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Selling Books Online: Is It Worth The Effort? Has Anyone Tried It?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

a friend of mine is moving far away and he gave me pretty much his entire library. he has a lot of very nice books, as him and his wife have great taste in literature. although i would love to keep a lot of them, there is no way i could, so i was thinking of selling some of them online to make a few extra $$. but when i went to amazon and started looking them up, i found out that a lot of them start at 0.01$ used. this makes absolutely no sense to me. how can anyone make profit? i was planning to sell them for 7-10 depending on the author and popularity, but now i dont know if i even should put my time into that. 

has anyone tried selling books online? was it worth your effort? 

i was thinking maybe it would be better to just donate them all somewhere and write it off our taxes, since then we could claim their initial value... and there is a LOT of books, so we could probably write off close to 1,000, if not more.

any thoughts?

post #2 of 9

The sellers who sell their books for $.01 make their profit from shipping.

 

I've sold books on eBay before, but it was a few years ago.  It's somewhat time consuming, so I would recommend doing some research on what the most rare and in-demand books are that you have, and searching what they sold for in Completed Listings.

 

You could also try Craigslist and/or selling them as a lot.

 

Another option is to sell them to a used book store.  You probably won't make much, but it might be worth looking into. 

post #3 of 9
I'm sure you could eventually make some money selling them on Amazon, since even the 1¢ books require $3.99 for shipping. But the trips to the post office would annoy me.

I took mine to Half Price Books and made quite a bit. It's a great option to get rid of a lot of books all at once. Maybe you won't make as much, but it's much less work.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post

I'm sure you could eventually make some money selling them on Amazon, since even the 1¢ books require $3.99 for shipping. But the trips to the post office would annoy me.

I took mine to Half Price Books and made quite a bit. It's a great option to get rid of a lot of books all at once. Maybe you won't make as much, but it's much less work.


Half Price Books rocks my world!  I wish we had one in SoCal, but it's probably better for my small house that we don't, LOL.

 

post #5 of 9

My mom sells used books on Half.com

 

No, she does not make much money.  Like Amazon, some of the books sell for pennies and she makes money on the postage.  She's retired so she has time to kill, but for most of us, it's really not worth the time.

 

I'd take 10 or so of the best looking books you have.  Look them up on Half.com and see what they sell for.  If you think you could make money on these books, then check the rest of the books.  More than likely, you can't so you are better off donating them or selling them to used book dealer.  

post #6 of 9

You could have a yard sale and try to sell them for 50 cents to $3 each, depending on the book. 

post #7 of 9

I wouldn't do it personally. 

 

I am saying this having over six years experience in the online book business as a partner in an independent bookstore.  We do all of the tasks for online selling every single day.  (I've also seen a few acquaintance try their hand at it from home and usually it doesn't end up worth it.)

 

You can't make money on shipping for those cheap books--only huge warehouse style businesses do because they get really big bulk bargains on shipping and other costs AND they also are motivated to blast the overall competition from smaller businesses like us.  Amazon gets their cut.  That's a chunk.  Plus don't forget the "variable closing fee."  Envelopes cost money, you need padding as well, packing tape--even when we are buying them in bulk they are a big enough factor to cut our meager profits.  Setting up an account, getting everything online, making trips to the post office, waiting for those sales to happen, being on call via email for problems.  Everything costs time and money.  We barely make it worth it by being totally set up for it and having some modest quantity efficiencies to make up for the tiny amounts we actually make per book.

post #8 of 9
I've sold some on half.com. It is very easy to list (ISBN#) and it will pop the current listing prices for you to see what you want to list them for. I say try it out and see what you can get. Academic books and popular fiction sell best.

Otherwise, I usually take boxes of books to the local used book store. They give 25% of the cover price as store credit. Using this method works for me. I haven't paid for most of my books for years thanks to my father's discards.
post #9 of 9

I've sold both on Half.com and through yard sales. Made more money with Half.com. I usually only charge $1 or $2 a book at yard sales, where half.com tells you how much you'll get. 

It's definitely worth a shot if you're like me and have a LOT of books laying around.

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