Sell Books Online: A Quick Guide to Success

Diving into the world of online entrepreneurship can seem daunting, but it’s an exciting journey to embark on. As the internet emerged in the 90s, the possibilities of making money online in innovative ways garnered the attention of many, and you’re probably no exception. Selling books online, for instance, can be a lucrative business with the right approach.

As you delve into the realm of online book selling, learning the basics is crucial for success. By understanding the different types of used books to sell, specialized book selling versus general book flipping, and finding the right platform to start selling your books, you can quickly turn this venture into a profitable endeavor. Here’s to fulfilling your dream of online entrepreneurship!

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the basics of selling used books online and the types of books to sell
  • Know the difference between specialized book selling and general book flipping
  • Choose the right platform to begin selling your books online for maximum profitability

How to Make Money Selling Books Online

Exploring the Basics: 4 Types of Used Books to Sell

Today, selling used books online for profit is much simpler than in the past, with tools like TexTrader that do most of the work for you. To enhance your success in selling books online, here are four types of used books you should focus on.

Sell Books Online

1. Old Textbooks

According to recent articles, the used textbook market is worth between $5.5 billion and $8 billion. There’s a lot of money to be made in this arena. Both Amazon and eBay are popular options for listing and selling textbooks online. Additionally, you can consider exploring textbook-specific marketplaces such as,,,, and Abe Books.

You may find used textbooks to sell in secondhand or thrift stores, garage sales, buyback vendors, eBay, Craigslist, or even by asking friends and family members.

2. Modern First Edition Books

Modern first edition books are books published within the last 30 or 40 years that are starting to become collectible. Sometimes, these first editions are worth paying a bit more for something with potential future value. You can find modern first edition books at thrift stores, garage or yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist, or even on eBay if you know what to look for.

Usually, the best platform for selling modern first edition books is eBay, but if you have a large inventory of used books on hand and are willing to wait for the best price, consider using an online bookstore like

3. Out of Print Used Books

Out of print used books are standard adult and children’s books that might be found in any old bookstore or thrift store. There typically isn’t a lot of money to be made in these run-of-the-mill books, especially with the competition and fees on Amazon. The profit margin can be slim after considering packaging, shipping labels, and shipping costs.

However, if you’re looking at selling these types of books as a long-term project and are willing to keep a large inventory, you might still find it worthwhile to sell them online.

By familiarizing yourself with the four types of used books outlined above, you can start making money selling used books online and even potentially grow it into a profitable business venture.

Specialized Book Selling Vs. General Book Flipping

Tips from an Experienced Book Hound

As someone with 15 years of experience in selling used and collectible books online, Shane shares some useful tips for those wanting to make money from this business. It’s crucial not to feel overwhelmed with all the information and rather approach it as an adventure. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Always be honest about the condition of the books.
  • Don’t underestimate the potential hidden treasures in unwanted bulk books.
  • Acquire knowledge about valuable books in specific fields or those authored by famous writers before they gained prominence.

Handling Excess and Hard-to-Move Books

Sometimes, you might end up with too many books that are difficult to sell. In such cases, consider donating them to local libraries, schools, or even prisons. You can also set up little street free library houses for your neighborhood or create promotional opportunities for your blog or website by partnering with local news sites or bloggers.

Checking Selling Prices Prior to Purchase

It’s essential to research completed listings on platforms like eBay to determine how much you can expect to sell a book for. Although finding extremely valuable books might be rare, you can still come across books with good selling potential. Just remember to be patient and diligent in your search.

Selling Books Online: A Few Key Points

If you’re just starting as a book seller, there are a few steps you can follow:

  1. Purchase guidebooks to learn about book conditions, identifying first editions, and collectible books.
  2. Use apps like Scout IQ or Textrader for tracking trends.
  3. Familiarize yourself with common platforms for selling books.
  4. For collectible or antique books, focus on specialist collectors for non-fiction and first editions or first printings for fiction.
  5. Put your knowledge into action, since real-world experience is invaluable.

By keeping these tips in mind and staying informed about ISBN, buyback, offers, and other market aspects, you can successfully build a thriving book selling business, whether it involves specialized books or general book flipping. Remember, patience and perseverance are essential for success in this industry.

Where Should I Begin Selling Books Online?

Finding the Ideal Platform for Your Book Selling Journey

When you’re ready to start selling books online, finding the right platform can make a significant difference in your profits. With the popularity of online book sales, numerous platforms cater to different book-selling needs. Here are some of the best options to consider:

  • Amazon: As the largest online marketplace globally, Amazon can be an excellent choice for selling modern and popular books. To get started, simply create an Amazon seller account. However, keep in mind that Amazon might not be the right fit for antique or rare first editions.
  • eBay: While eBay might not always attract the highest prices for used books, it can help clear out your inventory and create cash flow. If you have many first editions that aren’t extremely rare or valuable, eBay can be a practical option for your book selling endeavors.
  • Abebooks: Abebooks is a popular platform known for selling rare books, antique first editions, and valuable collectible books. If you possess a collection of first edition fiction or collectible older non-fiction books, Abebooks can help you get the best price for your rare finds.
  • Flipsy is an all-around flipping website with an active book section for both modern popular titles and antique collectible books. If you’re already familiar with Flipsy, exploring its book section might lead to successful sales.
  • Bookscouter: If you plan on selling used textbooks, Bookscouter might be the right choice. Many college students are eager to find affordable textbooks, making this platform a goldmine for used textbooks sales.
  • Local Used Book Stores: While local bookstores might not offer the best financial return, they can help free up space in your collection and offer store credit or gift cards for your future reading needs.

The Road Ahead: Selling Used Books Online

As you embark on your book-selling journey online, you might find the thrill of discovering valuable first editions at thrift stores to be an exciting experience. Time will tell whether this becomes more than just a hobby. If you’re interested in flipping college textbooks, consider checking out TexTrader to save time and hassle in growing your book-selling income stream.

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