Sell Used Books: Strange Ways to Make Money

Ah, but this isn’t strange, you say. Of course when I’m done with a book I’ll sell it on Amazon or eBay. But what if you could sell books you got for free, or that you paid only pennies for? Then you would make nothing but profit. If you want to sell used books, you don’t want to pay a lot to get the stock you’re going to sell. If you’re a big reader to start with and you buy a lot of books anyway, your personal stash is a good place to start, but those books likely cost you a fair amount of money.

The trick to making money selling used books is to know where to find books for free, or nearly so. Many people run entire used book stores on inventory that th


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6 Responses to Sell Used Books: Strange Ways to Make Money

  1. Annie Jones says:

    If there a lot of books at a garage sale, you can ask if they will discount their prices if you buy all of them. I did this once; I spent $100 on a lot of about 350 books (all fairly current novels, no more than a few years old). I grouped them into complete sets and series where I could and sold the rest as partial sets or as individual books. I sold them on eBay and for more than $500 ($400+ in profit).

    I had kept out just a few that I wanted to read myself, then also sold those when I was finished.

    The few that didn’t sell (less than a dozen) were donated to a thrift store.

  2. Julie Anna says:

    HI Jennifer,

    Terrific article. Yes, you can make just a little money selling used books or a bunch of money. Another tip is to buy up yard sale left overs and turn the books into your local book selling store for store credit. Then you can peruse their shelves for valuable books. Most brick and mortar sellers have no idea how much some books sell for online. Even if you did have to pay $4 for a book that sells for $40 it’s a great ROI. I’ll trade $4 for $40 all day long. :) Thanks for the tips!

  3. snshijuptr says:

    It is difficult to sell most paperbacks on I have sold most types of books on there and after paying for envelopes and media mail, I made <$1 a book. Most paperbacks are never purchased. The ones that work are textbooks, hard covers, and hobby books (think dungeons and dragons). I rarely sold even very popular paperbacks.

  4. athenabyron75 says:

    These are great ideas, especially the ones about joining a book club and reselling the books. I did this several times. The big sellers are new cookbooks and self-help/diet books.

  5. Rich says:

    The key is not only cost but time. If you get a whole bunch of books for free but they are worth very little and it takes a ton of time you will make money but you have to ask your self “was it worth it?”

  6. Aaron Truez says:

    Also, watch for the used bookstores that will be going out of business in the next year or two. They will be a great source of cheap books, just remember to stock up when you have the opportunity!

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