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.
Great article. I’ve scanned all of my books at home and found that the vast majority of them have a high BSR. What should I do with those books? Should I sell them to a used book store or hold on to them and ship them FBM to avoid FBA storage fees? Also, how sustainable is it to sell used books? Can you find enough book deals to make a decent income?
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.
Most of you may already know how to check completed listings on eBay; however, if not, its pretty simple.  There is an option on the left sidebar that says “Completed Listing”.  Simply check this box, and then only the listings for the particular search topic you have entered that are completed will show.  By doing this kind of research, you can find out pretty quickly how much you can expect to sell a book for.
There are two main categories of second-hand books. The first and most common is that of a book which has been owned by someone else (yourself or another person) and is now being resold at a percentage of the original cover price. This category could include textbooks for students, popular fiction, or ordinary books which are being sold off following the death of their original owner.
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.
3. After all the books have been scanned, the associate will make you an offer. A cash price will be quoted as well as a credit price at most stores. I always take the credit because the credit amount is significantly larger. When accepting the credit, the associate will ask if you’d like that on your account or on a card. I request the card. That way the card can be used at any Hastings and on-line as well. If you are looking to make cash though, then definitely take the cash if you want to make money selling books.
Here is a screenshot of an auction that just closed for the book “Fundamentals of Physical Geography.” It was sold for $52.50 (plus $3.99 for shipping) giving the buyer a total cost of $56.49. Using the tool at BookScouter, I see that Moola4Books.com is paying $61.25 for the same book and they will cover the cost of shipping if I send it to them, giving me a profit margin of $4.76.

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Both of our sellers were happy to share their favorite places to shop. Lori says, “Library book sales are my number one source. Often the prices are deeply discounted on the last day of the sale, and you can acquire a large number of books for not very much money – plus you can feel good about supporting the library. I also routinely check Craigslist, where people often sell books low-cost or give them away. You have to be careful going that route, though. A few times I've gone out of my way to pick up a free lot, only to find that the books have been stored in the basement and are hopelessly moldy.”


I've written previously about how I sell used books online for extra money, but that involves going to garage sales every weekend and sweating the summer heat. Today I'm going to show you how to buy textbooks online at sites like Ebay, and then how to resell them online for a profit at places like BookScouter.com. Consider it my sweet revenge against the bookstores that overcharged me as a college student. 🙂

3. After all the books have been scanned, the associate will make you an offer. A cash price will be quoted as well as a credit price at most stores. I always take the credit because the credit amount is significantly larger. When accepting the credit, the associate will ask if you’d like that on your account or on a card. I request the card. That way the card can be used at any Hastings and on-line as well. If you are looking to make cash though, then definitely take the cash if you want to make money selling books.

Thrift stores (and charity shops) can be a good source of buying cheap second-hand books. However the Internet is making information on pricing available to everyone and so it is becoming harder and harder to find hidden gems in these type of shops. Nonetheless, if you specialize in a particular subject area, it is still possible to occasionally find a valuable book in a thrift store. Persistence and knowledge are the keys to success in this business, although luck sometimes plays a part.
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.

To start selling your book, make sure the tome is in a suitable state for reading. While a creased cover might just be acceptable, missing and torn pages – or those that have been coloured in or scribbled — result in little return. If you’re fond of making notes in the margins, these will usually not be appreciated, although if they just happen to be in the pen of the book’s author they may increase the value.


I like to start with BookScouter.com. BookScouter says they’re just for textbook buyback, but I’ve had some good luck checking prices of regular trade books. Book Scouter will tell you what websites will currently pay for each book you’re trying to sell. This will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s even worth selling your books. Remember, all of these websites pay based on what they think they can sell book for, so books with higher demand will sell for more.
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