Bibliophiles, listen up! Ever thought about selling books online? If you have books lying around that you’ve already read, are leftover from a long-forgotten college course, or one that’s gathering dust, read on. There’s a better way to deal with the piles of pages around your house rather than constantly rearranging them to fit on your shelf: sell your books online.
The most expensive book ever sold — Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester — sold for $30.8 million. While we can’t guarantee that high of a payout for your old English 101 texts, selling books online can be a quick and easy way to make some extra cash (perhaps to buy more books?).
Here are 15 of the best places to sell your books online, complete with the ins and outs of each so you can navigate the best way to clear some precious space on your bookshelves.
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How it works: Selling books online at Amazon, the company assures, is pretty straightforward. Provide some basic documents, create a seller account, make a few decisions on how you want to sell, and go. You can sell your old hardcovers, paperbacks, textbooks, comics, or children’s books.
How much money you can make: As much as you list the book for, minus the $0.99 Amazon takes per item sold, a 15% referral fee, and a $1.80 closing fee.
Important things to know: You’ll want to opt for Amazon’s individual plan to sell books you have lying around the house. Sellers with the individual plan also use Amazon’s set shipping rates for all products. It’ll require a bit of math to make sure you’re making a profit because individual sellers ship orders at the set rates even if the shipping credit is less than the total shipping costs. Also, opt for FBM (fulfilled by the merchant) over FBA (fulfilled by Amazon). The latter requires you to send your inventory to Amazon, so they deal with shipping, and chances are, if you’re only selling a few books, you won’t need this. Be aware that the rules and percentages that Amazon takes are a bit different if you’re selling rare or collectible books, as these fall into different categories.
How it works: If you have an eBay account, you can begin fairly easily. The eBay app also makes it simple to take pictures of the books you’re selling and scan the barcodes to upload to your seller page. Once you scan the barcode or enter the ISBN, it will auto-generate the info for you. You’ll fill in a one-sentence description, add shipping info, and decide if you want to sell as an auction or not.
How much money you can make: However much you decide to list your book for (or however much it sells for if you opt for an auction), minus a $0.30 closing fee, 14.6% of the sale price, and shipping.
Important things to know: If you sell less than 250 books, you can list them for free. Sending your book using USPS’s Media Mail option is also easy and cheap, as prices start at around $3.50.
How it works: Chegg, with which many college students are familiar, partners with GoTextbooks when you’re ready to sell. Simply head to their website, find the ISBN of your book, get your quote, print out a prepaid label, and send them your book (it’s free). You get a PayPal deposit or check within two weeks when they get the book.
How much money you can make: It depends on the book and its resale price. GoTextbooks doesn’t take a percentage of your sale; it’s just a flat fee they will pay you for selling it to them.
Important things to know: GoTextbooks doesn’t buy back books with broken covers, water damage, or excessive highlighting. They are selective in the books they buy back, with most being textbooks only. If you try to plug in a different ISBN, it may not register in their database. Remember that the minimum sell-back order is $18, so make sure you have a few books in hand before going on their website.
Related: Colleen Hoover Books in Order
4. Campus Books
How it works: Campus Books is a one-stop shop. It’s a searchable database, so you can find the best price for purchasing or selling books online. Once you plug in the ISBN, you’ll see the prices on multiple websites with links on one page to make it super easy to buy and sell (shipping included).
How much money you can make: It depends on the book you’re searching for and demand (time of year will have something to do with it, too). Campus Books doesn’t take a cut of your sale.
Important things to know: Campus Books has an extensive database, and other types of books are searchable, but the selling price may not be as high as you’d like.
How it works: Selling books online at ValoreBooks is pretty straightforward. Once you plug in the info for the books you have, the system will generate a prepaid shipping label for you. When ValoreBooks receives your books, they’ll pay you via PayPal or check.
How much money you can make: It depends on how many books you have to sell back. When you plug in the ISBNs all at once, it shows you one list with the value total at the bottom. However, buyback prices are a bit lower than on other sites.
Important things to know: Like some of the other services, ValoreBooks doesn’t buy back books with broken covers, water damage, or excessive highlighting. Items that don’t meet their standards may be quoted at a different price or graded as unacceptable. There’s also a return processing fee for unaccepted items.
6. Barnes & Noble
How it works: Use Barnes & Noble’s ISBN tool to look up your books. If the book is accepted, the site will quote you a price, and you can print out a prepaid shipping label. Once Barnes & Noble receives your book in the mail and deems it in acceptable condition, they’ll send you a check.
How much money you can make: Depending on the number of books you have in relation to demand, you can make a little money at Barnes & Noble. However, some of the ISBNs for reputable texts weren’t accepted, indicating either fulfilled stock or low demand for the time of year.
Important things to know: You need at least $10 in books to sell before being able to print out a shipping label for your reads.
How it works: Powell’s offers two ways to sell your old books: in store (if you’re in the Portland area) or online. Once your bid is accepted on their site, they’ll email you a prepaid shipping label. Drop the books off at a UPS store and wait for your check or PayPal.
How much money you can make: Powell’s accepts a wide range of genres in good condition. Depending on the demand for the titles you have, which changes frequently, you could make a significant amount.
Important things to know: If you sell in store, you receive store credit not cash. Also, Powell’s offers the chance to sell your really big collections of books (if you have 1,000 or more). Encyclopedias and outdated texts aren’t accepted.
