Update on Selling Books

by john on March 3, 2005

As I wrote about just before Halloween, I am selling books on Amazon. So how has it been going? Pretty darn well.

As a reminder, here is what spurred me on to do this:

This summer I actually took two bins of books to a local used books store to see what I could get for them. Almost everything was non-fiction, mostly business books. After lugging them into the store only to have the shopkeeper tell me he was only interested in one book and that he would give me a dollar for it I decided that perhaps selling used books (even ones in perfect shape) was a bit too much work for little reward.

I’ve sold off one of those bins plus some other books and computer games that were lying around the house but that weren’t essential to my existence. Here is the tally so far:

Total Items Price Shipping Credit Shipping Expense Packaging Expense Commission Net Profit
80 683.05 178.54 -141.00 -33.17 -180.62 506.80

So I’m averaging a profit of $6.84 for every item I sell. The low was a book on DNS that netted me a whopping 49 cents. The high was Turbo Tax and Turbo Tax State that netted me $40.43.

The interesting thing about this exercise is that it has really opened my eyes up to what kinds of books I had been buying and why, and how much each of those books really costs. So I am now much less likely to buy a book on the spur of the moment. In fact I have been sitting on a couple of Amazon gift certificates for awhile now because I can’t get myself to spend them on books. Very strange for me.

So, looking for some extra cash and want to get rid of some clutter? Sell those books on Amazon!


JR June 11, 2007 at 5:18 am

Did you drastically undercut the lowest price when you first started? You know cuz you had no feedback?


Karen Lee March 12, 2008 at 10:42 am


Are you still selling? How’s it going? I’m in a similar boat, only I have all the romantic stuff! I like series so I have complete collections. My husband said either he goes or the books go …. I struggled with that! LOL

Halloween Gift Baskets October 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Isn’t it better to just donate your books to the library and take the easy tax deduction?

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