Quirky places you can source books to sell on Amazon

By Sharon Fussell, July 13, 2011

I am often asked if there are alternative places to source books to sell on Amazon other than charity shops, libraries etc. I got to
thinking where I had I purchased books that was outside the usual places.

Here are some great examples:-

Quirky places to source books to sell on Amazon

Hospital waiting room

I have noticed in a few hospitals that charities such as WI have a book stall where they sell donated used books, usually for about 50p each.

Doctors waiting rooms

As above, doctor’s waiting rooms, money collected may be for a local charity.


Guests leave books in the room and the cleaners may have a central place in the foyer to place them – some
invite guests to help themselves. At a recent stay in a London hotel I picked out half a dozen books all in very
good condition. 3 were in foreign languages and they were listed on Amazon. I have already sold one for £6.

No it did not cover my hotel bill – in fact with London pricing probably would not pay for a coffee!

Village Halls

I have noticed boxes of books left on a table inviting cash donations to be put into a collecting tin – very trusting but I think in most cases people do pay up.


Sometimes pubs may have a book corner on behalf of a local charities fund raising efforts.

Village Shop

I note that in a local bakery there is a small stand where they have agreed to store some books and videos for a local charity and they sell them off at 25/50p each. I purchased four books for £1 – only fiction but they have all sold now bringing in a small but worthwhile profit.

Community Centres

Like village halls they may have a selection of books to choose from, again for a donation.

Supermarket Foyers

Once at Tesco’s I found a local charity with 3 tables full of books, they were selling them for 50p each – but I did negotiate a better price from them as I bought a couple of boxes from them.

Books are quite a good fundraising resource. They can be stored easily into boxes, they tend to be given freely by people who have read them and they can be priced quite cheaply for our purposes. If not try to negotiate a cheaper price you never know.

Rod – one of my readers – emailed me recently with a tips to share on this very subject.

“Hi Sharon….. sourcing books how about a) Hospital entrance areas b) Social Clubs. one of mine has a book table with a take & leave policy plus a 25p donation I’ve found several books to list recently and finally c) Holiday complexes, certainly those abroad, generally have a stock of books again take & leave applies. I’ve recently obtained from Spain a small book ‘The Cathedral of Burgos’ by Ayala and have listed it at £9.50 cost 1 book in return. I will always take a few swaps with me now. Also Holidaymakers offload wait of books to bring back market goodies. Rod

Postbag corner: Tips to share

Tips keep rolling in here are a few good ones:

Cleaning Tips continued…

“Scouring pads (don’t throw your hands up in horror ) I don’t mean brillo pads but the stainless steel balls. Used with our friends polish as a lubricant gently rub over the label remains until removed and give the covers a final polish. I’ve tried it on a very difficult label on and old xmas annual and it worked a treat. Practice on waste material to get the feel of it, but it worked for me. Rod”

Packaging tips

“Hi Sharon I have used supermarket fruit bubble on books and other Ebay items, shoes etc., and as an overwrap have used inside out wallpaper. A 33ft roll can usually be bought for 50p or 99p from a clearance shop, or even from a decorators if they have an odd roll lying around.

Alternatively, turn a strong carrier bag inside out and use that, cutting to size if necessary. Regards, Ian”

“Further to the tip that was sent in about bubble wrap from supermarkets you can get massive rolls (and I mean massive) from DIY stores, it will cost money but not as much as jiffy bags, I bought a very big roll for £20 from B&Q recently. Steve”

“Hi Sharon I put a post on my local Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) asking if anybody had any jiffy bags and I got a whole black bin bag full from somebody! And they were happy to reduce their clutter. Dace”

Mobile phones

“Hi Sharon, Just received the BPC email, and the part about Mobile Internet Access has reminded me that I was going to contact you about the method I use myself.

I purchased a pocket surfer 2 http://www.pocketsurfer.co.uk/

I actually got mine from Amazon for £145. It’s really great, included in the price is 20 hours a month surfing, for the first 12 months, you can upgrade to unlimited monthly surfing for £5.99 on a month by month basis, no long term contract – e.g. if you only want to sign up for a month’s unlimited access then you can, then you could just have the free months for a while and then pay for another unlimited month etc. After your 12 months, you then pay £39.95 for another 12 months of 20 hours a month (and then choose if/when you want the unlimited access).

It’s really quick to look up web pages, and with a bigger keyboard and screen than a mobile phone. Also it’s supposed to have a wider coverage area due to using GPRS (apparently, I’m not too well up on the really techy stuff). I just think it’s great for what we want it for, i.e. seeing if books really are worth purchasing for resale.

The other thing I wanted to share is a website that I saw mentioned on the seller discussion boards on Amazon, that people may not know about
http://www.checkean.com/ which is a basic site for looking up ISBNs and gives sales rank, RRP, and prices of new and used copies available. Using the pocket
surfer and this site, it really is a quick process looking up values when out looking for books. Hope this is of some help to others. Best wishes Tony”

Researching Books

You may find that from time to time you need to research information about your books. This may include finding a suitable price or just trying to date your book in order to list it. You could use this site to find the info you need:



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