This week I was in a discussion with a book seller who is an owner of a bricks and mortar shop, selling both used and new books.
She was sceptical that I made a living from buying used books (predominately) from charity shops – especially unwanted books from charity shops.
These days, the vast majority of our books come from culled stock: books that charity shops have not sold after a certain period of time stacked on their shelves – hence ‘unwanted’!
That is ‘unwanted’ to their customers, not necessarily to other buyers around the world.
I really do not need to prove myself to anyone, as I know how successful many of my book finds are.
If you are following my manuals Sold Dispatch Now Gold or Amazon’s Automated Profits, you will also be aware of how used books can indeed be profitable.
If you are not – for whatever reason – convinced that selling books on Amazon is particularly a worthwhile/lucrative activity, take a look at some of my recent sales made as a merchant seller (not an FBA seller).
Remember that all these books were purchased for less than 25p each, and most cost less than £2.60 to post.
In the examples, the prices shown are after Amazon have taken their fees, but before they are posted…
026-3679614-4936300 12 Secrets to High Self-Esteem – £16.33
026-1183505-8786729 The Lords and the New Creatures – £11.37
202-0123440-1492376 Easy-Play Speed Music: Songs of John Lennon – £13.85
203-9654419-3200310 The Illustrated History of Cardiff’s Pubs – £14.68
204-1051841-5040323 The Stand (Complete and Uncut) by Stephen King – £10.52
204-0604520-3096320 Think: a Compelling Introduction to Philosophy – £12.20
204-3332136-5607541 Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land – £32.07
5423545-7955564 The Art and Craft of Sign-writing – £17.99
203-4602922-1235527 Cardiff Yesterday (v.36) – £26.26
202-4856152-8938744 Freeform Knitting & Crochet – £13.85
026-9511897-0448327 The Complete Servant – £12.20
202-8655661-0639536 The Story of San Michele – £13.79
202-8950333-9442748 Key to the Kingdom – £11.37
203-0183781-2210776 The Food and Mood Handbook – £12.21
204-5607251-8209143 Machine-Knitted Babywear – £21.30
203-0524625-5181963 Choosing and Keeping Chickens – £12.20
204-6315130-2668325 James Joyce and the Making of “Ulysses” – £25.44
203-4526091-7629112 Sunday by Sunday – £14.68
203-6761591-7841923 Rayburn Cookbook – £13.85
204-6263430-5402758 American Accent Training American Accent – £26.26
204-0776248-9289968 African Jigsaw – Vocal Score – £20.48
204-3744089-8359505 The New Cross Stitcher’s Bible – £14.68
204-9052749-1499560 Stroma – £41.98
203-4932569-5921952 An Indelible Stain – £37.84
203-7629150-4477113 Quick Loss – £17.16
You can see that though there are various genres, all are non-fiction. Whilst fiction can sometimes be profitable, it is mostly the case that higher profits can be found on niche non-fiction genre.
You do not have to buy books in bulk to find treasures such as these above. A few books at a time is a fine way of going about it.
In fact, the best way to get started in book-selling is to look up ISBNs before buying books, discarding non-profitable books, and just buying book titles that could render a profit, such theses above.
You will probably have to pay more than the 25p or less that I buy my books for, but many charity shops will sell books for less than £3. Well worth paying for if they are anything like the titles listed above – and books of their ilk.
Why not look up the ISBN on Amazon of these books above, create a list, take it with you whilst out and about – you never know: you may well find a book of the same title languishing on a charity shop shelf, or even at a car boot.