Nowadays, the economy is tough, this is the reason an increasing number of people buy used books instead of new ones. They also purchase them online because of the convenience it offers.
If you want to make money selling used books online, you have to know where to purchase them at low rates and then resell them on websites that already have a high number of frequent buyers. When you do this, you will start to receive notifications for orders by the next day. The process is really simple but there are other factors that must be considered. Let’s find out in this article
- How to Make Money Selling Used Books Online
- 20 Best Places to Sell Books Online For Cash
- Sell Your Old Books Online For Cash
- How Can I make Money Selling Books?
- When Can I Sell Used Textbooks For Money?
- Who is The Author Who Sells Used Books?
- Where to Buy Used Books to Flip
- Reselling Books For Profit
- Is it Legal to Sell Used Books Online?
- How Much Can You Make Selling Books
- Is Book Flipping Profitable?
- What Books Are Worth a Lot of Money?
- What is The Best Way to Sell Used Books?
- What is The Rarest Book in The World?
- How Much Does it Cost to Sell Used Books on Amazon?
- How do You Know if a Book is Worth Money?
How to Make Money Selling Used Books Online
Where to buy them
Used books are everywhere but it is important to get them at a very cheap rate. If you are lucky, you can find people such as family and friends who will give away their books for free once they no longer need them. Places such as charity shops, flea markets, consignment stores and online auction sites are great places to get used books.
To make money selling used books online, go for the ones that are still in good condition. You are likely to get a premium price when your books looks new. The books should also have an ISBN number or a registration number.
Where to sell them
There are many places online where you can sell your books. Amazon is the best place to sell used books because it is where many buyers and readers shop. EBay is an auction site where you can easily list your books for sale. It is the largest site and many prospective buyers get used books from there.
If you want to sell used college textbooks, Bookbyte is the best. Textbooks.com and Valorebooks.com are also good for this purpose. Half.com is a site where you can buy used books and also resell them on the same site.
What to sell
To make money selling used books online, you need to know the books that will sell. The following are types of books that you can make good money from:
How- to- books: These are books that tell people how to do things such as repairing a car or setting up a business from scratch.
Cookbooks such as vegan recipe or ethnic cooking or any other specialized cookbooks are a great money making avenue. Audio books on topics such as weight loss or any interesting topic by a celebrity or a popular person can be resold at a great profit. People enjoy listening to information while they are on the go.
What you should not sell
Since there are books that you can sell, there are equally others that you should stay away from. These are:
Encyclopedias –people do not need a bulky encyclopedia when they can get it freely on the internet. Computer books – these are books that are relevant today and outdated tomorrow. You definitely would not prosper selling such books. Fiction books –stay away from popular fiction novels that can be gotten anywhere.
If you consider these factors and set good prices, then you can easily make money selling used books online.
20 Best Places to Sell Books Online For Cash
Some places you can sell used books make the process super easy but pay you only a little, while other selling options pay you more but are more labor-intensive. So if you’re considering selling your books, read on to discover the best place to sell books for your unique situation!
When you’re wondering “Where can I sell my books?”, BookScouter is one of the best places to start. This site gathers information from 30+ other book selling sites to let you know what each of them are willing to pay for the books you want to sell.
This means you can easily compare rates to see who will pay you the most! It’s nice to not have to waste time checking individual websites when you want to sell your books quickly, so this feature alone makes BookScouter a great first stop when you’re looking for the best places to sell used books online.
To use BookScouter, all you need to do is have the ISBN numbers of your books and then search these ISBN numbers on their site. Then, they’ll tell you what each book is currently selling for and where is offering the best price. If you see an offer you like, you can then click through to the individual websites to sell your books!
Another option for where to sell used books online is Amazon. Amazon used to have a book trade-in program, but unfortunately they no longer offer this trade-in service for books. However, you can still sell books through Amazon by setting up a seller’s account.
To get started selling books on Amazon, you’ll need to set up either an Individual or Professional seller’s account. Individual accounts charge $0.99 per item sold (plus a percentage of your listing price) while Professional accounts charge a flat rate of $39.99 per month no matter how many items you sell (plus a percentage of your listing price).
So if you are trying to sell a few books but don’t think you’ll sell more than 40 in a month, then the Individual account is the way to go. Otherwise, if you have a ton of books to sell, you might find it more cost effective to go ahead and sign up for the Professional account.
While setting up an account on Amazon and selling your books yourself is likely to give you more money for your books than a lot of other selling methods, the downside is that you will have to wait for a buyer instead of getting cash right away. But if you have time and don’t mind waiting, then this is one of the best places to sell books online!
