Are you a bookworm? If so, chances are you go through books faster than you can find shelves to store them. Or perhaps you have a dusty old collection that hasn’t been cracked open in years. Regardless of where they come from, you can sell books for cash online to make a quick buck and declutter the house while you’re at it.
But it doesn’t have to stop there. Trying to sell books for cash can actually turn into quite a lucrative side business. Even with the rise of Netflix and Kindle, the book industry is still thriving, and there are plenty of readers out there who would love to buy your used books at a lower price than buying straight from the big box stores. It’s easier than you think!
Basics About How to Sell Books for Cash
If you have a huge collection of books you’re looking to get rid of, that’s an excellent place to start. Otherwise, you can find books by checking out thrift and second-hand stores, garage sales and yard sales, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even local used bookstores that are trying to get rid of their excess stock.
Before you go out shopping for books to resell, always have a number in mind of what you want to spend. This forces you to make better selections of books that will help you make a profit. While $1 books seem like a great deal, they won’t be worth the effort if they only resell for $1.50 each. Your time and energy are also worth money!
If you spot a book that you think may be a good resell, a handy tool to use is the best seller rank (BSR) on Amazon. The lower the number, the better. For example, books ranked as #1 have sold 1,500 or more copies that month. Anything lower than 100,000 is typically good. This info can be found in the product details when you search for the book.
Other handy tools for price checking include Jungle Scout, Keepa, and Amazon’s mobile seller app (it has a scanner that will instantly tell you the product price).
Selling Textbooks Online
As the most expensive books on the market, reselling textbooks can be lucrative. Students are looking to get textbooks for cheaper than retail price—and who can blame them!
Of course, selling can go with the season. September, January, and June are the most popular purchasing months as each school semester begins. The best time to purchase them is when the semester ends and students want to get rid of them!
Between book clubs and Instagram recommendations, books can quickly become instant hits. People seek to purchase these for a good deal, as they are typically quite pricey. If you spot a hardcover first edition of a book published in the past five years, it’s probably a good resell!
Best Places to Sell Books for Cash Online
Amazon got its start as an online bookseller. Can you believe that? To this day, it remains one of the top bookselling platforms for both new and used books.
If you’re interested in becoming an Amazon seller, you can either be an individual seller (selling less than 40 products per month) or a professional seller (more than 40 products). So, it all comes down to how many books you have!
Depending on your preference, you can pack and ship the books or have Amazon store your inventory and take care of the shipping on your behalf. If you are just looking to sell some of your own books or don’t mind having books sit in your house while you wait for them to sell, doing it yourself is often the easier (and cheaper) choice.
Amazon takes most formats, including hardcovers, paperbacks, comic books, rare hardcover collectibles, and even children’s books. To list your books on Amazon, there are fees based on the selling plan you choose; you can also choose cash or Amazon credit for payment.
2. Barnes & Noble
If you have a stack of textbooks that cost you an arm and a leg while in college, chances are they still have some value. Don’t wait on these! With virtually any subject, the newer the textbook, the better.
Barnes & Noble offers a service, Sell Your Textbooks, that makes selling your old textbooks easy. All you need is the ISBN of the book.
BookScouter is one of the handiest tools when it comes to bookselling. It boasts itself as “the world’s largest textbook buyback price comparison tool” but can be used to sell any kind of used book. By searching the ISBN, it connects you to various online textbook sellers so you can find the highest buyer.
Being able to compare different vendors in one spot makes selling that much quicker. And then you don’t have to stick to one website and trust that they are giving you a fair price.
Like others on this list, Ziffit allows you to sell textbooks and used books. This site has a handy app you can download onto your smartphone, which will enable you to scan books quickly using the barcode. Once you scan, you’ll receive an instant pricing offer.
For payment, you can either select direct deposit or PayPal. The company has partnered with FedEx to provide shipping services, so you don’t have to worry about paying to ship your books to them.
According to their website, Ziffit accepts “anything and everything,” so this is a great spot to sell more obscure books that other sites may not take. The only requirement is that the books need to be in decent condition, with no water damage, missing pages, or damaged spines.
5. Powell’s Books
Flagshipped in Portland, Oregon, Powell’s is one of the largest used bookstores in the United States. To help keep their supply up to date, the company purchases books from readers online.
To sell on Powell’s, simply enter the book’s ISBN number online. You’ll get an instant offer, and if you want to move forward, you’ll be paid in your choice of store credit or cash via PayPal.
If you have a large number of books or a specialized collection, the company recommends you email them at [email protected] and give a brief description of the books for more accurate pricing.