How it works: Ziffit is a company big on sustainability and pledges not only to recycle every item that comes to them but also to become carbon neutral by the end of 2022. Once you download their app (which is quicker for scanning bar codes), you can easily see the value of the books you have on hand. Pack up your books and take them to a FedEx location where they ship to Ziffit for free. Upon arrival, Ziffit will pay you either through a bank transfer or PayPal.
How much money you can make: Ziffit makes it really easy to scan several numbers in at once via their app in order to see a quote. Depending on their stock and demand for titles or subjects, you could make a good amount from getting rid of your old books.
Important things to know: If you have a lot of books to sell instead of just a few, Ziffit has a tool where you can upload up to 500 ISBN numbers for a quote instead of scanning each individually. You need to reach a minimum of $15 before boxing up your books as well, so make sure you have a few before heading to their website. The site doesn’t offer returns of rejected material.
How it works: Pack up a stack worth more than $10 on their website (check using the ISBN tool), print out a prepaid shipping label, and four days later, you get your money in the form of a check or PayPal deposit.
How much money you can make: Since Booksrun updates their pricing on books daily, has live customer support, and accepts a wide range of books from many different subjects, you’re more likely to get a bigger return than with other services.
Important things to know: This website has a few helpful articles like “What is an ISBN?” and “Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?” to help teach you while you make money selling. Booksrun’s loyalty program allows you to sell books on their site and earn points you can redeem for merchandise or donations to charitable causes. Booksrun doesn’t buy the following types of books: instructor or teacher’s editions; advanced reader or review copies; incomplete sets; or books with more than two or three pages of markings, including highlights. Pictures on their website guide you on what is acceptable to sell.
Check out Free Kindle Books.
How it works: AbeBooks is for the serious collector looking to connect globally with other book lovers who appreciate fine collections. As a seller on AbeBooks, you describe, store, and ship your items yourself. You also set your own shipping rates and speeds. Their ISBN Matching Service makes it quick and easy to list.
How much money you can make: An 8% commission fee is applied to all sales, including shipping and any extra charges. There’s a minimum commission of U.S. $0.50 per item and a maximum commission of U.S. $40 per item. It depends on the collection you have to sell.
Important things to know: AbeBooks charges a $25 fee per month for up to 500 listings and goes up from there. Every Friday they pay out their sellers through electronic funds transfer.
How it works: Like Campus Books, this is a “scouting” site that allows you to plug in the ISBN and search 30+ vendor sites to not only see who is accepting that ISBN at the moment but also how much they’re paying. It saves you a ton of time making the most money on your books.
How much money you can make: It depends on what you have, the demand for it, and what it’s currently selling for on the various sites. This tends to change frequently, but you can opt for price alert changes on the site.
Important things to know: If you don’t want to use the website, you can search BookScouter’s free app. It can be overwhelming checking all the sites that’ll buy back your books. If you’re dealing with many different sites, keep in mind that they often have a minimum before sending a prepaid shipping label. It may be best to pick a couple of sites to focus on to minimize frustration and maximize your time and money.
How it works: Sellbackyourbook.com runs a couple of different sites, but the price quote for your reads will stay the same no matter which one you visit.
How much money you can make: Making money selling books online depends on the quality of items you have, as this site is pretty strict when it comes to inspection upon arrival. They don’t take a percentage or charge you anything; it’s another buyback site. Keep in mind that if a book doesn’t meet their standards, they’ll charge you $3.99 per book to ship it back to you (or they’ll recycle it for free).
Important things to know: Sellbackyourbook.com doesn’t buy the following types of books: instructor or teacher’s editions; the advanced reader or review copies; explicit material; incomplete sets; encyclopedias; and nonbook items with an ISBN (such as calendars or board games).
How it works: Enter the ISBN of the book into the search engine or scan it with their free app. You’ll get an instant price and prepaid shipping label and should get a payout within a week via direct deposit or PayPal. You can also opt to donate your earnings to charity.
How much money you can make: Decluttr gives you an instant quote that they stand by, so you’re guaranteed that money. Since you can also sell a wide range of titles, as well as other items on Decluttr, you have more earning potential with Decluttr. Keep in mind you’ll need at least $5 in items and 10 books ready to go to get your shipping label
Important things to know: Decluttr not only buys back hardbacks, paperbacks, textbooks, and children’s books, but they’ll also take your electronics, game consoles, and Legos. They also make sure everything is insured with and sent through UPS.
How it works: Selling books online at Cash4books.net is pretty straightforward. Search their database for an ISBN, pack up your books, print out a prepaid shipping label, and drop it off at FedEx or USPS (depending on how much you have to sell). Bonus: if you don’t have a printer, Cash4books will mail you a shipping label instead.
How much money you can make: You can expect your money in about two weeks via check or PayPal. Their inventory and demand change daily, so check back if you don’t like the price they’re offering for your book. Books must be in good condition.
Important things to know: Cash4books will pay the fees associated with the PayPal transaction. They’ll also buy books on CD and occasionally books other than textbooks (but not collectibles or antiques). Check their site for the most updated lists. If they deem your books unacceptable and you want them back, you have to pay shipping costs.
How it works: Check their ISBN database for your text, get a price, print out a prepaid shipping label, and money will land in your PayPal about one day after the shipment arrives (check payments issued within 10 days).
How much money you can make: It varies depending on the title and condition, and pricing is ultimately decided by demand. The website encourages people interested in selling books online to check out their local college bookstore and says they can usually beat that price for buyback; they can almost always make an offer.
Important things to know: TextbookRush.com boasts the largest buyback catalog on the internet. They’ll also insure your books via FedEx for up to $100 with a tracking number.