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Got a stash of old books just sitting around, forgotten? I’ve been there. My shelves once looked like a scene from a cozy detective story, each book whispering tales of adventures past. But honestly, they’re mostly just collecting cobwebs.
Reading? It’s my escape. But as someone who loves both stories and a good side gig, it feels like every book is a tiny investment. And with the way prices are skyrocketing these days, every penny counts.
That’s probably why so many fellow bookworms are choosing used books. It’s a smart move – save a bit here and use it elsewhere. And if you’re thinking of tossing those old books, pause for a moment. Not only is it not eco-friendly, but you’re also sitting on potential earnings!
Your old novels, textbooks, and all those books in between can give you some cashback. Here’s a pro tip: sell those textbooks soon! They’re like bread – they get stale, especially when there’s a fresh edition every year. The fresher they are, the more dough you can get.
And don’t worry, there’s a whole community of bibliophiles, both online and offline, just waiting to discover what you have to offer.
Curious about where to start? Scroll down. I’ve jotted down some of the best spots to sell your books and a few tips to get the most bang for your book. Whether it’s through a screen or a stroll down the street, you’ve got options.
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Best Places to Buy Books Online
In today’s world, the art of selling used books has taken a refreshing turn from our nostalgic past. Remember those times when readers would traipse through places like Goodwill or casually elbow a friend, hinting, “You wouldn’t happen to have that old Harry Potter collecting dust, would you?”
Flash to the present, it’s all streamlined. Snap a photo of that treasured to me, whisk it onto an online platform, set up your sale post, and then lean back. Before you know it, another story enthusiast is on the other end, cash in hand, eager to dive into your old favorites. Ready to set the stage? Let’s explore some of these magical online arenas where your books can find a brand-new chapter.
BookScouter has a straightforward process of selling books. After you have entered the book’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN) on the site, the platform will provide you with the lists of vendors willing to buy the book and the corresponding price they offer. As such, the more in-demand items you sell, the more cash you can make.
Are you a student and want to sell your old books to buy new ones for the next school term? You are in luck. BookScouter is more focused on textbooks; thus, more students are selling and buying old books on the platform. But if you’ve got other genres, say fiction books by Collen Hoover, you can still make use of the platform, as there may be vendors looking for them on the site.
BookScouter is a favorite website for students who want to save money for a textbook that can cost $300, only to be used once. Anyone pursuing a graduate degree, say a law student, can buy hardcovers and paperbacks at an affordable price.
Pro: There’s a solid chance you’ll bump into, like, 30 or maybe even more keen-as-mustard vendors on the lookout for your books. And the more of these keen beans there are, the faster you can wave goodbye to your books and hello to the cash you’re dreaming of.
Con: Be prepared for some buyers to lowball you, or even, believe it or not, offer a grand total of $0.00 for a book that isn’t exactly flying off the shelves. While selling books at BookScouter is easy and fast, you might not get the best price possible. If this is the case, it’s best to sell your books on other platforms.
Are there any items that Amazon doesn’t sell these days? From rare finds to the latest releases, Amazon seems to have it all. But since our topic is about flipping old books for cash, let’s focus on how you can sell used books on Amazon.
There are two ways to be a used bookseller on this platform. The first option is to trade in your book for Amazon credit – the process is similar to BookScouter.
Enter the book’s ISBN code (usually at the back of the book cover), check for available offers, fill out some necessary details, and then use the supplied shipping label of the platform to send it in.
This option is not recommendable if you want to use the cash you get from selling books outside of Amazon. While Amazon credits offer higher prices than one could get by selling their books for cash, the company wants to keep your money to use on the site.
The second option is to sell your books for cash by creating a seller account and making your book listings. You can make as many listings as you want, no one will judge you. The process may take time, but the best part is that you can set your desired price.
Any book and genre can be sold at Amazon. However, the best-selling books are self-help, religious texts, business-centric books, and trusty textbooks.
Pro: Amazon has many selling plans and programs that are profitable for you. For instance, you can avail of the FBA Grade and Resell, where if the used book is returned to Amazon, you can relist and sell it instead of paying the company to return or destroy the item. This program makes reselling books easier for you.
Con: Unless you’re selling your used books for a good price, Amazon may not be worth it as the cost of selling second-hand books may be costly and not worth it if the goal is making extra cash in college or adulting money.
