These sites and several others like them are a compilation of thousands of book dealers' listings. They can give you a rough idea of typical market prices for most books in circulation. I won't go into specifics now, but in general, you'll need to match up the specific copyright dates and publisher for an accurate comparison. Also, condition can make a huge difference, not to mention the presence of a dust jacket. Read the descriptions carefully.

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.
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.
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.

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.


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.”


You are right that Hastings hasn’t made it to California. Depending on where you live in the state there are 4 very close to the stateliness with 3 of them being in Arizona and one in Nevada. Another money saving option is to buy books at the library sale and then sell them on Amazon. I do that as well. If you download an app from Amazon you can scan any book and then see what is the going price. You might check out my article, 3 Money Saving Apps.

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!


You could also figure this out by paying attention to what other people are selling and the types of books that people look for. Over time, your perceptions are likely to get more refined, as you figure out what books actually end up selling and what ones simply go nowhere. For example, did you consider that old school textbooks could be a great specialty? Or what about rare bible versions? First editions are also in high demand.
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.”

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.


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?
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.

Selling Used Books Online?” The answer to that is you used to be able to make very good money doing that. Not any more. First, everybody and their 5 favorite Aunts all think they can make a good living doing it, so the competition is seriously overwhelming! Often, you can find pages and pages of the same book for sale online at multiple sites, all in the same very good condition , so it’s very competitive. There is a market for specialized current edition textbooks, but that market has become saturated. Both Ebay and Amazon have raised their rates at least twice this year, and if you sell used books on Amazon, you’ll be paying close to 40% of your proceeds to them. Ebay was a hair less, last time I compared, but they have more fees. That’s more than enough to wipe out your profits, so you end up with a net loss! The profit margins have become razor thin, and many complain about losing money. If you send books to Amazon for their FBA program, and the books don’t sell in a timely fashion, you’ll be paying rent to Amazon to store them or pay to have them destroyed. That’s not good!

Also, great advice on the obscure titles (I can see from your blog that you do indeed sell some obscure stuff :). It seems to work the same way for niche websites. The more obscure or “odd” the niche, the better my websites tend to do. People with unique interests are willing to pay a little more for the information they want. Thanks for sharing your advice, and if I decide to pursue this, I will let you know!
If you’re selling books FBA (I recommend that you do), you’ll need to send them to the nearest fulfillment center (or centers). It’s pretty easy to do. Just throw them in a box (I like Home Depot’s Small Moving Boxes because they’re pretty cheap), and ship via one of Amazon’s preferred carriers. Don’t forget to mark the shipping costs in your Fetcher back screen!
In some ways, the idea of selling books on Amazon is pretty self-evident and you could figure out most of it yourself. But, the tips on picking out good books and maintaining a good reputation are well-worth reading. Realistically, if you can do this, you have a better chance of turning a profit and you’ll be less likely to invest in books that don’t sell.
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.
Repurposing or upcycling. Transforming unwanted books, CDs and records into decorative or useful items is considered by some to be sacrilege, a perversion of the item's original intent. But particularly if you have damaged items in your collection, there are countless creative ways to upcycle or repurpose them into some pretty cool stuff. A quick search on Pinterest.com will reveal a trove of project ideas for unwanted books — from hollowing out a book to create a secret storage safe for valuables to using pages as wallpaper or to make a lampshade. Old CDs can be used as conversation-starter drink coasters or made into a playful wind chime. And you can even find instructions online for heating and shaping a vinyl record to make a retro-looking decorative bowl.
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.
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.
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.

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!

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.


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?

To add even more grimness, we began hearing about “Counterfeit” textbooks. WHAT? Apparently, there are counterfeit textbooks, and I talked to two people who have bought & sold books for years, who both claimed to have lost $700 and over $800 due to counterfeits. No one who bought and sold textbooks knew what a ‘counterfeit’ looked like? Then there’s the nefarious bookstores who were telling people that they had been sent ‘counterfeit’ books by them, and the bookstores refused to pay them. They also wouldn’t send those books back to them! About that time, I decided to cut my losses. I thought it might be time to do something else.


Another strategy that has also proven quite rewarding is by selling books, CD’s and DVD’s at chain bookstores. I know that several franchises, with stores in multiple cities, purchase used books. Half Price Books is one of them. But my experience and specific tips are based upon sales to Hastings Entertainment, although I suspect that most of the strategies I’ll share are applicable to other establishments as well.
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.
Garage Sales / Free Markets – Many times you see boxes of books for sale marked $.25 – $1.00.  Rather than try to figure out how much each book would net you, make a deal with the seller.  Offer to buy the whole box of books for a buck or two.  This works extremely well towards the end of the day when they are about done.  Most likely the seller just wants the books gone and is willing to take anything.  I bet some would even allow you to have them for free.
One of the first questions that arises when contemplating selling books online is, how do I know which books will sell? A quick glance at eBay book listings might discourage you from selling them at all because, sadly, the majority of books offered for auction ultimately receive no bids whatsoever. This is why it's crucial that you do your homework before spending the time and energy to list a book for auction.
As a result, literature is better off. These used book sellers are providing an indispensable public service: they’re redirecting the world’s flow of used books from extinction to readers who can care for and appreciate them. “Before companies like ours,” Stephens tells me, “used books went to the landfill. The charities tossed them or sent them to pulping companies.”
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.
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