How To Make Money Selling Used Books On Amazon (FBA)

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Despite what you hear on YouTube ads, creating an on-line income is truly unvoiced and either takes a huge investment of clock or money .
then if you ’ re after passive income, I ’ thousand deplorable, I can ’ t help you .
There just isn ’ t free money to be had.

however, there is a way that offers compromising hours, high profits, and the possibility of plus cash flow from day one. Since you ’ re already reading this article, it ’ second probably pretty obvious that we ’ ra talking about selling used books online .
Selling books on Amazon is one of the craziest opportunities there is correct immediately ( at least in my opinion ). even with the massive inflow of sellers, there is however a short ton of money to be made and it ’ s no magic trick at all to be making $ 100/day within a month or two of starting .
We ’ ve only been selling books on Amazon for 5 years or then but in that time we ’ ve met teenagers who sell books for pocket money, college students who need a way to buy more ramen, single mothers who need lease money, and older couples who want to vacation more or stretch their retirement dollar .
And then there are weirdos like us .
young couples in their 20 ’ sulfur who got started selling their old textbooks, and couldn ’ metric ton stop !
While we ’ rhenium not the biggest sellers ( we actually have early jobs and only sell on-line part-time ) we do our best to streamline the process and make the utmost measure of money in the smallest potential time skeleton. In the past couple of years, we ’ ve used the money we make from selling on-line to fund several vacations, put a down requital on a house, and pay for tons of medical bills .
It ’ mho always a comfort ( particularly in the current world climate ) to know that if I were to lose my job tomorrow, things would be close but we wouldn ’ metric ton starve !
well enough of that, let ’ s cut to it and get you started on the way to bookish wealth and exemption ! If you actually want to sell books on Amazon or eBay, we recommend starting the correct way from the very beginning and creating a solid foundation .
When most people start they plainly run out and buy a bunch of books, meaning that they have to return to the basics in the future in order to create a more feasible occupation exemplar and organization. indeed let ’ s start off on the correct foot .

Why Should You Sell Books on Amazon ?

First off, why used books ? And why eBay and Amazon ? Well, apart from the obvious ( there is money to be made ) there are actually a long ton of reasons why selling used books can be the perfect side hustle or even full-time job :

  • It requires zero experience. I am one of those people who went to college and have 80% of two different degrees. That leaves me with a lot of knowledge and experience but a hard time getting a job. The possibility of avoiding job applications and making a ton of money as my own boss is appealing.
  • Extremely low startup cost. Really, you don’t need any money to get started. Most booksellers get started by selling their own books or books they get for free. Even if you don’t have a source for free inventory you can invest $100 and have a working business.
  • Ridiculous profit margins. In our eBay store, we shoot for 40-50% profit margins. In our web design business, we shoot for 70%. Well, what if I told you that, in bookselling, it’s possible to make 100x your money (or more). In the past couple of months, we’ve sold 2 books for over $400, both of which we paid less than $2/apiece for.
  • It can be automated. There are people who run six-figure bookselling businesses without even touching or shipping a book. You can hire people to scan books (or buy them in bulk), process them, and then send them to Amazon to sell.
  • More work means more money. I’m one of those people who has always avoided being paid a salary. I know that I usually make more on a per/hour basis as I tend to be a workaholic and put in more hours than anyone. However, selling books is even more attractive because, if you want more money, just work more hours!

How much money Can I Make Selling Books On Amazon ?

Without a doubt, one of the inaugural questions we get is, “ How a lot money can I make ? ”
Well, that depends…how much do you want to work?
Working for yourself is great because your profits are all based on how skilled you are and how much function you put in. In other words, unlike at a 9-5 job, you ’ re actually rewarded for working hard and not barely putting in your time ! immediately for the real answer : we make around $ 2,000 a month selling books part-time .
We have friends who make more, and friends who make less .
There are full-time booksellers who make $ 5-10,000 a calendar month working from family and all-out exploited book businesses that are selling a million dollars deserving of books a calendar month. The sky is the limit ! however, we would expect the average person to build their half-time business up to $ 1,000 in sales a calendar month within a pair of months .

