Why some Reader’s Digest books ARE worth selling on Amazon…

By Sharon Fussell, September 19, 2013

Selling Reader's Digest books on Amazon

I was asked an interesting question this week…

Despite previously issued warnings from me regarding buying coffee-table books and Reader’s Digest titles to resell, I was asked: ‘Have you been successful in selling any Reader’s Digest titles?’

In the main, I do advise not to purchase Reader’s Digest books ‘blind’ – that is without checking the following


  • Do they have any value on Amazon?
  • Do they have a good sales ranking?
  • Can you make a profit after taking into account posting costs?

Some Reader’s Digest Books sell very successfully for a healthy profit – such as The Cookery Year.

The Cookery Year tends to be quite heavy and it tends to be quite old (usually printed in 1970s), and sometimes the condition reflects its age, but this title continue to be very popular.

It tends to sell fairly quickly if priced around £14.99–£24.99.

Here are book details for The Cookery Year:

Reader’s Digest The Cookery Year – Egerton-Barnett, 978-0276000478

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,991

11 used & new from £12.00

Keep an eye out in charity shops and car boots. Paste and copy the info into your browser and you will see aphotograph to give you an idea of what the book looks like.

Most Reader’s Digest books are ‘coffee-table books’. They can be quite hefty and thus postal costs won’t come cheap when selling as a merchant seller.

They are usually in lovely condition. Cynically, I believe this is because people receive them as gifts and swiftly donate them to charity shops, unread. I suspect that they take up too much room, thus are eagerly passed over to charity shops in clear outs and spring clean sessions.

In fact, if you look through the list on Amazon that details items selling under the Reader’s Digest brand, you will discover that most items are sold at just 1p – totally ludicrous: any seller will be heavily out of pocket selling most titles in the Reader’s Digest range for 1p (£2.81 after postage charges).

To make life easier for you, I have researched Reader’s Digest products that you may see in abundance in charity shops; usually placed at the base of a shelf, or in charity shop windows like prized offerings.

These titles aren’t necessarily not in demand – often they are, but supply outstrips demand and books are priced too low to make any profit.

Some Reader’s Digest titles I would advise to avoid; others are well worthwhile listing. Compare the two lists below…

Reader’s Digest books to avoid

Reader’s Digest Touring Guide to Britain [Hardcover] 978-0276420313 Reader’s Digest Association (author) Reader’s Digest; reprint edition (25 Jun 1992)

Reader’s Digest Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants and Flowers [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest Association (author) 978-0276000867

Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276442292

1001 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276430152

Yesterday’s Britain: The Illustrated Story of How We Lived, Worked and Played in this Century [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276423918

The Ancient World 900 BC to AD 430 (Reader’s Digest Illustrated History of the World) [Hardcover] Michael Kerrigan (author) 978-0276429873

Reader’s Digest Guide to Creative Cooking and Entertaining [Hardcover] Anne Ager (editor) 978-0276398254

Reader’s Digest Driver’s Atlas of the British Isles [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276417566

Conversely, some Reader’s Digest Books are in demand and in short supply, therefore profit margins are considerably higher.

Reader’s Digest books to look for

Field Guide to the Butterflies and Other Insects of Britain (Nature Lover’s Library) [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276360077

How to Trace Your Family History on the Internet: Find Your Ancestors the Easy Way (Reader’s Digest) [Paperback] Nick Barratt (contributor) 978-1780200514

New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-By-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories (Reader’s Digest) [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (corporate author) 978-1606522080

Food from Your Garden – All You Need to Know, to Grow, Cook and Preserve your own Fruit and Vegetables [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-0276001703

Complete Guide to Needlework [Hardcover] Reader’s Digest (author)

The Curious History of Everyday Things: Fascinating Stories of Genius, Invention and Accidental Discovery [Paperback] Reader’s Digest (author) 978-1780201245

Locate any of these and you will make a profit.


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