Where to Sell Your Books for Extra Income

When I wrote a post on Friday asking you to share your spending weaknesses, I was surprised at how many of you are book-a-holics like me. It seems I’m not the only one who had piles of books lying around, begging to be read, but never picked up. So what does one do with all the extra books? Fortunately there are many options.

eBay

eBay is probably the best option if you have a lot of popular books in the same genre. It’s easy to sell books in a lot of 5, 10, or even more, as long as the subject matter is in demand. And shipping books via media mail is really economical, so the shipping prices don’t impact the bidding too much. Just make sure you take good pictures and provide accurate descriptions, payment terms, and return policies.

Half.com

eBay’s Half.com is one of my favorite ways to unload books. It’s easy to list books on half.com. You just enter the ISBN number, list the condition of the book and any description (such as “a few pages are dog-eared”), pick a selling price, and you’re good to go. You’ll get an email when someone buys your book, and you have 3 business days to mark the book as shipped. Half.com pays you twice a month by transferring money into your bank account. It’s convenient and easy. It works really well if you don’t mind storing your books for a long time while you wait for them to sell.

Amazon

This is a method I’ve never used, but I hear it’s similar to selling on half.com. You list your books, the condition, and the price. When someone buys a book, you ship it, and Amazon pays you.

Cash4Books and Blue Rectangle

These are great options if you have a lot of books to get rid of in a hurry. I sold one batch of books on Cash4Books.net and another batch on Blue Rectangle last week, when I did my book purge. Since both of these sites buy books for reselling, you won’t get a top notch price for your books, and there are a lot of books that they just won’t take. However, if you have a lot of books that you want to get out of your house, it doesn’t hurt to run the ISBN numbers through each of these sites to see if you can make a little cash.

When you sell your books to either Cash4Books.net or Blue Rectangle, they will give you a postage paid mailing label to put on your box, so you don’t even have to worry about postage reimbursement. Once they receive your shipment, they pay you via Paypal or check in the mail.

Craigslist

There’s always the possibility that you can sell your books on Craigslist by putting up an ad for a box of books for sale. You can stipulate that the buyer must take them all. I’ve never tried this, but I’ve seen the ads on Craigslist. If you don’t mind putting up an ad and dealing with the massive amount of email that Craigslist can generate, it’s a good way to make a few bucks.

Donate

If you can’t get rid of your books any other way, or you don’t want to deal with storing them while you wait for them to sell, donating your books to a charity is a great option. Just make sure you keep a detailed record of your donation, so you can get a tax break.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Any experience with selling on half.com or Amazon? How do you get rid of your books? Please share your experience and advice in the comments.



Author

By , on Feb 19, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{23 Comments}

  1. Alexandra:

    Love the suggestions. Thanks to everyone for the help!

    On a side note, if you donate books to your local library, PLEASE follow Looby’s suggestion from ’08 and talk to a library employee about your books first. Let them see what you have and ask if they can use any of them. I used to work for a library and used books (especially donations) were thrown out on a regular basis. Yes- right into the trash.

  2. Moriah:

    Thanks for all the great sites everyone! I am looking to sell textbooks since I missed the deadline at my college bookstore. Chegg.com is a good one too!!

  3. Katherine:

    I highly recommend bookmooch
    http://www.bookmooch.com
    - it’s much easier to swap books that you’ve read for books that you want to read. All you pay is the postage.

  4. Paul:

    There are a lot of good sites out there to sell your books. Two more that usually have good prices are http://www.mybookbuyer.com and http://www.sellusedbooks.com

  5. Oscar:

    I do pretty good making money with half.com. It gives us some extra spending cash. I tried Amazon and I feel the fees are way too high, if it is lower priced books you could actually lose money by the time you pay postage.

  6. Glen:

    Hello,

    I have tried a few of the book buyback sites, I check all of them to see who has the best price and only use a site if they have a free prepaid shipping label, that is why I usually use http://www.sellbackyourbook.com

    They always offer the best price and are super quick with payment!

    Glen

  7. Tom:

    Since everyone is chiming in with their favorite places to sell books. I will chime in with mine. I have tried all the sites everyone has mentioned, as well as many others. I am wondering why nobody mentioned http://www.ckybooks.com

    They simply offer the best prices, find a better price someplace else? They don’t match it, they beat it. To be fair they do not beat the price every time, I have had a few items they could not beat. Several of the other places mentioned, when I have sold books to them, have tried to lower the prices on me after I sent the books.

