A few years ago I had built a really large stockpile of books. Not knowing what to do with them and not just wanting to give them away I started looking for options on selling them. I found a few different sites but ended up using Amazon, the main reason, it is SO easy to sell media items! You can create an account (or use your existing Amazon account) and list an item in a matter of minutes. The reason it is so easy is they have a database of literally a zillion items so all you have to do is search the title, find the item you want to sell, and click on “sell similiar”…yes it is that easy!
The best part is you can sell books, movies, games, or music. Personally I have only done books and a few games. I found I made more money using Amazon than selling on ebay or Half.com. Simply because it took less time to list the items so I was able to list more in a shorter amount of time. I will go ahead and warn you now that paperbacks don’t do that well, it really isn’t worth the effort unless you have a TON to list or have special ones. Hard bound books, on the other hand, do quite well. Honestly I was surprised at the value of a few of my books.
You will be given a shipping credit (depends on the item, around $3.99 normally) paid for by the buyer to help with shipping, but Amazon will charge you a few dollars per book fees for using their service. Basically the fees eat up a portion of the shipping charges. Considering all of these items can be sent by media mail (a few dollars to ship) you usually break even or end up having only a little bit come out of the sale price of the item. Of course this will depend on the item.
How to get started…
- First you need to establish an account, this is super easy to do. Since they take the fees out of the sale, there are no fees to pay every month like ebay. If you have an existing Amazon account you can use that just click on “my seller account”.
- Start gathering items from around your house and checking the prices and then decide is it going to be worth the effort. If you got 10 books you are going to clear $2.00 on, probably not, if you have 10 you can clear $40 on….probably so. You need to remember you have to list the item, wrap it, and then mail it. So there is a little effort involved, especially if your post office is far away.
- Gather the items and get ready to start listing, this is the easy part. Log into your account and then go back to the main page. Enter the title in the search box. Pick your item from the list and then look to the right and click on “Sell yours here”. This will start the listing process. Select the condition and give a description of the condition. Click “continue”.
- This will take you to the item pricing page. It will show you the Amazon price but will also show you the other sellers prices on the right. Click those links and you can see all the pricing. Enter the quantity, and select the shipping options. Click “continue”.
- You are now on the review your listing page. Review the items to ensure they are correct and submit it…that is it!
- You will receive a listing confirmation. You can also track all listed items under your “Seller Account” available under “Your Account”. This is where you can track the pricing and keep your prices lower than the others. All items stay listed for 30 days at the end of that time you can relist the item if you want.
- If your item sells you will receive an email notification. It will also include the shipping information. Pack the item and mail it, you need to do this within a few days. MAKE SURE YOU SHIP YOUR ITEM USING MEDIA MAIL – IT IS THE CHEAPEST. You want your feedback from the buyer to be good. Yes, they have feedback just like ebay.
- You can receive your profits by Amazon gift card, check, or direct deposit into your bank account. I always did the direct deposit, you can get your money in a few days that way and there is no minimum for withdrawal (like the check).
Pretty easy huh? My sister and I made quite a bit selling through them. If you know students tell them about this as text books do EXTREMELY well, much better than at the local book stores.
A few tricks….
The big one is the pricing, you will be able to see the amount of the similar items that are listed, I would always price my item a few cents lower than the lowest. Therefor I sold my items quicker, better to lose a ten cents and sell it immediately rather than be stuck with the item on sale for a month. They also have an option to revise your pricing, you can see if you are lowest or if someone else has lowered their prices and revise yours as needed to stay competitive. Try to be extremely competitive, or lower than the others. This will help your items sell quick. No need to be extreme, a few cents lower usually works. Remember they can lower their pricing too so you may have to reduce it again to sell it.
New books or Like new books do best and earn the most money…of course. I found that weird books did best, I had some sailing books and they did really well. Textbooks, tutorials, home improvement, etc. type books did the best for me.
Don’t go out and spend a ton of money on books in hopes of selling them without checking the books first to see what they are selling for. Tons of books are only worth a few cents so it wouldn’t be worth it, BUT after a while you will start to notice trends on what sells well and what doesn’t then garage sales, thrift stores, and other places are great to pick up items to sell….for a profit!
Don’t feel like doing all this work?
You can always just sell yours to Amazon for an Amazon gift card! Just look for this on your item listings…
Hope this helps!