If you’re looking for the most popular websites to sell books, then you will also want to check out eBay.
Like Amazon, you will need to create an eBay account if you don’t already have one. Then, you simply start listing your books! Each month you can list up to 200 items for free…but any items you list above that number will be charged a listing fee. Once your items sell, you will be charged a percentage of the total sale amount (which, in the case of books, is currently 12.2%).
Like Amazon, the downside of using eBay to sell your books is that it takes time to list the books and then you also have to wait for someone to buy them before you get paid. However, it is likely you will get more money in the end than if you just traded your books in somewhere. So it can definitely be worth it!
When looking for the best website to sell books, AbeBooks is another option you might want to consider. They offer two ways to sell books: a buyback program and a professional seller’s account.
The AbeBooks buyback program works with TextbookRush to give you cash up front. You simply enter your ISBN numbers and then they will let you know what they will pay for your books. If you decide to sell your books to them, they give you a free shipping label and then you send the books off and get your cash in return!
AbeBooks’ other alternative is to set up a professional seller’s account. To create a seller’s account, you’ll pay $25 per month (for up to 500 listings). When your books sell, you’ll then be charged a commission fee of 8% of the total sale price.
If you’re in a hurry, the buyback program can be a good way to go. It’s easier and quicker than selling the books yourself, but the downside is that you won’t get as much money for your books. So consider how much effort you want to put in and how much money you want to get for your books, and then you’ll know the best way to sell books you own!
Alibris is another book selling marketplace and should also be on your list of places to consider when wondering where to sell books for money.
Like many of the options on this list, you will need to create a seller’s account to sell your books on Alibris. To do this, you have two pricing options:
- Basic: The basic option costs an annual fee of $19.99 and allows you to list up to 1000 items. You will also be charged a $1 fee for every sale, plus 15% commission on the total sale price.
- Gold: The gold plan starts at $20 per month for up to 2000 listings, plus a one-time set up fee of $19.99. You won’t be charged for each sale, but you will still be charged the 15% commission fee on the total sale price. (This option is good if you’re making at least 20 sales in a month, but if you aren’t then the basic is better!)
So if you’re wanting to sell reading books for cash, Alibris can be a good option. You will just want to make sure that you have a good bundle of books to sell at the same time to make it worth your time and effort, and be sure to do the math on which plan is best for your situation!
If you’re looking for places that buy used books so you can get money without the hassle of selling them yourself, then Decluttr is a good place to try!
To use this site, you simply enter the ISBN numbers of the books you want to sell and then Decluttr will let you know what price they can offer you. In order to use Decluttr, you’ll have to sell at least 10 items at one time…so it’s best to wait until you have a bundle of books you don’t want anymore. But shipping is free, and this is an easy and quick website to use to sell used books!
7. Sell Back Your Book
Another option of where to sell your books is Sell Back Your Book, which works similarly to Decluttr. You simply enter your ISBN numbers and check to see what they will give you for your books.
The minimum you have to reach in order to sell your books on this site is $7.50, so you may need to save up your books until you have several you’re ready to sell. But once you reach the minimum threshold, they’ll send you a free shipping label and you send out your books to get your cash in return!
8. Half Price Books
Wondering where to sell books for cash locally? If you would prefer to sell your books in person, then Half Price Books can be a good place to try if you have one near you!
All you have to do is go into your local HPB store and take the books you want to sell to the Buy Counter. They’ll evaluate your items, make you an offer, and if you accept the offer they’ll give you cash right away!
Like other buyback/trade-in programs, Half Price Books generally offers less money for your books than you would get if you sold them yourself. However, the convenience is very nice and can make it worthwhile to go this route instead!
9. Powell’s Books
While Powell’s Books doesn’t have stores outside of Oregon, they do have a big only presence and are willing to buy books from you even if you can’t bring them into one of their store locations. So even if you don’t live close to a Powell’s store, you may still want to consider selling your books to them online!
As usual, you will need to enter your ISBN numbers in order to see what they will pay you for your books. If you like the amount they are offering, they’ll pay for you to ship the books to them and you can choose to receive your payment by PayPal or as a credit to your Powells.com account. So when you’re trying to decide where to sell old books, be sure to add this to your list to check what they will offer you!
10. Local Indie/Used Bookstores
If you are hoping to find somewhere to sell your books where you won’t have to deal with shipping them, then another possible choice could be to check with your local indie and used bookstores.
Although not all will necessarily have buyback programs, you may find that some of your local bookstores are happy to offer you store credit or cash for the books you’re ready to sell. So if you’re looking for the best way to sell used books without dealing with online stores, this can be an excellent choice!
