Right before we moved, I started shedding all the personal finance books I’d been sent over the years. The quickest way, though it won’t net the most money, is to trade them in for credit on Amazon. Just list them, pack them in a box or envelope, and send them on their merry way. For the more valuable titles, listing them for sale at the lowest price on Amazon meant it probably lasted a week before it was sold… but then you had to print each one individually. I got rid of probably 30-40 books that way and pocketed maybe a few hundred bucks?


Amazon.com. Amazon charges individual sellers 99 cents per item that sells, so it only makes sense to list items on which you'll make a worthwhile profit. You only can sell items that are already currently listed on Amazon, which, of course, includes tons of book titles, CDs and some vinyl — but may not include everything in the collection you're looking to unload.
The only trouble is the low quality of that yield. Mike Ward, owner of Thrift Books – the largest of the used book sellers in the US and parent company to a number of subsidiaries, including Books Squared – likens the book collection process to “a very large salvage operation”. His network of warehouses is bringing in, on average, 15 semi-trailer trucks full of used books every day, but less than 20% of those books arrive in saleable condition.

I’ve been around the block more than once, and I’ve worked successfully offline for many years. Working online is a new experience for me. Scams are everywhere, especially in a bad economy. Sales & marketing is the same concept of persuading people online as it is offline, but with added technology and new avenues unknown to newbies. That stumps a lot of people. The ZNZ instructions of having to fill out offers using your credit card was vaguely explained. They said you need a credit card to verify it’s really you. Meanwhile, your common sense is telling you to watch out, because we know our credit card will be charged eventually for something!
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.
Our company makes it easy to sell your textbooks from the convenience of your home and at top rates to boot. Whether you’ve been in the book industry for years or are just trying to sell old textbooks in your closet, our friendly staff is ready and willing to answer your questions, provide support and make the selling process a breeze. Contact our staff today, or review our textbook buyback FAQ page for additional information.
Try to find out what a particular book has sold for recently. Amazon doesn't display completed sales, but you can search eBay for closing prices on completed auctions. There are also other websites that may give an indication of market value, for example, Abe books, Alibris, and Book finder. The video below describes recent changes to Amazon's charging structure. These could affect the viability of small volume online booksellers.
All throughout college, I made quite a bit of money doing this. I would buy my text books and reading books on half.com or other cheap sites, use them for class (without marking them up) and then sell them online or to the on campus bookstore. The bookstore would actually pay about 2-3 times what I bought them for because they were used to selling at full price, paying about 25-30% buy back and re-selling again for a profit.
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.
The way you describe your books online is crucially important to a successful sale. Photographs as well as words can help a potential buyer understand exactly what you are selling. They need to know not just the title and date of publication of the book, but also a detailed description of its condition. This is especially important for higher value items.
One of Roberts’s employees suggested that he get Wonder Book started on the internet, and, though the business hardly needed the additional income, he was persuaded to wade in. He picked “40 weird books” from the brick-and-mortar inventory and threw them up for sale online. The next morning he took a look at his page and was astonished to find he had an order: a book on the history of cattle in Frederick County, Maryland – sold to a farmer in England for $45. “We couldn’t sell that book in Frederick County for $45,” Roberts reflects, “but a guy in England who raises that kind of cattle wanted it.” The experience “was like the proverbial light going off in my head: we’re international now”.
The first question I naturally had was "How the hell can they make any money selling books at £0.01? I can't even source books at that price!" The answer came soon enough, if you add one of these books to your cart, you'll quickly see that there's a £1-2 shipping charge, and you can't use Super Saver Delivery. The interesting thing about selling on Amazon is that Amazon themselves set the delivery charge pricing. So even if I wanted to charge 0.01p for shipping, I can't, I have to use Amazon's tiers. The way the process works is that Amazon will provide all the cost of a product, minus their commission, to the Seller, including all the shipping fees. Which means, as is usually the case, if a seller can ship the product to you cheaper than the quoted shipping fee, they get to pocket the balance.
Half.com. An eBay-affiliated site specializing in books and CDs, Half.com doesn't require you to pay a listing fee, but you do pay a commission out of your proceeds when you sell an item. Commissions range from 5 to 15 percent, depending on the sale amount: The higher the sale price is, the lower the commission rate is. Half.com will make payments via direct deposit into your checking account.
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.
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?
Be warned that Powell’s “buyers are very particular about condition,” according to its website. Don’t try to send them former library books; advance reader copies; books with tears, broken bindings, or highlighting; or hardcovers without a dust jacket. (Powell’s website has a visual guide to problems that will cause it to reject a title.) Rejected titles are donated or recycled.
To make this type of business pay you need specialist knowledge. This could be knowing which editions are collectable, or having useful contacts in the antique or vintage trade. Getting the right books to sell and matching them to waiting customers is the key to success. You may find that this "homebased" business actually involves a lot of travel outside the home (to auction sales and the like).
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.
2) If you sell via FBA, you’ll have the FBA fee, which is more or less shipping/handling on Amazon’s part. This usually starts at about $3.02 for the first pound and goes up about $0.75 for each pound after (you can use Amazon’s FBA calculator to predict this cost in advance). If you do FBM, then they’ll tack on an additional $3.99 for shipping, which USUALLY covers most media mail shipping costs for books unless it’s a particular heavy book.

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.
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.
The best training available for “retail arbitrage” (buying stuff retail/used and reselling on Amazon for profit) is called Amazon Bootcamp. The creators are a really sweet couple that has been doing retail arbitrage successfully for many years. It's a super newbie-friendly course, and my #1 recommendation for anyone that wants to start an Amazon store selling used books or whatever!
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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.
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.
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