New versus used books…

By Sharon Fussell, April 4, 2014


I have often been asked if it’s worth trying to sell new books, as opposed to used books.

New versus used books...

New versus used books…

The question is which sells better: used or new? Or, rather: which produce the best profit margins?

There advantages to selling new books. Why?

New books are easier, in that they are less likely to have defects to upset customers, plus they are usually in high demand.

However, I make a living selling used books. Why?

They are generally easier to buy for low-cost, they are usually in-demand, and out of print books can often fetch HUGE profits – plus Amazon are less likely to be have copies so you will not be competing directly with them.

In fact, when it comes to it, the good things about used books outweigh any bad, when comparing selling used books to new copies.

Yes, some used books may have defects that make them risky or difficult to resell, but if you take your time to check out bad defects before you buy, then the chances of having to chuck them out during the listing process, and wasting money buying them, is small.

If you do find a NEW copy of a book that sells well and you would like to buy in a batch, wholesale, then by all means contact the publisher direct. (Publisher details can be found on Amazon product details or inside the book itself).

Some publishers may offer 50% discount for trade and for a relatively low amount of books – e.g. 50 – BUT many companies will demand you buy hundreds of books upfront, and this will obviously present a huge outlay.

Also, remember that when selling new books, you are more likely to be competing directly with Amazon.

They often squeeze profit margins so low, that even with a wholesale discount, it’s virtually impossible to compete when taking into account actual postage costs and Amazon fees.

So I can categorically state that if you want to make money selling books, used books are the better option in the main.


What do you think?

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