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How to Start Selling Books Online at Amazon to Create a Home Business Income

Updated on June 11, 2012

I started selling books on last September and have been able to build up my inventory to a point where I no longer have to scour thrift stores and websites daily looking for deals on books to get my little business going. I use my Amazon  account to create a supplemental  income for myself. I hope to grow my business in to a full time income in the near future. I see an opportunity for that on Amazon, with a bit of hard work , good customer service,  and a little planning.

I love books, so why not make money and be able to be surrounded by the stories and imaginations that I am so drawn too? I can do it out of my home, I can collect as many books as I like and sell them after I read them.

 It really is quite simple to sell on Amazon, the hardest part is putting away the procrastination monster in all of us and just do it. I considered selling on Amazon for months and then when I finally began my set up with Amazon it took just a few minutes and I was on my way. I started with my own collection of  books and began making a small profit on my business with no start up fees. If you plan on selling books as a business and after a month or two of getting used to the system you may want to sign up for a Pro Merchant account. This is an account that costs you $39.99 a month, but waives some of the fees associated with a sale. But be sure your benefits outweigh the cost.  

Text books seem to be a good source for sales on Amazon. But be sure they are not more than a couple years old or you may have to hang on to them for quite some time, or if they are really outdated they are obsolete and probably won’t sell. I have sold many kinds of books, from memoirs to romance novels. Your customer base on Amazon is so large, any type of book has a possibility to sell. Advanced copy books and Instructor manuals are not allowed, so don’t list them that will violate listing rules.

Once I received my first payment I went out and purchased a few more books to list on my Amazon account and have continued to do so since.  I have weeks where I sell only 10 books with a minimal profit and some weeks where I will sell 30 with a better profit. Either way I enjoy the whole process.

Amazon has a simple and clear system that is user friendly and they provide help for sellers through webinars,  discussion boards, seller help and other information and contact information.  The website verifies payments,  collects them, then pays you after their commission and fees are taken out. You are paid out every 14 days and payment is direct deposited into your bank account. Amazon does not send out checks,  you must supply an account number in order to receive payment. You can find more FAQ at .

As books are ordered you are notified by e-mail and on your Amazon page and you are responsible for shipping the books out within 2 days. This is not a problem for me as I live a block from the Post Office and I enjoy the walk. I have not made a huge income from this endeavor, but it keeps me in books and it is something I truly enjoy. It is possible to make a very decent income with Amazon, and I plan to continue to grow and refine my business. 


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    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for your interest and comments I still sell books online occasionally. It is a good way to make a little money and clear off your shelves!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Are you still selling books? I sold my college books online but I never thought to purchase more used and sell again. I might look into this. Good luck. :)

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      where do you store all of the books in your inventory? i have thought about doing this on amazon. i have books, books and more books. the garage, closets and all over the house in closets and other storage space. driving the hubby crazy and i cannot see throwing something out that may be worth money. in addition to recycling.

      thanks for great information

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 7 years ago from California

      Thank you for the comment! I appreciate it. I also sell part-time and enjoy it. I sent you an e-mail too.

    • Tim_511 profile image

      Tim_511 7 years ago from Huntington, WV

      Good information! I sell on Amazon as a side job, as well. It is a fun business; but where I live, it is hard to find enough of the books I sell to get a really large inventory.