Getting Started – The 3 Things You ’ ll Need

thankfully, you don ’ t need many things at all to get started ( which explains the minimal inauguration cost ). however, there are a act of things that will make your life easier and maximize your profits .
If you can ’ thyroxine afford any of these, don ’ thyroxine worry about it. You could, in hypothesis, find spare books and list them on Amazon using a free computer at a public library. You ’ d necessitate zero tools and would only have to pay to ship the books when they sold. however, if you want to invest in your business, hera are the 3 things you should pick up ( in order of importance ) :

1. A Barcode Scanner

Opticon Bluetooth Wireless Barcode 1D Laser Scanner OPN-2006
The days of recognizing profitable books without the internet are long gone. It used to be that you went to a bookshop and trusted your gut. immediately, you can ( and should ) avoid wasting money by looking up every book you find .
While you can use your telephone to read barcodes and look them up on both eBay and Amazon, you ’ ll be 5x fast ( and therefore more profitable ) if you buy a Bluetooth scanner. There are bantam little devices that connect with your phone and allow you to read barcodes with the touch of a button .
You can find our favored scanner here on Amazon or read our full revue and recommendation here .

2. A Database App

The Amazon Seller ’ mho App provides basic functionality when it comes to looking up the price and ranking of books. You can besides use the eBay app to see what it presently for sale and sold but it is even more time-consuming .
The problem with both of those apps is that they have to use data with every request to look things up. This takes meter and time is money in this game. You ’ ll want an app that stores all the sales ranking and price information right on your call in a database. This allows for closely instantaneous feedback when you scan a book. Consider Scoutly by asellertool or Jungle Scout as capital options for beginners .

3. A thermal Label Printer

ROLLO Shipping Label Printer - Commercial Grade Direct Thermal High Speed Shipping Printer – Compatible with ShipStation, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon - Barcode Printer - 4x6 Printer
One of my least favorite parts of selling books is the necessity to ship them. tied if you choose to sell via Amazon FBA ( and have them do the ship ) you have to get the books to them .
This is made 100x worse if you have to go wait in line at the Post Office to ship a stack of sold books.
Invest in a big thermal printer so you can print off labels properly at home. Shipping from home can get you huge discounts from most package carriers therefore your printer will pay for itself in no time. What ’ s more, they don ’ metric ton function ink or have any breakable parts so they ’ ll last forever !
That ’ s actually all you need ! As you grow your business you ’ ll recognize the want for mundane items such as a videotape gun or a lightbox but you don ’ t need them to get started !
Now we get to the actual method for selling used books on Amazon. We’re going to break this down into 5 parts:

  1. Sourcing (Acquiring Books To Sell)
  2. Choosing A Platform (eBay vs. Amazon)
  3. Listing Books for Sale
  4. Inventorying and Storing Your Books
  5. Shipping Your Books When They Sell

If you can master those four facets of bookselling, you ’ ll have a very hard meter not being successful and making money !

1. Sourcing Books To Resell

When it comes to selling books on Amazon and eBay, you can list a hundred books a day but, if you ’ ra choosing poor books, you will never even break flush. conversely, it is potential to make hundreds ( or thousands ) of dollars per calendar month by listing lone a couple of books a sidereal day ! In fact, a acquaintance of mine ( who is very especial about the books he buys to resell ) purchases books entirely from thrift stores and sells less than 30 books a calendar month .
From those 30 books, he makes about $ 2,000 which pays his mortgage ! It takes the lapp come of feat and money to choose and buy poor people books as profitable books .
so what books sell good on Amazon or eBay ? And how do we find them ? Well beginning, we need to understand our customers .

Why Do People Buy Books On Amazon and eBay ?

From our feel, there are four different types of people who buy books on Amazon and eBay :

  • Those who buy books online because it is more convenient.  They don’t care as much about price and typically buy new books.
  • Those who simply want the best deal possible.  These people often buy penny books and, unless you are planning to sell thousands of books a month, these probably aren’t your target customer. The exception to this rule is people who are shopping for textbooks, professional books, etc. all of which are profitable even at a discount.
  • People who need a book on a specific topic.  Whether they are looking for a book about The History of State Fairs in Arkansas or a Cookbook for the Diabetic Schizophreniac, these people are great customers to target.  The more unusual or specific the book you find, the more you can charge.
  • Lastly, collectors of books.  These people are looking for a book because of the value that it has to them, information aside.  It could be a first edition, a signed copy, or a rare antique copy.  Books that go to these buyers sell slowly but are very profitable.

