When I was doing FBM, I was spending about 3-4 hours per night. Once I switch to FBA that went down to 3-4 hours per week, most of which was spending time finding deals on wholesale books and listing the books on Amazon. I was working full time for most of that time, so I could only do so much with the book selling, but still made about $1000/month profit doing it as a side hustle. When I switched to OA, it got a lot easier, as I just created a list of “hot finds” and would look around for deals on those. It’s surprising how bad people are at pricing things on Ebay–of course, that’s a double edged sword, as they’re also terrible at getting the conditions right, so I end up spending a lot of time arguing over books with writing inside, stains, smells-like-smoke, etc.
We donate overstock inventory to nonprofit agencies around the world and strive to recycle what we can't donate. You may bring your merchandise to sell to any of our Neighborhood Stores (excludes Outlet locations). We are not able to make estimates or offers from a list; buyers must see the actual items. If you have any questions about merchandise you want to sell, please use the form at the bottom of this page.
Instead of scanning each and every book at a book sale, I’d just make offers on the entire lot. This worked especially well at yard sales, estate sales, and even book store closings. By being indiscriminate, it meant that I could get the price per book way down (usually less than $0.25 per book), but also meant that I was left with a lot of duds. With good purchases, I’d usually have 3 “donate” books for every 1 book I listed. So, effectively, my inventory cost $1.00 per item.
Thank you for the helpful tips. My husband passed away last year and he was an avid reader. I have a few hundred books to sell with a mixture of paperback and hardback. They are in great condition except he always threw away the dust covers as he hated them. He mostly read sci fi, alternate history, and military related titles. Do you think that selling them on Amazon and using the FBA method would be my best bet?

Here on MakeUseOf, we’ve made you aware of the various ways you can buy books cheaply online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online I’ve written before about my love for reading, but I also have a side of me that loves bargains and hates spending unnecessary coin. What’s a man to do when he wants to buy and... Read More , but just how do you go about selling them? How do you get a quick sale, and is it possible to get a rare or unusual book to sell for the right price?


In general, mercifully, Ward says Thrift Books “errs on the side of keeping more books than we need to”, and his software’s algorithms single out rare titles for protection even if market demand doesn’t warrant it. What they can’t sell, they recycle. That proves to be quite a few books: last year alone they recycled 130m pounds. What remains after a bookseller’s vetting process stocks their virtual storefronts.
I found your blog through Pat Flynn’s link! I currently live in Mesa, AZ and started in online business with selling used and collectible used books as well during college. I worked in a local used bookstore so I learned pretty quick which books were excellent to purchase to resell at a markup. I then saved the money I made to pursue a vintage clothing business, then a wool felt business. I quit my horrid job with the government this year in March (the 4th) to work on my online business full time. What a joy! Although my current business isn’t passive, I’m looking to create more passive streams of income. Thanks for all of the information you provide in your blog!
Here on MakeUseOf, we’ve made you aware of the various ways you can buy books cheaply online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online I’ve written before about my love for reading, but I also have a side of me that loves bargains and hates spending unnecessary coin. What’s a man to do when he wants to buy and... Read More , but just how do you go about selling them? How do you get a quick sale, and is it possible to get a rare or unusual book to sell for the right price?
Selling Used Books Online?” The answer to that is you used to be able to make very good money doing that. Not any more. First, everybody and their 5 favorite Aunts all think they can make a good living doing it, so the competition is seriously overwhelming! Often, you can find pages and pages of the same book for sale online at multiple sites, all in the same very good condition , so it’s very competitive. There is a market for specialized current edition textbooks, but that market has become saturated. Both Ebay and Amazon have raised their rates at least twice this year, and if you sell used books on Amazon, you’ll be paying close to 40% of your proceeds to them. Ebay was a hair less, last time I compared, but they have more fees. That’s more than enough to wipe out your profits, so you end up with a net loss! The profit margins have become razor thin, and many complain about losing money. If you send books to Amazon for their FBA program, and the books don’t sell in a timely fashion, you’ll be paying rent to Amazon to store them or pay to have them destroyed. That’s not good!

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.
Peter, on the other hand, believes Amazon is where the big money is at. He is a high volume seller, however, earning over $130,000 in his first year as an Amazon FBA seller. Peter say’s, Amazon isn't just the biggest bookstore in the world anymore, it's the biggest store – period. The truth is that I have never met anyone selling books online who makes money anywhere except Amazon. It's where the book buyers are, and where the money is.”

Thank you for the helpful tips. My husband passed away last year and he was an avid reader. I have a few hundred books to sell with a mixture of paperback and hardback. They are in great condition except he always threw away the dust covers as he hated them. He mostly read sci fi, alternate history, and military related titles. Do you think that selling them on Amazon and using the FBA method would be my best bet?
Just because you are self-publishing doesn’t mean you want it to like an amateur did it. Hire a graphic designer on a site like Fiverr.com to create a good-looking cover based on your direction and input for not much money. They can also lay out the interior pages too. Just because your book is self-published doesn't mean it has to look and feel that way.

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 the information.I’m selling books part-time on Amazon.When it comes to sourcing book it really needs some effort and time.I source books which have a good sales rank and sales history for that I have to understand the Keepa graph which is really difficult but last month I found a free statistical search engine for books http://www.amstick.com . It easy to understand and saves a lot of time.Hope this will help books sellers like me.
Congrats on publishing! Either way, honestly. If you’ve already got cases of them, it’s probably just easier to send one or two cases to Amazon and see how you do. Amazon also offers Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space services for self-published authors, which are both totally cool. Sure, they take a big ol’ bite out of your profits, but there’s no cost of goods on your end except for marketing. KDP is all digital. And Create Space is print-on-demand.

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.

×