Questions to ask yourself when buying books to resell

By Sharon Fussell, April 2, 2015


As you can imagine, I am frequently asked questions about selling on Amazon.

One such question is: ‘Do you check the value of books before you buy to resell, or do you buy ‘blind’?’
The answer is ‘Yes and no’.

If I buy in bulk and the books are reasonably cheap (10p–30p), I just look for condition. I have a reasonable idea which books to avoid that will not yield profits high enough to bother with.

Questions to ask yourself when buying books to resell

Questions to ask yourself when buying books to resell

In the main, I avoid fiction and especially books by the following writers… (This is not a definitive list!)

  • Barbara Bradford Taylor
  • Helen Fielding
  • Danielle Steele 
  • Catherine Cookson
  • Dan Brown
That is not to say books by these writer don’t sell – they most certainly do – but even for Pro-Merchant Sellers profits are low-to-non-existent for any successful sales. So I really don’t bother with them.

Most definitely, for newcomers to book selling, I would not recommend buying to sell any types of popular fiction titles.

So what books do I look for?

Look for non-fiction books, and niche titles: books that I feel will be of value on Amazon.

Where possible, check out the ISBN using your smart phone.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure conditions for purchasing books to resell meet the ideal criteria…

  • Can you place a decent premium on the price?
  • Will this yield a nice profit? Remember to factor in the buying price: how much did you pay for the book?
  • What will the postage costs be? As far as you can tell, do you feel the book will be a large letter or packet?
  • Is the sales ranking good – does it demonstrate demand? The lower the number, the higher the demand.
  • Don’t forget condition (this is a top factor: condition is king). That said, if the book looks very interesting, just ensure it is at least in good order, for example, with no pages falling out and the covers intact.

Happy bookselling!




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