so how does understanding who buys your product help you make more money ?
Well it ’ second elementary, selling on Amazon is a unique business model because each one of your products is wholly different. Unlike most businesses where you might spend days or weeks choosing a new product before spending thousands of dollars to stock your inventory, every time you go to source for new books you find a twelve fresh products !
If you are making decisions that often, keeping in mind who will buy each one of your books will help you make a much better decision .
A good follow-up question as to why people buy books, is, what kind of books do people actually want?
If you are concern in selling high-profit books, you are looking to sell to the death two groups of people from the tilt above. So you should be looking for books that they can ’ metric ton find at their local anesthetic book storehouse .
That is, books that are either besides niche-specific for a bookshop to stock, or books that are discontinued/unusual in another direction. naturally, this besides tell you what kind of books to avoid. If your buyer can go to Barnes & Noble and buy the book today for $ 14.99, why would they buy it off Amazon, pay for ship, and get it several days from nowadays ?
While sourcing books, we ask ourselves three questions:

  • Was this book expensive/valuable when it was new? Textbooks are a good example of “valuable when new books.”  Romance novels were never valuable, even when new.
  • If it was, is the information still valuable to someone? Outdated textbooks are totally worthless, vintage car manuals still have a market.
  • Is there something about this book/copy that makes it rare or unusual in another way? Is it illustrated?  A large print edition?  In an unusual language? etc…

If the answer to any of these is “ Yes ” then we make the split-second decision to put the record into the cart ! Before we leave the storehouse, we find a smudge to sit down and actually look up each of the books on Amazon to sell if they are sincerely worth bribe. alternatively, you can good scan every single book on a shelf and base your purchases off of your app .

Where To Find Books To Sell

Finding valuable books at a parsimony store or garage sale is no adult trick. At thrift stores, they are often up front in the “ collectibles ” section, and at garage sales, they are normally the individually priced books set apart from the stay. The real number trick to running an on-line ledger business is : can you systematically and promptly find books that are underpriced ? If the solution is yes, you can pretty a lot write your own ticket to a great half-time income.

Spot #1: Your Own Book Shelves

Building a bookselling commercial enterprise can be quicker if you have some capital to invest but, if you ’ re short on funds, you might have all the startup money you need sitting on your bookshelf
My wife and I were bang-up lovers of books and bought a long ton of them…until we had our beginning daughter. then we discovered that, within our hearts, we were in truth great lovers of having rent money and buy diapers. So we slowed down our personal book-buying and started looking for no-cost on-line startups. It was then that we realized that we already had a down of cash sitting on our bookshelves .
Of course, we had deluxe visions of being able to pay our economic rent with the “ rare ” books we had, but the solution, while far less august, never-the-less put us on the way to some likeness of fiscal security. In the end, we made over $ 400 by cleaning off our shelves ! Of course, the hidden with any business is to grow your business by reinvesting the profits. So that $ 400 has turned into 100k in the 4 years since. Try finding a common fund that will do that for your savings !

Spot #2: Thrift Stores

Anytime we visit Goodwill or any other thrift memory, there are at least a couple of people combing through the books with their phones out. The capital thing about thrift stores is that, not lone do they have thousands of books, but it is wholly acceptable to take your time and look up each book individually. While the price per script is frequently higher than at garage sales, we find that our achiever rate is higher deoxyadenosine monophosphate well .
Tips for Finding Sellable Books At Thrift Stores

  • When they are thousands of books to go through, speed is the name of the game.  When we pick up a book, we make a judgment call within a couple of seconds if it’s worth buying.  If we think it is, it goes straight into the cart.  Before we leave, we find a couch and look up each book on Amazon to make sure it is profitable before we buy it.
  • Get a database app!  Most sellers who are cruising thrift stores use them and go through every single shelf. If you don’t have one you are at a huge disadvantage from the second you walk through the doors.
  • If a section is typically unprofitable, skip it.  While there might be a single rare or signed book in the teen fiction section (unlikely…) it’s not worth looking through the 1,000 unprofitable books to find it.  Stick to where the going is easy.

Spot #3: Garage Sales

Call us socially awkward, but garage sales have not constantly been our favorite places. While we wholly love the idea of finding big deals, it used to be that we ’ five hundred entirely stop if the sale was already popular. It ’ s so uncomfortable to be the merely person looking through a yardsale ( while the owner watches you… ) alone to find that it ’ s all garbage. however, since we “ grew up ” and decided that making money was more crucial to us than any illusion of our pride, garage sales have become one of our largest sources of inventory.

