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.
In 2000, I inherited about 200 books from my mother, who was a city librarian for 37 years and who salvaged these books when the library culled its collection to make room for new books. These books are up to 150 years old and were selected by her for their literary value. Many of them have signatures on the inner cover. Many are in excellent condition. Others are in poor shape. We want to get rid of the books and want to use Amazon FBA. Some of these books may be valuable because of their content and the historical era in which they were published.
We'll pay cash for your books, textbooks, music, movies, mobile phones, tablets, games, gaming consoles, e-readers and more(excluding Outlet locations)!* You can spend the cash in the store or take it home with you. We pay the most for recent bestsellers and collectibles, but we're also interested in good books, music, and movies of all kinds. The primary factors we consider when buying used merchandise of any kind are: 1.) condition 2.) supply and demand.

Believe it or not, you might already have most of an ebook written already. If you are already making money with a blog, those blog posts could be turned into an ebook with some editing. Simply collect relevant blog posts into an order that makes sense, make any needed edits so that references that aren’t relevant are taken out, and add an introduction and conclusion, and you’re done. Any blog posts you use should cover the same or related topics and work well together.


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.
Hello-Great article and tips. I want to buy and sell books on Amazon full time. However, I am quite discouraged about a lot of places not wanting us to use our scanners in their stores. Also, I have heard the Amazon seller fees have become so much that it’s hard to make a profit. Is this true? Can you please expound on this? I would greatly appreciate it!
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.”
Typing in one of these codes isn't much of a hassle, but if you've got LOTS of books to sell it may become so. If you've got a lot of books to sell I suggest using one of the places below which has an app which is designed to scan the books bar codse. This will help you when you've got lots of books, just to save time and sanity, at least when possible.

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.
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.
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!
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.
Charity is a big part of the used book market. Martin Mullen, head of UK acquisitions at Better World Books, tells me that the public good is at the core of the company’s business: to date they have donated more than 50m books, raised millions of dollars for literacy initiatives, and reused or recycled more than 153m books – books that for the most part would be decomposing right now had they not saved them.
Next, I researched other methods of selling books. I had a roomful of used books stacked up everywhere, a lot invested, and a strong desire to get some of my money back. I found that you could resell them by comparing prices online from one bookstore to another, but the returns were pathetic. Pennies on the dollar. If you sell to bookstores, they buy them from you wholesale and resell them retail. They make money, but there’s no room in there for you to make a profit.
“The next day I got a call from one of her friends who manages another charity shop,” Stephens told me by phone, “and then another, and another.” He started selling these orphaned books online, out of his living room. Ten years later, Sunrise Books has four warehouses to its name, and is about to take over a fifth. “We have two vans out on the road every day that go around to charity shops on set runs,” he explains. They take in upwards of 20 tons of used books each week.
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 next day I got a call from one of her friends who manages another charity shop,” Stephens told me by phone, “and then another, and another.” He started selling these orphaned books online, out of his living room. Ten years later, Sunrise Books has four warehouses to its name, and is about to take over a fifth. “We have two vans out on the road every day that go around to charity shops on set runs,” he explains. They take in upwards of 20 tons of used books each week.
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?
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?
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.

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 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.
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.
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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