11. Facebook Marketplace
Yet another option of where to sell books online is Facebook Marketplace. This is perhaps the best place to sell books online when you don’t want to worry over selling them individually, but instead just want to get bundles of books out of your house as soon as possible.
While you will sometimes see single books sold on the marketplace, you’ll likely find that more often books are sold as bundles or in boxes. But regardless of whether you try to sell as individual titles or in groups, there are definitely people looking to take books off of your hands on Facebook which makes this a generally quick way to sell your books! When using this method, you also have complete control over the price you want to sell your books for…which is very nice!
Similar to Facebook Marketplace, you might find that Craigslist is another useful place to list the books you want to sell. You can list individual titles for sale here, although you’ll likely find that bundles of books will sell better. But you can also set your prices however you want on this site, so that makes this a great place to sell used books when other places don’t give you the price you’re hoping for!
13. Yard Sales
Last but not least, yard or garage sales are another fantastic way to sell your books! When selling your books at a yard sale, you obviously have complete control over the pricing…and even though yard sale pricing is generally on the lower side, you might still find that the money you get for your books is more than you would get when using a buyback program!
Of course, setting up a yard sale does take work. But you can also use it as an opportunity to get rid of other items around your house…or you could consider doing a combined yard sale with friends who are also looking to sell books or other items! It’s a great way to get cash for those books you no longer want or need on your shelves.
From what we’ve heard, WeBuyBooks.co.uk is one of the best sites to sell books in the UK.
They have the quickest and most efficient system going for selling your unwanted books. As a result, customer reviews are pretty decent.
All you need to do is enter the ISBN number (usually found next to book barcodes) on their website, or scan it on their book selling app, and you’ll receive an instant valuation. You can then choose to accept or reject it as an offer.
Once you’ve entered enough products to meet the minimum value requirement of £5, you can print off the shipping label and send your books over to their warehouse free of charge. After your books have been checked, the money should be in your account within three days – it’s as easy as that.
15. Facebook groups
The chances are, there’ll be a group on Facebook for people on your course where you can share exam tips, module recommendations and (most importantly) sell books.
Facebook groups are the easiest way of tapping into the crop of students in the year below who need to buy the exact used books you own – your ideal market.
If you want to get rid of your university textbooks quickly, it’s a good idea to bundle books from certain modules together and sell them in bulk.
Also, don’t throw away books just because you’ve made notes inside them – this is one of the rare instances where your scribbles might not decrease the book’s value.
Good notes could actually come in handy for some students, meaning you could potentially earn more cash for the books you own.
Plus, selling books on your uni Facebook group means you don’t have to pay any postage or fees, as you can just meet buyers on campus to hand the books over.
Blackwell’s specialize in academic books, and they offer a great service where they buy back your used textbooks in return for store credit or cash.
They’re quite strict on what books they’ll accept. What price they offer you depends on the condition of your books and the demand for them, and the book you’re selling must be the current edition (with no new editions forthcoming).
If your books are accepted, you’ll receive up to 20% of the selling price on Blackwells.co.uk on the day of purchase, paid either via a Blackwell’s gift card or to your credit/debit card.
This is an interesting website that cuts out the middleman, allowing students to buy and sell textbooks directly from one another. You can sell books to students on-campus.
It’s sort of like Craigslist, but it’s specifically aimed at college students who are looking to buy and sell college textbooks. Just enter the ISBN of the book that you want to sell to get started.
If you don’t want to sell to students on-campus, you can also compare textbook prices at different online buyback vendors. So when you enter your book’s ISBN, you’ll get both online and local selling options.
18. Textbook Recycling
Get paid for your unwanted textbooks with Textbook Recycling. Just visit the website, and enter the ISBN for the book that you want to sell.
With Textbook Recycling, you can enter multiple ISBNs. So if you have a lot of books to sell, then this is really handy. Once you’ve entered the ISBN, you will get an instant quote for your books. If you like the offer, then you can ship your books to Textbook Recycling. Shipping is free, depending on the value of your order.
In order to qualify for free shipping, your buyback order value must be at least $50. If the final buyback order value is less than $50 after processing, the site says it reserves the right to charge a $3.95 shipping and handling fee against the buyback total.
Also, in each order, the website only accepts a maximum of 10 low value books – those that are less than $5 in value.
CampusBooks works in a similar way to BookScouter. With it, you can compare the prices of textbooks offered by different buyback vendors.