Tips For Finding Sellable Books At Garage/Yard Sales

  • Make an offer on many or all the books.  We often buy books by the box and simply donate what isn’t worth listing.  
  • If the owner sees you looking up books and watches you pick out only a couple, they will be far less likely to negotiate.  If you find a valuable book you’re probably better off to put it in with a bunch of romantic novels and offer them $5 for the lot.
  • If a sale has tons of books, leave you name and number with the seller, offering to buy whatever they have left when the sale is over.  (When we do this we typically offer a “per-book” price of $0.10 or so.  Anything less is typically not worth their time and they won’t call.

garage sales and thrift stores are creditworthy for around 70 % of our book profits. While there are other options available for more dangerous and advance sellers, these two are more than sufficient to keep you busy and line your pockets .
We have 6 thrift stores within 20 minutes of our house and name we can revisit them every 2 weeks or then. From parsimony stores alone we have a relatively changeless supply of about 50-100 books per workweek. It may be intimidating to step into a store or walk over to a garage sale for the first meter, but remember, you ’ re a business owner immediately and it ’ s up to your to make the deals and the decisions .
never be afraid to walk away from a cope, or leave a store empty-handed. Knowing when not to buy is the distinguish of a dependable businessman/woman .

2. Choosing a platform

eBay vs. Amazon : Where should you sell books ?

Knowing where to list your books is not good important, it ’ s substantive if you want to maximize your profits. We ’ ve had books that seaport ’ thymine sold for months on Amazon only to be sold overnight when we shifted the list to eBay. The rationality is that the platforms attract very unlike audiences and have unlike reputations .

  • The listing format is better suited for showcasing books that are unique or special in some way.  It is much more picture-centric.
  • A larger number of collectors shop on eBay.  They are often looking for specific books and are willing to pay a premium price.
  • eBay’s used book market is less saturated.
  • More versatile shipping options.
  • Lower fees


  • Easier and faster to list books.
  • Amazon attracts a huge number of customers who are looking specifically for books.

On composition, eBay is a clear winner. however, the truth of the count is that the majority of our book sales are on Amazon. The rush at which you can list books makes it a non-choice if you want to sell at volume. Any typical koran we get can be scanned and sold on Amazon within a couple of minutes. We reserve eBay for special types of books .

The Magic of Amazon FBA

If you dream of making big money sell used books online, you ’ re going to need some avail. The actual key to growing a making a long ton of money is to sell a long ton of books. That ’ s where Amazon FBA comes in .
If you sell books on Amazon but store and ship them yourself, you are a “ FBM ” seller. not only will you have to spend time shipping but you will have to charge lower prices and you ’ ll have a lower sell through rate .
Will FBA ( Fulfillment by Amazon ) you have the option of things shipping via Amazon Prime, customers trusting your mark more, etc. not to mention the fact that you won ’ metric ton have to store or ship books to customers. With FBA you print off a belittled label to go on each book and scan it into your inventory. All of your books are then boxed up together and sent to Amazon. Once Amazon receives them the number goes alive. Amazon then handles all ship, customer service, returns, etc .
The main downside to Amazon FBA is increased fees. however, if you ’ re trying to grow a large business, this is barely one of the costs you ’ ll have to consider !

3. Listing Your Books on eBay and/or Amazon

As with most things, the best means to learn something is plainly to do it and course-correct as you go ! indeed get up right field now and find a book of yours that you nobelium longer want. Seriously….do it. Go. immediately. If you ’ ra unplayful about this then there ’ s no clock time like the award !
Are you back with a record ? good ! Let ’ s get busy. First things foremost, I ’ m operating on the assumption that you have a smartphone. If you do not, you can still use a calculator .
Let ’ s contract started by downloading the Amazon Sellers App. once you download it, set up an account and sign in. nowadays grab your record and scan it using the app. Add in the condition, use Amazon ’ sulfur suggested price, and presto ! It ’ s listed !
​Don ’ triiodothyronine worry if this first script international relations and security network ’ t deserving much, it ’ south purpose is just to learn how to list and get the ball seethe .
So congrats!  You’re now an Amazon seller!
If you ’ re like us, you ’ ll probably head straight back to your bookshelf and see if anything you have is worth more ! We ended up listing at least half of our books when we first started selling. In fact, most sellers advocate starting by selling your own books/items to fund your first stumble to a thrift shop, making this business wholly free to start !
On eBay
eBay has a closely identical arrangement for listing books, both new and used. Download the eBay app and set up your seller explanation. You can then go to your Selling page, scan the barcode of the book, and eBay will populate about all of the crucial information for you. Simply state of matter the stipulate and set your price and transportation method ( use media mail ) and you ’ ll be set !