    As for selling on Half.com and amazon.com, I’ve done that before. It is much easier to just sell to one of the sites that buys the books. Yeah I make less but I don’t have any of the hassles of site rules, fees, emails, problems, storage, and on and on. I’ll take the quick cash and they can deal with the headaches…leaves me more time to read.

    Tom

  8. Sally:

    One of the places I have found to sell used textbooks is http://www.textbookbuyer.com and you can type in the ISBN numbers to your textbooks that you want to sell and sometimes some neat prices show up. It is an old fashioned website (the colors and styles could be more modern) but I have to admit it is fun to click that bright red SELL USED TEXTBOOKS button.

  9. Mike:

    I have been looking for ways to unload my books, without dealing with ebay. Your post and comments were very helpful! Thanks.

  10. jennifer:

    I sell a lot of books on Half.com. The best part about Half is that there is no listing fee and you can keep inventory on there for as long as it takes to sell.

    I recently checked out selling at Amazon (my sister and I team up to sell her college textbooks) and couldn’t believe the fees they charge over there! For someone who doesn’t sell a huge volume of books, I would probably stay away from Amazon.

    I recently signed up with swaptree.com and made my first swap. I sent a DVD off to someone and will get a book I want in return.

  11. I use bookscouter.com to find where you can sell your books for the most money. They compare prices from most of the sites mentioned here, plus a bunch more.

  12. LJ:

    These are some great ideas! I need to purge our books and DVDs-we end up with so many! I think I may give either Amazon or Half.com a shot to unload some of these piles I have accumulated!

    Thanks for the tips!

    Take Care

    LJ

  13. Ebay is good for big collector’s sets that people are looking for–I got rid of my grandfather’s Louis L’Amour books that way.

    For most books I sell via Half.com though only the popular ones sell.

    For the rest Paperbackswap.com is the way to go. The best thing is if you are tryingto get rd of books and want fewer you can transfer your credits to Swapadvd.com and get Dvds for the credits instead.

  14. Looby:

    I’ve given a lot of my books to the library, I think it’s a nice way to help boost their supply. Just be sure and ask at the desk if they want them, don’t just leave them there, there are certain types of novels that they have in excess.

  15. John:

    I have used http://www.valorebooks.com/ to sell back some books, and I have donated some books to http://www.betterworldbooks.com a few times. Both companies have a good service, you will feel good about donating your books to betterworld, and you can get some decent money selling back your books to valore, or listing them on their marketplace.

  16. I am partial to Amazon but I have heard half.com mentioned a couple of times recently… So, I will have to give them a try next for the next batch I sell…

  17. E.D.:

    I use Paperbackswap.com. I can get rid of the books I don’t want and save the credits for books that I want (i.e. have a better chance of reading). Sometimes I also use the credits to pick up books for my parents so they don’t spend the $$.

  18. I need to start selling some of our books, our bookcase is over-flowing. I have traded books with a used bookstore here in my hometown. It is a great way to get some new reading material without spending any money.

  19. S.B.:

    We used amazon marketplace and were pleased. We liked it because we could sell books, DVD’s and CD’s at the same time. I was surprised that we people were actually buying the CD’s.

  20. Since I got the flu today, I should browse through my books and see what I can sell. Thanks for the half.com idea. I use them to purchase my books.

  21. Jen:

    If you want to get other books back to read instead, paperbackswap.com is a good one too.

  22. dawn:

    A couple of other charitable options are:
    -The Half Pint Library will bring your old children’s books to sick children. For more info., call 800-883-2114 or check out http://www.hpb.com/
    -And if you have adult books, the New York’s Prisoner Reading Encouragement program would love to receive them. For more info., call 212-349-6741 or log on to http://prisonreader.org

  23. Sean:

    We have used most of these to get rid of old books except for Cash4books and Blue Rectangle. Another way that we unload books, along with other unwanted or unneeded items, is through a local vendor’s market.

    The price of a booth is thirty dollars a day and we split that with four or five other families that have items to unload. We have a rotation as to who will stay with the merchandise for the day. It is only a twice a year event, so it is not really an option if you do not wish to store the items.

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