Anyone who loves reading various books or getting paid to read books must have tried selling their book collections at AbeBooks. AbeBooks is where you can sell books of any genre, rare, vintage, collectible, and first editions.
Found Stephen King books in a thrift store, or does your grandmother own a bookshelf with Toni Morrison’s collection? Congratulations, you have just found the perfect place to sell them.
AbeBooks is a less popular book-selling site as compared to other platforms on this list. But you will be surprised at how popular it is for people who know them (particularly hardcore book lovers and vintage collectors).
AbeBooks earned a reputation as a site for rare and antique pieces. So, if you have fiction books published many decades ago, look no further.
However, this platform is not ideal for those with a “burn and churn” style of selling books. Books here don’t sell quickly so it is not the best place if you want to make money today. Regardless, this is a fantastic platform for sellers who wish to earn more for their rare book items.
Pro: AbeBooks may have a limited target audience, but these people are willing to pay more for a rare book – the best spot where big money sales can be made.
Con: If you are to sell less than 500 books, you are required to pay a monthly subscription fee worth $17. On top of this, you are to pay an 8% commission for every sale made.
You can sell almost anything on both Amazon and eBay. But unlike Amazon, eBay is more affordable for sellers as only 9.15% is reduced from your profit margin, while the former is around 15% per item.
If you’re not yet on the ball to sell some things you have to make money, now is the time to give this website a try. As cliché as it may sound, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, which is particularly true with eBay.
Selling books on eBay might not make you a millionaire, but it has its own charm, much like a neighborhood garage sale. It’s not just about the cash; it’s the joy of seeing your beloved books find new readers. eBay is a magnet for those scouting for discounted used books for school or leisure may check this platform from time to time.
My tip? Sell as many books as you can sell. You may want to ask for some books your friends don’t need anymore, or anyone from the family might want to give away books for extra space. Instead of giving them away, try to list them all for sale on this site.
The best part? You can list your first 50 items for free! Niche books are also attractive to potential bidders, and many people look for review books like SATs, LSATs, etc., and other college textbooks.
Pro: eBay got cheaper commission rates for sellers. If your books are in demand and out of print, you can earn a good chunk of money on this platform.
Con: Unless you have many books to sell, eBay will not make your wallet bulky selling books alone. There are sellers who price super low, so there’s a bit of a tug-of-war to stand out without underselling yourself.
Does Decluttr ring a bell? For the tech-savvy folks who’ve sold games, CDs, DVDs, or gadgets, it might sound familiar. But for those who’ve never taken the Decluttr plunge, boy, have you been missing out!
Declutter is well-known among users as a website that turns old electronics and media for cash. However, it’s not just about tech. You can sell clothes (yes, even those polka dot bell bottoms) and various household “whatchamacallits”. And to make things even better? Used books are popular items on the app. Those paperbacks you used as makeshift coasters? There’s cash in them!
The best aspect about Decluttr is its user-friendly app. You only need to create an account on their app, scan the item you want to sell, and wait for an offer. If you receive an offer, you’ll complete the order, ship them to the Decluttr for free, and wait for the website to check them. Once accepted, you will get the payment immediately!
Pro: The app is easy to use and navigate; even Aunt May, who still has a VCR blinking “12:00”, can handle it with ease.
Con: They’re picky about the quality, whether it’s tech gadgets or books. Your old tome with the coffee stain or that doodled-on page? Not gonna make the cut. And if they decide to pass on your literary treasures? They get the recycling treatment rather than a trip back home.
Best Places to Buy Used Books Near You
Feeling like your online book listings are moving slower than a snail’s pace? Need cash pronto? Before you get impatient, try some other places where you may sell your books and earn money as quickly as a flash.
6. Used Books Stores
Are you very excited about the potential profit you might get from flipping or selling used books? If you want speedy transactions, sell them in used bookstores near you. Going there and offering your books may require time and effort, but it can solve your problems immediately when you need instant money badly.
For those who don’t want to waste their time and save their money on gas, you can call your local bookstores ahead and find out the store requirements for trade-ins.
Nothing beats the smell and feel of an actual book, huh? Pure heaven! And trust me, there’s a whole tribe of folks who feel the same. That’s why many local bookstores are often on the hunt for well-loved reads to pass on to fellow bibliophiles.
