin books. The only thing you need to do is proper analysis of book’s price and trend.
One of the first questions that arises when contemplating selling books online is, how do I know which books will sell? A quick glance at eBay book listings might discourage you from selling them at all because, sadly, the majority of books offered for auction ultimately receive no bids whatsoever. This is why it's crucial that you do your homework before spending the time and energy to list a book for auction.
To sell on Amazon, you’ll need an Amazon seller account. There are two types of accounts you can start: individual and professional. Individual is free, but you pay an extra $1.00 per sale. Meanwhile, professional costs $39.95 per month, but doesn’t have the $1.00 extra fee. So basically, if you think you’re going to sell more than 40 units per month (to put it in perspective, I sold 300 books per month when I started) get the professional selling plan.
I am about to retire, and I have about 6 thousand books in my personal library. Many of these are professional books: religious topics, Bible commentaries, and so on. I had thought to sell a lot of these on Amazon, but I really can’t understand how people can make a profit for those book that are listed at one cent, or four or five dollars. As I have looked up some of my books, I find that some of them might go for 10=15 dollars, so that might be worth it. But I figured I would do the fulfillment myself. What I have are books likely to be found by people looking for that specific title or topic. I have bought many books through Amazon for a penny, with the $3.99 shipping added. Is that enough to turn a profit?
That’s awesome that you are actually doing this. I think lots of people would be happy with $30/day…great job! Also, I agree that Adam Bertram seems to be a good resource; believe it or not I discovered him about a year ago and read his emails faithfully…even checked out his forum as a lurker. I posted this because I really would be interested in giving it a “real” shot…however, thats up to my readers to decide.
Make money selling used books isn’t as hard as one might think. Sure we are all hoping we land on a rare 18th century 1st edition book signed by the author but besides landing on a once-in-a-lifetime find, there are other ways of making money with used books. Best of all, flipping these days are much easier due to new tools available to the general public. Let’s take a look at how to make money selling used books.
Dynamic pricing software cross-referenced every active listing of a used, like-new, hardcover copy of Our Gang across online marketplaces like Amazon and Abebooks, then matched the lowest price. Last March, four months after it was listed, I bought the book for a penny, and Books Squared shipped it to my apartment in Toronto. This handsome volume is sitting proudly on my desk right now.
Rare and antique books are a specialist market within the general antiques and collectables trade. Their price is determined not just by a book’s condition but also by how other investment markets are doing. There are always investors with cash to splash even in times of recession. When interest rates are low, cash moves into other investment classes. The value of antiques and other “collectables” including books may rise as a result.
As a result, literature is better off. These used book sellers are providing an indispensable public service: they’re redirecting the world’s flow of used books from extinction to readers who can care for and appreciate them. “Before companies like ours,” Stephens tells me, “used books went to the landfill. The charities tossed them or sent them to pulping companies.”
Thanks for this list of book buyback options. I use Chegg and Valore Books as well and think they are pretty good. Valore often has a highest offer guarantee which is nice. I think bigwords.com is my favorite site though since it compares so many websites for you to get the highest offer price. I had not heard of several listed here however so it is definitely helpful info! Thanks so much!
You are right that Hastings hasn’t made it to California. Depending on where you live in the state there are 4 very close to the stateliness with 3 of them being in Arizona and one in Nevada. Another money saving option is to buy books at the library sale and then sell them on Amazon. I do that as well. If you download an app from Amazon you can scan any book and then see what is the going price. You might check out my article, 3 Money Saving Apps.
Believe it or not, you might already have most of an ebook written already. If you are already making money with a blog, those blog posts could be turned into an ebook with some editing. Simply collect relevant blog posts into an order that makes sense, make any needed edits so that references that aren’t relevant are taken out, and add an introduction and conclusion, and you’re done. Any blog posts you use should cover the same or related topics and work well together.
But if books aren't your thing and you just wanted a simple way to make money online, you can make an affiliate marketing website on pretty much anything – books are just one example. As such, affiliate marketing becomes a great way to talk about or promote pretty much any hobby or passion, without having to worry about finding products, shipping or dealing with customer service. That’s a win all around.
One thing before we go on: you’re probably not going to make a lot of money off your books, unless you’re a collector or plan on doing this in major volume. You’ll be quite lucky to make $1 a book. If you’re planning to sell books, wait until you have at least a stack of them ready to go. If you only have two or three books you need to re-home, you’re better off putting them in a Little Free Library.