Whether you’re a student with some leftover textbooks that your local bookstore wouldn’t take back or an avid reader with some titles you’d like to weed from your collection, you can sell your books online without a lot of trouble.
You should realize something however: Used books are rarely worth as much as you think they are. Popular fiction titles are often worthless a few weeks or months after they’re published. Textbooks hold value until a new edition is released, then the old edition drops rapidly in value until it’s worthless.
Generally, if a non-fiction book was written by an author who is a household name, the book was published in such large quantities that it becomes worthless very quickly. More obscure titles hold their value longer.
So, you must be wondering, is it worth it to try to sell my books online given these challenges? If you have valuable titles, you can almost always get more by selling a book online than by selling it to your local used bookstore.
There are three great ways to sell books online offered by companies with which you’re probably already familiar. Let’s start with the easiest option.
Option 1: Amazon Trade-In
If you want to get rid of your books quickly and don’t mind getting an Amazon gift card instead of money in exchange for them, the Amazon trade-in program could be for you. All you need is an Amazon shopping account, and you could have your Amazon credit within a few days after sending in your books.
A third-party runs the program for Amazon, and they only pay you a fraction of what a book is selling for online. That means you’ll get substantially less than if you open a seller account on a sales venue and sell your books yourself, but this reputable program is simple, quick and pays as agreed.
To participate in the Amazon trade-in program, simply look up each book you have to sell on Amazon, then click the link near the third-party seller prices that asks if you have one to sell. You’ll be told exactly how and where to send the books and will be provided a shipping label.
To learn more, explore the Amazon trade-in program now. (It’s also great for certain DVDs, video games and electronics.)
Option 2: Sell On Half.com
If you have a large number of books to sell, have valuable titles that Amazon won’t purchase or want to get more for your books than the Amazon trade-in program will give you, consider opening a seller account on Half.com, an eBay company.
Half.com is the easiest marketplace for beginner booksellers to master, and they welcome amateur sellers. It’s where I started, and it’s where many other amateur and professional booksellers got their feet wet too. Sales seem to be slower on this venue than they once were, but it has some advantages over other online marketplaces: There’s no monthly fee, and the commission is a flat 15 percent. That means you can get started at no cost and only pay a commission when an item sells.
Once you sell an item, you’re responsible for packaging it and putting postage on it. You can use delivery confirmation or insurance if you like, but these services decrease your profits since you aren’t paid extra for them. Every book you sell is your responsibility until it safely reaches the customer, however.
To learn more about selling on Half.com, visit the site now.
Option 3: Sell On Amazon
Sell my books online through Amazon? Even if I don’t want to become a full-time bookseller?
Amazon charges sellers a higher commission than Half.com, but you can sell your books online through Amazon without paying a monthly fee and without any long-term commitments even if you don’t want to make bookselling your career.
Here’s why those with only a limited number of books to sell turn to Amazon: There are more buyers. Amazon is easily the world’s largest marketplace for books, and many customers turn to Amazon first when they’re looking for a book.
Amazon charges two flat fees per book and a commission, but in exchange, sellers get access to more buyers than any other site can offer.
For sellers who decide to make a career of bookselling and consistently sell more than 40 books per month, paying a monthly fee eliminates one of the two flat fees.
Just as with selling on Half.com, sellers are responsible for each book until it safely reaches its customer. Amazon has systems in place to protect both buyers and sellers, however, including a communications system that tracks contact between buyers and sellers and an established return process.
Start selling on Amazon by reading about the seller program on the Amazon site.
Which Way To Sell My Books Online Is Best?
If you have only a few titles you want to sell quickly and easily, Amazon’s trade-in program could be for you. You’ll only get a fraction of what the book originally cost and only a fraction of what the book is worth, but the process couldn’t be simpler.
If you want to try your hand at selling your books on a marketplace, there’s no cost to get started selling on Half.com, but the site sometimes seems to have few buyers. Getting started as a seller on Amazon’s marketplace is more complex, and you’ll pay higher fees when a book sells. The upside of selling on Amazon is that the site has plenty of buyers.
Of course, when you list books for sale it’s possible that some books will never sell. It’s also possible that the selling price will drop so much while you’re waiting for a buyer that selling the book is no longer profitable.
So, perhaps you’re still wonder, what’s the best way to sell my books online? It depends on how much you want to make, how much effort you’re willing to put into the project and how quickly you need to sell the titles.