Ok, so as you regular readers already know, I’ve been on a decluttering binge lately. And one of the things I’ve been getting rid of is books.
Normally I donate my books to my local library. But last week I decided to try selling some on Amazon to just see what happened.
I’ve already made $75 in less than a week. And it was ridiculously easy to do.
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Selling used books online is an incredibly easy way to earn some side income. Used books always sell well, especially when the economy is down. So if you’re looking for ways to make some extra money, this could be the perfect avenue.
I’m so geeked that I’ve made this much with practically zero effort that I’m seriously thinking about turning this into a side business. I’ve always dreamed of selling books, but shied away from online listing simply because I hate taking pictures (like you have to do on eBay) and listing everything. It was just so tedius.
But Amazon has made it super easy to list books. There’s no picture taking, and the listing page is really intuitive. I figured it out in a matter of seconds.
Selling Used Books on Amazon
To start selling used books on Amazon, you first need to have books. Obvious first step, I know, but hear me out here.
All books are not created equal. This means some books give you a much higher profit than other books. If you go out looking for books to sell and you buy the wrong ones, you’re only going to add to your clutter and lose money.
So which books should you be buying, or bother selling?
Well, fiction will usually have the lowest profits. What will you really earn the most on? Let’s enter the world of non-fiction.
- Art and photography
- Medical and legal
If you have boxes of these kinds of books in your garage, basement or attic, then you could be making money.
I think it’s important to focus on niche books. But you have to be careful here.
For instance, I have a pristine copy of David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize winner, “John Adams”. This book falls squarely under “History”, which I just listed. But it’s an incredibly popular book. It’s selling used on Amazon for $2.36.
So for me, I’ll get more if I donate it (I get a $4 tax write off for each book I donate).
As you can see, it’s important to research before buying a book to see if you can actually make money on it. If you’re lucky enough to have a smartphone with Internet access, this is a great tool to use when you’re out and about. You can simply look up a book online to see what its used price is selling for.
To get started selling on Amazon, head over to their Sellers page. As you’ll see if you click the link for Individual Sellers, listing books is super easy. All you have to do is put in the title, make sure you have the correct version of the book, and then describe its condition and name your price.
When it comes to naming prices, my strategy is this: I simply list 25 cents lower than the cheapest price already up. And, my books are selling fairly fast.
There are fees for listing with Amazon. The site takes 99 cents per sale, as well as 15%. So, it’s a chunk. But the advantage is that everyone buys books on Amazon. So you get a massive audience.
Their fees are slightly lower, but vary depending on the price you list at and the price the book sells for.
For instance, eBay will charge you 50 cents to list a book over $10. They also take 8% of the sell price.
Another thing to consider is the caliber of pricing.
For instance, I did a quick search for “Eat, Pray, Love” on both Amazon and eBay. Amazon’s average price for this book, used, was $7.29. On eBay, it ranged from $2 to $7.
You’ll have to check for each book, but you might get more for your book if you list on Amazon. But I’m sure this isn’t true in every case.
So where can you find books to sell?
- Library book sales
- Garage sales
- Thrift stores
- Used book stores
- Flea Markets
And of course, don’t forget your own books and those of your friends and relatives who simply don’t want to be bothered with selling their own books.
Do any of you sell used books on Amazon, eBay, or Half.com? If so, do you have any tips for me and other readers? I’d love to hear them!