The key to success in buying and selling used books online is to know how much money you can sell the book for before you buy it.  Even though you could buy books all day long at $1 a pop at most thrift stores; doesn’t mean you should.  You should only purchase a book if you know you can make some money on it.  I usually only bought a book for a $1 if I knew I could sell it for $5 or more.
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.

Also, great advice on the obscure titles (I can see from your blog that you do indeed sell some obscure stuff :). It seems to work the same way for niche websites. The more obscure or “odd” the niche, the better my websites tend to do. People with unique interests are willing to pay a little more for the information they want. Thanks for sharing your advice, and if I decide to pursue this, I will let you know!
Hey Thomas – yeah it is an interesting idea. You are right that its not as passive as other ideas, but that’s okay. Not everything I am considering has to be passive. Perhaps its only feasible for the average person to build this to a $500 to $1000/mth business. However, maybe that is all someone is looking for. Overall, I agree with you though that it would be difficult (although not impossible) to build this into a full time business.
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.
It's a bit of a horrifying experience the first time you walk into a college bookstore. I remember the first time saying to myself, “You want a $145 for that?” To say I felt ripped off is an understatement, which is why this side hustle I'm about to share is all the more exciting; Bookscouter is not a rip off, in fact, it's a totally legitimate company.
Regifting. In some cases, giving something you already own to someone else as a gift is considered a social faux pas. But openly regifting books and music that you've already enjoyed can be a very personal, sentimental gesture. When my mother became too infirm to continue her passion for cooking, she gave my wife and me one of the most cherished Christmas gifts we've ever received: her 1950 edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book. It's the absolute bible in her beloved kitchen and comes with meticulous handwritten notes in the margin featuring Mom's tips and documenting the special occasions on which she'd prepared various recipes for our family over a period of more than 50 years. Priceless.
I felt like saying: Hey, do you mind if someone else sees those books too. But of course he was in a frenzy and didn’t even notice me standing there. Discouraged from this new idea I just learned about, I went ahead on to the one on the other side of town. When I stepped in the door I went over to the books shelves and there was another guy with a cart and a scanner connected to his phone just scanning the books one by one in a speed method, occasionally throwing one here and there into the cart. It was enough for me, I’ll stick to other methods and products.
which scanner app do you use or recommend? how did you come up with that list of text books? that sounds like an interesting idea. i am selling books on Amazon now and have almost 2000 in my garage. with the fee increase plus 15% plus packing materials I will not get rich. However, the thought of labeling and mailing that many books to Amazon is daunting. do you make that many more sales going prime to justify the cost?
From what I have understood from looking through Amazon and looking at BSR for the first time ( thanks 2 U) i ca see most of these books are between 300,000 and 10,000 BSR. I suppose they are all worth a sell but on average they sell for about £3. What can you suggest , looking at time limitations/ and end sale? Please advice the best way forwards, UK based thanks mate.
You might end up getting more money from this system overall, since Amazon really just wants you to spend your money at Amazon, even if it’s money they give you. Just, like, try to buy a book from a local indie to even out your book-buying karma later. You can also sell books the traditional way on Amazon, by setting up a seller account and listing your books. If you do this, you’ll have to set up a product page for each book you plan to sell and wait for a buyer. This is totally doable, but it does take some commitment.
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