While BookScouter is designed for regular books and textbooks, the focus of CampusBooks is solely on textbooks.
You can enter the name of the textbook you want to sell into the search bar. Or you can search for titles using the ISBN to ensure that you are quoted the correct buyback price on the specific book and edition that you are selling.
To sell your textbooks to ValoreBooks, visit the website, and enter the ISBN of the books you want to sell. You can enter multiple ISBNs into the box, then click on “Get Price Quote” and you’ll get a quote for all of the books that you plan to sell.
If you have a lot of books, then this is really handy. You’ll get an instant quote. If you’re happy with the quote, then you can ship your items to ValoreBooks for free.
Payment is sent by check or through PayPal.
Sell Your Old Books Online For Cash
There comes a time in every reader’s life where they have to accept some hard truths: that not every book they’ve read is one they should treasure forever; that they don’t need three different copies of their favorite classic, even if it keeps being re-released with cooler covers; that decorating in towering stacks of books might not be the healthiest choice unless they want to start wearing helmets around the house.
When you’ve come to this point, you will want to clean out your collection. And, that may mean it’s time to sell books.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to go about this: you may want to do the KonMari method, you may just go for a good ol’ spring cleaning. You may need to recite some of Alice’s helpful mantras to yourself.
However you do it, you will hopefully be left with large stacks of books to dispose of. You could give them away or donate them, which is quite noble, but it is always nice to be able to get a little money back from everything you’ve paid out to your bookshelves.
Here’s where to sell used books, whether online or in-person. We’ve got options for selling textbooks, as well as hardcovers and paperbacks.
BookScouter says they’re just for textbook buyback, but I’ve had some good luck checking prices of regular trade books. Book Scouter will tell you what websites will currently pay for each book you’re trying to sell. This will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s even worth selling your books. Remember, all of these websites pay based on what they think they can sell books for, so books with higher demand will sell for more.
There are a few different options for selling books online through Amazon.
The first is through their trade-in program. For the trade-in program, you search your book edition, find the ISBN (the 13 digit code typically on the back or on the copyright page), and check if Amazon will offer you money for your book. Fill out a brief questionnaire about the condition of your book, and then Amazon will give you a shipping label. Once they’ve received the book, they’ll give you an Amazon credit.
You might end up getting more money from this system overall since Amazon really just wants you to spend your money at Amazon, even if it’s money they give you. Just, like, try to buy a book from a local indie to even out your book-buying karma later.
You can also sell books the traditional way on Amazon, by setting up a seller account and listing your books. If you do this, you’ll have to set up a product page for each book you plan to sell and wait for a buyer. This is totally doable, but it does take some commitment.
3. Powell’s Books
Powell’s will, like Half Price, let you bring books into their stores for appraisal, but if you’re not close to a physical location, you can sell to them online.
They prefer to only take books in excellent condition. Just enter your ISBNs to the form on their site and they’ll send you a price quote and a shipping label. You can get money via PayPal or you can get store credit.
4. Online Buy Back Programs
There are dozens, maybe hundreds of sites that will let you enter your book ISBNs, answer a few questions about quality, and then they will give you a price quote for your book and a shipping label.
Some of them have minimums, so you won’t be able to cash out until you’ve sold X dollars worth of books with them. Use BookScouter to try to determine which of these sites will offer you the most money back.
5. Your local indie
Finally, also check out your nearby indies for local places where to sell used books. Many of them offer cashback for your books or store credit. Always call ahead and check on their requirements.
How Can I make Money Selling Books?
If you want to sell books, you have to know how much money you can get for selling a book before you purchase it. You can buy flipping books all day for $2, but it does not mean you should.
As a general rule, you should only buy books if you can get a fair price on them. For example, you can purchase a book for $2 if you know you can sell it for $9 or more.
One of the vital questions that pop up when deciding to sell books online is, how do you know which books to sell? A glance at some significant bookselling sites might discourage you from selling at all. And that is because, unfortunately, most of the books offered for auction get no bids whatsoever.
That is why it is vital to find out how to make money selling books before you proceed.
It is one thing to sell your textbooks. But if you to make money selling used books and make a profit, start from the following places:
- Use thrift stores such as Goodwill.
- Garage sales (you will be surprised!)
- Ask your friends, colleagues, and family.
There are numerous places you can sell textbooks. But one of the best places is BookDeal.com, just because they have analyzed the bookselling industry for years and have been in this business for over 20 years. The company has a unique selling process that guarantees high offers.
When Can I Sell Used Textbooks For Money?
If you’re ready to get the most for your textbooks, you’ll definitely want to check out the list below for the best place to sell textbooks online and locally.
