Selling Used Books Online
Tune in to NECN on Monday, January 14 at 7:45 am to see our Lori A chat with Leslie Gaydos about selling used books online!
The following is a blog from Lori’s Take Time for Today Blog
If you are anything like me, you have shelves and boxes full of books you will never read again. Maybe old text books or novels that were read once and now take up precious space in your home collecting dust. Every few months I go through the books I know I will never read again and try to sell them online. This may sound daunting but please read on. This is a very fun, potentially semi-lucrative hobby. De-cluttering, money-making, and fun… there’s nothing to lose!
Online booksellers are always looking for books that they can buy from you and resell to other readers. Now you know where the used books that you can buy online come from… people like me (and soon to be you)! Basically you enter in the ISBN numbers (those little numbers by the barcode, often on the back cover) from your books on any number of websites and if that particular company is interested in buying the book you have they will make you an offer. Should you choose to accept their offer you just print out their pre-made, pre-paid shipping label (or they will mail you one if you don’t have a printer), package up your books, send them in, and wait for your check or paypal payment!
Now, I’m going to be honest, sometimes I only get offered maybe 73 cents for a book I paid over $10 for but I look at it this way… if I honestly will never use the book again and I can get more from these companies than I could get at a yard sale (a quarter), then it’s worth it. Less things in my house to dust, and a little extra cash in my pocket. Some of the companies require a minimum total with a sell back but gather all your books together and you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up. Plus, you never know what little treasures you might find. Sometimes I expect to get nothing for a book, and get offers for close to the amount I originally paid… for expensive textbooks, this could be a lot!
Don’t be discouraged if you search a bazillion books and only get a few that anyone wants to buy back. I have found that these companies are not always looking for all books one day but they might be a few days or months from now. I set the ones I can’t sell aside and try again next time.
Here are some things I find to be helpful in keeping myself organized while I do this:
- Visit www.bookscouter.com or get their phone app – they do a nice cross search of several sites so you know where to start. The phone app allows you to scan a book’s barcode so you don’t even have to type! This step is not a necessity but I find it helpful to get started. Other times I have just opened a link to each website on my computer at once and copied and pasted the ISBNs into each page to search and find the best deals. Using something like bookscouter saves you a little bit of time but you are trusting someone else to find your deals for you… sometimes I prefer to do the work myself.
- Put a sticky note on the cover of each book and write how much different companies are offering you. I like to do this rather than just automatically accepting the highest offer. Sometimes you have to do some creative math and mix and match a little bit when the company requires a minimum buyback. You might accept an offer for $1 one place instead of $1.10 another place because you already have books going to the first place and need to sell back $1 more. Know what I mean?
- Go to the websites that have given you the best offers to enter your info, the book’s info, and follow the prompts to complete your sale.
- Keep all the books for one company piled together with the shipping label on top until you package them. I usually write in the corner of the shipping label paper what company it is. It’s such a pain to get things mixed up and forget what is going where. Most of the shipping labels do not print with the company name on them!
Here are some of the book selling websites I would suggest checking out. It’s not an exhaustive list. A Google search will show you there are tons of sites to choose from! Some sites only offer you credit toward their online stores (or offer you more if you do this instead of getting paid out other ways), others pay in check or PayPal.
Bookbyte (using this link should give you an extra 10% back above what they quote you)
Most companies will reward you for referring your family and friends to their sites, so once you see how great this is, make sure to pass it on to others!