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Free Tips On How To Make Money Selling Books On Amazon And Ebay | Where Should You Sell And Why?

Updated on March 22, 2013

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Should You Sell Your Books On Amazon Or Ebay?

Selling books online is very easy money. It's so easy in fact, that just about anyone can do it. There are so many outlets that you can use to sell books, but today I want to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using Amazon and Ebay.

When you sell books on Amazon, generally speaking, the lowest priced book will be the one that sells first. This is less often the case when the quality is acceptable or good, and obviously more so the case when the book is higher quality condition. Most serious book sellers will price their books based on what other sellers are selling that book for in the same quality category. With very good search engine optimization and referral links however, some sellers manage to sell books for much higher than the market value by leading a lazy buyer to their product. These same rules also apply towards Ebay, although i would give a large edge to Amazon because of affiliate links. People are looking for a deal, and will usually go for the cheapest book however. The seller feedback score is obviously very important and applicable to both selling outlets, but when it comes down to it, many buyers only care about the price.

Here are a few very important things to consider when selling on Ebay.

Here is a lovely view of some of my collection, most of which was or is still for sale online.
Here is a lovely view of some of my collection, most of which was or is still for sale online.

Advantages to selling on Ebay

1) It's more likely that you will be able to sell a book for more money regardless of condition on Ebay.

2) It's not that uncommon to be the only person selling the book on Ebay and you will always have less competition.

3) Fees on Ebay are cheaper, especially if you are listing thousands of books per month, although there are fees on shipping.

4) You have a much more personal relationship and it is easier to get return customers on Ebay.

5) You set your price and don't have to change it frequently or get repricing tools

Disadvantages to selling on Ebay

1) Expect much less visibility on the Ebay website itself and in search engine results.

2) Expect much slower sales.

3) Expect at least some customers to be furious at you if and when they find out that their book was much cheaper on Amazon.

4) You have to write each listing completely, and even with turbolister (which I hate) it is still a lot of work.

5) Tax time is brutal and you have to rely on an antiquated, flawed nightmare called "Outright" which, unless you watch it like a hawk, will sabotage your record keeping.

Borders Books recently shut down their store near where I lived. I bought a whole bunch of stuff from their store when it closed.
Borders Books recently shut down their store near where I lived. I bought a whole bunch of stuff from their store when it closed. | Source

Advantages to selling on Amazon.

1) No matter what anyone tells you, Amazon is the king of books and everyone goes there.

2) When you search for a book online, Amazon almost always pops up first or second and always pops up before Ebay.

2) Expect super fast sales

3) Everyone knows they got the cheapest deal because they saw all the competing prices plain and clearly.

4) You don't have to write the listing because it is already in a catalog

5) It is 100% free to list on amazon until the item is sold and it lasts until you cancel the listing or sell it.

6) Tax time and calculating profits is super easy with Amazon because they show you everything plain and clear and it can be pasted right into a table effortlessly.

How To Ship A Book Correctly With Media Mail

Disadvantages to selling on Amazon

1) Your price will constantly get hammered down lower and lower by heavy competition

2) You will almost always be trying to sell a book that at least one other person is also trying to sell. Competition is fast and furious on Amazon

3) Fees on Amazon are higher, although they don't include shipping in the fees and books do sell quicker

4) On Amazon you are nothing more than another line of text with a price on the end. You are a brick in the wall. It is near impossible to stand out.

5) You constantly have to change your price and if you have a lot of items, it makes sense to use an auto repricing program

Ultimately, I choose to use Amazon because items sell quicker and it is much easier for me to keep records of thousands of individual variably priced items. The fact that sales come quicker means that I can invest that money on more stuff and it also means that I don't have to worry that a book will become undesirable before I sell it. Remember that you can check how popular and desirable a book is by checking its Amazon sales rank on Amazon. The lower the number, the more popular it is. If you plan on selling books, I would highly recommend using Amazon because of these reasons.

I hope you enjoyed this hub! If you liked it would you subscribe for more? Do you love treasure hunting, selling on Ebay, or just learning about cool vintage stuff? Check out my youtube channel for tons of videos about my adventures and hauls as well as tips, tricks, and countless bits of information!

Do You Sell Books On Amazon Or Ebay?

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    • profile image

      Zaiyah 3 years ago

      I bow down humbly in the presence of such grensaest.

    • profile image

      GILAC 4 years ago

      So you list the books on amazon BUT ship them yourself? Correct? Amazon still gives you $3.99 shipping credit?

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      I have tried selling books on Amazon, but the mailing in Canada is so ridiculously high I cannot afford to do it! Suggestions?

    • PickingProfits profile image

      PickingProfits 5 years ago

      Amazon gives you $3.99 shipping credit to ship a book. I ship most books for about $3.25 including all shipping material, postage, and delivery confirmation. I don't sell books that are worth less than at least $5 + shipping generally speaking. Most books I buy are $1 or $2 at the places I buy them.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      How do you make money if you sell the book for 99 cents on Amazon and have to pay $2.75 to ship it? I'm very confused.

    • PickingProfits profile image

      PickingProfits 5 years ago

      I sent in books one time but regret doing so. Books are super cheap to ship anywhere at about $2.75 each including supplies or no more than $4.50 for a heavy book. Also, the packing material (bflute) is universal for all sized books, so you only buy it once and it works for all sizes and shapes. Also books are stored very easily and efficiently, and when you ship them yourself you can add a thank you note which will increase your feedback score and help to balance out any bad feedbacks.

    • lhale profile image

      lhale 5 years ago from Georgia

      Just sent my first box of books to Amazon to try out the FBA system. What is your opinion of this? Good article, will definitely follow you.

    • PickingProfits profile image

      PickingProfits 5 years ago


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      We use Amazon more than ebay :)

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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This was a very good comparison between Ebay and Amazon. I use to sell a lot of book on Ebay, but haven't done so in quite a while. I think your hub has some excellent information for people interested in utilizing either of these sites.

    • PickingProfits profile image

      PickingProfits 5 years ago

      Thanks! Hey, I have bought books that were popular on Amazon, read them, and then re sold them on Amazon and gotten all of my money back. It's funny like that, but the price can fluctuate if the book is being oversold.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      Ive never really tried selling books, and I don't know why as I buy enoug of them off amazon! I will have to give it a go with the ones I no longer want! Thanks for the tips, voted up and useful!

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I haven't really sold anything on either website yet, but I plan to sooner or later. Very useful hub. Voted up and shared.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I really enjoyed the way you presented both options and each pro and con. Found this information very useful.

    • PickingProfits profile image

      PickingProfits 5 years ago

      Thanks! I think you will have a pleasurable experience as I have.

    • profile image

      bizpromo 5 years ago

      Good article! I've never sold on the BIG A but will consider it next time!