1. Half Price Books
Over the years, rumors of the death of the traditional bookstore spread like wildfire. Big names like Borders closed, and Kindle threatened to dominate the book space. But it’s not over till it’s over for bookstores, and many are still thriving.
Half Price Books is one such brand that’s been going strong since 1972. With over 120 stores across the country, the company stands as the largest family bookstore in the country. They sell textbooks, music, movies, games, and collectibles.
The process of selling your books to them is pretty easy. All you have to do is take your old books to your local Half Price Books store, and they’ll give you cash in return. When buying your used books, the primary factors they consider are 1) condition and 2) supply and demand. An offer will only be made once they see the book in person and accept it in their inventory.
If you’re looking for the best place to sell textbooks online, look no further than Books Run. They let you sell, buy, or even rent new and used books. To get started with selling your old books, all you have to do is to enter the ISBN number of the book you wish to sell and hit search.
You’ll then be taken to what they call the “seller cart,” where you can check the book out. After checking the book out, you’ll be able to print the prepaid shipping label and send your books within 5 days of creating the order.
Before you sell your textbooks, read their Terms & Conditions to understand what they mean by “New,” “Used – Very Good,” and “Used – Acceptable.”
3. Book Finder
If you’re shopping for the best rates, Book Finder can help you do just that. Once you enter your book’s ISBN, the site will aggregate offers you can receive from various bookstores letting you see the best price you can get.
What’s really cool is that the price they quote you is the price you will really get in your pocket because there are no hidden fees. Shipping costs are included too. Book Finder is the best place to sell textbooks online for the most cash!
Textbooks are among the millions of items sold on Amazon. They have a textbook buyback program that will pay you up to 80% of the book’s retail price if it meets their requirements. Not a fan of their buyback program?
You can still make a sale on Amazon as an independent seller which would require you to create your own listing and to pay for and manage shipping to the buyer. Amazon will hold about 15% in commissions, so this, together with shipping costs, will be worth keeping in mind when calculating your margins.
5. Barnes & Noble
Believe it or not, Barnes and Noble will buy back your used textbooks. Their process is just as simple as many of the other options included here, and they pay a fair market rate. Their only condition? You must have at least $10 worth of books to sell.
Who is The Author Who Sells Used Books?
AbeBooks analyzed sales information from 2000 – 2015 and found The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey topped the list ahead of numerous critically acclaimed examples of classic literature.
Covey’s book, which offers advice on business and personal development, is a cornerstone of the modern self-help movement and beat To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby into second and third places respectively. Classic fiction and self-help are the list’s two dominant themes. A dozen self help titles – from Who Moved My Cheese? to The Five Love Languages – appear on the list along with many classic and popular novels.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
- Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Where to Buy Used Books to Flip
There are good arguments that can be made for both these methods of selling used books online. Finding popular secondhand books you can pick up for nickels and dimes on the cover price that you then sell can produce some very good return on investment.
Flipping books can make a great side hustle, or even a full-time job, in a variety of ways. The key is to get into the game of selling used books and see what you enjoy most about it, what you can consistently find in the area, and use that to keep moving forward.
Where to buy modern first edition books?
- Second hand or thrift stores, like Goodwill
- Garage sales & yard sales
- Flea markets
- Ask friends and family
- Sometimes you can find great deals on eBay if you know what to look for
Reselling Books For Profit
We have talked a lot about how easy it is to make money flipping books. Now we’re going to show you how to do just that.
1. Begin with an inventory.
You can begin with just one book. Maybe it’s a book you used for school or one you found at a thrift store. Don’t feel intimidated by the future of your bookselling business when you begin. We all began with one book. If you have more than one book, that’s great too! We recommend starting small before investing too much money in purchasing new inventory to flip.
2. Research the going rate for your book based on its condition and edition.
By typing in the book’s ISBN into the search tool at BookScouter.com you’ll see the going rates for either “buying” or “selling” that book within seconds. The BookScouter app acts as a scanner that can speed up your research. Simply scan the code and see the prices offered by all of our online vendors. If you have hundreds or thousands of books you want to research, tap into our Pro User subscription to access the Bulk Lookup tool!
3. Search for the best platform to post your book to sell.
BookScouter.com is the fastest way to flip your books. If you sell to one of our vendors, you ship the books immediately and get paid as soon as the book(s) is processed There are several other places our users have mentioned posting their books in the past like eBay and Amazon. If you think you may get a higher price by selling on another marketplace platform, create an account and list your book there.