You know the drill by now! Cash4books will allow you to search for books on their database and offer you a price and free shipping for your books. They primarily accept textbooks, but they will also buy a variety of other in-demand books. Most must have a publication date of 2018 or newer.
What they purchase changes quite often, but they have a handy list for reference. A major benefit to this service is that there are no fees for selling your books to the website. If you find their price quote is better than the buyback program at your university, you might as well get the better deal!
As the name suggests, GoTextbooks is another website for selling your textbooks. Since you’ve spent so much money acquiring them, you might as well let them have a second life and get some of that cash back!
On the website, you can get an instant quote, ship your books to GoTextbooks free of charge, and then get payment upon GoTextbooks receiving your item. Their platform is straightforward, so it won’t take up much of your time sending your textbooks off to their new owner. GoTextbooks gets average ratings Trust Pilot.
Are you going through the whole house? Decluttr can help you get rid of quite a few items you no longer need but are still in good condition. They accept cell phones, technology, DVDs, CDs, video games, and most importantly, books! They accept all sorts of books, from children’s picture books to classic novels.
Their app makes it easy to get an instant price evaluation by scanning the barcode. Next, you pack up your books (and any other items you want to sell) and ship them free of charge to Decluttr. They will then pay with PayPal or direct deposit once they’ve received the items.
You can never go wrong with eBay, the original online seller. It has stood the test of time and, to this day, remains one of the top places online to sell your used goods. And that includes books!
Unlike many others on this list, you’re selling directly to another consumer through the platform. On the plus side, you get to set the price and will likely earn more than you would using the other platforms. On the other hand, it takes a little more work and is harder to determine an appropriate price for the book.
To sell, you can use the app to take photos and make your listing easily. You can search for the book you’re listing on eBay and set a similar or slightly lower price, so it sells. eBay allows you to hold an auction where the item goes to the highest bidder or as a sell-it-now item where it’s sold for the listed price. Once sold, the shipping is all up to you!
You can earn $500 a month by selling on eBay – here’s how!
10. Half Price Books
Sometimes you don’t want to worry about the hassle of shipping your books. While they sell used books online, you can drop off your used books at a Half Price Books store to get instant cash or store credit. Like other used bookstores, they will take a look at your stack while you hang out for a bit, and you may even find something you want to purchase yourself.
Besides books, they also accept music, movies, comics, magazines, collectibles, electronics, and games of all kinds. If you’re clearing out the house, this may be an excellent place to get rid of a few items while still making a profit.
AbeBooks is an online selling site for rare books, online trade & textbooks, art & collectibles, maps, comics, and paper collectibles. The cost is $25 a month plus fees to set up a seller’s account, or if you only have a few books to sell, they have a book buyback program through Textbook Rush and Ziffit. Just enter your ISBN to get a quote, receive a free shipping label and choose your payment method.
eCampus not only purchases used textbooks, but they also purchase novels, biographies, non-fiction, and more! If you only have a few books to sell, you can use their instant ISBN quote tool, or you can become a marketplace seller. Payments are distributed via PayPal, check, direct deposit, or in-store credit.
On Booksrun, you can sell used textbooks, as well as cookbooks, non-fiction, and fiction titles too. Just enter your book’s ISBN on their website and its condition to see how much it’s worth. You must have at least $10 worth of books before you can send your shipment to them. Once you have your titles, print out a free shipping label, pack up your books and ship them to Booksrun. Once they receive your books and verify the condition, they’ll issue payment within four business days via check or PayPal.
They also have a smartphone app for Android and iOS devices, so you can quickly scan your book’s ISBN. I’ve not used Booksrun, but they claim to pay top dollar for books and have fast payments for sellers.
You probably know Etsy as an online marketplace for buying and selling handmade goods. But did you know you can also buy and sell craft supplies and vintage items on the site? The rule for selling vintage items on Etsy is the item must be at least 20 years old. For craft supplies, the item must be a tool, supply, or material used to create a handcrafted item.
If you search on the site, there are many people selling bundles of books for craft projects and rare vintage books. So, if you have an old vintage book or a bunch of books that nobody will buy, you might be able to sell them on Etsy. They charge a small listing ($0.20) per listing, so keep this in mind when deciding where to sell your books.
Whether you want to sell used textbooks, old novels, or rare finds, these buyback sites offer plenty of options for making some extra money. And if you’re motivated, you can make selling books your full-time gig like this TikToker who chronicles his six-figure bookselling journey. With some research and spare time, selling books can be a great side hustle of a full-time business!
If you want to know more about starting a book reselling business, this post has some great tips!
Originally published on November 8, 2021. Content updated September 2022.
Leave a Comment