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Selling Books on Amazon vs. Half.com (Ebay)

Updated on March 2, 2011

Amazon Versus Half.com

I graduated with my B.A. in History just 6 months ago, and hadn't ever gotten around to selling my textbooks until now. (I have accumulated about $2500 worth of books!) Knowing that it could be a somewhat profitable way to make some money this month, I immediately started sorting out titles and listing on Amazon. After reviewing the fees, I wondered if there was anything better out there. I had heard of half.com (by Ebay) before, and so I got to researching!

Fees: Amazon vs. Half.com

AMAZON

Referral/Commission Fees 15%

Variable Closing Fee $1.35

Fixed Closing Fee $0.99*

Shipping Credit $3.99

HALF.COM

Referral/Commission Fees 5%-15%**

Variable Closing Fee $0

Fixed Closing Fee $0

Shipping Credit $3.07 (Hardcover), $2.64 (Paperback)

** No fixed fee applied for Pro Merchants

** Half.com (Ebay) does a correlative price scale. The more expensive the book you sell, the less commission they take. Here is their official chart:

Half.com Commission

< $50.01

15.0%

$50.01 - $100.00

12.5%

$100.01 - $250.00

10.0%

$250.01 - $500.00

7.5%

> $500.00

5.0%

Source

Getting Paid!

Payment Schedule:

This is where things are uber-similar. Amazon pays you 14 days after you sell a book and Half.com pays out twice every month. I guess sometimes it does work out that you get it faster than 14 days on Ebay's schedule, but plus or minus a few days is really negligible. Especially, if you are just getting it directly deposited!


Other Very Important Factors

When looking straight at the selling fees, it's clear that half.com comes out the winner. Why pay those pesky closing fees? But we can't simply forget other vital factors such as audience or buying members: where are your buyers most likely to be shopping? Another major factor is that books, especially textbooks sell for much higher at Amazon. This is something to think about along with the fees.

So Who Wins Overall?

In terms of selling books, I believe Amazon comes out the winner. It is simply more popular and hosts a bigger variety of obscure and expensive books. When I place something on Amazon, it generally sells 4-20 days faster than it does on half.com. In addition, it even goes for up to 30% more. That heavily outweighs the $.99 closing fee.

Wanna see my math in action?

If I sold a $200 textbook on Amazon, I would pay $30 (commission), $0.99 (closing fee) and $1.35 (variable fee): to endure a whopping loss of $32.34 and a gain of $167.66

On half.com lets say I sell the textbook for $175, I would pay $17.50 (10% commission) in fees, giving me a net profit of $157.50.

So, despite the heavy fees, I still win at Amazon! This could completely change depending on your price of book, so beware!

What I've resorted to doing is listing each book in both marketplaces! Wherever it sells first (I'm in a hurry), is where I just let it go. And I subsequently remove the sold book off the other marketplace.

Where Do You Sell Your Books?

See results

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    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I just started looking at Amazon vs half.com, so I found this info helpful.

    • profile image

      tonymonatana 5 years ago

      Your prove is inaccurate since you sold the book on half.com at 175 but sold it on Amazon for 200, wtf man?

    • cascoly profile image

      cascoly 6 years ago from seattle

      your poll is going to be inaccurate due to HP inability to accept multiple answers - many of us sell books on amazon AND ebay, and perhaps half.com also

      it takes some research but prices can vary wildly among these sites - i deal in book, comics and maps, and items that sell for $1 on ebay may go for $10 on amazon; and more collectible items may never sell on amazon, but sell quickly on ebay.

      there's another option now which i also use and that's Bookins --

      http://www.hubpages.com/hub/Do-you-love-reading-mo...

      basically, on bookins you trade books for points - they pay the postage. i put books there that would sell for $.01 on amazon [all too many these days]

      I get new books fairly readily from Bookins, and then can sell them on Amazon for $10 or more.

    • profile image

      deepakkumaarr 6 years ago

      Good information

    • yenajeon profile image
      Author

      yenajeon 6 years ago from California

      BKCreative: I had also only sold on Amazon for quite some time! I now try both and see which one sells first! Thanks for your comments.

      pmccray: Thank you!

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

      Excellent information and congrats on your graduation.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much for the comparison. I've sold tons of books on Amazon and for years - it seems to have become very quiet now so I have gone on to other things. But I still have some unique books and maybe half.com is worth a try. I've never heard of it.

      Thanks a million - I'm looking into it. Rated up!