You’ll need to be more patient with this option, as you have to wait for your books to sell. If you use a marketplace, you will need to account for shipping costs (while shipping is free for books sold on BookScouter). You may also want to check out Amazon FBA.
With this option, you ship your inventory to Amazon and set your pricing, and then Amazon ships your books directly to the customer when they sell (like consignment). Of course, there are fees associated with this service, but it is a popular option with book flippers.
4. Sell your book.
On BookScouter this involves: typing in the ISBN, viewing the best prices, choosing a vendor, clicking “sell”, following the steps on the vendor’s website. With other marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, once you post your book for resale you’ll wait a little bit of time before a sale takes place.
5. Ship your book.
Once your book has been purchased, package your book(s) ASAP! When packaging your books include the packing slip inside and add the shipping label on the outside of the box. Be sure to package the book in a safe way that minimizes any damage. You want your customer to receive the book in the same condition you described.
Here’s another pro-tip: notify your customer of the tracking number or at least keep the tracking information until the package is received by your customer.
6. Send the invoice.
While each platform is different as to when you receive your funds, it’s most common that your payment will arrive once the book has been processed and the customer confirms the condition is as described.
Many marketplace platforms require payment for the book upfront, so you should receive your money fast. However, other places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace depend on what you and the customer have agreed upon (typically pay in person or PayPal once the item is received).
7. Designate your funds.
As with any business keep track of your revenue (you can use something as simple as a spreadsheet or invest in Quickbooks). Make sure you pay yourself and team for your work, pay any bills your business has (this type of business has low overhead, but as you grow you might add on additional paid services to streamline your work) and invest in your business.
As you grow the business consider your own business license and bank account. Don’t forget to keep track of your revenue and payments for both personal records and tax purposes.
8. Add to your inventory.
To help your business grow, we recommend investing a few thousand dollars to really kick things off! It may take some time (a few weeks to a couple of months) but it shouldn’t take too long for you to begin seeing a return on your investment, especially if you time it right.
For the best resale profits, we recommend selling close to the start of a college semester (specifically if you’re selling textbooks). You can find books to add to your inventory in several ways: online, college students, liquidation sales, estate sales, and thrift stores.
Once you take these steps you’ll be able to confidently move forward with consistently making money by flipping books!
Is it Legal to Sell Used Books Online?
In the US, this is covered by what is known as the First Sale Doctine, which permits you to resell the physical book if you so wish, without owing any royalty to the author or publisher — assuming that you received the book through a retail purchase and not through some other contractual arrangement.
Selling the book is not considered “reproducing” the work, it is considered selling the physical good that represents the work. Making copies of the book would be considered “reproduction” of the work.
How Much Can You Make Selling Books
A typical book author barely makes more than minimum wage. You receive an advance and 10% royalties on net profit from each book. If your book retails at $25 per copy, you would need to sell at least 4,000 copies to break even on a $5,000 advance. Mack Collier, author of Think Like a Rock Star, estimates that he earned $15.63/hour for writing his book, working 25 hours per week over a period of 9 months.
Does this mean you should give up your dream of being a successful author? Of course not, because you can make a living writing books–even if you don’t sell a single copy.
You’ll make money as an author, not from the sales of your book, but from the relationships you create with your books.
Even Grisham, King, and Rowling make more money from TV and film adaptations of their books than the actual sales of their books. Producers pay them a lot of money for the opportunity to capitalize on the relationships they’ve forged with their readers, and to give their fans a deeper experience with the stories they’ve come to know and love.
This holds the key to how “lesser” authors like you and me can make money with books, too: Use your book to create relationships with readers. Let your book be your ambassador so others get to know, like, and trust you. Your book will open doors and grease the wheels.
You may think it’s foolish of me to give the book away, especially since I’ve received royalties over $10,000 from Amazon by now.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. People who downloaded the free book became aware of my consulting services and training programs and eventually brought in revenues of over a quarter of a million dollars.
Is Book Flipping Profitable?
As with any side hustle or new business, flipping books is not solely passive income at the beginning. While it’s not as large scale as flipping houses, as your book inventory increases, so does the extra cash.
The profits you can make from selling books depends on the genre, alongside the book availability and the price you purchased the book. But if you choose the books correctly, you can get a decent profit margin compared to what you paid.
You can probably expect to make a few hundred bucks per month or even turn it into a business. For example, some successful individuals within this space are reportedly earning around $6,000+ a month just from flipping books!
How much time does flipping books take?
This really depends on how efficient your process is, and how much time you have to spare.
