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Websites to Sell Books
(Get an online valuation)
When they’re looking to sell books online many people consider BookScouter but they are typically interested in buying back textbooks. But, if you have other types of books to sell you can still make good use of the BookScouter platform.
A search of the website will tell you what each book you’re trying to sell is worth. Obviously, the valuation is based on what the websites can sell your books for and if it’s in-demand you may be able to sell for more.
The website allows you to compare book buyback vendors and compare prices. If you like the price, you can agree a sale. BookScouter facilitates free shipping and then you’ll get paid.
Half Price Books
(Get cash or trade in credit)
Half Price Books is a great way to sell your books in person if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby. Unless you have something exceptional you won’t get much, but the process is easy and you can take the money in trade. In fact, you can even browse for your books as the bookseller completes their appraisal and you’ll get a call when the offer is prepared.
(Get an instant quote)
Powell’s Books is much like Half Price Books. You bring in a box of books for appraisal while you wait if you live close to one of their physical locations. Alternatively you can sell them to Powell’s online. But unless the book is extremely collectible they are only interested in excellent quality books.
Simply enter the ISBNs for each book into the appraisal form on the website and you can get an instant quote. If you’re happy with the offer you get a shipping label to print. The company pays out with store credit or via PayPal when the team receives and checks your consignment.
(You must have $15 of books to sell)
If you have a lot of used books to sell you can create a professional seller account with AbeBooks. But, if you only have a few books to sell it’s far easier to use their book-buyback service instead.
The platform is ultimately owned by Amazon and they claim to have the largest online buyback catalog for books. AbeBooks claims that they typically beat a local college bookstore on buyback prices.
The books must be in good condition and you need to have at least $15 of books to sell. If the books you supply don’t meet the standards set by AbeBooks they are recycled and you won’t get paid.
(Earn Amazon credit)
When you’re researching the best place to sell books online or anything else for that matter, it’s likely that Amazon will be mentioned.
There are two options to consider if you want to sell used books on this platform. Firstly, you can trade-in a book for Amazon credit. Enter the ISBN code, check if there is an offer, fill out some details on the condition and then use the supplied shipping label to send it in.
This option typically gives you more in Amazon credit than you would get if you sold the book for cash because they want to keep your money on the site.
The second option is to sell your used books on Amazon by setting up a seller account and creating your listings. You will need a listing for every book. This can take time, but when a buyer purchases your book you will be informed immediately.
(Minimum $10 buy back threshold)
The name Textbooks.com is misleading because this company buys other types of used books too. The platform sells used books to students and they also offer a guaranteed cash back option on selected titles.
So, if you’re a student and you buy a book you may be able to sell it back later at half of the purchasing price if it’s in good condition. Many buy back sites insist on pristine condition for used books. But Textbooks.com is a little more accepting and they have a minimum buy back threshold of $10.
Your Local Independent Bookstore
(Be sure to call ahead)
It’s always worth checking out your local indie bookshops when you want to sell any types of used books. Most of them offer cash back or you can usually get a good deal on store credit.
Look online or check your local Yellow Pages for bookstores. Call ahead and check their requirements first or you may be carrying around a box of heavy books for the rest of the day.
Online Buyback Programs
(Check for minimum thresholds)
Online Buyback programs allow you to enter the ISBN of a book, fill out details on the condition and then get a quote and shipping label if they qualify. But, some sites have high minimum thresholds and if you only have a few books to sell it will be hard to cash out.
As I mentioned above, BookScouter is a great resource to find good sites to sell your books. If you’re looking at places where to sell books online here are some of our favorites.
Best Apps to Sell Your Books
(Fees: $1.99 or 12.9%)
OfferUp you can sell pretty much any item locally and every potential buyer has a profile, rating, photo and transaction history.
This gives OfferUp a social media type functionality and it boosts confidence on the platform.
Platform charges a fee for each item sold at 12.9% or $1.99 (whichever is highest). However, as an added bonus, sellers can get extra rewards if they get repeat buyers.
If you like in the UK, WeBuyBooks is one of the best places to sell your used books online. The customer reviews are good, they have a quick and efficient appraisal system and the minimum value requirement is just £5.
Simply input the ISBN numbers, or scan them with the WeBuyBooks app and you can get your valuation instantly.
If you accept the order, print the shipping label and send the books in for free. As soon as the team checks your consignment of books you get your money in your bank account within three working days.
(Completely free to use)
Carousell has simplified the process to buy your used books online. Just take a photo of the book, upload it to the site, add the details and you’re done. It’s easy to list your items using your Android or iPhone and it’s completely free to use.
There is a built-in chat feature, so you can talk to any potential buyers directly. You can also list your item in multiple special interest groups. As an integrated solution, it is possible to share all of your listings with your favorite social media platforms.
What Should I Do With Old Books?
Whether you’re a college student or bookworm, it can be very easy to accumulate a hefty book collection. There are almost 700 million print books sold each year. If you feel like you contribute a significant chunk of these sales, you’re likely to find space on your bookshelves is at a premium.
Many people are interested in learning about how to sell books online but there are a few other alternatives to consider before you get started, they are:
- Donate to the local library if your used books are gently worn.
- Make a “Free Book” box and place it in a prominent place.
- Donate your books to a local charity such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army or other charities that need stuff to sell.
- Make some extra cash and sell used books online.
Are Old Books Worth Anything?
The most important consideration when it comes to valuing any used book is the condition. A first edition is always going to be more valuable than later printings. But a shoddy old book will not command a good price. If you’re lucky enough to have a first edition in good condition and it has been signed by the author you may be sitting on a goldmine!
The great thing is that you can use online platforms to get an approximate value for your books.
But, what you need to understand about selling used books online is that you’re not likely to make a lot of money unless you’re selling in bulk. So, if you only have 2-3 books to sell and they are not collectible you would be better off donating them or taking them to a bookshop.
Tips for Selling Your Used Books
If you want to sell used books locally or online we have some useful tips to help you to secure a sale and stay safe.
- Take Care When Shipping Books
If you’re planning on selling a lot of books it’s a great idea to invest in some padded shipping envelopes or other packing materials. The packaging should be water resistant and durable enough to protect the book from dings and bumps. Keep your tracking numbers, the online buyer may send a shipping label, but you still need to make sure the package arrives.
- Take When Meeting In Person
If you meet a buyer in person, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself. Don’t go alone, consider meeting in a public place and make sure someone knows where you are. Always deal in cash and if something doesn’t feel right you can always leave.
- Be Honest When You Describe Your Used Books
The best way to avoid problems from irate buyers is to describe your books honestly. The more details, the better and unless someone is a serious collector a few dings are not likely to be a problem.
- Consider Donating
If your books are not worth much or it seems like a hassle to list them all you can always donate. Local charities are always looking for items to sell and it’s easy to drop off a box of books when you’re passing.