Take a book, plug in the ISBN number to a couple of scouting sites, and label the book with the best prices on a sticky note before you make your final counts. These scouting sites might direct you to sell your books with dealers, such as ValoreBooks, TextbookRush, and Chegg. Most of these sites are hit or miss depending on the book. Also, scouting sites can be unreliable, so check the actual buyer sites to confirm their rates.
which scanner app do you use or recommend? how did you come up with that list of text books? that sounds like an interesting idea. i am selling books on Amazon now and have almost 2000 in my garage. with the fee increase plus 15% plus packing materials I will not get rich. However, the thought of labeling and mailing that many books to Amazon is daunting. do you make that many more sales going prime to justify the cost?

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.
To sell on Amazon, you’ll need an Amazon seller account. There are two types of accounts you can start: individual and professional. Individual is free, but you pay an extra $1.00 per sale. Meanwhile, professional costs $39.95 per month, but doesn’t have the $1.00 extra fee. So basically, if you think you’re going to sell more than 40 units per month (to put it in perspective, I sold 300 books per month when I started) get the professional selling plan.
If you have any books you think may have special value, I recommend you take photos of the covers and a few of the inside pages of the books. Then after phoning first, email the pictures to some auction houses or specialist book traders. People can be generous with their knowledge and time. Even if you don’t have a hidden gem on your bookshelf you may learn a little more of the history of your books.
To sell on Amazon, you’ll need an Amazon seller account. There are two types of accounts you can start: individual and professional. Individual is free, but you pay an extra $1.00 per sale. Meanwhile, professional costs $39.95 per month, but doesn’t have the $1.00 extra fee. So basically, if you think you’re going to sell more than 40 units per month (to put it in perspective, I sold 300 books per month when I started) get the professional selling plan.
Basically, those that use the scanning method go to sales where books are priced dirt cheap (usually under $1.00) and scan each and every bar code with their cell phone or portable scanner. An app on their phone cross reference’s the book’s BSR as well as the book’s lowest sales price and lets the seller know whether or not the book is worth purchasing. Typically, a Scanner will carry a box, shopping cart, or many reusable shopping bags to lug their goods around.
I live in a town with a major university and have found that students trash their textbooks at the end of the semester. They can be found in various conditions. The university requires you to scan your student ID card to resell texts- mostly to detect any unusual patterns, I guess. I sold most of the books through Half.com. If you keep an eye out, you can also buy your books online and resell them for a profit.

They suggest you simply ‘choose a free offer’, and you won’t have to pay, but as you progress…the free offers thin out or simply disappear! Of course you have to stay on the offer hook until it’s 80% completed, and then don’t forget to cancel, or you will be charged. Thank you for pointing all that out! Of course, people will forget to cancel. Life often gets in the way of calendars. I’m sure they count on that. It’s double talk that yes, you’ll have to pay for some offers up front, at the same time telling you, tongue in cheek, that the site is free. The site might be free, but the offers sure aren’t! I might be dumb as a mule naïve about internet marketing, but I’m certainly not stupid. Thank you again for your insights on ZNZ.


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!
Here, enter the relevant details concerning the book’s condition, how much you wish to sell it for and which postage options you wish to use. Note that Amazon offers a fulfilment service for delivery of your goods, but this is really only an option for professional sellers. Your best option is to offer the fastest and most affordable shipping, although bear in mind the trade-off between these two qualities.
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.