An experienced bookseller using all of the right software can spend approximately 1-2+ hours searching through books per day. And not just at random yard sales, profitable books can be in various locations or even online.
The research and finding books will be the most time-consuming aspect, until you get into a good rhythm and know what to look for. Additionally, you will spend time listing books, shipping or setting up an online marketplace to sell your secondhand books.
Once you have that set up though, you could begin to use the platform and extend it to flipping thrift store clothing, furniture, and more.
What Books Are Worth a Lot of Money?
Households have been told to check their attics and bookshelves in case they’re sitting on rare book editions that could be worth a fortune.
Personal finance experts from The Money Pig have researched and revealed seven books that have been sold for hundreds or thousands of pounds. Could you unknowingly own similar copies?
The first edition of the first book in the Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – has been known to fetch between £30,000 – £40,000 at auction, but only a few thousand copies were printed. Even first editions of rom-com favourite Bridget Jones’s Diary could be worth as much as £500 if signed by the author.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the only book in the series that credits ‘Joanne Rowling’ as its author with a print line number that reads ’10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1′. First editions can fetch about £30,000 to £45,000 at auction, depending on its condition.
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
A first edition of this best-selling 1996 novel could be worth £175, and a signed copy could potentially sell for as much as £500.
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby with the original dust jacket is a rare book to track down. The novel wasn’t a best-seller when it was released in 1925, and only around 25,000 copies were sold by the time of the author’s death in 1940. However, a first edition with the dust jacket can now fetch upwards of £150,000.
4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
George Allen & Unwin Ltd. printed only 1,500 copies of The Hobbit for its initial run, but the children’s book quickly sold out just three months after its release. This is a limited book, but a first edition copy in near-perfect condition is worth about £50,000.
5. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh’s gritty modern novel filled with heroin addiction, crime and poverty in Edinburgh can currently fetch up to around £2,700 for a 1993 first edition.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
A first edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm – which critiques the ideology of Stalin in the Soviet Union – is worth around £7,000.
7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A pristine first edition of Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s classic is worth up to £8,000.
What is The Best Way to Sell Used Books?
Do you have used books to sell and want to get a great price for them? Usually reselling is a bit of a gamble, but it doesn’t have to be with books. There are several methods for reselling books, both in-person and online.
A great first step is to plug in a book’s ISBN into Book Scouter, which is a tool that shows you how much 50-plus online book buyers are willing to pay for a title. It even has a free mobile app that you can download, which is handy if you want to check thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales for books that you can resell at a profit.
Just scan the ISBN to see what a particular book is currently selling for, and if it’s more than what you can buy it for, snap it up and resell it. Featured Video 7 Tips for Every Gardener
To maximize your profits, use their price history tool to see how much a particular book has sold for in the past. It may help you to identify a particular time of the year when your book will sell for more. Also be sure you know how to clean books to get rid of any damage, dust, or mildew before selling.
More Places to Sell Your Used Books
- eBay: eBay is a great place to try reselling your used books. Niche books always attract bidders, and what’s your trash could be another’s treasure: plenty of people are looking for used SAT or textbooks on eBay.
- Local bookstores and book-buying markets: If you don’t want to fuss with packing and mailing your books, take them to a local used bookstore, put them in a kids’ consignment sale, or try selling them through Facebook Marketplace. As long as your books are recent and desirable, they should still earn you enough to be worth your time.
- Yard sales: Have a yard sale to get rid of the books that you weren’t able to sell through other channels, donate them to a thrift store, or tuck them in a Little Free Library, so other people in your community can enjoy them. It sure beats having them take up space in your house.
What is The Rarest Book in The World?
1. The Declaration of Independence
The original Declaration of Independence, signed by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams, is easily one of the rarest, most sought after documents of all time. There were only 200 copies of it printed on July 4th, 1776, and only about 26 copies survive to this day.
Fun Fact: One of the copies was discovered behind a painting that was bought at a flea market for only $4! Since the document has a value of about $9 million, that’s quite the steal!
2. Shakespeare’s First Folio
The works of William Shakespeare are amongst the most influential in the world, continuing to have great precedence in Western literature 400 years after his death in 1616. His First Folio is so rare because it is the first authoritative collection of his plays, compiled by his friends and business partners who helped run his theatre company.
An estimated 750 copies were printed between 1622 and 1623. The First Folio contains 36 plays, originally with many typographical errors, and is preferred by most theatre companies over modern renditions of Shakespeare’s works.
3. The Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible, printed in 1440, is the first book to have ever been printed on a printing press (by Johannes Gutenberg). To add to its uniqueness, the book was originally printed in folio form or as loose leaf pages that the owner would then get bound to their preference. There are only 48 copies left, and in 2007 a single leaf of one went on sale for $74,000.