Pro: Did you know that selling books within your area keeps the revenue in your town? You will not only earn instant profit, but you can also help the community raise revenue!
Con: Many used bookstore owners may haggle prices as the books they are about to buy from you are also being sold to other people.
7. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace operates online, but since it’s connected to your FB account, you may find buyers you know personally; it could be a friend, a former classmate, a family member, or someone within your vicinity.
Making money selling books is easy and convenient as they are one of the best selling items on the platform. On Facebook Marketplace, sellers can quickly cash out from their old books. It is because the platform would recommend the items for sale to local buyers.
If you list an entire Game of Thrones or The Lord of the Rings collection, local fans or book collectors will come knocking in a heartbeat, unwilling to let such literary wonders slip through their fingers.
Since buying books in bulk is heavy, you can also save on shipping fees since your customers most likely live near you or are willing to come and pick up the items.
Pro: Unlike other online platforms where you are required to pay subscription and listing fees, Facebook marketplace is an exception. You don’t have to pay fees to create an account or maintain your books on the site. You can list books as many as you want; you are your own boss.
Con: There are a lot of Facebook marketplace users who might not take your side hustle seriously. Some may ask a few questions about the item but aren’t genuinely interested in buying from you.
8. Garage Sales
If you want to declutter your used books for money, holding a good, classic garage sale is the simplest way. Selling your books this way is less costly (or doesn’t cost you any penny at all). Like selling your books at local bookstores, this tactic instantly promises profit.
You might only make a few dollar bills this way, but if you have 80 books that you price at $1 to $2, you could load another $80 to $160 in your pocket (and, of course, clutter-free shelves!). On top of that, this is the best way to earn more income because you are free to dispose of other things for money, like selling used furniture, toys, and other household items.
Living in a vibrant neighborhood boosts your chances of making money. The presence of constant foot traffic sets the stage for profitable opportunities. Used books, in particular, have a special charm for both potential local buyers and even casual garage sale browsers. Their broad appeal, offering various knowledge and entertainment, makes them an attractive choice among the items on display.
Before the sale, clean your books and make sure they don’t smell like mildew. Organize them by genre (separate encyclopedias, children’s books, textbooks, etc.) and prepare a nice garage sale presentation with signs to help your books sell fast.
Pro: Selling books in a garage sale is a great side hustle from home. You are making money in front of your home, and it could be a great opportunity to bond with family and neighbors.
Con: A garage sale requires a lot of work. Before the event, you may need to prepare signages, place ads, and wake up early to set everything up.
Tips for Selling Your Used Books
Parting with books that have been with you for years can be such sweet sorrow. But nothing is sweeter than knowing that you can make money doing so. Now that you know the best places to sell them, let’s find out some hacks to make sure they will indeed sell.
1. Treat Them Like Royalty, Always
The condition of your book will determine its value. Whether it’s that textbook you never really loved or a first edition of a beloved J.K. Rowling gem, give them the respect they deserve. Some platforms, like Amazon or Decluttr, can be super picky. So, if they say ‘no’ to a battered copy, don’t expect a return ticket for your book.
2. Do Your Homework on Pricing
Unless you’re good at book appraisal, it’s essential to take a minute to scope out what your titles are going for online. Trust me, you don’t want to facepalm later realizing you sold a goldmine for chump change. Don’t sell your books at expensive prices either; the competition for used books can be high, and some people are willing to sell the same book at a more affordable price.
3. Decide where to sell them
Consider your needs, time, and convenience before deciding the best place to sell used books. You can choose online, yard sale, or local bookstores near you.
What is the best way to sell used books?
It depends on your preferences and the time you can spend selling them. If you have time and patience to wait for your first sale, listing your book items online is the best way. They
have a wider audience that will buy your item at your desired price.
If you hate cutting back your profit from subscription, listing, and commission fees, opting for the old-school way of selling any item is your best bet. Not to mention, you’re getting quick liquid cash when you need it the most when you sell books through yard sales or local bookstores near you.
Where Can I Sell My Books for the Most Money?
In my view, you’ll find the best opportunities to sell books for higher prices in places where buyers are actively seeking rare, vintage, and antique pieces – platforms like AbeBooks, for instance. These individuals are passionate collectors willing to engage in competitive pricing for one-of-a-kind items. Nonetheless, you can still generate income by selling popular books in demand, regardless of the platform.
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