The best sources of used books to sell online…

By Sharon Fussell, July 23, 2015

I am often asked where used books – or, for that matter, new copies of books – can be bought for low cost in bulk to re-sell online…

It can be tricky if you do not have a wealth of charity shops with an abundance of books for you to purchase cheaply on a regular basis.

Car boot sales can yield some great buys, but again, if you wish to purchase hundreds of books for pennies, then this might not be the best resource.

I researched book job lots on eBay and found a good selection… See here for more.

One particular offer was for 3,000 books with free delivery for £125: very good value. Of course, you have no idea what type of books you will receive, or if the selection will be profitable.

Many books will only be able to be sold for low value online, so unless you know you can still make profits regardless, it is a little dicey attempting to purchase mixed lots of books ‘blind’.

Here are a few ways to ensure you optimise profit from selling low-value books on Amazon and eBay…

Amazon-listed books that weigh under 500g and are sold for 1p plus £2.80 postage and packaging can only make a small profit if you are a ProMerchant seller on Amazon.

eBay-listed fixed priced books under 2kg and selling for around £5 will yield a minimum of £1.30 profit per book (although you need to deduct the cost of book from this total).

eBay-batches of two books with a similar genre or by the same writer – for example, batch two books together and ensure they weigh under 2kg, then price for around £7 including postage (actual postage costs will amount to £2.80 or less) – should make around £3 per sale.

You do need to keep in mind that bookselling does involve volume – in that most books are low value – and to make a decent income, you will need to list quite a few books. To only have one or two will not really work.

Another way of buying books in bulk is to look for adverts in local papers or newsagent windows… or this eletter!

From time to time, it is requested of me to advertise job-lots of books for sale around the country…

This one is from Lynne in Bournemouth: she has a selection of books for sale – approximately 500 – and would like you to email her if you’re interested. You can then negotiate between yourselves. Her email address is [email protected].

Of course, you might not like the idea of buying job-lots of used books: perhaps you have limited room to store books and don’t fancy going to the post office on a regular basis to post orders.

If this is the case, then take a look at my course Copy Paste Profit. This might fit the bill.


One Comment

  1. Luke Smith says:

    I love that you mentioned looking for advertisements in local newspapers when trying to buy used books. I know there are plenty of options online nowadays but I would imagine that in many cases buying from somewhere local would allow you to avoid shipping costs. It also might be nice to support local businesses.

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