4. The Birds of America
The Birds of America is a result of legendary naturalist James Audubon’s determination in 1820 to illustrate, in detail, every bird in North America. And so he created a series of beautiful paintings titled The Birds of North America and mailed them to his subscribers one by one between 1827 and 1838.
5. The Codex of Leicester
The Codex of Leicester is a recording of scientific observations by one of the greatest minds to have ever lived, Leonardo Da Vinci. The 72 page manuscript is compiled of mental notes on his ideas of medical observations, futuristic inventions, and more. Because the notebook is one of a kind, there are no other copies and it was already purchased by Bill Gates in 1994 for over $30 million. He showcases it at various cities across the US, so keep on the lookout for it in your hometown!
6. Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra published the first Don Quixote de La Mancha in 1605. The first edition last changed hands in 1989 for $1.5 million and is not very easy to hunt down these days. New translations of the book come out every 20 years or so.
7. Tamerlane and Other Poems
Edgar Allen Poe, one of the earliest American poets, published his first collection of poems anonymously. Tamerlane and Other Poems was supposedly not very good, but only printed 50 copies. Collectors are interested in the value of Poe’s anonymity – the book’s publisher is printed as simply “a Bostonian.”
8. Ptolemy’s Geographia Cosmographia
Ptolemy, who lived around 100 AD, contributed some of the most influential scientific findings in history. Though the printing press wasn’t invented in his lifetime, he hand drew a manual of maps that portrayed the world as he knew it at that time.
The Geographia maps today are wildly inaccurate, but remain an important resource on the European view of the world in that time period. His model of a geocentric universe, one where the sun and planets revolve around the earth, outlived him and was considered fact for 1,400 years.
9. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Another great book of scientific discoveries is Copernicus’ On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres. This book contained the realization of a heliocentric universe, one where the sun, not the Earth, is the center of our solar system. This affected every institutional understanding of the world, from religion to science to philosophy.
To avoid the fallout of being accused of heresy in his lifetime, Copernicus waited until he was on his deathbed before he published his findings. Today there are only 260 copies left of On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, each roughly worth $1-2 million.
10. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
In the final Harry Potter book, Albus Dumbledore bequeaths Hermione with the first edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a book about wizarding bedtime stories and folklore that lead to the discovery of the Deathly Hallows.
The fictional book became such a hit that J.K. Rowling illustrated and published 7 handmade copies, decked out in leather and silver jewels, which granted them the name the Moonstone Edition. She gave 6 to the people who helped her make the Harry Potter series so successful, and sold the last to benefit the Children’s Voice charity.
How Much Does it Cost to Sell Used Books on Amazon?
Selling books on Amazon is a really good idea. According to The Atlantic, “Amazon controls 64 percent of sales of printed books online.” They also “have the largest share of the e-book market… with 67 percent.”
Whether you want to work from home as an online seller, sell your own book, or just free some space on your bookshelf, Amazon is the place to get started.
Amazon fees are no joke. They charge:
- A 15% referral fee on books.
- A $1.80 closing fee on all media items, including books.
- Either $0.99 per item (Individual sellers) or $39.99 per month (Professional sellers).
And never forget that your time is valuable!
Many Amazon sellers set a minimum sale price like $12 or $15. If the book can’t sell for that price due to competition, condition, or lack of demand, they won’t touch it. They know the thin profits won’t make up for the lost time and the risk of problems like Amazon chargebacks.
How do You Know if a Book is Worth Money?
Do you have an old or antiquarian book and would like to know its value? You might think it’s a rare and valuable book but don’t know where to find its value? One very simple method of finding an approximate value of a book is to search for similar copies on AbeBooks.com and see what prices are being asked.
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The sellers on AbeBooks.com offer for sale new, used, rare and out-of-print books, and we have millions of used and rare books available for purchase. Well known to book collectors and booklovers, our site is an excellent resource for discovering a rough value of an old book. AbeBooks has been part of the rare book world since going live in 1996.
When searching on AbeBooks, it’s important to find copies that match the book in your possession as accurately as possible. Search carefully and avoid spelling mistakes.
Condition is very important and will greatly influence value. A beaten-up old book that is falling apart will have little value.
First editions are sought-after by book collectors and a first edition is usually more valuable than a later printing. A first edition signed by the author will have even greater value.
Scarcity influences value.
For hardcover books published from the 20th century onwards, the presence of a dust jacket and its condition also greatly affect value.