I just moved to a small college town, and am looking for books to sell. The local thrift store sells used books at $3 apiece, which I think is too high when you are not sure the book will sell online (sometimes for years). Garage sale season is just about over. Where do the college students trash their textbooks? I want to get to them before they do!

Peter says, “The good news for new sellers is that no deep knowledge of books is required. A variety of paid apps allow booksellers to scan a barcode (with their phone's camera or a Bluetooth barcode scanner) and get instant results as to the book's value, sales rank, and more. So while it helps to have a knowledge of books, a new seller can defer completely to the data on their scanning app when making a buying decision.

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.
You just need to create an outline for the book to follow, set a schedule for when you’re going to write (if it’s original work) or when you’re going to work on it, how you will market the book and when each task needs to be done, and set a goal publication date when it will be offered on sale. It’s a matter of setting aside time each day. You can’t just work on this when you “feel” like it… otherwise, it’ll never get done.
Colin Stephens, founder and director of Sunrise Books in England, was thumbing through a charity shop’s bookshelf when the manager told him how much she’d come to hate used books. Every few days, she complained, she would have to load the trunk of her car with the shop’s excess donations and shuttle them to the landfill, in her own spare time and at her own expense.
Supposedly, selling prime gives you a pretty big bump in conversions since people will get the books sooner. The textbook method, also called Zen Arbitrage by some, is pretty good since a lot of students want textbooks fast and are willing to pay the difference. Lately, I’ve been doing OA with a niche market, buying wholesale lots on Ebay and flipping them on Amazon (although I’ve been doing those from home).
All things considered, this is the best method of selling books, which I no longer recommend, because the costs for doing business are too high to make a profit. So you run around burning up a tank of gas, trying to source a couple good books, and yeah, they have to be in very good/ to excellent condition, or they aren’t competitive. Then those fees will kill you! With the FBA program, you also have to pay to ship the books to Amazon, and those costs have also gone up. Yes, books are heavy, and
1. Purchase books that are in good condition, without marks in the text and without a remainder mark (a marked line) on the bottom edge of the pages. Hardback books that originally came with a cover need to have the cover. Paperback books are fine provided they are trade paper (the larger books) and not mass market (the books that are roughly the length and width of a checkbook). Also, it is important that any book you attempt to trade in at Hastings have a barcode on the back. While older books may sell on Amazon, they typically are not eligible for sales at Hastings.
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.
You just need to create an outline for the book to follow, set a schedule for when you’re going to write (if it’s original work) or when you’re going to work on it, how you will market the book and when each task needs to be done, and set a goal publication date when it will be offered on sale. It’s a matter of setting aside time each day. You can’t just work on this when you “feel” like it… otherwise, it’ll never get done.
Though this may seem woefully unreliable at first, the most important tool you have for identifying a saleable book is your nose, or instinct. Wherever you are - at a sale, in a thrift shop, a used bookstore, etc., - trust your nose. If you see something that catches your eye, it may well catch the eye of a buyer as well. A good rule of thumb is: if you pick up a book, look at it, put it back, and then at some later point pick it up again, it's time to buy it. It's caught your eye twice. There's something about it, perhaps as yet indefinable, that could produce a sale.
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.

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.
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.

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.

This is the easiest online selling I've ever done. It is definitely the easiest way to sell used books online.  I've done a lot of these “pack up your items and ship to us for cash” type of companies. Often times they don't pay well and it takes months to get your payment. I am happy to say that I think Decluttr pays very well for the items you send in, and the payment is FAST!

As you can see the profit margins aren't huge on a single book, because there are several other Ebayers playing this trade-in game. However, if you can average a $5 profit margin on each book, you only need to buy 5 books everyday to pocket an extra $750 dollars each month! Considering there are over a million textbook auctions on Ebay right now, it shouldn't be too hard to find 5 books a day to resell.


When I click the link to make an “Individual Seller” account and it gets to my Bank info, It says that I am making a “Professional Account” and only gives me that option, and says that once I put in my card info, that they will bill me for the $39.99. I never even wanted any of that. I wanted the Individual and free option. So I called customer service 3 times and all times, they said that they are in the middle of some stuff and that my only option is to select the “Professional Seller” account and to pay the $39.99 and that they would immediately refund me the money and downgrade my account to Individual from there. I don’t know, that seems fishy to me. They said that a lot of people have been having this same question to them lately and that is what they have been telling them to do. Have you encountered this? I saw someone in your comments just 20 days ago say that he was able to make an individual account. Not fair! Please shed some light on this if you will.
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.

Peter says, “The good news for new sellers is that no deep knowledge of books is required. A variety of paid apps allow booksellers to scan a barcode (with their phone's camera or a Bluetooth barcode scanner) and get instant results as to the book's value, sales rank, and more. So while it helps to have a knowledge of books, a new seller can defer completely to the data on their scanning app when making a buying decision.

It’s possible to get a higher selling price by selling the book yourself than that offered on by a textbook buyback site. Just keep in mind that Amazon will keep a small commission of approximately 15% and you are responsible for paying shipping costs. You do get a small shipping credit, but, it still might not be enough to offset the cost postage & packaging materials.
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.
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