Powell’s: They buy mostly mainstream books, not the technical or educational types. As mentioned above, they do have a very strict acceptance policy. The only writing they will accept is a name written in the front of the book – not even “to my favorite daughter, hope you enjoy this book as much as I did, love mom.” Absolutely no highlighting or underlining.
2. Look around. When taking your books to Hastings or other stores, the associate will usually ask for a valid I.D. and then proceed to scan what you have brought in. Should a book not be in their system or should they already have an adequate supply, then they may reject it. But take heart, just because one Hastings does not need a particular book that does not mean another won’t. If you have found a supplier for newer books, most will probably sell.
I no longer wait for items to sell then pick pack and ship them myself, instead I send them to Amazon and they do the rest. This way I spend all my time finding inventory. the program is called FBA or fulfilled by amazon and although it costs a little more, if you price your items right, you can sell more, faster, make more money, and do less work. I also can keep my engagement in tact since my fiance was nearly about to leave me when I had 1,000 books over flowing from my office into the halls and kitchen!
Who’s buying? Richard Davies, PR manager for the popular online marketplace Abebooks, describes the customer base as rather broad. “There are people who just want a cheap book,” he says, “and the used book market fulfills that really well.” Others, meanwhile, have more idiosyncratic requirements. “The book they need is not going to be in a Barnes & Noble.” So they turn to online retailers, where the “breadth of inventory really caters to people who have got a demanding taste”.
There it sat on a shelf, priced at $1, until a semi-trailer from Books Squared whisked it away among 3,000 other leftovers. At the Books Squared warehouse in south-west Dallas, Our Gang was checked and processed by receivers and a scrupulous quality-control team, who deemed the book “like new” before scanning it into their computer system to be sold online.
When I first started my business, I thought that the best strategy would be to capitalise on what is popular at that particular time. So, for example, when The Hunger Games movie was released, I could quite happily piggy-back on the huge advertising budgets of the film industry and sell The Hunger Game books, without doing any advertising myself, through searches on Amazon. This strategy didn't work. But it wasn't because I had wrongly predicted demand, The Hunger Games book series was flying of Amazon's virtual shelves, the strategy didn't work because I encountered "Mega Sellers". If you've ever dug a little into book sellers on Amazon, you'll find that there are a handful of sellers who each seem to have all but the most obscure used books stocked in their warehouses. They are the ones who have sold over 20,000 books on Amazon. But there's an easier way to identify a Mega Seller than their sales numbers, it's their pricing. Every single book that I wanted to sell is stocked by them, and they are all priced at £0.01. That's right, a penny!
There's a handy little tool I use to make this work at BookScouter.com. Their site will let you plug in a book's ISBN number (right next to the UPC) and then it will tell you how much the book is worth and which buyback company will give you the most money. I use this tool before buying a book to make sure that there is a company willing to pay more for the book than what the Ebay seller is charging.
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According to CheatSheet.com, AbeBooks will “buy back” old textbooks or other lightly used reading copies, and they pay by check. Similarly, Powell’s buys used copies but has a very strict policy about the condition of your books. Expect to receive a check - but if you plan on buying additional books, you’ll get more bang for your buck by taking store credit.
Dave, this is an odd one. I’ve just self published a new printed book — high quality: hardback, dust jacket, good paper, 20 pages of glossy photo’s, etc. It’s non-fiction and history/religious utopian commune/19th century/pretty crazy. Was thinking of selling it for $35, mostly through bookstores, but also on Amazon. Would FBM be the place to start? Excellent blog, by the way — and remarkable for your responses!
When asked to share what new sellers should look for when scouting books. Lori replied, “The most important thing is to look to places where you can acquire books very cheaply. Fancy collector's editions are generally worth the trouble of selling if you pay the right price for them, but most of the time, they aren't worth what you might think. Unless you know for a fact that a book is worth money, be extremely cautious about overpaying. The same thing applies to first editions – I've acquired many firsts that only ended up being worth two or three dollars, so don't let that fool you unless you're familiar with a particular title.  Also, it's ironic, but in general, you want to avoid bestsellers. There are so many copies in existence that the used book markets are often flooded with them. I also tend to pick up books I've sold before – first, because I will already have a listing created, which saves me some time, and second, because I know it did sell, and believe me, there are plenty of books that don't. Finally, consider your marketplace and how you will be creating your listings. It takes me less time to list individual books in a series than it does totally separate titles, so I will tend to favor those when I'm buying in bulk.”
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.”
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.
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