4. Storing Your Book inventory

queerly adequate, the identical best way to store books you have for sale is on a bookshelf. We typically list books that we source within a sidereal day ( so they don ’ metric ton build up ) and they go straight on the ledge in the regulate that they ’ ra listed .
We have one shelf where you can find vintage/antique books, a couple of shelves for fabrication, and the proportion for modern non-fiction books. Since we focus on books that sell for at least $ 20 we avoid clogging up our repositing space with books that are moo profit and slow to sell. At any given time, we have approximately 500 books in our armory which can be stored on 3 bookshelves in our small bedroom .
Since we typically sell less than 10 books a day, it ’ s not a trouble for us to remember the grating order things were listed in and find them on the shelves. however, if you sell lots of books, you will either need a more twist inventory system than ours, or you should move to Amazon FBA .
The alone cause that we don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate sell FBA presently ( we have in the past ) is because of the fees. If we were to go full-time we would instantly passage into being FBA-only sellers .

5. Shipping

so you sold a script and got paid ! hurrah ! But now what ? Do you need to go out and put a box ? Or possibly you could equitable wrap it in paper ? good, we ’ five hundred invite you to take advantage of our overplus of mistakes and use what we consider to be the best way to ship books you ’ ve sold on-line .
beginning, however, let ’ s talk about one of the costly mistakes we ’ ve made in an undertake to save money .
The Wrong Way To Do It :
When we beginning started selling books on Amazon, a sincerely awful person advised us to go out and buy a seethe of brown university wallpaper. They told us that if we just wrapped the books we sold in the brown paper, taped it up with pack tape, and wrote the address on the front then we could ship them super bum !
Thank our lucky stars that we didn ’ t leap into it whole-hog and tried it on a one ledger first .
The $ 80 physics script we shipped wholly went missing in the mail…but we did get the tear brown paper rear. Things get tossed around adequate in the mail that it ’ randomness far besides slowly for the newspaper to merely tear. Since the bible doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have an address on it, it never makes it to your buyer or back to you !
After receiving several angry emails, we ended up refunding the buyer and receiving veto feedback. Stay away from the brown university newspaper trap .
The Right Way :
After our black brown composition attack, we started looking for other cheap/free ways to ship the books we sold. After all, every dollar you spend shipping the book is a dollar lost from your profits. We investigated using recycle boxes from local businesses. Too unprofessional and unreliable. Polymailers ? Damaged books. so what to do ?
After all of our trial and erroneousness, we have two methods that we keep on bridge player for shipping our books :

  • Books That Sell For Under $30 – As far as we’re concerned, bubble wrap poly-mailers are the wave of the future.  They are simply plastic envelopes (so they don’t tear), with bubble wrap lining the inside (so books don’t get squashed), and an adhesive strip on the top (so they’re super easy to close).  We keep two sizes on hand (8.5×11.25 and 10.5×16) and can drop a book into one and seal it up in less than 30 seconds.  Check them out here on Amazon!
  • Expensive or Fragile Books – Since we love to sell antique books, we often feel they need a little more support than a poly-mailer has to offer.  These books come flat but can be made into a box in 10 seconds or so.  We typically keep only one or two sizes on hand at a time and, if the book moves around too much inside, we stuff the empty space with crumpled paper or bubble wrap. If we sell a very expensive book ($100+) we’ll typically put the book in a bubble mailer and then in a book box.  Check out the book boxes we use here.

If you ’ rhenium good, about selling used books online, here ’ s our best advice : get off this web site and go do it. There is no prison term like the present and it ’ mho about time you got started .
If you ’ re a snatch diffident, preceptor ’ metric ton concern, there is no rush and there are a short ton of other ways to make money on-line. If you ’ re into clothing, check out our web log posts about selling used clothing on-line a good as our lists of brands to look for. If you ’ re not into clothing, we have hard goods excessively .
so whichever option you choose, work hard, work smart, and have fun !

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