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How to Find Books and Magazines to Sell on eBay

Updated on February 4, 2013

I have been selling on eBay over over 5 years. I was always a Powerseller and sometimes a Silver Powerseller. I have found over the years there are a number of items that are freely available to obtain, and in demand on eBay to sell over and over again..

The way to make money on eBay is not to sell a few $100 items, but to sell lots of $10 items. This is a list of items that I would list for auction starting at $9.99 and then they would sell for that price or higher.

My local sources are mainly libraries, thrift stores and garage sales. But you will have to find your own local sources.

Thrift Stores

Some thrift stores are better than others. Generally the small, independent thrift stores are better than the chain thrift stores. Goodwill and Salvation Army list items on eBay if they think they will sell, they only put in their stores what they can’t sell on eBay.

So the other thrift stores are better to find things in. Most thrift stores stock their shelves ready for the weekend, so Thursday and Friday are good days to go shopping, Monday and Tuesday are not so good.


Libraries are a good place to buy books and magazines. Not only in the library sales, but many libraries have a section of books and magazines permanently for sale. My library sells National Geographics for 10c each, I sell them for $1 each, the technique I use is below.

Children’s Books

Children’s books in ones and twos don’t sell online. If you buy a book for 99c you won’t be willing to pay $4 shipping and would prefer to buy it locally. The best way to sell children’s books is in lots. Many children’s books are in a series, I buy them at thrift stores and wait until I have more than 10 and then list them on auction with a starting price of $9.99. Sometimes I wait until I have 25 and start the auction at $24.99.

Here is a list of children’s books in series that I have sold with this method, the list is not exhaustive, and almost any children’s book that is part of a series will sell as a lot, roughly for $1 a book

· Berenstain Bears

· Little Critter

· Hank the Cowdog

· Junie B Jones

· Magic Tree House

· Bionicle books

· Star Wars books

· Childhood of Famous Americans

Adult’s books

This method works very well for adult’s books too. Once a month my library has a brown bag sale, fill a bag for $2. I would get Danielle Steele books and list 10-15 hardbacks in one auction and 10-15 paperbacks in another. The start price would be $1 per book, so 15 books would start at $14.99.


Children’s educational magazines that don’t contain adverts can be shipped media mail, but other magazines have to go parcel or priority and a pile of magazines can be very heavy. So, I get a pile of magazines that fit into a priority mail flat rate box and list them as one lot on eBay and the shipping is around $10. The type of magazines that do well are hobby magazines, I sell a lot of craft and needlework magazines and also woodworking and homebuilding magazines. The type of magazines that don’t do well are the more popular ones such as Sunset and Oprah.

This is not a complete list, but here is a list of children’s magazines that I have sold using this method

· Kid’s Discover

· Highlights

· Mathmania

· Puzzlemania

· Ask

· Appleseeds

· Odyssey

· Calliope

· Cricket (this only sells at around 50c per magazine)

This is not a complete list, but this is a list of magazines that don’t qualify for media mail that I have shipped in a flat rate priority box at more than $1 per magazine.

· Nick jr

· American Girl

· Fine Homebuilding

· Fine Woodworking

· Just Cross Stitch

· Needle Arts

I regularly buy magazines from my local library, but the best place to get magazines is garage sales. People try and sell them separately, but ask how much for the whole box. Sometimes you can get a whole box for as little as $5 and then sell them for over $1 each.

National Geographics

There are two sizes of medium flat rate boxes, the above magazines will fit in one of the flat rate boxes, but National Geographics are the perfect size for the other medium flat rate boxes. I find the older magazines don’t sell, so I buy the current year, the previous year and the year prior to that one. Then I make a pile of 18-21 National Geographic magazines, photograph those and put them in a listing. I usually start the auction at $9.99 with a buy it now of $19.99, or I put them in my store at $24.99.


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    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 

      6 years ago from Cardiff

      Wow I hd never thought of this, adn I really should have. I often sell my old fashion mags at carboots and shifted all my grans knitting ones! If only i had thought of ebay! Will be keeping an eye out at car boots from now on! Thanks voted up and useful

    • RandySFO profile image

      R Randall Schroeder 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      You are a fountain of information Tina. I see that I had it all wrong. Thanks for the good ideas.

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      8 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Also another great way to find antique books or really old items is through estate sales. I did this for quite awhile and on a few occasions, I ended up running into a complete set of books that was worth around $1000 for the set. Luckily, I paid $1.00 per book. This is true, but it is also a rare occurrence.

      Great Article

    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 

      8 years ago from New Mexico

      I'm very interested in selling on Ebay--and I'm a thrift store junkie--so this looks like the perfect way to put it together! Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent article. I've often wondered about selling on EBay and now may try it. Thank you.

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 

      8 years ago from the Web

      Quite interesting and nice ideas!


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