Over the years I have made thousands of dollars selling books on Amazon. Becoming an Amazon bookseller is easy. Take any book you no longer want, look up the title on Amazon. Next to the title on the right hand side it will say, “More Buying Choices” and underneath that “Have One to Sell?” Once you have clicked “Have One to Sell”, fill in the fields for book condition, price and shipping. If you don’t have an account, Amazon will help you create one and if you do have an account, Amazon will guide you to add your bank account information so you can get paid. It’s easy and fun to sell books, you no longer need. And there is no overhead as you can do it from the comfort of your home. However, if you want to make bucks selling books on Amazon, and turn it into a full or parttime business, you need to know where to find books, how to select books that will sell and how to the price books you have for sale.
If you look at the many of the books on Amazon, you will see that sometimes used copies, do not sell for alot of money. Some books are even listed for one cent. People often ask me how a seller can make a profit off a one cent book. The answer is volume. “Penny Sellers” who sell books for a penny or just a few cents have a Pro-Merchant account and sell mass quantities of books. They make bucks selling books on Amazon in the shipping fees. They collect the shipping fee from Amazon which is a little more than what it costs to actually ship and they make a tiny profit off of each book. It is a tough business and only for those who can sell a ton of books.
It’s a lot easier to build a profitable Amazon book business selling fewer books that sell for more. So it’s key that you know what type of books to look for. Time and study will help you hone your instincts You will learn to know when you look at a certain book, if you can sell it for a profit. In addition to getting a general overall feel, I also recommend you develop a niche area to specialize in. I specialize in one niche area and over time have been able to locate many of the same titles and sell them over and over for hundreds of dollars because I know exactly what to look for. I have pre-ordered these books at used book sites such as Half.com and if they came available, at the price I list, I am automatically sent the book. Just this past week, I was sent a book, I had pre-ordered giving a top price of $30. The seller asked $12 for it and I will be able to resell it for close to $200.
In general when you purchase books for resale, look for quality non-fiction books. Avoid fiction, diet books, cookbooks and book of the month club books. Run from anything that has an odor to it, is soiled and damaged or a former library book. There are always exceptions, I sold a very unique book on magic for close to a hundred dollars that was a former library book. As a rule of thumb, you want to find something unique that someone is looking for. The latest fiction book has already been discounted in new condition by Amazon and there are probably dozens of copies flooding the market, so stay away from that.
Build your book business with a small inventory of books. When you start out and don’t know what you are looking at, keep the prices you pay low. There are tons of sources for books including friends who will give you their books, rummages sales, thrift stores, yard sales and when you know what you are looking for, you can buy and resell off the internet. I have also purchased brand new books at outlet stores and resold them for a hefty profit.
The next step is pricing your books. If you see that a ton of people have the same book listed on Amazon. Go with the lowest price you can and get rid of it. On the other hand, if there are few listings and a strong desire (look at the Amazon sales rank), you can put a heftier price tag on the book. If no one is buying, price your copy low so its the first one that sells.
Packaging books is key to if you will make a profit or not. I use newspaper end rolls (free from my newspaper) to wrap my books for protection. I buy bubble mailers in bulk from eBay. This is crucial. A bubble mailer can cost $$$ at a regular retail store but be very cheap when purchased in bulk. If the buyer ordered expedited shipping, keep in mind that many books can easily slip into a flat rate priority mail envelope. This is usually much cheaper than sending it in a regular mailer, expedited shipping. And priority mail envelopes are free at USPS.com. The less your shipping costs, the greater your profits.
With each book you send, include a little thank you and your email for the customer to contact you about future books. If you have built a niche site, this is an excellent way to build your business and make bucks selling on Amazon. If a customer orders a book in a certain genre, and you have others in that genre, mention them in your email when you acknowledge their Amazon order. Recently a customer ordered a book on France for $30 and ended up ordering several more books after I mentioned some others I had on France.
You can make a tidy profit selling books on Amazon, get started by selling a few books you own, but no longer want, today!
For more ideas check out Steve Weber’s book,The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site
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