How often have you found yourself in this situation? You have some books lying around; gathering dust and you want to sell them. What do you do? You can sell them yourself, OR you can sell them to a book vendor (bookbyte.com, cahs4books.net, etc) and be done with it. However, you may not get the cash you expected. If you want the possibility of more cash, then selling them yourself may be the only answer. In my opinion, selling online is the best way to go.
OK, you say, but you have a few questions:
Where is anyone selling my books?
There are many online sites that sell books, Froogle, Tomfolio, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, ABE, Amazon, eBay, to name a few. Of these Amazon and eBay are perhaps the largest. You can go to their websites, and in the search block space, enter either the Title or the ISBN number and push “SEARCH”. If they carry it, you will see it. In addition you should see the price, a description, and a picture of the book.
How much can I get for my books?
Your search results showed you what they are selling for. However, it is difficult to see who actually sold one and for how much. If you login to eBay, at the top of the page, you will see the same search block space you used to find the book. Just enter the Title of the book again. However, this time notice just to the right of that space is a button “Advanced Search”. If you push that button, it gives you more search parameters you can choose from to locate your book. Enter the title. Under the section “Search including”, check the “completed listings” button. Then push the “Search” button. When the search is done this time, you will see if the book sold and how much it sold for. Now you have an idea of what someone is willing to pay to purchase the book, whether it is new or used.
What do I have to do to get started?
My suggestion is choose either eBay or Amazon to help you sell your books. Why? Because more people go to those sites to look up a book before they go to a store to buy it. It’s those people that you want to show your book to and get them to buy it.
The process to get this started is similar on both websites.
- Setup an account. You may have to provide a credit card or checking account number in order for them to know where to send your $$. In addition, eBay has the PayPal service that makes the online transaction safe and painless.
- Login to your account to begin the process of selling your book online. Click on the START SELLING button (eBay) or the yellow “SELL YOUR STUFF” button (Amazon).
- Follow the step-by-step instructions on entering the Title and a description of the book. HINT: if you enter the ISBN number (usually located on the back of the book near the bottom in a white space with lots of bars |||||||||) in the space marked Title, the site will look it up for you, provide a description and in most cases even a picture. Makes this a whole lot easier.If you don’t enter the ISBN number, and instead enter the title, you will also need to get a picture of the book, upload that, and write a compelling description of the book and its contents.
- Be sure you describe the condition accurately. Both sites have guidelines for describing the condition of the book. Follow them. You will avoid a lot of headache from the buyer, particularly if they receive what they thought was a pristine book and it actually had smudges and marks on the pages. Be sure they understand what they are paying for and what to expect when they receive it.
- State what price you want to sell it for. Your previous research can tell you what people are willing to pay, so use your best judgment.
- State the shipping you want to use to send the book. There are many choices, so be sure to check out the cost. Don’t try to charge an enormous amount for the shipping, but do charge enough to cover your shipping cost plus the time you took to wrap it and send it (handling charges).
- Enter the remaining requested information in the online forms provided.
- Review your listing before you push “LIST IT”. Check the spelling, grammar, the price, the shipping charges, etc. Also review all the fees the site will charge you to list your book. Be sure you make a profit!
Once you list the book, go back once a day and see if it sold. It is important that once it sells AND you have received your $$, that you ship it immediately. After all, you’ve been paid, and now technically it is their property. So send it on its way to the happy buyer. That’s what selling a book online is all about.
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