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Why Books Are So Easy To Sell On Amazon Or Ebay

Updated on November 29, 2012
What a lovely looking collection of books. They are so easy to store on shelves! Here are a whole bunch, neatly held on a bookshelf with great care.
What a lovely looking collection of books. They are so easy to store on shelves! Here are a whole bunch, neatly held on a bookshelf with great care.

Books Are My Favorite Thing To Sell Online

It's no surprise that they make up the bulk of my profits for each year because of this. There is no greater item for resale (legally) that you can store so efficiently, sell for such a markup from what you can buy it for, and ship so easily. DVDs, CDs, and video games are comparable, but books are unmatched due to their quantity and diversity! Here are some reason why you should consider getting into selling books if you are hesitant or unsure of how to start doing it.

1) They are so easy to store. Currently I have over 700 books stored in my living room. Almost all of them are for sale. I have several bookcases that are neatly holding my hoard of inventory. Bookshelves can go up against a wall and are very space efficient. I have even used some bookcases as partial room dividers out of style and necessity. If you are using neat shelves, this can enhance the overall look and feel of a room. I plan on buying hundreds and even thousands of more books. At long as you are on a ground level, weight is not an issue. I would be careful if you were storing all of these books on a second or third floor especially of an old house!

2) It's all about the barcode. One of the massive advantages of books, much like DVDs, VHS, CDs, and board games, is that they have a barcode on them. This barcode makes it so simple to list them, as well as know what they are worth. This also makes it easy to put them into a system so you know how much you paid for each book for taxes and record keeping. I love to sell antiques, vintage, and collectables, and I can only wish that they had barcodes!

How To Ship A Book Correctly

3) They ship very easily. I ship 99.8% of my books the same way. They are all wrapped up with corrugated wrap in a very particular way to ensure a perfect shipment. This saves you time on having to look for the right size box, padding material, and go through the time of measuring packages as well as comparing prices. Since I ship almost all books with media mail, I don't have to compare the prices because I know media mail is the cheapest. One of the annoying things about shipping can be stacking all of the packages up in an organized way. Once a book is ready for shipment, it stacks up vertically near perfectly straight. I have put as many as 30 books in one USPS plastic bin before!

4) There is huge demand. The demand for books may have gone down with amazon kindle and the internet, but good books that discuss useful information will always have value. Books that are rare or otherwise desirable will continue to stay that way as well. There are probably trillions of books out there, and there is no shortage of people who read books. The demand for books far outweighs the demand for anything else I sell. I sell such a huge variety, but books take the cake always because so many different types of people are interested in them.

Book Haul From A Tag Sale

5) Amazon did all the work for you. They already built the database of books and designed a program on the internet for you to list books efficiently and quickly. For all other types of items you need to describe the item and list all of the information about it, and then you have to make it stand out. Amazon advertises for your product, hosts it, and has one central listing that all buyers see who want that book. Almost all of the work is done for you already. You just input the price and condition, that takes less than 20 seconds if you have a book grading system.

6) You only need a few supplies.You only need scissors, corrugated wrap, tape with a tape gun, and plastic wrap. No need for varying sized boxes, bubble wrap, foam, packing peanuts, a tape measure, or box cutter. The simplicity saves time, money, and space. You should not skimp on any of these products however. I use cheap tape but I wrap it two times around. I use quality corrugated wrap, and wrap it two times. I use a high quality tape gun that performs very well and is near silent. I have high quality scissors for cutting cardboard. You want to be sure your tools last, because if you are selling books, you will put a lot of use into them!

Do You Currently Sell Books Online?

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    • PickingProfits profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Recent released books sell very well because they are so much in demand. Some people don't want to buy new, and so they will pay a little less and buy used, but there are not that many selling the book used at one time in relation to the number of people who want to buy the book

      I have sold books for $50 that were shown minimum of 1 cent on a bardcode scanner because the competition was a few books that were in lesser condition. The scanner I have does not show all competing books, but rather just what the lowest listing is. A newbie mistake is to not judge the condition of the book, and simply trust the lowest price listing in the database.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I have so many questions. I'll be looking up your online site and watching your videos, beginning with how you wrap your books for shipping. Essentially, I am curious as to how you make decent profits with more recent books when one would think the market is flooded with contemporary books. And how did you, as referenced in your response to the first commenter, sell a book for $50 that was listed for a penny? Very interesting!

    • PickingProfits profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Mostly non fiction books are what I sell. My favorite books to sell are very recently released books though. It's good profit and they sell very fast.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is a very interesting article. It sounds like only certain type books sell for decent prices.

    • PickingProfits profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Well I will admit, you have to have a good book. The better condition, the more it will be worth. Actually, many books that show 1 cent used will actually sell for more if they are like new or very good condition. I have scanned books that popped up as worth 1 cent used minimum, but I've sold them for over $50.

      If you have a bunch of books that the market has determined are worthless, your best bet is flea markets and tag sales. People will buy books for $1. No listing, no shipping, no packing. The same for dvds and cds. Unfortunately though, there is a lot of stuff out there that people simply won't buy online. I sell only the stuff that they do want (I hunt for it) and I don't really do flea markets at least not yet.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      I used to sell on Ebay but because I thought Amazon was selling them so cheap I couldn't compete I stopped. I have TONS of books that I started buying in the 60s. Everything from Phyllis Diller and Peg Bracken's to ufos, you name it I have it. I also have DVDs and games. Please explain how I can make money when amazone sells them for 39 cents? Seriously. I'm confused. Great hub though. Might inspire me if you explain how you can compete.


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