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.
There are some key differences between this self-publishing (which, by the way, doesn’t have the negative connotations it used to) and traditional publishing process. You won’t be dealing with printed books, for one. That eliminates the expense and hassle of actually creating books, storing them, and delivering them — and that may not even sell. It’s going to be all digital. These are ebooks, which can be read on devices like Amazon’s Kindle, on another tablet or smartphone, or even on a computer.
The big benefit to working through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, even though they charge you a commission on your sales, is their reach. Around 89 million Americans are said to be active ebook readers. That’s your potential audience, all those people visiting this site and browsing for a new book. It could be your book they find when doing a search on a related keyword. In fact, 38 percent of daily sales of ebooks on Amazon go to self-published titles.
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Hi, Thanks for your unbiased views and helpful feedback. You saved me time and money and a lot of aggravation because you didn’t recommend ZNZ for good reason. Thank you for your honest analysis, which were appreciated. Most opportunities, you have to spend time and money to join, only to find out why they don’t work, will never be sustainable, or what’s really wrong with them! All that takes time, and that’s the one thing most of us can’t afford to spend. So I appreciate your first hand knowledge and experience because you helped me dodge a bullet. Without much online experience, some of us simply don’t know what we don’t know! They feed you only what they want you to know about them, but they seldom tell you what you need to know. They document page after page of how much money all these people made from their free site, so it’s only logical we would think we can do the same thing!
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.
Thanks for this list of book buyback options. I use Chegg and Valore Books as well and think they are pretty good. Valore often has a highest offer guarantee which is nice. I think bigwords.com is my favorite site though since it compares so many websites for you to get the highest offer price. I had not heard of several listed here however so it is definitely helpful info! Thanks so much!
Next, if you’re ready to pursue this as a kind of treasure hunting hobby then begin scouting out bookstores and see who might have clearance books that are priced quite low. Often times the clearance items are toward the back of the store, although this isn’t always the case. If you find a store that has a clearance area with books marked perhaps 50% off then check back in a few weeks and see if they have been lowered more. Your objective is to try to purchase books for less than 50 cents each.
Though it may seem imprudent to be buying books for the purpose of research - that is, with no immediate intention of reselling them - it's actually the quickest and most cost effective way to gain the experience you'll need, assuming you don't overpay for individual titles. If you take the trouble to develop your instincts, you'll begin to get smarter with your purchases very quickly and also notice that you're putting together and adhering to a set of rules that you may not even have thought about consciously. It's these rules that will help you weed out the 99.9% of books that you don't want to waste your money buying.
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.
When you sell a product on Ebay, it’s you AND your listing that’s competing. And even if you’re the cheapest or best entry, you might not appear on the first page of search results (not unless the shopper uses the filters, of course). And despite the fact that my comic books were priced aggressively, the listings whose sellers had been selling on Ebay longer (sometimes for a decade or more) were given precedence.
Here, enter the relevant details concerning the book’s condition, how much you wish to sell it for and which postage options you wish to use. Note that Amazon offers a fulfilment service for delivery of your goods, but this is really only an option for professional sellers. Your best option is to offer the fastest and most affordable shipping, although bear in mind the trade-off between these two qualities.

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?
Swapping. OK, so it may not succeed in freeing up any additional shelf space, but there are plenty of opportunities online to trade your unwanted books for other titles you'd like to read. On most book swap websites, you get a credit for every book you send to someone else, which you can then redeem with other traders for the books you really want. Usually you just have to pay postage for the books you send, not the ones you receive. Popular sites include BookMooch.com, PaperBackSwap.com or TitleTrader.com. Or you could always hold an old-fashioned swap meet with your neighbors, friends and family.
I recommend a multichannel approach — approach the marketing from several different angles. One definite channel is social media. Leverage your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn contacts, and more to get the word out. When the book is published, post it on Facebook with a link back to your website with more information and a way to order, for example.

For truly valuable and rare books, online booksellers are not the best place to find reliable information on achievable prices. These websites show the price a seller would like to achieve, not what a buyer is actually willing to pay. The seller has nothing to lose by asking a totally unachievable price in the hope of catching someone with more money than sense.


The final issue to consider is customers. Unfortunately, customers on Amazon and eBay are frequently picky and will complain at many things, including the quality of a book, even if the quality was specified on the sales page. In some cases, customers will also demand a refund leave bad feedback, even if you did nothing wrong. Many customers fail to realize these are independent people selling used items, and expect the overly-cautious customer support that Amazon usually provides.

* Half Price Books is your source for buying and selling secondhand books, music, movies and games. However, not all HPB stores buy electronic devices such as mobile phones, gaming consoles, and tablets. Please note that Outlet locations do not buy from the public. Please visit our other retail locations to sell your stuff. Thanks for shopping and selling at HPB.
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